We recently received a very small Leonard Brooks RCA , oil painting (San Miguel) to design framing for. He is a very prominent Canadian painter so we wanted to give the painting a presentation which maximized its artistic value. The first thing we did was give it a light surface cleaning with distilled water and a Q tip.
It was a challenge because the painting had a lot of texture. The surface relief was very beautiful but Leonard had used a lot of paint and consequently there were some hard to clean crevasses on the painting. After the surface cleaning we gave the painting a fresh coat of Gamar varnish to highlight the contrast and bring out the colours in the work.
Typically, when a painting is small we don’t like to lose or crop any part of it under the rabbit of the frame. Therefore we decided to float it. That means framing the whole painting exposing all the edges of the work. So we floated it and then put an off white, two and a half inch linen liner, one quarter of an inch from the outside edge of the painting. This serves to give the painting space and more overall size.
Then, finally we put a moderately traditional gold frame around the outside of the liner. The combination of the fresh varnish, the space of the two and a half inch, off white liner, and the gold frame, gives the piece more sparkle, volume, and a timeless elegance. I’m certain Mr. Brooks would approve. You can see from the picture that the deign is just right.