As much as clothes do not make the man, a frame does not make the artwork. But it sure does help!
Despite the fact that a top Google search term is “framing artwork cheap,” the truth is that framing is a skill, and the frame itself can be a work of art as well. Sure, many frames are mass-produced in factories, but many more are mitered, cut and individually assembled locally.
When you’re deciding what your artwork is going to wear day in and day out, keep a few important considerations in mind.
- Protection. This is one of the main reasons for framing. Whether a painting is oil or watercolor, on canvas or paper, if it is left exposed to the air day in and day out, it will get damaged. Dust and debris will collect on its surface, and it may wrinkle or pucker when exposed to humidity.
Putting your artwork behind glass is a way to preserve and protect it for years to come. Your framer can help you choose the type of glass — anti-glare, low iron, laminated, acrylic. Your choices are many.
- Display. The artwork is on display here, not the frame, so don’t steal your artwork’s thunder by overshadowing it with an ornate frame. Your frame should complement your artwork.
If you have a Degas reproduction of ballerinas at the barre, a heavy, gilded wood frame would be perfect. If you have a Keith Haring, a thin, unobtrusive frame in metal or acrylic might be just the thing for that more modern, 20th-century feel.
- Aesthetics. Proper matting can make the difference between ordinary framing and great framing. Your artwork needs to be independent of its frame to not get lost in it or bleed into it. You want your frame to hold your artwork, not smother it. Matting provides that crucial space between the artwork and the frame; it’s both bridge and valley.
For more tips on dressing your artwork in just the right outfit, visit your local independent framer. Your artwork will thank you for it!