Caring For your Art

Here at Crescent Hill Gallery, our artists use the highest quality acrylics and oils. These paints will retain their colour and vibrancy for a long time; according to the CCI (Canadian Conservation Institute), an acrylic or oil painting left in direct sunlight for 8 hours will not show signs of fading for 30-50 years.

However, it is best to take certain precautions when dealing with your artwork as they are on either a wooden stretcher and canvas or on board.

1. Frame the Artwork

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Wood 'breathes' even after it is cut, and will expand and contract with fluctuations in humidity. To save yourself the expense of having a painting warp and need to be re-stretched (a cost of several hundreds of dollars), frame your painting in a simple floater frame. This will give is space behind the work and help maintain the stretchers shape.

2. Hang the Art Directly on the Wall

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A painting leaning above a fireplace or on a shelf will slowly warp towards the wall, creating a concave shape to the stretcher. For tips on hanging your art, check out our blog post: http://blog.crescenthill.com/2015/06/04/hanging-tip-and-tricks

3. Choose an Interior Wall

Exterior facing walls can also be problematic as they are exposed to more fluctuations. A frame and bump-ons stuck to the back of the frame will help air circulate around the piece. If you have work on exterior walls or above fireplaces, make sure to check them every few months for signs change.

4. Be Careful when Cleaning

Dust can act as an abrasive force on your painting, so make sure to dust your painting with a feather duster or, preferably, a clean sable brush. To clean the inside edges of your floater frame, a Q-tip fits nicely between the space of the frame and painting.

5. Lighting

Although the high quality of paints used by our artists minimises any concerns of light damage to the artwork, there are lighting options that are better for the art than others. Our blog post "When to Shine a Light or Not" explains the safest options: http://blog.crescenthill.com/2015/10/03/when-to-shine-a-light-or-not

6. For those who want to learn more:

McMichael Art Gallery offers a concise and insightful write up for caring for your art, including more delicate works such a historical paintings and works on paper: http://mcmichael.com/artwork.cfm

They suggest using incandescent lamps to protect work IF they are low wattage or on a dimmer. Incandescent lamps do emit a lot of heat which can degrade fabric and paper. LED lighting emits less heat and UV, while allowing you to view larger spectrum of colours and see more details. Some argue that the warm tone of incandescent bulbs is more suitable for paintings as they do not cast a hard white tone on the work.

If you have any concerns about your work, your first and most trusted source should be the Canadian Conservation Institute: https://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/resources-ressources/agentsofdeterioration-agents...

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The Art of a Home Consultation.

Crescent Hill Gallery prides itself on having thoughtful and knowledgeable staff, capable of giving sound advice on what artwork would look best for any home. We take the time to get to know our clients' tastes - likes and dislikes, from texture to subject matter - and can easily navigate the thousands of works we have to find the perfect match.

Unsure what might look best in your home? Questioning what size would look best? We offer both in-home and virtual consultations to make your purchase what it should be - a joy!

So what makes for a perfect home consultation? It's simple. Have a conversation with us! We want to hear all about your space, how you or your designer has worked towards creating it, what you'd like to see there, and what type of art you really love!

You can visit the gallery and walk around with us, pointing out things that inspire you or send us images or your favourite works. We will then look through our extensive database and choose a selection of works we feel you will love and even a few we know you won't; just so we can make sure we are on the right track! These works will be delivered to you by one of our friendly art consultants who will discuss each piece with you and help place the work in various spots in your home. There is no pressure to purchase right away. We insist you try the work out for a few days and see what it is like in the space because different lighting can truly affect the colour and feel of a work!

We can also provide framing samples so you can perfectly match or complement the piece and your room! The frame of the painting below was chosen during a home consultation so that our client had the work and frame ready without having to travel back and forth to the gallery.

When you've chosen your work, we will professionally install it for you free of charge. If you have other paintings or framed photos in your home that you are looking to have hung, we can also install those works at a special fixed rate.

Why not start now by checking out our Pinterest board and our artists' gallery? You will find some links below to help guide you!

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This gorgeous Vladan looks like it was painted for this space! The frame was chosen to complement the wood and metal trim from a side table that was also in the room.

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If you are unsure how the size will work in your space, we can bring multiple pieces for you to try. This mixed media work by Emilija Pasagic looks great unframed and fits exactly how the client envisioned.

760e938cc5e3cb2fc0f6a4636c052f5e By getting a sense of your home and your style, we can suggest which painters' work would look best in your space. This commissioned piece by Bill Saunders adds to the stately ambience of this office.

For more images of our paintings in the home, visit our Pinterest board Art in Situ.

Some of our most popular artists include Maya Eventov, Mark Berens, Marie-Claude Boucher, Harold Braul, Alekandra, Michael Rozenvain and Elizabeth Lennie. Check out all of our artists here.

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Framing: Inspiration and Information

We get a lot of questions about framing - Is it necessary? What looks best? - so we've put all the information in one area to help get you started!

Choosing how to frame your piece is almost as important as choosing the artwork that you decorate your home with. It's easy to get overwhelmed by the terminology and the sheer volume of style options that are available.

