PRESENTATION IS THE KEY IF YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR ART. IT’S TIME TO WISE UP ABOUT FRAMING
by Laura Boswell - the renowned Printmaker www.lauraboswell.co.uk - with her kind permission
We all devote plenty of time and energy to creating our artworks, but it’s worth putting some careful consideration into the finishing touches too. The way in which you display your artwork can have a huge impact on your audience, especially if you are showing several pieces together. If you frame your work, the choice of wood, mount and finish is particularly important - the right frame can often make or break a sale.
It is important to think about your individual style and also what you want your framing to say about you as an artist. My approach as a printmaker is to have a sort of “house style” that consists of plain ash frames with double cream mounts. The mouldings vary, but the materials stay the same and the simplicity of the framing suits and style of my prints. In contrast, I have a painter friend who incorporates his frames into the actual paintings. For him, each frame is unique and all are equally flamboyant. While the finished products vary greatly, we’ve both considered our work as a whole and thought through our framing with great care.
Some galleries include advice for framing on their websites, giving you an idea of the real no-nos. My advice is to be consistent and avoid using a mishmash of styles, unless that is the very statement you intend to make. A random mix of frames can look weak and detract from the work. I would also avoid coloured mounts (as this is a very personal choice) and pure white ones too (unless you want a stark contrast to your work).
Getting an artwork framed can be expensive. The three options you have are: buy a readymade frame, use a professional framer or make the frame yourself. If you buy readymade frames, your work should sit in correct proportion to the frame: a bad size match will look amateurish. Likewise, if you use a framer then it makes financial sense to agree a set size most of the time. As always, it pays to shop around and, if you see another frame that you admire, to ask fellow artists whom they use.
If you intend to frame a painting yourself then it is important to do as professional a job as possible. There are excellent framing and mount-cutting courses available to help you with this. Inevitably you will need to invest in some kit and be prepared to store materials. On the plus side, deciding to frame for yourself will save money in the long run, give you absolute control and the freedom to frame work to any size you wish.
MORE ADVICE ON FRAMING - WITH HELPFUL IMAGES
HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR ARTWORK from the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition website
ARTICLE BY LIFE MEMBER ALIX BAKER FOR THE JUNE 2014 NEWSLETTER OF THE 'ARTIST AND LEISURE PAINTER MAGAZINES'
This may be a bit out of date. Couriers can also be found on the Mall Galleries website http://www.mallgalleries.org.uk/call-for-entries/suggested-art-couriers
If you have problems getting your work to our exhibitions, remember that the AFAS Directory can help you find someone in a nearby post code. Don’t be shy about approaching a fellow member: perhaps you don’t know them but you are in the same society and might be able to help each other out. Why not club together to load one car with several artists’ works. Pay that driver-artist something towards the petrol. Perhaps it might even be cheaper to club together and hire a small van.
Popular art couriers, as used by many exhibiting at the Mall Galleries, are:-
Penzance, Totnes, Exeter and Southampton plus any point en route to and from London - South Hams Express (tel 01803 863205 / 07502 041139 email email@example.com)
Bristol - www.artmove.co.uk (Art Moves of Chelsea tel 020 7352 7492)
Surrey, Sussex, Kent - As for Bristol, above.
Edinburgh, Perth, Glasgow, Dumfires, Carlisle, Kendal, Preston, Lancaster, Penrith, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Birmingham and Doncaster plus any point en route to and from London - Picture Post tel 01302 711011 mobile 07833 450788 email firstname.lastname@example.org