We’ve all done it, there’s a wall to fill and we think no further than the likes of Desenio, Junique or Iamfy, to fill it up with affordable prints without giving much thought at all to possible alternatives. I don’t know how it got like this, probably because much like everything nowadays, we want things cheap, fast and a constant churn of new options, all of which these sites provide. They’ve also gone great guns on marketing and suit the Instagram world down to the ground with speedy delivery and constantly on trend imagery.
Something else that doesn’t help is the stigma that seems to be attached to galleries and indeed often artists themselves. The feeling that they are unapproachable to the common man (or woman). The quietness of the gallery as you enter it, the pressure of often being the only one in there, the feeling of being judged if you enquire about an item that you can’t afford but. And with artists the fact that often prices aren’t mentioned on websites or the fact that they have things for sale so you’re forced to make direct contact and that can be a little scary.
However, much the same as the internet has helped mass production prints it can also help you connect with artists and galleries straight from home, behind the safety and non judgemental glow of your computer screen (I would suggest getting out to see art in person rather than behind the screen but what with covid and geography etc it’s always helpful!) and maybe the start of both this and seeing more artists active online will give you the courage to start popping into more galleries and reaching out to more artists when you think of filling up you wall space.
Like many things these days it’s always an idea to pause and think before you go for cheap, fast and basic and if you can, opt for a better route. I want to champion getting art direct from artists back on our walls and taking that little bit more time to consider what you want to see in your home every day, treating it like it’s going to be there, bringing you joy for some time rather than a quick fix.
It always amazes me how much original artwork, properly framed can elevate a room and as an Interior Designer I am always on the hunt both online and around London for places I can find great art for clients.
So why not search a bit farther afield for items to adorn your wall, it’s time to branch out, explore and introduce yourself to some new artists and rummage for some old. And unlike many of the fashion and trend heavy prints so readily available the hope is that you find some fantastic pieces that are unusual and unique, true to your taste and will move from wall to wall with you as you move through life.
If you’re looking to find more original art, you’ve come to the right blog post. Here are some places to find original art to get you going:
Stuart offers exclusive, signed prints direct from his website or you could drop him a line about a commission or original should you so wish! A long time friend, brilliant artist and all around amazing person, his work is multidisciplinary with a punky/punchy vibe, full of energy and a very aptly chosen music lyric or two. He does many, many more things as well as his art but this is the place where you can grab yourself a little bit of the movement he’s creating and bring it home.
Quercus Gallery sells both numbered prints and originals and has an ever changing curated selection picked by the owner, Evie Williams. Personal favourites of mine at the moment are from artists Sally James and Susan Laughton. Evie has a great eye for original textured, modern art.
If you’re looking for something bright and bold check out Ace Advisory where limited edition prints start at £200. As well as limited editions they sell originals and will also have a chat with you if you’re looking for something specific from emerging artists. Remember – generally you’ll find that those working at galleries are very into art (funny that) and should you want to have a chat with them about who to buy and what to look for they’ll more often than not be more than happy to chat away about their specialist subject with you! Pick up the phone or walk through the door whenever you see something you like the look of, you may be pleasantly surprised at what you can afford!
Another direct artist plug I want to give is for Serena Curmi who I’ve recently discovered and who’s original pieces start at £200. I love her beautiful mountainscapes and might be eyeing up one for myself! They remind me of a softer version of Conrad Jon Godly‘s heavily textured Mountain works which I also love. Serena’s are jsut so peaceful and have an aged quality to them which I love.
As Serena and I were chatting recently she also came up with a great suggestion should you be dipping your toe into the world of original art, especially if you can’t get to any major art fairs. Have a look at the list of galleries exhibiting and see which of their artists you like, having found a few, look them up and contact them directly to see what they have available again, they’ll be more than happy to hear from a fan of their work and will let you know how you can purchase their work directly.
I’ve found a lot of lovely original work on Vinterior lately – their prices vary but they have a lot of beautiful antique paintings, I find it’s particularly good for finding original works from European artists and many are already framed. Of course it goes without saying that you should keep your eye out in the Charity shops and rummage about in junk shops to see what you may find here too!
Another great way to find artists with through the #artistsupportpledge hashtag on instagram which was started up during lockdown to support artists struggling to get their work seen due to a lack of shows and exhibitions. You’ll find loads of artists under this tag selling originals for no more than £200. Each time an artist sells £1,000 worth of work they then purchase a piece of someone else’s for £200 and so on so it’s a great way to support the community.
I’d love to hear about any other artists or places you have found that offer great original art……