Saturday, January 22, 2011

Andrew Rogers; Exploring The World with a Lens and a Pen

Andrew Rogers, our featured artist, is a widely published nature and wildlife photographer and writer. Born in Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula and raised in the North Woods of Wisconsin, he was inspired early by nature’s beauty and complexity. Having begun taking pictures at the amazing age of seven, Rogers has spent his life developing an ability to “see” a good shot when it presents itself. An avid outdoor adventurer and explorer, his greatest passion is traveling wherever the road leads to learn about new places and people, then sharing his experiences through stunning photographs and fascinating journals. He works in both color and black and white depending on the subject, using a medium format 35mm DSLR camera with a variety of lenses.

Rogers is also the founder of, a media and image development company offering a wide range of artistic and marketing services.

There are a few key people in Andrew’s career who have inspired him and continue to serve as mentors. Andrew says, “I have continued to stay in contact with Kimberli Bindschatel who I find to be an amazing photographer, writer, and person. She has amazing insight and natural abilities and continues to be very supportive of my work. Also, Dick Ellis, who is the editor of On Wisconsin Outdoors and has won national awards for his writing, has provided me with opportunities to further pursue my passions.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wil Clay, 1938-2011: Painter, sculptor renowned as book illustrator By MARK ZABORNEY BLADE STAFF WRITER

Today we pay tribute to Wil Clay, who passed away unexpectedly yesterday. We have had the pleasure of working closely with Wil over the past few months, photographing and reproducing his fine art work, interacting with him in our Showroom, and most recently having the honor of featuring his artwork on our home page. Here is a nice write-up from today's Toledo Blade. He was an amazing person and will be missed by all here at American Frame.

Wil Clay, a painter, sculptor, and nationally renowned illustrator of children's books who donned a straw hat and overalls or a colorful vest to promote art and reading through animated storytelling at schools, died Thursday in St. Luke's Hospital, Maumee. He was 72.

The cause of death was not known, his son Michael said. He'd undergone elective prostate surgery Jan. 10. Just days earlier, he'd dropped off artwork to be exhibited at 20 North Gallery in downtown Toledo for its annual Black History Month exhibit, which opens Friday. "He will be history," said Peggy Grant, art director of 20 North Gallery, which had represented Mr. Clay since the late 1990s. "He was a wonderful artist and raconteur. He gave talks around the country.

"He was just marvelous at illustrating books and telling the history of African-Americans," she said. "I fell in love with his work. This is a great loss."

Mr. Clay illustrated at least 10 books for young people, including A Biography of George Washington Carver, Little John Eight, which received the Coretta Scott King Honor Award, and Tailypo, which received several honors. The latter two were collaborations with Jan Wahl, a writer of children's books based in the Toledo area. They met in 1989 when Mr. Wahl proposed they work together. He introduced Mr. Clay to the world of illustrating children's books.

Mr. Clay "was such an animated and full-of-life author-illustrator-storyteller that he just brought smiles to children's faces through his work," said Benjamin Sapp, director of the Mazza Museum at the University of Findlay, which features art from children's picture books and has Tailypo in its collection.

Mr. Clay traveled regularly to schools, libraries, and museums to practice another aspect of his art: storytelling. He faced the children on some occasions almost as a country cousin. A bandanna around the neck and glasses at the end of his nose complemented the hat and overalls. Other times he wore a vest bearing sophisticated patterns and colors. Through his voice and dramatic gestures, he tried to make a point: "Everything, as I see it, will rise and fall based on reading," Mr. Clay told The Blade in 1995. "If [children] don't have the comprehension, it'll affect them for the rest of their lives."

He also led art demonstrations for young people. "He found sharing the art-awareness experience to be the most gratifying," his son said.

Mr. Clay taught adult students too. Last summer, he was instructor for a life-drawing workshop at Collingwood Art Center.

He made time for his own fine art. He painted, chiefly in acrylics. Radiance, his 6-foot bronze and stainless-steel sculpture, with Constancia Gafeney-Brown, is a tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., and is on the bridge over the Maumee River named for the slain civil-rights leader.

Born in Bessemer, Ala., he moved with his mother and siblings to Toledo when he was 12, he told The Blade in 2008. Years earlier, though, he copied the Sunday funnies and was inspired by such illustrators as Norman Rockwell.

He was a graduate of the former Macomber Vocational High School, where he was advised by watercolorist Ernest Spring to learn hand lettering and find job security. He attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and was in the Navy. He became a commercial artist, with a studio first in Providence, R.I., and later in Houston, where he did such graphic design as the insignia for a local hamburger chain.

He returned to Toledo about 1987 to help his mother, who was ill, and he rented a studio at the Common Space arts center on Reynolds Road. He was working toward a degree at the University of Toledo.

His marriages to Ruth Clay and Glena Parkinson, the mothers of his children, and Terry Clay ended in divorce.

Surviving are his sons, Michael and Donato Clay, daughters, Christina Polite, Alecia Cole, Melinda Reyes, and Tamorah Lopez, brothers, John Seay and Theodore Clay, sister, Bernita Swope, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

A wake service and viewing will be from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday in the Dale-Riggs Funeral Home. A memorial and celebration service will be from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday in the Toledo Museum of Art.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Museum of Art.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Try something new in the New Year: images on canvas! Save 20% Thru Jan 31.

Printing on canvas is the on-trend choice for fine-art reproductions because its weight and texture lends depth and complexity to all images, from watercolors to oils to photography.

For photographers, it's so easy to take your pictures from the camera to the wall. Simply upload your digital file to our website and we will guide you through the rest.

For painters, reproducing your non-photographic art actually starts with taking a picture. Set up the original piece for photographing, take a digital picture and, once you have an image you are satisfied with, upload it to us via

With our specialized printers, we’ll print the image on canvas, laminate it, stretch it and custom-frame in any size and any quantity. (TIP: because a great print always starts with a great digital file, our staff photographer suggests using a quality SLR (single lens reflex) camera that can shoot at 50-55 mm, good lighting and proper camera positioning to avoid glare and “hot spots” on your image. Need help? Call us for assistance or check out link here.)

Printing on canvas is an ideal, affordable way for professional artists to produce reproductions for sale and to create displays for travel. It is also a wonderful option for lending richness to photographic displays, such as travel photographs and family portraits.

Be confident--we use the finest quality canvas, a matte 20 mil poly-cotton blend Bulldog brand with a smooth, white, water-resistant surface. Laminating is recommended for maximum UV protection and scratch resistance. Laminate choices are UV matte for a soft finish and UV luster for sheen. Stretch-style and mounting choices include standard, museum and gallery wrap.

With our low prices and free shipping, what a great time to give canvas printing a try!

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