Monday, June 1, 2009

Art is when you hear a knocking from your soul ...

- and you answer.
~Star Richés~

I’ve noticed quite a few bloggers discussing art recently. Perhaps it is like when you have an interest in a particular car, and then suddenly you notice that car everywhere. In the case of cars, that makes me less interested in the car… but when it comes to art, I love to hear about other people’s perspective and relationship with art. Just as in interior design, art is a personal experience that grows with you as your own life experiences and knowledge become more seasoned and mature.

I was extremely interested in hearing about Vincente Wolf’s preferences for framing in a recent post. I love his design philosophy and style, and since I had the privilege of attending one of his presentations on his own photography journey a few years ago in Houston. Besides having a great eye for scale and placement, I think his perspective is probably greatly influenced by his own art...

Photo by Vincente Wolf

Another recent perspective came from the dialog of the three ladies of “The Skirted Roundtable” . Their focus was more on placement and adjacencies. They covered some of the standard “rules of thumb” and expressed their likes and dislikes, such as “gallery walls”. They should love this one…! Not!

(Like I said… it is a very personal experience, and since I was not asked for my professional advice by this family loving man, I will reserve comment.)

Gallery walls, or “salon galleries”, as it became fashionable in the living rooms of France, can be successfully displayed, or they can become a real disaster. It usually starts with a collection of a few pieces of art, which is added to over time. Restraint is best utilized for those who are not experienced in working with art and accessories.

A lot of people are not at the point of worrying about the frame or matting of a piece of art, and much less where to hang it…and for that reason I want to discuss the do’s and don’ts about collecting art. Much of what I have to say has been said by a much wiser woman, who has been in the art industry for over 30 years, Kathryn Markel. She has an excellent website that greatly expands on the topic of collecting, whether the pieces are originals, reproductions, or prints. She has answers to questions you didn’t even know to ask, and then some.

I obviously cannot cover all the points that Ms. Markel makes, but there are some basic rules that can get you started:

1. Educate yourself… get as much exposure to art as you can, so as to determine what it is you like. Eliminate all preconceived thoughts of what is good or bad, based on what others opinions may be. Keeping an open mind will expand your choices and your knowledge, and need not cost you anything but some well invested time. Start by going to art museums and art galleries. Get you name on mailing lists to be informed of art shows and gallery openings. Go on-line to reputable gallery websites to look at the art and to become familiar with asking prices.

2. Don’t buy for investment purposes, but rather because you love it. First of all, art can fluctuate in value, just like the stock market. So when it comes to purchasing, not be swayed by the salesperson. Regardless of whether it is an unknown, an up and coming, or a well know artist… buy it because you like it! It is that simple. Don’t concern yourself with whether or not it goes with the style of your interiors, because if you already like your interiors, the chances are they are going to work just fine together.

3. Make sure your source is reputable and the prices align with the reputation. If you are spending over $700.00 for an original on paper, or over $2000.00 for a painting, do your homework on the reputation of your seller to make sure you are getting the value you are paying for. Having said that, I have picked up some really nice pieces of art at student art shows and sidewalk art shows, at bargain prices. But as a word of recommendation, don’t try to undercut the price the artist is asking… they are likely not making a great profit as it is.


  1. omg! what a wonderful picture! We actually had a hall sort of like this in a beach-house. anyone that visited got a picture taken and hung in one of those multi picture frames. Love this and thanks for the shout out!

  2. It wouldn't make it in House Beautiful... but it does have a way of bringing you back home. We probably all have a wall like that in our past somewhere! Thanks for dropping by.

  3. Hi! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comment. I love your post on Art. That picture of the gallery wall is unbelievable! A bit much for me, but I have to give kudos to the owner! Good luck in the contest!

  4. Hi Rebecca, thanks for stopping by. Yes, the "gallery wall" photo is WAY over the top! You've got to appreciate all the love that went into it.

  5. I hope you can continue this type of hard work to this site in future also..Because this blog is really very informative and it helps me lot.


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