Probably the only downside to learning how to make beautiful frames is that one becomes horribly picky about the pictures one encounters throughout life.

Now that I understand that ‘less is more’ and that a crisp, clean surround works brilliantly for pretty much every kind of artwork, I get frustrated when I see lovely images in fussy, heavy or over-decorated frames.

It has taken me nearly two years to settle down with the colours and shapes that I choose for my own pieces of art – when I first started out I was having fun playing with a variety of wacky colours and frames. Sometimes I still do, but my default setting has changed to the best quality mounts and mouldings I can afford, and the plainer the better.

framed illustration

An illustration framed using the ‘less is more’ concept!

One of my betes noir is the brown edge on an old mount board. It offends my aesthetic sensibilities to the point where I can’t look at the image without being distracted by the tatty, faded surrounds.

discoloured mount

A tatty discoloured mount…

image with new mount

…replaced by a nice new fresh conservation one that won’t go brown!

A first world problem, absolutely, and one that is easily remedied by dint of cutting a nice, fresh, new Arqadia ‘white core’ conservation mount board which won’t do the dirty on me and go that murky tea colour over time.

Here’s one I made earlier (with apologies to Blue Peter).