Frame | No Frame

FRAMES modeled by the one and only Mr. Judge Reinhold the cat.  ©2017 Kelli J Thompson

FRAMES modeled by the one and only Mr. Judge Reinhold the cat.  ©2017 Kelli J Thompson

During my painting process, I ensure that the outer edges of my paintings are included in the overall piece. I think it's cool to see the concept and vibe of the painting organically wrap around the edge. For instance:

Although the pieces can stand on their own, I decided to mess around with some frames to see how the paintings would respond. I found a couple of frame designs that allow enough visual clearance to see the painted edges of the artwork. 

Shown are two examples of two different surfaces that I've been painting on: 4cm deep birch panel and 2cm deep wrapped canvas. The 4cm birch panel is pretty chunky and so the painting stands beyond the frame.  It adds a cool dimension. The 2cm wrapped canvas is fairly thin and it sits nearly flush with the outside edge of the frame. It adds a bit of physical and visual weight to the thinner body of the stretched canvas.

Next, I tried a thin black frame that stood in closer profile to the edge of the paintings. Here's a side by side comparison with the original frame.

Strange how it messes with perception of the size of the paintings. Also, the thin profile frame creates a visual tension; as if the painting is trying to bust out of the frame.  Pretty fascinating! 

Should we try a different color? 

These are the same two paintings, with the same two frame designs, only this time in white. The mood of the paintings has changed.  The black lends a bit of mystery to the atmosphere, while the white feels more mystical.

My eye is drawn towards the center of the paintings that are framed in black. The white creates quite a different effect; I feel drawn to the outside edges of the pieces, exploring the textures and colors.

Let's try one more frame color.

Once again, these are the same paintings with the same frame styles; this time shown in a natural wood tone. These frames can be used "as is", stained to a different wood tone, or painted an endless number of colors. This option would be great for someone with a very specific aesthetic in their home that would like to "match" the frame to other elements. Sometimes this can draw attention away from the artwork itself. But depending on the surroundings, blending the frame with other elements can actually bring attention back to the artwork. 

To Frame or Not To Frame

It is certainly compelling to see the paintings change with each change of frame. Ultimately, to frame or not to frame comes down to personal opinion. Every framing option that I've shown is a contender. The decision hinges on the unique space where each painting will hang.

When it comes to enjoying art, there is no wrong answer!


Copyright © 2017 Kelli J Thompson, All rights reserved.