Presenting

I've been told somewhere along the way, that if you want to be taken seriously as an artist, your work should be presented in the best possible manner.  I really believe this to be so and try to do my best at that. It's neither cheap nor easy to do a nice job of matting and framing your artwork, but it's a necessary part of the process.  

The standard for most botanical art pieces is single matting with clean white mat board matching the paper used for the illustration that's visible as the white background.  This is what gives botanical art it's clean, traditional style. I know it seems like a lot of white and who knew there were several shades of white watercolor paper (i.e. bright white, natural white, traditional white, etc.) and even more shades of white mat board to match it to!  Then you have the problem of keeping all of that white clean and white while mounting and sealing the frame.  Be prepared to wear smooth clean gloves or be washing your hands constantly and not cut yourself with the hanging wires or glass, yep- I've done that. 

Frames tend to also be simple and classic, though this can depend on the piece and whether it's for a commissioned project, gallery exhibit, or where it might end up.  Some artists tend to frame all of their works the same to keep a uniform style while others like to mix it up a bit for contrast.  I'm one of the latter tribe I guess, even if it isn't the proper approach.  I like simple dark redwood frames for some of my pieces, or rustic white for a more casual vintage look, and sometimes even something with a bit of shiny gilding just makes it more sparkly and fabulous.

I try to do my own framing and matting for my small pieces to save some money where I can, and have a local frame shop tackle the larger works because they have the equipment to do a better job than I do.  If you're the one buying the artwork, please take notice of the framing as well, I hope the entire finished piece speaks to you and is a good fit for your home or space.  I hope that you love the love I put into creating it for you!

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Frameworking

Ok so yes, framing is kind of the end of a project, and seems this is a new site and a new blog, it might be strange to start at the end...but hey, it's just where I am today... and it's all part of the big picture anyway!

So lets talk about framing...

Framing a piece of art can add to it immensely, or detract from it significantly.  Hopefully it will finish the artwork perfectly, make it "pop", and preserve it for eternity, so it's quite a big decision.  You don't want to mess this up after all of the work that goes into your painting! There are so many options available to you, it can be a daunting task to decide on what to do, and how to go about it, not to mention the expense!

Generally I do a lot of my own matting and framing, and it might be worth it to you to own a mat cutter and a few simple hanging tools and such.  There are also many places and online sites that offer good quality ready-made frames and mats that just require you to assemble them, which can save you a lot of time, and money!  You may also need to consider the type of glass covering, backing, and weight of your piece to be sure the stability and strength is sufficient for hanging.  Finding a good local art supply shop can help with this, they can suggest what you need if you're not sure, to assemble it yourself, or they can do it for you for a slightly higher cost (watch for the 60% off framing sales!).

If you are planning on showing your work in galleries, have special commissioned pieces, or have plans to ship your work long distances, you may need to find a local framer you can trust to meet these special requirements.  This will cost you more, but that's why artwork sometimes seems so expensive, sorry.  Here's a piece I recently had done by my framer, because it's in a competition and will be traveling to gallery exhibits.  They had some great suggestions, and I think did a great job for this piece! 

Another option is to think outside the box, do something unconventional, maybe considering your plans for where you want the piece to hang and the decor of the space, and save yourself some more money!  Here's a commission piece I did for a private collection that was going to hang in a historic farmhouse.  After weighing our options, my client mentioned liking the look of old windows, and we were able to find an original removed window from the house, clean it up and use it as a frame!  It's original, repurposed, inexpensive, and awesome looking I think!

So there you have it, my two-cents about framework, I hope that was helpful.  You can always contact me through this site with any questions you might have on this or whatever artistic challenge you might be facing today.  I'll do my best to help!

All artwork and photographs exclusive copyright to the artist, Kristina Spitzner, reproduction prohibited.