The worst insult an artist may experience is to see their painting hanging in someone’s home or in a gallery with a cheap frame that conflicts with the direction the artist intended for the painting. Edgar Degas is said to have taken one of his paintings down from a collector’s wall with the intent of repossessing it because the original frame had been replaced. Artist Edouard Manet said, “Without the proper frame, the artist loses one hundred percent.” One prominent American realist painter and printmaker is said to have written, “Do not remove this frame under any condition” on the backs of his paintings.
A Finishing Touch
Why all the fuss about the frame? Because the artist understands the frame is the finishing touch to their masterpiece. It doesn’t just protect the work, it’s part of the work and enhances its beauty. A masterpiece does not look right in just any old frame. Try several different frames on a painting with a variety of wood stains or colors and you’ll immediately see the difference. Imagine you were given a well-known masterpiece like the Mona Lisa and it was unframed. Regardless of how much money you had to spend, it is unlikely you’d just go to the nearest department store and purchase the cheapest, pre-made frame available. Since the Mona Lisa is a masterpiece, you’d either get the best frame you could find or, even better, consult an expert to help you make the right choice.
Focus On Your Life Palette
Yet when it comes to the masterpiece of your life, how often do you take matters into your own hands? Framing is often an area you want to have control over; and then later you wonder why your life is unattractive or doesn’t seem right and you blame God. It’s sad, unfortunate and unnecessary. Your job is to focus on what’s on your Life Palette and leave the framing to God the artist.
The other problem with a cheap frame is it can cause such tension for the viewer they perceive the art itself as junk. The right frame will cause the piece to shine. Every brush stroke will come alive, and those who view the piece hanging on a wall will be drawn to it and it will speak the message the artist wants to convey.
Of course, framing a painting is not cheap, and framing a masterpiece is even more expensive. Some people will spend as much on a frame as they do for the painting. Artists and collectors understand the value a quality frame adds to their collection. In 1991 at Sothby’s in London, one 400 year old frame sold for $947,000. Eli Wilner, founder of a company in Manhattan that specializes in frames, says the finest frames “are works of art in their own right; they exhibit all of the qualities of any other three-dimensional object and some . . . are truly sculptures.”
Still others buy art from estate sales not for the picture but for the value of the frame surrounding it. Perhaps the art had sentimental value for the previous owner and they invested in a valuable frame, or maybe they were a collector investing in an up and coming artist and hoped the value of the piece would increase so they framed it accordingly. Whatever the reason, they thought the art to be of such great worth they invested in a quality frame. You, too, are worthy of a quality frame. Why? God’s passion and signature is on the finished work of your life.
God wants to frame your life with His Love, Grace and Mercy.
1. As you read this, what first came to mind that you would say you are allowing to frame your life? Are there things that are making your life look like a cheap forgery verses the masterpiece God created you to be?
2. What steps will you take today to allow God to frame your life with His love?