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The Frame Game

by Natasha Isenhour on 5/28/2010 10:21:41 AM

This post is by guest author, Natasha Isenhour. This article has been edited and published with the author's permission. You should submit an article and share your views as a guest author by clicking here.

 

To frame or not to frame, that is the question.  It isn't really a choice on a lot of work.  For instance, all of my pastels demand glass and frames.  Meanwhile, I can be a bit more creative with my oils by choosing stretchers with wide side profiles to gallery wrap.  Either way you choose to finish your work, to gallery wrap and paint or to frame, speaks volumes about the pride you take in your work itself.

I recently attended a prestigious national pastel show.  Two of the most outstanding works in the show were presented horribly.  Both artists have big names, yet they failed to take pride in the presentation of their work.  One piece had a long hair (at least 10 inches!) on the inside of the glass!  The other had a frame that looked to be a close cousin to a poster frame, with badly assembled corners and a very thin profile for such a large pastel.  A sloppy presentation can pull the focus right off a beautifully executed work of art.

Trust me, I am not at all saying that we should be custom framing our work.  I tried that route and it scarcely left enough money to buy the supplies I needed to create more work!  But after years of refining how I go about things, I have found a way that is affordable, efficient, and something that the galleries are happy with.  That's been a trick!

The internet is full of resources for frames.  When I was actively trying to find a solution, I would spot order frames from different companies to check quality and to check for efficient processing and shipping.  When I settled on something I liked, I had to make some decisions.  I could routinely pay for custom sizes or I could get happy with the painting format of some standard sizes, which are always less expensive to frame and usually you can find them in stock.  

Personally I feel like "less is more" when it comes to frame design.  My galleries all prefer less ornate frames.  That works for me because it saves me money!  Also, luckily, the nature of my work commands a more simple framing approach.

Then there is color to consider.  Galleries can be fickle sometimes.  What they say they want changes with their customers' response to what is on the walls.  My gallery partner's new Santa Fe representative, declared they liked gold frames at the onset and now talk about how much they like the black frames.  Luckily, she and I both have chosen to stock both black and gold to have at the ready in the studio. I have repeatedly had both my Santa Fe and various Arizona connections let me know they swapped a frame from one of mine to another in order to close a sale.  They can because the frames are really well done and the style is exactly the same except for the color.  I choose the color that I feel best fits the work, but why would I let my opinion interfere in a sale?

As for backing, wire and hooks, oh boy.  I've seen it all!  For me, again, it is about consistency.  It really doesn't cost more to buy a big roll of plastic coated wire versus that braided un-coated stuff that requires a tetanus shot.  Buy appropriately sized hinges in bulk instead of eyehooks that force your work to sit away from the wall.  And if it is behind glass, paper it!  A roll of heavy brown craft paper and some roller glue or double backed tape can be found anywhere under $5.  That will be enough for a lot of paintings!  If you take the time to honor your work enough to finish it properly, I promise your customers and gallery owners will notice!

USE GOOD GLASS!  Again, buy bulk from a glass distributor.  My closest resource is 100 miles away, one way.  They deliver through here once every two weeks and charge about $20.  Cheaper than the gas and the time to go up!  So I order AR glass.  Not the non-glare glass that makes things fuzzy if you view it from the side.  This glass is clear and doesn't show a customer a lovely reflection of their face when they approach a framed work.  From a distance, you can't see the glass at all!  Buy it wholesale and take it to your local home/auto glass business and map out the cuts for sizes that you need, typically a dollar a cut.  You won't believe the money you'll save and how much better your work will present with good glass!

Lastly, when it comes to the gallery wrapped oils, I choose a profile that is at least an inch and a half minimum.  If you are planning to finish off a piece that doesn't look like you were trying to slide under the radar and simply not go to the trouble to frame it, there are a few simple guidelines that I find extremely effective.  The canvas depth from the wall needs to be wide enough that it looks like you intended to present the piece as one that can stand strongly alone without a frame.  Obviously there are to be no staples on the sides and there should be careful consideration with the neatness of the corners.  For myself, I ALWAYS continue the composition around the left and right sides and often the top as well.  The bottom is frequently a well thought out color that works with the composition as it goes off the canvas at the bottom.

Again, these are only suggestions based on what took years to develop and has worked beautifully for me for years since.  It is economical, efficient and thoughtful without taking so much time out of the studio on the hunt.  I know it is working by the comments from clients that move through our studio on a daily basis.  I smile every time knowing the paintings I raised are dressed to go anywhere! 

This is only one person's solution.  I am sure there are many, many more helpful ideas out there to share!  Let's raise the bar in "The Frame Game."


 

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Related Posts:

Don't Skimp on the Frame

Framing the Problem

A Hard Lesson Learned


Topics: art marketing | sell art 

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 186 Comments

Karen Winters
via fineartviews.com
Natasha, what does AR glass stand for? Archival?
Got a brand name for us?
Thanks! Karen

Nancy Riedell
via fineartviews.com
Good article about framing. I paint watercolors exclusively so they need to be framed. Fortunately, I found a framer near my home who has been a framer for 25 years. She's very good at selecting the right frame for the right painting! she's also familiar on how to frame work for a gallery. I feel very fortunate to have found her. She's not cheap, but she's worth it. I'd say a good frame is 40 percent of the entire painting.

Helen Horn Musser
via fineartviews.com
Natasha, frames are very important to showcase your work. I am getting my frames by a professional now. Your advice could change that but, really need to put the time in creatng new paintings. Thank you for all the tips on framing.

Lee McVey
via fineartviews.com
It's always a surprise to me when I see lovely paintings with cheap quality frames or a frame so ornate that I can hardly notice the painting. Many artists, especially when they aren't selling a lot, prefer to skimp on frames, but I agree with Natasha, that's not a good choice. Especially if your work will be hanging among paintings with great looking frames.

With cost being a factor, it's frustrating when galleries change their minds about what kind of frame they prefer. Using standard size formats is a good solution to be able to switch out paintings if needed. It's too bad frames get dinged so easily when they are in a juried show or at a gallery.

Jeanne Guerin-Daley
via fineartviews.com
Karen, I looked it up. I believe Natasha is referring to Anti-Reflective glass. I hadn't thought of the idea to buy in bulk then pay a small fee to have it cut. Nice idea! Thanks, Natasha. By googling "AR glass," I found a company which delivers in my area (and ships worldwide) called mmdistributors...URL is http://www.mmdistributors.com/
They have a lot of framing supplies, not just glass.
It is true that an artist can easily pay an arm and a leg to have their art framed nicely, but a good frame job can really make a difference, so helpful tips are always welcome! Thank you.

Marian Fortunati
via fineartviews.com
I agree that you should do the best you can to present your art in a manner which compliments the work and is professional.

In a recent show, the juror took the time to tell several of the organizers that certain pieces were framed well and he actually juried out pieces just because the framing was sloppy and not worthy of the show or the art.

Helen Horn Musser
via fineartviews.com
Yes, Lee, our frames take a beating as they travel from place to place. One of my paintings fell from the wall(probably from not enough support in hanging) and the frame was badly damaged when this happened. You can't be too careful when the hanging begins to protect your work during the exhibit. It was a beautiful perfect, costly, frame especially for that painging, Say La Vie

Marianne Hinojosa
via fineartviews.com
Thank you for this helpful post! I often struggle with frame choices and usually opt for "clean and simple", such as plein aire frames. I want my oil paintings to be the focus, and these frames are beautiful and understated. I find them on line at Jerry's Artarama, Dick Blick, and ASW Art Supplies. Fredrix also has the Convexo canvas, which has beveled edges that curve toward the wall, making this a nice option, along with the Gallery Wrap.

K. Henderson
via fineartviews.com
So is your gallery willing to repaper the back of your paintings under glass when they 'swap a frame in order to close a sale'?

Most of my work isn't framed because I usually paint on Gallery Wrapped canvas. But when I do frame I use an nice but inexpensive frame because, Yes, shows and galleries often damage the frame. Nothing worse then spending a lot of money on a frame and having it turned into trash.


Sandy Askey-Adams
via fineartviews.com
Hello Natasha:
This was a very good article. I enjoyed reading what was written.
I have always said that the framing is the exclamation point on the finished painting...and it truly is.
The framing can make or break a painting.
I too am surprised to see a painting win an award in an art show and have sloppy uncaring, not archival framing on the piece...let alone, I am surprised that the piece was even accepted, unless the jury did not see the framing with the piece which can happen when digital's of only the images are sent to an art show.
But, the pride of the work should continue into the framing.
I try to use museum glass on some of my pieces. I cannot do that with all of them due to the cost and I do a lot of outdoor art shows and if the glass got broken,,,yikes!! But, if a client wants the museum glass placed on the work they are purchasing, I do charge them for it and will gladly change it of course. (Heck, I will change the frame if they want it changed also if I agree with their choice.)
I have not used the AR glass, and will check that out, so I learned from the article. Framing presentation has always been important to me...it was nice to see it re-enforced and stated how important it is in the article.
(Getting too long here)
Thank you Natazha.
:)Sandy


Daniel Fishback
via fineartviews.com
Natasha,
Thank you so much for sharing with us your extensive experience on this subject.

I'm rethinking my framing options and re-framing some of my art. It can be confusing as to which way to go, buying ready made frames, making frames, buying molding, etc. I like custom sizes too but can afford custom frames. I'm glad to hear that gallery wrapped representational art is selling. That gives me another option to think about, especially for larger pieces and custom sizes. My gallery framed all of my gallery wrapped pieces and left me with the impression that that was the way it needed to be done.

I never realized the advantage of hinges over eye hooks until I read this. Makes sense.

Sorry for being long winded but your informative article really got me think. I checked your web site too. Beautiful work!

