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catjoe
10-28-2000, 09:50 AM
I am finally getting to the point where I feel some of the watercolors I have been working on are worthy (I hope) of being given as gifts or possibly displayed at the monthly art league meetings I attend. Are there any do's and don't of proper framing anyone can give me. Any special tricks or tips would be greatly appreciated or any good sites to visit would be helpful also. Thanks!

artwoman1
10-28-2000, 04:56 PM
Originally posted by catjoe:
I am finally getting to the point where I feel some of the watercolors I have been working on are worthy (I hope) of being given as gifts or possibly displayed at the monthly art league meetings I attend. Are there any do's and don't of proper framing anyone can give me. Any special tricks or tips would be greatly appreciated or any good sites to visit would be helpful also. Thanks!
How you frame and matt your watercolors depends on whether you wish your work to be considered works of art or designer accessories. A designer accessory matches people's sofas or the little red thread in the draperies. Consequently, the designer accessory gets color co-ordinated matts and frame.

A work of art stands alone. If you wish to have your work considered for exhibition the frame and the matt are to be as plainl as possible. The idea is that the art is to receive the attention not the framing job. It is also assumed that you do not have confidence in the strength of your work and that you consider it necessary to shore it up with colored matts and framing to bring out its better qualities.

If you go to a frame shop they might argue with you because they are so used to the designer accessory thing and, besides, the more matts they can cut and the fancier the frame the more $ they make.

Also remember that a matt is not just a way of prettifying the art. The serves the function of keeping the work from touching the glass (no non-glare glass, distorts color) Paper is hygroscopic. It absorbs and releases moisture in direct relation to the humidity of the atmosphere. In high humidity conditions paper touching the glass might cause the watervapor to condense at the point of contact and mold could start to grow and invade the paper. So if your choose to frame without a matt you must do something to keep the paper from touching the glass.

There is also the issue of archival vs non-archival matting and mounting materials. Acid based paper matts will over time turn yellow from the acids use to process wood pulp for paper making. You can tell if the matt is acid based if the bevel has turned a yellow-orange after a few months. It will also begin to attack the paper on which the watercolor has been painted turning it irreversably yellow and causing the deterioration of the paper. So, if your watercolors are very valuable to you use archival materials. Bear in mind the materials wiil cost more but you won't have to re-matt and re-mount the work down the road because of the discoloration of the matt.


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Davida

[This message has been edited by artwoman1 (edited October 28, 2000).]

billyg
10-28-2000, 07:08 PM
'NUFF SAID
Billyg

nancymae
10-30-2000, 02:19 PM
Also, if your work is "standard size" there maybe pre-cut mats available for purchase. You should check out your local framing or picture store. I get mine many times at my local Ben Franklin crafts...or even K-mart has a few pre-cut mats. This way you can get a plain basic mat...if that is the way you would like to present it.

I recently had one of my paintings professionally framed and matted...it cost $75 ouch!!!!

When I started, I began using the pre-cut stuff. Now, I have my own mat cutter--and am in the process of perfecting simple single and double mats.

Good luck to you!!


Nancy

Scribbler
10-30-2000, 04:44 PM
No offense intended, but personally, I'd never try to match a frame and/or mat to the decor in a room, only what enhances the work of art.
I also agree with the neutral mat idea.
Colored mats are fun and can make a picture look great, but not for exhibition and will also limit your sales.
JMHO

artwoman1
10-30-2000, 11:36 PM
Originally posted by nancymae:
Also, if your work is "standard size" there maybe pre-cut mats available for purchase. You should check out your local framing or picture store. I get mine many times at my local Ben Franklin crafts...or even K-mart has a few pre-cut mats. This way you can get a plain basic mat...if that is the way you would like to present it.
Nancy
This may be a very economical way to get mats for your paintings but it is unlikely that you find these mats to be acid free. If you do not want your work to be damaged by acid burns, they definitely will not do. They also have a tendency to be skimpy. That is they usually do not have enough width to surround your art piece. A wide matt gives the work importance. The frame shops use a standard
2 3/4" all the way around. That's fine for a very small piece but it's too narrow for larger pieces.



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Davida

oleCC
10-31-2000, 07:11 AM
catjoe... Let me take a min and tell you about my first experience with major framing.
When I finally did a full sheet watercolor that was what I considered "worthy" of display, I had it professionally framed. The shop triple matted, (three colors) and put a very expensive frame with it. This painting won "peoples choice" in a large show. It didn't sell, and comments indicated the triple colored mats conflicted with potential customers color schemes. The framing cost me $175.00 all told...and now I need to re-mat it. Lesson learned the hard way.. http://www.wetcanvas.com/ubb/smile.gif Carol

LDianeJohnson
10-31-2000, 05:44 PM
catjoe,
Some great suggestions here. A couple to add are:

- Use not only "acid free" but 100% rag mats (they will have a white core). Acid free is one thing, but mats with a wood pulp core can still damage watercolor paintings.

- Use clear only, not non-glare.

- If there is alot of white paper showing on the watercolor, generally do not use a white mat since you'll never be able to match it exactly. Better to select either a soft or strong dominant color from within the painting for the inner mat and a neutral light for the top mat. Then choose the frame itself by deciding whether you want to close in the painting (dark wood or color) or give it an open look (light color wood, gold wood, or metallic.)