Framed Art - Prints, Posters And Paintings

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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Framed art says a lot about its owner. Like books on a bookshelf, they communicate to the world what is important to you. They speak of style and taste, but also dreams, goals, and longings. They may be created by others, but they represent the buyer, too. Therefore it's important that you select framed art that really represents your tastes and personality.

The most important thing, without question, is to choose a piece of framed art that speaks to you. I have found my "perfect pieces" in one of two ways. Either the instant I see it I "recognize" it; or after having seen it, even if I didn't get too excited about it at the time, I can't get it out of my mind. If this happens to you, consider that piece seriously. Look at it again in a week. Does it have the same impact? If you continue to find yourself thinking of a piece of art, it's a good sign it belongs in your home. And you need to give it a safe place to live, inside a good frame.

Framed Art: Frames Extend the Edges of the Art

When it comes to framing, you must realize is that you're not just protecting your artwork, you're adding to it, building out, if you will, from the center. The frame you choose should support the theme of the piece. For instance, a Gustav Klimt print would be quite beautiful in a gold leaf frame carved with subtle geometric patterns. The gold-leaf would pick up the shine of the metallic paint; the carvings would accent the geometric forms within the painting.

When framing black and white photographs, unless you have strong personal preferences, you can always take a tip from galleries. Most choose strong black wood, or silver, gold, or black metal frames. The only exception to this might be if you've chosen a sepia toned photo, in which case a walnut or other dark wood frame would be particularly attractive.

Framed Art: Mats Matter

In the world of mats, two are good. Three are better. The next time you're in a gallery, check it out: the framed art prints that are most attractive will almost always have at least two mats. Mats trick the eye and say, "this object is important." Double and triple matted framed art packs a dramatic punch.

In terms of mat selection, you want a combination of complement and contrast. For instance, if the frame edge is black, the top mat should be a lighter color. The middle mat should be slightly darker than the top, and maybe in a contrasting color; the third and final mat in a shade even darker (to create depth of field), but not so dark that it disappears against the actual framed subject. Many online framing sources allow you to experiment with virtual mats and frame styles. Its fun to play around with your options, and you'll learn a lot about the dramatic effects possible for your special piece of framed art.

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