Monday, 27 October 2014

Winter Reflections - A Hazy Shade of Winter

Winter Reflections Exhibition This is “A Hazy Shade of Winter” all framed up and ready for our Winter Reflections exhibition. A mixed media piece including painted glass…Hope you like it! :)

Please feel free to share this post with your friends, we’d love to get as many people along to the exhibition as possible & stay tuned for details of where you can get a sneak preview of a couple of pieces before the 15th!!! :)


Our Winter Reflections exhibition this year runs from November 15th until December 20th It incorporates the Oxfordshire Artweeks Christmas Weekend of November 22nd-23rd. We will be showcasing a new group of paintings by Graham Rice which depict the enchantment of a winter landscape. This series of work is based on figures of children in evocative woodland scenes - skipping across stones, hiding behind trees, watching the fall of leaves. Reflections of figures in the water and shadows against the snow add to the nostalgic and narrative feeling in these pieces. The paintings are all created in mixed media in cool and subtle wintry colours, featuring new three-dimensional devices such as trees and snowflakes painted on the glass itself, in the forefront of the paintings. This creates a unique eye-catching and subtle layered effect.

The exhibition will also feature new winter jewellery designs by Sheila Raven, inspired by the leaves and berries found in a forest in the winter. The collection includes beautiful textured silver oak, ivy, holly and mistletoe leaf earrings, with matching pendants made of complimentary leaves in both silver and copper with acorn or berry embellishments. The saw-pierced and beaten leaves create a stunning natural look.

All of the artwork in the Winter Reflections exhibitions is inspired by our rural workshop setting in the woods and fields of the Cotswolds landscape.

Thursday, 17 April 2014


This is a lovely print of a winter scene in Bruges, that a customer bought in for framing a couple of weeks ago. We used a white mount and hand painted frame to match the colours in the picture. Lovely job, we and the customer were very pleased :-)...Last weekend (before we started on the mad work in the new workshop) I was in Bruges myself for a short break, just around the corner from the (wonderful) B&B I was staying in, is this very location...and down a little side street from there, is the artist who painted this, selling his work on a stall. He was delighted that his work had made it home to the UK and his stall was packed with lots more lovely if you ever visit Bruges (and you really should...) hunt him out and buy yourself a beautiful souvenir :-)

Monday, 7 April 2014

Green Forest - Finished

Here’s the commissioned painting all finished & framed in a black lacquered frame with silver insert :)

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Green Forest...

The painting stage of this commission piece is all finished now...onto the gilding next :)

Friday, 4 April 2014

Canvas repair

Here we have a painting by a young lady, who bought her masterpiece home from school. Her brothers were playing and accidentally sat on it, ripping a large hole in the middle…cue one unhappy little girl…

As is often the way in life however, granny came to the rescue, bringing the painting into us to see if we could do anything…We removed it from the broken stretcher bars, flattened everything, stuck it to a new piece of canvas and stretched that to a new support.

Once that was done, we filled the little gaps between the tears and painted over the top to match the surrounding artwork. We’ve popped it into a black tray frame so it can hang up on the wall…

Away from little brothers…;)

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Green Forest Two...

Here’s another painting I’m working on at the moment. A customer bought the piece on the left from the SOTA gallery in Witney and wanted a second matching piece to go on the other side of their fireplace. I should get the painting part of things finished over the next few days, then it’ll be onto the gilding. I’ll post a few snaps as I go :)

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Portrait of Jodie - Finished

Here is the portrait of Jodie all finished. I’ll get it framed up next week then it’ll be up on the wall :) I’ve added a photo of the palette i used, for anyone who’s interested.

Many thanks again to Jodie for posing. If you’d like a portrait just get in touch :)

Any questions about the painting, just type them below or message me :)

Floating Canvas

Here’s another of the pieces we framed for Maureen’s exhibition at SOTA. A beautiful acrylic sunset. We floated the canvas within the frame by adding a small tray (the unpainted piece in the inset photo). Once painted this adds a lovely detail to the frame, giving the canvas space to breathe. Its a simple touch that makes a big difference when framing canvases.