Best of luck,
Dan

Sandy Askey-Adams
via fineartviews.com
Hello again....
Oh, I wanted to mention that if I do not get framing from the regular framer I deal with which happens to have the name..."The Frame Game" located in Newtown, PA and Yardley, Pa...
one of the main sources I order frames from is Omega Moulding Company. If I place an order before noon, the frames will arrive the next day at my studio. They are out of New York. http://www.omegamoulding.com
:)Sandy

Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
Yes Karen and Jeanne I was referring to anti-reflective glass. Super stuff!

And for the question from K. Henderson, to be honest, I don't know if the gallery re-papers the back when they switch frames. I would like to think they do, but I have long ago given up on worrying about what happens when my children are camping out in a gallery. Dinged frames, scratched glass, hung with no light, the list goes on. Ijust hope that if they don't, that because the customer requested the switch, that they would also request the paper be put on, or look at it as the fault of the gallery and not of me. I have gone as far as to supply a gallery with a roll of paper and some double back tape!

Thanks everyone for your comments so quickly on this post!

Tom Weinkle
via fineartviews.com
Great suggestions Natasha.

Please share any weblinks of comapnies you have been happy with (thx for yours Sandy!)

I've found it difficult to work with online vendors for larger pieces of art..over 32 x 40. but Smaller works make a lot of sense. They don't seem to like to ship oversized mattes, etc. due to damage they are likely to receive during shipping.

I'm still learning, so all the info is certainly welcome and valued.

Claudia L Brookes
via fineartviews.com

Thanks, Natasha, for a useful post. Although many of the posts are fun topics, I think what a lot of us are looking for is the real "meat-and-potatoes" main course stuff that can set of a dialogue of useful information to artists.

Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
Thank you Dan! As for gallery wrap, if you do it well you can usually get your gallery to at least give it a try. But a lot of gallery owners have their minds made up and its a losing battle to try to convince them. ugh!

Kim
via fineartviews.com
The framing dilemma! I've stopped framing my watercolors for now unless there is a specific venue for them. I now mat them in understated, neutral mats with a foam core backer and put them in those clear plastic sleeves. I simply don't have storage here for scores of framed pieces, and I'm trying to build up my inventory right now. My gallery is closing because the owners are retiring at the end of the summer, and until I know what's next for me after it closes I have to store the new pieces and then in September any unsold pieces here. One thing I did decide a relatively short while ago is that even though I love to frame each piece uniquely according to its own aesthetic, I will in the future mat and frame everything in a more neutral, uniform manner for the purpose of cohesiveness in exhibiting them.

Helen Horn Musser
via fineartviews.com
Doing the neutral, uniform, look is good for galleries. Putting your watercolors in mats, a great idea. When I don't put an oil painting or encaustic in frame they seem to dissappear; especially after moving to new place. I'm missing several paintings right now; I need to locate. You really have to be careful how you store them if they aren't framed.

Kathy Chin
via fineartviews.com
Thanks Natasha for pointing out the value of a good frame. I've been trying it on my own...paper included, but may re-think that in the future (it takes a long time!)
Appreciate the article!



Carol Schmauder
via fineartviews.com
Great post! You bring up some very important points. I paint in watercolor, therefore I need to put my paintings under glass. I always use conservation glass. I am able to buy all my framing supplies wholesale in my town from a great place. The prices are good and bulk orders bring a discount. Kim: I hear you on the space needed to store framed paintings. My home is small and there is little extra room for storage, but I've come up with some creative places to store paintings that are not out on display (behind the dresser, entertainment center, etc.) It seems to be working for now anyway.

Sue Martin
via fineartviews.com
Natasha, I totally agree on the importance of framing. I've seen many paintings framed horribly, which detracts from the perception of the painting itself. My rule of thumb: simple is better. With very rare exceptions, I prefer to see light/white mats on watercolors, and very simple* frames. In our co-op gallery, I've had customers ask if the artist would agree to sell the painting without the mat and frame. If a customer wants a mat/frame that will complement their furniture and decor, leave it up to them to have the painting framed. *Simple doesn't necessarily mean thin or cheap!

Joanne Benson
via fineartviews.com
Hi Natasha,
You are soooo right about the framing. It is a constant struggle as well....I do my own framing and matting and I used to put the paper backing on all wood frames but stopped because I wanted to be able to switch paintings out of frames if they haven't sold and I have new work to put in them..... I can't afford to frame everything and if it isn't a commission, I will tell a perspective buyer that I will add the dust cover if they would like one. I run local show every year and it amazes me that some of the framing is so poorly done...and people don't know how to attach wire....grrrr...my hanging buddy and I usually end up rewiring a few pieces (we are too nice) ..... I use white glue to attach backing paper to my paintings and it works as well or better than double stick tape and is less expensive and easier to do. I went to a framing demo at a local frame shop/gallery and that is what they used. On the downside, it makes it more difficult to take the backing off if you need to change the frame for some reason. That is why I just stopped putting the backing on.....

Kim
via fineartviews.com
Helen, I know how things tend to come up missing when you've moved a lot. Fortunately my artwork hasn't been one of those things, just other critical stuff I really wanted to hang on to. Some of my earlier artwork got seriously damaged, however, from bad storage over the years, mostly water damage which is difficult to restore, especially if there has been prolonged dampness and mildew : (
Carol, I have framed pieces stored behind furniture, too! My husband did make me a great combination flat and upright shelving unit, which looked really huge when it was brand new in my studio and EMPTY, but I filled all the shelves very quickly!

Nancy Pingree Hoover
via fineartviews.com
Thanks for a great article!!

I have always tried to choose fairly simple, but quality frames so as to not draw attention away from the artwork. My framer always told me to just stick stick any old frame on it because when people buy it they just take it to him to get custom framing. That was probably true, but I think it was also because most of the artists at my gallery did not frame their artwork very well at all. I agree that the frame can make of break the appearance of your artwork!

I've been using Nielson-Bainbridge frames that I order according to the size of my painting, then put it together myself. Okay, not the best quality ever, but it looks very nice and it is sturdy construction, AND I can get them in almost any size I need!

Thanks again for a great article!
Nancy

Donna Robillard
via fineartviews.com
This was a very interesting article. I like simplicity when it comes to framing, also. Lately with my oil paintings I have been using gallery wrapped canvases and with them there is no frame to detract from the painting. I also paint on all sides, and I really like the way the paintings turn out.

Sheryl Knight
via fineartviews.com
Natasha, I liked your article on framing. I totally agree with you on everything. It really hurts to see a nice painting poorly framed. I feel bad for the artist. One thing I did learn from you is to supply the galleries with extra frames so they can swap if they want. I paint in oil and frame in black or gold too, so that would work perfect. Though I do select the best frame for the image, sometimes it is hard to decide as both look good, and like you say "why should I let my opinion interfere with a sale"! I also liked your line..."I smile every time knowing the paintings I raised are dressed to go anywhere!"

Poppy Balser
via fineartviews.com
Natasha

this was a great article. I work in watercolours and find that for me it works to use just a black frame. I will do other colours if specifically requested, but for me the black almost always looks best and with one colour I can always have a useable inventory of frames on hand.

Thanks for the idea of using bulk ar glass.

Poppy

Scott L. Hendrie
via fineartviews.com
Being an Artist on a budget, I started doing my own framing after seeing some very meticulous frames done by Alan Larkin. Alan teaches at Indiana University South Bend. He does full size pastel portaits and builds the frames. I've been building mine since 2000. Maybe it is also the guy thing of getting all the tools out and making alot of noise. Now I may actually build the frame before I do the piece of art with the frame blending with the subject material of the finished art.

There are some days I think I should just do the framing. I do have good friends that own their own frame shop, Designed Frames. They do the finish work for me of cutting the mats and acrylic. I use acrylic/plexiglas due to the elimination of the extra weight, especially if you have to ship a framed art piece.

I really love making the wood connect creatively to my finished art. There is nothing better than finding old wood that accents thwe art.

Gina Buzby
via fineartviews.com
Using good glass is so important. Too often I see inexpensive glass take away from a nice painting.

John Helms
via fineartviews.com
Ok, let's get back to the REAL world - that's all well and good IF you can afford to custom frame all your work. I worked as a custom framer at Michaels a few years ago until I started teaching painting there, and I can tell you that they rip off all their customers with over-inflated prices. I'd be embarrassed when I would tell a customer what the price was. I've been framing all my work for years and I'm a decent watercolor artist, but I HATE to frame them because it involves cutting mats and glass, so I switched to acrylics and oils, but mostly acrylics. Now all I have to do to frame an acrylic is to buy a ready-made frame and slap that sucker in it - it's that simple - done. I do all my own framing because I can't afford custom framing as most of the real artists reading this can attest to. Even so, I have a lot of work that needs framing, but money's tight and I can't afford to frame them, so I just sell them as is ( gallery wrap or not ) at a lower price and let the customer worry about framing them. I would frame all of my work if I had enough money, but money is always the bottom line for for most artists - it's NOT a matter of pride, but of money.

John Helms
via fineartviews.com
If you still want to custom frame your work, then do it yourself and save a bundle of money. You can buy an inexpensive mat cutter at Hobby Lobby or Michaels or look in Artist's magazine for ads for Logan mat cutters and miter boxes. You can also learn to cut glass with a hand- held glass cutter and metal T-square, but be VERY careful because it's real easy to cut yourself when handling glass. Measure everything BEFORE you start to paint so it'll come out to a ready-made frame size so you won't have to cut the frame molding yourself or have to pay for a custom frame. You'll be surprised at how much money you'll save by doing your own framing.

Carol Schmauder
via fineartviews.com
John: I pay a little more for my frames and glass because I have nowhere to store quantities of things, but the wholesale place I buy from doesn't charge much to join the wood frames or cut the glass. I have had a compact Logan mat cutter for years, which gives me the opportunity to cut my own mats. I have been very blessed because only one time was I asked to change a mat. The customer liked the frame but wanted a different mat. There are ways to find less expensive framing, while still using quality materials. BTW, your work is beautiful.

