I picked up the framed watercolors yesterday. I owe my consultant a big thank-you for how well the colors turned out. Triple matting may be expensive as all get-out, but the results really make these pieces look good, as well as precious and important.
One of the interesting things to look at is the change in Grandpa's style between the two cabin paintings. The first one, he painted while he was still going up to the mountains. The second one was done from photographs and memories (with apologies to Jim Croce) something like 25 years later. I see the first painting as done in bright sun, so the contrasts are stronger. The second one is a little hazy, like a memory, where the trees are no longer in focus but the one object of memory and desire still is. The frames are chocolate brown with aged gold gilt on the outside edges to give them some shine while still coordinating with the center brown mat.
The two Christmas paintings below come from Grandpa's tradition of painting something for Grandma's Christmas cards every year. Some of them were fabulous, like the teddy bear that my sister got. Some of them were... not so fabulous, like the years of the pissed-off reindeer or the mutant Santa The Hutt. Each painting was laid on a photo copier and minimized into a little 3-inch card, so a lot of the detail (and the mistakes) disappeared. The originals are far richer in both detail and color, and I am glad that the matting didn't overwhelm them. The frames are plain black to call the line and detail inside each painting.