Picture Framing

Choosing a frame once you have bought your painting.

'A World of Imagination' 30x60cm oil on canvas

Purchasing an original painting is an investment that requires thought beyond whether you like the piece or not, there is the financial commitment, the consideration of where you would like it to be displayed and the decision of how it should be framed and who you would like to frame it for you. Original art can be expensive, will be kept for many years and is often handed down through the family to younger generations, reminding them of their loved ones and the times that are spent together, and it is for these reasons that choosing the right frame is an important part of the process when purchasing art.

Many of my customers have never had a bespoke frame made to suit a particular piece, they may never have been to a framer before and are very unsure of what to expect and how to choose from the many different styles on offer, so will attempt to buy off the shelf or online, which is time consuming and not as straightforward as you may think. Standard sizes may only be available, or the size you require is not in your preferred choice of finish, and for some reason, unknown to man nor beast, we still haven't decided whether we are metric or imperial for either canvases or frames, despite having been metric for nearly 50 years. The whole process can be very troublesome, resulting in a substandard frame that is not what you really wanted and it hasn't even saved you that much money. Bespoke framing is cheaper than most believe, and has been made to measure by a professional.

In this month's blog I will take you through the framing of 3 pieces, all of which were framed by Derek at Whitby Picture Framing. I always work with Derek when having my pictures framed for many reasons: he's local, has a huge range of frames, he knows what works and goes the extra mile to try different mounts and styles until the right frame has been found, his craftsmanship is second to none, his prices are very competitive and what is hugely important for me as an artist is that I trust him and he's reliable. I know that when I order from Derek that the job will be done on time, at the agreed price and will be of exceptional quality, there is no reason for me to consider going anywhere else or to send my customers anywhere else.

In the first photograph, 'A World of Imagination', the customer had arranged purchase of the work and as they already had some of my work, they wanted the frame of this piece to be similar to the others and entrusted me to carry this out on their behalf. Paintings are better framed to suit the painting and not to suit other paintings or decor, however we all have styles in our homes and not all styles of frames will suit the individual style of our home, and we want consistency of style. Through working with my framer who has a large selection of finishes and colours we were able to choose a frame that meets the requirements of both suiting the painting and suiting the individual style of the customer. In this particular instance the customer lives at the opposite end of the country, but through meeting them and talking with them when they purchased work from me previously, I had a good understanding of what would appeal to them and know what frames they already had. I took this painting to Derek and with my knowledge and his expertise we were able to find a frame that perfectly suited the painting and matched their style. The price was conveyed to the customer, and upon their acceptance the order was placed with Derek, the job was completed and I collected the framed piece. The customer had already booked a holiday in Whitby and the whole process was completed and ready to be hand delivered to coincide with their stay here. It's a special privilege to meet my customers as often this is not possible and I am hugely grateful for their support and trust.

'Where the Tawny Owl Lives' 15x15 cm oil on canvas

A very similar situation occurred with the framing of this piece 'Where the Tawny Owl Lives', the customer, also known to me and also living hundreds of miles from me, had seen the painting online, wanted it and asked if I could frame it. In this instance, they do not have any other other pieces of mine and I am not familiar with the style of their home, but I assured them that framing to suit the painting and their home was possible. Through a series of questions and descriptions of their furniture, decor, colour and personal style I was able to understand exactly what was required. I took the painting to Derek and on this occasion the customer wanted the piece to be framed with a mount and behind glass, it was decided by myself and Derek that a double mount worked best and the glass is 'white water' glass, which means it has a slightly warmer tone than standard picture glass, and upon consultation with the customer, the price was agreed and the work was completed. On this occasion the finished piece was packaged and sent to the customer, the delivery was accepted and I concluded by ensuring that it had arrived safely and was exactly what they wanted. All framed pictures are mounted using archival, acid free tape and mount and are fitted with high quality picture framing cord and fixings so that the customer receives their painting ready to hang and are secure in the knowledge that it will last for many, many years.

'The Land of Jenny Greenteeth' 15x11" pen and ink on paper

This last piece is something that I did for myself, occasionally I will stray off the beaten path, away from my love of painting landscapes in oil and into the territory of illustration with a nod towards the Dark Arts. The work was inspired by a photograph that I took of some gorse on the cliff tops at Flamborough, whilst having a day out with my two boys. The story of Jenny Greenteeth is folklore, is a familiar tale throughout the Uk and has many different names. The lore tells of a hag that lives in rivers and streams, warning people, especially children, that if they stray into the murky depths they could quite easily meet their end. It's a tale that discouraged children from falling foul to the grip of pond weed and such like, so that parents could get on with their chores without worry, but who knows, maybe one day we'll find out something more? Interesting though, I like the lore and fairy tales, they certainly have a much loved place in our social history and I enjoyed telling these stories to my own children when they were younger, just with a little more explanation and science to go with them so that they'd sleep at night. As an artist interested in landscapes, ecology and people living in a natural world, this is an interest that is only a side step away from my main body of work. My work is more about my feeling and emotional response to the environment that I'm in, rather than replicating what I see. I like my landscapes to tell stories and transport you to the place that I'm painting for whatever reason I'm there or what I'm trying to say about it, or the message I'm trying to convey and for this reason I feel that the old ways and the old stories are just as much part of my interest as contemporary landscape.

The work was a difficult piece to frame, the black frame had to match the black inks in the work and the black mount, with black core had to be the right tone of black, and the whole thing had to be simple enough not to be a distraction from the complexity of the work. I absolutely love it, it has pride of place on my landing, is expertly triple mounted and framed by Derek, an expensive job, but so very worth it. I would have to be offered a lot of money to part with this piece as it is very unique, it is unlikely that I could do the same piece again, as it's a style that runs away with itself, quite like the stories of old.

I hope that this article has been of interest to you and if you have any questions on purchasing and framing any of my work I will be happy to talk you through it, please email me at

50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All