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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Do You Have Your Magic Frame?

'Morning Softness'            8x10           pastel           ©Karen Margulis
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 Every Artist needs one. I have several. A gold one and a black and dark wood version. I even have a few sizes.  I think it is one of the most important studio tools we can have.  I am talking about an empty frame.  I call them my Magic Frames.  When I put the Magic Frame up to a student's painting it is amazing at the response I get.  There is always amazement at how finished a painting can look in a frame.

It may not be completely finished but the Magic Frame has saved many a painting from getting 'finished off'  (southern talk for overworking a painting)  The frame isolates the painting and removes the distraction of clips, tape and dirty boards.  Without these distractions the painting can be evaluated. Decisions can be made about what is working and what else is needed.

The Magic Frame allows us to see out paintings better but more importantly taking the time to put a frame up to the painting and step back forces up to STOP.  If we don't stop, step back and look we may start overworking in our quest to finish.


One of my Magic Frames
I like to use simple Plein Air Frames which seem to work well with most of my paintings. But here is another tip.....Use a Black Mat....I have several Magic Mats that I use for the same purpose.  I had black mats cut in my most common painting sizes.  These are easier to store and bring to classes.  No matter what you choose, consider making a Magic Mat or Frame a part of your painting routine.

4 comments:

Denise Rose said...

I remember what your magic frame did for my painting! Great advice!

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a very good tip. Especially since I just "killed" a very good painting by going too far.

Debbie Fox said...

Karen, great idea, even just using a black mat. I have been using Richard McKinley's suggestion of covering regular masking tape with black masking tape to "frame" the painting.

robertsloan2art said...

This is so true! I always kept a collection of mats for that purpose, since I liked having a mat cutter and enjoyed doing different colors and shapes. Once I'd look at it with the mat I could see whether it was done and what it needed if it wasn't. The difference is so amazing - just without the border and any messy bits and tape and so on.

I like your magic frame. I'm tempted to get one that style since I'd like to have one anyway. Tempting to get more than one so that I can hang a couple favorites and just rotate what's in it too.