Queen City Framing & Art Supplies was opened in the fall of 2016 in Helena, Montana by Deb Parsons and Martha Johnson. They wanted to provide the community with a store dedicated to providing quality products and knowledgeable, attentive customer service.
Martha has over two decades of framing experience and training in the various methods of mounting prints, paintings, and photos as well as unique delicate items, memorabilia and 3-dimensional objects. Deb has a degree in graphic design, is a former business owner and a published artist and calligrapher who often teaches classes. She can answer questions about all the art mediums and supplies they carry and make thoughtful suggestions.
Deb, Martha, and their staff have the tools and knowledge to help you fulfill your artistic vision with expert advice, individualized customer service and affordable quality!
Products & Services
Our store offers a variety of different products and services for all your artistic needs and endeavors. Be sure to ask our staff for advice and suggestions on which product would be the best fit for you. Here is just a sample of the some of the products and services we offer:
- Drawing Pencils & Markers
- Stretched Canvas & Canvas Boards
- Painting Easels
- Artists’ Brushes
- Sketch Books
- Painting & Drawing papers
- Art Instruction Books
- Block Printing
Kids’ Art Supplies
Grab & Go Art Boxes
Gifts and More!
- Design Consulting
- Custom Framing
- Shadow Boxes
- Dry Mounting
- Mat Cutting
- Art Classes
- And More!
A GALLERY WALL in your home adds Personality, Interest and a Story!
Creating a gallery wall is a perfect way to make a big personal impact at home. It is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and what you like. Whether you want to add some personality in your living room or make a blank staircase come alive, a gallery wall can be a fun way for you to showcase favorite items.
In-Person or Virtual Design Available for Framing
We love to see your smiling …eyes, but we understand that not everyone is comfortable with coming into retail stores right now. So we would like to offer our virtual design services. Just call or email us to set up a time for dropping off your artwork and we can get back to you with 3-4 design ideas to get the process started.
September Featured Artist
Look What We Can Do! Staff Show!
Deb Parsons Menke, one of our owners, has been pursuing art in its myriad of forms since childhood. Having studied with world-renowned calligraphers, it has inspired her graphic art toward combining calligraphy and illustration… and now Tatting! Tatting is an old-world lace-making skill Deb enjoys in her ‘spare’ time. She continues to teach courses on calligraphy and book making.
Martha Johnson, our other owner, has always enjoyed the arts; expressing herself with music, theater, painting and drawing throughout her lifetime. Too busy at the moment for much creating, she finds much of her art has become centered around making things for her child, or comes in forms that can be completed quickly.
Alissa Heaton loves to explore the world through her art, whether its playing with colors, textures, or using nature as a subject. Alissa’s first love is painting, especially painting on strange surfaces like skulls, but she loves to do it all. Mixed media is quickly becoming one of her favorite ways of creating, she also is teaching a class on it later this fall.
Ema Terry uses her art as an outlet to express her various thoughts and emotions. Ema’s favorite mediums are graphite and charcoal; however, on occasion, she will add a splash of color with paints and pastels. “Making art is the best way to take my mind off the craziness of everyday life and just have fun!”
Edmund Menke, age 10, spends time in Helena during the summer helping his Nana out at the store. When he isn’t pricing merchandise, he can often be found gaming, or watching “try not to laugh” videos. The inspiration for his artwork can be found in the games he plays.
Maxwell Johnson, age 8, can often be found in the store either watching Youtube videos or helping to keep it clean. His interests include zombies, baseball, and reading. His art is an exploration of color; both mixing it and layering it.
Call for Art
In keeping with the social media designation of October as ‘Inktober’, all art for this show MUST incorporate INK in a majority of the piece while illustrating this year’s theme “Opposites”.
The show will be up during the month of October 2021!
EMAIL SUBMISSION TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
DEADLINE: September 8, 2021
- Theme – Opposites
- Art MUST incorporate ink as a primary element
- Art must be framed in professional manner, no larger than 16” x 20”
- Art must have been completed within the last year
- Subject matter must fit the theme and be family friendly
- Art must be for sale – QCF&AS keeps 30% commission
- Up to 2 pieces may be submitted by artist – there is no submission fee
- $75 Gift Certificate from QCF&AS for BEST OF SHOW as voted by public during show.
- $75 Gift Certificate from QCF&AS for Judges Choice.
