"Tomato II" by Katie Newman Winkler
This is a simple double mat. The dark inner mat outlines the image in a color that enhances but does not overpower the subject. The wide cream-colored mat enlarges the framed piece and creates a neutral space between the image and the frame. We chose a contemporary shape to compliment the contemporary nature of the art. The frame is mahogany-stained wood, roughly the same color as the inner mat. This design technique is almost always successful in leading the eye to the focal point in the art. Note that we have not matched one of the brighter colors in the painting to use as our inner mat. Keeping the framing neutral allows the colors in the painting to remain dominant.
Road Watercolor Watercolor
"Road" by John Barnard
This impressionist watercolor has soft colors and sweeping brushstrokes, with the unpainted paper providing the light (know as transparent watercolor). We chose an elegant neutral mat, slightly darker than the the paper color. This allowed the light in the painting to remain the brightest element. In this case we did not choose a double mat so as not to restrict the painting with a definite line. The mat is extra deep and we designed it so that the bottom mat margin is extra wide, adding to the sense of perspective provided by the road. The frame is "closed corner", meaning that the mitered corners are finished or embellished so that the joint does not show. The corners of this simple gold frame are embellished with a small floral design, reminiscent of the William Morris style. We chose this frame because of its delicate profile, its warm color and because the watercolor is in the style of the early California impressionist watercolorists such as Millard Sheets.
Chorro St. Watercolor
"Chorro Street" by Richard Yaco
This painting is a ten-minute sketch by an artist who taught art and architecture at Cal Poly during the 70's and 80's. Although just a sketch, it was important to make it a "knock out". We decided to give the framing depth, drama, a touch of nostalgia and elegance, and here's how we achieved it: The painting is floated (meaning that the edges of the art are visible) in a linen-lined shadow box. The linen is a medium-dark color that provides a lot of contrast between the color of the watercolor paper and the surface it is mounted on, yet allows the shadows to be distinct. The linen mat is a slightly lighter version of the shadow box's color, creating a subtle transition to the art. A silver fillet, custom toned to blend with the frame, was added between the linen mat and the top of the shadow box. Finally, a relatively large and deep warm silver frame, with nostalgic antique detailing, was added. This would be considered a "monotone" design, meaning that all of the colors in the framing are in the same family of colors - in this case a warm beige. Even the silver frame and fillet has a warm wash that blends with the colors of the linen. Surrounding a small piece with neutral framing elements, even if they are over-scale, allows the light and color in the painting to come forward.