Category Archives: Arts and Entertainment

The Value of Magic for Connecting With People

As a magician I have found the magician’s art to be an excellent tool to assist in developing rapport in many situations. Corporations, schools, motivational presenters and organizations that help people at risk, can enhance their ability to connect with their audience by including magic tricks as they present their message.

Many magicians specialize in children’s shows, for which the demand is very high. Many just present shows as entertainment, however, the potential for including life lessons within the presentation is huge and provides a vehicle for the magician that wants to make a difference to the lives of the young, at an age that they are shaped a great deal by their experiences and those that make an impression on them.

There are numerous magicians that specialize in this type of show and they are always in demand. If this is a format that you wish to pursue, develop a message and develop a show that uses effects that pertain to and illustrate the life lesson that you want to convey. The underlying message must be simple, clear and easy to grasp. A show built around bullying is particularly sought after in this day and age of young adolescent bullying.

Corporate events tend to focus on attention getting effects that bring people to a location and hold their attention such that the corporate message can be put across and the organization’s sales and presentation staff can have an opportunity to connect with the members of the audience.

The better magicians that work this type of show, inject a way to present the product of the corporation into the effect and/or work effects that either obtain, or leave the spectator with, business cards; thus providing a means of networking that is most important to business development.

Closely related to the business format of magic show is that of the motivational speaker and corporate trainer. Most of these individuals utilize the techniques of persuasion and cognitive behavioral psychology, such as NLP, to present their message effectively.

There are many mentalist/magicians who claim the use of these tactics to achieve the outcomes of their effects. The reality is, however, that although they may appear to use these disciplines within their performances and may use them a little, they still use the techniques of the magician achieve their results. These methods can be used by the motivational speaker to enhance their presentations and even to induce a belief factor similar to that of a cult leader. In fact the majority of cult leaders use conjuring tricks to develop a belief, in their followers, that they have mystical powers endowed by a divine being, this includes the foundations of organized religions.

Youth workers and those that assist the poor and less fortunate are another group that can benefit from the inclusion of magic in their work. Magic tricks develop instant rapport and so can be used as an introductory technique to allow the social worker to obtain a measure of trust and obtain more information about the members of their audience so that they may assist them further.

There are numerous opportunities around the world for magicians to work either with other presenters and teachers or for them to develop their own niche in which they can provide beneficial messages and help to a wide range of people and organizations.

I specialize in the mentalist and bizarre magic, and perform at corporate events, weddings, parties and specialist events such as Psychic Fairs and demonstrations and Steam-punk events. I give audiences a mind-jolting experience that will amazes and mystifies them, all without silly stories, references to the spiritual realm or claims of super powers.

Finishing Our Wicker Baskets Using Unique Products

Stake Basket

    • Choose eight long, medium willow shoots to serve as the basket’s “stakes.” These are the vertical pieces that form the structure of the sides of the basket.
    • Use your knife to sharpen the end into points. Insert a stake alongside each of your spokes, pushing each one down into the weaves as close to the center as possible.
    • Bend the stakes so they are pointing upward toward the sky.
    • Use knife, to trim the spokes back so they’re level with the edge of the weaves, then tie the stakes together at their tips to keep them in place.
    • Weave two rows of three rod wale. This weave requires three weavers, which are woven among the stakes to set them in position. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points.
    • Insert the shoots into the base of the basket on the left side of three consecutive stakes.
    • Now do two rows of the weave as follows: Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes.
    • Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front. Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
  • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have two rows of three rod Wale.

Untie Stakes

    • Add weavers to the sides of the basket. Find eight long thin shoots. Use your knife to sharpen the ends into points. Insert one, when you start with new shoots you will always sharpen them first.
    • Now insert one weaver into the basket behind a stake.
    • Bend it over the next stake to the left, pass it behind the stake to the left of that one, and pass it back to the front. Now insert a second weaver behind the stake to the right of the starting point of your first weaver and do the same – pass it over the stake to the left, under the stake to the left of that one and back to the front. Continue adding weavers this way until there is one weaver next to each stake.
    • When you insert the last two weavers, you’ll need to lift up the first weavers a bit to make room to add the last weavers underneath. Use an awl or a long nail.
  • This type of weave is called French Rand, it’s a popular weave that results in even, upright sides.

