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Pictures on a wall

Turn that Treasure into a Work of Art

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What makes a good frame? The artist and owner of The Picture Framer gives us his insight. 

THE frame is an intrinsic part of the painting itself. It should elevate the work, be it original or print, to a new level…it transforms it! It gives the work gravitas, completes and compliments it.

All our frames are handbuild around the image. This allows us not only to choose the best frame for your canvas but to accommodate odd shapes and sizes. This is a time consuming task but is such an important part of the process, thankfully my son, Robbie, has now come in to help me do this full time allowing me more time to concentrate on painting.

So, what, in my opinion, makes a good frame.


Essentially there are 3 components you need to consider:

  1. Material (frame, mount)

  2. Proportion

  3. Design (colour, style)



My main framing material of choice is wood, it looks classy and doesn't date. I always mount the work, usually with mounting card but occasionally, particularly with originals, I’ve used a thinner, wood inlay as a mount. I glaze but do, on request, or if being shipped, use art Perspex. I don’t tend to glaze original works.

Most of my frames are simple and understated. Often single narrow or broader band of wood, glazed, mounted. The mount is useful device for being a ‘neutral zone’ between the colour of the painting and the frame itself. It can also add contrast, particularly if a double mount is used. See our teminology page


There is no hard and fast rule or mathematical equation for framing a work. Putting it simply it either works or it doesn’t. My long thin sailing works have a wider frame than you would think would work but they do. Saying that one of my larger originals do tend to have wider frames and often bevelled. Which leads me neatly onto the next matter:-

To Bevel or not To Bevel

I tend to keep my frames simple but occasionally I do go for the deeper beveled frame. These, by their very nature, add to the depth of the work as well as hark back to slightly more grandiose frames of the past.


This is where it gets more subjective. Some customers like matching frames as a theme, others are more eclectic, some like it to match the walls, others like the viva la difference effect.

I usually pick out a colour in the work and choose a frame that compliments and enhances it. Usually my frames are black, deep grey, mid grey and light grey or white. Of course if a customer wants a fushia pink frame they can have it but I would strongly argue against it! 

East Beach Dune Path - Vartersay - large - wht.jpg
East Beach Dune Path - Vartersay - large - gry.jpg
East Beach Dune Path - Vartersay - med - wht.jpg
East Beach Dune Path - Vartersay - mini - blk.jpg
East Beach Dune Path - Vartersay - large - blk.jpg
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