Tuesday, March 5, 2013

the edge of sanity

let's talk edges.  there are several ways that artists can finish their edges.  you can use a frame, in which you usually want to use canvas with thinner stretcher bars so they fit in pre-made frames or the less expensive frame choices at the frame shop.  if you paint on thicker canvases like i do, you have to use deeper, more expensive frames which look sharp with some spacing but add size and weight to the entire piece.  i don't believe that frames work well with my work because of the range of values and color, no one style of frame will work and it's important to keep everything unified.  if i used all black frames it contrasts with lighter pieces and darkens the dark pieces.  i also don't like the sharp wall, or stopping point on my open, active brushstroke.

another option is to nix the frame and paint the edges all one color, usually black or a color that matches the painting.  i've seen this done successfully and i've seen this done very sloppily and it looked unfinished.  you have to make sure your edges are precise and clean and evenly painted otherwise it doesn't look professional.  

what you're used to seeing with my work is the gallery wrap, or wraparound technique where you just continue the painting around the edges.  i like the look of this for my work, it keeps the space flowing and looks very finished and whole, less like a painting and more like 3-dimensional windows into my little cloudy worlds.  the only problem with this type of edging is if you don't do it while working on the front body of the painting (which is easy to do when your caught up in the energy of a new piece), you have to go back later hoping you have enough matching paint.  many times this process can take longer than the actual painting itself!  in fact, this blog was prompted by a large chunk of my night working on edges and the pain in my neck from painting with my head cocked to the side.  and this ladies and gentlemen is what we call #artistproblems. (if you twitter, search the hashtag, it's rather amusing)  time for a little yoga stretch break...

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