Years ago...no matter what...every single painting that was sold was framed. That's just the way it was. In 1999, we met a South African artist, Winifred Louw, who had recently moved to Regina with her husband and two daughters. Winifred painted these huge, colourful canvases of brightly coloured fields of flowers. All of her paintings were done on deep stretchers (at least 1.5" deep) and instead of leaving the edges unfinished she painted her image so it wrapped right around.
Here's an example of a painted edge in Eltje Degenhart's "The Colours of Light":
Now, this was something new and made quite a statement. Winifred explained that in South Africa no artists framed their work and, therefore, always painted the edges to give it a finished look. Hmmm. Interesting.
Over the years that we represented Winifred, most work was still framed however, it gave the client an interesting option. They could either frame the painting or leave it unframed. The one thing that was certainly lost with a frame was covering up those beautifully painted edges. So, this led us to the advent of the "floating frame". Something that 10 years later, we use on almost every painting.
Carl Schlademan's "The Qu'Appelle" in a beautiful Belvinder Brown wide floating frame.
In my opinion, the floating frame gives you the best of both worlds. You get to "finish off the painting" with a perfectly selected frame, however because the edges of the canvas are left untouched by virtue of the "float" you can still enjoy the painted edges.
A double floater frame on Eltje Degenhart's "Waskeiu Mingle"
A close up shot of the our original double floater frame - that's two frames and two floats. Who says you can only get a double double at Tim Horton's?
We modify and mill many frames and components so that we can get the floating effect on many styles of mouldings. The frame companies have really gotten into this floating frame thing in the past couple of years and have started manufacturing many deep frames that can accomodate our components for floating or have its own "float" built right in.
Floating frames now come in all depths, finishes and colours:
We've come a long way in the framing world and I think it all goes back to Winifred Louw and her lush South African landscapes.