As part of my workshop, "For Love or Money", the framing and presentation of original work is a formal part of the discussions surrounding the business aspects of portrait painting. Selecting and buying frames makes the most sense to me when it is done thoughtfully, so that several things are accomplished.
1. Standard sized art and frames creates maximum flexibility. I don't seal up the backs of my framed art with paper as many pro framers do - because I want to be able to easily and quickly pop pieces in and out of their frames.
2. Color and style of frames - consistent within groups. I have a batch of gold-hued frames, silver-hued frames and black frames. I also have these frames in simple plein-aire styles, simply designed frames and ornate Baroque style frames. But having a group of frames in similar color and/or style allows you to combine them indifferent ways to promote unity.
Other things I consider include: the scale of both the wall and the art; the color of the wall; and the type of lighting a wall will receive.
Below, this wall is painted a soft white and flanks a large window on the left - my friends Marlene and Eric Slayton came to help me hang the wall. (OK, actually I healed THEM hang the wall by holding the hammer and nails). This is the way the wall looks in natural daylight. You can see that there are a variety of different styles of frame, but they are all unified by their gold-hued color. Despite the face that there are quite a lot of different categories (several nudes, a large central print, some portraits and a landscape) - and media - (charcoal, pen and ink, oil, conte) the wall still holds together in a pleasing fashion. Most are mine, but the central print and landscape are by other artists.
And here are the two walls under the artificial incandescent ceiling lights in conjunction with the natural window light. This room has very high walls so the overhead lights are more evenly distributed than would be the case with walls that aren't so high.On the Begonia wall, the difference in the color temperatures of the artificial (about 3500 degrees Kelvin) and natural light (about 6000 degrees Kelvin) are very obvious.
In my studio, though, the walls are painted a very desaturated cool greenish grey, middle value (Sherwin Williams, Anonymous) - they keep my studio from getting too much bright light bouncing about and also look great with portraits, since the wall color is a good approximation of the complement to skin tones. I'll add more on Studio color in a future Blog post.