Joanne Benson
via fineartviews.com
Hi John,
I AGREE that money is an issue for most of us but if you are doing your own framing you can do a good job or a poor job. Since you worked as a framer I'm sure you know how to do a professional looking job.

In the show that I run every year, I have seen paintings with hair and dirt under the glass, smudges on the mats, oils falling out of the frames, horrific wiring and supports, frames smelling like moldy basement.....you name it....that is inexcuseable....that BAD FRAMING is a lack of pride.......

I have nothing against selling unframed pieces but if you are "hanging" in a show, they should be either gallery wrapped canvas and painted on all sides or framed in a professional looking manner.....even a simple pop out gold frame is fine as long as the mat is clean and the painting isn't crooked, etc...you get my drift...

Of course high end galleries probably expect expensive moldings, etc......

Framing is a major hassle for most of us.....we would rather be painting...but it is a necessary evil.....

I have taken to putting some of my watercolors in mats and plastic sleeves. But those aren't hanging in shows....they are in a rack in my studio and can be sold at shows but not hung.....

I think whether to frame and the type of framing depends on the venue....

Framing is like doing the dishes....distasteful(at least to me) but necessary! And if you are taking the trouble to do it, you may as well do it right! No one wants to eat off of a dirty plate.....





Marianne Hinojosa
via fineartviews.com
Loved your REAL world comments! You are so right - it so often comes down to money. All an artist can do is get the best materials they can AFFORD. I sure don't have the resources to get all the equipment and hardware I'd really like
to use. But that doesn't cause me to have less pride in my work.

Helen Horn Musser
via fineartviews.com
Joanne, Love the example dirty dishes; yuk, disgusting but, true.

John Helms
via fineartviews.com
I totally agree with you, Joanne - you have to frame your work if it's gonna be in a gallery or an art show. A "gallery-wrap" canvas will work if it meets the guide-lines of the gallery you're showing in. I was thing more in terms of arts and craft shows where folks are looking for a bargain. I liked your comment "Framing is like doing the dishes....distasteful(at least to me) but necessary!"

Helen Horn Musser
via fineartviews.com
Kim so sorry to hear you've suffered loss of paintings and or frames. That really cuts you deep when you loose a painting

John Helms
via fineartviews.com
Hi Carol,
I can relate to your problem of nowhere to store quantities of things. About mat color - I've found that it's best to just use a neutral color or an off-white mat, even though a colored mat might compliment your work better, because your customers might not like the color mat you used, as you already indicated. Thanks for your kind words about my work - ditto on your work also.

Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
That's my point in a nutshell John, thanks for your input. Isn't it great when the issue of both pride and saving money can be met? I don't have the time to "build" my own frames, but I have taken the time to explore ways to frame them myself with ready made frames. After buying the materials and spending the time involved to build my own, I find that I can reach a happy medium of pride and economy by purchasing nice frames ready to use.

Carol Schmauder
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Hi again John: 95 percent of the time I use white mats with a thin colored liner. In the case I mentioned the woman wanted a colored mat to match something in her home. I do agree that white mats are the best and many galleries and juried shows require them.

Michael Cardosa
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Hi Natasha,

Thanks for a great posting.

I only paint in oils now and while sometimes the boards I work on can be a custom size I've started to paint most of my work on "standard" sized canvases, both gallery wrap as well as the ones that really must be framed. Sticking to standard sizes has saved me a ton of money. Also, I agree with the others here. You need to shop around. In the places where I get my supplies and sometimes my frames there can be up to a 75 percent difference in price in the exact same frame depending on sales etc.

Thanks again,

Michael

Natasha Isenhour
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Oh yea! Hi Karen Winters! Beautiful work! The brand I use is TruVue. Happy painting!

Sue Martin
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A couple of other ideas for saving money on frames/framing: One of our local watercolor society members who works at a frame shop gives a discount to all society member who are framing their own work. In return, he gets quite a volume of business from society members. I also look for sales of ready-made frames at local frame shops (I try to avoid the chains because it almost always costs more for poorer quality.). I'll buy slightly odd sized frames since I cut my own mats and can paint to the frame size. I appreciate the suggestions for cutting costs (i.e., buying in bulk) on glass. If framing the painting myself, I usually just go to my local framer to buy a piece of glass. Like others, I don't have a lot of space to store glass.

Sue Martin
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A note on selling unframed art....On a few occasions, I've been horrified at the way customers have framed my paintings. And, in one case, the framer had not even secured the painting straight in the mat. I advised the customer to take it back and have them do it correctly. Even though it costs more, I feel like my artistic control and my profit margin are a bit higher when I sell my work framed.

Joanne Benson
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Sue,
Good point! Hopefully those customers take "credit" for the framing so it doesn't reflect poorly on you!

Scott L. Hendrie
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ther's just something to seeing your piece of art framed, matted and glassed/plexi. Then see it hanging a show or someone's home. Framing brings the piece to a wonderful finish.

John Helms
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You'd be surprised at the bargains you'll find on frames at the Goodwill and thrift stores - I have a friend who's an expert at finding all kinds of nice frames at these places. Just remember to take your tape measure along and measure them to make sure they're standard sizes. Some frame shops have a barrel or a large container full of throw-away frames that the customer returned or that were cut the wrong size. They can't really reuse these frames and you can get them dirt cheap - the only glitch is that most of them are odd sizes, so you'll have to cut your mat ( for watercolors ) or your masonite ( for oils and acrylics ) to accommodate the frame size, however some really nice looking frames can be acquired this way.

I know an older gentleman who was a very good watercolorist and wealthy. He could afford to have his work custom framed, but he was thrifty ( not a tightwad ) and a wise person - he bought the majority of his frames this way and if they needed a little touching up, he'd do it himself and save a lot of money.

John Helms
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Most of you already know this, but for those of you who don't, both Hobby Lobby and Michaels have 40 percent off coupons on their websites every other week ( starts on Sundays )that you can print-out and use for that week. Michaels accepts Hobby Lobby's coupons, but Hobby Lobby doesn't accept Michaels' coupons. I wait until one of their coupons comes out and then use it for a ready-made frame or art supplies. On-line art supply stores like www.dickblick.com can save you a bundle on art supplies also. Have you seen the price of just a little tube of watercolor lately? It's outrageous.

Helen Horn Musser
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I agree Scott; the icing on the cake

Ruth Hook Colby
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Was surprised to see Natasha uses glass on her pastels as everyone in shows and art galleries wants plexi. And if you ship a piece they want you to use plexi. So unless you switch glazing all the time it is easier to just use the plexi.
I am in SW FL - perhaps it is different in other parts of the country.

Dayle Ann Stratton
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When I began painting again after working in other media, I started with soft pastels. I'd never used them before, and I enjoyed the tactile feeling and the versatility. When I was an art student (years ago), we were required to learn how to prepare our supports, and also how to frame, so I found it easy and cost-effective to frame my paintings myself.

But I got very tired of doing it; it is time-consuming to mount, matt, etc., and pastels are delicate to handle and store. So I switched to oils and acrylics, and felt I'd come home. I buy decent but not expensive frames on sale, most in 3 basic styles, and keep some in stock. If a painting needs something else, I order from one of my suppliers who has an good selction of well-made frames.

Now all I have to do is select a frame, fasten the painting in, and (usually) paper the back. I'm turning more and more to cradled birch panels, leaving the sides plain or painted solid, which to me is more attractive than "wrapping". More time for painting and my satisfaction level-- and productivity-- is up.

Joanne Benson
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John, I have purchased frames from framers that are in the discount bin and they have been great! Since I cut my own mats most of the time these are wonderful bargains. I have also purchased framed prints and other things at rummage sales and then taken them apart to use the frame.....many good bargains to be had! I've gotten some of my favorite frames this way. I have also purchased framed prints from department and discount stores and taken them apart to use only the frame....And once I bought a large one with a specific purpose in mind but when I put it in the room that I wanted to use it in I decided I liked the print and just hung it like that....

Karen Winters
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Well, this is a timely discussion - I just found out today a pastel painting of mine has been juried into a show - and now I need to decide whether to frame against AR glass, as I've seen some plein air paintings done, and put into a gilded plein air fram ... or whether to mat, which is what I do for my watercolors. Is there anyone here who likes to frame pastels with the paper right up against the glass (no spacers)? Any tips you can offer?

Joanne Benson
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Karen, I have never heard of anyone framing pastels without spacers. A trick a friend of my told me was to double mat but reverse the mats so that what would be the outer mat is on the inside and used as a spacer. I have taken that a step further and just use strips of mat board on the back of the outside mat to act as spaecers. Works great and a great use of all those ends of matboard that normally would get tossed!

Margi Lucena
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Hi! Great comments!
Regarding Ruth's comment on plexi. Luckily, I have never had a gallery request plexi over glass. I think there are some venues that are afraid of breakage, but in all the years I have shipped to customers, entered shows, hung in galleries, etc., I have never had a glass break. For me, Plexi is more difficult to handle, (scratches easily, magnetic "sticking" of pastel dust, reflection, etc.) I don't use matts or paper. I enjoy using hardboard with a rough textured surface (favorite is Art Spectrum Colourfix Primer), and just use a 1/8th in. spacer and AR glass in plein air style frames. That way I can just pop it in the frame. So, pastel dust dosn't get on matts and can fall into the little "well" created by the spacer. Not to mention the cost savings when your frames and glass are greatly reduced in size without having to factor in matt size! I'm noticing more and more pastelists framing this way. It's not for everyone, but it works for me.

Karen Winters
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Hi Joanne,
In the alternative type of framing I'm referring to, there is no mat. It sits in the frame like an oil painting, only under glass.

That's a good trick for getting a spacer through double matting, though if I decide to go the mat route. Thanks for the tip.