The key things to keep in mind when considering framing is what style will best enhance the features you love about your piece, and accentuate its place on your wall and in your room, without stealing the show.

You may even find that your artwork is at its best without a frame!

Quick Tips:

1. If your linen liner has a small mark on it, try using a white pencil/crayon to gently blend away the stain before resorting to replacing the entire liner.

2. If you're calling for a frame quote, have on hand the depth of the canvas and UI (United Inches) measurement of your piece for faster results.

Example: If you have a piece of artwork that measures 30" x 40" the UI would equal 70 inches.

Floater Frames vs. Traditional Frames

Traditional Overlay Frame (left of top photo):

Characterised by a ledge that juts out (rabbet) and sits on top of the artwork, as seen in the bottom left photo.

Pros:

  • Comes in a wide variety of styles to suit any taste and budget.
  • Can be used in conjunction with a floater frame as a "cap" (keep reading for more details on this)

Cons:

  • May cause damage to edges if removed since the frame lays on top of the piece.
  • Reduces the area of the image by the width of the rabbet on all sides.

Floater Frame (right of top photo):

Characterised by it's "L" shaped profile, the floater frame rests underneath the artwork and its edge is typically placed a 1/4 inch away from the painting, appearing that the painting is floating within the borders of the frame, as seen in the bottom right photo. A more contemporary way to frame, you can also choose a wider relief, opting for 3/4 inch away from the image.

Pros:

  • Poses no threat to damaging the edges of heavily textured paintings, as there is no contact with the paint.
  • Provides a contemporary looking, clean-lined finish to a piece without detracting from the artwork.
  • Does not reduce the area or crop the artwork by laying on top of it.
  • Less expensive than traditional frames.

Cons:

  • Has less options of widths and styles than that of traditional overlay frames.
  • Can be "capped" with an overlay frame for greater variety, but will inevitability increase the cost.

Floater Frames

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Far Left: Basic floater frame for regular stretch canvases

Second from left: Basic floater frame for deep stretch canvases

Floater Frame Styles

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A sampling of the variety of styles and finishes available in floater frames.

Ranging from glossy, matte, metallic, wood, beveled, rounded or square edges.

Regular Stretch vs. Deep Stretch

(below, left) Maya Eventov 12" x 12" regular stretch

(below, right) Bob Arrigo 12" x 12" deep stretch (DS)

Pictured above, left: 3/4 inch width, regular stretcher

Pictured above, right: 1 1/2 inch width, DS stretcher

Due to different stretcher widths, frames also have to come in various depths in order to reduce the gap between the frame and wall.

Pictured above:

(top) The capped moulding is too short for a deep stretch floater and leaves too big of a gap exposed

(bottom) this capped moulding has a more suitable depth for a deep stretch floater frame and leaves less of a gap

To frame or not to frame

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Top:

Regular stretched pieces by Marie-Claude Boucher with minimal texture

(left)Framed with a brushed black overlay frame

(right) unframed

Bottom:

Deep stretched 20" x 20" pieces by Mark Berens with moderate texture

(left) Framed with a Chrome metallic finish floater.

(right) unframed

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Pictured above:

View from the side allows you to see the way a deep stretch canvas (bottom) looks more polished unframed than a thinner regular stretch canvas (top).

Full Frames

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Choosing a full frame is the deluxe treatment for artwork.

Top

The components of a full frame are the following (from left to right): Overlay moulding, Linen liner, fillet, basic floater frame

Bottom

Left: This side view shows how each component is "capped" on top of one another to create one whole frame.

Right: View of how the full frame would look head on.

Pros:

  • Best way to showcase a special piece of art
  • More versatile, you can mix and match components for the perfect look

Pros:

  • It's easy to go overboard when a simpler framing option might accentuate your piece better
  • More components means higher cost

Fillet

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Narrow mouldings used as an accent. Fillets can be placed inside mat openings, or in the lip of frames or linen liners.

Linen Liners

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It is often desirable to create a visual resting spot between the art and everything around it. This can be achieved by using a liner, a fabric (often linen) covered wood frame.

Seamed liners (above) have a break in the fabric where the corners are joined and are usually slightly less expensive than seamless liners (below), which do not.

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Enhancers

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Enhancers have a rabbet (the frame lip that rests on top of your piece) like a regular frame, but they also have an indentation on their outer edge for the rabbet of the cap moulding to sit upon.

Note: This component was not designed to be used alone as a frame. Their outside edge is unfinished and they are not structurally strong enough to support a piece on its own.

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Enhancers add an extra embellishment to mouldings which look more structurally cohesive than a Fillet to the overall design of the frame.

Matting

Mat board has two core functions. Like linen liners, mat board provides an area for visual relief so the art could be viewed without the distraction of the nearby surroundings. Secondly, the depth of the mat also serves as a spacer to keep the glass from touching the face of the art.

These images (above) show the same print matted with three different colours. None of the choices is wrong, they are just different.

