Tuesday, 16 June 2015


by Sea Dean
6 x 6" on Strathmore Windpower

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This impressionist style painting is available in the Framed and Matted section of my online gallery. Ornate frames are not to everyone's taste, and they don't suit every painting, but when I popped this into the golden frame while preparing for a show, I loved it. This kind of ostentation looks wonderful in a stylish powder room or entrance area. However, I'm also happy to sell the painting with a plain black frame, or unframed if you prefer.


A while ago I conducted a survey on my GET YOUR ART OUT THERE Facebook Group. I gave about 20 choices with different styles and colours of frames, mats or unframed presentation. It was of no surprise that the deep gallery wrap canvas with the painting continuing around the edge, was the most popular. What was surprising, is that it was overwhelmingly the choice of both artists and buyers.

Certainly, I find that deep gallery wrap paintings are the best choice for my studio/gallery, exhibitions and local shows. However, at least 50% of my sales occur online. The challenge with online sales is that patrons don't like to pay much for the art or the shipping. Mailing within the same country is challenging enough, but sending a gallery wrap canvas internationally through Canada Post, quadruples the cost, purely because the depth doesn't fit into the "letter" category. Therefore, the package becomes an expensive parcel regardless of weight and takes longer to ship because it receives closer scrutiny at the border.

I think a good option for internet artists, is to work on a light surface, like quality watercolour paper, yupo or unmounted canvas and then mat it, ready to pop into a standard frame. By all means, offer the choice of mounting onto a wood cradle or gallery wrap canvas, but I think most buyers would prefer self-framing to keep shipping costs low. This also works for display at markets and shows with a clear bag or shrink wrap. An 8" x 10" double mat can cost $10 in Canada which is also prohibitive, so, I recently purchased a mat cutter to keep my costs low.

Online purchases need to impress twice; first at the point of sale, but also when the package arrives at its destination. A matted painting gives that all important feeling of pleasure when the buyer holds it in their hands for the first time.

What do you think? Comments are always welcome below.