Framing for Sales Success with Lynne Friel

Hello fellow Society members, happy 2017. SoFAP kick-started the new year with a double workshop at the Ranelagh Sailing Club.   

In the afternoon we were treated to a demonstration by Lynne Friel, a professional artist and presentation specialist.  As artists, we spend so much time on a painting, only to lessen the finished piece’s potential sellability by thinking little of how it should be mounted and framed. Lynne demonstrated this succinctly by asking the group to price one particular painting that had been ‘dressed’ in three very different ways.   Everyone was in agreement that they would pay well under £100 for the image with the least appropriate mount and frame. Yet we all agreed too that around £200 was the correct price for the same painting that had been given a classy double mount and tasteful white frame.

Lynne pointed out there are fundamental, as well as practical, do’s and don’t’s when presenting your work.   Coloured frames – which we all agreed upon – are definitely passé for the most sales markets!  With that in mind, choose a white or black frame and think carefully how wide (or deep) you want it. Too chunky and it will detract from the painting. This was another key point – don’t make the mount and frame the most stunning aspect, the painting must shine through the framing.  Another clever point was the sizing of the mount. The height and width from frame edge to aperture for your painting is crucial – too thin and your work will appear confined and boxed in, too wide and the finished art will be equally lost. With that in mind, make the top, left and right margins of equal width, but consider adding an extra 2cms to the bottom of the mount.

Don’t pinch on price: choose a good quality mount. With cheaper ones the bevel will deteriorate and the mount itself will become discoloured over time.   Select a Museum or Conservation Grade mount – it will last longer and enhance the presentation of your artwork.

Lynne also showed us that the way the back of the frame is  presented is crucial too.  Never use masking tape – it peels off very quickly! The picture ideally should have a strong piece of card behind it, then it should be sealed with the correct brown gummed sealing tape – found in www.lionpic.co.uk.

If in doubt about presentation techniques, ask advice from the staff at your nearest framing shop – the extra bit of care spent may well end up in your work being sold for double the price you initially considered selling it for!

Written up by Warren King, January 2017

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