Monday, December 29, 2014

Buy Art

        I collect a lot of things (antique cork screws, early 20th century stoneware bowls, vintage glassware, FURNITURE), but my most valued collection is my art collection. To be fair, it's not terribly impressive in terms of value, but I love it fiercely. Each piece is so personal and unique, with it's own amazing story to tell.

      I'm drawn primarily to landscapes, oils especially, and the antique ones the most, though there are vintage and new pieces scattered throughout the collection as well. I'd say I'm nearing 100 paintings at this point. To accommodate all the art work, and keep my house from feeling cluttered, I rotate the pieces out seasonally. My largest grouping is of spring paintings, as that's my favorite season. I'm so incredibly excited to get all my pretty spring paintings back up on the wall again soon.

       I believe so fervently that adding art to a home, REAL ART, not something you picked up at pier one because you liked the color, is fundamentally important to making a house a home. Don't be frightened of prices, you don't have to spend a lot to get beautiful pieces. I've included the prices I paid for each of the paintings below so you can see how affordable this can be.

So, where do you find original and amazing pieces of art? One of my favorite sites is; it's the world's largest online auction place, so you have practically a zillion incredible antique, vintage,  and original artworks from which to choose, all from the comfort of your own home!'s paintings page is a perfect place to start building you art collection, especially on these cold winter evenings when armchair antiquing is the coziest option!

And here are some of my favorite pieces in my collection, with provenance and prices listed in the captions. It's the last Monday of 2014, surely that's something to celebrate!!

An oil on canvas landscape of a mountain scene. I bought this at the goodwill four years ago for $45.
It is signed 'Sister Mary Joseph, 1954"

An oil on canvas portrait of an adorable little girl. I've named her Emily, though I don't actually know the sitter's name.
I bought this six years ago at a flea market in Plainville, CT and paid $35 for it. It is signed Lois Taylor, and dated 1956.

Close up of the incredible Emily. 

One of my most prized possessions, this oil on canvas trade banner was painted around 1905 for the Vermont branch of the  Painters, Decorators, and Paper Hangers Union of America. I knew as soon as I saw it that I needed it. It was brought into the antique shop where I worked by our best picker. The shop purchased it for $250, and after a six month long campaign, I convinced my boss to sell it to me rather than bring it to the Folk Art Show. He kindly sold it to me for the price the shop had paid for it. 

A close up of the exceptional detail. It truly is an extraordinary work of American Folk Art. 

An early 20th century oil on canvas still life of daffodils. I purchased this last Christmas during my annual antiquing jaunt with my mother. It was $20, and worth every single penny.

close up of the painting.

Here's my kitchen last spring with two impressionist landscapes on the wall. I purchased these separately at my local flea market; one was $5, and the other was $15. Though I didn't purchase them from the same vendor, I do wonder if they are by the same artist. The subject matter and technique is remarkably similar between the two. 

Close up of the two paintings, with my lime tree in the foreground.
In my upstairs hallway I have my three favorite paintings displayed together. At least once a day I walk by these paintings and stop in my tracks just to admire them. 

The center painting was given to me as a gift from my parents last Christmas. It was $65, which I know because I choose it from an antique shop on Rt. 1 in Maine. It reminds me of the Shire,
and, above all other things I've collected over the years, my absolute favorite antique.

The top painting was done in the 1930s as part of a ladies' painting club in Connecticut. It is airy and fresh. I purchased it at the flea market for $17, if memory serves.
The bottom painting I purchased three years ago at the flea market straight from the daughter of the artist. It was painted about forty years ago, and the subject is a chicken coop in Coventry Connecticut. The artist so perfectly captured the exuberance and joy of spring. 

Finally, a little different take on art, this mid 20th century art portfolio which is tricky to display, but no less precious to me. The artist was taking a correspondence course, and the portfolio features her work, her notes, and the feedback of the instructor. Someday, when I have more wall space, I'll frame all of these and display them together on a large gallery wall. I bought it two years ago at an antique mall in Maine for $115 or so.

The notes and sketches add so much to the final work. 

So there are the highlights from my collection. 
I hope it inspires you to go out and buy some art of your own!!

1 comment:

  1. This is such an interesting post. I will certainly look at vintage art pieces with new appreciation. Thanks for sharing !