Monday, January 17, 2011


When I was a Music/Art major in college, I visited a home with the most amazing collection of original art work. The home inspired me because the people who lived there were not wealthy by any means. In fact, you could probably call them 'starving artists.'

Nevertheless, they had an amazing collection that included paintings by well-known regional artists as well as unsigned paintings found at tag sales.

It was a collection that they had been working on for many years and it was a collection they acquired passionately. And it showed. Their house breathed a wonderful sense of vitality because of it.

My collection of paintings has been greatly inspired by them. Here are a few of my favorites.

18 x 14

I bought this Eric Jacobsen painting, unframed, at a fundraiser for our local art gallery. Months later, I happened to find an antique frame that fit it perfectly (see this post). The painting in the first photo was also purchased at the same fundraiser, and is by the same artist. I found an antique frame ($15) that happened to fit it as well.

15 x 18

This still life was purchased at Matthews Gallery in Portland. I had taken the owner a few paintings for him to appraise, and ended up trading them for this piece.

18 x 23

This piece is a reproduction of the The Torn Hat by Thomas Sully. It's signed by a well-known Seattle artist. I purchased it for $60. I found an old wood frame for $20 and had it cut down to fit the piece for another $20.

28 x 15

This is one of my favorite pieces. I love the companionship of the horses. It was a rare find in that the original frame was in pristine condition. I paid $120. Margaret and Graham have taken a liking to this one too!

9 x 13

13 x 9

A few years ago, an artist friend of mine allowed me to raid her seconds bin in her art studio. This pair of landscapes paired nicely with these antique Victorian frames ($45 each).

26 x 19

This piece is one of the largest pieces I've acquired. The frame drew me in as it's a beautiful chunky gold frame with clean lines and a wide profile. I knew the frame alone was worth the cost of the painting - $225.

17 x 22

I did a post on her here. I found this portrait unframed for $44. When I got home, I was thrilled that she happened to fit into this antique floral frame I had picked up several months prior ($20). My friend Steve described the frame poignantly as a beautiful 'dress' for her.

13 x 11

This is done by a local artist, Cathleen Rehfeld. Cathleen's work lovingly captures the essence of the landscape in our region. I bought it unframed and paired it with an antique frame I had cut down to size by a frame restorationist for $100.

16 x 13

This lone oak is by the same artist. I had this frame cut down as well.

As you can see, I'm especially drawn to landscapes and portraits. And I love finding beautiful antique paintings, but I also collect new art that offers that classic Hudson Valley School aesthetic.

I look forward to continuing to grow our collection. The vibrancy of the art is one of the reasons I'm so drawn to having white walls in our home. I love the way the neutral wall contrasts with the brilliance of the gold frames and the lovely imagery of the paintings.


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