Top 5: Frame to please

One of the best delights of being an artist is receiving photos of your creations framed and hung in their forever homes. Thank you so much to every one of you who has sent me photos recently. Here's one of my favourite swan creations that now lives happily ever after in Surrey:

Framed painting of swans hung on wall next to doorway
^ Winter sunset – oil on canvas – sold

It often seems like a painting "grows up" once it's framed and hung. I'm always happy to make framing recommendations but I sell most of my work unframed. This is because it's important that you get to choose the frame that is right for you and your home. But it's also a good way to keep postage and shipping costs down for my lovely buyers (especially those of you who live overseas). 

Not sure about framing? Here are my top 5 tips for framing art when you buy from me:

  1. Compliment your space – Choose frames that compliment your home or office decor. They need to suit the artwork, absolutely, but should also work well in your surroundings. Consider colour, texture and materials and other aspects of style. Your personal tastes are important when it comes to framing.
  2. Float to enjoy the texture – Many of my creations have lots of lovely paint textures so I often recommend new collectors opt for something simple like a box frame (also called a floater or floating frame) so that you can enjoy the texture effects. Floating frames are relatively inexpensive (it's the glass that often pushes the price up at the framers). I find a very soft watercolour brush is ideal for dusting some of my more textured works.

    Framed landscape painting of swans on river
    ^ Taking flight – oil on linen canvas – please contact for pricing

  3. Check the depth – If you're doing a floating frame, it's important to make sure that the frame isn't shallower than the edge of the artwork on the stretcher. So be sure to check width, height and depth with your framer before you commit to a particular floating frame.

    Blue painting of swan ballerinas in white
    ^ Morning mists – oil on canvas – please contact for pricing

  4. Include a mount – If you’re framing behind glass, ask the framer to include a mount (rather than having the frame snug against the edges of the artwork). A little bit of breathing space can really make a difference to the integrity of the framed artwork. Even for the swans with the floating frame pictured above, I asked the framers to allow a slight offset. I think this space is particularly important for dancer paintings as that little bit of breathing space can really accentuate the sense of movement in the artwork. If you're in the US, the mount may be referred to as the mat.
  5. Rings and wire – a professional picture framer should include D-rings and picture wire on the back of your artwork. D-rings are strong and recommended for hanging heavier works. They also enable you to hang the image flat against the wall (which eye-hooks don't).

I usually include some care/framing advice on the certificate of authenticity when I sell a painting. But if you're not sure or would like some recommendations for a particular piece, please get in touch.

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