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Guest Forager: Kaitlyn of isavirtue– Taking the Fear Out of Art Collecting

4 Jun
Hi Artsies!  I’m taking a tiny break for a few days, while we visit with some dear friends from Florida.  Please welcome fellow art lover and blogger, Kaitlyn Patience, who blogs and creates gorgeous stationery over at isavirtue!
Hello, my name is Kaitlyn! I am the author of art and snail mail blog “isavirtue.”  I will be guest posting today on Artsy Forager.Last summer, Lesley wrote an excellent two-part blog post entitled “Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford To Buy Artwork!” Aside from being the best title in the history of all blog posts, these two guides are an excellent resource to both online and offline art purchases. If you are looking for even more resources, I provide a similar post on my blog, listing a variety of art sale websites. Lesley’s belief that art collecting is not just for the wealthy and the learned connoisseurs is one that we both share. I believe art is, and should be, available to everyone.That being said, there is certainly an intimidation factor involved. This fear of art may stem from its perceived value, or a lack of knowledge. The first concern is an easy one to strike down. Art is affordable. You can take my word for it, or you can peruse the aforementioned guides. No matter what your budget is, you will be able to find art that you love.The second issue, a lack of knowledge about art is one shared by many. To be honest, I don’t believe you have to have any knowledge at all. If you like it, and can afford it, then buy it! That being said, if you want to know more, I’m happy to share with you a mini tutorial on the types of art available for home décor (Sorry, you generally can’t buy installation art, performance art or public art!).The following information is a simplified version of what is offered in my online e-course, “make art a part (of your life).” I encourage you to read more about the course here (LINK: – it’s great fun and you can enjoy it at your own pace!

There’s a ninety-nine percent chance you already have some version of art in your home, whether it be a cool print you found, a little DIY, your children’s artwork, or one of those hip new canvas transfers. I’m hoping you feel so inspired by reading this that you are anxious to rush out get some more art to decorate your home! But what type of art will you buy? Is it important to you that it be “original”? What’s the cheapest way to go about this? What is the difference between a regular print and a limited edition? How do you know you aren’t over-paying?”

Goodness me, you have so many questions! First, let’s look at the different types of art available.

Original, Jessica Bell ( via Buy Some Damn Art )

Limited Editions | A limited edition work of art is the next notch down on the value scale. This is because while there are multiples of the art, the number is restricted. A limited run of art prints for example, may include anywhere from two hundred to one thousand pieces. However, any more than two hundred and the term “limited edition” is being stretched.

Limited Edition print, Jennifer Sanchez ( via 20×200 )

 Canvas Transfers | A photograph, poster or print that is taken and laid on canvas through chemical or heat transfer. The canvas is then tightly wrapped around a wooden frame to look like a gallery style painting. It’s brilliant because it lets people purchase art for their home at really reasonable prices.

Canvas Transfer, Flapper Doodle ( via Society 6 )

Regular Prints | Any paper print made from a drawing, original painting, photograph etc. There is no inherent value, except to you because you love it!

Regular print, Emma Leonard ( via Etsy )

Posters | Printed on papers of varying thickness, posters can be memorabilia, advertisements or simple decorative images. People love to collect posters because they are the least expensive form of art and can be hung framed or unframed.

Poster, Stephane de Bourgies ( via )

Import | While not always imported, the term is used to reference three dimensional art which includes foreign objects, replicas or mass produced goods. They often include wall art and freestanding sculptures.

Import, Stag Head ( via Indaba )

I hope you have enjoyed this little lesson and that it will help you in your search for beautiful art!

[ Insert Art Here ]: Art For Every Pocketbook

4 Jan

I am a firm believer in buying art at whatever level you can afford and I’m not talking about the framed art aisle at Target.  While there are certain levels of art collecting which some of us may never reach ( I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that I’ll never own an original Georgia O’Keeffe, just keepin’ it real ), there is fabulous art available for every budget!  Just because your budget is limited, that’s no excuse for blank walls!  For this installment of [ Insert Art Here ], we’ll take a look at 3 art options for the same space– all fab, each fitting a particular budget level.  Here we go!

