Pictures and Frames: Bringing the Two Together with the Perfect Treatment Tip 1: Start with the art What you’re framing is the first thing to consider. What is the medium? An autographed photo, a hockey jersey, an oil on canvas and a child’s watercolor have different feels. How does the item strike you? Casual? Formal? Is it a colorful piece you want to tone down or a neutral piece you want to make bolder? Is it a mosaic that needs a frame which will take a back seat or a landscape that requires a treatment with presence? Some rules of thumb: • Strong, modern works of art and photography can handle bold shapes and frame finishes • Dramatic pictures on canvas are also stunning in extra deep frames or floater frames. (Canvas floater frames have bars in the back to which the artwork attaches instead of sliding into a channel like a typical frame. This makes the artwork appear to “float” inside the frame without touching it.) • Traditional canvas paintings and watercolors will showcase beautifully in carved woods or ornate gold and silver mouldings paired with linen liners or rag mat boards. • Color can change the entire mood of a picture, from calm to exciting, and can influence the “season” the image suggests, lending the same artwork a winter, spring, summer or fall feel depending on the color and sheen of the frame and mat. Use a color wheel to test various shades against the image. • Look at your pictures and choose the element you’d like to call out, then match that shade to the mat. • If you aren’t sure which direction to take, choose a high quality white or cream mat and use a simple frame in either black or a mid-tone wood. This approach will complement almost any item.