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Wall Decorating Tips from Laura Gaskill: An Art-Buying Guide for Beginners

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Wall Decorating Tips from Laura Gaskill: An Art-Buying Guide for Beginners

By:  February 8, 2013
Starting a collection of art that speaks to you is a worthy goal, but it may seem out of reach … and more than a little confusing. Where do you begin? What is the difference between an original work, a limited-edition print and a poster? Where do you shop for art — especially if you don’t have thousands of dollars to spend on a single piece? We will tackle these questions and more in this handy art-buying guide, including resources for collecting on a smaller budget.

Explore your taste. Before diving in and making a purchase, spend some time getting to know what sort of work you respond to. Make weekend dates to browse local art museums and galleries, pick up an art magazine or flip through a stack of art books.

Are there certain styles, colors or subjects that draw you in? Do you gravitate toward black and white photography, modern abstract paintings, still lifes? Note what you love. Exploring and observing will build confidence, not to mention expose you to new styles and artists you might never have found otherwise.

Types of Art

Original art (and why it costs so much). Original work includes any art that is one of a kind: original paintings, drawings, sculptures and more. Why the high price? To draw a parallel to the literary world, imagine if J.K. Rowling could sell only one copy of the Harry Potter series — how much do you think that would be worth?

An artist can profit only once from the sale of an original work, such as a painting on canvas; then it’s gone. Even if the work grows in value over time, it is the collector who profits. If you understand that, it makes sense for original pieces to have a higher price than prints or reproductions.

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Prints. A true print, while not one of a kind, is still an original work of art. The artist uses any one of a number of methods to create an original image on a surface like wood, rubber, stone or metal, applies color and then creates a print on paper.

Print types include engravings, lithographs, screen prints, aquatints, linocuts and woodblock prints.

Limited-edition prints. If the artist sets a limit for the number of prints he or she will make with a given image, that is known as a limited edition. Of course, today the lines are being blurred, with artists using digital media to create original works, and a piece may be called a limited-edition print even if it was created or reproduced digitally — that is, it’s not one of the types listed earlier.

Term to know: A run includes all prints made from a given work. For instance, “a run of 50” means the artist created 50 limited-edition prints from the original piece.

Posters and reproductions. When an artist creates an original work and reproduces it (usually digitally) without limiting the run, it is a poster, or a reproduction. Posters are a great way to explore art, since they are so budget friendly — once you build up a bit of a collection, you could even swap out art seasonally.

Fine art photography. Since photographs by their very nature are easily reproduced, it is up to the photographer to limit the number of prints created with a certain image. Generally, the fewer prints available, the higher the price.

Where to Shop

By Laura Gaskill – See more Home Design Photos

The basics. There is nothing like seeing art firsthand, especially when you are still training your eye and learning about your taste. Student sales at art schools, auctions, antiques fairs and local galleries are all excellent places to start your search. Use your own judgment and don’t ever feel pressured to buy something.

Finding affordable art. The world of art buying has become much more democratic in recent years, thanks in great part to the influence of online retailers and auction sites offering well-curated art collections, available no matter where you are and at every price point.

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Wall Decorating Tips from Stacy Briscoe : Show Us Your (Functional?) Art

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Wall Decorating Tips from Stacy Briscoe    : Show Us Your (Functional?) Art
Published on: December 24, 2016 By:

After having been renters in the San Francisco Bay Area for several years, my husband and I are now the happy owners of a house. As new homeowners, we’ve found that one of the most exciting things has been adding personality to our rooms. And what better way to do that than with art? But ours is a humble abode, and space is limited. We have a few paintings on the wall and, of course, our family photos. But then I started thinking, why can’t everyday objects double as artistic statement pieces? The answer is: They can.

Homeowners: Post a picture of your favorite artwork in your home. Does it have a practical, everyday function, or is its main purpose providing pleasure? …Read Full Article

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Wall Decorating Tips from Jeff Jones: Quirky Art and Oddities Intrigue in an Ohio Rental

Danielle and Jose

Wall Decorating Tips from Jeff Jones: Quirky Art and Oddities Intrigue in an Ohio Rental
By:  April 10, 2013

Not being able to paint the white walls in their Toledo, Ohio, rental house could not stop artists Jose and Danielle Herrera from adding their own creative strokes. The walls simply became their blank canvas. Dramatic nature-inspired hand-cut vinyl decals, wild collections of artfully displayed bugs and butterflies, and original artwork using repurposed materials turned this interior into the family’s own gallery….Read Full Article

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Wall Decorating Tips from Mitchell Parker: Create Your Own Mural Wall With Easy DIY Stencils and Stamps


Wall Decorating Tips from Mitchell Parker: Create Your Own Mural Wall With Easy DIY Stencils and Stamps
Published on: December 24, 2016 By:

Looking for a way to give your walls some fun? Kristin Nicholas may have you covered. When faced with walls of simple whites and pastels in her 1751-built home, the artist took action by painting almost every wall in vivid colors and patterns, such as adding mottled chartreuse and gold in her living room and a fun blue flower pattern to her stairwell. To learn how she did the latter and mimic it in your own home, check out this step-by-step video tutorial.

It’s best to plan your pattern ahead of time, so measure your wall and consider where you want your plant “stems” to go, keeping in mind things like outlets and windowsills and how far apart each stem should be. Two to 3 feet seems like a good bet. The good thing about painter’s tape is that if you don’t like the placement, you can just remove the tape and try a different spot until you get the layout that works for your space. …Read Full Article

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Wall Decorating Tips from Sara Rivka Dahan: Conquer That Blank Wall With a Versatile Picture Ledge

Wall Decorating Tips from Sara Rivka Dahan: Conquer That Blank Wall With a Versatile Picture Ledge
By:  July 4, 2013

Picture ledges are one of the simplest ways to add a personal touch to your home’s decor — and with maximum effect. That’s because despite their name, they can also be used as small shelves to hold decorative objects, art, books or even a collection of plates. And the best part: A picture ledge allows you to swap out photographs and decor on a whim, or with the seasons. Goodbye, blank walls; hello, curated art collection.

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