For further details on Maureens work go to…

For further details on SOTA, go to…

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Tim Layzell

This gorgeous racing print is by Tim Layzell. Titled ‘Carrera takes Targa’ it showcases Layzell’s dynamic, graphic style perfectly.

We’ve framed it with a double mount of blue over black and used UV glass to protect the print. The frame was machined down to a slightly thinner size than standard, to get the perfect width and depth for the piece, this was then gessoed, sanded and painted.

Its a wonderful, dramatic piece that would appeal to petrol-heads and art lovers alike :)

You can see more of Tim’s work on his website at

Monday, 24 March 2014

Maureen Gillespie Solo Exhibition at SOTA in Witney

These are a selection of the paintings we’ve framed up for artist Maureen Gillespie’s solo exhibition which is currently running at the SOTA Gallery in Witney. It’s a beautiful collection of work inspired by her love of the countryside and sea. We’ve framed a number of originals in a variety of hand painted frames, along with some prints framed in oak. Her work has a wonderful sense of depth and the textures are gorgeous. Well worth a visit :)

For further details on Maureens work go to…

For further details on SOTA, go to…

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Portrait of Jodie - Stage 1

Along with the Framing and Jewellery…we also paint pictures at The Cuckoo’s Nest..its all very renaissance here ;)

This is a portrait of Jodie who runs Illustrate My Name over here at Cuckoo Lane. I’ve just done a first pass on the face, lots of refining to do, but you get the general idea. The background and hair are ‘probably’ finished, I say probably as I may well change my mind when I next look at it :)

I wanted to get an example of the kind of portrait commissions we can do, so many thanks to Jodie for volunteering to pose…I hope you like it when its finished :) The plan is to get the painting all finished and framed in time for Artweeks, so if you’re interested in getting a portrait done, call in an take a peek :)

…now back to the framing :)

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Valerie Wartelle

This print is amazing! It's by Valerie Wartelle and the original piece was made using fibres. It's then been beautifully photographed and printed, with the print having a wonderful three dimensional effect and velvety finish. We've framed it using a wide classical moulding which we've painted white. An absolutely gorgeous can find out more about Valerie's work at

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Decorative Tiles

For these beautiful tiles we've built a solid frame with routed openings. Some of the tiles are slightly different sizes, so each is carefully fitted and held in place with individually cut foamboard supports. The frame has been finished with an off white eggshell paint and the final result is a clean contemporary way of displaying these beautiful pieces.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Hatching a plan...

So, a little more about the plan we're busy you can see from this photo our beautiful little gallery is currently somewhat overcrowded with framing can just about see there's artwork on the walls behind everything, but there's no chance of getting to, the plan we've been working on is to secure some extra workshop space to expand into…and behind the white doors in the second photo is what will become The Cuckoo’s Nest Workshop!!! Hopefully we’ll have the keys early next month and then we’ll be transforming that into a framers paradise…or something like that…The workshop will allow us to increase production and turn the gallery back into the tidy, welcoming space it once was…we can’t wait ! :)x

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Stained Glass

Here we have a beautiful stained glass panel. Rather than use a conventional frame, we've produced an oak stand which has a grove inside to hold the panel securely. The oak has been finished with a lime wax and given a good polish. The piece is now standing on the customers windowsill with the spring sunshine showing it off in all it's glory :-)

Sunday, 9 March 2014


This very dramatic yachting piece is acrylic on canvas paper and our customer wanted to do something extra special with it. We selected a classic scooped moulding which we added some extra depth to and then painted off-white. The painting was then double mounted and a matching blue sidewall was used to set the piece back from the glass, the glass itself was ‘invisible’ Artglass which removes 99% of the reflections. The end result is really spectacular and would look wonderful hung in a traditional or contemporary setting. A lovely piece to work on :)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Nelson Mandela

This morning I've been in a parking garage at Rhodes House in Oxford, varnishing the speed painting done my M.Raivard on Thursday evening. Not as impressive a location as the hall where he painted it, but that's why he's the famous artist, and I'm doing the varnishing ;-) It's a spectacular portrait of Nelson Mandela, a little over 2 meters tall and 2.5 wide he cuts a most impressive figure. The painting has a beautiful kaleidoscope of colours and the energy with which the paint was applied is self evident, very dramatic. However the warmth and calmness of Mandela's smile still shines out of the picture...and amazing painting of an amazing man...

