The primary purpose of framing an image, photograph, collage or other work of art is to draw the eye, and to do that as well as possible, it's important for the frame to work well with both the art and the setting in which it is hung. Framing is an art in its own right, and picking the best frame is a huge part of that. So what can you do to ensure that the artworks you love are being showcased to the height of their potential?
There are no hard and fast rules, but there are three main schools of thought. It's a good idea to mix-and-match which of these methods you follow when you get things professionally framed, depending on what works best for the piece in question.
Choose a frame that becomes part of the artwork itself.
It's sometimes said that ornate frames are best avoided except in very specific classical contexts, but that's not always the case. You may find that your custom framing professionals have an option with a pattern that echoes a pattern found in the art itself, and when paired well the combination can be incredible. This is one time when you needn't save thick, decorative frames for larger pieces--an attention-grabbing frame can work incredibly well around a smaller work of art, if it's the right frame. Coloured frames are good for this if you can find a hue that echoes one inside the painting it holds. The frame becomes part of the whole, and both look better for it.
Choose a frame that complements the setting in which it will be hung.
A room with a lot of dark wood can be perfectly complemented by frames of a similar hue, while a kitchen with many chrome fittings is the perfect place for a metal frame to hang. This can also be a great way to help a piece of art blend into its surroundings even if it is at first glance at odds with them; modern art can hang in a traditionally styled room with ease in a traditional-style frame, and vice versa.
Choose a frame that blends entirely into the background.
Some artwork benefits from being allowed to speak entirely for itself. There are several ways to do this: you can paint a natural, untreated wooden frame using the same paint as is on the wall where it will hang, for example, or you can pick a frame the same shade as the matting behind the image inside it. This approach should be used sparingly, but for particularly dramatic artwork (or particularly minimalist decorating styles), it can work very well indeed.Share
29 August 2016
My grandma was an avid art collector. She left me quite a bit of art in her will, but I know that she won't mind if I keep it or sell it as long as I use the money for something sensible. I think I should be able to raise enough for a house deposit, but of course, it depends what prices I can achieve. My art dealer has been great at helping me work through issues like whether I should sell the entire collection all at once or piece by piece. This site is a primer in the 'art' of selling art.