marie’s fountain – framing decisions

now that my painting is (mostly) done, i have to decide how to frame it.  it’s traveling in checked luggage, so the dimensions are critical.  at first jim tried to get me to reserve the white edge that’s been underneath masking tape all these years.  there was tape on three sides, and the forth side was half painted in partly because i never mark my boundaries very well, and always go over them.

i tried to retain the white edge, i really did.  took a ruler and masked the painting off at the cut line, then scrubbed the hell out of the paper.  but all those greens, all that phthalo.  i could only get the paper to greenish, not anywhere near the whites that were under the masking tape.

so, screw the white edge.  i didn’t want a white edge to begin with.  i wanted black.  dark black around the painting.  jim thought maybe it should be  mid-gray.  so the photo above is trying out both of these ideas.  the left side really is black, even tho it’s very washed out in the picture.  and the mid-gray is the toned ground of the microwave with apples painting that i put aside to finish marie’s painting.  the mid gray works okay, but i’m still liking black.  as for the frame, you can see on top that i’ve picked one with some gold, to attract the eye, and some green, to harmonize with the painting.  it’s a good two inches, the moulding, and that might be a problem, because the painting itself is 21 1/2 by 12.  so a two inch mat area, a two inch frame, that’s four inches on each side, we’re looking at 26×16.  that’s the inside of a large bag.  fortunately my sister is taking the painting back with her, and she’s traveling first class, and has free baggage allowance for three large bags.  aren’t we lucky (the entire family is ordering stuff for her to take back with her, isn’t she lucky?)

once she told me the dimensions of the inside of her bag, however, i decided that maybe i didn’t like two inches of mat.  if you look at the left side of the picture above, you can see how the green stripe in the frame is close to the size of the mat opening between the frame and the painting.  and i don’t really like that.  i want either a much larger or much smaller opening.  at this point i got out a plain brown stick of moulding, also about 2″ wide, and put it on the right to see if i maybe didn’t want the green stripe.  but i really like what the green and gold do for the painting, and aren’t inspired by the plain brown at all.  at this point i got out a very thin piece of moulding, maybe 5/8″ wide, and ran it across the bottom of the painting, leaving only 1/4″ of opening between the frame and the  painting.  and i think i like this well enough to proceed.

i’m going to be using a very thin moulding, very close to the size of the painting, and i’m going to paint the mat the deepest green-black i can make (meaning a first coat of black acrylic, then a coat of burnt umber and ultramarine, and then a nice glaze of green earth).

jim and i will cut the board tomorrow.  he found an old piece of masonite for me, and i measured it today;  we’ll cut it tomorrow and then i’ll start looking at the painting one more time to make sure i’m done with it before i destroy its value as a true watercolor completely.


2 thoughts on “marie’s fountain – framing decisions

  1. After living here for almost three years, we are finally starting to frame posters and put them up. It’s amazing (to my non-artistic eye) how much of a difference the frame and the mat make. I have even discovered that hanging height is very important.

    The painting looks amazing lush and alive now.

    • i’m not a good framer. i’m constantly amazed at how a good framer can take my worst crap and make it look great with the proper treatment. it’s an art in itself.

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