Thursday, May 19, 2011

To frame or not to frame ...

I’ve just spent another half a day going to different shops trying to source just the right range of picture frames at just the right range of prices. With no success. Again.

Again? Yes, because a few weeks ago I did exactly the same thing. With exactly the same result.

Isn’t that one definition of insanity?

I currently have a stack of hand-finished prints – in colour and black and white. They are studies of water that I have been working on for some time. They would look good in frames – if I could find the right ones. I found some that would just about do but they were £4.99 each. I’ve currently got 60 of these prints - with more on the way.

I also want to frame some figure studies I’ve been working on. But there are 98 of these.

Clearly, this framing idea is not going to happen.

But maybe it doesn’t need to. Maybe I’m just being old-school.

I have to confess that the main reason I’m thinking about this is because I have the ridiculous notion that it might be nice to sell some of these prints and make a bit of money. You know, for the essentials - like fags and booze. And to do that, the image has more perceived value if it’s in a frame. Right? A decent frame sets a picture off nicely, presents it well, makes it look finished. A proper job.

But as I’ve been making these prints, the fun part for me has been giving them to people to hold and to feel. To feel the thinness of the paper and the thickness of the paint. Because I’ve used acrylic paint, the surface is tactile and flexible, almost plastic. It’s been exciting to watch people’s expressions as they actually handle a small piece of art. (I guess that because I have so many I can feel a little less precious about them.)

Thinking about the effects of framing pictures reminded me that a few years ago I made a series of 12 large pictures on paper. They represented 12 months of my life during what was the beginning of a “rather difficult time”. A couple of years had passed and I thought it would be interesting to exhibit them. Rather than frame and hang them I discussed with a gallery the possibility of simply stapling them to the wall. From there we went on to discuss the possibility of stapling them to the floor. Then people could walk around … or over … them.

The obvious metaphor suited my mood at the time.

Unfortunately … or maybe fortunately … the gallery closed before we could do anything and the pictures have been stored away never to be seen again.

Getting to be a monthly blog. I have a few pictures stashed away and unlikely to see the light of day. Just not got the right place to display them anyway.

Frames are a hard one, some people like them without as they can then find a frame to suit their place, but like you say they do set some things off really well. Hope you find the best solution for that one. I fasten a lot of my embroideries to thick artist boards - the cheap ones, and that gives them a more solid feel and something to back my embroideries with.
Hi Pete,

Maybe you just frame a few (1/2 dozen or so) so people can see what they look like framed and unframed. Then if they want a particular print framed you get it framed for them and include the cost in the price!!

Good luck!

Sharon (and Richard)
Good feedback, Joanna and Sharon ... Thanks!
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