Sunday, August 25, 2013

What a difference a frame makes

I just brought 2 paintings to the SVAN (Sacandaga Valley Arts Network) gallery on Main Street. I had joined SVAN in the hope of getting some exposure in the NY state area where our vacation home is. When I got an email that it was time for art rotation at the gallery, and that all members could have 2 new pieces on display - I started to think about what I could bring.

Not an easy task, looking over all your work to decide what 2 pieces you want to bring. Did I want 2 animal paintings? On stretched canvas? Or do I quick frame them? Maybe go with 2 florals? Maybe this, maybe that, or maybe this instead. Oh boy, I stressed for a couple of days!

I finally chose 2 paintings of the immediate area for their display. The one on the left (or first) is Beacon Island which is out in our lake. The one on the right (or second) is from the Tupper Lake area.

Neither of these were ready. First I sealed them. One was a small 8x10 stretched canvas - the other was one of my 9x12 canvas sheets. OK, now the next question, do I frame them?

I started checking on line for frames, mats, how-tos, etc. I only had a few days to pull this together AND I had to work my full-time job on all of those days! In my searching, I learned a few things.

  1. The size 9x12 that I do so often is not a standard size - meaning, you can't find off the shelf frames for that size - they require custom made frames. 
  2. Frames come in all shapes, sizes, colors & prices.
I bought 2 frames and a matt for the odd sized one. The 8x10 stretched canvas was framed in a gold & linen frame which gave the illusion of a matt. The 9x12 had a white matt with a dark, wood-toned framed. Even matted, I wound up needing a 12x16 frame (which is also a size that is very hard to find without custom). 

But once I framed them, I was stunned. They looked so different (& so much better). Both of these were delivered to the gallery yesterday.

After this experience, I think I am going to start phasing out the 9x12 size I've been using. I need to stick to more conventional sizes I think: 8x10, 11x14 & 16x20. Those seem to be the frame sizes that are most readily available.

I am thinking about entering into a New Jersey exhibit/show that takes place in October. If I am accepted (juried in), I will need to think about how best to display my pieces. The cost to frame them all would be too much right now. Probably frame a few select and display the rest simply mounted on hardboard. All food for thought - but my current adventure with matts & frames has been quite enlightening.


Karla said...

Beautiful paintings Nan! And your frame choices really do enhance your work. Painting size is an interesting subject when considering frames. I notice that many established artists paint in unconventional sizes. I wonder what the thinking is behind that.

CrimsonLeaves said...

Have to admit that framing and/or framing and matting always shows off a piece to its best light. These are stunners, Nancie.


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