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My husband and I just purchased an artwork this last weekend that we liked – and we love that we know the artist.  However – we (as in I) aren’t wild about the frame around it.  Mark’s response to me saying that we would need to get a different frame was “But that would make it different from what the artist wanted it to be.”

Hmmm.  I don’t know how much I agree with that.  If someone took one of my sculptures and put it on a different base I would have zero problem with that. 

When it comes to basing my work – it is thought out, sure.  But my intent is to try to make it as undistracting (new word) from the sculpture as possible. 

But once someone owns one of my sculptures if they have another thought that, to them, might improve the piece in the context of it’s new setting, it certainly doesn’t affect the value of the sculpture itself to change that aspect of it…as the base (in the case of my sculpture anyway) is not part of the composition of the piece.

But what if a frame on a painting is distracting and not complimentary to the piece?  (IMHO of course).  Check out this frame around this painting of a monkey.  (No, this is not what we bought last weekend and this is not a piece of art we own).

there are no words…..

Artists?  If someone buys one of your framed paintings and wants a different frame or re-frames it themselves, how to you feel about that?

I have been reading a digital copy of Birge Harrison’s book “Landscape Painting” (a wonderful little book by the way) and in it he has a section “On Framing Pictures” and I thought I would share an excerpt from that chapter today.

“…And I re-discovered that fact, which the old masters had discovered so many centuries ago, that there was no material in the whole range of nature so admirably fitted for the surface of a frame as gold or metal leaf.  Next to the mirror, it presents the most elusive of all surfaces.  Semi-reflecting, semi-solid, it is just the thing that fills all the requirements…in a study of the best forms and the best tones of metal leaf to be employed…it soon became apparent that the law of complementaries reigned supreme.  A picture whose dominant note was pink demanded a greenish gold frame, a blue picture called for a tone of pure yellow or orange gold, while a picture whose dominant tone was golden yellow could only be well clothed in silver.  Fortunately, the dominant note of most landscapes is found in the blue or blue-gray sky, and thus the pure gold frame is its ideal casing.”

He goes on to say that generally complex and complicated pictures benefit from a more simply styled frame while a simple picture “…built up with a few broad and powerful masses, will frequently appear best in a rich and ornamental frame.”

But rich and ornamental he cautions, should not be too over the top…

 (I’m paraphrasing of course since the book was published in 1910 and “over the top” probably was not a figure of speech back then).  He maybe had something like the frame above in mind…which is for a mirror..  Seems like the most ornate frames I have ever seen were for mirrors, come to think of it.

Oh gosh.  Here’s a deep thought.  Is the reflection of reality so uninteresting that framing it as fancy as possible is necessary?

I would love to hear from other artists how you frame your work.  Do you make your own frames or do you have a supplier?  If you make your own, how did you learn? and do you have any instruction out on the web that we can check out?  And if you have a supplier, who is it?

Hello art collectors!  What are your frame preferences?

That’s all I have for today. 
Thanks for reading.

I’m off to continue do my best to create a beautiful day.
…and I hope you create – in your own beautiful way –
 your own beautiful day.  🙂
 
~Alex


comments

  1. Suzy | July 16, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    I would never be insulted if a consumer changed the frame on a painting I sold them, we all have different views on what we like, I suppose. I’m almost afraid to say that I thought le’ monkey was pretty cute and that frame appropriate (because they are BOTH so over the top). 😉 Yes, my tastes are a little different. I will say that your HORSES are phenomenal though!

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