2-D Artwork

ooojen(z4MN)January 13, 2006

"What's on your wall--?"

I've been struggling over what I should hang in my kitchen and living room. In the kitchen I have 3 potential spots for artwork, and I've decided to leave two of them unadorned...or at least to adorn only the lower part with 3-D arrangements that I can change with the seasons. The third is going to cover a TV that's set into the wall. Since the exact shape and size (and mount-ability) are important, I might have to make my own.

Now, the living room... I've looked at a million (or so it seems!) paintings, and none are just right. I don't want to pay an enormous price, but I realize I'm not apt to find anything that calls to me dirt cheap, either.

Some organized bunch used to have "Starving Artists' Sales" around here a couple times a year, where art students and wanna-bes' practice paintings would be sold to at least cover the cost of materials. There was some great stuff! There hasn't been one around here for several years, though. While I'd love an original, I'd be happy with a good, textured-over gicl.

The thing is, I don't really know what I want. I know it'll scream my name when (if) I see it, that's all.

I've seen a few things on ebay that I liked, but apparently what grabs me, grabs other people too-- people with more money than I!

All in all, I don't really have much artwork on my walls. I had a print in the master bath (pintails and lotus) but I broke the glass in the frame when I took it down to mud the ceiling. It's not really of a quality to re-frame. I've got a few small things that I've gotten while traveling (watercolors, temple rubbings) but no dramatic-statement type art.

How about the rest of you-- do you have a lot of artwork on your walls? Do you have just a couple select things? How did you choose what you have? Did you agonize over getting just the right thing, or did you just pick up whatever made you happy at the time, thinking you could replace it when it got ho-hum to you? Do you like serious stuff that makes you look and think, or do you like pretty stuff that makes you feel good? Do you go for dramatic and eyecatching, or something that softly enhances the rest of the decor?

(...and Tisha, did you get your kiss picture? How did the display come out?) I'd love to hear about-- or to see (!) what others have done and how/why you selected what you did.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What is on my walls, hmmm... Simply put I have some photographs that I have taken, quilts that I have made and a clock. I can't say I have a lot on my walls at this time, but then again we only moved in here a little over a year ago. I do have a matted grouping of antique post cards I would like to get hung up at some point in time. Not much help was I?lol


    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 3:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I made samplers for each of my kids as they were born. These three pictures were in our living room up until we moved. They are now in a bedroom. My favorite picture is one that I got for $.50 in an auction when I was pregnant with my first child. It is a print of a woman carrying a flower basket. I have a 5 picture grouping of 8 by 10 pictures from our European vacation. We purchased 2 paintings from an artist friend. I have spent semi big bucks on framing some posters and prints and reprints. Over our fireplace is a Chicago Art Institute print of Seurat A Sunday on La Grande Jatte-when I was in school I spent many times visiting this picture when I needed a break. Then their are several walls that have our children or family photos.

Over the years I have gotten lot's of pictures. I haven't retired much but may do so.

But 3 D. I am not too good with arranging stuff on shelves so that it looks like something. When we moved into our big house, I have gotten some larger pottery vases. I also seem to be into candles these days. Warm light flickering probably to replace teenagers bickering ha ha. Then there are always plants.

I often wonder if my kids will have fond memories of some of our pictures and hang them on their walls.

Our favorite Aunt has sent us cheap prints(she claims) that I spent a bit of money framing and I love them. Also Her card for our 25th wedding Anniversary was framed. I slowly had things that have meaning for me framed. The frames and matts really can make pictures become art. I think Gil likes our pictures. He bought the real paintings as gifts for us-I think he spent more on the 2 pieces then I did on the rest of our art. (probably I should say pictures on the wall)

    Bookmark   January 13, 2006 at 5:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Hey Jen - yeah, choosing artwork can be really difficult. It's so much easier when you see something you love, then have to find a place for it. Much more difficult to see a space that needs "something," and then have to go out and find that something.

I tend to choose wall decoration based on the atmosphere of the room. Most often, though, I'll decorate a room to suit a favourite piece of art. Either way, I find that the room and the artwork have got to work together in tone, colour, and temperment.

I'm particularly fond of wall hangings and photos. Wall hangings, because they give a texture to the wall; photos because they're generally taken by friends, and have memories attached to them. Although, a photo large enough to hide a tv would be pretty darn big - reminds me of an old acquaintance of mine, whose parents had his high school graduation photo blown up life-size, and stuck it in the foyer. hee hee.

This is what's in my living room. I love this painting so much, even though it's really simple and not even really that well done. And I'm pretty sure that "Travis" is not going to make it big in the art world. I think I like the size most of all - it's 4'x4'. Really striking - this is not a piece that anyone can ignore. I decorated the rest of the room around it. The other artwork in the livingroom picks up on the temperment of the sunflowers.

My office is my favourite room in the house - thankfully, since I spend so much time in here :) And I painted this room around three favourite pieces: a Krsna wall hanging and two photos that a photographer friend of mine did (which need to be reframed). But I like these three pieces because they reflect an atmosphere that I wanted to create in here.