Let’s begin with our blank( ish ) canvas–

From, home of Bradley Agather, designed by Beth Dotolo, photo by Kevin Dotolo ( artwork removed, to see the original design, click on this photo )

For the Beginning Collector:

Artwork by Ann Tarantino via 20x200

Prints are the easiest and most budget friendly way to begin an art collection and these days there is no shortage of sources for quality limited editions.  These Ann Tarantino prints ( Far and Wide [ left ] and Flying Colors [ right ] ) are archival pigment prints, $200 each ( not including framing ) and are available through 20×200.  Pretty sweet, right?

For the Mid-Range Artsy:

Artwork by Michelle Armas

So you’re ready to put your money where your mouth is and begin a serious art collection?  Original work by emerging artists is a great place to start.  Atlanta artist Michelle Armas has become something of an art & design blog darling and with that comes a certain ( well deserved! ) notoriety which makes her work highly collectible.  Her abstract paintings are riotous and painterly, filled with joyous color.  The piece above, Eggplant is an acrylic work on canvas, 30×40 inches.  It is available through Gregg Irby Fine Art at $1000.  An awesome price for a piece of that size and quality!  Forego your daily $4 chai-mocha-frappawhatever from Starbucks and you will be able to purchase a piece like this, too.  It’s all about priorities, ya’ll. 🙂

For the Serious Artophile:

Artwork by Christina Foard

Christina Foard is a painter’s painter.  She paints intuitively and revels in the materials, not afraid to get her hands dirty.  There is an emotionality to her work that, along with its glorious physical texture, provides a depth that you don’t always find in abstract compositions.  The piece above, Floating Invasion ( acrylic on canvas, 40×30 ) provides this space with a certain amount of gravitas, while still giving just the right amount of color and movement.  But Foard’s works are pieces you buy because you can’t stop thinking about them.. you have to have them.. If they happen to match your throw pillows, well, that’s just a bonus.  ( FYI– Floating Invasion is no longer available, but Foard pieces in a similar size are usually in the $3000 range )

My final word.. as Dan Fear said “Buy art because you like it and because it moves you, and because it enhances your life.”  This has been a little exercise that I hope will inspire you to purchase a piece of art that you love this year.   Now that’s a new years’ resolution I can get behind!

Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford to Buy Artwork! ( Part 2 )

1 Sep

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

The affordable artfest continues today!  In case you missed it, you can catch Part 1 here.   Here are a few more suggestions for purchasing affordable artwork:

  • Art festivals– Just about every community at one point of another puts on some kind of arts festival or at the very least, there are a few within easy driving distance of where you live.  Festivals are a great place to check out ( usually ) a wide variety of artwork.  And with individual artists manning their own booths, it’s also a great opportunity to chat with them about their work.  Plus, you can usually score some funnel cake.  Win-win!! 


  • ArtWalks— Many communities are also getting on the ArtWalk bandwagon, which I am all for!   ArtWalks customarily take place once a month, usually the same evening every month such as the First Friday or Second Saturday.  While the ArtWalks usually involve visiting local galleries, which we’ll touch base on below, many of them set up tents in a local park or closed-off street where local artists can display their wares.


  • Arts Markets– A growing trend is a local “arts market”, which is a weekly market, combination farmer’s market, street fair and arts market.   A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, grab some fresh ingredients for dinner, listen to local music and discover new artists.   


  • Local Galleries– You may think this one is obvious, but in many communities, brick & mortar art galleries are rapidly disappearing, thanks in no small part to the recession.  If you are lucky enough to have some local galleries in your area, do what you can to support them.  Don’t just go to the free events– actually buy something, even if it small.  Many galleries today offer payment plans for larger purchases, don’t be afraid to ask.  Galleries are in the business of supporting artists and selling their work.  While it’s nice to browse, browsers don’t pay the rent.  Most art galleries are run by average folks who love art or are artists themselves and are an important feature of any thriving community.  Please patronize local galleries– your community will thank you.


