Gallery wrapped canvas thickness
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    Gallery wrapped canvas thickness

    Hi all,

    I was showing my work at a gallery show and one of my friends mentioned that, for most galleries to accept gallery-wrapped paintings (without the frame), the depth of the painting should be, at least, 1-1/2 inches.

    Does everybody frame their work? For those who paint the sides of the gallery-wrapped canvas, what depth do you commonly use?

    Dougie

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    Dude ,

    Frame your paintings, always. It shows you care about your artwork When you do. Spend at least ten percent of the retail price of the painting on the frame.

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    Even if I carry the painting onto the sides of the canvas (which fits with the modern feel of my paintings).

    I understand what you're saying though... to date, my customers hadn't wanted frames, but, you never know about which customers I'm missing due to the fact that the paintings are not framed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Hoppes View Post
    Even if I carry the painting onto the sides of the canvas (which fits with the modern feel of my paintings).

    I understand what you're saying though... to date, my customers hadn't wanted frames, but, you never know about which customers I'm missing due to the fact that the paintings are not framed.
    Here is the thing about that. If you frame it and they don't like the frame you can subtract the price of the frame and sell it unframed, but if you don't frame it and they want it framed you could miss out because they don't want to have to buy a frame at an additional cost.

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    dpaint's right.
    Also, frame it well - the best you can afford and take a lot of trouble over it. It'll be a pain in the ass at first, but over time you'll get to know what is suiting your work as a moulding and colour, making the process much swifter.

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    A painting in a frame is a picture. A painting without a frame is an object. It's important that you understand which kind of painting you are making, and present it accordingly.


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    A gallery wrapped canvas typically refers to a canvas with an inch and half cradle or deeper.

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    To me that gallery wrapped thing says, "I'm cheap...my art is cheap...and I'm an amateur." Don't mean that as a personal insult of course Doug (you know that)...but that is what it says...because that is generally the type of person who does it. I think it is more acceptable if the work is contemporary/modern or has some other aspect that makes sense within its context.

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    None taken, Jeff... since my paintings have more of a modern flair, never came across that comment ('course, you never know what people say when you're not around).

    For me, people immediately come over to my booth or where-ever I'm showing my paintings and are immediately drawn into the simplicity of the paintings and the color schemes that I use. When I'm showing my work at an Art Fair, I DO mention that the paintings are unframed due to me wanting to have a more modern feel to the painting and most people seem to like it that way (Most of the discussions (once they get past the point that they can afford it) revolve around where they are going to hang the painting).

    However, I DO think that I may bring a couple of frames around and show them what it would look like if it was framed and offer them an upgrade for the framing. That way I wouldn't have to purchase frames for every painting that I bring to a show.

    Now, I just have to find a good-looking modern style frame (the traditional oil painting gold frame doesn't look good with my paintings) for a reasonable price (so not to outprice my paintings from my market).

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    If your work can be hung and well presented without a frame then it would be just as absurd to believe that you have to frame it just because you think convention dictates it or on the opinions of others. Hang it the way you want, just do a good job of it. Some subjects, like a traditional still life, would look odd without a frame, whereas a gigantic abstract painting inside a frame would be pointless. Go to a museum and look at the large paintings of Clyfford Still or Robert Motherwell - no frames. Large Sargents or "Washington Crossing the Delaware" - in frames.

    The main reason to use thick stretcher bars in a gallery wrapped painting is a practical one for large size canvases. Thin bars of wood at a long length will twist out of shape, whereas thick wood will stay straight. The thin bars used in smaller works can be held straight by placing them in a frame as well as being properly braced in the back.

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    I agree with what you are saying, David... (I think that my paintings look better without frames). However, there's is a flip side. A lot of art IS about convention/perception. It's amazing how many people would purchase a painting because it is framed. They think that, somehow, it adds validity that it is a piece of work done by a professional artist. I've lost sales before (when I used to frame my work) due to the fact that the frame did not match the other ones in their house (They were going for a certain look).

    For me, my client based is typically the 30 - 45 year old set who tends to want to have a modern look in their house. They don't seem to be bothered about not having the frame (in some cases, they prefer it). However, to expand my market to others (inside/outside of this demographic), I think that I have to consider some sort of modern frame.

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    The great majority of my paintings are framed. I just think they look better that way. The few that I have not framed have the painting taken around the sides, and have been 1 1/2 inches in depth. Having said that, I have noticed that many galleries where I live present much of their work not only unframed, but in some cases the sides are left unfinished.

    I think they do this for two reasons:

    • Unframed paintings have a modern look to them and even those with unpainted sides have a certain spontaneous charm.

    • Paintings without investment in framing can be presented at a certain price point, perhaps making them easier to sell. Following the sale, the gallery can attempt to sell framing at an additional price


    Personally, I prefer framing, but I find unframed paintings quite acceptible providing they are 1 1/2 inches in the depth and the sides finished neatly. This is just a personal opinion, however.

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    I once was in a gallery and I saw a gallery employee painting the sides of a canvas. I was shocked. I thought it was unprofessional and offensive, to the artist and the buyer, if the borders are to be painted, they should be painted by someone who knows what they are doing and they should be varnished just like the rest.

    Doug, you might want to check out floating frames and very simple black frames and have a few with you so you can show the customers what it looks like framed.

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    @Qitsune: Wow! The gallery was painting the sides of the canvas? I would be pissed! I would rather have them tell me that 1) it needs to be framed or 2) I need to paint the sides.

    For my paintings, I actually carry the painting onto the side. So, if there is a tree near the edge, you see part of the detailed tree on the side of the painting. When I varnish the painting, I also varnish the sides, too.

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