We all know that an 8″x10″ painting, no matter the style or subject, is not going to look good hung above the fireplace mantle, nor above the sofa, nor on that big empty wall in the great room. I’ve recommended that these small pieces of art belong in the cozy spaces of your home or office. So what is a cozy space?
Where I find a cozy space is beside my bed, on the kitchen backsplash, a hallway niche or corner, above a desk or beside a chair. Small paintings need furniture or small architectural spaces to anchor them to the space. Let’s see how this works, then find those spaces for you.
This is the first one I found – a wall above a table in the entry. It’s a narrow wall where the table and jar anchor the artwork. The very small art is enlarged with a mat and frame. (From Apartment Therapy)
An entry is one of the best cozy spaces in your house.
All kinds of possibilities for a small painting here in this entry: leaning on the wall on the table, a tiny painting on an easel on the table top, another painting below the clock, or a whole gallery of small or mixed size art without the clock.
Here is a modern desk, chair, and lamp plus art on the wall. I’ve enlivened the cozy space above the desk with SallyE Art (Blue Energy series). I always recommend the wall above your desk – if there is one – as an ideal space for a favorite small painting or photo.
This is another desk, though a lot brighter, that has a bright small painting to match its bright contemporary style (Classic Car Impressions, Artist SallyE). I’m guessing this “desk” is a space near the kitchen or entry where quick notes and lists are made, but it is decorated beautifully.
More Cozy Spaces Throughout the House
I have more examples of quiet or small or private, all called cozy spaces I’ve found that are perfect settings for small paintings. Of course I’m showing my abstract paintings for examples. See what you think.
First is a bedroom beside the bed. This cozy space has a bright square abstract over the side table (Canyon Gold by Artist SallyE). The rest of this bedroom decor is monocromatic and could use a pop of color. My choice was something red and orange. Many other bright or contrasting colors would fit this quiet color palette.
This dining or maybe breakfast room has a lost cozy space at the end of a room, now occupied with plants. My painting, Bayou Secrets, fits into the space well, don’t you think?
My last example is a cozy spot in a living room with a chair and table enlivened with an abstract by SallyE (Ocean Fury). I have suggested that small paintings can be used to unite tables and lamps, or even chairs and tables. I think this painting did the job here.
Small Paintings have a Home with you in Your Cozy Spaces.
It’s normal for us to look to the large spaces around our homes as blank spaces waiting for decoration. When you feel that job is done, take a look around for some of the spaces that would look and feel better with art to liven them up. Perhaps you need a small, bright painting to fit into those cozy spaces I found for you. You will enjoy your home all the more for it, I’m sure.
Great things are a series of small things brought together. -Vincent Van Gogh
A series of small things?
In my case that would be a series of paintings, blog posts, successful art shows, positive critiques…
I am a list maker. I do paper, post-its, iOS apps, and Evernote. This is how I keep track of my series of small things. My long term planning helps me bring them all together to make something great. Let me give you some examples. Maybe you do this too!
Lists to Keep Track of Small Things
Today, this post is a subject I’ve listed in my blog posts list. The list is long and varied. I pick one, get my ideas organized (with a list), and start writing.
This is the post subject where I take a favorite quote (I use them in my posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest) and explain what it means to me. If it all comes together in a blog post, I consider that great, don’t you?
How big is this series of small things?
So maybe it’s not great. Maybe the success of my art career – my long term goal – including blog posts to bring my art collectors to my website is the real “great things” I’m talking about. But there are a gazillion different series of small things that help me get there, not just this post.
What’s your series of small things?
What are the series of small things you do to achieve your greatness? And, I’m going to bet that you use lists of some kind to keep track of your series of small things. However you do it, I wish you luck in achieving greatness.
Let us know how your series of small things are accomplished. Just find the comments waaay below. Thanks!!!
At any gift-giving time we want to uncover something different, something appropriate, something memorable to give to our friends, loved ones, and office associates. And without unnecessary time spent, thank-you-very-much.
Electronics? Clothing or jewelry? Gadgets? How about art? Have you ever considered giving art? Perhaps a painting? (I would recommend a SallyE painting, of course.) Whether the person has everything or nothing,
Here are a few important factors to help you make the best decision about your painting purchase.
This compact space has a modern look with its all white look.
What size is the home, room, space? A person with a large space will appreciate a large painting, but those with more moderate-size and small spaces will prefer small pieces. I also combine small canvases into groups called diptych and triptych – groups of two and three paintings. Of course, other artists do as well. There are lots of ways to go to make your selected painting fit the space by either changing the size or doubling the number. Got it.