Weave Sides

    • Take weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Take the next weaver to the right of the starting weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front. Take the next weaver to the right of the starting weaver and pass it in front of the stake to the left, then behind the stake to the left of that, and bring the end out to the front.
    • Continue weaving this way around the whole basket, always starting with the next weaver to the right.
    • When you get back to the start you’ll see that there are two weavers behind the last two stakes.
    • Both weavers need to be woven around the stakes. Do the bottom weaver first, then do the top weaver.
    • For the last stake, do the bottom weaver first then the top weaver.
  • Continue with French Rand until you’ve built up the sides as high as you’d like them to go, then trim the tips of the weavers.

Secure weave

    • With a row of three rod wale. Find three long, thin shoots. Sharpen the ends into points.
    • Insert the shoots on the left side of three consecutive stakes. Now do one row of rod wale.
    • Bend the far left weaver to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
    • Take the next far left weaver and bend it to the right in front of two stakes. Pass it behind the third stake and out to the front.
  • Continue weaving this way, always starting with the far left weaver, until you have a row of three rod wale.

Finish Rim

    • Bend one of the stakes to the right and pass it behind the first two stakes. Pass it in front of the third and fourth stakes. Pass it behind the fifth stake, then pass it back to the front.
    • Repeat with the next stake to the right of your starting stake.
    • The last two stakes won’t have other stakes to weave around, since they’ll be woven into the rim.
  • Instead of weaving around stakes, follow the same pattern,- but thread the tip in and out of the border. Cut the tips of the woven stakes even with the side of the basket.

Making handle

    • Make the base. Find a thick shoot to use as the base. Bend it over the basket, holding the ends in place, to find out how high you want the handle to be.
  • Cut it to the size, leaving several inches of extra length on each side. Sharpen the ends into points and insert them into the basket next to two stakes directly opposite each other.


    • Insert five thin shoots into the weave alongside the handle. Sharpen the ends and insert them deep into the weave so that they lay right next to each other.
    • Wrap the handle with the shoots. Gather the shoots and wrap them around the handle like a ribbon until you reach the other end of the handle. Make sure the shoots lie flat right next to each other. Tuck the tips under the top of the woven rim.
  • Secure the sides of the handle. Insert a thin shoot into the weave alongside one side of the handle. Bend toward the handle and wrap the base of the handle several times to secure the shoots are in place. Keep wrapping tightly until the base of the handle is secure, then pass the end of the shoot under the last wrap and pull it tight, then trim the tip. Secure the other side of the handle the same way.

Now that we have completed our first wicker basket, we will continue a more challenging basket. Let’s see, what we will have for the month of June and what products we will use. Please follow to learn more about baskets.

How Magicians Use Secret Contact Lenses to See Every Card in a Deck

Chris Angel and David Blaine make reading cards look easy. It almost seems like they can read right through the cards or have some kind of power that is beyond human skills. It’s an illusion. They are not using any skills what-so-ever. In fact, they are using a tool that ANYONE can use or master in a matter of minutes. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see every card and every suit in a deck of cards? Have you ever heard of luminous ink? Luminous ink is a type of invisible ink that can be applied on the back of a deck of cards and essentially is completely “invisible” to the naked eye. Even a person with sharp vision will not be able to detect these markings.

However, with simple lenses the markings pop out at you and only you. The lens is a reddish-purple color which allows you to see the markings that are normally invisible to the naked eye. The two main ways people read the markings are luminous ink glasses and luminous ink contact lenses. This article will explain the luminous ink contact lenses. There are 3 factors you must know for the contact lenses; eye color, eye care, and contact lens care.

Luminous ink contact lenses are a special lens with a purple filter built into the clear lens. The lens itself, is the same size as an ordinary contact lens. The filter that enables you to read the markings on cards range anywhere from four millimeters to 9 millimeters. Keep in mind the entire contact lens itself is 13 millimeters. The people with lighter colored eyes (blue and green) will want to go with the four millimeter filter size contact lenses while somebody with darker eyes can get away with wearing 9 mm and 7 mm filter size because the filter will blend in with the darker eyes.

When it comes to eye care, you must use caution! Keep in mind that contact lenses should not be in the eye for more than eight hours. Only put these lenses in your eyes when you perform card tricks. These should not be worn all the time especially because the filter changes the color of your vision to a dark purple. If the contact feels scratchy take the contact out and apply with solution so that your eye is not “bugging” you. These contact lens readers are special, but your eyesight is most important!

Care for your contacts. When you initiate putting the contacts in your eyes you must use contact solution and rub lightly around the contact before putting in your eye. This helps keep the build up of protein deposits from the last time you wore the contacts. When you take the contacts out, you should store the contacts in a case at room temperature and store in solution. This will ensure a long use life for your contacts.