Karen Winters
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Margi, yes that sounds like what I saw. So how do you make the spacer without a mat? Just put a thin sliver of matboard at the bottom? On all four sides? My pastel is on a sandpaper (I'd have to check on the brand) but it's not Canson paper, it's sturdier than that. So I would imagine I'd need to mount it on an archival board before putting it into the plein air frame. (I have plenty of p-a frames on hand in those sizes for my oil paintings.)

Margi Lucena
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"Econo space" is a plastic spacer,like a long squared tube with a peelable sticky strip. You just cut it to size and apply it to all 4 glass edges. you can't see it inside the frame edge. (Dick Blick carries it, but the company is FrameTec). They come in 5 foot long bundles.
Lots of pastel papers are available mounted on archival board, as well as on hardboard, such as Uart, Pastelboard, and Richeson. I have not tried placing glass directly on my pastels,as I have rough uneven strokes from my surface application. I have seen it done recently with smoother works, but it scares me a little!

cooper
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Natasha,
Great article! I paint acrylic/canvas and did not see any comments regarding framing canvases, but I have a suggestion to share. I am a big fan of gallery wrapped stretchers, but just for variety, will show a few canvases framed---EASILY DONE, because I use only "canvas floater frames" which have clips on the back allowing the canvas to be inserted, or removed very simply. I order from Graphic Dimensions, they cut to order. Also, regarding your comment about appropriately sized hinges for wiring the back of the frame, I might have a more economical suggestion there also. I use flat, brass colored "ring hangers". I find them at our local Ace hardware, and have also found them at Lowes and Home Depot. They keep them right in the hardware section devoted to hanging stuff :) Ace sells them for about half the price of the tiniest of hinges. Hope that info works for someone!
Cooper

Natasha Isenhour
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Hi again Karen,

Congrats on the show! You can absolutely frame without mats! Margi and I are studio partners and I think she is preparing to explain the spacer issue. I have seen pastelists (and darn awesome award winning ones ) put the work right up against the glass in the frame! That gamble is not for me. Nor are mats for me, as a rule. You simply want a space for any minute bit of pastel that may want to liberate itself due to a bump or something. Some folks like the look of mats and to that I say great! Diversity makes the world go around! Just make those paintings say "wow!"

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Hi!!
I am also a pastelist. AND, I frame either with a mat, but I use a fillet with the mat usually which is placed around the inside border of the mat........OR I frame without using matting with just a frame and a spacer.
If I use matting without a fillet, then I have a reverse bevel.
I like framing the pastels both ways as far as matting or no matting goes.
I have found that clients love the fillets with the mats which I have done for many years before it became popular to frame pastels without matting just using a frame, etc...
OF course it is less expensive just using the frame with a spacer...and easier.
IT is what works best for the artist and the painting actually.
A fillet gives a painting a dressier look and looks elegant with a piece. No, it does not look over done either.
I will use museum glass quite often or conservation glass, but I am now going to check out that AR glass for sure.
I also have used 8 ply mat board and built it up so the pastel can fall into that little well that is there. Gives a more contemporary look.
I framed a painting last year up against the glass...and I will never do it again. I sold it right away and everytime I think of that piece, I get worried and wonder if it is o.k. NOT WORTH IT!! AND this is a very good client of mine too that bought the piece. So I sure do hope it stays well preserved.
By the Way, Europeans frame pastels directly against the glass all the time...and always have. It is nothing new or different.
Americans are too timid to try it that way, or maybe we are too smart. As I said, I still worry about the ONE I did that way. UGH.
I know other pastelists who have used plexi for some shows, especially when shipping thru the mails. The upgrade of plexi is higher now than the older plexi of years ago. You can also spray the plexi with anti-static spray. I was surprised to see how really good the plexi looked on the pastels I saw in an international art show that I was involved with. You could not tell the difference, or barely. OF Course, that plexi will get changed when someone buys the piece, etc.. I have never used plexi, and am only stating what I saw and was told.
I dropped work off at a new beautiful gallery today and the gallery director chose about 7 pieces from what I took to show her. She chose those with mats and fillets ...and a couple that were just in frames and not mats. She was interested in the quality of the work and the subject matter. Both framing presentations WORKED well on the piece they were on.
I love pastels!! Go to my group site for pastel artists on facebook. It is a great group of pastel artists. Very infomative and you can enjoy all the posted works and he sharing back and forth.
Best to you all!!
:)Sandy




Michael Cardosa
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John,

I've also found some nice antique frames at tag and garage sales. Some problem as Goodwill, etc. Usually they are odd sizes but that just means trimming a quarter inch here or there on a panel.

Of course I'm always hoping for the day I discover a lost William Merritt Chase or Copley that someone wants to toss out and I can take to Antique Roadshow!

Michael

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Darn it, I forgot to mention that I love the Wallis board and the Wallis paper and use either one a good bit.
I also like the Uart board very much.
The Wallis Board or the Uart Board are great to stick in a frame with spacer and without matting, although I also put an archival backing board behind the boards as extra protection and use backing paper that will hopefully keep insects out.
:)Sandy


Michael Cardosa
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Dayle Ann,

I'm a big fan of cradled panels as well and have used both the 1/2" and 1 1/2" inch versions. depending on what gets painted on them I leave them or frame them. Obviously, the 1/2" variety have no problems fitting into frames so I like that I can leave my options open!

Michael


Nancy Pingree Hoover
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Thanks Margi for the info on spacers from DB!

I have a question for pastelists. Do any of you use pastelbord??? I love to use that support, and since I have no AC and live near the Outer Banks of NC, it gets pretty hot and humid here. Pastelbord is about the only support that I do not need to worry about getting ruined, so I use a lot of it. However, I am concerned about how to frame it. I would like to just pop it into a frame with a couple of spacers and, of course, glass. Has anyone ever done that? What do you recommend for Pastelbord? Keep in mind I am on an extremely tight budget!!

Thanks all! Great info here.

Nancy

Sue Martin
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A question for all you oil/acrylic painters: Do you paper the backs of your framed works on canvas? I had never seen that done until recently, but I'm not sure it's necessary or even a good idea. What do you think?

Sheryl Knight
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Sue, to answer your question re. papering the back of oils or acrylic paintings, when I have to have a painting (oil) professionally framed for some reason, they always paper it. I don't like it because I tend to take paintings out of the frames often, either to tweak something in the painting or to change the frame. The paper is a pain, and difficult to completely remove. It leaves a mess on the edges. I think the only time it is worth doing is if you never plan to ever take the painting out. That's my feeling on it!!

Karen Winters
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I don't paper the back of oil paintings. I swap paintings out of the frames and it would be a real nuisance to have to remove the paper each time.

Karen Winters
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Margi, thanks for the suggestion on the spacers. I see that my local wholesaler carries them, so I will get some there on my next trip (when I have the AR glass cut, probably.)

Helen Horn Musser
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When I was framing my work myself I never put paper on oil or acrylic or encaustic bit, they never looked finished on the backside. Since I am using a framer he always put paper on the back and I guarantee it looks very professional back and front.Some where along the way I was told the paper blocked light from getting through the canvas to promote light and transparency in the oils. Figure a painting hanging on a wall does not have a chance for light anyhow. Like the finished look best.

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Hello Sue:

I had been told many years ago (I also work in Oils besides Pastels) that it is not good to paper the back of oils because they need to 'breath"...just as they should not be put behind glass.
:)Sandy

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Nancy...

I just framed a painting done on pastelboard with a spacer and a frame. NO problem doing that at all. Just be sure to put a spacer between the glass and the pastel.
I also use Wallis Board and Uart Board with a preference for the Wallis Board and my second choice is the Uart board.
:)Sandy

John Helms
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Sue - I agree with Sheryl - I change out my paintings in different frames so often it wouldn't make sense to paper the back - even if I put it a gallery or a show I wouldn't do it unless instructed to do it. I might have a painting I just finished and it looks better in a frame I already have on another painting that I don't like as much, so I just use that frame. On watercolors or drawings or anything under glass however, I always paper the backs of frames.

cooper
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Sue,
That's an interesting question about putting paper on the back of an acrylic or oil canvas. Why would someone do that? If I were the patron interested in purchasing the canvas, I would wonder what was wrong back there that had to be covered up. A neatly stretched and trimmed canvas is a solid, honest finish. Possibly someone needs to practice their canvas stretching skills, or switch to purchased canvases? Or maybe a framer was trying to earn a few extra dollars?
Cooper

Natasha Isenhour
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Actually, papering the back of an oil isn't a good idea at all. Oils de-gas for years. In addition, paper on the back can become a trap for moisture causing the back of the canvas to mildew. Anthing under glass should however, always be finished with paper.

Natasha Isenhour
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Thanks Nancy. ALL my pastels are on Hardbord that I cover myself with a ground. I have never used a mat. I use spacers and a frame, backed with paper. Very tidy presentation. Another bonus is that for small items you not only save money because you are able to frame smaller than if you had a mat on it, but the compactness is enticing to the customer that declares they have no room for artwork. They can always find a place to put a little jewel!

Karen Winters
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Hi Natasha,
I know this is a question far afield from framing, but what kind of ground do you like to apply to your hardboard for pastels? I like to experiment and see what other creative options there might be out there. I have some Golden ground for pastel that I have used (it worked fine) but I'm wondering if there might be other choices, too.

This is a VERY useful, thread, by the way, thanks to all who are participating!

Michael Cardosa
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Hi Sue,

I've used paper on the backs of some of my framed paintings. I think it gives a good finished look to the whole thing. Much more professional in my opinion.

Michael

Natasha Isenhour
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Karen, I am a fan of Art Spectrum grounds. I have been experimenting though so ask me again in a few months! I like a VERY toothy ground.

I am thrilled at the dialog this article has inspired. I think we have all learned a lot!

