Choosing art that we love

Rock Jumping   Acrylic, silver leaf and mixed media on canvas  30” x 24” unframed  £750

Rock Jumping

Acrylic, silver leaf and mixed media on canvas

30” x 24” unframed

£750

How do we find confidence in buying art that we love? Do you ever find yourself in awe of someone else’s art choices?

One of my favourite things to do is to look into people’s windows when I’m walking past ( I know, what a nosey parker!) It really is a framed picture of someone else’s life. I’m fascinated by what’s hung on their walls . I want to go into that house or apartment and have a closer look! Sometimes I will be at a party or visiting someone’s house for the first time and see a painting that looks so right in its space, I can’t help but admire the owner for just knowing what kind of art would look great there.

I’m hopeless at making decisions. Don’t ever go clothes shopping with me. My partner can walk into a shop and know instantly if he is going to buy an item there. He really has the gift of confidence when it comes to purchase decisions. So it’s not surprising then, that I waver over buying anything for the home and that includes art.

Yesterday though, I saw some prints by Adam Hemuss’ , (who’s Open Studios I visited a year or two ago near Dulwich) https://www.hemussart.com/ website and I was drawn to some small prints that I have to say were very affordable, so I just gave myself permission to choose one for myself. For me, I know that I like Adam’s work and it didn’t break the bank so that kind of confidence came easy. It’s harder though when there are big bucks at stake, I get this.

  • Firstly, decide on your budget. Small or large, remember what you are prepared to spend on a night out. I recently realised that the money I was spending on a takeaway for my family ( £50!) could be better spent on a nice print to adorn my walls. Look for monthly payment plans at Art Fairs, like Own Art, who offer 10 monthly payments at 0% interest.

  • Before visiting an Art Fair or Gallery, take measurements of the space(s) in your home.

  • Download an app such as Artrooms which often give you a free trial. If you’re seriously drawn to a painting, say, I’m sure the artist would be happy for you to take a photo and upload to a pic of a room setting to get an idea of how it may look in your own home. I wish I had thought of this at a recent art fair where I was showing my own work.

  • Art is such a personal thing and we are all drawn to such different ideas. Far too much to go into and I wouldn’t even know where to start with all the styles and media. For some people, its much easier to just pick up a print in a certain Scandinavian furnishing store and understandable too - it’s cheap and will pretty much go with a contemporary look in a home. It s a shame to follow those arrows and limit our choices though. How much more special and wonderful to own an original piece that no one else has. By owning something unique, you are saying something unique about you too. Ask the artist about the piece you are interested in because if you are going to own it, then you want to know the story behind it. It then becomes a part of your story too.

  • Finally, how do you know if it’s the one? Let’s say you’re at an art fair and you’ve done a quick peruse, noting down pieces that speak to you. There’s one painting you keep going back to, again and again. There’s something about it that gets you in a place where you just stand and smile at it. There’s a connection. You might be drawn to the way it’s been painted, the colours, the subject matter, but more importantly it makes you feel something. Try walking away from it - if you find yourself already wondering when you can see each other again, you just know.

If you’d like to buy any of my art on this site, please feel free to contact me via the Contact Form and I will get back to you promptly.

You can also sign up for my newsletter, by clicking the link below, and I can update you with future shows of my work.

Happy art choosing!

Fear of Flying

For many years I’ve had a fear of flying. Not the phobic kind that requires medication and a British Airways therapy course but the kind that gives you a sense of dread, days before your flight. I wouldn’t say its stopped me travelling. Mine has been a quieter dread, culminating in a near panic attack as the plane (let’s just call it a tin can suspended thousands of feet above the Earth) has made its nerve-shaking descent towards a tiny strip of runway.

 

Before my recent trip, I rediscovered my Dad’s RAF log book from the late 60’s. We were based at Brize Norton at the time and it was like a little nudge back in time as I read about his journeys on his Belfast as a navigator to countries across the globe. Written down, it was all so matter-of-fact; aircraft type, flight details, units – the language of logic and numbers. I remembered how I loved watching the aircraft through my bedroom window which faced the runway, sitting in the cockpit of the Belfast making a nuisance of myself and how I knew the nicknames of the planes. “Look Dad, there goes a ‘whistling wheelbarrow’ I’d shriek with delight and pride as an Argosy flew overhead with its twin tails. Nothing pleased me more than to impress him with my knowledge. He was like a god to me in his uniform.

 

These are distant memories and over the years my dad became less of a god and more of a real human being with all the incumbent flaws but recalling them seemed to do something interesting to my brain. I had invested in earphones and music downloads to help ease my nerves but as we made the dreaded descent I found myself experiencing a moment that some might call ‘religious’. 

 

I looked out of the tiny window and instead of feeling that we were in mortal danger of our lives, I felt safe. We weren’t hovering dangerously about to just drop out of the sky – we were being carried and were sailing the airstream like a glorious trophy to the clouds. I thought of my dad who did this as a job, day after day and I made a conscious decision to enjoy it. It was a moment of sheer beauty – who needed to be down on the ground when you could do this? We were inviting the wind to hold and support us as we changed our altitude. The screeching of the landing gear doors opening and the wheels lowering were thrilling. The banging and the roaring as the plane wheels touched the runway and all the machinery required to keep it down and actually stop filled me with awe. As the brakes ground and I felt the pulsing of them taking us to an abrupt finish, I had a sense of exhilaration but also gratitude for giving up my fear and placing my trust in my past and in the present moment.

 

My dad passed away a few years ago, in Portugal, the destination of my recent journey. There’s no way of saying this without it sounding melodramatic – crass even, but I felt him there at that moment. Out of sight but resplendent in his uniform, navigating me home, while the five year old in me cheered, “Again! Again!”

 

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