Cruise Ships and Framing Your Art

Centenary Blog!

Can you believe that this is the 100th blog post I have made since January 2015?! It feels like I have been writing for many years, and I have made many good friends through the blog and followers on social media. I have seen days were only three people have viewed the blog, but I am now seeing figures topping out in thousands of hits per week!

That’s all well and good, but it’s not the time yet to kick back and relax. I have plans to introduce new pages, and features, and I am looking into developing some master classes in digital art. Over time, I want this site to become one of the best sources of news, views, and reviews, all in line with the two things I am most passionate about, art and technology. So what else have I got planned? Here’s the low down!

Coming soon, the ‘art of a cruise ship’ – I will be taking an opportunity to view many pieces of art that float around the seas on board a cruise ship and I will be sailing away very soon on the Explorer of the Seas to carry out extensive research in between visits to the coffee bar and pool. You see just how seriously I am taking this! As I can't take you all with me, here's a glimpse of what's on board!


I am also planning a feature on print on demand artists. If you are an artist who sells through print on demand services, please do get in touch.

But I am also looking at adding in some new pages. You might have noticed that when viewing this site from a desktop or tablet, there is a wealth of content, and less emphasis on third-party advertisers. They’re still here, but I am now a lot more selective around the ads that do get displayed. You will also notice that there is now a direct link to my work through Fine Art America. I also plan to freshen up the gallery pages, and create some master classes for digital art. I have a few prepared already, but I want them to be really useful.

If you have any ideas on how to make the site much more suited to you, please get in touch.


There have been a few interesting off the wall art stories reported this week, but none quite so sinister as a London Art dealer being imprisoned in Italy, accused of murdering her 93-year-old mother by stuffing a rosary down her throat in an attempt to ‘cleanse’ her of evil spirits. Italian born Francesca Martire, aged 61, ran a successful design and furniture lighting dealership in St. John’s Wood. Martire is undergoing psychiatric assessment after being arrested.

According to the Telegraph, Mrs. Martire, who had lived in Britain since 1986, has told her lawyer and police that she believed her mother’s apartment was infested with evil spirits and that by shoving the rosary in her mouth she was attempting to perform a sort of exorcism.


UK online retailer, Prezzybox has developed what has to be one of the most bemusing things to date. Yesterday I spoke about the emergence of cats taking over the online world, now it seems that they’re also getting their own technology.

Cat owners who also happen to own a computer will also know how much their feline friends like to snuggle up to the warm keyboard, using it as a heat pad, and leaving countless hairs between the keys.

The Kitty Laptop available in the UK for £19.95, Prezzybox are saying on their website that you can ‘Up the cute cat factor and give them a geek chic toy that they can get their claws stuck into! The irresistibly scratchy keyboard will keep them tearing up your furniture!’

They also say that nerdy cats everywhere will love this flat-packed cardboard design. You can see the Kitty Laptop here.

I don’t think the likes of Apple will have too much to worry about for now, well at least until the cats really do take over!


Reddit has now been entirely banned in Russia, and it is all because of a single post that was barely-read, on how to grow magic mushrooms. The country’s internet watchdog, Roskomnadzor said that if Reddit didn’t take down the post, the whole or Reddit would be banned in Russia. Reddit didn’t comply, or it was stuck in someone’s inbox due to summer holidays, but the end result is that Reddit in Russia is no more. I doubt it will be the last we hear of this, and if it is stuck in someone’s inbox, why didn’t they leave an out of office message?


One week news is good, other weeks not quite so good. The latest from the social media giant is that a Harvard University student has said that he has lost his job at Facebook after he launched a browser application from his dorm room that exploited privacy flaws on the social media’s Messenger service.

Aran Khanna’s app called Marauders Map in tribute to the Harry Potter series of books, showed that users of Facebook Messenger could pinpoint the exact locations of people that they were talking to. He told he created the app to show the consequences of unintentionally sharing data and thought he was doing a public service.

Two hours before he was supposed to leave to start his internship, Khanna received a call from a Facebook employee telling him that the company was rescinding the offer because he had violated the Facebook user agreement when he scraped the site for data. Meanwhile we have to remember that Mark Zuckerberg started Facebook from his Harvard dorm back in 2004.


Katy Perry recently walked down the red carpet at this year’s Metropolitan Museum of Art – Black Tie Fashion Party, wearing a strapless dress adorned in what appeared to be graffiti. One entertainment reporter wrote that graffiti belonged on walls and not on red-carpet gowns, but it wasn’t this that caused the real stir. A street artist who claims in a federal lawsuit that the Italian fashion house and designer behind the dress incorporated a replica image of a mural he had spray painted on a wall in Detroit, without his consent.

Joseph Tierney, who goes by the trade name "Rime," claims in his suit that "Vandal Eyes," the mural he painted in 2012, is a copyrightable work just like a book, movie or painting. And he alleges that the defendants, luxury Italian label Moschino and designer Jeremy Scott, made him an unwilling participant in a publicity stunt that compromised his credibility.

