Hi, I'm Shirley

Welcome to my blog on apartment living.  You can also visit my food blog where I share Recipes, stuff on Food Talk and Cooks' Resource. 

Art: Love It, But Afraid?

There are hundreds of great articles on the internet on art genre, how to buy art, frame it, where to hang it and how.  There are books upon books and magazines upon magazines on art.  But for those of us who love it, buy it but then become paralyzed by the indecision on presenting it, we're left alone to self-treat our sad phobia.  If there is a category for such people, I would land in the category of laypeople who love abstract art.  I am particularly drawn to drawings in charcoal and pencils , and art that dissects the human form.  The problem for me had been, once I brought such a piece home, where and how do I hang it?  What would my friends say?  (To them an apple is an apple is an apple and should be interpreted as such.)  Not ready to defend my taste in art, I would buy them and put them away.

It took me three months to pay for this print by a Sunol Alvar, seven years and three homes later before I had it framed, and then one month later had it re-framed! 

I've always been a fan of Story People prints.  They're simple, fun and colorful; and I had always imaged a collection of them on white kitchen walls, near the white  kitchen cabinets, over the kitchen desk.  But when I did have a white kitchen, I just bit my nails with fear and indecision on what would be an appropriate frame and would they look to "cluttery" over the desk, under the collection of cook books.  Ten years later and two more places where I have lived, I have yet to frame and hang them.   

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Contrary to what you may be thinking by now, I have been exposed to fine art.  Why I've made lots of treks to some of the famous fine art museums, such as the Louvre, the Smithsonian (frequently), and The Art Institute of Chicago. (Still on my wish list is the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art).  And yes, I've stood and stared at works of the old masters of Europe and modern American artists--but seldom for more than 10 minutes.  For me, it's abstract art that fascinates to no end. I can sit for hours mesmerized by a mobile or some sculpture that doesn't seem to make any since at all.  Place me in front of a painting that only explores the variations of one color and I'll lose all track of time trying to imprint its intricacies on my right frontal lobe--its shades, tones, brush strokes or even how much oil or water was used.  I don't care what the artist was thinking or trying to convey.  I only care how it makes me feel or invites me to think, to image.  But if I bought it, I would still be faced with fear on how best to present it.

There is a happy ending to this story for those of you who suffer this malady.  First, I finally learned that art is like love, it's in the eyes (and heart) of the beholder.  It doesn't matter what others may think.  Then, I learned that grouping similar pieces with similar or like frames helped to make the collection appear cohesive.  Or if it is just one piece, give it front stage.  Remove every other accent piece in the room, slowing adding what compliments or supports that treasured piece of art.  Find a really, really good framer with a great eye who can help you select the best matting and frame.  In fact, I would say this is critical.  Most important, just do it! 

I found these wonderful examples on Houzz.com (yes, one of my favorite internet places) of art pieces that make a bold statement.  Can you determine what makes them work in their selected locations: 

And finally, this would be a favorite for me.  Such a dramatic entryway could even be scaled down with smaller pieces of abstract art if you live in a smaller home:

What's your favorite art piece that you purchased?  Did you hang it?  Oh please, do tell!

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