Framing Watercolors

When I frame my paintings, I use wood frames with linen liners?a method typically used for framing oil paintings. The linen liners are actually thin pieces of wood covered in linen with a window cut out for the painting; they?re used in place of a mat. The painting should fit nicely into the window and rest on the ?-inch ledge of the linen liner. When framing oil paintings, you rest the canvas directly on the liner?s ledge. In the case of watercolors, you first insert a piece of glass into the opening. I prefer to use non-glare glass, which I have cut to fit only the size of the opening in the linen?the size of the painting. The glass is thus covering just the image and does not reach edge to edge on the frame: The result is that the piece is lighter. In addition, framing with linen liners costs less than framing paintings with traditional matting, because less glass is required. To keep the paper from touching the glass, I use plastic spacers which I order from my frame supplier. The spacers come with an adhesive side that sticks to the glass. Here?s how it works:

1. Place the spacers around the outside of the glass. The spacers will not be apparent after framing.

2. Place the painting face down on the spacers.

3. Place the glass and painting into the linen liner.

4. Place acid-free foam board on top of the painting.

5. Tack the three layers into place by stapling framer’s points around the inside edge of the linen liner.

6. Adhere brown paper to the back of the entire frame. Then fasten hardware to the back of the frame, as usual.

Carol Fairbanks has a master’s degree in education and works as a visionary artist. She teaches Kripalu yoga at the Cincinnati Yoga School and offers “creative funshops” from her Crescent Moon Studio of Sacred and Creative Arts in Loveland, Ohio. Joanne Moore is managing editor for The Artist’s Magazine.

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