- Please submit a good quality digital image, jpg is fine, by September 8, 2021. One overall shot and one detail per submission max. Keep in mind we will be looking at these to jury the show. QCF&AS reserves right to not hang art that was accepted but does not meet framing or quality expectations when received.
- Notification of acceptance will be emailed by September 15, 2021, along with a ‘Featured Artist’ agreement to sign.
- Accepted art must be received at Queen City Framing & Art Supplies by September 29, 2021.
- Accepted, unsold art must be picked up by November 2, 2021. Shipping arrangements are the responsibility of the artist, and a return pre-paid address label must be included if applicable
Please include this information with your emailed images.
- Name, Address, Email
- Title, Size, Medium(s), Price
Grab & Go Art!
Boxes ready to mail, wrap… or try yourself!
Grab & Go Art boxes packed full of exciting products to give, or to supplement your own art supply collection. Your box includes 5-7 full size premium art products at a nice savings, a ‘What’s In the Box’ menu describing each product with Pro Tips… and a couple of surprises! Supplement them with other supplies to create a truly special gift.
Limited Time Grab & Go Boxes
Each month we will be releasing different themed art boxes. Check out social media for the latest surprises on what we are featuring each month. Valentines for February, Easter Eggs in March, calligraphy, monotype printmaking…you never know what kind of artsy treasures we might bring you each month.
The Watercolor Art Box at this level has just what is needed as an introduction to the artform. With a 24 Color Twist pan palette, watercolor pencils, and a brush pen, this box invites playing with this beautiful paint medium. Contains a 24-Color Compact Paint Set, Ecoline Watercolor Brush Pen, Watercolor Postcards, General’s Watercolor Pencils, Simply Simmons Mixed Media Round Brush and more.
The Drawing Art Box is a perfect start for any aspiring artist. This box includes much of what is needed to get started sketching and creating. Contains Derwent Academy Sketching Pencils, a Sketchbook, Kneaded Eraser, General’s Carbon Sketching Pencil, a Tombow Mono Eraser Pen and more.
The Pastels Art Box gives one the chance to experiment with different ways this versatile medium can be used. In pencil form, as soft pastels, or compressed sticks … create and experiment to discover how each pastel performs. Which will become a favorite? Contains a set of General’s Multi-Pastel Compressed Chalk, a set of Rembrandt Soft Pastels, a Conte Pastel Pencil, Sofft Art Sponges, Strathmore 400 Series Drawing Paper, and a Pigma Micron Pen.
The Calligraphy Art Box is designed for the beginner, to introduce them to pen lettering in a simpler way. It contains “Elementary Alphabets” by Ross F. George that introduces four different styles; Roman, Gothic, Manuscript and Text. Follow along with the book as you explore the different tools included in the box and before long you will be creating beautiful hand written pieces. Papers, pens and inks are all included.
The Watercolor Art Box at this level differs from the others in that it offers tube paints instead of pans. The ability to take wet paint directly from the tube can change how one uses it to paint. Once dried in the palette it can be treated just like pan watercolors. Contains 8 Talens Watercolor tubes, two brushes, a palette, pencil, eraser, 5×7 watercolor pad, and a few little surprises.
The Printmaking Art Box is a perfect small format introduction into making carved block prints with all the tools needed to create an art series! Great for making a subtly different prints, or cards for all those who might want it. Contains a Speedball Speedy Carve Block Printing Set with a brayer and handle with three blades and two blocks for carving, Black Speedball Block Printing Ink and 5×7 Strathmore Printmaking Paper.
The Charcoal Art Box contains the supplies needed to branch out into another drawing medium and discover the beauty and intensity of this with willows, pencils and sticks along with fun tools. Contains a variety of Nitram Charcoal Willows and General’s Charcoal and Pastel Chalk Pencils, Lead Pointer, Factis Black Eraser, Chamois and some soap because this one can get messy.
The Acrylic Art Box contains two fun acrylic mediums to test out and play with. There is so much that can be done with these paint additives, this is a great way to introduce mediums to the artist’s toolbox. Plus 3 different acrylic paints, and more tools! Contains two Golden Acrylic Mediums, three different Acrylic Paints including a Golden Fluid, Painting Knife, brushes, Color Mixing Guide, Ampersand Smooth Panel and Winsor & Newton Artists’ Canvas Board.
