Is Custom Art Framing Worth the Money?

Professionally framed antique photos of man and woman

Honestly, that depends.

You don’t need custom framing for every piece of artwork. Your kindergartner’s finger paintings do very well with nothing more than a simple refrigerator magnet. Easily replaceable digital snapshots need a sturdy, functional frame and no more. But, there are times when you should hire a professional framer. Fine art and priceless keepsakes, for instance, require specific safeguards if you want them to last.

The Smart Money is on Reframing the Whole Question

Professionally framed antique photos of man and woman
How much do you value the art or image?

Sometimes, opting for the smallest initial cost is the most expensive mistake you can make long-term. Certainly that is true when you are trying to preserve the fragile medium used to create art. Paint and fabric deteriorate fairly quickly when exposed to the elements. You probably know that because you have to repaint your house every few years and replace clothing regularly. You likely have boxes of photographs from your childhood that are faded and curling by now. Conservation framing is the means by which you prevent your precious art and images from the same fate.

Think of framing like packing a suitcase for a very long journey. You can throw your expensive wool suit or delicate hand-stitched kimono into a chintzy plastic suitcase and hope it arrives undamaged. Or, you can pack the items you cherish into high-quality, protective, durable materials that allow them to survive the journey. What you are paying for, when you buy the good suitcase, is preservation. It’s the same with custom framing.

So, the smarter questions are …

When I Hire a Professional Framer, What is My Return on Investment?

Answering that question requires basic knowledge of what goes into building a proper frame for valuables. In an extremely small nutshell, the amount you pay for professional framing buys:

  • Close of of framed painting
    Design, materials, and craftsmanship all factor into the price of the finished project.

    Design: Your matte and frame should enhance, rather than detract from, the art. This is when working with a framer who understands art theory makes all the difference. There are seven elements of art: line, shape, form, space, texture, value, and color. Artists use these elements, along with design principles, to compose the finished piece. Custom framers examine those elements and principles to choose framing that appears integrated with the artwork and continues the artist’s message, but does not compete with the art. Framing design can literally make or break the visual appearance of art, affecting your enjoyment of works you are keeping and the price of pieces you are selling.

  • Materials: Archival materials are crucial for defending artwork from environmental damage. Craft store framing is relatively inexpensive because it is made cheaply with inferior materials: matte and backing may be labeled “acid-free,” but usually contain wood-based paper that breaks down over time to produce acid; the glass does not provide sufficient UV filtering; moulding is poorly constructed. Professional-grade framing is in an entirely different class. It is more expensive, but pays for itself by protecting your art long enough to allow it to increase in value.
  • Craftsmanship: How a piece is mounted and enclosed within the frame, and how the frame itself is constructed, are just as important as the materials used. Art must be mounted properly, based on its media, and not touch the glazing or moulding. The corners of the frame and backing should be secure to keep out airborne contaminants and insects. Amateur mistakes during this stage of framing can completely negate the work put into design and the money spent on conservation materials.

How Can You Get the Most for Your Framing Dollar?

One of the best ways to save on custom framing is to avoid costly mistakes by working with an experienced professional.

Interior of Village Frame & Gallery showroom
Come see us in our newly remodeled space today!

At Village Frame & Gallery, every project starts with a collaborative design consultation to:

  • Choose the best style and color of matte and framing so your finished piece will look fantastic on your wall
  • Evaluate your artwork and advise you of the materials required to protect it
  • Asses the value of your art over time to determine how much you should invest in framing
  • Help you make your final decisions knowledgably

After the consultation, we continue to deliver the most for your money through the use of professional-grade materials and fastidious craftsmanship.

Ready to invest in your artwork? Bring it to Village Frame & Gallery today to learn why our clients keep coming back year after year.

Featured Artist Madaline Janovec

Picture of Madeline Janovec in her garden.

Although Madaline Janovec passed away March 4, 2011, she is still one of Portland’s favorite artists. She left an indelible impression on everyone who knew her. This month, Village Frame & Gallery is featuring Madeline’s work in a special exhibit on display in the shop. Join is for First Friday, September 5th, or our Open House, September 6th to see Madeline’s work in person.