  • Art by Students– Chances are, you have a community college or university of some kind in or near where you live.  These institutions are often filled with budding artists.  Check the colleges’ websites to find out more about their art programs, exhibitions, etc.  Purchasing student work is a wonderful, economical way to start a collection AND help give emerging young artists a boost of confidence.  Even if they don’t make a career out of being an artist, that student will always know someone loved their work enough to buy it and they will cherish that knowledge. ( I speak from personal experience! )


  •  Artists Themselves– OK, so this suggestion may call for a huge, UMM..DUH, LESLEY!!, but it’s definitely an option, especially today when many artists are foregoing traditional gallery representation, choosing instead to market their work on their own.   There are certain advantages to dealing directly with an artist, such as they may have more room to negotiate on price or payment terms without a middle man, as a direct “patron”, the artist may notify you first of new works you may be interested in and best of all, you can get to know the artist personally, which often makes the work you love that much more significant. In addition, many artists are now offering “budget” limited editions of their work, which make it all the more affordable.  ( Check out Town Editions, a limited edition collection offered by Pick of the Crop artist, Thomas Hager ).   A word of caution though, on a somewhat touchy aspect of buying directly from artists which goes back to my point of supporting local galleries– if you see a piece in a gallery that you love PLEASE do not try to circumvent the gallery and purchase from the artist directly.  It’s dishonest and well, just a crappy thing to do.  Most artists value their relationships with galleries or have a contract with the gallery and would not sell such a work to you in any case, but I’ve seen it happen.

 I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  It can be intimidating to buy artwork, but buy what you love and you’ll never be sorry.

Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford To Buy Artwork! ( Part 1 )

31 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

It is a huge misnomer that only the rich can afford to be art collectors or even to purchase original work.  When most of us think of an “art collector”, we tend to think of the stereotype of the wealthy patron, attending auctions at Christie’s, buying artwork for more than many of us make in a year, heck, in a lifetime.  Or maybe you’ve gone into a higher end gallery and seen a price and thought to yourself, “Self, no way you’ll ever be able to afford that.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, the times they are a changin’.  It has never been easier or more affordable to purchase original artwork and/or high quality limited editions.   No, I’m not talking about the kind of “original art” you buy at the fleamarket or from a sale in a hotel ballroom.   I’m referring to original, gallery worthy fine art.  The kind you can be proud to hang on your wall.

Here are some suggestions for finding the artwork of your dreams and getting your collection started:

Online galleries/exhibition websites– These are popping up all over the place and many of them represent some very talented artists and you can usually find wonderful work in every price point.

  • Etsy— Possibly the largest online art & handmade marketplace, complete with a powerful search engine, you’ll find a wide range of artwork available.  Many artists are using Etsy to reach a wider audience and as a way to sell their work independantly. ( Note that many of the artists with shops on the “exhibition sites” will have their links on those sites connecting back to their Etsy shops. )

Into the Mystic, photgraphic print, 8″x8″ $30

  • 20×200this New York City based website works with artists to offer limited editions of original work.   Starting at just $20 for the smallest size, 20×200 offers affordable, quality work for newbie collectors.

Well-Being I, limited edition on archival paper, 8″x10″, edition of $200, $20

  • Papernstitch— I must admit, I’m a little biased toward this one, as it is run by my friend ( and fabulous artist in her own right ), Brittni Wood.  Started as a blog, Papernstitch is a growing online exhibition site, curated monthly by Brittni and features handpicked, talented artists, designers and craftspeople.   The Papernstitch blog is still going full force and features daily posts from Brittni and a handful of other talented contributors.  Papernstitch is definitely worth a look when you are searching for something special.

