I needed to find a consistent framing solution that would fit all the various venues and exhibitions in which I might show my work.
1. Find frames that look clean and contemporary enough for
watercolor exhibitions, but high-end enough for many
of the galleries that prefer more ornate frames.
2. Find a glass/acrylic solution that allows me to ship artwork,
but also have a museum-quality look and feel to it.
3. Find a matting solution that is consistent and looks clean,
contemporary, and high end.
4. Keep costs to a minimum without sacrificing quality.
1. Frames - Instead of using ornate, wooden frames for one venue and simple, metal frames for another, I decided to merge the two. I found a company that carries beautiful wooden frames that have clean, contemporary lines and neutral colors, but with a little texture and design that would also fit a high-end gallery setting.
2. Glass vs. Acrylic - Voila! I just discovered TruVue Optium Museum Acrylic. Because it is acrylic, it won't shatter during shipping, yet it doesn't have the pitfalls of standard acrylic. For one, it doesn't look like acrylic; it looks like museum-quality glass. It is also glare and scratch resistant and 99% UV protective. One downside is the very high cost (see #4 Solution).
3. Matting - I know several watercolor artists who show the edges of their watercolor paper, and I've always liked the way it looks. I've tried different variations and came up with two that I like.
This is my favorite way to frame a watercolor. I paint right
up to the deckled edge of the paper and float the painting
inside an off-white mat, leaving about a 1/2" space.
|Another way to use the decked edge is to tape the w/c paper|
about 1" from the edge and paint up to the tape. When you
remove the tape, it leaves a nice, clean white border.
4. Cost - I have two trusty, full-service framers who both do beautiful framing. Normally, I would take my artwork to them. In a financial pinch, however, I have found that I can cut my framing costs in half by going to a local wholesale frame company and putting the frame together myself. Example: The museum-quality acrylic was quoted at $500 for a 30 x 36" piece! I was able to get it from a wholesaler at $260. That price difference benefits both me and my client, as it allows me to offer them a discount.