Artist’s Statement

Picture of Madeline Janovec in her garden.
Artist Madeline Janovec

I grew up near the ocean in Redondo Beach, California, but I fell in love with Oregon’s lush, green, wet, mossy scenery while on a trip with my parents at age 14. Oregon felt like heaven to me even at that young age. After studying art at California State University Northridge and California College of Art and Crafts in Oakland, I was finally able to move to Oregon in 1965 with my husband who had enrolled in Portland Museum Art School. I was pregnant at the time with my only child.

In 1973, I moved with my young daughter 40 miles northeast of Portland up the Washougal River drainage area in Washington State onto my family’s 80 acres of forest – 1200 feet above sea level. The location, fairly remote with very few people living nearby, provided lovely views of Mt. Hood and the Upper Washougal Canyon. Perhaps the beauty and the privacy of this space were contributing factors to the spiritual awakening I experienced while living there. My journey into the depths of self-awareness and discovery, allowed me to understand the oneness and connection of all things in life – a profound awareness that affected me deeply and has had a tremendous impact on my life.

Thirty-six years have passed since then and through the years I have come to understand that I have a very deep connection to the earth, and I often feel this connection has intensified with age. In looking back at my art over the years, I realize the birth of my only child and living in the forest (both very grounding experiences) had an enormous influence on the technique and subject matter of my work. My recent travels to Asia have strengthened my mystical connection to certain elements found in nature – rocks, soil, tree bark and moss, and my current work (drawings, paintings, prints and jewelry) seem to reflect this.

I have come to understand my life’s journey has always had a deep impact on my artwork, and looking back through the years, everything seems to make sense to me now.

Madeline’s Life Story

Learn more about her in The Oregonian article “Life Story: Madeline Janovec, a pioneer for women artists.”

Abstract painting by Madeline Janovec

Open House Sept 6th at Village Frame and Gallery

Abstract painting by Madeline Janovec

We are pleased to introduce our new framing and gallery spaces, this month featuring Portland artist Madeline Janovec!

When: Saturday, September 6 at 6:30pm – 10:00pm

Where: Village Frame & Gallery, 7808 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, Oregon 97219

Can’t make it Saturday? Visit us during First Friday in Multnomah Village! We’re looking forward to seeing you!

 

Abstract painting by Madeline Janovec

 

Inventory Reduction Sale August 19th-30th Only!

Painting of village by Marie-Calude Boucher
Image of Gholam Yunessi's painting Sonata
Sonata by Gholam Yunessi

In-stock, ready-to-hang artwork and mirrors at drastically reduced prices.

We need to make room for exciting new things to come, so we’re offering:

  • 20% to 50% off regular Gallery pricing*
  • Two weeks only
  • Stock is limited

If you’ve had your eye on a particular piece of art at Village Frame & Gallery, this may be your last chance, so stop in today.

*Sales does not include consignments or previous purchases.

See something you like?

This is just a small sample of the art we have on sale right now. Check out the rest in person at Village Frame & Gallery.

Gallery Closed this Saturday, but Come to the Village Anyway

Image of street fair in Multnomah Vilalge

Image of street fair in Multnomah VilalgeMultnomah Days is this weekend!

Make sure to arrive in the Village before 10 a.m. to see the parade and stay for the fun. This year’s theme is “The Village Goes Green” in celebration of our new “green street” run-off and pollution reduction facilities. Follow the Multnomah Village Facebook page to stay up-to-date about Multnomah Days activities and special events.

Village Frame & Gallery Will Be Closed Saturday, August 16th

Yes, yes, we know we are missing all the fun, but we’ll be open again for regular business hours next week. In the meantime, here’s a quick list of events planned for this weekend. Click on the poster below to open a PDF version you can print out and take with you.

Image of Multnomah Days 2014 poster
Click for PDF download

All Posters Half Off on First Friday

In foreground, a couple in long, flowing colorful coats and hats embrace. Behind them is a line of identical women in lime green coats, hats, and umbrellas--each is holding a bouquet of yellow flowers.

