To start, I usually ask what it is about the piece that doesn't work for them anymore. Most of the time the reply is something like...
- "The frame is too large and clunky" or "... too small"
- "The colours don't work with our new decor"
- "It's too dark and heavy looking"
- "There is not enough wow factor" ...etc.
Often, most of the issues they have are about the frame and they don't even realize it. So I always ask... "Have you thought about updating the frame?" An old frame can really drag a piece down. My first instinct is that, at one time they probably loved this piece but perhaps some of their decorating tastes have changed. You can make a world of difference for a piece of artwork just by changing the frame.
Recently a corporate client came to me with a series of beautiful original paintings by a local artist depicting Winnipeg's history. The frames were a thin gold aluminum, there was only one mat and they just looked blah.
They wanted to refresh the look of the paintings to fit into a newly renovated space in their building. We decided on dark (almost black) wooden frames that would stand out against the walls. The frame has a more traditional profile to fit with the subject matter of the paintings, but a clean smooth finish to fit with the texture and lines of the space. We also changed the matting using two mats instead of one, with an accent mat in a similar colour to the frame.
I didn't get a chance to photograph the space so these photos were just taken in the gallery.
This probably isn't the most dramatic update I've done but overall I think it has enhanced the painting and given it more life. Stay tuned for more frame updates in future posts.
Do you have any old tired pieces of artwork that you've fallen out of love with? Have you considered a frame update?