A dear friend of mine borrowed some of my paintings to hang in her house when it went on the market. I heard yesterday that a contract was due to be signed today! Lovely. Her husband has a new job in Brisbane, so with the house sold, they'll have less to worry about with the move.
She mentioned how much they've enjoyed having the paintings on the walls and wondered why they didn't put some art up earlier.
I can totally understand this. When we first painted the walls in our current house we enjoyed having them clean and blank for a while. Then I started hanging some of the art we already had (not much). And over the years our collection has grown (I believe that buying art has made me understand the process and will improve how I make art), mainly through a couple of school art shows we regularly support, and now our walls are filling up. I sometimes move things around, and I have to admit there are probably at least 3 nail holes behind everything on our walls (I'm not a big fan of measuring) and a fair few lumps of blutac keeping things straight. Luckily my husband is a dab hand at replastering when required!
I have to say now, that I think the art on our walls is the backdrop for our everyday lives. I get a huge amount of pleasure from the art we've chosen over the years, and hope that our kids are growing up with happy memories of them too. I want this to be a 'fun' house. Not a 'Home Beautiful' house (and those that have visited would know that's probably never going to happen!).
Just before I had the girls I met a woman who had bought an artwork for each of her children, that would be displayed in the family home until they leave home, and then it will be theirs to take to their new home. I think that's a wonderful idea and we have chosen a piece for each of my girls that isn't baby-ish, but look wonderful in their rooms now, and that they will always know is theirs. They weren't expensive but they are lovely.
For my eldest's last birthday, D and I bought a giclee print by a teacher from school, it's full of detail and something a boy would love, and had it framed. It's his piece of art and he knows the artist. We still have to find the right thing for our second boy... and there's no rush. I know when a painting is right. Do you know what I mean?
Have you ever had a painting 'talk' to you? Some of the ones I remember most clearly are the ones that got away. Sometimes because they were just too expensive for me at the time (there was a beautiful oil painting of a feather that was priced at $250 that I'll never forget, and I just didn't have enough money), and other times because I simply didn't get organised quickly enough and they sold out from under me (and perhaps weren't meant to be mine anyway).
With my own art, I have been known to paint over a painting up to four times, and then it would sell, and the next day someone would call or arrive, asking to see the painting that I'd painted over. They'd waited too long. My art had moved on and I needed to use the canvas. I use good quality canvases and top notch artist's paints, so they stand up to overpainting. With some of my previous work, I've pulled the canvas off the frame and sewn it into a clutch or bag. It was time. Other times I've been just about to repaint something and a buyer would call - they'd found the painting that was meant to be theirs.
I guess what I'm saying is that I'd like to encourage you to let go of your bare walls (if you have them). Be open to art in your life, and if there's something you really like, work out a way to pay for it. Artists and galleries are open to payment plans and laybuys, and from my experience, the price is quickly forgotten (unless you're talking STACKS of money!) but the joy and memories that a piece of art that you love will give you and your family are priceless.
That's not to say that the art you choose has to be expensive. Just choose things that speak to you, and you won't go wrong.
OK. Sermon's finished!