Monday, March 23, 2009

To Matte or Not To Matte

Remember when I talked about trades or bartering?

I have this fabulous trade with the owners of the State of the Arts Gallery in Olympia, Washington. I get to watch the gallery when they are gone, and in trade, I have learned how to matte my watercolor paintings, use all the equipment, and receive materials at cost. FANTASTIC DEAL!

Now the question is why matte?

When you take a piece of art and put a border (matte) around it the picture stands out. It relates the importance of the art and defines it in space. The framing of the art with just a matte can make all the difference in the world. It separates the art from the clutter of life and brings it to a different level.

When I worked in the schools as a counselor, I would keep various mattes handy. When a child finished a drawing or painting, I immediately put a matte on it. A big smile formed on the child's face, and a definite rise in self-esteem.

For my watercolor paintings I have chosen a white pebble matte with an inner matte of charcoal gray. Because I am a color freak, I want the colors in my watercolor paintings to read brightly which only occurs when placed next to white. Since I usually paint on a half sheet of watercolor paper, I matte my paintings to a standard size (18" X 24") so patrons can easily purchase frames. It also makes showing my art a bit simplified as I can interchange paintings since they are all uniformly sized.

When the sun decides to shine again soon here in Washington, I will post an example of one of my paintings with and without a matte. You can see the difference and decide for yourself.

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