Archive for November 29th, 2010

I don’t normally show my paintings here with the framing, instead focusing on the image only.  But framing and presenting the work properly is a big deal.  A poor presentation can lessen the impact of a good piece, create a barrier that the viewer can’t get past.  A good presentation allows the work  to be seen in its best light, holding the piece  as though it were a gem and the frame was a fine setting.  You may notice it but the painting itself remains the focus.

I’ve had a certain look for many years now.  It’s a simple profile with a distinctive color that is built for me by a friend, Stephen.  For about the last 13 or so, he has provided me with sturdy raw frames built to my specs and I stain them to attain the color I desire which is normally a  warm yellowish tint with red undertones.  The edges are normally black. 

I tend to use the same frame for almost all my work.   It is simple and is immediately recognizable as my framing.  It also allows work from different years to hang easily together, giving them a sense of continuity and unity.  Plus, it allows me more time to paint by taking away the decision making process in choosing frames for individual pieces.  Early in my career, I learned that this process of choosing was very time consuming and wanted to come up with a way that took it away yet still gave me a distinctive and complementary frame.  Hence, the frame I’ve used for well over a decade came about.

But I still want to change things up periodically, if only to see my work in a different setting.  The piece above is a new one that I call Into the Mix which is a 10″ by 22″ image on paper.  It has a very distinct texture with raised ribs of gesso running chaotically through the background beneath the paint.  All in all, a very strong and individual piece. 

I really wanted to try something different with the presentation of this piece so I went with a frame that I’ve been experimenting with on a very limited basis.  This is only the third one of these I’ve produced.  It is a very simple flat frame with layers of gesso built up on top of it in the form of thin ribs, echoing those in the painting, then painted black.  The black gives the ribs visual depth and the gessoed ribs effectively cover the mitred corners, giving the frame a feel of unity and strength.  I like the look very much for certain pieces such as this, but don’t know if I will adapt it any way for wider use.  It’s just something I need to try to periodically see how the work looks in different settings.  Here, I think the new look works pretty well.

I’ll have to think on this…

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