There are many ways to frame artwork but the most important thing to keep in mind about framing is that it’s the art that should be the star of the show. While a frame is certainly an important complement to your work, it should enhance your image and not
You may also want to take into consideration where and how the piece will be displayed. For instance, entering a piece of work for an art show may require a different approach than framing a piece for your home.
If the art is to be truly the centerpiece, using a frame that is the same color of the wall is a good idea. A whitewashed wooden frame is a perfect choice for a white gallery wall.
If a black frame is the better choice, then choose one that is neither too thin or too thick for the center image. In other words, if you have a delicate botanical drawing, you would not want to go with a thick black frame. It would add a heavy element to a piece that is meant to portray the fragility of nature. In the same way, a frame that is too thin may give the work an unstable feel.
Floater frames are a great choice for works on panel or canvas. Aim for consistency if you are framing several pieces to be exhibited in one place.
When economics are a consideration (as is the case with many artists) it’s often tempting to go with an “off the rack” standard size frame. You can do so, but make sure that the size of the frame and mat is in proportion to your piece. The purpose of a mat is to
separate the art from the glass and to give some visual space to the artwork.
Just as in choosing a frame, the mat should not fight with the image for attention. For this reason, choose a mat in one of the many shades of white that are offered. Colored mats are often times distracting, taking away from the art itself. Some juried exhibitions exclude the use of any colored mats for this reason.
If you are framing something of personal or monetary value you‘ll want to take into consideration using archival or acid-free materials. The framer can help you with deciding how you might proceed, but it is generally not advisable to go the expense of
archival framing if the artwork you are working with is inexpensive such as a poster or inkjet print. Choose a framer willing to explain the process and answer all of your questions.
Contributed by Kim Hanna