The comments got me thinking about how important it is to have a good presentation all around. Many times in the museums I visited - I saw large paintings that had unpainted edges, or really messy edges, and that apparently did not stop the museum from displaying or purchasing the work. That being said, over time I stopped painting the edges black and started painting around the edges. I like that look much better. My paintings are contemporary and can be hung without the frame (although I do believe every painting looks better with a frame!). And I have to admit - they look much better withe the edges painted as a continuation of the painting itself.
Today I pulled three landscape paintings from storage and repainted them! No painting is safe from rework while still in my possession. All three now have nicely painted edges (without "damage"). I am continuing work on the other two large paintings. I also ordered a ton of thick polyethylene bags to protect my larger paintings in transport to and from the shows.
Here is a picture of work in progress from today. Yes, I am in the landscape mode!