Tomorrow is August 1st and that makes it First Friday in Multnomah Village. Come enjoy shopping and special events with your neighbors until 10 p.m. Don’t forget to stop by Village Frame & Gallery where all art posters are on sale 50% off, Friday only. What would you do with a poster? We suggest …

3 Places to Decorate with Posters

  • Dorm rooms: Know someone headed off to college? Help liven up that dreary dorm room with a colorful poster of their favorite artist’s work, a style they love, or subject matter that reflects their passions.
  • Work spaces: Art has been shown to help reduce stress, boost creativity and productivity, and enhance employee morale. Because they are so affordable, posters are a sensible, attractive choice for offices, hallways, and break rooms.
  • Kitchens, Laundries, and Baths: Art posters make a dramatic statement, yet are easily replaced in case of damage from humidity, making them ideal for areas where environmental conditions would be rough on your fine art.

Imagine where you might hang one of these …

Image of poster by Claude Theberge
Claude Theberge
Image of Tournee du Chat Noir de Rodolpe Salis by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen
Tournee du Chat Noir de Rodolpe Salis by Theophile Alexandre Steinlen

Village Frame and Gallery at NW Street of Dreams

Block-Party-RGB-graphic-1024x958Join us for the NW Natural 39th Annual Street of Dreams kick off event July 23, 2014. Village Frame & Gallery is collaborating with The Geezer Gallery to exhibit works by local elder artists–including artwork not usually exhibited at the Gallery. Tables and decks will be open all day. There is a block party from 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, complete with preview home tour, food, drink, and music. Proceeds benefit the Home Builders Foundation renovation project at Clackamas Women’s Services domestic violence shelter.

Tickets are available for the party at StreetofDreamsPDX.com.

 

How to Refresh Worn and Outdated Artwork

Reframing is often wise, both for gaining new perspective on life issues, and for artwork that could use a pick-me-up.

faded
Improper framing can lead to irreversible damage. If you are concerned about the integrity of your frames, bring your art to the Gallery for an inspection.

If you have frames that are looking tatty or you no longer enjoy the overall look of a piece of artwork, don’t dump it, reframe it. An updated frame will revive your art and make it feel new again. Most importantly, you can upgrade framing materials to protect your art better.

Reframe pictures when:

  • Corners are pulling apart. You can only tap in those loose nails so many times. If your frame has started falling apart, replace it.
  • The finish is worn. When wood is crazed, warped, or scratched, or if the finish has become dull or faded, it’s better to start fresh. It’s difficult to keep touching up blemishes and scratches on wood. Over time the finish becomes mottled, with shiny or dull spots.
  • You have a piece that was poorly framed. Maybe you purchased original artwork in a cheap exhibition frame or inherited a piece that was framed by an amateur. Replacing substandard framing with conservation materials is critical to the longevity of the art.
  • New environment. If you are moving your museum quality print from a dry, sunny living room and putting it in or near a bathroom, for example, consider replacing the glass or matboard to assure better protection from moisture and air.
  • Your tastes have changed. If you are redecorating, old frames may not fit your new look. Maybe you’d like to go shabby chic, with the look of old window frames around your art, or exchange simple acrylic frames for a more elegant oak fleur-de-lys.

If You’re Ready for a New Perspective on Your Artwork, Come See Us

Village Frame & Gallery has the expertise to assess whether your frame can be skillfully repaired or if it’s time for a replacement. Bring your artwork to the Gallery for a free consultation during regular business hours or call to schedule a consultation at your site. Whether you want a new color, different textured matboard, heavier picture wire, or even a different sized frame, we can advise you every step of the way on your reframing project.

 

Village Frame & Gallery Closed July 4th

Fireworks_300In order to allow our employees to celebrate Independence Day with their families, Village Frame & Gallery will be closed Friday, July 4, 2014. We hope you will also be able to spend the day with loved ones and look forward to serving you after the 4th.

Happy Independence Day!