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Hawk on a wire © Robert Sommers 2022

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

New frame


I bought this painting a few months ago. It was painted by a Dutch artist named Evert Van Ligtelijn (1893-1975.) This is probably my favorite painting right now, the brushwork and impasto is so juicy! This cell phone picture does not do the painting justice.

It is a painting of the town Telde in the Canary Islands and was painted in 1932. The city is the oldest and the first capital of the island of Gran Canaria, founded by papal decree in 1351. Those are banana leaves in the foreground, honestly, I had no idea there were bananas even growing in Spain. 

The painting has an exhibition label verso from a show in Berlin in 2003. Honestly, I haven't even looked up the artist, I love the work so much it wasn't even important to me.

There was just one problem, I hated the frame. The interior mat area was horrible and muddy and took away from the painting. The "faux patrician" themed victorian decoration was definitely not right for a painting executed in 1932.

Victor at work
So I did something I seldom do these days, I took exact measurements and had a new frame made for it, out of real wood, 22k gilding and hand carved with chisels. 

Rather expensive but necessary in this instance. And there is no comparison to the commercial crap available out there today.

I sent a picture to Phil Olson of Mayen Olson framing in Aliso Viejo. He gave me some design options and we both agreed on the one we mutually liked the best. 

Phil says that after thirty five years or so, he can instantly visualize the right frame for a painting! And he can.

Appropriate for its age but mildly European in aesthetic. Elegant but not overdone.

Phil and his partner Victor have been making frames for over thirty years the right way. With skill and craftsmanship, by hand.

Biscuit joints and constructed the old world way, with proper gesso and ground. Real gold leaf.

I went up to get the frame yesterday and finish paying for it. Took about ten days, start to finish. I could not be any happier.


Even with this cell phone photograph you can see the significant improvement. I hated to spend the money but the painting deserved it and I am glad that I did it, for however long I own it.


This is a frame that the company finished for my friend's new Tony Abeyta painting last week. Wonderful! If you need a great frame, please get in touch with Phil and Victor. You will be happy you did.

Mayen Olson
15 Brookline, Aliso Viejo CA 92656
mayenolson@fea.net Phone - 949.387.0073

6 comments:

Joan said...

The frame is eons better that the old one. It gives importance to the painting as much as the painting does for the frame.

Unknown said...

Absolutely fabulous painting...and the new frame definitely enhances the beauty of the painting! You have such a great ability to find unique and amazing pieces of art!

Bob Schmid said...

You're definitely correct about the new Dutch painting being "Juicy", Robert -- and the new frame looks really great on it!
And your friend's Tony Abeyta piece is absolutely stunning -- Thanks for sharing that also!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely gorgeous new frame! A work of art around a work of art!
Debbie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful workmanship in the custom frame Robert! Enhances the art handsomely.

Anonymous said...

Really a great improvement. It was worth the effort. -Diane O