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A Word About Framing

October 13, 2011

This is my new collage, titled “Limited Exposure.” It’s a nonsense or generic phrase in the spirit of the random nature of the imagery.

Limited Exposure - Collage, 8x8"

And here it is with suggested framing. I like to play “what if” with framing possibilities. I think that plain is best, so as not to detract from the art. Notice how a nice generous mat gives the art plenty of breathing space.

I also like floating my collages on a mounting board, with the mat opening slightly larger than the edges of the work. This is especially good when the edges are irregular, which mine often are. I also personally prefer a weighted mat treatment (longer at the bottom of the work.)

If you haven’t learned to cut your own mats and frame your work, you should. It’s fun to do, and you can make the mats any size you want. Of course it’s always good to have a standard frame in mind, so that you can cut the mat and the mat opening to best advantage.

There are lots of good videos on the subject of cutting mats and framing your work. Here’s a great one from Dick Blick Art Materials. There are three parts to this video tutorial. I don’t have a fancy mat cutter like this one. I simply use one that is hand held, and a good strong straight edge, which works great with a little practice.

Another solution is to find inexpensive frames with mats included and create your art to fit the mats.

If you’re preparing an exhibit of works on paper or photography, it’s always best to have all of your frames in the same style and color. You’d be amazed how much more professional your show will look.

I’ve written about framing and mats in previous posts here and here. This information might be helpful to some of you who haven’t yet made that leap into framing your own work.


8 Comments leave one →
  1. October 14, 2011 10:01 am

    Very useful advice, I too like weighted mats.

    Framing is an issue here, I wish I could persuade my son to help with that, but, of course, his family are too young to let him indulge. Hopefully Grandma won’t be too old to make art by the time he is able, 😆

    • October 14, 2011 10:42 am

      Myfanwy, it’s all really so easy. I love doing it, because it’s so gratifying to see the work all dressed up.

  2. October 14, 2011 1:18 pm

    Your collage is stunning! Thank you for the framing tips, too.

  3. Jamie permalink
    October 14, 2011 2:24 pm

    Lovely piece you have here! I’m right there with you – plain treatment, though I sometimes go with a colored frame; lots of space around the art and offset from edges; weighted at the bottom almost always looks better to me. I really enjoy doing the mat myself, until I cut it the wrong size or mess up a corner… = )

    • October 14, 2011 7:16 pm

      I’ve done that too, Jamie, but not too often, thank goodness. Thanks, glad you like the collage and thank you for commenting!

  4. October 14, 2011 6:27 pm

    Awesome collages as always – I always enjoy reading about your process.
    But I have to comment on the squirrel wars. It’s funny from my side of the planet, but not from yours of course. I just wish I could send you Faith for a visit. Your dogs may not care but Faith would *love* to chase and bark and fuss till the squirrels gave up…

    • October 14, 2011 7:15 pm

      Oh Cath! How I would love to have Faith come for a visit right about now! Actually, I have a local acquaintance who has a Cairn terrier, about Faith’s size, who barks and charges at intruding deer. Maybe I can get her over here.

      Glad you like the collages!

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