June 18, 2012 by Amy G.
I’ve moved several times in the past 10 years, and with each of those moves I’ve had a whole new house to decorate. In the first home we owned I was just dying to put something on the walls and paint every room. I was very quick about it and, as long as it had immediate appeal, I was happy. I’ve changed over the years. I’ve taken a lot more thought now than I did 4 houses ago.
One major change is that ultimately (in this case, that means “by the time I die”) I would like nearly every decorative item to be an original work of art and really have a story behind it. That doesn’t mean that everything has to be a 24×36 oil painting of someone from 1680 in an overly ornate frame or that each piece is very expensive. I have some examples for you that I hope will get you thinking of ways that you can add original art to your home.
Photography is a great way of introducing original, meaningful art into your home. Both of these pieces are an example of that. Of course your family will have different locations that have meaning for you. Find them, and snap away…or get your talented brother-in-law to do it.
Estate Sales or Thrift Stores are the perfect place for that special find. My husband and I spotted this at our Goodwill. It wasn’t labeled, and the frame wasn’t stable so, a clean $1 later, it was mine. It cost me almost twice that to have it fixed and have the old mat replaced with a new acid-free mat. That added up to $2.73 for this original ink sketch that I absolutely adore. It reminds me of my first home in New York. Ahhh.
Supporting your local artists not only benefits your home but the local economy. It also helps your home have a rich history when it is filled with art from your area. These pieces are very different from one another and fit perfectly in different areas of my home. The first is an original piece by Owen Mortensen. Mine is a very simple piece and brings a light refreshing feeling to part of my dining room. But you should check out his work. It’s remarkable. The second is a very large oil piece by Eric Cantwell. My Family room is big and very neutral. It needed a kick in the pants from this rich, bold painting. I love it. It’s fun and that’s what family rooms are supposed to be, right?
Supporting your EXTREMELY local artists is probably even more important. Yep, the budding little artists in your home. This “water color with oil pastels” was an award winner at our friend’s school and now it has a permanent home on her wall. Save those really special pieces and give them a step above the refrigerator door. Your kiddos will love it.
Dig deep because you may have something very special. This piece has the best story ever. It’s not just local, it’s not just valuable, it’s interesting and historical. This is my friend’s painting.
You may be thinking hmm, flower painting, nice. Someone else thought that and stuck it in the back of a closet facing the wall. It’s painted on a thin board, so it wasn’t even in a frame when my friends family found it. Just a board against a wall, in a closet, forgotten. If you don’t know who Minerva Teichert is, look her up. She’s the real deal. The story is that she hated sending flowers to funerals because they just die, after all, so she painted a bouquet of flowers for the family instead. Well two families later, my friends found it in the closet, framed it, and now have a Minerva Teichert original. TIME TO CLEAN THE CLOSETS, GIRLS!
Create your own art. I love to knit, tat, sketch and just create things. I bet you do too. Recognize yourself as an artist. You don’t have to wear a beret and make money on your art to be an artist.
Find something you love and buy it! I’m a sensible kind of girl. I don’t spend money on non-essentials very often but when I find something that I really love, and it’s within my budget, I save my pennies and grab it. Art is one of my favorite ways to do that for a few reasons: it’s timeless, it can appreciate, it doesn’t wear out, I won’t grow out of it, it’s calorie free (unlike my other guilty pleasures). Great reasons to buy art, right? Here are my recently purchased pieces of my new favorite artist, Paulo Mendes. You can check out his work here or here. I haven’t even had time to frame them yet. They make me happy every time I see them and I can’t wait to put them on my wall!
Go find something YOU love and BE ORIGINAL!