Going the white way.
Paintings are very often colourful bursts of art and creativity using different mediums like oil on canvas, watercolour on paper, mixed media or acrylic on board just to name some. Bright colours on an artwork transmit emotions and energy to the viewer. Nevertheless, they can sometimes be a real challenge when it comes to choosing a frame. Being the artwork the main attraction to the eye, we don't want to overpower it with the wrong frame that would distract the eye from the painting. Specially in contemporary artworks the use of bright solid colours are a trend and we do not want to spoil the character of the painting by choosing a frame just because it matches our home decor. When this becomes the case, no matter what shape of moulding you choose, going white is the best way to make the colours of the painting outstanding. Looking back at the circle of the Impressionists for instance, artists used to frame their paintings with simple mouldings painted white as the idea behind was that white simple frames make the colours and shapes on the canvas look brighter to the eye.
But how many times have we seen a painting by one of the masters of Impressionism framed in a pure neo-classical style? During the second half of the nineteenth century, when the practice of using old frames for new paintings was adopted it was possible to find pictures that had been framed re-using an old frame made originally for another picture. The idea of using second-hand frames gradually spread from artists and their dealers to museums. It is believed that art dealers started using architectural golden frames with trophies, ribbons and swags to make the painting appear more luxurious to their clients and to be able to increase the price of the sale. A painting presented in a simple white frame would not have sold for a high amount of money despite that been the choice of the artist.
Lucky enough nowadays we have a broad range of frames and styles available. Whether you decide to re-use an old frame for a different painting or if you would like to have a brand new bespoke frame made for it, the principle of quality is the way to follow. Some old frames can be adapted to the new painting by simply adding a slip frame and some -but not all- can be trimmed to suit the new painting depending on the type of moulding as well as its characteristics. In any case, when the decision comes down to displaying a colourful artwork at its best, a white moulding will always make the colours look brighter.
At the First Floor Gallery Picture Framing Studio we offer multiple styles of finished white mouldings by the finest UK and international manufacturers as well as a broad range of raw wooden frames that can be painted using a selection of different shades of white adapting to the tone of the work.
Always remember that every artwork has its own character and communicates a different message so understanding it and working directly with it will bring optimum results to the artwork and the place where it will be seen.