Michael Cardosa
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Helen,

I agree with you.

Sandy, I've heard that before about oils needing to breathe would love to get a definitive answer on that though.

Michael


Michael Cardosa
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Cooper,

I rarely stretch my own canvas anymore. I've found a few brands that I like and use those. That said, I just like the finished look when it's completed.

Michael


Daniel Fishback
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Thanks Natasha for clarifying that the back of an oil painting should not be covered and the reason why. I just thought it was unnecessary but with what you are saying about mildew it is not only unnecessary but the wrong thing to do.

Good to know.

Michael Cardosa
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Natasha,

Thanks,that now sounds like the definitive answer I was asking about.

By the way, good job again on a post that has prompted so many questions and responses.

Michael

Natasha Isenhour
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Thank you so much Michael. Visited your site and enjoyed your work! A 1x2 stretched canvas?? WOW! Must have painted that with a 3 hair brush : )

Helen Horn Musser
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Michael, Thanks for the ditto; I do believe I will ask my framer about mildew; he is very professional and should know; also gives me nice discounts

Michael Cardosa
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Natasha, you're welcome and thank you!

As far as the 1x2 it was actually a lot of fun trying to figure out what I could fit there. Oh and then selling it was a lot of fun too!

Michael



Helen Horn Musser
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Michael, Selling, now that is joyous!

Sheryl Knight
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Thanks Natasha for clarifying about oils and papering. I forwarded your comment to my framer as I always ask him not to paper and he does anyway sometime, and then I have to work to get it off. Most paintings I frame myself.
Thanks again,
Sheryl


Lee McVey
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Some juried shows specify plexi but then will say glass is okay for pastels. I've not noticed many shows that will not allow pastelists to use glass and require plexi.

I now prefer Uart for my pastel painting. I started to use it when Wallis papers had some manufacturing problems. Before then, I absolutely loved it. Now after using Uart, it's hard to go back to Wallis because it takes some time to re-adjust to Wallis texture. I do like the white color of Wallis but I've gotten used to Uart's buff color.

I frame with gold plein air style frames and use Frametek's S shaped spacers which go over the edge of the glass instead of the ones with the sticky adhesive that was mentioned in a previous post. With the S shape, I don't have to worry if the adhesive will lose its stickiness at some point.

Hey, Natasha, your article certainly started a lot of discussion. That's great!


Natasha Isenhour
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Thanks for your input Lee. Your lovely finished work is beautifully presented every time. Your pride comes through loud and clear.

I commend Clint, Carrie and all the folks at FASO and FAV for supplying a venue that allows artists from all over the world to share their experience and expertise. We all have our artist friends and collegues that we count on to bounce ideas off of, but there is no substitute for getting complete strangers with a common bond together to share their unique experiences and views on a topic.

My thanks to everyone! But keep on sharing! It's great!

Helen Horn Musser
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Thank you Natasha, for all your help

Natasha Isenhour
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Absolutely my pleasure you guys!

Joanne Benson
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Sandy,
What are fillets? I hadn't heard that term before for framing paintings.

Natasha, Thanks for a great informative post. BTW your work is stunning.

Sandy Askey-Adams
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Hello Joanne..
You had asked what fillets were. It is a narrow strip of gold or a color/finish to match the frame that is cut to fit the inside length of matting all the way around. Looks beautiful.

It is often used in framing.
See my web site at http://www.sandyaskeyadams.com for more information and also for photos of some of the framing which will show what a fillet looks like.

:)Sandy

Natasha Isenhour
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Joanne, you are most welcome and thank you :) I'm blushing!

Joanne Benson
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Hi Sandy,
I checked out your site before I read your reply and saw the section on framing and fillets. They look beautiful. Are they difficult to work with? BTW your work is lovely as well. I love pastels and work in them some of the time but I have yet to find a satisfactory solution for hauling them around for my plein air excursions. Many times I just set them up in the back of my SUV. Too much equipment to tote around.....

Natasha Isenhour
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Guerilla Painter has a great suite of boxes for carrying pastels or wet paint to and from the field. If you are lucky you can fine someone to make a prototype based on the design. Handy dandy little rascals. Shove them in there and forget about it!
http://www.judsonsart.com/ProductCart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=52

Margi Lucena
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Hi, Joanne!
I do a lot of plein air with my pastels, and I use the wooden slotted Guerilla box painting carrier, or a similar homemade type.(Great if you work on hardboard or mounted surfaces). There are also cardboard handled carriers based on a similar design available in art stores and catalogs. If you work on paper (or any surface!), an easy way is to clamp or tape them onto fomecore pieces with a sheet of glassine to cover them. It only takes a moment and you can stack them up and they travel fine.I've seen some artists place the paintings on paper into a simple file type folder with glassine sheets in between them, all secured with a rubberband!
Necessity is the mother of invention!

Lee McVey
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Since there is some discussion about carrrying pastels en plein air, here's what I do: much like Margi described, I use foamcore for a folder. I wrap my pastels in glassine. I don't have patience to tape glassine on my painting (which is Uart mounted on museum board. I mount it with doubletak since I am not fond of the board Uart comes on) so instead I use glassine folded over longer than the both sides of my painting and slip the painting in between and fold over the excess. This keeps them secure and is fast to get in or out when I am in the field. I use clips to hold the folder closed. With the New Mexico dry air, rubber bands don't last long to hold the folder shut.

My easel currently is a Heilman box (made for pastels or for oils) and a tripod. Heilman makes a lightweight compact easel that fits into the box.

My previous easel was a Jim Lynch Backsaver Easel that when put together attached to a tripod. Very compact and light weight. I received many "where did you get that great easel set up?" whenever I was painting with others.

It's always interesting to learn what others are using, so even though this discussion is moving away from the original topic, it's a worthwhile discussion.

Skeeter Leard
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Well, if this isn't a comprehensive rundown on framing left, right and center! Thanks to Natasha for kicking this off.
I can attest that Margi's, Lee McVey's and Natasha's own framing is a very neat and professional presentation of their work.
For me, even picking mats and molding is a most annoying chore equivalent to working on the computer or taking out the garbage and I cannot wait to unload it on my framer!
May I tell you a funny framing story? One of my best pals, the talented Alice Yazzie, produces some of the most delicious pastel still lifes of Native American subjects you can ever hope to see. For the competition preceding the Indian Market sales days, she frequently did one of her very large super-special paintings. One year when she went to pick it up from the competition, it had a 3rd place ribbon rather than her customary
1st. And on the back, a yellow sticky note saying "This frame is too ornate for this painting." Alice is a pretty easy going gal: she just took the painting back to her booth and sold it about 5 minutes after opening for $6,000. Only hitch was the new owner couldn't haul it home in her Mercedes so Alice and her husband delivered it after Market in their old Volvo wagon.
The support for hanging it was already in place and the painting, frame and all, was as if expressly designed for that home!
I was going to save this story for a book on creative rejections, but should probably let Natasha write that anyway!

Helen Horn Musser
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Skeeter, fascinating story; would love to hear from you

max hulse
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Natasha An excellent essay on framing.
You make some fine points. I spend more
money on frames than I perhaps should, but
a museum director told me that my paintings
in his show were good but my framing was
terrible because it looked cheap and detracted
from the work. Since then I buy better frames
and repeatedly get compliments on them.

Max Hulse

Nancy Pingree Hoover
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Great story Skeeter!!!

Thanks Natasha for the tip on framing Pastelbord. Glad I wasn't off on what I wanted to do.

I don't paper the backs of my work (Pastels and colored pencils). Since I live without the luxury of AC, I can't really keep paintings in frames long term. I pull them out and seal them in Krystal Resealable plastic bags and store them in a plastic tub that locks. Otherwise, the paintings will get moldy and ruined. I used to put paper on the backs of my frames when I sold a painting, but lately have instead been cutting a thick piece of foamboard to fit the back perfectly and leaving it at that. It looks nice and neat.

Fantastic info here all! Very informative reading.

Nancy

Stede Barber
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What a super thread of conversation this is! I've spent a lot of time over the years answering the framing question, and, as Natasha mentions, have made choices that I can work with easily...though I also keep my eyes open for new options. A framer I love working with is Franken Frames (www.frankenframes.com). They have an awesome collection of mouldings to choose from, often have great sales, and I've found some moulding choices that make for beautiful frames at great prices. They are also quick, with great customer service.

I paint in oil en plein air, on linen mounted on ph balanced foamcore, so paintings must be framed. For shows, I use some plein air frames (gold) and some frames from Franken, a deep burnished gold color, but simpler style frame. People often comment that they love my framing as well as the art, and the frames create a cohesive but not monotonous look. I have a budget to stay within,(without that, I could spend loads on beautiful frames!) and look for simple and elegant frames that make each piece "pop".

Thanks, all, for sharing!



Stede Barber
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PS: Regarding papering the back of oils and acrylics: it can be a bother, but in New Mexico, it is so extremely dry and dusty that I do it for it's original purpose as a dust shield.

Judy Mudd
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Thanks for a great post, Natasha. I agree with you. I think there are two reasons people skimp on their framing--obviously, one is the cost, but the other may be how seriously they take their art. I have a seen artists that can't seem to make the leap to either getting quality ready-made frames or having custom frames made at a discount. Sometimes I think the public will take your art more seriously if you take it seriously yourself and put it in a quality frame.

Natasha Isenhour
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You summed it up beautifully Judy. The best piece of advice I ever got was given to me when I had barely begun this journey. I was told that my presentation and my price reflected my respect for my own work. There is a fine line between confidence and ego. In my opinion, you have to start by giving your work the tools it needs to face the world without you there to defend it.

