Buying art can seem overwhelming and I am no expert, but one of the things I’m asked most about is how I buy art and where I find it. I want to encourage you to buy and stand beside your 5$ paintings. Art collecting is truly in anyone’s budget and anyone can do this!
I always tell people to be fearless and just go for the purchase. If the price is right, get it! Or if it makes your heart beat fast and you can afford it, get it! It’s always the pieces that make you scratch your head, and kind of love/hate that are my favorites in the longterm.
When I go out looking for art, there is not one style I’m looking for. It’s hard to pin down what makes a piece of art special. There are some pieces that really just grab me and I have to have them. Like when there is the perfect amount of skill and whimsy and color and balance. There are some pieces that you see on their own and you feel lukewarm about, but paired with other art or existing pieces you have, they could anchor an entire wall. I look for these types of pieces to pull a whole collection together. Dark hues and dark subject matter paintings have that quality of really pulling a room together, especially those with really rich, old, gold frames. I definitely look for those. My favorite combination are gold and black frames, which are pretty common. Sometimes in thrift stores or antique malls I will see great art that’s trapped in an outdated and sort of hideous frame. But it’s so easy to pop a new frame on a beautiful piece and transform it to make it look more modern.
I love having old structural and sculptural aspects in my spaces. Art with damage and holes are completely fine. Damage can even add a certain layer of weirdness to a portrait or a piece of art. I don’t have to frame every piece I get, that can get pricey. I am not above nailing canvas to the wall. I have a lot of kitschy, whimsical art around my home. I also am drawn to dark landscapes and portraits to add depth to a room. I also love woodcuts, screen prints, limited edition prints, lithographs, and serographs.
Last year, I bought a small collection of Jack Silverman prints from the Salvation Army. It’s really special when you can get your hands on a couple of pieces of work by the same artist. They are in acrylic frames and I’m obsessed with them.
Back in the day, Jane and I stumbled upon this art gallery long since gone out of business and there were tons prints for sale that Jane and I picked up. It’s great to find art that’s in a bundle. We covered the office one week in magazine cut outs and all of the prints, it was so fun!
There is so much good art to buy. I find a lot of my best pieces at thrift stores, consignment shops, and antique shows. Instagram has become a huge art hub for buying art and finding and befriending local artists. I love going to estate sales, too. I’m definitely not a snob when it comes to knock offs either. I have an original copy of a Fernando Botero painting hanging in my dining room. An original Botero goes for upwards up 1 million dollars. It’s not like I’m ever going to own an original. There’s no shame, to me, in having a fun copy if it gives me joy! (The Botero painting is under the archway in the picture below!) One of the things people are afraid of is buying large art. I say, don’t be afraid to go big!! Consignment stores are gold mines when it comes to weird art. If you find a piece you like, wait and watch, often times it goes half price!
This red haired lady is part of a recent collection I bought out of a storage facility in Detroit. You never know where you are going to find the best art! Storage wars, here I come!!
I wanted to share some of my favorite Instagram artists and art dealers, but I know there are a gazillion more. I would love it if you would share some of your art sources with me!
- Faye Moorhouse (Artist)
- Mel Remmers (Artist)
- Gillian Bryce (Art Dealer)
- Julie Sneed (Artist)
- Faith Christiansen Smeets (Artist)
- Dinner Party Antiques (Art Dealer)
- Tracy Rocca (Artist)
- Hunt and Scavenge (Art & Style)
- Kabinett and Kammer (Art Styling)
- Art For Breakfast (Highlights artists to follow)
The last big art buying trip I went on was to St. Petersburg, Florida. I got so many large modern paintings. If you want to read about that art focused trip, you can find it here.
I love having coffee table books around my house, and art books are really great for getting ideas of what your style is to be a fearless art collector. I find endless gallery wall inspiration from Pinterest, if you want to follow along, my page is here.
Here are some of my favorite art centric spaces that I have pulled together:
I would like to consider this an ongoing series. There is so much art and I have so much to learn!