Here's Krsna - I painted the walls a honeydew melon green to compliment the rich chocolate browns and deep blues of the print.

However, my favourite wall decoration in the office is the ugliest one: my bulletin board...

Notice Larry's instructions for embedding photos into posts? They're written on a piece of a paper... regretting that yet, Larry? :)

You can also get posters framed, too - I got one at a yard sale, really thick cardboard that is still waiting for a frame. But I put it up in my kitchen to hide an unsightly wall bump:

Anyway, I think I'm going overboard with the photos :)

Good luck, Jen - and I think that you should go with atmosphere as your final criterion. What kind of mood do you want to create? Elegant? Homey? Bohemian? Country Charm? Urban? Artsy? Or maybe something associated with a particular era?


    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
canttype(0b (Cold North))

Most of my artwork lays in a folder under my bed, waiting to be framed! I have about 30 prints and originals under there:-(
So costly to frame!!! About 12 of those are paintings that I have done.

I was sneaky this Christmas and took my largest piece into get framed and got my other half to go pick it up for me!($250.00, I'm not working at the moment)He didn't mind too much;-) It's a Pastel painting of Grassy Lakes in Canmore, Alberta, where I used to live for 10 years.

Anyway, I have that painting now hung along with 2 watercolour paintings that an Artist friend of mine (and my teacher) gave us. Jeanette McClelland is her name and she is very acredited in many mediums. Both are landscapes.

I also like art tiles! I have a set of 5 of them hanging up in my skylight. They look wonderful up in there! Beyond that I have 1/2 a dozen or so framed prints that I have picked up but nothing to write home about. I also have one small wall dedicated to music, which has an old accoustic/electric Guitar and some very old records hanging on it.


I attached Jeanette's page.... am I daring iVillage to use these copywrited photo's? She'd welcome the free publicity!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jeanette's web page

    Bookmark   January 15, 2006 at 12:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Foxy- We were at a friend's place on Sat, and she had a bunch of antique (illustrated) postcards, too. They were adorable!
She has tons of stuff on her walls, and she rotates what's out. It's very...ecclectic. Actually, it's really interesting, though not what I'm going for personally in terms of volume.
Toots- Your art sounds nice. You seem to have a handle on what you want...wish I did! I bet your kids will indeed have fond memories of your art! I remember a picture of a little girl looking at a bluebird that we had in the house we moved from when I was 5. For some reason, it didn't find its way into our new house, but my aunt whom we visited several times a year had the same print in her house. It makes me smile to remember it, and I bet if I saw an inexpensive print of it, I'd probably buy it, even though I'm not sure where I'd put it!
Canttype- Jeanette does beautiful work! I enjoyed the link. It sounds like you have a wonderful collection, Diane. I can't cut matts, but if I can find what I want in that dept., I can do framing myself. (Got myself a new toy last year-- my nifty little miter saw.)
Shelly-- You have, not surprisingly, nailed the crux of the problem! I don't know what atmosphere I want to create! I'm usually quite decisive about my decorating, but not on this issue. I want elegant and homey and Bohemian and artsy...I don't know. I think I have a reasonably cohesive style, and yet it's not a style with a name; it's just ME. I'm looking for that piece that says it's "Me", too.
Those sunflowers of yours would be darned close! The colors would go, too. That's a nice piece-- make you feel smiley inside just to look at it.
I used to have a print of Krishna (or Krsna if you will) when I was a teenager. It was of a pretty old painting, very detailed and really neat. My mom objected (sigh) because she thought it wasn't appropriate art for a Christian...gives people the wrong idea and all. (She didn't make me remove it, but her objection took the fun out of it.) Really, in our extrememly white bread environment, none of my friends (the only people to see the inside of my room, after all) were going to think for a minute that I'd converted to polytheism. ... no more than they'd think our family went Druid because we put up a Christmas tree & mistletoe. Ah well...
The Hanover Cakes girl is charming!
Thanks for your input, folks!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2006 at 11:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

So, Jen, did you eventually find something to put up in your dining room?


    Bookmark   February 19, 2006 at 5:42PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You won't believe this-- just yesterday I heard an ad for one of the traveling starving artists' sales, and off the family went to art shop! I'll get some pictures and show you what I got in a bit.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2006 at 3:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here they are! They're oils, and their finish reflects light, so I had to take the photos at an angle or the flash would glare off them. It makes the perspective look a little screwy, but you'll get the general idea.

The first is my big picture, just over 2'X 3'. I really like it, it's well done and the colors are perfect, but it's a little more conventional than what I would have envisioned if I had actually envisioned anything. I like the off-center, skewed bowl, though, and the blue accents. In our house, the living room and kitchen are open to one another- kitchen is the same orange that's in the peach and grape highlights, and the lrm is the caramel/gold you can see on the right of the photo, (matches the pic, also.) The spot where I shot this is where the fireplace is going to go. The painting's actually a little large for where I wanted it...This is a "kitchen picture", but I really wanted something this size for the living room. I didn't find that elusive perfect thing. (Older DD took immense pleasure in watching me in action at the art show. She said it was gratifying to see me be the one torn with indecision, because I'm usually the "go, get what I want and get out" type of shopper. Honestly, picking out flooring, tile, light fixtures and counter-top were all a breeze compared to finding the right art piece.) Anyway, I think I'll probably put this up from late summer until time for Christmas decorating. It's got a good autumnal feel.

