Thursday, September 18, 2014

Advice on Framing - for Artists

Any artist who has been invited to display their work knows what an exciting and also nerve-wracking event this can be. 

One of the most nicely framed shows I have had the pleasure of hosting was Donna Clark's WIDE OPEN SPACES last year. Her frames were tastefully chosen and everyone who left with one of her paintings was thrilled with her frame choices. (Pictured above.)

Framing your art is part of this process, and framing many shows, here is some advice LLB has for an artist who is about to embark on such a soul-bearing journey.

ASSESS WHAT TYPE OF FRAMING YOU ARE LOOKING FOR. Frames and proper materials are expensive and are an investment, no doubt. As we see it, there are two different directions you can take, Before anything, SET A BUDGET. Once you've set your budget, your framer can help you decide how your goals and your budget can combine into one happy product.

KNOW WHAT YOUR STYLE IS. Look around and take note on what other artists are doing.
Ask what materials or mouldings they have used and do some research so that the process is not so overwhelming once you have to make the actual choice. Being emotional about one's show is natural, so this is helpful in making your final decision.

WHAT IS YOUR GOAL? Would you like to get your art on the walls in a complementary, budget friendly way, knowing that most clients will re-frame your piece to suit their environment?
In this case, your frame is a short term vehicle that presents your art in the best  or most neutral way possible while not stripping your budget. There are more inexpensive options that will do this. They will not always be as high quality as a beautifully finished wood or gilt frame, but they can do the trick just fine. 

If, on the other hand, you would like to present the client or purchaser with an option that will have LONGEVITY and will protect your art on its new path, be prepared to invest in the appropriate materials. U. V. Protective or Museum Glazing, finer mouldings and frame choices, and museum quality boards will do just this and will be worth the investment in this case.
Some artists are very particular about how they would like to see their works framed now and in the future, and in this case it is wise to be prepared to invest in this type of framing and to incorporate this expectation into your budget to ensure that your expectations are met and kept.

Another tip: sometimes adding some width to your matting (e.g. not squishing it in a frame due to budget constraints) will give your art much more presence on the wall, will separate it from its surrounding, and present it more dramatically and effectively.

Lastly, many other artists are also very savvy about framing and are a great source of help for a frame-seeking artist. In this case, you would probably be looking for a temporary, budget friendly housing for your art that can be ordered in a standard size online and then, with help of a fellow artist, installed into said frame. Artists often have a lower overhead and can better accommodate your budget with their rates. And, hopefully, they will have the know-how to frame your work to your expectations - and you might have fun participating in the process.

La Linea Bella ! Fantastic Framing & Art
McIntire Plaza, Charlottesville, VA

(434) 244-3050

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