How to Frame a Painting

Select a frame that is sturdy, clean and in good condition. 

Place your frame front side down on a flat, clean, sturdy surface.

Replace existing glass with plexiglass if necessary. Frames with glass will not be accepted in most art shows. 

Oils and acrylics are generally not framed under glass or plexiglass. If you’ve mounted your watercolor on board, then it does not require glass or plexi either.

Clean the interior surface of the plexi/glass well with a dust-free cloth and set aside.

For watercolors, photos and other paper art 

Place a clean, new mat front side down onto flat, clean, sturdy surface.

Line up your art piece so that it is the way you want to see it from the front side.

Use linen tape to tape your art to the mat on the top edge only.

Check the mat from the front side again to be sure that it’s still lined up correctly.

Place the mat front side down into your frame. Pick it up and view from the front to be sure there is no pet hair, dust or other particles left behind. Clean again if necessary. Place matted art into frame.

When you’re sure it is clean and lined up correctly, place a piece of acid-free paper over the matted art.

Add backer board or acid-free foam core and tighten into place. 

Wiring a wood frame

Measure your frame from top to bottom, for example 21". Then divide by three which is 7”.

Measure 7” down from the top on both the left and right sides of the frame and make a mark.

Center your D-ring over your mark making sure that none of the hardware shows from the front side. Use an awl or nail to get your hole started about 1/8” deep.

Place your D-ring, flat side down onto the frame, over your starter hole, with ring toward the center of frame. Screw into place. Repeat on the other side.

Cut a length of picture hanging wire about twice the width of the frame. Loop it through the D-ring, leaving a 3-4” tail. 

Loop this tail back over the long end, pulling taut, and then back through the D-ring, then under and over the long wire. Pull taut. 

Then tightly wrap the tail 6-7 times around the long wire. Clip the end of the tail off with a wire cutters and use duct tape to tape over the end.

Stretch the long end of the wire up toward the the top center of the frame, stopping about 2-1/2” below the top of the frame. 

Hold it there with your thumb and bring the end of the wire down to the remaining D-ring looping it through, over and under, repeating what you did on the other side. 

Be sure to tape the ends so that it doesn’t accidentally pierce the fingers of the person hanging the art.

Carefully clean the fingerprints that have gotten on the front side and you’re ready to hang!

There are many good videos on YouTube on how to frame a painting - here are a few:

Kids Camp!

CAA and California Watercolor Association (CWA) participated in a kid’s camp event at the Monument Crisis Center in Concord, organized by CAA/CWA member, Sandi Sherwood.

Our artists were warmly welcomed by staff at the center - kudos to the entire group of folks who made this happen!

Members of both associations taught drawing, mixed media, watercolor and encouraged creativity to 54 children, ages 5 to 14. What a day…in a good way! 

The instructors threw everything they had at the excited participants and although everyone was exhausted at the end of the day, everyone left with smiles and…art. 

Blick Art Materials donated brushes to CWA for the event and there was not a dry brush in the bunch by the time we closed the event. A big shout-out to Blick for their generosity and support of our community outreach.

We had a wonderful day. Art instructors/encouragers were:

Mary Frances Crabtree
Janice Davis
Michael Friedland
Carol Husslein
Cathy McNutt
Arlene Molina
Deena Sheranko
Sandi Sherwood


Plein air painting at the Japanese Tea Garden

The Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco was beautiful and challenging for CAA plein air artists - participants included Carol Husslein, Annegret van Gemeren, Renaye Johnson, Barbara Paul, Karen Nakkerud, Anika Ward and Laurie Mansur.

The beautiful surroundings were challenging in respect to the weather, terrain and visitors. But we all persevered, as you can see! 

Member Mary Frances Crabtree decided to paint in a more comfortable space at the California Academy of Sciences, surrounded by happy children and visitors.
We all voted to visit the garden again!