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Michael Raivard

I went to meet speed painter Michael Raivard this morning, a thoroughly charming chap who we’re doing some varnishing work for over the weekend. He was busy supervising the stage setting for a performance this evening at a private party in Oxford, lots of lights and music being organised in a beautiful setting, where he’ll produce his very large artwork in just a few minutes… An amazing painting experience, the total opposite from the way I paint, but fascinating to see how he organises everything. Am really looking forward to seeing what he’s painted when we go back on saturday…:) 

You can find out more about Michael at

Watch some of the videos…amazing stuff :)

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Aboriginal Art

These are a couple of aboriginal style prints on cloth from Australia. We used a black frame with silver detailing and an off white mount. We've set the artwork at the back of the frame using coloured sidewalls in each frame, one blue and one orange to compliment the colours in the artwork. These lovely mementoes of our customers trip ‘down-under’ have now become pieces of artwork to be treasured.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Little Miss Poppy

Here’s a piece a young art collector brought in for framing. We used a bright blue frame with matching slip and an off-white mount….looks great :) So, which Mr Man/Miss would you choose ?

Monday, 3 March 2014

Print of Ravello

Normally at the Cuckoo's Nest we try and steer our customers towards modern, contemporary framing as much as possible, but occasionally traditional is the way to go. Such was the case with this beautiful little print of Ravello, our customer was having the piece framed as a gift for an older gentleman so we selected this thin black and gold frame moulding. In the past this might have been coupled with a hand lined mount, but this really does give a picture a dated feel. Instead of that we opted to use a double mount with a dark grey lower mount, this balances the colour of the print with the frame and gives us a traditional looking frame with a fresh feel.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Silk Print

This is a lovely silk print of some fish, the colours are amazing, this photo really doesn't do them justice. We've used a rich deep red mount and an oak frame which we've button polished to really bring out the warmth of the wood. Button polish doesn't work with everything, but the colours in this are so rich, it's the perfect choice.

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Rollright Stones

These beautiful paintings of the Rollright Stones are by Mandy Selhurst. We framed a set of three in these hand painted white frames for Mandy and they are now hanging in the SOTA gallery in Witney. I'd imagine they'll sell very quickly so head over to SOTA and take a look at them before they're snapped up.

You can find out more about Mandy’s work at

…and more about the SOTA Gallery here

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Darren Woodhead

Here we have a beautiful print by Darren Woodhead. I really like the way the customer chose to frame this, with an elegant double mount, simple waxed oak frame and 'invisible' Artglass. It's given the framing a very gentle, natural feel that perfectly compliments the artwork. You can find out more about Darren and his work at

Monday, 24 February 2014

French Town Photo

Another frame using the black Mantilla frame, this time housing a wonderful warm photo of a French town. The detail in this picture is superb, you could look into it for hours and the overall effect is so vibrant. A double mount finishes it all off. Gorgeous :-)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Amazing Collage

Here is a piece by a customer of ours who makes these amazing collages commemorating her family members birthdays, anniversaries etc. They are so detailed, with photos, tickets, badges, all sorts of things highlighting different memories and events in someone's life. Framed in these rich, ornate silver frames, with double mounting on the main image and a single mount opening for a small dedication at the bottom they make a wonderful gift for the recipient and an amazing record of memories to be treasured. A great idea for anyone wanting to hand make a really special gift.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Harry Lange

This is a very special piece, a drawing by a chap called Harry Lange. Harry was a production designer in the movie business who work on 2001, Star Wars, Bond movies, all sorts of amazing things. He also gave me a job as a runner and model maker when I was a wee lad, many, many years ago. So it was a delight to have this little sketch in for framing. The customer was a carpenter by trade and gave us a free hand on the framing, so we had to select a nice piece of oak for the frame and do something a bit special with it. We opted to use a button polish to finish the wood, this is a type of French Polish and has given the wood this glorious warm colour, inside we used a double mount and the top mount has been floated to give a shadow effect. UV glass finishes the piece off, protecting the artwork. A wonderful thing to get to frame, reminded me of some great times :-)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Beautiful old frame in for repairs

