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.
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.
Selecting a painting to buy can be fun and it can be daunting. Finding a series of paintings where you like, say, the medium, may make that choice easier. Just select the one you like best.
But what if you find a painting you like that has no brothers or sisters? Does that make it less important, less appealing?
What is a series, anyway?
A series is a group of paintings that exhibit something in common with each painting in the series. This similarity may or may not be able to be seen, such as color, methods or a subject, compared to an emotional display of anger, fear, or joy. Many times several of these factors are exhibited in all of the paintings at different levels or colors. Let’s see some examples that should make this clearer.
Here is a series of small paintings that are all on the same surface, using the same paint colors, that have a completely different look while also belonging to the same group.
Click to Online Store
Click to Online Store
Click to Online Store
What’s also part of this series are my feelings and goal of my paintings. Those are always the same: Have fun with the work and the result is a cheerful, fun, colorful painting. This is evident in this series.
Another example would be a series of animal paintings by Andy Warhol that are all drawn with a similar technique and are the same size, but their colors are all different. They all look like they belong to the same group, too. (These three are from his 1983 series of endangered species.)
A Series is an art-finding Helper?
Let’s assume you’ve found a series of paintings you like. The advantage to this is that you have several paintings you like that you can choose from. You might even create a set of several of the paintings from the series you like assuming they will look nice together.
What about the artist who is inspired to do just one painting, then goes on to a different type or color or subject, technique, or feeling? Does that mean the single paintings are not worth looking at, or that they have less appeal or value? I think not. Some artists, are not inspired to do the same colors or style or subject or feeling over and over. Perhaps they have done their experimenting with this one painting.
Series vs Onesies
Gallery owners insist that series of paintings show that the artist can do good work repeatedly. I would also point out that good paintings, whether of a series or not, are still good paintings.
Here are a few paintings I have done that are nothing alike nor are they part of a series, but each has value of its own, don’t you think?
Your Art Selection is Personal
A series of paintings saves you the time of finding another painting by the artist that you like, but will not net any better painting, really.
I understand that the artist who paints in a series is experimenting with the materials or the feelings that produce the painting. I personally do that in every painting I do, whether I paint an entirely different painting, or one that has similar colors and textures to the one I just finished.
Have I confused you or succeeded in showing you that a series is interesting to see, but may not help you find the painting you’re looking for? Whether it’s within a group or all by itself, your new painting still needs to call your name.
Thanks for reading my little rant. Let me know your ideas about selecting a painting and whether you think a series of paintings is important in the comments way below.
To buy a SallyE abstract painting, would you find them in a gallery, a studio, or on the Internet? Since I am a former graphic-web designer, the Internet is my first choice.
Known as Artist SallyE, I have a website, an ArtFinder online gallery, and an Etsy store. Here’s the story on each of these SallyE paintings sites. [Updated 6-8-16.]
ETSY: My first store choice because of its purpose,
“Shop Handmade Products – Buy Directly from the Artists.”
Here’s the link: http://artistsallye.etsy.com
Browsers can search for different products or stores or artists, but to comment, favorite, follow, or actually buy, you have to start an account with Etsy. It’s a bit of a stumbling block, isn’t it?
I’ve found that all the online stores or galleries on the web, this is the way selling is done. It’s a method to capture your attention, but it really tests your desire to make that comment, favorite, or purchase. I hope you’ll jump over this obstacle. If you get pesky email afterward, tell them to quit it (unsubscribe).
“Shop one-of-a-kind creations direct from independent artists around the world.”
Here’s the link: http://www.artfinder.com/ArtistSallyE
You’ll find only artwork here and even prints and sculpture, but that’s it. No jewelry, no crafts, just art.
I have around 30 abstract SallyE paintings here so far. The reaction from the community has been very excellent. I have more favorites of those paintings than any of them on Etsy. Of course, after browsing and joining ArtFinder, you can comment, favorite, follow or buy a painting. And, again, you can stop any emails that result from your joining their membership.
The story and the store, 2016
You know this link: http://artistsallye.com
This is the new site (you’re on) where I have my own store. I considered how things were being handled on Etsy and ArtFinder and concluded that there was another, easier way to get this done.
The advantage to this online store for you is your ability to browse only SallyE abstract paintings at will. No signing up for anything until you’re ready to buy. I’m trying to take down all the roadblocks and make it easy. You’ll be buying directly from me, as on Etsy, but without their rules and regulations (or commission and fees).
Of course my website does not get the traffic that Etsy and ArtFinder do. I am going to try to get you to sign up to learn about deals I’m offering and new paintings, but it’s strictly your choice. With a loyal list of people who want to know about my paintings, I won’t need lots of traffic. See “The Email and the Mini Painting Story.“
As of now I have no other galleries or shows except in my home studio. Maybe one day… For right now, I’m hoping that my new store on my website will sell more paintings (with no commissions paid) by making it easier for you to look all you want, comment, favor, whatever, then buy – easily.
Please let me know your opinions on Etsy, ArtFinder, my paintings, and/or my own online store in the comments form below. It would help immensely.
Thanks for reading this map to finding SallyE paintings to buy!
A recent buyer of an SallyE abstract painting asked me to produce another painting in a larger size. She didn’t ask that the new painting be the same as the first one, only that it be mostly red.
This seems doable to most people, especially the art buyer, but there are a few problems.
Artist SallyE – me, of course – produces small abstracts. I don’t do commissions, usually, and my paintings are almost all different. Can I produce the painting in the size my buyer wants? Will she like the results as long as it’s mostly red? It’s a dilemma.
Artist SallyE: In the Beginning….
The story of my art is that in the beginning I was afraid to mess up a big canvas, so my first paintings were on 5″ x 7″ heavy artist paper. I learned techniques, materials, and tools with those first small paintings. (A few of the good ones are still available here.)
Moving on to larger sizes as I felt comfortable with my tools and techniques, I learned that each successive size increase meant I needed new, broader strokes, bigger brushes and, obviously, canvases to produce my abstract designs.
Today’s Abstract Paintings by Artist SallyE
Now 18″x24″ canvases and boards are my usual. The new buyer I mentioned before wants larger than that, which I haven’t done before – another potential problem. The size the potential buyer wants is 30″x 40″. That is a substantial increase from the size I’m doing these days.
What would you do?
I’m confident I can do a large abstract like this, but I don’t know if I can do it in one.
You know what I want to do, right?
I want to try it out with inexpensive materials and new tools, bigger broader strokes until I’m comfortable with this size. Then I will do the large, red abstract for my new buyer. She’ll love it!!
I’m feeling better about doing commissions, but not totally confident. With some thought and practice I think I should be able to do whatever the art collector wants, as long as it isn’t a painting of her dog.
I’ll post here again when I get the project done, probably in a few months. Let me know what you think of my problem and my possible solution.
Thanks for taking a look here. Come again soon.