Tuesday, January 1, 2013

It’s a Frame Up – the Painting that is!

Photo of Bella a mixed breed I'm going to paint.
Framing is sometimes difficult. What looks good to one person, may not look good to another. Many artists sell canvases and let the buyer select their own frame saving the client money.

Other artists prefer to select the perfect frame for their painting only to find out the buyer has later switched to a frame of their own preference. It’s a quandary.

The only time the frame seems to matter is in juried competition. Here the education and experience of the judge colors his or her opinion. A frame that you think enhances and compliments your painting may be seen through the eyes of the judge to be obtrusive, overwhelming or distracting. What’s an artist to do?

16 x 20 drawing on canvas of Bella
I found a web site that was very informative. I’m sharing the link and some of the content with you here:
"Choosing the right frame for paintings and prints enhances both appearance and value, but choosing the wrong frame does an artwork no favors.
"Frames are rather like film stars' dresses on the Red Carpet. The perfect one flatters the celebrity model and makes headlines. A bad choice is dissected by the Fashion Police. Like the unfortunate starlet, a painting can be underdressed, overdressed, or simply surrounded by something that is not “age appropriate.”
"Auctioneers recognize how frames affect fine art lots on the podium. Leslie Hindman in Chicago emphasizes that the artwork is the most important element, but “a bad frame is jarring and it takes away from the painting.”
“I think private individuals appreciate when a work comes with a very nice frame,” Hindman continued. “If you have something that is good and it is framed in a nice period frame, it can add to the value.”
"In previous centuries, frames were often carefully selected by the artist. Preserving the original frame on an artwork – like an original finish on antique furniture – bolsters value. The borders chosen by an artist may be plain or elaborate, but they are part of the object's history and integrity.
"Joe Standfield of Hindman's Fine Art Department cited the case of an untitled 1945 landscape painting by regional American painter Marvin Cone (1891-1964) that sold in September for $156,400. “For this particular painting, pretty much everyone we spoke with who were potential buyers – museums, private collectors, galleries – commented on the fact that it appeared to be the original frame,” he said.
“That particular painting had been in the family for an extremely long time; the provenance was impeccable. The great provenance and the original frame were the two things that enhanced the value of this beautiful painting.”

"Home at Last" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
"On the other hand, Stanfield noted, “A more ornate gilded frame would certainly make more sense on a 19th-century French painting.” Frames should be appropriate for the artwork's period and style, not a reflection of current fashions in interior design. In June 2009, Leslie Hindman held an auction devoted to period frames.
"Jerry Holley, vice president of Dallas Auction Gallery, agrees that frame selection can have a subtle but sizable effect on a painting's appeal to customers. “You see nice little Southwestern paintings from the 1920s or 1930s that are in their very simple original period frames,” he explained. “Everybody makes a big deal out of it and comment on the frames.”
“It does seem to affect value. If you see that same painting in an ornate gilt frame that doesn't fit it at all, people just don't have the same perception of the painting. Sometimes people don't really realize what the problem is, but - if you had them side by side in the two different frames – it would be obvious.”

"Winston" 12 x 16 OIL on canvas SOLD
“It can work the other way too,” Holley continued. “ A good Victorian painting that originally had an ornate carved gilt frame on it – if you see it now in a plain black modern frame, that would do nothing for it at all. No doubt about it, it can have a very significant effect on the look of a painting and – at auction – on the value of paintings.”
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