Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I've just spent today making frame orders for my artwork and feeling like I was really unproductive. Measuring artwork and ordering frames is never as much fun as making artwork, but I really need to get my latest still-lifes off to the gallery so I HAD to make a frame order. They are doing me no good sitting here frameless

I thought I'd show you all the frames I get. I usually get the "plein aire" frames, which I guess are supposed to be for outdoor landscapes? I just really like how they are very wide and almost like a double frame, but simple in style. The top one is white and is a special order from They have all different colors now but I usually buy them in black for my still-lifes and gold for my portraits, but obviously I don't always! You can see the gold frame in the portrait below. the gold is a bit brassy. There is another gold with a crackle that I have bought and really like - the finish is much less brassy and shiny but it is not in my studio at the moment. It was also from

I love framing the pieces on paper (my portraits) with museum glass - BUT it is way too expensive, so I usually just order the plexi from I hate the glare but that is what you get if you don't want to pay for museum glass

You'll also notice that I don't use matting even though they are on paper and under glass. I found that when I frame them with matting it is much more expensive (larger frame and glass to allow for the matting plus the price of the matt). They also look better hung next to my still-lifes on board that I frame without glass. So what do I use so the art doesn't touch the glass? I use spacers... and there are many types. The ones I use are from and instead of sticking them on the glass like a sticker - they clip over the glass. Admittedly when you are using real glass it is a scary procedure, but with plexi it isn't so bad. They come in loads of sizes to hold the glass further away or closer. 

When I am working in a standard size, which isn't often, I order plein aire frames from Dick Blick They are so much cheaper, but only come in standard sizes. You can see the one I ordered from Dick Blick on the still-life with apples. They might be cheaper than at but they are of lesser quality. They are made from a much softer wood and then painted and can get dents, scratches etc much easier than the others. 

Now hopefully my order will come in soon so I can frame this stuff up and get it out at the galleries where they belong!

3 pieces waiting for frames... Shannon looks like she's a bit tired of waiting...


Jane Parker said...

Bullet holes or not, who wouldn't want a Nicole Caulfield piece? (I still want a Nicole Caulfield Book!!!)

Jane Parker


Nicole - thanks for this post. I really like you blog - I always learn something. I love those frames - they look like they have a mat. I am going to be giving them business also. So you put your own frames together also - any suggestions there for us who are just learning how to do this whole thing.

Love your portraits - hope to some day be 1/2 this good!

Happy Painting!!!!!

Jan Pope said...

Nicole - try too. Great people to work with and very nice frames. Our local colored pencil chapter, DC114 ( uses them quite often.

Loredana said...

Beautifully framed!
As I make watercolors, I use pretty much standard frames, but I love the most to put them under 2 glasses and add just a frame in the border, so the matte is made by the wall. In this case the paint pops out the wall and has a nice look. I took some pictures of my last show and I have some framed like this, you can see it my blog. (Just an other idea)

I'd like to live in USA where you have all those tools available, here in Italy it's a shame!

Ian Goddard said...

Nicole, did you use fixative on those pieces? It seems you didn't go with the glassless-varnish framing you wrote about before. I was considering that myself, but a framer I spoke with said collectors want art to be recoverable, not embedded in varnish. He was also anti-fixative, saying fixing will eventually cause big chunks of a pastel or color-pencil painting to fall off like chipped paint. Hard to know what's best.