The gallery. (Photo by Blayne Beachamp.)
It’s a simple formula. We think that when it comes to art, you just have to remember that there are no shoulds, shouldn’ts, musts or must-nots. It’s all about following your heart and trusting your eye:
Start with your heart: Art is so personal and unique, that we believe the only magic formula for collecting art is to start with your heart. And what someone else loves - your husband, your mother, your friends – may not be what gets your heart racing. That’s okay. And it’s also okay to love lots of different artists, styles and mediums. Variety adds soul, gravitas and even humor to a collection.
Complex and mesmerizing abstracts might be your thing. Who wouldn’t love a Mark Rothko? Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1961. From Wikiart.com
Or maybe this priceless and totally atmospheric piece by William Turner, one of the Huffingtons very, very favorite artist. This piece feels mysterious, enigmatic and as if it could have been painted yesterday. If Mr. Turner approached us for representation, we’d probably say “oh okay, Bill.”….William Turner, Going to the Ball, San Martino, 1846. From Wikiart.com.
One Day at a Time: Don’t look at the whole room and think, I’ve got to fill all these walls with art – now! Wait to find what you really love. You’ll be happier with blank walls than hanging something you don’t love to fill a void. And most important: don’t settle for anything less than original.
Blank is better. Take your time and don’t settle . From Pinterest.
Get Smart: Visit art galleries, museums, art shows, artists’ open studios and art fairs. Savor the process and ask lots of questions. The more you see, the more you’ll come to refine your own taste preferences and be able to recognize what you love.
One of our favorite museums in Paris: the small and intimate l’Orangerie. Jacquelyn Poussot Photography.
Match the sofa: What?? That’s right. It’s natural that when you buy what you love, your taste will be drawn to what works together. But here’s the kicker: Don’t buy it to match the sofa; buy it because you love it. And then watch it work with the sofa – every time.
This painting is bold and exciting and so much fun. And it just happens to look great with that sofa. From Helen Green, London.
Buy Something Old: As you build your collection, no matter what your taste in art, give it some depth and soul by adding a few wonderful old pieces, perhaps something you’ve inherited. Mix it with contemporary art and see how one makes the other sing.
Girl with a Pearl Earring. Johannes Vermeer.
We love the idea of a gorgeous old piece (okay, so maybe Aunt Helen didn’t leave you a Vermeer, but don’t discount the old farm scene she did leave you) paired with something new, abstract and loaded with color and texture, like this piece from Melissa Payne Baker. Old and new, abstract and representational…it’s all about the mix.
Doyenne of design, Suzanne Kasler nails it everytime. This mix of old, new and abstract just makes us so happy.
Stretch yourself: Just like you don’t want to know everything about a person when you first meet them, think of modern art as a wonderful challenge, that you will get to know over time. Let it unfold slowly, and watch your love grow for it over time.
If you’re just now learning to love abstracts, give yourself some time to fall madly in love. Here’s a tip: it’s all about being objective. Power Play by Christina Doelling.
Something Blue: Art, like fashion and design, has certain styles that go in and out of popularity. Be aware of the trends but don’t become a victim of them. Will you be happy with this over time? Whenever in doubt, let your own heart be your guide.
Black and white. Trendy? We don’t think so. Dawne Raulet’s sweet portrait of a duck will definitely stand the test of time.
Calm and serene blue is hot right now but this will work forever. Helen Green, London.
Something Tried: Try it, live with it and hopefully love it. But if your love wanes, reframe it, move it, or hang it with something different. It will either come back to life or need to go away for a while or it will be time to pass it on, and that’s OK.
Ann’s probably moved these pieces all over her chic Buckhead condo but they always look wonderful wherever they end. Most important, she’d never part with them. From the AJC.
Something True: It all comes down to this: Love. Listen to that little voice that tugs at your heart and try to hear what it’s saying. If you buy what you love, it will it will work.
Nancy Franke’s Dance a Thousand Miles, 40 x 30, oil on canvas.
Ta ta – and happy collecting.