Saturday, April 26, 2008


Like everything else in life, frames seem to follow a fashion. It used to be (I am told) that plein air paintings were practically required to have a large linen mat separating the work from the frame. Well, thankfully that has changed and now most plein air frames are simple frames of gold, bronze, brown or black (the linen liner no longer "mandatory"). Many of the American Impressionists designed frames and carved designs into the frames during the Arts and Crafts movement. Why do we see so many gold frames around plein air paintings? I think it is because gold picks up other colors in the room and lends warmth. Ready-made "plein air" frames available today are often copies of frames that Whistler, Hassam, Twachtman and others used. A plein air frame has simple lines and is generally a flat frame with some or little adornment.
I painted over an old painting recently (see previous post below) and now that it is nearly dry I tried it in both a gold frame and a black frame. I decided on the black. If the painting is worthy of a frame, it is worthy of a good new frame that was chosen specifically because it works well with the painting (not a frame "ripped off" from some other piece of art..I have tried that and it seldom works)! To find a good framing source Google "plein air frame".

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