Paris in Paint, Paris on Film

Paris in Paint, Paris on Film

While we can mat and frame a lot of different things, photos and paintings are the most common things to put in a frame, so deal with them a lot. And on this rainy Friday, it gave me an idea- let’s take a look at the same place through the mediums of both painting and photography. I chose none other than Paris. If you want make a side by side comparison, have  look at our multi-opening mats.

Van Gogh's painting of the Paris skyline

              First, a painting of Paris from one of its most famous residents- none other than Vincent Van Gogh. While living with his brother on a hill above Paris, at some point Van Gogh realized he had an amazing view. Its hard to fault the artist for wanting to capture this view. The architecture and colors of the nearby buildings are great, and the way the view extends into the distance breathtaking.

A old painting of Paris

              Next, have a look at this piece by Seurat of the Eiffel Tower. Painted only a few years after the Van Gogh, the tower was still new at this time. Seurat also uses an interesting style in this piece that makes it look a bit like an old color photo to me. I’m sure that wasn’t what he was going for, but I find the effect interesting.

A black and white photo of Paris

              And finally, one of the oldest photos of Paris I could find- though there are many to be sure. It’s not just artists who have been impressed with the city. The above paintings show the beauty of the city, but this photo shows a very different perspective. I can imagine walking down this street every day and still being awed by the view. And if you want to take in a view like this every day, you can order a mat and frame to go with any of your favorite photos.

The Photo Contest Returns!

Creative Potter art in a custom matboard

The Photo Contest Returns!

After a brief hiatus for the New Year, our month photo contest is back! We have two winners this time, one for each month.


This month, the winners are htegan with a colorful and beautiful wall display, and emm_squared with a unique and fun piece of Harry Potter artwork. 

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

HOW TO ENTER Upload your photo of your art with our mats or frames using any social media network (TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest) with #MBNMPhotoContest. We’re going to use this hashtag for ALL CONTESTS going forward, so you don’t have to remember a new one each month. 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.  

DEADLINE April 2, 2019.

Some colorful wall art with matboards

Abraham Lincoln, Now in Color!

A classic portrait photo of Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, Now in Color!

As a history lover, there is something magical about seeing old photos sharpened and colorized. While the originals should of course be shown and preserved, these touches can make older footage for intimate and relatable to modern audiences. I decided to look at a few colorized photos of one of our greatest Presidents, Abraham Lincoln. If you want to frame any photos of Liincoln, or anyone else, you can order a Custom Frame.

A classic portrait photo of Lincoln

First, a classic portrait of Lincoln. The original was taken towards the end of his life, but Lincoln still cuts a powerful figure. Since this is a photo of Lincoln sitting in the same way he might for a painted portrait, it is a particularly interesting to compare.

A photo of Lincoln

This photo, however, is more striking to my eye. Something like this, the President out in the field, is not something you would have seen a classic painting of. Not something done in real time, anyway. Seeing Lincoln like this, actually out doing something, makes me see him in a different light. Also, the other people in this photo are Allan Pinkerton and General McClellan.

A photograph of Whitman

To wrap it up, this photo isn’t of Lincoln at all. Walt Whitman was a contemporary of Lincoln. One of his best known poems, and a personal favorite of mine was written about Lincoln- O Captain My Captain. As such, it seemed fitting to include him. If you’re feeling inspired, maybe a multi-opening mat could help scratch your creative itch.

A Little Bit About William Johnson

A Little Bit About William Johnson

A impressionist style self portait

Today, we’re going to take a look at William Johnson. He was an artist I was not very familiar with, but had seen some of his pieces from to time. I enjoy his style, so decided to have a closer look at some of his pieces. But before I start, a quick note. Spring is coming up, which means spring cleaning for a lot of us. If you wind up with some extra space on your walls, some of our custom sports mats could be just the thing to fill in!

A fun, folk style painting of dancing

Most of his works that I found featured people. While he covered some dark and serious elements in many of paintings, it was not all he looked at. As you can see in the painting above “Jitterbugs III,” Johnson could appreciate happiness and joy. That is something I appreciate and respect in artists, and in any sort of creativity.

A painting of painters

This piece, “Art Class- Three Men,” is a similar idea, at least to me. From what I was able to find about Johnson, I think it is something that would make him happy as well. I think he would have really liked seeing others follow his own passion. I also not that, while I’m not the best judge of age, these men look older than typical art students. It looks like art is something they chose to pursue as adults, which I like.

A painting of a hotel that could have been done by Van Gogh

Johnson lived in Scandinavia for a while, and the European art he saw that inspired many of his pieces. This piece here, “The Jacobia Hotel”, reminds me a lot of Van Gogh’s work. It also goes to show that Johnson could capture a building as well as he captures people. Once a grand residence, the place had fallen into disrepute when Johnson saw it.

A simple painting of a street at night

And finally, as we wrap up, another piece with no people- “Harlem Street Scene with Full Moon.” This piece may be a little simple than some others, but I think it works. It makes the street feel all the more empty, in a hauntingly beautiful sort of way.

We hope you have appreciate this look at a few of William Johnson’s pieces. If you have any Johnson pieces of your own, it will always look better with a mat and frame to go with it!

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the Air

A custom football mat

Spring is right around the corner, and that means one thing. Well, it means a lot of things, but we’re only going to talk about one of them today: spring sports. It’s almost time to shake off the frost, recover from our Superbowl hangovers, and get ready for baseball, and everything else. And of course, we’re here to help!

A custom baseball matboard with photos

Baseball is a great game, and we like to help people show how much they love it. There are a lot of options for a baseball themed mat, but I’ve always likes this one- the Home Plate. It’s a simple but effective design, and can be used to display individual photos, team photos, or even awards.

The very popular custom Wade basketball matboard

For something more traditional, you can’t go wrong wit a jersey mat. This is one of our most popular designs, which I think of as the Wade. Any jersey will work, of course. The bottom openings can likewise be used for whatever you like, though action shots are a popular choice that make the mat more dynamic.

A custom tennis matboard

We love all sports here at Matboard and more, not just the most popular ones. We made this special tennis mar for a customer some time ago, and we love it! So even if you want something a little different, don’t hesitate to ask, because we can usually make what you’re looking for. And of course, you can always go with our multi-opening frames, if you want something a little simpler.