Finding the artwork you love is two-thirds of the challenge. Now that you own some great
pieces, it’s time to frame up those beloved creations and get them on the wall. Let’s help you
Simple frames are ideal in the sense that they're contemporary and timeless and showcase your art more so than a decorative frame would. That being said, it’s also fun to go in an entirely unexpected route and have an uber decorative, detailed, Hollywood Regency- style frame around an austere charcoal sketch. Smaller works of art can look surprisingly, unexpectedly wonderful with very wide mats and skinny frames. We suggest sticking with white or neutral-toned mats (4-ply or thicker, always acid-free). You can choose to go entirely custom at your favorite local framers’ or you can get a custom archival mat cut for your work on paper and then pick up a readymade frame from Ikea or West Elm – they actually have some pretty great straightforward styles.
In any event, it’s incredibly helpful for you to visit your local framing shop. We happen to adore Sherman Gallery in Marina Del Rey and almost exclusively use them for all of our own artwork, as well as clients’. Below, Mike Graves of Sherman Gallery shares some priceless framing tips:
For framing on a budget, aluminum frames and simple wood frames are available. If preservation of the art is important, an acid free mat and backing should be used as well as UV protective glass or Plexiglas. Regular paper mats are acidic and can damage artwork over time.
For framing works on canvas, a simple "floater" frame is the best modern option. This gives a simple edge of wood as border, while not covering any surface of the painting. You can also use standard frames with a lip.
For framing work with deckled edges, it's best to float the art. This means that the art sits on top of the mat and is not covered. Usually, when floating, a deep frame is used with a set-back or "spacer" to give a shadow box look.
A good frame should complement and enhance the art, but not distract or draw the attention away from it. There should be a balance between the color in the art, the mat and the frame.
There you have it, rumba readers. Now go get some hooks and get ready for the next exciting step – hanging!
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