Framing Profile: The Pine Tree, Small Point, Maine, 1926
A departure from the combination of broad gilded mount and simple frame profile occurs in the handling of The Pine Tree, Small Point, Maine. On the verso of the watercolor, Marin sketched three profiles and color notations; among these is the design for this frame, which features a note reading “dark maybe gray. This is a more simplified version of the popular gilded frames created during the 1920s and 1930s, which the artist would likely have seen in New York. Marin employed yet another type of framing device in the composition itself: a diffusely painted halo of color that surrounds the central image and joins the silver frame and the narrow, hand-colored green face mat. The upward slope toward the opening of the frame brings the image closer to the viewer and contrasts with the painted border on the edges of the sheet, which seems to situate the pine tree at a distance. The artist appears once again to be experimenting with different ways of balancing the visual forces of nature.