I tend to frame my artwork with plain black frames and white mats. My thought is that my artwork is so colorful, that the simple look of the frame sets the painting off nicely, allowing the colors to shine and not be distracted by what surrounds it.


However, there have been times that I have added a more ornate frame or a colored frame and I’m usually happy with those choices as well. But it is far and few between that I verge from the simple black frame.

Although lately I’ve been wanting to do something different. So some of my Dream Garden paintings have brightly painted frames like the one below which I like.

Meditation Garden

I wanted to do something different with my new Birch tree painting, I decided to go for a colored frame and colored mat.

I find it a difficult process to choose something beyond my ordinary black frame and it usually takes me awhile, trying different samples and holding them up against the painting and trying to visualize what the final will look like. I work closely with my Framer and value her opinion because she is the professional and knows what will work and what won’t.

This time I chose a yellow frame that my Framer suggested. It has a whimsical quality to it with little textured lines in it. I decided to use a pale yellowish mat with an inner darker yellow mat. I think the yellow picks up the yellow in the painting nicely and goes well with the light blue background in the art.

yellow frame

The Framer suggested we set the two mats off from each other by lifting the top mat off the bottom one by 1/8″ which creates some depth and more interest. I liked that idea.


I think it came out really nice. I’ve been told it is much more beautiful in person than a photo can capture. I actually haven’t seen it yet in person as I am in Seattle still for another week. But it is hanging down at the Tumalo Art Co. gallery in Bend if you’re in the area and want to go take a look.

Maybe I’ll continue branching out with my framing and use some different choices like I’ve done with this work.  What do you think? I’d love to know your opinion. Do you like the simple black frames and white mats or do you think the colored matts and frame are better? Or do you think it just depends on the piece?