"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

The magic of framing

"Lonely," 12 x 26 watercolor, framed  and for sale
Completing a painting you're satisfied with is a relief as well as a sense of accomplishment, even when you can see room for improvements, which is almost always in unpredictable watercolor.
But to really lift your spirits, it's necessary to take the ones you consider sufficiently acceptable and have them framed.
Selection of a frame and matting is as much a choice as your palette colors, except more restrictive because you're dealing with the painting. A frame and mat can kill a work of art, or make it jump off the wall.
Generally, a cheap frame will cheapen the painting. When you're starting out, you probably don't have a choice but a chain store, with limited choices of mats and frames. My early work was no different.
But as I've kept at this, I've found  even taking some of those earlier paintings, and having them professionally reframed has rescued the paintings and led to sales.
The problem with watercolors on the art market, is that if you invest in the framing, matting, glass and all, the prices go up to where the paintings may not be competitive with other art, especially acrylics and oils that don't require glass, and sometimes even frames.
But, still, there is a joy of discovery and satisfaction when work you consider worth quality framing is completed. Good framers have the experience to help you with mat choices and frames. You drop a painting off, and a few days later get a phone call saying it is ready.
That happened today when I walked in Pirate's Alley on Britton to pick up a painting.
"Wow, Terry Clark," I said out loud, to laughter,  when I saw what happened to my painting.  Owner Theresa Hurt is also an artist, but has an uncanny eye and experience for just what a painting needs. to set it off.

"Prairie Rorschach," 13 x 16, ready for the gallery
So that's the story of my painting "Lonely," 23" by 26" framed. I also bought one of her ready made frames, used my stock white mat and board, and has Pirate's Alley put backing and hanger on it. See what a difference that makes to "Prairie Rorschach," 13" x 16" framed.
The magic of framing.

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