Keep in mind that the three factors of wearing contact solutions for magic card tricks, you must know which size filter fits your eye color, you must care for your eyes, and you must care for the contact lenses.

Artistic Problems – Why Can’t I “Art?!”

Marquees are one of the best fixtures you can have for a wedding or any kind of party you want to hold outdoors. They will give you and your guests adequate shade from the sun. If the weather is rainy and windy during the event, marquees can give you the protection and shelter you and all the attendees need as well. And if you correctly choose the marquees you will use for an important event, aside from being functional, they can add to the d├ęcor and the aesthetics of the venue, too.

There are certain tips and tricks you can follow though to further make use of the marquee you have rented for a specific event. By following these tips, you can fully incorporate the marquee in the event and make it more appealing. These tips and tricks include the following:

Consider the weather at the time of the event regarding the arrangement of the furniture and fixtures inside the marquee.

If you are holding the event during summer, most guests would probably spend more time outside the marquee. As such, the marquee would only be used for lunch or dinner or when it rains. Hence, don’t cram too many chairs and tables inside it. You can also consider setting up an outdoor bar area and the dance floor next to the marquee.

If you will be staging the event in the winter, everyone will certainly spend more time inside the marquee. You, therefore, have to put more thought into the layout of the marquee. You can consider having screens erected inside the marquee to create a detached section for welcome drinks. This area can also be used as a quiet area once the dancing is in full swing.

Invest in the right lighting features or accessories.

Aside from renting the marquee, you can also hire the right accompanying lighting features as well. Rent some fairy lights if you want to project a more romantic mood inside the marquee. For contemporary weddings or events, choose spherical paper lanterns in various colours and sizes to create a fun, modern effect. Large sparkling chandeliers hanging from the roof of the marquee are perfect for vintage-themed weddings.

Don’t forget to rent portable flooring for the marquee as well.

Natural turf would definitely be great to walk on during outdoor events. However, the turf may be too muddy or dusty and to ensure that the footwear of your guests are protected while they are inside the marquee, have the right portable flooring installed inside the structure. Portable flooring materials can also ensure the safety of your guests since there will be a lesser chance for them to slip on wet grass.

Enhance the exterior of the marquee.

Place flowering plants outside the walls and entrance of marquee. You won’t also go wrong with placing framed paintings or photos on easels, relevant to the event, outside the marquee as well.

Why Art Galleries Exist

What do you think of your gallery exhibition openings? What is the gap between how you view your art, versus how you explain your view of your art. It’s difficult because, after all, you chose visual art, a nonverbal, and now you have to explain it back into words. Some are glibber than others, but the universe of words fails to explain the universe of art.

Is the potential buyer looking for sofa art or soul art. Each is legitimate, and no one has to apologize. In reality, any piece of art will have to fulfill its aesthetic meaning as well as a deeper meaning. The needs of the artist and client must be filled. In the catholic world of art, explaining this distinction will establish the aim of THIS painting or sculpture.

Everyone will be happier if they understand the dynamics of the gallery opening. It’s an extrovert situation surrounded by walls of insight. In our hectic world, art should be a time for insight and reflection.

The ultimate purpose of a gallery and an opening is for a patron to end up with a piece of reflection (art) for a living room wall. It’s sofa congruence for some and soul congruence for others. Some want art that soothes. Others want psychic stimulation.

At first encounter, a piece of art is at odds with our world of linear thinking. Creative writing strives for immediate clarity in order to reach the reader’s unconscious. Art isn’t in such a hurry. It can stand initial ambiguity; great art reveals the collective unconscious to the individual. It’s not logical or linear, therefore doesn’t fit comfortable thinking.

It’s little wonder that the opening crowd doesn’t fully address the mysterious insights on the wall and goes for the known, “Let’s have a have a party.”

To counter all of the above, in the spirit of a “moment of silence,” I propose an Insight Five.” Introduce it as a party game. In a playful mood, request each person to quietly consider one piece of art for five minutes. Look for what is familiar about the art as well as any new insights gained.

After five minutes, they are free to exchange reflections if inclined, or just go back to the party.

Handled well, “Insight Five” can add a new dimension to an opening. Far from being a party pooper, a brief acknowledgement of the core reason, will be a welcome moment of introspection.

Why Have Adult Coloring Books Become So Popular?