All I can say is if Katy wants me to create a design for her next dress, I will gladly do so, as long as I get a signed copy of her next album and a walk down the red carpet.


Manhattan’s Little Italy neighbourhood has become home to America’s most wanted man. Well, at least a piece of contemporary art in the form of a bust of Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now residing on at least a temporary basis somewhere in Russia.

The likeness of the whistle-blower returned to public display recently as part of the city’s first ever downtown mural show. The piece of art is under 24-hour guard to prevent any incidents, and it is hoped that the work will attract more than 60,000 people to the area.

The bust weighs around 45 kilo’s (100 Lbs) and four months ago, the bust, installed without permission on an American revolutionary war monument, was removed by the New York Police Department. It was freed to go from a storage facility in the Bronx and ended up at an art gallery in Brooklyn.


Love him or hate him, U.S. television network NBC has ruled out the possibility of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump returning to host the celebrity version of TV’s Apprentice.

The networks entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt has stated that the show will not be back next season, but will in the future return with a new host. The network cut its ties with Trump in June over comments he made about immigrants.

Now all we need to wish for is that Piers Morgan decides to run for the presidential campaign, and we can see less of him too. For my American readers, please accept Britain’s most sincere apologies.


Sherlock, also known as actor Benedict Cumberbatch made an appearance outside London’s Barbican theatre to plead with fans to not film his latest play. The Sherlock star spoke to a crowd of fans outside the stage door about cameras and red lights that he had spotted in the audience.

He went on to say ‘it may not be any of you here but it’s blindingly obvious’ and continued by adding that it was ‘mortifying’. The actor is starring in a 12-week-run of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.



Beechhouse Media
Beechhouse Media - Specialist Frame Advice

If you are serious about art, you will know that a great painting can be downgraded to merely a good painting. Not because of its condition, and not because of its content, but sometimes what makes a painting truly great, is the frame that surrounds it. Choosing a frame just isn’t about style, it is about having a sensitivity to the artwork it contains.

A frame servers many purposes, it can present a work more effectively, but it can also protect the work for many years to come. When you are choosing a frame, it is easy to be tempted by the current trends, but what you really want is something that lasts longer than a current fashion trend, you want something that will suit the way you intend to display your art.

One of the factors I always consider is where the work will be displayed. I also consider how the art will be transported and how often, and all of these things combined should be the first step in deciding how to frame a piece of art.

When I sell my work directly, I never roll it up. I always supply the work in what I like to call a transit frame. This frame doesn’t have to be expensive, it just needs to be robust enough to get the artwork from A to B. I’ve lost count of the times when people have contacted me to say there has been a mistake, the work was offered without a frame, and it turned up in a frame! They perfectly understand when I tell them that it is only for protection. Some it seems rather like the cheap frame, and they tell me that they have decided to keep the artwork in it.

That’s not a great idea, especially as some cheap frames that include glass offer little to no long-term protection from different styles of lighting. The last thing you want is to find that the colours have faded in a very short time. Particularly when it is a digital print on photo paper.

Many of my art pieces and especially when purchased from Fine Art America, are printed on only the finest papers and canvases. The medium you print on also has to be considered when you chose a frame.


When you frame any art work you need to be sensitive to its previous history. Always take some time to research how a particular piece or style has been framed in the past. I was recently asked to appraise a piece from a local artist who stopped painting many years ago. There was little in the way of reference, but I could tell immediately that the frame the client had chosen wasn’t of the right time period for the art.

Occasionally you might pick up a piece of artwork that needs to remain in the original frame to retain its value, and its provenance. If the frame is damaged in any way, you might want to think about getting it restored, but never over restore a frame. In some cases, the frame can be as valuable as the art itself.

You will also want to make sure the environment you hang the art is suitable. Damp rooms are always going to be a disaster. But for the most part, people who want to hang paintings and other art work in their homes, probably wouldn’t think it worthwhile to get an expert to come in and carry out a full UV test, and look at the humidity levels. But, if the art is valuable, you will want some assurance that where you hang it isn’t going to eventually destroy it.

A good frame can often regulate the humidity of a room, and counter any other factors such as light. Particularly where the light is bright and has high UV levels. Making sure that any glass that is used is suitable can certainly pay off in the long run. If you are truly serious about your artwork, then you can ask a specialist to produce a bespoke sealed enclosure.

The other question to ask is if the artwork actually needs a frame in the first place. A good stretched canvas can be more visually appealing without a frame, and especially when the artwork extends around the edges. I have seen people who have spent lots of money on a beautiful frame, and then found out that actually the piece looks much better without a frame at all.

But most importantly, always remember that a good frame can completely change a piece of art. It can take it from good to great. What a frame should never do is detract from the artwork contained inside it. It’s all about the harmony, and it is all about the art. No matter how that art was produced, at some point it will need protection.

So that’s another round up of this week’s best art and technology news. I might just get one more post in before I head off to distant shores, but you can guarantee one thing, when I get back I promise not to overly bore you with holiday snaps!



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