About the Author: Jason Horejs

Jason Horejs is the Owner of Xanadu Gallery, author of best selling books "Starving" to Successful & How to Sell Art , publisher of reddotblog.com, and founder of the Art Business Academy. Jason has helped thousands of artists prepare themselves to more effectively market their work, build relationships with galleries and collectors, and turn their artistic passion into a viable business.


  1. Jason
    I would like to know the experience you have had with black matting as opposed to white matting with frames. I am a textile painter, free motion specialist and with small images 5×7 With bright colors the colors pop with black. However white is more suttle. I am not sure how to send images to you.

  2. Hi Jason.
    I have started experimenting with mounting my watercolors on cradled boards because I would like to get away from glass. BUT I’m not sure how that will affect the ‘saleability’ of the art work. The finished piece on paper is fixed to the board, sprayed with varnish and then covered with a few coats of cold wax. Do you have an opinion on this presentation of watercolor work?

  3. Hi Jason,

    Speaking as a gallery owner, I absolutely agree with you about a deeper canvas for gallery wrapping.

    However I am not a fan of continuing the artwork around the sides of the canvas – I feel it devalues the surface art and is very 1990’s, and I ask my artists if they could avoid doing this. Best just to paint the sides of the canvas, or box frame.

    Thanks again for a great article for artists 🙂

  4. Hi Jason,
    I honestly believe framing our work in a uniformed way makes a difference. I genuinely enjoy your emails and find them to be extremely helpful and informative.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

    Gina Muxo Ramos

  5. Thanks so much for your insights on framing Jason. Currently I paint on 1 and 1/2 in gallery wrapped canvas. I have chosen this for two reasons. The first it is less expensive for me and secondly I feel it makes the piece more accessible for the buyer. They don’t have to consider the frame, whether it goes or not with their decor and so don’t have to consider the expense of replacing whatever frame I might have chosen. I also find it easier to store my paintings in my studio with out frames. I don’t have to worry about damaging frames as they bump up against other works etc. A side note most juried shows I have entered will not accept paintings without frames unless the canvas is at least 1and 1/2 inch inches deep which also helps to save money since one has to pay to enter the show as well. Would enter an example photo but not sure how. Thanks again.

  6. In the 50+ years a painter and a custom framer (my day job) I’ve seen a lot. Things have changed over time to the acceptance of the gallery wrap primarily because of cost concerns which in the past somehow were not thought of in the same way. There are two primary functions of framing, presentation and protection. Contemporary artists, it seems, are not so much concerned with protection and willing to forgo the presentation value added of good framing for the cost savings. How much do you lose by not catching the clients eye by not framing it well? The marketplace not the artist is dictating the use of framing in some ways. The attitude of Degas, who designed his frames, is unheard of today.
    Modern abstraction has questioned almost everything of the past, composition, representation, any and every system, every rule has been consciously broken as artists groped about searching for new expressive truths. Frankenthalers statement, “there are no rules” has become something of the academia of today. The dollar is the rule now however.
    It will be interesting to see where we will go.

  7. It is helpful to raise this question and to see some of the responses. For the present, my typical practice is either to paint on a gallery wrap canvas, with the sides darkened (these days, with a Paynes Grey), or to paint on panels the need framing. For frames, I have chosen a gold leaf and a deep coffee, in the same design. I think that a certain level of uniformity looks best.

  8. Hello! I typically work on cradled panels and don’t always need the expense of framing.

    Here’s my comment only looking at the effect of costs of framing — let’s say a custom frame and mat costs $200 and I want to receive $500 for the artwork. The gallery split is 50%. The piece must sell for $1400 for me to recoup my $200 for framing. When the framed piece sells, the artist nets $500. The gallery nets $700.

    Alternatively, if my work does not need framing, I can price the same piece at $1000 to net $500. We both net $500.

    To me framing necessitates increasing the price and benefits the gallery most of all.

    1. Good point, and one I’ve run into. Many of my miniatures don’t require a frame, or the frame being small and not custom is affordable. But I’ve had to pay quite a bit for custom frames on larger pieces a few times, and I cannot just give away frames and art to keep the piece more affordably priced.

    2. If you are set up as a small, “business” with a Federal ID #, keeping books, paying taxes etc, you can then order frames from many of the same suppliers as any custom frame shop, incorporate (talk to an attorney and accountant), etc. You can have frames at wholesale delivered to your business by local moulding companies and the numbers for framing will change dramatically.

      You have to run it as a real business however. Pay taxes as a charge sales tax, pay business taxes, all that. I have artists locally that do exactly this. They frame and sell Ltd. Ed. prints and originals. I rarely do any business with them. Many moulding companies will not work with you if you are attempting to buy as a home based business.

  9. If you are still taking questions on this topic, I am wondering…should I seal the back of a frame with tape or a dust cover or leave it as is? It seems that if a painting is unsold after displaying it at an event or in a gallery, I might want to reuse the frame for another piece of artwork and possibly store the unsold original in an unframed condition. I paint in watercolors and must frame with glass or plexiglass. I have shown at events and exhibits, but have not yet pursued a gallery representation. Thank you!

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