I am often asked “do I really need a mat?”
Let’s consider why you may want one... or two... or three!
The most obvious reason is to add color. The choice of mat color can completely change the look and feel of an image. Accentuating warm, vibrant colors, such as red and orange, can create energy and really make an image pop. Cooler colors, such as blues and greens, create calm and peace. Neutrals, such a white or beige, work on a wide variety of art and images but can sometimes wash out the colors in a picture rather than emphasize them. It is important to focus how the art makes you feel and let your framer help you design the presentation accordingly.
Specialty cut mats, such as ovals, v-grooves or decorative corners, can reinforce a recurring shape or design in your art. A computerized mat cutter can even cut fun shapes, such as flowers, hearts, sports themes, and holiday items for a more whimsical approach. Talk to your framer about the best way to add a unique design to your mat.
Mats do more than provide a border for your art, they help protect and preserve it. Glass is non-porous and acidic. Art should not touch the glass. Changes in temperature and humidity can cause moisture or condensation to form on the glass. Mats lift the glass from the art and help prevent the moisture from being absorbed by the paper or other media. Acid-free mats also provide a layer between the acidity in the glass and your art. Finally, mats can help your framer offer the best mounting methods to preserve the integrity and value of your artwork.
Consider all the options. You’ll know it when you see what you like and I love seeing the excitement on your face when you do.