Isn't hanging a painting as easy as that? Yeah, right! There are so many ways that you can showcase your work, and each one can make such a difference in how each painting or drawing is perceived.
Unframed. I prefer the art that I have in my apartment unframed, but I'm definitely in the minority. I like the 'fresh off the studio walls' look, and feel like there's no interference to seeing and interpreting the work when there is no frame. But many people feel like a painting can look too stark on a wall without one.
Framed. A frame will definitely give a painting a more finished look. And I know a lot of artists who throw around the phrase, "frame it in gold if you want it sold." And there is a bit of truth to that. A well-chosen frame can elevate the look of a painting. But a word of caution: I've seen too many loud frames–whether in size or color–that diminish a painting and all but swallow it up.
|Skylar in Blue by Jeremy Lipking, oil painting, 16 x 12. The frame lends
distinction and a historic feel to the work.
Salon-style. If you are in charge of the arrangement of your work, whether during an open-studio session or in a gallery, hanging work salon style means paintings do not just sit side by side, but are stacked above one another on the wall, just as in the famous Parisian salon shows of the nineteenth century. Some call it chaotic, but on the other hand it is an equal-opportunity arrangement because no one work will stand out spatially among the rest.
|Paintings hung salon-style create an all-over
effect–nothing quite sticks out.
The frieze effect. This basically means hanging paintings in a row just above eye level as we usually see most artwork hung. If your work is hung this way, be aware of the size of each piece, because that can have a predominate effect on what painting catches a person's eye first.
|Lindsey Carr's work is hung in a traditional manner
at Thinkspace Art Gallery in Culver City, CA.
For more inspiration on different ways artists work that can really effect how they eventually hang their work, Mark Menendez's Mastering Art–Masters Kit is a great resource. And for essential painting information no matter your skill level, check out Mark's Mastering Art–Drawing Kit and Mastering Art–Color Kit, where you'll discover techniques and ideas that lead to powerful finished works. These are the resources that bring me a step closer to actually putting something I think is worthy up on the wall. I hope it is the same for you. Enjoy!
How do you prefer to show your work? In frames or no? Salon style? In a grid? Leave a comment and let me know.