Claudia L Brookes
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I like the comment about the artist "putting both their work and themselves in a quality frame" so the world takes them seriously. That's a fabulous description! Like all of us, I don't always follow good practices, but I did form an LLC, keep receipts and sales records and start to pay income taxes, as well as get a sales and use tax certificate within 6 months of starting my new business (and second career) as an artist 12 years ago. And I started selling right away, in part because with the sales and use certificate in hand, I was able to access two wholesale businesses that sold framing supplies, joined frames, quality matboard, and good glass by the box.I bought a good Logan mat cutter and had my glass cut at the hardware store, and could custom frame most any watercolor beautifully for between $30 and $100. Now framing is something I "farm out" to an independent framer, but I have only once gone to a traditional frame shop, and that was to cut full size, double ply mats for a very special watercolor commission, as that was clearly not affordable if any profit on a watercolor was to be made.

Carol Schmauder
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Natasha: I totally agree with your statement "In my opinion, you have to start by giving your work the tools it needs to face the world without you there to defend it." Quality presentation sends the message that the work is also quality.

Tom Weinkle
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Great thread, lots of valuable insights from everyone.

My experience tells me buyers of my work don't have any problem paying for good framing, whether it's done at home or by a custom framer. They expect me to guide them correctly if I sell it unframed, and assume I am using high-quality materials if it is framed. To me, that's all part of projecting professionalism, and passion.

I believe that if they love a piece of art enough to buy it, they expect the artist to treat it importantly enough not to skimp on framing.
Bad framing only makes it harder for good art to shine.

Thanks Natasha, you covered a great topic.


Todd Kay
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I am a professional picture framer. I believe that most art deserves to be presented in the best light possible. As Natasha's article covers many ideas to save money for the average artist, it would also be prudent to make sure all readers are informed before jumping into this endeavor.
1. AR glass (anti-glare) is coated with the same non-glare material as Museum glass, but, it is not UV coated at all! This glass has the same UV quality as regular window glass and will allow harm to be done to your art work (especially red tones).
2. I'm not sure where you can find proper kraft paper, double sided tape and applicators for $5.00. Most applicators are $30, rolls of paper vary by weight ($40-$70 is not uncommon), and proper double sided tape can run $35-$60 a box of 12 rolls when bought in bulk.
3. Don't use liquid glue on the backing paper. You will end up with a "fried bacon" ripple across the entire area you touched with the glue. ATG (framer grade double sided tape) is the optimal method.
So as I agree that many artists are trying to save money, I strongly believe that the presentation is a fine marriage between art and frame, with the framing taking a back seat to the overall visual value of the piece.

Poppy Balser
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Todd, you raise a question that has been plaguing me for some time, not helped at all by the conflicting answers that I have received.


Does AR glass INCREASE the potential for damage to my work over regular glass. I have been told that because it is bumpy it magnifies the effect of UV radiation on the paint. (watercolour) I have also been told that it is more porous than regular glass.

Can you shed some light on this? (All puns intentional!)
Many thanks,
Poppy

Helen Horn Musser
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Todd, Please, tell us about mildew and paper on the back of a painting.

Lee McVey
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Poppy,

AR or anti-reflective glass is not the same thing as the non-glare glass that has a bumpy or pebbled look and makes artwork look fuzzy at some angles.

AR doesn't have UV coating, but for me, it's a step up from regular glass.

Sue Martin
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Todd, thanks so much for your helpful addition to this conversation!

Natasha Isenhour
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I sympathize with Mr. Kay's frustration at the resourcefulness of the artistic community in this age of the information highway. But as a professional artist, I feel it is important to empower my peers to take charge of their careers in every way possible. Critical for each and every artist that I know is saving money where they can.

I personally know a LOT of artists. Unless they routinely paint in sizes other than the standard fare, or paint in an oversized format, they don't, as a rule, call on a professional framer (and the prices that usually accompany them) for the plethora of artwork required to produce enough to satisfy the gallery demands. Had I continued to support my local framer in the early stages of my career, I would have been forced to revert back to my geology degree long ago. His work was beautiful but the expense was unreasonable on such a young career.

Survival, quality, quantity on-hand and customer appeal are priority for me when deciding how to go about the finish on my art. I still have some older work with my professional frame job hanging side by side with work framed in the method described above. Not only did the later cost me approximately 1/3 the professional job, I get just as many if not more compliments on it.

The "kraft paper" I use comes from WalMart. It is heavier and more substantial than my former framer's and the double sided clear tape from Duck (no applicator required)is easy to handle and adheres beautifully to both the frame back and the paper. After framing hundreds in the studio, I am unfamiliar with the "fried bacon" syndrome that Mr. Kay is refering to. Yes, both items for $5.

Anyone purchasing art from our establishment is cautioned to never hang ANY art in direct sun. For your recent Sotheby's aquisition I imagine you are both savvy enough to know that and wealthy enough to cover it with museum glass. With a modicum of care you could frame in window glass and the work hold its own. It just won't look very good hindered by the reflection of everything else in the room.

In terms of AR glass, hinges and coated wire, I purchase these supplies wholesale from the same source that my framer does and they deliver it to my door too. The amount he saves by buying several boxes at a time is about the equivalent to the sales tax on one medium frame job. That pales mightily in comparison to the overall savings.

Beautiful frames for a great price can be found at http://www.frame-express.com and http://www.laframe.com as well as many, many others. Again, wholesale with a tax ID number from the artist.

Framers and artists alike need to earn a living. Ethical framers deserve success as much as ethical artists do. But I know for a fact, at least my former framer passes on many beautiful mouldings at his wholesales expos looking for a bargain! And if the planets all line up, and my artwork is selling so fast I can't keep up, I look forward to the ability to sustain an artist/framer relationship once again.

Natasha Isenhour
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Thanks Lee. Very true. That bumpy texture is terribly distracting. That is why we buy the AR, it is beautifully clear and nearly invisible. People are often surprised to learn there is glass on the work. And watercolor is probably the very most suseptible to damage by UV. Museum glass is very effective but the artwork should still never be subjected to direct sunlight.

Skeeter Leard
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Holy Sox, I had no idea this many people were this interested in framing! I thought it was kind of a non-issue. I do confess to being a sucker for UV at least, Museum glass at best and the AR gives me pause.
Moreover, I always wonder if the nice stock frames were made in China - a no-no for me. Plus I don't paint in sizes, just whatever trips my trigger and having to order stuff on the internet is a drag.
Taking a painting to be framed is kind of an event for me like taking a kid for a haircut. When you go pick 'em up, they look so great! And then I'm ready to kick the new product out into the world - go get yourself a j-o-b!
This is fun but I've spent away too much time messing with the computer on this subject. All done, no mas!

Todd Kay
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I told myself I would not get into a blog world, but...........As I stated you should not use a FLUID glue on the back of the frame. Double sided tape is fine for most frames. The Kraft paper I use is 60 or 70 pound (what Tasha is using is unknown to me). Please (for a fact) do not say you know things that you are clearly unaware of. I look for many good deals at the trade shows. Often moldings of various prices styles and qualities are brought into our shop so low end and high end clients can choose from many price points.
You again have refused to comment on the fact that AR glass has a lower UV protection factor than garbage glass. This is very important regardless of the artwork being hung in direct light or not. UV degradation can and will happen from incandescent light as well as flourescent.(sp)
I understand your need to purchase inventories at the lowest price possible. This is a sound business move and we have discussed this at length.(no hard feelings) But I encourage you to inform your artist friends to always consult with a professional before jumping into the fray (it's free). Natasha and I have discussed many of these topics for hours on end and much of her framing know-how has come from that and her own self-training. (she has also taught me the proper way to stretch canvas by the way). Also to Helen, mildew usually is found in high humidity environments but can form in the Southwest with swamp cooler during the summer. Never hang your work in direct line with your cooler flow. If you are seeing mold under the glass you may need to airtight the glass to backboard package and possibly use a desecant(sp) to help absorb any moisture caught in the pack.

Helen Horn Musser
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Tod, Thank you for the input; I should have said I'm referring to paper on the back of an oil painting on canvas Does the painting suffer with mildew because of the paper backing?

Natasha Isenhour
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Thanks for adding another angle for the readers of my post to consider. Differing opinions and expertise from a variety of points of view is what makes these threads so intersting and helpful. It's all about supplying information so that people can choose the alternative that works best for them.

Tom Weinkle
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Thanks Todd. I think you have reminded all of us it is hard to become an expert in everything we do. Your notes about tapes, and papers point that out.

I do some of my own framing occasionally, but have found that the professional framer I use knows much more than I do, and does it in half the time. My wife always asks, “what is our time worth”? Focus on high priority, high-payoff activities. If it happens to be framing, great! For me, it's my painting...not my framing.

I agree with Natasha, that we each have to decide what's right for us. I also believe that not everyone's opinion should carry the same weight in terms of right and wrong.

I think generally you get what you pay for, whether it's custom framing or the ready-made look alike. What most manufacturers count on is our inability to notice the differences between the quality of things. Sometimes new technologies, or high volumes can reduce the price of things and improve quality. More often than not, when you pull back the curtain, there are big differences that explain the disparity between prices of two seemingly identical products.

To each their own.

Judy Mudd
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Having worked exclusively in watercolor for the last 10 years, I too was concerned about colors fading in direct sunlight. However, watercolor pigments are the same as oils and acrylics. When I first started painting, I gave several of my paintings to a decorator's shop. I knew little about framing at that point and had these in frames with plain glass. Most were placed in the shaded areas of the store, but my favorite w/ bright red flowers was placed in the front picture window, in full direct sunlight. I had given it up as lost. One year later, I went to pick up the painting and to my surprise it looked as good as the day I had left it and certainly as good as the others in the back of the store. So, while any artwork is fragile, including the possibility of oils and acrylics becoming brittle, watercolors can withstand sunlight better than one would think.

Helen Horn Musser
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Thanks for that Judy; encouraging about our watercolors. I hope the same would be true about oils, however, hope no one would hang them in direct sunlight.