Here is a frame a customer bought in along with a number of other framing jobs. It's a beautiful frame, but was looking pretty bashed about, with cracks and chips all over, it was also the wrong size for any of their artwork, but quite rightly, they wanted to do something with such a lovely ornate frame. We suggested adding a mirror and doing some basic restoration to give it a new lease of life and the customer was delighted with the idea. Initially we gave the frame a good clean, removing any loose pieces, re-gluing what we could. Then we used a sculpting putty to fill cracks and re-model certain areas of carving. Once dry the puttied areas were painted with a red Bole and after more drying time we mixed a gold wax to match the rest of the frame. Adding a beveled mirror and giving everything a final polish finished the job and bought this beautiful frame back to life. Mirrors available with or without giant Cuckoo logos in the middle ;)

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Shabby Chic

To frame these two beautiful pastel portraits our client wanted something modern, but with a French, shabby chic feel. We accomplished this by selecting a clean, modern, bare wood moulding and giving it a shabby chic finish. To get this look we first primed the wood and then painted it in a red/brown tone to match the pastels used in the artwork. Once dry, this was over painted in a warm, off-white colour and again left to dry. The frames are then gently sanded to reveal just the right amount of the colour underneath. A couple of washes of thin off-white we're then applied to soften the effect and after a final dry the frames were waxed and polished. This has given the frames a lovely warm, soft feel that perfectly matches the pastel portraits of these two sisters.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Wax Crayons

I hadn't seen a picture like this in ages, the paper is coloured using wax crayons, this is then painted over in black and the design then scratched thought the paint to reveal the colours below. The floral design on this example works really well and makes a gorgeous piece of art. We used a black mount with a white core to give the artwork a clean, crisp edge and then added a hand-painted white frame and standard glass. A lovely memory of a young artist at work.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Eric Ravilious

Eric Ravilious was a fabulous artist and here's a print by him we had in for framing last week. This is a wonderful example of his work and we've used a delicious Mantilla frame, double mount and Artglass to present it beautifully. The Mantilla range of frames has been proving very popular of late, it comes in Black, Gold, Silver and Ivory and has a gorgeous satin finish that adds a luxury touch to those special pieces of artwork, along with the 'invisible' Artglass, this is the perfect way to frame such a fantastic work of art.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Large pictures in thin frames...

Here we have a couple of large posters that needed framing in thin white frames. As these frames have minimal strength and the glass in them is pretty heavy, we needed to make a couple of 'sub frames' to hold everything together. A sub frame is simply a strong wooden frame attached to the rear of the main frame out of sight. The long thin Hockney poster was hung in the usual way with a cord across the back. But the large square Richter piece was too heavy for this, so we added two split batons to the top, these are the two strips of aluminium you can see in the photo. Each strip is one of a pair, with the other screwed to the wall, the two parts then lock into each other, securing the work firmly. It's a simple and strong way of hanging heavy pieces.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Valentines day.....for dogs....

With valentines day nearly upon us, I thought I'd post one of the more unusual jobs we've done recently. This is a canvas print of two dog cherubs!...It's going to be hanging in a London bar this Friday night, so owners can have their dogs pose,in couples, in front of it... and have their photos taken...I told you it was unusual :-) We've taken the rolled canvas and put it onto stretcher bars, so a nice simple job and something very different for the romantic dog lover :-)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Oxford International Art Fair

This weekend Oxford plays host to the Oxford International Art Fair…

 “Bringing the best selected artworks to Oxford by top emerging artists from around the world for everyone to enjoy. Giving Art Collectors and Art Enthusiast a once in a lifetime opportunity to buy directly from the artist that has travelled all the way to Oxford. A unique experience for both visitors and exhibitor, at the beautiful Oxford Town Hall, a jewel at the heart of the historic city of Oxford.” 

One of the artists taking part is Amarita Vargas and this picture titled ‘Unity’ is one of the works we’ve framed up for her this week. Her work ranges from abstract to figurative and all have a beautiful flow to them. This piece is framed in limed Ash, with a simple snow white mount.

The exhibition is open today 11.00 to 5.00 and tomorrow 11.00 to 3.00. Entry is Free. For further information go to

For further information on Amarita’s work take a look at