I wont be around at all today. I’m off to the private view of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition.
Successful week; I managed 2 paintings in two days, which considering my busy picture framing schedule, is quite the achievement! The above were painted plein air on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week in time for the current exhibition at the Nottingham Society of Artists – Nottingham Our City- Save St Luke. The hand crafted frames are finished in Farrow and Ball colours Hardwick White, Light Grey and Lime white. Although I was hoping for sunshine, the dreary weather on the Wednesday turned into a positive, as I managed to capture a similar scene to the day before but with a whole different feel.
Until now, payments have been by cash, cheque or BACS but, thanks to my new iZettle chip and pin card reader, as from today I will also be accepting credit and debit cards.
I always welcome the opportunity to work alongside artists whether they are budding amateurs or established professionals. Being an exhibiting aritist myself I am uniquely qualified to see framing from both the artists and the framers viewpoint. I understand the need to present your artwork in the most appropriate way to optimise the chance of being exhibited and ultimately selling your art.
For established professionals making consistent sales, the position is perhaps clearest. Normally, in this instance, even the cost of a high end framing represents only a small percentage of the resale value and the full cost of having the picture professionally framed can be justified. The artist’s time is freed up to create more artwork and everyone benefits – the artist, the framer and the art buyer.
For the artist earlier in their career things are a little trickier. You know that to secure more sales your work must be presented in its best light. You may even realise that by investing in better framing you will increase the perceived value of your work and increase the chance of securing that sale. But if the piece doesn’t sell quickly (or at all) what about all that capital tied up in frames? With doubts like this it is no wonder I see so many exhibitions where perfectly saleable pieces have been shoehorned into cheap, ill fitting, readymade frames that send out totally the wrong message about the piece and its creator.
Before we explore some solutions now would be a good time to explain a little bit how picture framers work and how this impact on the price you pay. Ignoring the amateur framer working from his garage, broadly speaking there are three types of framer who will make frames to your individual requirements. Contract framers, high street bespoke framers and more specialised framers working out of their own workshops.
Contract framers tend to work from units away from the high street. They work on smaller margins per frame but to get their best price you will need to order a number of frames of the same size and style. If you are someone who works to the same format and you are producing sufficient work this may work for you.
The typical high street bespoke framer, on the other hand, makes individual frames to order. Typically, they will offer mouldings and mounts from several manufacturers and in many styles. Without the economy of multiples and with large overheads of high street rent and business rates this is probably the most expensive option.
The third category is is bespoke framers working from their own workshops. These may be specialists in one particular area such as water gilded frames or sports memorabilia framing or they may be more generalists offering a full range of styles and types of framing to all who come through the door. In common with the high street framer their income is derived largely from their labour. This is a very important point to understand. A large proportion of the amount you pay to a framer will be for his time and frame making is time consuming. It follows then that if you can reduce the amount of time that a picture framer has to spend on your frames the better price he will be able to offer.
Obviously I can’t speak for other picture framers but I am prepared to work with an artist any way he sees fit. Here are some suggestions as to how you can reduce the amount of time I spend on your frames:
- Order skeleton frames only – you do the rest. This represents the largest saving. This option is probably best reserved for works that don’t need glazing such as oil paintings.
- Order fame and glazing – you cut the mount and assemble
- Order frame, mount and glazing but you mount the picture yourself
- Learn frame finishing – a lot can be done with waxes, stains and colourwashes on relatively inexpensive plain wood mouldings. For the more adventurous and determined there is a great deal of satisfaction to be gained by learning to gild your own frames (if you are interested in this I may be able to help – give me a call)
- Order multiples – once the guillotine and the mount cutter is set it is much quicker to produce several frames of the same dimensions
Well, not exactly a sale because each frame is made to your exact specifications but I will be giving 10% discount on my standard prices on all orders placed before 31/01/13!
I’m taking a well earned break at the moment but I will be back framing and painting on Wednesday 02/01/13. In the meantime if you have any queries you can leave me a message on 0115 9386847 and I will get back to you asap.
I would like wish all my customers a happy and prosperous 2013!
One of my own paintings, “Winter Fields, Stoke Bardolph” (In one of my own hand-gilded frames!) has been selected for the forthcoming Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition. The ROI is the only art group that is devoted to celebrating the medium of oil painting. The Institute’s Annual Exhibition will be on display at the Mall Galleries near Trafalgar Square between 12 to 23 December 2012.
Founded in 1882, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters chooses the very best submissions in oil -based media from national and international submissions – past exhibitors have included Walter Sickert, Dame Laura Knight, Fantin Latour, and even Auguste Rodin. Today, the institute supports emerging painters by offering a range of prizes and awards to exhibitors at the exhibition.
The winners of the Winsor & Newton Oil Painters Awards will be announced at the private view on Tueseday 11 December.
Where to hang pictures
Try to avoid hanging pictures above radiators or fires. Rapid or extreme changes in temperature can cause paper and wood to dry out and adhesives to fail prematurely.
It is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Damp can cause pictures to ripple and encourage fungal growth. Certain conservation techniques can mitigate against damp so if in doubt speak to your framer and he will be able to advise on the most suitable framing methods,
Where possible, it is better to avoid hanging in strong direct light (opposite a large window for example). UV light will fade works on paper. Anti UV glass is available but expensive (although probably worth the extra for works of value).
Don’t use cleaning fluids or water on frames – a gentle dust is all that is needed. When using glass cleaner apply it to the cloth rather than spaying it directly onto the glass. This will prevent it from running down the glass and potentially damaging the frame or your artwork.
It is a good idea to check your frames periodically to make sure the fixings are secure and that the brown paper tape sealing the frame is in good order. If you find that sealing tape has come unstuck, return the frame to the framer. Do not attempt to replace the tape with masking tape; it is not up to the job! Oil paintings on stretched canvas may become loose over time but can be restreched by your framer if necessary.
Below are the two frames that I have just finished for my paintings which I will be sending to the Affiliates Exhibition at the Nottingham Society of Artists. The exhibition runs from the 9th to 14th of February at St Lukes House on Friar Lane.
This frame was gilded with 12K white gold – the yellowish cast, more apparent on the sides, is a reflection of a cream wall opposite.
This frame was gilded in 22k gold which was the distressed to reveal the red bole beneath.
These and more of my paintings can be seen on my painting blog, The Filbert and Rigger
“Sparkling Light – Nottingham Riverside Festival”, a painting that I have been working on for the last couple of months, has just been awarded the Holbrook Trust first prize at the Nottingham society of Artists autumn exhibition. The development of the painting, which depicts the dragon boat racing from the Nottingham Riverside Festival, can be tracked on my painting blog The Filbert and Rigger. . Naturally, I also framed the picture and after toying with the idea of a hand-gilded frame I eventually opted for a modern chunky moulding in a pewter finish with a white slip.