Judy Mudd
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I agree Helen. Neither direct sunlight nor high humidity areas.

Helen Horn Musser
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This blog may be the best of the best to learn about our art and it's needs. Clint, thank you, you make it all possible

Natasha Isenhour
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I'm so happy that wasn't a disaster story Judy! A testiment to the stability of our tools of the trade! This has been incredibly informative and I have sent Clint an email or two in the past for his expertise and his words. I am grateful as an artist and as a writer that he has built a system that I can explore my creativity for both passions! Hats off to you Clint!

Judy Mudd
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Thanks Natasha. Yes, fortunately, our tools are more durable and stable than they have been in the past. Still needs care, but better.

Judy Mudd
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I get my supplies from a large local frame shop at a discount, but can't say I've seen the words "anti-reflective" mentioned regarding glazing, just "anti-glare. Can this be purchased at the frame supply links that you provided? BTW, thanks for providing those links...very helpful. I would like to have things shipped to my door instead of running around town.

poppybalser
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Judy, about your experience with the red painting in full sun, it all depends on which red you use. Some, like scarlet lake will not last, and fade away to almost nothing. Others are more durable.

The only way to really know what will last and what will not is to do your own light fastness tests.



Fern Morris Vetter
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Dear One,

Oh, Natasha, One of my Very Favorites, You Little Perfectionist, You!! How very true! I love your article! How many years did I serve in leadership positions concerning hanging fine art in museums and galleries across Texas and New Mexico? How often did I reject art for "improper presentation"?

Art should either be chosen as the focal point in the room of the purchaser or should flow with the surroundings and NOT cause a break in the continuity of presentation. No piece of art should be created with "matching the colors of the furniture" in mind nor should the framing application be an attempt to do the same. (Of course, a commission is in a different class and is dictated by the purchaser, so they do direct).

I am one who is extremely familiar with your work and can verify that your canvas wrap is beautiful and perfect. You carry the subject around the sides where the viewer must imagine what lies beyond. You never cause the eye to abruptly come to a halt!

And, you are so correct about glass over art. Never should non-glare be used if light is to grace the presentation (non-glare acts as an attraction to UV and will shorten the life of the very art it "protects").

Another great article and very informative! Keep up the excellent work in all areas, Natasha!

Fern Morris Vetter
Life Member
National League of American Pen Women, Inc.
Washington, DC



Sheryl Knight
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Fern, I liked your comments to Natasha on framing. You put it well, and improper presentation is so often a problem isn't it. I liked the way you said the painting should be a focal point in the room or flow with the surroundings. Well put. Thanks,
Sheryl


Todd Kay
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Helen:
In general the paper backing on any fine art is called a "dust jacket". Being in New Mexico I have come to call it a "bug guard". Without it every small creature will attempt to make the back of your art its home. When the paper gets wet it could easily mold up. Usually this will not affect the artwork within the substrate to glass package if it is pinned in properly and finished with a rabbet tape and liner. High humidity areas will allow mold to grow on the back. I have seen many canvas painting backs and frame backs that have mold throughout the summer months when our swamp coolers are on for many hours a day. If the mold is on the paper it should be replaced. If the mold reaches the back of the canvas you have a problem. Exactly how the chemistry of the mold affects the canvas can be variable. Usually a well gessoed canvas will not let the mold work through the canvas to the painting medium, but, mold will continue to spread through the back sections. Moisture evaporators (silicon packets called desecants) will help in the back but should never be placed within the substrate to glass package as it can fog the inside of the glass. Your local framer should know how to clean and apply preservation materials to the backs of your framed art to slow, and in some cases, eliminate the growth and spread of mold spores and fungus.

By the way Helen, good question for many artists to ponder.

Helen Horn Musser
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Hi Todd, thank you for getting back to us on this issue; so, from what you have said, I gather that we really do need paper backs on to protect from insects and mildew and mold can happen even without the paper. Paintings hanging are fairly safe if not in high humidity areas; storage should be carefully made safe too. Your notes are very needed by artists and we certainly value your expertise. Thank you for sharing these tips for those who have to frame their own. Very helpful.

Todd Kay
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Helen:
Hope it helps. Good luck in all your art endeavors.


Natasha Isenhour
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Hi Judy, sorry for the delay. I was out of town today but I wanted to address your question as well as to clear up a definitive description, comparison/contrast of the different types of glass available for your work. Below is an incredibly informative link to study the differences.
http://www.tru-vue.com/Museums/products/museum-glass-anti-reflective
Once you are there hover your mouse over the word "glass" under the words "custom framers" in red at the top. A drop down menu will reveil the different types of glass available. Click on each for the low down. In New Mexico, O'Malleys in Albuquerque is the resource I use to buy wholesale. Hope this helps! I have heard the terms anti reflective and anti glare used interchangabley so many times it is hard to get it straight. Best to look at the Tru View pros for the accurate information.

Helen Horn Musser
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Thank you Todd, it does truly help, I've always wanted to hear that paper would not hurt an oil painting and would help protect it from dust and little critters. It gives a piece such a wonderful professional look. You said if your canvas does have mildew you have a problem. Do you have any suggetions on how to handle such a problem?

Judy Mudd
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Thanks, Natasha. The Tru View website has a wealth of information on both glass and acrylic glazing. I didn't know there were so many options. It helps knowing the complete description and how it affects artwork with UV protection, etc. Very helpful. Thanks, again.


Judy Mudd
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Yes, Poppy, I try to use only high quality paints with good lightfastness ratings. I think Vermilion may be another one that doesn't do well over time.

Michael Cardosa
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Natasha,

I love your advice "giving your work the tools it needs to face the world without you there to defend it."

Greatly stated...

Michael

Natasha Isenhour
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Thank you Michael. Owning an open studio also representing other's work, I tend to give a lot of thought as to how my work is discussed (or not) when it is hanging in my other galleries. Therefor, it is very important to me to send my children out with their own independant "voices," that "speak" as articulately for themselves as possible. We try really hard to know all we can about the artists and the work they have on display in our space and we are honestly delighted equally no matter whose artwork tugs at someones heartstrings hard enough for them to trade money for it. It is a celebration, as far as I am concerned, when ANY artwork connects with ANYone. It all adds fuel to my desire to create!

Helen Horn Musser
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It is a celebration of our connection with others and I couldn't agree with you more, Natasha. Connection is a deep need for one's soul and art is a way of doing it. Stirs one's passion.

Michael Cardosa
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Todd,

That was very informative and very timely, thanks! Have a friend doing a show in a few weeks and they were wondering what to use for a glass.

Thanks again,

Michael


Michael Cardosa
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Helen,

I second that comment. There are always good postings and comments here to either stimulate your thinking or further your career. Thanks Clint and all the writers who post here.

Michael

Michael Cardosa
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Todd,

Just curious, would the little silica packets you find in packed in a lot of electronics boxes be of any benefit if placed somewhere behind a canvas that has a paper backing? Would they do any damage or are they similar (or the same)as the desiccants you mention in your comments.

Michael

Daniel Fishback
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Thanks again Natasha for introducing a topic that is so important to every artist. I've learned that creating good art doesn't automatically qualify one to make good framing decisions. I know that I have at times, chosen a frame for a piece because it fit a frame I had on hand and because I couldn't afford to buy a new frame. I realize now that in settling on a less than optimum frame I decreased my chances to sell the painting. I also realized that I am not as good at frame selection in general as are some of my artist friends, especially some of the female artists. Aware of my limitations in frame selection, I don't hesitate to ask for help with this process.

I did a little local art fair today and used all gold leaf plein air frames for main display. People were very complimentary about my work. I think that using relatively identical frames helped to create a cohesive look and feel that made my art more appealing. So I think I am on a better track now with framing and I don't think I will be as likely to make bad framing decision in the future.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this informative discussion.

Dan

Moshe Mikanovsky
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Hi Everyone,
I had to post this comment somewhere, and here is a good place to start - last week I went to a very nice gallery at a very artistic part of Toronto, and they had a photography artist, one that also do some manipulation to the image to get to their final result.
I am not refering to the quality of the work, which seems to be of the highest quality.

My issue was with the presentation. The price tag on most of the prints (which were quite large, maybe 5-6' by 3-4') was somewhere between $5000 to $9000. But there were NO FRAMES! To my surprise, the prints were just tacked to the white walls with 4 push pins!

What do you think about that? is that a common practice by very respectful galleries for art that is quite expensive?

Cheers
Moshe

Joanne Benson
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Moshe, Sounds "tacky" to me...pun intended!

Sue Martin
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Moshe, I've seen art hung, unframed, with pushpins in some very classy galleries. It's always works-on-paper, usually drawings, usually abstract or expressionistic. For me, this presentation is almost intimate...making the viewer feel like they're part of the creative process...that they've arrived just barely after the "birth" of the work. Though I don't think it would work for all works on paper, I think it can be very effective if it works with the artist's concept.

Lee McVey
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I've seen this type of presentation too. I agree with Sue that depending on the type of artwork, it can work well. But I've always wondered, when someone buys the art, do they also display it with pushpins? Somehow, in a gallery I think it would look better this way than it would in a home.

Sue Martin
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Lee, a good gallery (or artist) will advise the buyer on the best way to display it. Works on paper should be protected, but if the buyer likes the bare aesthetic, they could get a similar effect by floating the paper on a white mat under glass. There are other simple/bare framing techniques, too.

Michael Cardosa
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I understand that there can be some "artistic" reasons for displaying the work this way, however, I think I'd take exception to being asked to pay $5-9K for work that could be duplicated that already has holes in it before I even got it home. It might be "edgy" but I prefer my "edges" clean and whole... pun intended.

Michael


Moshe Mikanovsky
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Maybe at that price, which is way over what most people will spend on art, it is aimed to a very selective group of people: those who have the money and art apprecitation to purchase and hang it this way, and to museums curators....

