Professional Tips for Choosing the Right Frame for an Oil Painting

In The Artist’s Magazine (November 2012), professional artists and framers shared their best advice for framing artworks on canvas in the feature article “Frame of Mind.” Click here to download the digital issue and read the full article about framing works on canvas, and in the meantime enjoy this free excerpt on choosing the right frame for an oil painting.

“As an artist, you should focus on the work, not the frame. Buyers often have their own opinions about what looks best. Artists should minimize costs because eventually the frame will become the choice of whoever owns the painting.” —Cole Carothers, professional artist

“I don’t think you should limit yourself to a style of frame, but rather choose a frame that Scoop Frame for an oil paintingworks with each painting. When I go to plein air exhibitions, I see the same style of frame again and again. As a result, nothing stands out. In general, however, simple is good; our Taos frame (right) is an example of a frame that works with just about any style or genre. It’s a simple yet elegant scoop frame that adds dimension to your work without overpowering it.” —Stephen Crisafulli /

“I like to float a landscape so that the painting is inlaid and there’s a border between the work and the frame. (See page 46, upper left.) The landscape retains its integrity and yet there’s air around the work, which opens it up, whereas a frame flush against the piece can seem to contain rather than liberate the landscape.” —M. Katherine Hurley, professional artist and former professional framer

“Work with one framer. Independent framers are all around town and have the most experience, and they care—really care—for your art.” —Jim Crosser / Plaza Art



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