Art is a tricky thing sometimes. There’s all this pressure to like cool art, to have a very specific taste for the finer things in life, but how does one get there in the first place? It’s personal, knowing which art is for you, just like picking out a favorite pair of shoes or getting the perfect haircut. You’re the only one who can make that call because at the end of the day you’re the one with the asymmetrical haircut and leopard flats. Art is like that for me, a visceral reaction to something beautiful; there’s no right or wrong about taste. It’s all about what makes you purr inside.
Here’s how to discover art you love.
Some of my favorite art is spray-painted on the walls of the subway in New York City. I have a very small and simple watercolor from a street artist in Prague that is among my favorite possessions. I paid the equivalent of less than $10 for it, and it is only 5 x 7 inches but it’s stunning. It doesn’t matter to me that the artist isn’t famous or that he paints 20 small watercolors a day for tourists. The painting reminds me of my 14th wedding anniversary in Prague where my children paddled us around in a riverboat, almost throwing us over in the middle of the river while we watched the sun set over the Czech Republic. The tiny little watercolor makes me nostalgic and happy, and who can get enough of that?
This painting is probably a paint-by-number kit someone picked up in the ’70’s. I picked it up (again, for less than $10) at my local antique store. It was in a horrible frame, (and frankly needs to be re-framed) but it’s one of my favorites. I spray-painted the frame white to make the colors in the painting pop, and then I hung it in my family room where I see it every day. There’s nothing special about the painting, and I almost, almost didn’t buy it but there’s something in it that makes me feel happy. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve always wanted a red barn for my horse, or because it looks like my family’s sheep-ranch in the mountains of Utah, but it really doesn’t matter.
What matters is that it’s art to me, and it makes me happy every time I see it.
This painting was given to me and my husband by an auntie who was dying and wanted to hand off something she loved to a nephew she adored before her death. My husband’s auntie was the curator for the national gallery in Warsaw who lived for art, and her husband was a painter. After his death, this canvas sat in a tiny apartment in Poland before it miraculously made its way to our study wall. Both my husband’s aunt and uncle are now dead, but the painting of a beautiful wheat field remains to hold their memories sacred.
This last piece is the perfect example of art being just for you.
I really super love the 70’s punk rock band The Pixies so I bought this print from Etsy with the title of one of their songs (La La Love You). It’s bright, it’s simple, and it makes me smile. That’s enough for me.
– How do YOU choose art? Are you an art snob or do you love what you love, no matter where you find it? I’d love to hear how things roll in your house. –
This post is sponsored by Art.com. I’m working with them over the next few months to showcase their radness (it’s totally a word, I just made it one). I’m completely blown away by the sheer amount and stunning quality of artwork found on Art.com. Don’t just take my word for it, go have a look-see for yourself.