Congratulations! You have taken the first step and purchased your very first piece of original art. After much anticipation, it finally arrived and as you proudly step back to admire it you can't help but notice that something is missing. Framing is the finishing touch that elevates artwork to the next level. It's the icing on the cake so to speak.

A good frame choice can greatly enhance the artwork while a poor frame choice can distract from the artwork. Not every piece of art needs to be framed; often an artist paints on a canvas wrapped around the stretches that secure to the back, known as a gallery wrap. This leaves the sides of the canvas smooth and often the artist paints the edges. Contemporary artists often prepare their canvases with this method with the expectation of the art remaining unframed. However, framing is always an option

Framing is an art in itself and working with an experienced Framer is highly recommended.  Not only to ensure your artwork is framed in a visually attractive way but also framed in the most suitable way to protect your investment.

I worked with Carol from Prints Charming for many years not only for my clients' projects but also for my personal collection. Walking into their new location in Calgary on 17th Avenue S.W. can be overwhelming. They offer a curated selection of over 2,900 framing options. For me, I am like a kid in the candy store.  There are so many choices that delight my senses, I could spend hours just taking in their brilliance.

With her expertise, Carol makes the decision process so much easier. Once you unwrap your prize possession she can effortlessly funnel the choice of thousands down to a mere 100 potential frames. Now the fun begins! She subtly asks the right questions to discover your style, taste, and preferences, helping you choose the right frame to complement the artwork not overpower or underwhelm it. Should you have a mat or liner? How about stacking two frames for impact? Carol also likes to add one option that is unexpected to the mix; the "shot in the dark." 

I challenged Carol by providing two contrasting works of art; "Mountain Falls" by Janet B. Armstrong and "Naissovibe 19" by Alain Giroux. Both pieces (available through UppstArt) are spectacular with their bold sense of movement and distinctive colour palettes. 

Inspired by the landscape "Mountain Falls," Carol presents three frame options which share a complementary colour tone but offering very different results.

Frame #1 is a traditional approach with a linen liner to provide a break between the painting and the frame. I especially liked the "leather" texture of wood as well as the scale. Price $$

Frame #2 provides a more textural almost rustic frame choice with a larger linen mat for a bolder look if you want to "fill out" the artwork. Price $$

Frame #3 provides a more contemporary option with a "floating" frame. This frame has copper highlights which really enhanced the colours in the painting. Price $$$

Turning to the abstract "Naissovibe 19," Carol's choices really hit the mark showcasing this contemporary work of art.

Frame #1 is another "floating" frame with a tailored profile allowing just a hint of a break from the art. The orange undertones in the frame brilliantly capture the orange in the painting. Price: $

Frame #2 is a more traditional style with a bevelled detail on the outer edge of the frame. The copper highlights provide the impact needed to balance with the boldness of the painting. Price: $$

Frame #3 is an example of a "stacked" frame by placing two complimentary frames together for maximum impact. This combination of the deeper metallic and lighter modern frames together enhances the painting giving it the presence it deserves. Price: $$$

All of these frame choices are fantastic options for the respective works of art. A professional Framer brings creativity and experience to help you select the best options for fitting your original artwork into your home.  A successful pairing will allow the framed piece to be hung anywhere regardless of the room or decor. Take the time to make the right selection so that you can enjoy your art for generations.

Since 1983, Prints Charming has been a Calgary staple for art lovers, collectors and home decor enthusiasts. Carol and her husband Brett purchased the business in 2006 and recently added The Movie Poster Shop to their curated offerings.



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