Buying art can be intimidating until you feel confident in your taste and you know where to look to buy art (art markets, auction houses, art dealers, online art marketplaces, etc. ) and how to buy art. My mom loves art so I grew up in a house with walls that were covered with art and I was used to tagging along with my mom as she popped into art galleries, browsed art at flee and farmer’s markets, and toured museums. My mom has such a clear taste in art and a real eye for what she likes, which is often an impressionist style scene or landscape with the addition of interesting pieces mixed in like vintage travel and movie posters. Over the years, my mom has opened up my eyes a lot to art and how to buy art. She loves to buy art on memorable trips or in places she holds near and dear to her heart; a practice I have picked up on doing! I’d say my taste in art is very similar to my mom’s but with a bit of a modern flair. So, here’s how I think about art and the art world…
Holding a Jenn Thatcher for Well & Wonder original painting
On Jillian: Top (also love this style & this style, for less: similar, similar, similar) / Jeans
On Allison: Top ($40!) / Jeans (similar, similar)
How To Buy Art
Art can be so many things and come in at many price points. In general, I love paintings and I love color but, on occasion, I am also drawn to different mediums and color palettes like simple sketches and black and white photographs. One of my favorite pieces of art that I have isn’t actually a piece of art at all… it’s a large Louis Vuitton scarf that depicts a world map. I decided to frame it instead of wear it (as seen here). People have no idea it is a scarf until I tell them! I love the idea of framing things to create art that is unique and different. Every time I see pieces like vintage flags, vintage bathing suits, old concert posters, shells or coral, or anything a bit different I think about how it could be displayed as art.
Louis Vuitton Scarf / Teil Duncan beach scene / Gray Malin boat scene
Don’t just buy art for the sake of buying art. Instead make sure you really love and adore the pieces you’re buying. With art, you should smile every time you walk past it hanging in your house. Take your time with art and wait until you find the right piece(s) for you. Art can be investment after all. In addition, you want to make sure the works of art you purchase fit in with the interiors of your house. For example, you don’t usually see a very sleek, modern house with impressionist style paintings on the walls. Impressionist paintings fit more with a classically designed or traditionally designed home.
When learning how to buy art, it’s important to remember that art can be very expensive so it’s helpful to budget your spending on art and to realize that you can get around the costs. For example, I have pieces of art that cost a few hundred dollars hanging next to art that cost twenty dollars, which is more than okay. In fact, the pieces look great next to each other! Fine arts and affordable art can be intermixed together. Flea markets are amazing places to score inexpensive art. If you love an artist or a photographer but don’t think you can afford their work, then buy one of their prints instead of an original piece or buy one of their prints/pieces in the smallest size they have. A lot of artists, like Gray Malin, sell the same print in a handful of different sizes. Search his website or One Kings Lane for the smallest sized print he has and make it yours. Another great way to save on art is to buy pieces unframed and then frame them yourself using a frame from Framebridge, Target, or Michaels. Framebridge has the most amazing framing concept.
A question I get asked all the time about how to buy art is ‘How do you know where to buy it?’. The answer is everywhere! There are so many destinations now, online and in person, that are selling artworks that are attainable. With Instagram, I’ve discovered so many new places to buy art that I never would have known about before. A simple go-to though is One Kings Lane. Believe it or not, but One Kings Lane sells a lot of art from really big artists and photographers like Gray Malin, Slim Aarons, and Teil Duncan. Another really easy place to buy art is Z Gallerie because they sell a ton of prints (lots of fashion art prints too!). Also, did you know that Serena & Lily has an entire art store online? They have amazing pieces that are all original works (unless they say “print”) and are realistically priced. Lastly, Furbish Studios has a wonderful collection of really reasonably priced art available on their site (lots under $100). Serena & Lily, Z Gallerie, Furbish Studios, and One Kings Lane are great places to shop if you’re just starting to collect art. One of my new favorite places to shop for art that I recently discovered through Instagram is Well & Wonder. Well & Wonder is an online art destination that sells the work of southern artists. Right around Valentine’s Day, I fell in love with a piece by one of the artists Well & Wonder promotes, Jenn Thatcher. You have no idea how thrilled I was to receive the piece for Valentine’s Day. The colors in each brush stroke are absolutely beautiful!
Another place I shop for art is directly on the websites of different artists and photographers. I discover a lot of artists through Instagram and through reading interior design blogs. I’m really drawn to southern artists as I love the landscapes they depict and I know how inspiring the south can be. A few particular artists I love include Teil Duncan, Natalie Taylor, Lulie Wallace, Raven Roxanne, Kate Long Stevenson, Kerry Steele, Sally King Benedict, Karin Olah, Jenn Thatcher, Susie Bettenhausen, Anna Sims Kings, Carol MaGuire, and Kate Waddell. Thanks to my friend Chassity of Look Linger Love, I recently discovered the photographer Lucy Cuneo. I instantly fell in love with her floral series and scooped up a piece the moment she put the series on sale. I’m so excited to add that piece to my collection. Instagram has its downfalls but the discoverability aspect of the app is really incredible and something I have always loved about the app. I’m no artist but I think Instagram has done wonders for the art world and for small artists who can share their talents more readily!
Right now, I’m really inspired by growing my art collection as I think about moving in with Edwin and creating a home together. It will be so fun to have our space to fill and make our own! When that process starts around our wedding, I will be sure to bring you along and share it on Rhyme & Reason! Check out my past art related posts here: how to create a gallery wall and a profile of my living room. I hope you found my how to buy art guide helpful and I hope you discovered a new artist or two.
Photography by Jessi Burrone
Love this post, Jillian! My art collection is limited as of now — my grandma paints, so I have a bunch of her works in my apartment, plus some prints I’ve picked up over the years since I graduated from college. Once I’m in a bigger space I’d love to start investing in new pieces — there are so many places to look!
Thanks so much Diana! I’m SO happy you loved the post!! That’s so amazing that you have some of your grandma’s pieces – what a treasure! XOXO, Jillian
Love discovering new artists, I am enjoying looking at all the names I didn’t know of before, thank you! I just wrote a post on my favorite artists on my blog too, if you’re looking for some new ones! 🙂
Awww thanks Megan! SO glad your liked the post! I’ll check yours out right now 🙂 xx, Jillian