The American Step frame is one of the more versatile framing options. It’s secret is a simple design that allows it to compliment a wide range of subjects. The first painting is of Aurel, France, a commune in southern France known for being a perched village architecturally highlighted by a 12th Century church and a 13th Century chateau. Olendorf (1924-1996), the artist, has captured the commune at a distance, above and beyond a bevy of violet flowers, and it’s the American Step frame that subtly guides the viewer’s eye “into” the work. You could say the frame “invites” the viewer into the complex flower brushwork and the distant buildings simultaneously that the eye is not quite sure of which to focus on first. But with the American Step frame guiding the eye into the work, both in time will receive the attention they are due. On the other end of the spectrum, the second painting, also by Olendorf, is of the more modern Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In it you’ll find buildings that are taller than the perspective in the painting, and this vertically is strengthened by the straight-standing trees. This painting gives off the feeling of “up and up,” the opportunity and optimism that cities are known for. What you don’t want is for the frame to block this sense of growth and expansion. The American Step frame is also capable of helping the artwork expand, or “have a life” beyond its dimensions. It does this with a soft, quiet border that allows the eye to easily pass beyond it. These are two great examples of how artwork and frames can work together.