Tuesday, 9 June 2009

In The Frame

Framed! I collected these two from the framers yesterday and thought I would show you the results. I LOVE them. They are "floated" on a white board with white wooden frame. This is how all of mine look in the gallery and I think it works very well with the light down here and also with the nautical, watery themes that I paint.
I am always surprised at how much a frame makes a picture and think that it is as important a decision as every other decision that one makes when creating a piece of art work

The question is, what criteria do you use when deciding on a frame? It is almost like choosing new glasses or a haircut!
Personally I like to try to reflect some of the aspects of the painting... I paint very figuratively with quite a lot of crisp detail (well that's how it seems to me) but I do like to let the brush strokes and the way the paint is applied do some of the talking. Therefore I wouldn't choose a hard precise metal frame, I might go for something softer, more tactile, like wood.
But I use crisp colours and enjoy the effects of light so something that will enhance that and show that element off...so choose white wood.
I was messing around here and trying to see if my theory worked so I have digitally put this one into an antique style ornate frame.
To my mind the fiddly nature and the colour take quite a lot away from the painting. See how the mud and water has faded into a bit of a non-discript background.
In the final "digital frame test" the colour and detailing on the wood and the fact that there is no breathing space around the picture have given it a cramped and cluttered feeling. While as it could be seen as a cramped and cluttered painting it needs the bright clarity of the Cornish light in which it was painted.
These, of course, are only my opinions.

If you have a painting and want to try what different frames will look like why not do some digital jiggery pokery like these. Or try uploading your image to something like Pictureframe, where you can see how it will look with endless different frames. There are lots of good online framing sites where you can do this before you order your frame.


Anonymous said...

They look fantastic framed - I think your choice of framing is just right.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Nice one Sarah - and the pics look really splendid.

Most of the work in exhibitions that I see in London now tends towards neutral frames which don't fight with the picture.

There's a certain shade of 'bone' which works very well and that's what I frame mine in.

vivien said...

beautifully framed!

I love simple framing that lets the painting sing. Were these on board? (board as in wood not aboard!)

I've used limed ash a lot, which has a slightly driftwood feel and suits my work but I have been considering using white for some recent ones as it would really work well

I love floated work like this too

food for thought ........

Lindsay said...

I love the crisp white that allows the painting to do all the showing off.

I'm wondering if you have museum perspex for your paintings. I see almost no reflections!

Africantapestry and Myfrenchkitchen said...

Your paintings sit perfectly in their fames Sarah...the white swos that blue off so beautifully. I love simple frames too, but I have to admit that I also enjoy a heavy ornate frame, especially on a very small painting like a small landscape...it somehow "works" in our old home.
I think choosing a frame also depends on where it is going to hang. In a gallery/exhibit, the artist can choose according to the painting. If in a home, it also needs to find its spot on the wall...the colours of the room, the furniture and decoration and even the style of house, not forgetting the personality of the owner(not the artist, whose personality is already on the canvas)? Come to think of it...I think you've touched a great topic here to explore further - framing!

Jeanette said...

These do look very good Sarah. Your choice of simple frames and white to let the paintings do the talking is perfect.

The topic of framing can be complex and often is down to personal taste (sometimes bad taste). I think that each image demands a bit of experimentation to find the right mat and frame colours and sizes to make the image the focal point.

I've used online framing options before to play around with images so I have a good idea of what I want before going to the framer.

Andrew said...

One of these online framing options can be seen at epictureframes - you can upload your pics and try all sorts of combinations. Click here to see it.

Lindsay said...

Sarah, I recently framed a bunch of my oil work and I was just about to leave off the glass but wondered if the mat might get smudged too easily. Have you found this to be true?

muddy red shoes said...

Hi Lindsay, mine a sit on top of the board and have no glass, I like to be able to almost smell the paint when looking at a painting and feel that, as long as the oil painting is varnished well no glass is needed. I have never found that the board gets damaged. However when the mat is like a window mount, for watercolours or pastles glass is important.