You’ve been acquiring artwork throughout your life and now you’re feeling restless and not sure why. Let me suggest some simple steps to bring excitement back into your art collection.
First things first, have your art collection in order. Know what you own and catalog your original artwork. Take a picture of the artwork in its frame and create a file with all of the information you have on that particular piece of art. Start with the artist, title, dimensions, medium, price that you bought your painting for and the date that you acquired it. Make sure your collection is appraised at current market value for your insurance company. Keep these records out of the house in case of any disaster. I know that is asking a lot but at least have the information and pictures of all your artwork together in one place.
As time goes by your taste may change or you may have moved to a different home with a different look. Decide what you still love and what no longer interests you. Take it off the wall if you no longer feel passionate about it, or as my co-worker says, “if it doesn’t bring you joy, let it go.” Don’t worry that you may have an empty space. Clean house.
Take the art you no longer care about and set it aside. It can be donated with a tax deduction or simply pass it down to your children; they will usually be happy to receive it. They may not be able to afford artwork at this time and could hold sentimental memories. If it’s valuable, keep it in the family!
If the painting has value and you’re ready to move on, an auction house will take care of everything for you. Do your research: Christie’s, Bonham & Butterfields, Sotheby’s, and local appraiser, John Moran Auctioneer…all have impeccable reputations and have been in business forever.
Move your art around. You can take a piece of artwork that has been in the same spot for decades and move it! A simple move can bring new appreciation to the art and reminds you why you liked it in the first place. Give it some lighting if it’s in a dark spot. The new high tech LED lighting is perfect, make sure it’s a warm light. If it’s a smaller painting, place it on a table easel & place it under a lamp for lighting during the evening hours. A nice touch of ambiance.
Oils and acrylics can be exposed to daylight and light. Keep your original watercolors and prints away from the windows, as they will fade.
Reframe your artwork! There are a million framers in the area, (many in Costa Mesa!)
If you’re ready for a complete refresh, then take it all down. Move aside what you no longer want and start with the largest and more important pieces. Once you get those in place, begin working on the next in size down to the smallest.
Grouping artwork is necessary when you’re working with a larger or difficult space. Lay the artwork on the floor and rearrange until you have the right combination to transfer to the wall. There are no rules, if there are, break them. Do whatever looks good. I like incorporating three dimensional pieces into the combination. Try it, if it doesn’t work, you will know instantly. Keep trying until it feels right.
Re-hanging will give a new life to the artwork. Just having it arranged differently and in a new location will make you take notice.
Look in the magazines and see what attracts you. I’m always drawn to seeing artwork hung differently; it’s unique. I flip through the decorating books in the main Gallery at work and delight at how innovative the designers are with their placement and hanging of artwork. Early in my career, I was trained to install artwork in a museum. I measured and calculated. I don’t measure or follow any of those rules in my own home. Experiment with the placement and create your own look.
So now you have pulled that artwork that no longer interests you; you have re-hung, re-lit, re-arranged, and reframed. Now the fun part, looking for new art! It’s never too late to acquire new artwork. Look around and follow the artists that you like. See how their careers are going. Buy what you like! I think the most interesting homes are the eclectic ones. Mix it up!
When shopping for art, do not let a sales person tell you that it’s an investment which can be re-sold at a later time; that’s a gamble and shouldn’t be an influence to your decision. It’s always wise to research the artist to see where they are in their career or if they are deceased and see what the current market value is. I can’t emphasize enough…buy what you like! Don’t pick out art that “matches” your sofa…please! If you are working with a designer, let them know that acquiring artwork is personal and should be left up to you. Don’t doubt your taste if you like it, get it. You will be the one living with it. Contemporary paintings can be compatible with representational paintings or impressionist with abstract. It’s all original artwork, place it where it is noticed and appreciated!
I am still under the belief that every home in California should have at least one plein air painting of their beloved state, no matter what the style of your home.
Roger’s Gardens Fine Art Gallery has begun its ninth year with rotating exhibits of different themes throughout the year. We are proud of our reputation for representing the finest plein air painters in the nation. Become a member of our Art Club to receive upcoming information about artists’ demonstrations, lectures, field trips, artists’ openings, and art exhibits.