I'm a firm believer that every room isn't finished until you hang artwork. I especially enjoy the depth and originality that original artwork can bring to a room. There are so many different resources out there for obtaining original art, and whether your purchasing a Picasso at an upscale auction, or scouring the racks at your local thrift store, there is original art to be had by all.
This month's House Beautiful mentioned a great website for original art, Lost Art Salon. You can search art by artist or subject and art comes in a period frame or you can also purchase unframed art. Prices range from $350-$1000. Here are a few favorites that I saw while browsing around today:
Another great place for affordable original art is, of course, the flea market. Below are some flea market finds that I couldn't pass up. Each piece was from $15-$25. A lot of flea market art comes framed, but reframing is always a good way to tie different pieces of art together in a grouping or manipulate the piece to fit your room by putting a contemporary frame on a traditional piece, or vice versa.
A line drawing by artist, Masti; a pencil portrait from an unknown artist; and the bottom 2 are etchings from Europe.
It's always hit or miss with me and artwork at thrift stores, but I scored this oil painting done in Mexico in the 70's at a second hand store. I loved the colors and texture.
Of course it's always fun to get a client who appreciates fine art and either already has an art collection or is interested in investing in some serious art pieces. Two Chrismas's ago I decorated Dr. Jerry Buss's home for the holidays and got to see, up close, some of his extensive art collection. Below is a photo of his living room mantel, complete with an original self portrait by Van Gogh.
For more original art check out these other sources:
eBay.com (Never underestimate eBay!)
www.abell.com (A.N. Abell Auctions is a great auction to check out for those in the Los Angeles area.)
aafnyc.com (AAF contemporary Art Fair is great for beginning art collectors. This art fair showcases emerging artists and their affordable works. Locations in NYC, San Francisco, and London)