- Become familiar with the colors of the space where you think the painting might hang. If you don’t have any particular space selected, consider the overall colors, such as warm colors (red, orange, yellow, gold), cool colors (blue, green, purple), neutral colors – dark or light. This factor solved will make the selection of a painting much easier. You’re much closer to success. Yes.
- Interior design style? Ooooh. This one is complicated. Most of us are not familiar with interior design styles. Modern and traditional interiors are easy to recognize, but many homes and offices these days are more eclectic, combining those styles into one personal design.
Modern interior with open spaces.
Cozy living room: wood, rock, textures – all earth tones.
Take a good look next time you’re visiting. Take a guess between modern and traditional. Look at your giftee’s space to find out what style of paintings they have and go from there. Do you see landscapes, portraits, abstract paintings? Those paintings and their styles are your best clues to both the interior style and your giftee’s preferences in art decoration. However, if you see no paintings or art, you are probably on the wrong track with this gift idea.
- Your gift will be appreciated for its uniqueness, that it’s one-of-a-kind. Nothing says special more than an original painting, large or small, whatever its style. You will need to know the other three factors – size, color, style – before you can find a unique painting your giftee will like.
- If the painting is unframed, can it be hung on the wall in this state? Many paintings are created on deep canvases that have painted sides as well, giving them a ready-to-hang finish. If this is not the case, be sure to finish your original painting off with a frame. Don’t leave it to your giftee to do. It lessens your thoughtfulness.
- After all the space and style factors are decided, consider your budget. With a focus on just what you can afford, go big (big city, big names gallery), go intermediate (city small gallery, upcoming artists), or go small (personal galleries of upcoming artists, small town galleries of local artists.)
Ready to go gift shopping?
To make your search easier, try online galleries. This is how you will save tons of time. You’ll also find that all the online galleries and artists’ online stores include liberal return and exchange policies. And, if all else fails, galleries and artist stores offer gift cards, too. Need some suggestions?
- ArtFinder “Artfinder is a global marketplace for affordable authentic art, connecting talented independent artists and galleries with art lovers who value craft, quality and originality.” I love this gallery. That’s why I’m there too. /ArtistSallyE
- VangoArt “Real Art. Real People. Vango is an online marketplace that connects buyers, both first-time and experienced, to independent artists.” They sell only original art. I like this one, too. I’ll be there soon.
- Etsy “A marketplace that is a world of vintage and handmade goods from independent sellers. Etsy protects every transaction, so shop with confidence.” Like a art faire online. I’m here, too. /ArtistSallyE
- Zatista “The premier source for original art online. We believe buying original art should be exciting, fun, and incredibly easy. The art we present to you is from hand selected artists and galleries, affordable, and always of the highest quality.” Excellent search function. Nice store.
- ArtistSallyE Why not? You’re here. There are only abstract paintings here, but they are original and various sizes. Take a look.
If all else fails, ask for help from the gallery. Online or in person, give them the information you found from your fact finding above, and they can help you find a painting – or ten. You will still need to make the final choice, but this help might give you more confidence that you have chosen well.
When the selection is made, the gift given, be sure to tell them why you selected this painting for them. This explanation always adds delight for the recipient. Even if the painting is not precisely what they wanted, your story will make all the difference, I promise!
Should you, can you give a well thought out art gift?
The bottom line is, if you know the person well or are learning about them or their business, a personalized gift such as a well-chosen painting will be treasured and remembered. I know these tips will make the selection easier and even fun.
I’m sure that over the years you’ve joined lots of email lists. You wanted to hear about sales, new products, what a company or person is doing, updates on products, club news, and just so many other things. So have I.
I’ve gotten a bit carried away. These days I think more carefully about giving out my email address. Do you?
Do you rate how much your really need to know what’s new with this company? High need? The exposer to the pitch for your email address usually comes after a few minutes at the website. What if you just like hearing about company deals, but you’re not sure you want to know daily? That might make you think about how many other emails you’re subscribed to for special sales. When is that email address something you want to disclose only to stores or artists or blogs that have something else to offer?
What about an Email Trade?
There is one more way that I’ve been thinking about where you might give out your email in exchange for news. The situation Artist SallyE (me) is in is a little different from all those I mentioned so far.
First of all, I’m on the other end of the equation.
Second of all, You don’t know me very well. You probably like some of my paintings or a post I wrote, but we aren’t buddies (yet). I need to give something to you so that you’ll give something to me. More specifically, I need to come up with something you might want so that you’ll be willing to trade me your email address subscription for this hypothetical something.
I’ve thought and thought about what I could give you, what you might like from me. A discount coupon? A framed photo of me (haha), a box of cookies?
Artsy, but Tiny
My idea is to give you a mini painting on canvas. Now, I’m talking mini here – 4″ x 4″. It could sit on a tiny easel or you could frame it. Free, an original from Artist SallyE.
