PAINTING THE EDGES
Painting the edges of your canvas, or not, is a big question. If you are a famous artist nobody really cares about it but if you are a beginner it is a big dilemma. What impression do you want to make? What will your customers think?
Many years ago I discovered that framing paintings is a big expense and then very often customers dislike the choice of frame. Another thing, you put your nicely framed painting in the gallery and then when it sells, they put their mark up on everything. Or they might not sell your painting and they return it to you and the frame has a dent on it. What can you do? Argue with the gallery and risk that they will not want you any more.
This is why I started painting the edges of my paintings. I hated it at the beginning but now it just feels natural. I loosely follow the colours of my painting and carry it over to the edges.
Academics argue about it and opinions are divided. We are talking about paintings that are gallery wrapped. In the old days the canvas was nailed on the side of the canvas, preferably with copper nails, and the paintings were then framed. Framing a painting is like dressing a woman in a nice dress, it can enhance or it can be unflattering. Your customers can always frame your painting if they want to, how they want to.
So let’s go back to the original question. One option is to put masking tape around the edges and when the painting is completed you will have nice, tidy edges. You can decide to paint in one dominant colour or just black. Please be careful with that because you can easily wreck the painting if you are not careful enough, especially if you are doing it while the painting is still wet. Leave the painting to dry and when you are doing the edges you can easily wipe off unwanted paint. Sometimes when I am adventurous I have a play on the edges, usually using colour shapers. It can give interesting effects.
The choice is yours, choose your own path and follow it through.
Happy painting folks!
Below are some samples when I have been playful with the sides:
WHY IS MY HEART BROKE, 2012, oil on canvas, 29 X 20 cm and the left side of the painting
KISS ME, 2012, oil on canvas, 29 X 20 cm and the left side of the painting
HEAVEN IS PLACE ON EARTH WITH YOU, 2012, oil on canvas, 29 X 20 cm and the left side of the painting