When it comes to framing, I’m usually on the side of keeping it simple!
I prefer a simple white mount, and usually opt for a neutral oak frame. I like this because it feels quite fresh, modern and helps focus the viewers’ eyes on the painting.
This is how I usually exhibit my work too. Here’s how a recent exhibition wall looked featuring three different standard sizes of frames:
Recently, however, I decided to experiment with a few alternatives. My original thinking was to have the option of photographing some of the works that I put up for sale on my website in different frames, just to show people some alternative options.
What I wasn’t quite prepared for was how much difference a frame can make!
To keep it a level playing field, I thought it would be helpful to select just one painting and show it in different frames.
This is a recent painting that I’m fond of that I’ve taken from an A5 sketchbook. This view is of my local park:
Here’s what it looks like mounted and framed in one of my ‘usual’ plain oak frames. In all of the following examples, I’ve removed the glass from the frames to avoid any reflections.
Next up is something a little more ornate:
And finally, ornate and with a fabric inlay, which is a style of framing that has a proper name, but I can’t recall what it is!
I think what’s surprised my most is that I thought that the plain and simple frames that I usually use would suit my paintings much better than anything gilt or ornate.
In fact, I’m surprised by how much I like to see this painting in these more traditional frames. I don’t think that they detract from the painting, and I don’t think that my painting looks somehow ‘dated’ in them.
I’d love to hear what others think and whether anyone has any strong preferences for either the plain and simple, a little bit fancy, or the full on fancy frame?
A new investment…
In a timely coincidence for this post, my latest investment arrived over the weekend.
I’ve always cut my own mounts and, to date have always used a Logan Compact mount cutter. This has always served me well, as it can produce straight and bevel edge cuts and is simple to use.
The main drawback is that the sheets of mount board that I buy, are too large to be cut down to size using the this cutter. This means that I have to do a lot of manual measuring and cutting using a steel rule and Stanley knife, and every cut introduces a greater element of risk. This is especially the case if a cut isn’t exactly square as it will affect the subsequent bevel cut – often ruining a mount.
It can often feel like a thankless task, not least because I’m usually doing it on my hands and knees due to the size of the mountboards.
Well, no more!
I decided to take the leap and invest in a new mount cutter (I say new, but it’s probably around 30 years old) capable of doing everything that I’m likely to need!
Allow me to introduce you to my Keencut Laser 1200!
It doesn’t look much but this is quite a beast! Firstly it’s massive (so yet another thing to find a place for in a small flat!). I spent the weekend taking it apart, cleaning it up and generally trying to make friends with it! I was able to find a PDF of an old instruction manual online and have been trying, in vain so far, to calibrate all of the settings.
If I am ever successful in doing this, it will revolutionise my mount cutting experiences! It should be able to cope with every size of board that I’m likely to use and, as I often cut mounts of similar sizes, once it’s currently set up, it should make multiple mount cutting a doddle.
Although as I’m writing this, I can detect a lot of shoulds, mights and maybes creeping in so I hope I’m not getting ahead of myself.
I’ve just taken delivery of some new cutting blades and a new supply of mount board and backing sheets so hopefully, I’ll be able to report back soon on this!