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.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

A funny snow photo

It’s been a long, cold few weeks for a lot of us. Cold weather and ice can be a big pain or worse for sure. However, it can also be beautiful and fun. We always try to focus on the beautiful things in the world at Matboard and More (our excellent frames being one example), so I thought, at the end of this freezing week, we could take some time to appreciate the fun side of snow and winter by looking at some fun things to do with snow.

A great picture of a Disney villain

First up, a recognizable character- Davy Jones, from Pirates of the Caribbean! I hadn’t ever seen a snow sculpture of him before, and I am very impressed by the detail

A creepy photography of arth Vader from Stars Wars

Next up, another villain- none other than Darth Vader. This one may not be as technically impressive as Davy Jones’s tentacle beard, but Vader is just awesome, so it felt right to include him. It’s also interesting to see his iconic helmet in white for a change.

A funny snow photo

Next up, this creative piece. Getting a snowman to stand and balance is one of the hardest parts, so this sculptor decided to give their a very firm base- a mailbox! Hopefully their mail carrier got kick out of it on their busy day.

A photo of an Australia winter

A finally a picture from Australia. It would have been taken a different time of year, since they’re actually in the middle of a heatwave!

 

Try and keep warm everyone!

A Little Bit About Jacob Lawrence

A Little Bit About Jacob Lawrence

Lawrence's self portrait, with an excellent use of color

I had seen a few of Jacob Lawrence’s pieces from time to time, though I had never known his name. I was recently able to put a name to the pieces I had seen, and decided to read a little more about him and his style. It is a very distinct style. Many of his pieces having a moving, mesmerizing quality, but I will get to that later. I also want to take a quick moment to remind everyone about our Valentine’s mats, which you can still order in time for Valentine’s Day. Alright, back to Lawrence- seen above in a self-portrait.

A colorful but sad painting by Lawrence

Though Lawrence would go on to receive an extensive education in art, both from art school and noted artists of his day, his beginnings were humble. The art classes he took as a child were initially just supposed to keep him busy during the day. However, he really took to it, and would sometimes even practice by drawing the patterns of carpets. Later on, his work would draw from his upbringing in Harlem, as in the piece above, “Dreams No. 2.”

A great painting from Lawrence with some influence from Cubism

Lawrence also pointed to Cubism as one of his main influences. He mentioned Matisse specifically. Looking at the piece above, called “Pool Parlor,” I can see it. I can’t say exactly what it is, I think more the overall arrangement of colors more than anything. Yet this piece feels like it has a sense of movement to it. I can almost see the various figures each taking their shot and moving out of the way in unison, almost like a dance.

Another cubism type piece from Lawrence

And finally, this piece, “The Builders,” is another great example of his work. It reminds me a bit of the “Pool Parlor” with the large amount of subjects scattered around the painting. I also get the sense of movement from this one, but more the movement of a well-oiled machine, rather than that of a dance. This piece, and the others, show that the world around him were as much of an inspiration as any other painter. And if you’re feeling inspired, you can always order some custom mats to make your pieces really stand out.

Love is in the Air…

Love is in the Air...

A fun custom photo matboard for valentine's day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. It can be tough to find a great present every year, but don’t worry- we’re here to help. We have some special Valentine’s Matboards that you can order hassle free, and have a memorable, touching gift for the special someone in your life.

A fun matboard for valetine's day

First, you can go with the wonderful “I Heart You” mats, with two openings for pictures. You have room for one photo of each of you, or for two of both of you. The example is in red, but we could certainly set up this mat in pink, or any other color you desire. And of course, all the Valentines Day Mat Designs are acid free conservation mats so that will last for the long haul, just like your love.

A fun custom photo matboard for valentine's day

Speaking of pink, here’s another fun design. With the simple message “Love” along the bottom and a perimeter of small hearts, this design is more flexible. If you need anniversary presents for your parents or other relatives, something like this would be lovely. Or, if you wanted something a little sillier, put a picture of yourself with your dog in the middle, a tiny doggy pictures in all the hearts!

A custom wedding matboard

Of course, if these designs don’t speak to you, you can always order your own custom mat. The couple in the picture above had their own ideas about what they wanted. So, they got in touch with us and worked up a design that is the perfect way for them to remember their special day.

A great photo of a berry heart

Or, if that’s not your style, you can always find a fun or interesting bit of artwork to go in a more standard mat and frame. This piece from one of our customers make me smile and are the sort of thing I wouldn’t mind getting. Hopefully with a card that says “I Love You Berry Much.” So, whatever you’re looking or, we can help!