Gothic. American Gothic.

Gothic. American Gothic.

American Gothic. Two very evocative words, even removed from the famous painting. If you’re like me, you’d have seen the painting and parodies before connecting them with the famous title. Together, though, they form a fascinating and iconic piece of American art.

american goth art work with matboard and picture frame

It’s hard to say exactly what is so striking about the piece. The artist himself, Grant Wood, was inspired by a house he saw while driving around in the country. Something about the contrast of the rural farmhouse and the Gothic style window, so far removed in time and place from its origin, caught his eye and stuck in his mind.

The European Gothic style came from the late Medieval period. It didn’t last long, but it left many grand buildings, most of them cathedrals. The large windows, often of stained glass, were an iconic feature. Wood was quite familiar with this style, having spent some of his youth in Paris. Below is one of the first examples of Gothic Architecture in France.

american goth art work with matboard and picture frame

Contrary to what may think, Wood never intended to say anything mean spirited. He simply found the style of the old house striking and wanted to capture what made it interesting to him. The people, though based on real people, are not based on the residents of the house. Wood imagined them as a father/daughter. And indeed, as the many parodies over the years have shown, there was something about it that draws people to it.

The house still stands today. Also known as “The Dibble House,” after the first owner, the curious can visit the house in Eldon, Iowa. The State Historical Society of Iowa works with caretaker/residents to maintain the house for future generations- and so you can take your own picture, of course!

house of famous artist

Signature Wedding Mat and Frame

Signature Wedding Mat and Frame

signature wedding matboard preparationThis is a personal message from Mehdi Kajbaf, Co-Founder of Matboard and More. My best friend Dragan his beautiful new bride Andelija recently got married and asked me for fun picture framing ideas to remember the occasion. Of course I recommended a signature matboard and frame for the occasion.

It’s an incredibly simple way to mark the occasion, and you get an heirloom that will last a life time.

We began by selecting the photo they wanted to use, in this case it was an 8×12″ picture. We then decided to add 6″ around the top and sides of the image. The bottom was 12″ to allow ample space for all the signatures of the 250 guests! Having the big off-set and using top centering was a great way to provide balance in the overall display while allowing enough space for signatures. A black sharpie is the perfect marker to write on matboard with.

Dragan and Andelija took things a step further by gluing on letter cut outs they found at a local craft store. That’s a great way to give the presentation more life!

For this matboard we selected the highest quality, 8 PLY White matting to give a very powerful effect. You can also do a double matboard but that’s really up to you. It is highly recommended to use a white or off-white color

Finally Dragan decided on our shiny silver metal frame and premium plexiglass to complete the picture. Wooden frames would have looked great as well, but for a wedding theme silver is always a great option. It’s also very strong and durable which is critical for a wedding heirloom.

signature wedding matboard being signed

They placed the mat with the sharpie markers at the greeting line at the wedding and everyone loved the opportunity to write something personal. It was a huge hit!

Signature Matboard for Wedding by Matboard and More, Silver Frame and White Mat

The final product is a keepsake that will remind them of their magical night! I’m so proud of the final product and very excited for the happy couple 🙂

If you are interested in getting a signature matboard for your wedding or other event, Matboard and More is the place to do it! Below are the details on the exact product ordered:

Size: 20 x 30 with 7.5 x 11.5 Opening
Mat: White (#25702) Top Mat, Top Centered
Frame: Silver w/ Round Profile, Shiny Finish
Backing: Acid Free Foam
Plexiglass: Premium

Share Your Art to Win $100

Share Your Art to Win $100

We love to see how you use our mats and frames to display your amazing art work. We like it so much in fact that we’re going to do a photo contest every month.

PRIZES The winner will get a $100 Matboard and More Gift Card.

HOW TO ENTER Upload your photo via any social media network (TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest) using #MBNMPhotoContest. Multiple entries are encouraged, especially on all of your social media accounts. For Facebook, make sure the post is marked public or post it to our Facebook page directly. 

See previous winners below.

Double or Nothing

Double or Nothing

Well, double or single is more accurate. There’s a lot to consider when ordering a matboard, so today we’re going to go over one of the first things to consider. Do you want a single mat, or a double mat? First, let’s be clear what we’re referring to.

A single mat is just that- a single layer of matting. A double mat adds a second layer of color around the openings or openings in the mat. See the example below

One thing to clarify about the colors. Since our mats are bevel cut, the color of the core will show as a thin line around each opening. White is the most common core color, but we carry black and cream (standard) cores as well.

This is different from creating a double mat. The bottom mat of a double mat is much thicker and can come in any color we carry. And of course, the bottom mat has a core of its own that will show.

Single mats work well for most projects. You tend to see the more frequently. Having only the single layer keeps your cost down, which is one thing in their favor. By keeping the color the mat core in mind, it is still possible to create very striking mats.

However, a double mat adds a lot of pop to your piece. With two possible colors, you have more options. You could match both colors to different aspects of your piece. You could provide a transition from your piece to a frame of a different color. You could have your team’s colors in a matboard for anything sports related. The amount of the bottom mat that shows is called the reveal, and you can make this larger to give a different

Double mats can also create a little more distance between the glass and your piece. The aesthetic effect is minimal, but it can give other options when framing. Larger items like plaques and medals, can sit on the bottom mat of special cut double mats, to make them easier to mount and display.

Hopefully this give you a better idea of what double mats are, and how to use them.