The Casein Paint Art Box is a great set for anyone who paints! Casein has the wash capabilities of watercolor, the opacity of tempera and gouache, and the rich textures of oils and acrylics. Introduce yourself to this versatile paint that cleans up with water yet dries water resistant. Contains a “What is Casein?” handout, three Jack Richeson Casein Paints, Black Magic Ink, three brushes, Multi-brush Cleaner, Ampersand Claybord, and a Jack Richeson Toned Gessoed Hardboard.
The Watercolor Art Box at this level includes a 12 pan Travel Set, a 4×6 pad of paper and an Ecoline liquid watercolor that invites the artist to experiment. Along with a Mouth Atomizer, one can play with different techniques! Contains a Van Gogh Pocket Watercolor Set with removable pallet and travel brush, Ecoline Liquid Watercolor, an Atomizer, and 4×6 Fluid 100 Watercolor Paper.
The Perfect Gift
These “tasty” go boxes are all ready for you to grab and mail or wrap for gift giving… or treat yourself! Each one has a fun variety of full-size art supplies related to its theme and fun little surprise extras related to its theme. An easy way to try new tools, mediums or colors. Ready to pick up now.
*Colors in each box are assorted, coordinated and are not exchangeable. These sets are designed for ages 13 to 100. We have more for younger kids available in store.
Ordering for Pick-up or Shipping
We are happy to help anyone who is uncomfortable going into stores right now. Please call or email us and we will help you put together all of the supplies and gifts that you need either for pick up, curbside or shipping. Shipping charges will apply. Our contact information is below.
Intro to Watercolor Painting | $65
How do you know where to start…
Thursdays, Sept 23, 30, and October 7
Through demonstrations and instruction, participants will become familiar with different watercolor techniques and processes. We will cover the basics and help you become more confident in painting with watercolor! Taught by Alissa Heaton.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Watercolors (tubes preferred-12 count), Round/Flat/Wash/Mop brushes, 140lb Watercolor Pad 9×12, pencil.
OPTIONAL: folding palette, more brushes, sponge.
Intro to Calligraphy | $75 Materials Included!
Through demonstrations, practice and one-on-one instruction, you will become familiar with dip pens, nibs, inks, papers and how to practice! This class is for beginners as well as those who may have taken some previous calligraphy years ago and would like a refresher course. We will be learning the historic UNCIAL style and making an alphabet book! Taught by Deb Parsons-Menke.
BRING FROM HOME: any calligraphy pens/nibs you may already have, sharp pencils, eraser, container for water, long metal-edged ruler, Exacto knife, ½ full roll of paper towels.
Oil Painting 101 | $75
September 21, 28
Learn about the materials, brushes and color mixing to begin painting in oils. If you have dabbled before, but feel you need a bit more professional guidance, this class is the one for you! How do you keep a sketchbook, where do you start with the design and composition, and what about clean-up, all these questions and more will be answered. Taught by Jean McLean.
MATERIALS LIST: Bristle Brushes—flats, sizes 2, 4, 6, 8, palette knife with offset handle, Paint—1tube each Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine Blue, Hansa Yellow Lt, Titanium White, black will be provided to share, Canbas panels—11×14 quantity 3, 8×10 quantity 2, 1 bottle linseed or walnut oil, 1 bottle Gamsol, small sketchbook, paper towels, pencil, small can/container for cleaning brushes, disposable palette, container for cleaning brushes, disposable palette, container for mineral spirits.
OPTIONAL: latex gloves, painting apron or old shirt.
Vintage Book Box | $35
10:00AM-12:30PM OR 5:00PM-7:30PM
Learn how to create a “box” out of a hardback book. You can hide money in it on the bookshelf or use to keep your treasured photos, collections or pencils and erasers! Taught by Deb Parsons-Menke.
MATERIALS NEEDED: A hardcover book with a cool cover that you don’t mind taking the text guts out of, 1 sheet decorative paper that color coordinates with your book (at least 18×24, or 6” larger than your book laying flat open), Exacto knife with new blade, bone folder (or old credit card), ruler, cutting mat if you have one.
PROVIDED: glues, foamcore, cutting mats.