Second is a small pic that fits in a little nook. It, too, is pretty conventional (the ol' Dutch Masters, less the bugs and chewed leaves) but for 12 bucks, I couldn't resist.

I had been debating between the above painting, and this slightly larger, less formal one. DD (pushy girl!) suggested I take both.

Her birthday is coming up soon, and she fell in love with a couple pieces herself, so we got them for her...but she has to wait to get them! Each of the paintings was the only one in the place done in it's style. She's the first to admit that this painting is not her usual style, but she fell in love with it anyway. It's very textural, with thick, troweled-on paint...two little schoolgirls:

She got to go to Europe the year before last, and fell in love with Venice, so this black and white painting called to her:

(She got cooler stuff than I did, but I'm stuck with trying to coordinate what I've got...she hasn't even picked her paint yet.)
Little DD got her very first painting, too. She went impressionist, bless her heart! The people putting on the sale gave the kids each a frame for almost nothing ($5) -- said they wanted to encourage young art appreciators.

I'll put a link in to the prints I'd like for the living room. I'm kind of spoiled by the cheap stuff, now-- I hate the thought of paying $189 each for a pair of giclées when I could have had oils that size for barely over 1/4 the cost! (I'll probably put off getting them until the company makes my mind up for me by discontinuing them...*sigh*)

Here is a link that might be useful: Ballard Designs Sunflowers

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 12:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Jen,

Those are really cool paintings. I really like the one with the grapes. It's nice to see your daughters' interest in getting something too. It's never too early to promote an interest in art.


    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 3:08PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Jen, they're gorgeous! I particularly like the two schoolgirls that your daughter chose, with her little picasso nose and the coy footsies :)

That nose reminds me of a Picasso exhibit I saw a few years ago. You all know that Picasso was a dirty, dirty man. Well, some of the pieces at this exhibit were clearly nothing more than erotic cartoons. But there were all these art afficionados standing around, talking all high falutin' about the "art" of his dirty pictures. There was even a film he'd done of ladies doing things that should only be done behind closed doors, and same thing: all kinds of art talk. Hilarious :)

Which makes me think of another funny art story. My cousin went to see a Klimpt (is it Klimt or Klimpt? I can never remember). Anyway, she went to see an exhibit in Montreal six or seven years ago, and one of his sketches was of a lady, again, doing things that should only be done behind closed doors. He hadn't titled it, of course, since it was just a sketch, so the curator or whoever had titled it "Nude, With Raised Leg." Apparently, there were dozens of these sketches, with equally inappropriate titles. I nearly busted a gut when she told me about that.

Okay, that's it for the dirty art stories.

LOVE your choices, Jen. AND that colour you chose for the living room - it's so rich and deep!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 6:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jen, I love the paintings, particularly the first. I was trying to read the artist's name on the last one, the woman on the beach - what is it, please?
Enjoy your new works.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 2:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Jen-- good choices! All the stuff on my walls is from one artist in Jordan.. and I hope to pick up a few more pieces the next time I go!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 6:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for putting on a mini art show for us. It is quite imressive that your daughters chose such wonderful things for their walls. Every time I check back here, I seem to like them more.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 11:07AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
fishies(Ottawa z4a or 5)

Wow, a new monitor can really make all the difference! Jen, the colour on your walls looks totally different now! It's not deep and rich at all - it's muted and earthy. Very nice! I love those sandy, desert-y tones. Actually, that type of tone was what I was trying for in my living room. It went more melon than desert, though :)


    Bookmark   March 4, 2006 at 11:14AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
pepperomia plant how to grow?
I would like some help on caring for a Pepperomia plant....
Question about ecobulb for houseplants
a while back someone on this forum rec. the Ecobulb...
ellenr22 - NJ - Zone 6b/7a
Desert Rose That Will Not Bloom
I have a desert rose that is roughly 4 or 5 years old....
Tiffany Martin
March Flowers
I feel guilty posting this as teen usually does but...
Please help identify this plant
The leaves are over 40 inches tall. Sorry the picture...
Sponsored Products
Hillsboro One-Line Petite Wall Address Plaque
Home Decorators Collection
Sakura Area Rug
Home Decorators Collection
'Welcome to the South' Gallery-Wrapped Canvas
$57.99 | zulily
Star Wars Episodes IV-VI Trilogy FilmCells™ Framed Wall Art
$74.99 | zulily
Dean Russo 'Savvy Labrador' Canvas art
Blazing Trees Framed Wall Art
Home Decorators Collection
Philippe Sainte-Laudy 'Morning Light' Canvas Art
Double Palm Savannah Canvas Wall Art
$195.00 | FRONTGATE
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™