Recently a couple of coloring books for grown-ups became the top best-selling books on Amazon. (Yikes!) In addition, for quite a while five of the top ten best-sellers in Britain were adult coloring books.

And it wasn’t so long ago when adults were ashamed to admit they kind of liked coloring their children’s coloring books. It was considered childish and somewhat infantile. Researchers even claim that adult coloring books owe their rising popularity to the virtual anonymity of their purchasers – adults were actually too embarrassed to buy “such” books from regular real-life bookstores. It was thought to be socially unacceptable.

So what’s all that fuss about now? Why is coloring suddenly so trendy?

Well, apparently:

It gives you permission to feel like a child again.

Adult coloring books are like the new kid on the block – they bring about an air of mystery and intrigue, promising new, unknown and undiscovered adventures. More and more grown-ups are into this and it’s no coincidence. They can now “legally” get childish and no one would blame them. Coloring’s proven to evoke your inner child who simply wants to play and feel good. No more, no less.

It gives you the unique chance to escape from reality

Escapism” is defined as “entertainment or recreation, as an “escape”… from the perceived unpleasant, boring, arduous, scary, or banal aspects of daily life.” In other words – coloring helps you cope with the otherwise stressful/awfully boring routine or with even depression. The magical world of multiple shapes and colors takes to a far nicer place, where you could enjoy simple pleasures.

It’s fun

Well, it is fun.

It sets your inner muse free

You can’t paint? Well, you can always color! Many people (including me) have the same problem – they’re full of creative energy but can’t scribble a doodle. And it does make me feel bad sometimes, when I feel the need to let it all out but don’t really know how. Blank pages make me feel even worse.

Then again, all those beautiful henna patterns, mandalas or even Ryan Gosling (oh, yes, there is such a book) pop up all of a sudden and I feel my inner color-Goddess rejoice.

It’s actually healthy

Mental health is often neglected but usually way more important than physical wellbeing. And coloring has a soothing effect both on body and soul. It helps you relax and free yourself from the clutches of stress. There are even specially designed coloring books to help you fall asleep (without the usual glass of red wine, too!)

It helps you socialize

Throw a coloring book party, inviting your childhood best friends! Everyone gets a copy and loosens their imagination over a cup of coffee or wine. You could talk about the good old times or simply discuss your favorite TV show. You could actually do all that while watching your favorite TV show! Whoa, talk about multitasking!

It gives you a reality check

First and foremost, it allows you to touch paper. And paper, as it turns out, is missing more and more from our daily lives, being replaced with all kinds of tech gadgets. You can also feel the pen you’re coloring with, sense its texture, you can smudge and smear with your own fingers. And there’s no “undo” button.

It’s cheap

Adult coloring books don’t cost much. They come in all kinds of sizes and prices, so they fit everyone’s needs (and pockets). Besides, one coloring book, if colored diligently, could last for at least a month. After all, it is way cheaper than a psychotherapy.

It’s all about you

It’s your style, your colors, your imagination – you, you and you again. Coloring books take you on a romantic date… with you.

So, pour some wine. Get into something comfy. Feel yourself.

Tips To Design A Large White Dream Catcher For Your Space

Dream catchers are loved and used by many people today to bring only good dreams and trap the bad ones. Nothing brings more positivity to life than when you dream of only nice things and if you are a strong believer in the dream catcher, then this is the exact thing you stand to achieve. Dream catchers are not only exciting because they can be hung at virtually any given place, including your indoors or outdoors depending on your preferences, but you can actually make one yourself and enjoy impressive results.

Large white dream catchers tend to be more outstanding and they have an aura or spiritualty to them and a few tips can help you design one yourself for your desired usage.

Tip 1 – Get your materials ready before you start designing your catcher. White worsted weight yarn, tapestry needles, white thread, embroidery hoop, crotchet hook and craft wire are some of the supplies you should consider. You can also get decorative items like lace, ribbon, beads and fabric scraps. Having everything handy eases the process for you and will save you time you take designing the dream catcher.

Tip 2 – Start working on the doily. To make a crotchet doily, you would need some crocheting skills but the good thing is that you can easily master how to use a crotchet hook and when you do you can create various patterns. A small ring should be a good beginning and then you can work your way around the pattern that you desire for the doily.

Tip 3 – If you are not too sure about crocheting the doily, you can easily buy pre designed doily from a store near you so all you have to do is attach it to your hoop.