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Dark mats tend to allow the light in the art to pop while a light mat usually intensifies the darker colours. A mid tone mat keeps both the light and dark details in the art more equal.

Mat Styles

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Mats are now available in a variety of colours, patterns and textures, which allows them to act in a decorative roll. Mats even come in shiny metallic and suede!

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If you want a more lush look for your print, you might consider a thicker mat. Above, the outer mat is 8 ply with a beveled edge, it is much more apparent in the photograph while the middle (beveled) and inner (straight cut) 4 ply mats are less obvious with their lower profiles.

Layers

Single Mat (see above)

When mats were first introduced to framing, they were all a single layer. Today it is much more common to use two or three layers.

  • Used most on high end art where the frame designs are simple and classic, not decorative.
  • Also used when matting vintage, classic or antique pieces as it helps them look authentic to their era.

Double & Triple Mat

When two or three layers of matting are used and cut so that they're all visible, you have an opportunity to use more colour or create more depth around the artwork.

  • To add one or more accent colours that can be used to help draw attention to the art by outlining it (top left and right).
  • Can add greater depth by using two of the same color for a more subtle look (bottom left and right).
  • Multiple mat layers should not be used if opting for non-reflective glass, the extra depth will begin to look cloudy

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You can also create a transition from the paper to the mat as seen in the image below.
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Mat with Fillet

Fillets, or narrow mouldings used as an accent as described earlier, are placed either inside the lip of a frame or more often in mat openings (below).

  • Create more depth than mats.
  • Emphasize multiple mat layers (below).
  • Finishes comparable to frames so they are useful to coordinate with the frame for a highly customized look.
  • Used to create illusion that matting is thicker that 8 ply (see section on proportions).

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Mat with Spacers

Spacers can be added between mat layers for extra depth (below).

  • Brings out inherent depth in the art, such as a landscape with perspective.
  • Adds actual depth to accommodate an object or art with sculptural relief.

Mat Border Proportions

One of the most important things when choosing a mat is deciding how much of the mat you want to see versus the image. Too little matting can look awkward. A new trend is to use very large matting around a smaller image.

  • Larger matting adds a higher expense because it increases the UI of the frame and glass.
  • Demonstrates your personal style: a smaller mat is more traditional while a larger one is more contemporary.

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This print leaves even spacing around the entire print and uses a large mat to create a large space for the details of the painting to be observed.

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In this intimate piece, the matting is closer to the print, but leaves space for the signature at the bottom. Two mats are used with a white fillet to add depth.

Mounting

Affixing the back of a paper piece to a wood panel or board to stabilize and increases the profile width of the piece.

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This piece (left) featured hand torn edges by the artist. The relief between the edge of the frame (bottom right) and depth and shadow created by its mounting (top right) creates a stark and dramatic contrast.

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This print (above) has been mounted to a board and covered in a layer of clear plastic, which stabilizes the paper enough for traditional framing, but is not thick enough for a floater frame.

This also smooths out the surfaces of prints that might have been damaged by water or bending. As this is an open-ended, unsigned print that will not hold value, so it is safe to mount in this manner.

Glass

Due to it's fragile and porous nature, paper artworks are usually framed with glass to protect it from stains, water, tears or scratches. Choosing the wrong kind of glass can mean exceeding your budget or inadequate protection.

Regular Glass:

  • A physical barrier against stains and direct damage.
  • No UV protection or non-reflective filter.
  • Best for low-lit rooms and painted artwork on paper.
  • Least expensive option

Museum Glass:

  • Physical and UV protection and glare resistant.
  • Ideal for rooms with large windows or bright lights and paper pieces
  • with ink or fabrics which are more UV sensitive over time than paint.
  • Most expensive option

Pricing

When considering framing you should also be aware of what kind of costs are involved.

The cost of your frame moulding is the most basic component of your invoice. It is generally defined by two sets of numbers.

  • The UI number, or United Inches, is calculated by adding the length and width of one side together.
  • The manufacturer's price code for each frame determines the relative cost to other frames from the same brand.

The cost of your frame is determined by a pricing table given to us by the manufacturer. We then see where the UI and price code intersects on the table to give you your price.

Some other options to consider are:

  • measurements and quality (acid free or regular) of matting
  • fillets and/or enhancers
  • measurements and quality (UV, non-reflective, normal) of glass
  • mounting
  • paper backing
  • assembly charges

Resources:

Here are a few interactive goodies to help you with your decor projects!

CURATE is fun app that will keep you busy for hours virtually arranging artwork on your own walls! By measuring your space and entering in the measurements, this amazing app ensures everything is actually to scale!

Look for Crescent Hill's gallery of artworks on Curate:

Curate App on Google Play Store

Curate App on iTunes App Store

You can mix and match Larson-Jules collection of frames and mouldings on your own photo: Larson-Juhl Interactive Frame Design

Learn how to create a unique wall art display that completes any room with this fun video from West Elm Home Decor: How to Hang Wall Art Like a Pro

Every industry has it's own lingo, so if we used a term you're not familiar with, try referring to this helpful online glossary: http://www.larsonjuhl.com/glossary.aspx

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