Tom Weinkle
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I don't think any of us of us should be surprised at how much people are willing to spend on something (art, in this case) they want.

Granted, we can't all ask those prices, but the opportunity is there if we prepare for it.

Congratulations to the artist(s). And the gallery who supported the sale.



Natasha Isenhour
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Dan, I absolutely agree that having similar frames really helps on the "sales" end of things. It has a way of turning "do we want to buy one of these paintings" to "which painting should we buy." Not making that up. Watched it happen time and time again.

Moshe, great input! I have to smile. If I showed up at any one of my galleries with my art on paper rolled up and a box of thumbtacks, they would look at me like I had grown a second nose on my face! Edgy trends in art last about as long as they do at trendy clothiers. At least in what I've seen. Haven't heard about any manure covered paintings lately for example. I agree totally with Michael, that I would be very hesitant to buy a reproducible photo that size that is going to cost half again as much to frame. I have to admit, that artist has me beat on ways to frame economically!

Natasha Isenhour
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Again and again, we keep illustrating that there is no "right" way to handle our art. We are all subject to our own unique set of variables. All suggestions are just simply that. Suggestions. You guys are great!!

Carol Schmauder
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I agree with Michael also. I'm more for the polished, finished look, however, to each his own. We are all different and so it stands to reason that there are different looks for all the different tastes.

Michael Cardosa
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Natasha,

I totally agree! First, we all create art of somewhat different types, mediums, etc. and our local markets are incredibly diverse. Therefore, there can be no cookie cutter approach to our marketing or presentations. All the comments and suggestions while great and always appreciated must be evaluated for what they are, things that have worked for others and "might" work for us under the right circumstances.

Of course, that said, for personal reasons, I'd hope that those comments and suggestions keep coming...

Michael

Helen Horn Musser
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Michael, I tend to agree with you and Joanne; it would appear the artists don't want to buy such large and would be expensive frame. But, what do I know? If a piece was worth that much I would not want to punch holes in it.

Todd Kay
via fineartviews.com
Michael:
The silicon packs are the same as most deseccants you can buy from some wholesale suppliers. I would try to staple it to the inside of the frame but not let it touch the canvas. I'm not sure what the effect could be of direct contact. As far as glass goes that is up to the artist. AR (as has been discussed) looks great but offers no real UV safety. Regular UV is great for protection but allows everyone to comb their hair in the mirror it produces. Museum glass is just too darn Expensive, and UV RC glass is fuzzy and gets even worse as you push the artwork further and further away from the glass. Good luck to you and your friend.


Michael Cardosa
via fineartviews.com
Hi Todd,

Thanks so much for getting back to me. Appreciate at info on both the packets and the glass.

Michael

Lori Woodward
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I haven't read through all the comments here, so if this is a repeat, then pls forgive me.

I don't use matting or glass at all to frame my watercolors. I paint on 300lb paper, glue it to MDI board, birch panel, or gator board. Then I spray it with Krylon Crystal Clear acrylic spray to fix the watercolor.

When it's dry, I brush on gloss UV resistant acrylic varnish (I like Golden brand). I let it dry completely. Then I pop it in a frame that is used for oils. The acrylic varnish protects the watercolor and it can even be wiped off with a damp cloth.

Collectors who've purchased my varnished watercolors have said they have no fading - some even from more than a decade ago.

There ya have it... no expensive AR glass or matting. The paintings look rich and show like originals... not getting confused with giclee prints.

Michael Cardosa
via fineartviews.com
Hi Lori,

That's a pretty interesting approach! I may go back and try a few watercolors again just to try it just to see what they look like.

Michael



Scott L. Hendrie
via fineartviews.com
Lori, Please tell us what glue you use to attach your watercolor paper to board ?

Moshe Mikanovsky
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Lori, this is a great idea!
In my show on the weekend I had most of my watercolors framed in "regular" glass covered frames, but I wanted to try something different, so I resined 4 small paintings that I mounted on panel. The only thing I didn't do, and should have, is sprayed fix the painting before I resined it... In any case, many people liked it and thought it looks just like tile (the size was right for that too). You can see what I am talking about in this picture: http://www.mikanovsky.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/RAW-moshe-mikanovsky-art-6.jpg

Cheers
Moshe

Lori Woodward
via fineartviews.com
I use acrylic matte medium as a glue which I apply to both the back of the paper and the board I'm gluing onto. Then I set the painting on the floor, put a piece of paper over it with a piece of cardboard over that and stack heavy books on it overnight. In the morning, Voila!

Also, I make sure the paper is 1/8 to 1/4 inch larger than the board because when the glue dries the paper shrinks. When everything is dry, if some of the paper edge extends past the board, I cut that off with a matte knife.

I try to work in regular oil frame sizes so that I can save money on frames.

Carol Schmauder
via fineartviews.com
Lori, what a great idea. I think I'm going to give it a try. Glass is a pain in the neck sometimes.

Scott L. Hendrie
via fineartviews.com
Thank you Lori, it will be fun to experiment with my watercolor paper/art using your method. Scott

Lori Woodward
via fineartviews.com
Hey everybody, try it first with a painting you don't care about that much so you can get some practice in without the worry.


Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
I think everyone has struck on gold personally. It seems to me that whether economically fueled or not, so many of you/us have introduced creativity into our presentations. The idea of an alternative finish for the watercolors is great! I don't even do watercolor (because I suck at it and I envy you guys who can make it behave) but I am going to think about ways to handle some of my pen and ink and watercolor pencil mandalas. But that is the whole thing! It is experimenting with any idea that launches us into an evolution of our creative voice. It feeds and fuels our growth. As much as this article about framing has ignited discussion, I believe all of us that have participated are pouring over our artistic creations with fresh eyes. I know I am!

Jeanne Guerin-Daley
via fineartviews.com
Lori, thanks for sharing your process with us all. Wonderful idea.

Judy Mudd
via fineartviews.com
Wow, great idea, Lori. I love having alternatives to glass and some people just like the look better. Got to try this! Thanks!

Judy Mudd
via fineartviews.com
Moshe, just looked at your resined paintings and they look great. By resined, did you use varnish or some type of polymer? I like the smooth edges on the wide panels that you did.

Michael Cardosa
via fineartviews.com
Moshe,

Judy brought up a good point. Exactly what did you use to get that effect. They painting look great!!

Michael


Ruth Colby
via fineartviews.com
2 questions...
older canvas that has been stored in AC I find has brown specks all over it on the back of the canvas. Can this be used or not? If you gesso over it will that work?
Also welcome more comments on using plexi when framing pastels. Cant use glass when shipping or in shows ????

Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
Hi Ruth,

I would not recommend using canvas that has moldy spores developing. You can think of it like repainting a bathroom when there has been mold developing on the ceiling. Looks great right after you paint it but down the road its ghost begins coming through that nice paint job. It will also undermine the integrity of the canvas cloth itself over time.

We have never had issue with shipping pastels as large as 24 x 36 (30 x 42 framed)under glass even as far away as Dubai UAE. If you are uncomfortable with wrapping your work to ship, there are terrific shipping crates available. Among them, Strongboxes www.airfloatsys.com/,
glass in my opinion eliminates more problems than plexiglass creates. It's worth buying some insurance when you ship it to have it look great when in arrives! You would likely be buying insurance anyway.

Ruth Colby
via fineartviews.com
Thanks Natasha,
You're certainly quick with an answer! It is wonderful to have a place where one can ask questions!
The art centers here in Sarasota. FL area request plexi if larger than 11 x 14. Southeastern Pastel Society and other organizations also request plexi when work is shipped.
I do use the airfloat boxes and agree they are quite wonderful....and I still feel I have to do plexi!

Natasha Isenhour
via fineartviews.com
You are certainly welcome Ruth. Helpful to have high speed in the studio for quick answers! There are indeed a lot of groups that insist on plexi. As long as we know what choices we have for when others aren't telling us what we have to do! : )

Moshe Mikanovsky
via fineartviews.com
Judy, Michael and everyone else interested:

I posted this article on my blog explaining what I did with the resined watercolors: Watercolor covered with resin ”" alternative to traditional framing (http://www.mikanovsky.com/blog/2010/06/12/watercolor-covered-with-resin-alternative-to-traditional-framing/)

Lori - I hope you don't mind I quoted your idea too :-)

Judy Mudd
via fineartviews.com
Thanks, Moshe. I just visited your link. Your paintings look great, just like tiles. I can see a whole new market opening up for them. Who would ever guess they were watercolors.

Moshe Mikanovsky
via fineartviews.com
Thank you Judy,
This is exactly the reaction I got from many people at the show, who thought they were tiles! And it lends itself quite nicely with my art style (squares etc) and my inspiration that comes also from old tiles and mosiac...

Michael Cardosa
via fineartviews.com
Moshe,

Thank you! I went to your site and the directions are pretty clear. I think it would be fun to try.

Thanks again,

Michael

Erlene Flowers
via fineartviews.com
Hi,
I liked the article a lot. It let me know that I am on the right track with some of my decisions on framing, I buy in bulk and it does save. I do have the same question as Karen - what is AR glass?
I know what conservator glass is - is this another name for that kind of glass- it is great but a lot more expensive.

Margi Lucena
via fineartviews.com
Hi!
I use AR (anti-reflective) glass on my pastels. (Tru-View brand). I love it. It shows as beautifully clear without reflection as museum glass (which is much more expensive), without the fuzzy milky look or distortion you get from some other glasses. It literally "disappears" from view. It does not have the UV protection of museum glass. It should be cleaned with non-ammonia glass cleaner. I get mine from the local (an hour away in Albuquerque) provider for 3 lites (32x40 ea.) per box delivered about 185.00 total.
A little expensive, but I get a lot of paintings covered with that!
Hope this helps!

Margi Lucena

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