Framing and presenting your work to the world


When framing your work, it's best to keep the KISS formula in mind. Even though you may feel at the mercy of a framer who is pushing fancy mats and frames, it's important to remember you are in control.

Artists have to be concerned with the presentation and quality of framing and, of course, the cost. Simple is always best. Heavy, ornate frames may be a decorator statement but they can drown your work and price you righth out of the market. Indeed, the worst thing you can ever hear at an art show is "Nice frame!"

When considering matting, pick clean white mats andn include the all-important spacer between the work and the mat to let a work in pastel breathe and allow pastel dust and loose bits to fall behind rather than onto the mat. You can learn these pointers the hard way through rejection. Jurors, even though the work may be fantastic, will often reject anything with a coloured mat. Galleries can find it difficult to hang such works and may also reject over-framed work. Finally, prospective buyers have to be able to imagine the work in their home before committing to purchase it and if the framer's decorator touches are not what they enjoy, it may nix the sale.

Best of all, the cost is often less when quality framing is kept simple but well done. Frames can even be reused for works of similar size, a plus for thrifty artists. So when framing next time, follow the KISS formula: Keep it Simply...Simple!

Try using super-fine, grade 0000 steel wool pads when cleaning glass before framing a pastel. This method works especially well on the icky, filmy residue often found on the glass after a long time. Try using anti-static eyeglass cleaner on the inside of the glass to keep pastel pigment off your mat.


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