Something you might not know about me is that, after so many years as an exhibiting artist, I’ve gotten pretty good at hoarding supplies. I usually have enough matte board and metal sectional frames on hand to supply a small museum. Don’t even get me started on gold CDs, compact flash, and the like. (I’ve just got bucket loads of it, ok.) But, with my upcoming “big” show, and several smaller ones looming on the immediate horizon, something unusual happened to me. I ran out of frames.
Now, I didn’t run completely out of frames-technically speaking I still own quite a few. It’s just that most of the are already “stuffed” with something. I ran out of the sort of “new unused” frames that I like to use when doing a show in a reputable joint.
With the deadline for my next shows coming up, coming up fast, coming up hard, and no less than 20 pieces having to fly around the entire known universe within the next few days, this was not a happy situation. I dug through the closet, I checked on the supplies, I even started digging through the “stash.” Turns out, no matter how you sliced it, I was pretty much fresh out of fresh frames.
Typically, I get a lot of my supplies mail order. There’s something so easy about clicking that little “buy me now!” button that makes my life a bit easier to take. I order things, tend to forget about them, and then, a few days (maybe weeks) later, they just sort of show up at my door. How cool is that? No gas wasted in my car, no having to carry heavy packages, no fighting with ugly sales clerks. I don’t want to fight with sales clerks. I just want to get the crap that I need and run. (Those of you who know me know that, deep down inside, I actually hate to shop.)
So, there I was, not a frame to my name, and about 20 needed. What’s a girl to do?
I decided rely upon Jerry’s Artarama, a local outlet that’s also a reputable (and very well-known, just ask any of your artist friends or, short of that, the great god of Google who lives on the Internets) art supply place. So, today, I walked, no make that ran, into Jerry’s and almost attacked the nice man in the framing section.
“I have a one person show and like 3 others shows coming up this week and I don’t have a frame to my name,” I shouted at the poor nice man. “I need 16×20 frames and I need them NOW!” I was in a panic. I almost grabbed him by the shirt collar and started throttling his head. “Give me 16×20 frames! I need frames! Frames! Do you people have any FRAMES?!?!? Oh my God, I need FRAMES…..”
He, of course, was sitting in a “frame” department, surrounded by something probably close to 600 frames. Lucky for me, he’d also been an artist for a long time. “Don’t worry,” he told me, “we’re all artists here. We all do shows. We understand that you need frames. Calm down” He was probably secretly wanted to order some cheap Canadian pharmaceuticals for the crazy woman who just walked in off the street screaming about “FRAMES” while standing next to floor to ceiling displays of framing material.
He was probably the most helpful person I’ve encountered. He told me that, while they were out of stock on a lot of items, and 16×20 is a popular size (it is, I know that for sure) he could help me out. He hooked me up with some nice wooden frames that didn’t require the use of a point driver. (I don’t want to use a point driver. The very concept of a point driver scares me. It could poke my eye out. Who wants to try to frame something only to wind up poking their eye out with a small framers point hurling through space at excessive velocity? Sorry, but that’s not my idea of a hot time on the old town tonight.)
I wound up getting 20 wonderful (I hope, I haven’t started using them yet) nice wooden frames that all match and all do not require the use of a point driver. All of this, and they weren’t too expensive either. Phew! One problem solved.
Oh, and, should you happen to go to Jerry’s this week, it goes without saying really, but please be extra nice to the curly haired calm bearded gentleman who works in the back in the framing department. He’s had to suffer thorough more than his fair share of crazy customers this week. Just call it a hunch, but I think he’s overdue for some calm collected artist types to walk in off the street and be extra polite, telling him they don’t really have a deadline but they were just sort of looking around.
Until next time…