  Open Space by Rachel Austin, original mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″, $85

  • Artwelove— Founded in 2008, ArtWeLove “offers exclusive, museum-quality art editions by today’s inspiring artists”.  A big difference with this site is it focuses on offerings from artists whose work is found in top galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout the world.  The work is curated and commissioned directly from the artist to ArtWeLove exclusively– you won’t see these prints anywhere else.  The site has a “learning engine” similar to, which tracks your artwork preferences over time and makes recommendations for you.

 Petal, Pixel and Stain by Nina Tichava, limited edition on archival paper, starting at $50

  • PoppyTalk Handmade–Founded in 2008 by a Canadian husband and wife team, PoppyTalk Handmade is a monthly curated and “themed” marketplace showcasing artwork, handmade and vintage goods from around the world.   Sort of an online street fair/festival, PoppyTalk provides an online marketplace to emerging and indie artists and craftspeople. 

Pillow Land, sewn print by Clare Elsaesser of Tastes Orangey, 4.75″ x 4.75″, $20

Stay tuned over the next few days for more suggestions on ways to buy original art on any budget!

Art Inspired Design: Modern Reflections

11 Jul

I love art.  I love design.  Why not put the two together on the blog?  There was a time in my life when I thought my career path lay ( Thank you, Suzanne Decuir for the grammatical help ) in Interior Design.  I took courses, devoured design and shelter magazines.   As often happens in life,  circumstances got in the way and the path detoured.  But that’s a story for another time.  Let’s focus on the fun stuff today!

One of my absolute favorite things while designing ( OK, it was THE absolute favorite thing ), was creating moodboards.  To begin with an inspiration and build a room or facility around it was thrilling to my color, texture and pattern lovin’ soul.  And for me, it always began with the artwork.  While doing project management/art consulting, I worked with a lot of designers and many ( but by no means all! ) viewed the artwork for a design as an after-thought.  Like adding sprinkles to a cake.  Still a cake without the sprinkles, but oh, if we add them, won’t that be pretty!  But if we don’t have sprinkles, it’s OK.  It’s still a nice cake.  Instead, I think of the artwork as the frosting– not just smoothed across the top, but spread between the layers and all over.  It is what holds the cake together and gives it the extra texture and sweetness that keeps us going back for more.

( Wow, anyone else craving cake now? )

So you’ve purchased this beautiful painting by Christina Foard.  You love it, it speaks to your heart and reflects your style and everything you love about life.  But maybe you live at the beach and are unsure how to design a room around it.  Aren’t all beach houses supposed to be full of palm trees & seashells?

Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard, oil on canvas, 60x48

This piece to speak more to the feeling of being on the beach just after a storm, while the skies are still a bit gray but the sun is beginning to peek through, warming up the sand to both the eye and the touch.  So let’s take our cue from that and begin with soft, grayish tones, layering on the warmth of the sun in our accent chair, rug and window coverings.  An important component in Christina’s work is texture, so we’ll make sure there are plenty of interesting surfaces to draw our eyes in, just as Christina’s painterly build up does in her work.

Modern Reflections, a beachside home for a contemporary art lover

Have you ever designed a room around a piece of artwork?  Or bought a piece of artwork not knowing where exactly to hang it in your home but you couldn’t live without it?  Have a beloved piece of art sitting in a closet somewhere because you don’t think it “goes” or can’t figure out how to incorporate it with your current furnishings?  Um, yeah, me too. 🙂

Sources:  Painting:  Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard; Paint color ( board background color ): Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball; Sofa: Charlotte Collection by Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; Chair & Ottoman:  Rhys Chair & Ottoman by Anthropologie; Rug:  Festival by Anthropologie; Coffee table:  Monarch Coffee Table by Anthropologie; Lamp:  Malaya Large Coral & Zinc Lamp by Arteriors Home; Round side table: Riveria Side Table by Ralph Lauren Home; Mirror:  Venus Mirror by Anthropologie; Square side table: Duotone Side Door Table by The Painted Cow Furniture Co. on Etsy; Window covering:  Coqo Floral Curtain by Anthropologie;  Bowls:  Tatara Zukuri Bowls by Ashes & Milk      

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