I’ve come up with these four tiny canvas panels below. What to do? Paint them all the same, or each one different? Not a series of the same colors or ideas, I decided. Each one a new idea to explore.
This is the result of a couple of hours, mostly spent cleaning brushes because there was such a spread of colors and tools, too. Take a look at these little beauties!
My Email Trade in Action
The way this trade works is that you sign up, verify your email address, then I ask for your address and color selection for the mini painting. I’ll create a tiny canvas just for you and mail it out the next day. Does that sound good to you? I really hope so. I’ve already painted these four, and they were lots of fun.
U P D A T E
Hope you’ll trade me!
If you have some other ideas for me for an artsy gift, please give me your suggestions in the comments below. If this is a terrible idea, I’d like to hear that too. Thanks for reading my short story.
To begin a new painting I always start by selecting the colors. Then, I think about tools and methods and get started. It’s always fun. Once in a while I like that first layer so much, I consider stopping right there.
Encountering the Finish at the Beginning
With my last series of paintings, Forest Dance, I had a difficult time adding anything else to the first layer. There was blending of colors, texture from my palette knife and a pleasing design created from the strokes. What else did it need? I waited and waited for ideas to come to me about improving what I had.
Finally, after a few days, I decided to add some details with a bold white accent. I went on from there to add different accents and details to each of those four paintings. (See them here.) Let’s see how this new painting is going after that initial beginning.
Red, Orange and Yellow Need Shine?
Since the colors were bright and blended nicely with some texture showing, too, I decided that some shiny pearlescent paints might be just the thing to add some details. I tried bronze, golds, and some coppers. When I finished, all I had was shine, but not much improvement in the painting. Oops. (I didn’t take a shot of this edition. Guess I already knew it wasn’t going to stay that way long.)
What about some more orange? I would use it to tone down the shiny. And I did. Here you can see how that came out.
Back to the Red Painting
What a fun week, almost starting over with lots of red, then trying different things almost daily. I didn’t document them all, but I did catch a few different steps. Here you’ll see the purple I added to the pearlescent rose. After that was some coral around that purple-pink area to tie it to the red-orange areas. And finally I mixed up some medium pearlescent orange and applied it with a palette knife over the red curvy strokes on the right.
Adding purple to pearlescent rose.
Adding coral to connect the purple-rose to the red and orange.
And, it’s a wrap!!
And, it finally told me it was complete. The red painting embellished with purple, pink, coral, and pearlescent orange makes a bigger splash now than that first layer I loved at the beginning.
I had lots of fun after I recovered from the second layer. My collection of pearlescent paints looked like a good idea, but I discovered it was just too much. And, I saw that as soon as I completed the last color – on top of all the other layers, that those underneath metallics made this painting fantastic.
Here it is. It’s now on my Art Gallery store. I named it “Red on Holiday.” Click on the painting photo to see more final images in the store.
Please feel free to give me your opinion of what I did and how it came out in the comments at the bottom of this page. Thanks for reading.
A few months ago I began four small paintings intending to try a technique and a set of colors on the set. And I did just that. I have evidence.
Forest Dance 12″ x 12″ abstracts phase 1 in first studio.
Then Reality entered the picture. Rent increases changed my attitude about renting, so along with my son, we bought a house. All this reality took about a month. The month was Not filled with periods of painting, but tiny stolen snippets.
My next step with these “Forest Dance” paintings was complicated by my thinking about houses, prices, locations, studios out of bedrooms or great rooms. However, I finally decided my richly colored and textured canvases and one art board needed some sparkle. But I had to wait to do that until I could find them in the moving chaos.
New Home, New Studio, Same old SallyE
There is little left of the richly colored palette knife work, but there is definitely sparkle, all caused by my big move. Or was it?
It is several months later. I am now located in the new home, new studio, same art table and materials where I finished the four paintings with my usual attitude of having fun and putting that into each painting using some contrasting and brighter colors.
Might these paintings have been different if I had remained at my original home? I know I liked them just as they were, and I considered calling them complete. Would I have added that movement and sparkle in those paintings without this move?
Oh yea, I realize. I always want my paintings to have vitality, fun, cheer, bright colors, texture, movement. And, when I paint, I am a happy person giving those emotions and ideas to my paintings – translated: Vitality comes out of me into the paintings.
Hope you like! Please let me know in the comments, below.
Forest Dance Series 18×18″
Forest Dance Series 12×12″ C
Forest Dance Series 12×12″ A
Forest Dance Series 12×12″ B
New home for Forest Dance set, along with Sea Surges 24″ x 18″ canvas panel.