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Demonstration by Lynne Friel

Visit her at www.lynnefriel.co.uk

Demo/Workshop, "Improving Your Presentation", 9 June 2017
"MAKE 'EM LOOK TWICE. Great presentation can turn a good painting into an even better one - and help it to sell. This demonstration focuses on using mounts and frames to do just that."

Lynne started with general comments on mounting watercolours or watercolour-style acrylics.
Everything should hang freely, so nothing buckles if the paper or mount shrinks or expands with humidity.
You should always have a barrier behind the painting, before you get to the exterior back board.
It is usually easier to sell unframed paintings if buyers know that the mounts fit standard frame sizes. Bear in mind that standard frames are normally a couple of millimetres oversize and shop bought mounts have equal widths all the way around, so a standard mount resting on the bottom of the frame has slightly more showing at the top than the bottom.
The convention is to have the same width of mount at the top and sides but slightly wider at the bottom.
When you have cut the mount, hinge it to the barrier with short pieces of acid free tape (not ordinary sticky tape or masking tape). Lynne used framing tape in the demo only because white tape would have been invisible.
Make sure that the tape covers the smallest possible area of the back of the painting. To tape the picture to the barrier put two small pieces of tape on the back of the picture (creating tabs extending beyond the top edge) and then tape these tabs to the barrier.
A mount is not just for looks - it also makes sure that the painting doesn't touch the glass (which can ruin it in time)

Lynne then introduced us to the painting that would form the basis of the rest of the demo.

First she tried white mounts of different widths. We all agreed that the slighly wider mount with more space at the bottom was most flattering.
Remember, the viewer sees the painting, the mount and the frame as a whole, so Lynne tried a thin, plain,crimson frame. The consensus was that this made it look like one for a kitchen or loo, not a reception room.

Then the question of coloured mounts came up. These were all the rage in the 20th century but nobody now seems to like a picture if it is overpowered by even a well-chosen colour. Double-mounting where most of the coloured mount is hidden by by something light, is better. Generally, paintings sell best if the mount and frame are neutral and pale.

Lynne's favourite colours are Daler Rowney "Antique White" and "Snow White Texture". For a bit more luxury, these go together well, with the slightly darker Antique White against the painting so you see mostly Snow White. Double mounts are less popular than they were, but faking a double mount by drawing a line on the mount is passé
There are many types of frame. There was a pretty good consensus that a dark frame did not really suit this painting. There was less agreement about the difference between wooden and white frames.

Don't be afraid to crop a picture drastically. Remember, too, that you don't have to have the same shape for the painting and the frame, especially if you are using a frame much bigger than the image.

You can get a very good idea of what is popular by looking at photos in lifestyle magazines. Some people are now going for a square, or almost square, format. In fact, if you have a square frame and cut the mount in the conventional way (the same width top and sides and a bit wider at the bottom) the picture will not be square!
Deep frames and float mounts are popular (passing fads?).

Ikea is a good source of frames but they are made of something like MDF, which will split very easily if you try to screw into it. Old frames may be modernised with Chalk Paint.

If you want to leave the choice of frame to the buyer, wrap the (standard-sized) mount very neatly in florist's Cellophane.
Lynne had several examples of framed paintings.

One particular set was of three identical paintings mounted in differently frames. We were asked to price. This resulted in prices between about £20 and £80, showing how important it is to adopt currently fashionable practices and to make a good job of it.
After the break we all got down to the workshop part of the evening.
We had been asked to bring example of our work and
Lynne had boxes of mount and frame corners in different styles, colours and widths.
As you can see, we all got stuck in and enjoyed the rest of the session as much as the first part.

Thank you, Lynne for an interesting and helpful evening.

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