As an artist's gallery we love to sell new pictures, but what if you've got a favourite old picture that you love which is looking a bit tired? We've all got them - pictures that are twenty or more years old, they hold memories of special people or special places for us, and we really want to keep them even though they no longer suit our interior decor. A good option is to consider reframing the picture, which can benefit both appearance and conservation - important if the picture has either emotional or financial value.
The example above shows an original watercolour that was painted and framed in the 1950s. The customer felt that it was looking tired and needed to be brought back to life with a frame that was more contemporary, but still appropriate to the subject. The mountboards had faded and the series of wash lines were fussy and took the viewer's attention away from the picture.
The painting is a harbour scene featuring some delicate shades of blue, green, and grey, so we suggested a pale green driftwood frame from Arqadia's LJ Brittany range. This was complemented by a new mount in a slightly brighter shade of off-white mountboard to give the painting a bit more of a lift. The mountboard is triple thickness with a contrasting soft green board sandwiched between two off-white boards. This subtle green accent helps to bring together the frame and the colours in the painting, and you can see the effect in the detail picture above. Finally, the frame was finished with UltraVue specialist artglass, which is much more clear and less reflective than standard picture glass - note the difference in glass between the before and after pictures above.
Besides the improvement in appearance, it's also worth taking a moment to consider conservation of the artwork. The original mountboards were standard grade wood pulp, which will eventually damage the artwork. We fitted new cotton mountboards (which we use on all Alison's work) to prevent this damage, and as it was an original we also fitted a cotton undermount as a barrier to the backing board. Although we didn't use it in this case, we can supply Museum glass with 99% UV protection - particularly useful if your picture is exposed to direct sunlight.