Tip 4 – Create your hoop using the wire. You can easily do this by shaping the wire into a circle. Make sure that the hoop you make is larger at least by an inch compared to the doily that you will attach later. Wrap the white yarn round the hoop by twisting it round several times to create spirals till you the hoop is securely held and the wire completely covered by the yarn.

Tip 5 – Assemble the hoop and the doily using a tapestry needle. You can do simple assembling by tying the edges of your doily to your hoop. For ease of assembling, place the hoop on a flat surface and place the doily in the center before you start working on the attaching. When assembling, ensure that you do not pull the doily too tightly until you have gone all the way round the hoop; it allows easy adjustment when you are finally done.

Tip 6 – If you want a complete white dream catcher, then make sure that the decorative items you use on the catcher are white. You can use white ribbon, white lace or even beads and feathers. You can also crotchet thing draping decorations that match your doily for beautiful results with the white dream catcher.

Art Appreciation, The Fundamentals

Going to the local art museum is a good, warming experience. Before getting out the car keys and whipping over to the art parking lot, you will find the trip much more enjoyable if you know a few basic artsy kind of terms.


1. Line — The visual element of Line is the foundation of all drawing. It is the first and most versatile of the visual elements. Line in an artwork can be used in many different ways. It can be used to suggest shape, pattern, form, structure, growth, depth, distance, rhythm, movement and a range of emotions. Quite often vertical lines suggest strength and leadership (as well as height). Horizontal lines try to tell you about distance and calm. Diagonal lines usually mean action of some sort will be happening.

2. Shape — Natural or man-made, regular or irregular, flat or solid, positive or negative. Etcetera.

3. Color and Value — The visual element of Color has the strongest effect on our emotions. It is the element we use to create the mood or atmosphere of an artwork.


1. Balance

2. Proportion

3. Pattern and Movement

If what you see is either off center, or leans in a direction (especially if the background trees do not lean), then movement or action is indicated. Note that portraits typically do not lean. All these three things might be summed up by the word “composition.”

A very smart English museum-tour bus driver told us that if you fold a picture of a painting into sixteenths, then unfold it, each of the sixteenths should more or less make the painting “happen.” For example, look at a picture of Rembrandt’s “Jeremiah.” Each sixteenth pretty much goes with Jeremiah. The fact that he’s off-center and leaning diagonally means he’s an action figure. Probably he’s worried about getting his “Lamentations” into the editor by the deadline. Perhaps he’s forgotten where he lost his shoes. Again.

I won’t fold Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” into sixteenths, though you can easily see that each piece “fits.” Note the diagonals on every figure but the central one: muskets and pikes, persons, dogs and chickens are going or looking somewhere, as a night watch crew should. The gent in the middle is clearly the watch commander – vertical lines and central position connoting strength.

Rembrandt’s picture of this old geezer, a Rembrandt self-portrait, though, veers from the rules. He’s off center and pointing diagonally, meaning he’s into action. Cripes, he’s older than I am, and clearly going nowhere because of his arthritis or leg cramps. This goes to prove that there sometimes is no point in the rules.

You should also do some research, or at least half-useful Google-clicking to take an intellectual trip through art history before heading out to the museum:

1. The Ancient World

2. The Art of India, China, Africa, the Americas and Japan

3. Western Art: The Middle Ages Through the Renaissance

4. Western Art: The Baroque Through the Nineteenth Century

5. Twentieth Century Art

Okay. After grinding out the fundamental intellectual groundings of art, we are now primed for that important art gallery appreciation visit. Once I found myself in the Albright-Knox Museum in Buffalo, New York, sitting on a bench in a placid atrium facing this acrylic-on-aluminum plate painting, which was completely white. I believe that painting’s title was, “Acrylic on Aluminum, White.” Maybe not. I don’t remember, and neither does the curator. Composition ought to be easy as dump cake, and the artist needn’t have shown motion, because there isn’t any. The professional critic might call the composition “perfect.” It would be hard to argue that the proportion is out of whack. As for balance, unless the night crew smacks the thing during cleanup, one could hardly fault the work for fouls in this area.

At this point I had this burning wish to do a brilliant thing, the most meaningful action in this hallowed spot that I could think of. Since eating lunch inside the museum was forbidden, I wanted to do the next best thing — put on a beret, pull out my pad and begin sketching “Acrylic on Aluminum, White” for my next art class. Every now and then I would look up at the original to make sure my interpretation matched. I would never hold up my thumb over the pencil for proportioning, as that would clearly mark me as a crude amateur and bumpkin. Using peripheral vision to see if other museum visitors reacted to my art-student art appreciation, I would see that most would pass by quickly, probably so’s not to interrupt my view. I believe a small, but fanatic number would truly believe me and appreciate my appreciation. I would plan to get up and leave quickly, though, if either the actual artist, or a happy kibitzer wanted to sit down beside me and adjust my sketching with pointers.

