Here, I'll let you see my latest procrastination project:
I had an idea for what art I wanted on the walls of my office. Many ideas, actually. Too many ideas to choose. And I was also worried about how to place the art and make a nice pleasing soothing pattern on the wall above my computer. I did not want to just buy some art and then try to plan around it, but I couldn't find any sort of online program that would let me lay out pictures and sizing for me, so I dragged my heels for a long time, first on measuring the wall space in my office and then on actually drawing something that would let me play with spacing and proportion.
My first idea was to support some local or student artist and actually have, you know, ART in my office. You'll remember that I love art and did a bunch with it in my dissertation and was all interdisciplinary and hoo-hah. If only I had talent at the visual arts, I totally would have been an artist. But I can't draw for shit, as you will see if you enlarge the pics and look at my representation of my monitor and pencil cup.
But then when I was looking around at our art department and the local art instructors (they do not have styles I like as room decoration, btw) I got clued in to a local artist who actually teaches at the closest four-year college (which, you realize, is hours and hours' drive away. "Local" gets a very different definition from me when talking about here). And I loooooove his aesthetic and the colors and the crisp clean style. And that reminded me of a photographer who works out of Gradschooland whose stuff I had liked, and when I found his pro website I was totally hooked and changed my mind back again to something completely different. And holy hell supporting real artists and buying real art and having it in real frames is going to get fucking expensive real fast.
And then I thought, well, what if I just googled and pinterested stuff I like? (I'll give you a hint: I am looking at landscapes.) So I found that on this site various artists will contract out their original paintings, but also they will make a high quality reproduction of their work and sell the copies for a fraction of the cost. One of the images I was drawn to on this site originally sold for 7,000, but I could buy a matted and framed print of it for about 60 or an art print for 20. At that rate, I could support someone who is making a living as an artist but is not well known, have something that not just anybody finds in the big-box stores, and save enough money to make some sort of gallery wall in my office.
Of course, then I went back to the local state-school person and clicked around on the website and decided that I should totally change my focus again, not to the original printings he had done, but to this other gorgeous stuff. Maybe I could buy a couple things from this iconic series and then surround them with little stuff from the fineart website?
But wait, if I did buy two of them and have them framed (gasp cough omg that is a lot of money!) would they even fit in my space?
Which leads us to my drawing adventures today:
I dunno. These must be very high ceilings, because I put the prints in and there is a lot of open space up by the top. Is that ok? Will that look weird? Should I put them up higher? But then I will have to crane my neck when looking at them while sitting. Do I put something else above? Gee, there's almost enough room to put two more items from the series in, and I am including mats and frames in that estimation:
But that looks weird too --- now there is a heavy area in the middle of the wall and all this weird blank space on the sides. They feel a bit crowded by the bookcase and filing cabinet.
I could try cutting out some smaller "pictures" and playing with some sort of gallery wall using one or two of the local dude's works as central anchors, but I am too tired tonight, especially after not just creating that drawing but a blog post about it. And you know what that means ---- it will probably be weeks or months before I get the itch to actually work on this again. Which is, I guess, good ---- I might have saved up enough money to make a purchase of something!
Except I am also doing this same plan/overplan/get-stymied-in-the-plan process on a kayak. And a car. And a house down payment. And, and, and...
Holy crap. I am so glad I am so indecisive.
At least I think I am.
Sounds like an intriguing project. I like the idea of finding a way to use real art (or at least first-hand reproductions thereof), and so support the artists.
Maybe you need to create some full-size mockups on posterboard or whatever (not necessarily with the art itself, but with about the same intensity/distribution of color) and actually try them on the wall? I'm more knowledgeable about planning gardens than hanging art, but, at least in that case, while planning on paper helps, there's no substitute for actually playing around, on the ground, with objects of about the right size (ladder as small tree, trashcan as shrub, etc.). I think I've seen people suggest using brown-paper stand-ins for framed pictures, too, but I think that's more for when you have a number of small framed things to arrange.
You could try the European style - they call it gallery style - all the way to the ceiling. They don't worry about match-matchy frames or mats - as long as you like it, it works. I start with the focus of each work at eye level - then go up. Down is for bookshelves.
I feel (because of course my feelings matter ;)) that you're doing 'buying art' wrong. Find a piece that you fall in love with, buy it, and then work your life around it.
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