Your decision to frame a painting, watercolor, drawing, or other 2D artwork depends upon several things: the features of the piece of art itself, the place you intend to hang it, and perhaps most important, your relationship with the art. Is it art you’ll want to live with for only a few years (to match a wall or furniture setting, for example)? Or is it truly valuable to you beyond its setting and worthy of long-term care?
It’s certainly possible to find paintings, drawings, photographs, and prints that don’t need a frame: you can simply take them home and hang them. Art created on newer materials, such as gallery wrapped canvases and cradled clayboard or birch panels, have wide finished edges and require no framing for display.
Many artists featured at Artful Home offer works like this. For example, Victoria Primicias’s small and larger paintings, such as Tender Reasons and Lesson Three are on wood panels with stained edges. You can hang them immediately.
Gallery wrapped canvases are deeper than traditional canvases – 3/4” to 2 ¾” – and the canvas wraps completely around the edge. The artist treats the depth edge as a part of the work. A frame is not needed. For example, Karen Hale’s acrylic paintings are painted on 1 ½” deep gallery wrapped canvas and are ready to hang.
Conversely, works on paper, thinner traditional canvas, and other surfaces that don’t have a supporting internal framework will need to be framed or mounted in some way for protection and display. For example, Eugenie Torgerson’s work on deckle-edged paper would work best framed with a mat or float-mounted to reveal the deckle edge.