Just for Artists


on this page find information and links that may be of interest to artists...

Gallery submission all-calls:

Correct Labelling for art work:


Title, Medium, Dimensions (always, VERTICAL first!)



• Down by the Sea, oil on linen, 12x18




• Down by the Sea, oil on linen, 18x12



Use italics for title, if possible. If not, use quotation marks. Could also be set apart by font size or type of font.


Use the " mark for inches, the ' for feet, after the LAST number, if needed. For smaller works, it is not usually noted. 


OR, abbreviate 'in.', 'ft.', 'cm.'                 12x18"   12x18 in.   12x18 cm.


I've seen museums put a period after all 'in', 'cm', etc., but some do not. This might be a judgement call. Consistency would be more important. I would put your name FIRST, if it is on the label. That is what museums do.


Do not use fancy fonts for labels; ease of reading is more important. Also, NEVER use all capitals. They are not as easy to read. If your name is not on the label, be sure it is on the artwork somewhere, even on the back!


• Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden and BuyRVAart   info 

     "In the Garden" 

     deadline FRIDAY, March 14  

     $25/up to 3  

ONLINE submission only


Matting art work under glass:


Pertaining to how an artist DISPLAYS their work (matted works) for sale.



For works on paper, fabric, or other fragile surfaces, a mat is used; a mat is can also be used as a protection because of age. Sometimes oil paintings have a matting, usually linen, and then it may be under glass to protect the fabric. Museums will put fragile/very valuable paintings under glass. Even if you don't see a mat, they have put spacers between the glass and the mat. Why?


A mat serves to keep the art work (watercolor, photograph, drawing, etc., from touching the glass. Artwork can be damaged if it comes in contact with glass or plexiglass too long, usually because of moisture getting inside between the art and the glass. It may also come to stick to the glass/plexiglass.


We all went to the same Home Ec class, that taught us to "use a mat color that picks up a color in the painting (image)". While that may be fine for a private home (although when I just said that to an interior decorator, she visibly cringed), IT MAY NOT BE BEST FOR AN ARTIST'S DISPLAY. 


As an artist, you want your WORK to show up, not what is around it; a colored mat only distracts from your work. If you look at the professional works in galleries and museums, especially contemporary work, the mat is white, or black (sometimes gray), with a single type of frame. You want all the matting and framing to 'fall away' when someone looks at your display, so they will only see the artwork. Various colored mats, and different types of frames, distracts from the work and the look of your overall display. They creates a visual cacophany that can actually make it uncomfortable to look at—a viewer can 'hear' the discord in their mind. 


Go into a gallery or museum, and look at how any given artist's work is displayed. Different artists may make different selections, but the more uniform an individual's work is displayed, they easier it is for the buyer to 'see' which ones appeal to them. 


Occasionally you will see work in a museum matted with a beige, even fabric, mat. That will usually mean it was one the artist or the original buyer selected, and then it becomes part of the overall provenance or look of the work. It may also speak to the style of the period. But unless your work is also in that style. KEEP IT SIMPLE. 


If you have several different syles, then mat them differently, and keep them grouped separately.


I will address frames in a separate post.



• Gallery Underground  info 

     upcoming show "Risk", nationally juried show

Arlington, VA

     deadline FRIDAY, March 22  

     $35/ up to 2 pieces

ONLINE submission only  


Just for Artists!