Let’s Talk about Art

Since before Stephen and I were married, one of our goals has always been to collect unique, one of a kind art pieces.  We both think original art is a great way to bring beauty and interest to a home, and we love that we don’t have to be millionaires to start an art collection we’ll love for years to come.

Our collection at this point is still small, but long nights on Etsy and design blogs are opening our eyes to new artists we’d love to pursue in the future.  Let’s take a look at what I’d consider our original art collection so far, shall we?

This was a birthday gift from my dad a couple of years ago.  It’s an original oil pastel we have hanging in our kitchen of a girl on a front porch.  I love the colors in this piece and how the little girl seems to be lost in thought, journaling or sketching something across the street.

Oil Pastels

About half of our art collection are pieces Stephen or I made ourselves.  This cut paper collage of a heart was one of Stephen’s gifts to me on our first wedding anniversary.

Stephen Art

This cut paper card accompanied the heart art above.  Isn’t “First of Forever” such a sweet saying?

Shelf 2 Art

Stephen actually started his college education majoring in Architecture.  At our university, the architecture degree is very art-focused, so the big joke on campus is that first-year architecture students spend the first 6 weeks of school drawing bamboo.

It’s the truth!  After 6 weeks in the architecture program and countless hours sketching bamboo, Stephen left to study mechanical engineering (thank goodness he did because we met in our engineering classes).  He still has several bamboo sketches from his architecture days, which have recently made their way into our guest bedroom.

Stephen's Bamboo Close up Bamboo

Moving on to my creations, of course you’ve seen my DIY state art

Shelf 1 Art

And more recently, you saw the art I made to coordinate with our original guest bathroom color scheme…

DIY Bathroom Art

We also have this huge abstract piece I made (here) for our master bedroom.

Abstract MBR

I’ve gotten the urge to paint again lately, so maybe I’ll be showing another personal creation sooner rather than later!

This next painting is a piece I bought freshman year of college, at a “Starving Artist” sale I went to with my mom.  I love this scene from Paris and I especially love the texture the artist created on the canvas.

Paris Painting

You don’t see texture like this on mass-produced artwork!

Close up Building

Here’s a close up of the people walking towards the Arc de Triomphe.  I know this scene has been painted over and over by artists around the globe, but it’s still an original and I love that it reminds us of our trip to Paris.

Close up People

This last piece is what I would consider our first “major” art purchase.  It is a wild and vibrant painting Stephen fell in love with and bought for his office.  It was actually painted by our good friend Lori, who studied art in college and has had several art shows and sales.  You can go here to see more of her recent work.

Lori's Painting

My mother-in-law has a great process for decorating and selecting art for her home.  If a wall is completely empty and needs art, she won’t rush the process of finding the perfect piece.  Instead she’ll fill the space with an inexpensive piece until she comes across the perfect replacement, sometimes years later.

I guess we’ve inadvertently done the same thing.  While we are pretty content with the art in our home today, we would both love to replace the “filler” pieces we purchased from retail stores when we first started decorating.  In case you’re looking to do the same thing, here are two of my recent favorite artists whose pieces just make me happy!

RozArt on Etsy – I love this artist’s ability to capture whimsy and motion.  Her paintings are so vibrant and my favorites are her close-up cow paintings.  Although, my word, that peacock and pig are pretty adorable too!



Michelle Armas – Not in our budget, but utterly amazing!  The paintings this woman creates are stunning!  Mrs. Armas is single-handedly responsible for my renewed urge to paint.  Two of my favorites of hers are below.


So how do you feel about original art?  What about off-the-shelf pieces?  Do you fill empty walls with inexpensive art until the right piece presents itself or do you leave the wall empty?  How do you feel about creating art for your own home?

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11 Responses to Let’s Talk about Art

  1. Michelle Armas is one of my faves, too! I’ve been itching to pick up the paintbrush lately – we’ll see how that goes. 🙂 LOVE the cut paper goodies Stephen gave you for your anniversary – so sweet.

  2. Pamela says:

    My husband is a huge fan of original art (he’s always talking about buying this one or that one), whereas I’m a bigger fan of pictures and large mirrors. A matter of taste? If you asked him, he would adamantly declare that I have no taste! Oh boys …

  3. Michelle says:

    I own 2 pieces of original art – 1 was a gift and the other I bought at a charity auction. I’ve been on the hunt for some original art for this house but so far it’s all been out of my budget. So instead I’ve bought a few prints that I’m going to frame myself so that will get me through for now. I love that you framed your hubby’s drawing it looks really professional. Have a great weekend lovely 🙂

  4. I posted about my love for cow paintings last week. My brother is going to attempt to paint me one. Should be an adventure.

    I love the DIY art you have created. I really like pieces that mean something and not “I bought it at the store because it was pretty” reason.

  5. Stephen says:

    Well it wasn’t the whole six weeks, only about a week of it, however from the way I tell that story one might easily believe that it was a whole six weeks…

  6. casacaudill says:

    In college I took two semesters each of painting and drawing. I wasn’t very good, but it made me happy. I’ve recently started painting again and realized how much I enjoy it. So far I’ve got three pieces hanging up in our house – a tree and two abstracts. The interesting thing is that I hated doing abstract in college but now it’s my preferred approach.

  7. Jenny B. says:

    I’ve been thinking about adding some artwork to our home lately. I would love to have a portrait done of our house like these: http://www.cherylbartleydesigns.com/servlet/the-HOUSE-PORTRAITS/Categories

    I’ve also been meaning to visit a local shop owned by a couple of friends of mine (Red Hill Gallery). Fun stuff! 🙂

  8. Leah says:

    Like you I love art. I peruse the internet often looking at it and have spent hours in galleries, museums, etc. I have picked up pieces here and there over the years and hope to one day afford pieces that will be with me for a long time. I have found some great pieces in antique shops/shows and one fantastic painting of kids and a mother on the beach. It is huge and was really well done except one small area (I have to point it out to most of my guests) is unfinished. Weird.

  9. I’ve been wanting new art for above my sofa, and have been going back and forth about whether to buy or DIY. I’d rather buy, honestly, because I know if I DIY it, I’ll always think it’s not good enough. But since we moved in 3 1/2 years ago, I haven’t found the right piece of art in our price range. I’d prefer an original from an artist, rather than a mass-produced piece.

    I had DIY’d something there before and liked it, but decided it wasn’t “cool” enough for the living room, and moved it to the laundry room instead. I read that same abstract art DIY tutorial recently and just purchased two 30 x 40 canvases last week at a going-out-of-business sale at an art store. I guess I’ll give it a go on my own and still keep an eye out for the perfect “real” piece of art!

  10. Thank you sharing your collection. I also am inspired by the artwork you created. I must pull out my brushes!

  11. Pingback: Modern Family Photo: Third Time’s a Charm | Welcome to Heardmont

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