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Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Importance of Framing

For many artists, framing their work takes a backseat to the actual creation of the work itself.  If you are anything like me you set about painting a piece with little thought to the finished framed product.  This isn't always a bad thing, but if you lay the design out without thinking about how it will be framed, you may find that matting and framing a piece to be difficult with potentially cutting out some important part of the picture.

When laying out the design, at least for artwork that will be matted and framed, it is best to keep in mind that a least 1/4" all the way around the edge of the piece will be under a mat.  Plan for this so that important design elements won't be lost.  If you really must paint all the way to the edge, use attractive papers with 4 deckled edges which can be "floated" without a mat.

Choosing a good quality frame is crucial to the appeal of a finished artwork.  At one time I tended to choose frames based on their cost, a bad idea as they are often poorly made, and may not be a style or color that will most enhance the final work. Sturdy, well made frames are crucial, as well as Ph neutral, archival mat materials.  If you are having difficulty deciding on a color of mat that works, it might be advantageous to try out museum grade mats, which are heavy, high quality white mats. Some juried exhibitions and the occasional gallery require that a finished piece be in these kind of mats, otherwise chose a mat that enhances the over all color and tone of the piece. Avoid cheaply made, or thin mats. 

If you find yourself having difficulty choosing frames that flatter your work, it may be to your advantage to have the piece professionally framed. This cost should be factored into the final price of the work. Even artworks that may seem weak to your, or less than your best work can become truly impressive in the right frame.

Having a nice finished piece can make a difference when selling a piece.  Modern shoppers are impatient, and tend to be more likely to buy works that they can take home and frame on a wall, rather than having to be professionally framed.  Don't be stingy when it comes to your framing materials.  Having your work in quality frames will boost both your work's value and saleability.


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