Copperplate Continuing Calligraphy Course | $80
October 4, 11, 18, 25
Enjoy learning (or refreshing) your Copperplate as we study this elegant and flowing, yet precise, style. We will also write on black and play with flourishing! We will design final frameable pieces contrasting your Copperplate with your favorite broad-edge hand. Taught by Deb Parsons-Menke.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Typical calligraphy supplies including the grid paper pad. 90lb Hot press paper (sheet or pad), McCafferys or Iron Gall ink or Walnut ink. Offset nib holder, any pointed nibs you may have – one will be provided. BRING A POEM/SAYING IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE YOU’D LIKE TO “TRANSLATE” OR TWO SAYINGS THAT COMPLIMENT/CONTRAST.
Japanese Binding Books | $65
In this class we will create two soft bound books. One book will be a ledger style with simple 2-hole stitching that is great for notes or quick sketches. The second book will be a side bound, toned paper sketchbook, great for keeping notes, artsy journaling or toned sketching. Taught by Alissa Heaton.
MATERIALS NEEDED: 1 or 2 sheets decorative paper, ruler, Exacto knife, cutting mat, bone folder, awl/paper punch, pencil and eraser.
OPTIONAL: decorative beads.
Wine Tasting Journal | $65
In this class we will learn how to cover a text block with a decorative hard cover. Using bookboard, decorative papers, and a little wine-spiration, we will create a fun and unique book to take to your next wine tasting. Taught by Alissa Heaton.
MATERIALS NEEDED: 1 sheet of solid paper such as Canson or Aitoh, 1 sheet Rives BFK 175 gm, ruler, cutting mat, Exacto knife, bone folder, pencil and eraser.
OPTIONAL: UHU Glue stick.
Block Printmaking Class | $120
Learn the fundamental skills of creating block prints. These two experienced artists will guide you through the process from carving your blocks to ink and paper choices. Design issues will be discussed, working with multiple runs and colors. We will work on a soft carve and lino plate. Taught by Alissa Heaton and Jim Schulz.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Handle and Lino cutters – label them with you name, pad of printmaking paper 5×7, at least one color of block printing ink –water soluble. Optional: brayer, bone folder, other ink colors, rags.
PROVIDED: Brayers, black ink, 4×6 block and 5×7 block
Painting Fun on Yupo Paper | $75 Materials Included!
October 22, 23
Yupo paper is actually made of Polypropylene! This makes it display true brilliant colors and interesting flow patterns but is a bit tricky to paint on. Learn some of Jean’s tricks and favorite mediums to paint on this innovative fine art substrate. She will cover basic supplies, materials and explore some of the primary methods of application. Participants will be guided in completing a few pieces in their own personal creative style. Taught by Jean McLean.
BRING FROM HOME: a pencil and eraser, any watercolor brushes you may have, a water container, paper towels, and art apron it you desire.
Mixed Media Paint & Paper | $75 Some Materials Included!
November 4, 11, 18
In this class we will explore the world of mixing different medias together to create beautiful and unique pieces of art. We will explore how different mediums work together, or don’t, as well as how to mix it up with different textures and layers! Not only will we work on creating a finished piece, but also have fun with sketchbook experiments. Taught by Alissa Heaton.
MATERIALS NEEDED: acrylics, watercolors, pastels, markers, etc. and brushes you may already have, Vision Mixed Media Pad (7×10 or larger), photos, paper scraps, UHU Glue, water container, paper towels, scissors, pencil and eraser.
Ukrainian Egg Decorating | $75 Materials Included!
Learn how to create beautifully intricate eggs using wax, dyes and a ‘Kisky.’ A Pysanka is a Ukrainian egg, decorated with traditional folk designs using a wax-resist method. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, “to write” as the designs are not painted one, but written with beeswax. Participants will finish 2 or 3 eggs, one traditional, one holiday, and one of their own design. Taught by Jo Lee Hawkins.
Painted Piano Hinge Book | $65 Some Materials Included!
We will paint, stamp and have fun designing the “leather” cover for your piano hinge book with its unique format. The lightweight, wove finish signatures will be great for sketching or journaling or calligraphy quotes. You will have some painted “leather” left to make a book cover and book marks! Taught by Deb Parsons-Menke.
MATERIALS NEEDED: Bring your favorite acrylic paints and inks, large format stamps, brushes, a bone folder, Exacto knife, ruler, cutting mat, pencil and eraser. The rest will be provided.
Updated on September 1st
Health and safety are our top priorities, and we are doing everything possible to maintain a safe experience for our customers and staff. Although face masks are no longer required by state mandate, they are appreciated and encouraged for anyone unvaccinated. Please respect social distancing guidelines when you are in the shop. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we navigate our way forward!