July Mini Art Show

1st Place Tie:  This Little Piggy by Janet Brown  - oil

1st Place Tie:  Waterboarder by Betty McBride  - watercolor

2nd Place:  Japanese Tea Garden by Renaye Johnson  -  acrylic

3rd Place:  Yellow Tulips by Roxi Fechtner  - colored pencil

Kitchen Table Still Life by Cathy McNutt  - acrylic


Concord Arts Alive! Our first entry in the July 4th parade

Ginny and Pat 

Sherrie, Catherine, Sandy and Lynda

CAA joined forces with Solo Opera, B8 Theatre Company, East Bay Artists Guild, aRt Cottage and Wren Avenue Elementary to submit an entry in Concord's July 4th parade. Nearly 50 people from these six organizations marched together to show parade-goers that the arts are alive in Concord! 

CAA led the charge with members wearing art-themed hats and sending cascades of bubbles into the crowd from a yellow VW convertible (aka the duckymobile). More CAA members carried a banner and handed out flyers. Then came members of Solo Opera, singing classic opera songs wearing period fashion. Dance students from Wren Avenue Elementary showed off new moves in traditional Mexican folkloric costumes, and Fro from the aRt Cottage drove several of her students in a crazy, cool and colorful car which they had all painted together, along with paper maché hats and signs. EBAG and B8 anchored the end of our group with their large banners, and the local singing group AcaWord entertained the crowds with their acapella harmonies.

Here's a video of us all together with Solo Opera singers to perform at the Judge's tent and toast the City of Concord on its 150th birthday. We can't wait to do it again next year!


Plein air painting at St. Marys with CWA

Members of both organizations - CAA and CWA -  had a BEAUTIFUL day to paint at St. Mary’s College in Moraga! The day could not have been better and our excited participants had a marvelous time. 

After we painted out in nature, we toured the California Watercolor Association's “Color of Summer” show at the Museum of Art. I heard many enthusiastic comments regarding the show. 

Included in photos of our day is a photo of a huge poster the museum made of Phyllis Brady’s “Beach Girl.” Phyllis is a member of both CAA and CWA.

The CWA show continues through August 26th. Make sure you take the time to go see it!

Mary Frances Crabtree
Denise Hillman
Renaye Johnson
Cathy McNutt
Karen Nakkerud
June and Sal Vega
Karen Newman
Harvey Steinhaus
Carol Husslein



Community Art Show in June

The Lamorinda Arts Alliance and Concord Art Association are delighted to present a joint Art Show and Sale on June 2nd from 11am to 4pm at the Lafayette Christian Church at 584 Glenside Drive in Lafayette.

There will be 24 artists who work in many mediums: ceramics, jewelry, printmaking, painting, photography, weaving and sculpture. Olga Jusidman will show her beautiful ceramics and Wenda Pyman Mullenbach, a local photographer, will show our area at its best. Sharon Petersen does excellent watercolor and Pam McCauley will demonstrate her wonderful impressionist works.
We will have live music from a local jazz pianist, Michael Granat, as well as painting demonstrations at 1:30pm.

Enjoy some light refreshments at this beautiful show, including chocolate samples from our chocolatier, Linda Hofmeister. Help support your local artists and keep the arts alive in our community!

Concord Art Association is celebrating it’s 55th anniversary and Lamorinda Arts Alliance was founded in 1994. Both are organizations of local artists and friends who reside or work in the San Francisco/East Bay Area. We provide coordination, education and service to promote and knowledge, appreciation and practice of the visual arts. We also provide community outreach for art in our local schools.

Come join us and bring your family and friends.
We're delighted to be collaborating with the for a Community Art Show at the  on June 2nd. This is a lovely outdoor venue to highlight our members' art, and there will be live music and refreshments as well. Come do a bit of exploring and shopping with us!


Plein air painting in Sonoma

Several CAA members gathered at Cornerstone Sonoma yesterday for plein air painting and a wonderful lunch. Here's what Carol, Annegret, Cathy, Mary Frances, June, Sal, Renaye and Angela worked on!