Alas, in my haste to get out for an actual lunch, I forgot to stop by the museum store. My best intentions were to purchase a postcard of “Acrylic on Aluminum, White.” Maybe a half-useful Google search will turn one up.

Professional Custom Framing Within Your Price Range

The right mat and finish can bring out all of the special qualities in a piece of art. Many think that custom framing is an expensive investment. While a professional finish on your map, photograph, or painting can run hundreds of dollars, there are ways to get that professional look without breaking the bank.


If you are the do-it-yourself type, the Internet can be helpful for step-by-step instructions on how to do the job at home. There are numerous websites that help crafters find the best materials and methods for at-home custom framing. Many even include pictures of each step, which help even the most inexperienced builder complete the task. While it might take a little more time and possibly even cause more stress, in the end, you will hang a product you can be proud of.

Online Stores

There are many online companies that can affordably complete the job. In most cases, you simply select the materials you want, send your piece of artwork, and in four to six weeks, you will have a properly mounted painting, photo, or map to hang on your wall. An online framer tends to offer a larger selection of materials that are better suited for unusual sizes or styles. A shop is limited to its in-house selection, but an online vendor may be able to meet your unique needs.

Local Options

If you don’t trust putting your art in the mail or need a quick turnaround on the job, you might prefer to take your art to a store in your area. A professional job might be expensive, but some of the stores may offer specials or seasonal discounts. Examples of common deals include two for one custom framing, half off the price of the materials, or even half off of both the materials and the work. Call ahead to see if there are any specials available. You can even sign up on their newsletter or email list. That way you’ll always have the inside scoop on deals. If you are patient and do a little research, you should be able to find significant savings when it comes to getting your art professionally mounted.

In conclusion, custom framing is not something that is out of your reach. As long as you are willing to try an unorthodox approach, put in time and effort on your own, or simply do a little research, you too can have beautifully hung artwork.

How Professional Framing Brings Out the Best in Your Portrait

Having portraits taken can be an expensive venture. Professional framing helps protect your family photos and brings out the best in your portraits. Whether you’ve had a formal sitting with your photographer, or have blown up a casual shot that captured a unique moment for your family, having your images matted and framed turns a simple picture into a piece of art that complements your decor.

Professional framing experts will discuss what you want to get out of your finished project. Keep in mind that they have extensive experience choosing the right mat and frame for various projects and will be able to suggest color combinations and mat choices that will enhance your portrait. Professional framing entails choosing the right sized frame and mat, colors that help draw the eye to the main focal point-the image-and a frame style that complements your portrait.

It may be tempting to choose an elaborate frame, or to select colors that match your decor. While an elegant frame may be suitable for a formal portrait, consider a variety of choices before settling on a particular style. Your professional framing artist will be able to help you choose a total package, which includes a mat and frame that work together to bring out the uniqueness of your piece.

Professional framing artists will be able to point out the advantages of particular colors and materials. For portraits, lighter colors are an excellent choice for matting. While it may be tempting to choose bold, dramatic colors, a more neutral color like cream, light gray, or beige is a better choice for the main part of the mat. If you choose a double mat for your portrait, it’s possible to add a brighter accent color. When choosing colors, remember that the purpose is to enhance the photograph. The mat and frame should come together to work with the portrait and draw the eye into the composition, rather than jumping out or distracting from the image. A pale, neutral background with a thin line of a bolder color draws the eye inward, toward the center of the portrait. Conversely, if your portrait has a very dark background, a darker outer mat might be possible, with a light inner accent color to draw the eyes inward, toward the picture.

Look at your portrait and consider what is it that you love about the photo. Is it the way your son’s shirt brings out the blue in his eyes? The way the light highlights your daughter’s hair color? What draws your eye most? Consider the colors. A common mistake is to match the most prominent color in the portrait with the accent color. Instead, consider picking up a secondary color for the accent. Doing so will bring depth to the portrait without distracting from the composition. Professional framing rounds out the job by adding the final border of wood, plastic, or metal. The frame holds the portrait and mat together and brings the entire piece together. When you’ve spent the time and money on having a beautiful portrait taken, professional framing adds the finishing touch.