A friend recently asked where I found artwork for our home. Over time, I have collected works in various media including oils, watercolors, and acrylic paintings. Make no mistake...we are NOT talking Picasso's here! They have been acquired via simple sources (i.e. directly from artists, while traveling overseas, auctions, antique shops, estate sales, and family hand-me-downs). I also have a few prints and posters, yet I do have a soft spot for original art, for the sake of its authenticity. In fact, I would rather hang one of my toddler's paintings as opposed to a framed Van Gogh reproduction.
Yet, you can also 'create' your own (very affordable) art in different ways. For example, I enlarged several of my own photographs into 8 x 10's, bought matted frames at Target, Michael's, or Pottery Barn, and hung them in a series. Or, for my son's bedroom, I gathered eight of his 18 x 24 preschool 'Maps of the World' drawings and hung them in simple black frames above his bed. With a bit more patience and creativity, you can even buy canvas and paint your own art, as I did several years ago for our nursery...(see 'JACK' name art below). In my daughter's bedroom, I didn't want to risk nailing too much into the 1920's plaster walls, so I took apart a calendar of vintage floral pictures and attached them directly to the wall...again, in a series. It just takes a little thinking outside the box. Below are a few examples...
|In our master, framed/matted 8 x 10s|
|A series of framed/matted 8 x 10's consumed |
a large awkward wall in our family room...
|Framed vacation photos hang above a guest bed..|
|Framed 'Maps of the World' drawings from Jack's preschool class...|
|Simple Michael's framed 8 x 10's of the boys having fun together |
provide a daily reminder they ARE in fact, sometimes friends ; )
|Name 'art' made with canvas, paint, and ribbon from Michael's|
|The calendar of vintage floral designs in Caroline's room...|
With a good eye, an open mind, and a little bit of patience, original art can be found in many places at various price tags. Clearly, you will pay a heftier price for gallery art, but likely feel more secure in its value as galleries tend to be most selective in the artists they feature...But, you can also find quality pieces while traveling, at local art fairs, auctions, estate sales, consignment shops, etsy, Ebay, and flash sites such as my recent favorite art source discovery: One Kings Lane (OKL).
I love admiring the artwork in the global/vintage art sales at OKL. It's like taking a stroll through a little local art fair. These sales feature artwork from antique shops, interior designers, and other sources. Although tricky to evaluate the quality of pieces online as opposed to live, they offer a large selection in a variety of sizes and media, at a wide price range. Clearly, you have to be aware of factors such as the condition of the painting itself, its matting, framing, etc., as many are vintage. Some pieces they sell are not framed at all, which can ultimately add to the total cost of the piece. Furthermore, it can be a bit of a diamond-in-the-rough treasure hunt, but I have spotted many really cool pieces at reasonable prices.
Below is a sample of the interesting artwork I have seen featured on OKL. To show the wide range, I included the prices and sizes for most pieces...Enjoy!
|$199 12 x 15 (San Gimignana Plaza, Italy)|
|$875 22 x 23 (New England Fishing Village)|
|$975 27 x 39|
|$315 17 x 27|
|$299 18 x 22|
|$329 10 x 12|
|$329 10 x 12|
|$329 10 x 12|
|$329 11 x 14|
|$345 12 x 15|
|$345 22 x 26|
|$379 13 x 19 (View of Chamonix)|
|$389 12 x 16|
|$465 21 x 23|
|$475 11 x 13 (Parisian Shops)|
|$475 11 x 13|
|$495 12 x 15|
|$499 17 x 22 (Greece)|
|$499 14 x 18|
|$525 21 x 25 (Mexico City)|
|$539 12 x 12|
|$599 13 x 17|
|$679 43 x 43|
|$699 10 x 13|
|$785 29 x 33|
|$789 20 x 26|
|$795 23 x 26 (Paris)|
|$795 26 x 30|
|$875 16 x 19|
|$899 20 x 20|
|$945 29 x 42|
|$985 15 x 17|
|$995 20 x 26 (French Quarter)|
|$1195 18 x 22|