Monday, February 08, 2021

Framing your artwork - a summary

This is a summary of my various blog posts about framing artwork - written over the last 15 years. Much of it is perennial advice.

Today I searched my blog for a particular post I wrote about the sort of frames which artists use for contemporary artwork in London Galleries.  Which is when I realised how many posts I'd written about framing!

All about Framing Artwork - a Summary

A frame has four main purposes. It serves to:
  • support and protect the artwork
  • make it easier to hang
  • separates - and connects - the painting from its surroundings
  • enhance its presentation - and avoids our attention being distracted from the painting

However that's just the basics - there's a lot more to framing artwork! 

Below is some of what I've written about frames on this blog. Links in the title of the blog post take you that post.

"Symonds Yat - blue green and gold" by Katherine Tyrrell
coloured pencil image 12" x 16"; frame 50cm x 60cm
ivory double mat and framed in American Oak by 'b2'
- with protective film for transport

How to frame your art

Getting ready for an exhibition is always a time when I try to remember all the tips I've ever had from anybody about how artwork should be framed. I thought it might be timely to try and record some of them and this post is a summary of tips for how to mat and frame artwork.

Protecting Frames

  • Protecting your frames (2007) - passing on a tip from my framer about how to avoid damage to your frames (see also image at top)
(my framer) always cling films the framed picture so that the frame edges are covered when they are stacked. This provides good protection and helps to prevents marks being made on the frame during the stacking process. It also means I can avoid using cardboard corner protectors which (a) add to the space required and (b) results in exhibitors normally asking for them to be removed prior to stacking if space is limited!

Frames and Style

Five of the series of paintings of Poplars on the Epte by Claude Monet

One of my framers told me a long time ago that the bulk of his business came from replacing frames on artwork. The collectors liked the artwork but the frame simply didn't fit in their home - and it had to go.


Frames and Selling Art

SOLD ARTWORK: Types of frames relative to sale price

  • Do frames help to sell art? (2015) - this tells you what happened when I went to an annual art exhibition of a prominent art society - and started to count what sort of frame the SOLD artwork had....

Frames and Money Management

how to avoid frames eating your profit
Published in "The Artist" 2016

A frame can make or break a sale. Framing can also cost a lot and eat into your profits. However, with a bit of effort you can achieve good looking framed art while controlling costs and increasing profit.
  • Poll Results - Size Matters! () - I asked in a Making A Mark Poll what was the primary reason for the size of your artwork and 125 people responded.
Just under a third are mindful of pragmatic and financial considerations with respect to framing for exhibitions and sales.
The disinclination to spend any more than around $160 seems to be approximately the same as UK artists disinclination to spend more than £100

Framing and Art Competitions

Frames stacked on the Receiving Day
for the Open Annual Exhibition of an Art Society

Don't be parochial - and don't make personal preferences the deciding factor in framing choices. You are NOT framing for your home - you're framing for an exhibition and (presumably) to sell.
Make sure you can get your work framed correctly. Book your framer well in advance. Do not assume that they can turn around your frames in the time you've allowed. Remember that framers do have holidays! I'll never forget the August that I couldn't find a framer who could dMore about Framingo my framing in time for exhibition deadlines!



the studio of an 18th century German framework gilder

Hanging Picture Frames

More about Framing Art

You can find out more about Framing on my Art Business Info for Artists website.

The section on Frame Art includes
  • How to frame art
  • General tips about framers
  • General tips and frames
  • What sort of frame design / moulding / wood? - Different styles and types of frames
  • Framing for open exhibitions and art competitions (summary) - also see dedicated page
  • Framing for gallery exhibitions
  • Framing for commissions (summary)
  • ​Protecting your frames
  • How to store finished artwork

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