However, for small studies, like this painting of a cypress swamp scene near Punta Gorda, Florida (more information, in earlier posts), I sometimes use canvas-covered boards. These are best framed (so that they don't warp, as well as for appearance), but I don't feel confident choosing frames on my own and seek advice, either from my husband, who has a great eye for the best frame or from a framing expert in a shop.
Our local art supply store, Reddi Arts, which is a treasure trove of lovely, unique gifts as well as a bonanza of well-priced supplies for all types of artists and crafters, has the best framers around. They also have an extensive supply of ready-made frames in all price ranges. When I frame a piece that will be for sale, like this one, I do not want to invest in an expensive custom framing job. This would add too much to the price of the piece--and may not even be to the client's taste (many art buyers replace the frame a work comes in to suit their taste and decor). On the other hand, I want the piece to look as nice as possible and not to cheapen it with a shabby or poorly chosen frame.
At Reddi Arts, the staff is as careful and helpful assisting a customer seeking a $20 - $25 frame as when someone brings in a large piece for expensive custom framing. This particular painting is a bit tricky because the prevailing cool tones don't look right with most wood finishes or metallics--yet a plain black frame didn't add much either. The framer there walked through the entire department with me and found this attractive frame, which looks terrific--better than I seem to be able to show you in a photo--sorry about that. The finish has both muted silvery and gold touches on a neutral wood tone that picked up the touches of brown in the cypress roots perfectly. The right side of the photo is not true to the color of the frame; it's less brown and cooler toned than it looks on that side. I was pleased--AND the frame was only $23, a very good price for the look of quality it has. So, the total price of the painting can stay reasonable (about $150). Unlike some artists, I do not try to make money on frames--just pass on the basic cost.
Question of the day: What guides you in choosing frames for art work?