Affordable Art Sources

This post is dedicated to a friend/coworker who has timeless fashion taste but confessed she isn't as home-interiorly blessed.  No sweat!  It happens to everyone, my friend (wink, wink).

We've spent, ahem, decades dressing ourselves and almost as long waxing, spinning, buffing and primping said temples. It's no wonder many of us may have a better handle on how to pull off the drop crotch than the dropcloth. Or how I just know that halter tops make my arms look Mobama hot, but babydoll dresses, no matter how cute, always make me look like Courtney Love post-overdose. We just inherently know our own proportions, how to emphasize the assets and minimize the flaws.
The same goes for homes, it's just not quite as intuitive. Homes have flaws and features and proportions. Said friend/coworker felt particularly clueless about art.  If furnishings are the pants and tops of your home outfit, art is the accessories.

But, like nice accessories, art can be really expensive. If you want an artist to put their heart, soul, and thousands of hours of brush strokes onto your wall, you'll pay thousands and thousands of dollars for the pleasure of displaying someone else's exquisite emotional baggage. 

But there are more accessible ways to get art on the wall- prints (copies of said emotional baggage), photography, a gallery wall of smaller art, DIY, your own hot tranny mess art... really anything can be art, right? If your little princess-offspring-prodigy makes a turkey hand trace that's like, better than any turkey hand trace you've EVER SEEN BEFORE, throw that bad boy in a frame and viola! Art!

That being said, I warn you that even abstract fling-some-crap-on-a-canvas art is harder than it looks. If you want to try your own, just don't be shocked if your inner Jackson Pollack doesn't present himself on the first try.

Before you sign up for art lessons or attempt to paint a horse that ends up looking like Lyle Lovett, here are some quick, clean & excellent art sources and ideas:


This website has amazing selection and great search tools to help narrow your focus. You can search by size, price, medium, orientation and/or color scheme.


This is another excellent online art resource, similar to ArtSpace in its ease of search.
Seaside Heights, Post Sandy by Stephen Wilkes


This is the your best shot at painted art that's relatively affordable. Sure you have to filter through a LOT of crap- Etsy is more of a frontier than a curated gallery- but you'll surely have a few laughs in between the gems. If you find an artist you like, favorite them and soon enough, you'll have a collection of decent artists to peruse.  Start with these two:

Doable DIY

Here are a few DIY projects that real people can actually do:

Photoshop Graphic Prints
If you have some experience with either Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop and a basic knowledge of image resolution and graphic design, consider designing your own graphic print. If not, you may be best off just buying one.

Try a favorite quote, or something that makes you smile.

Here's a little inspiration- though this looks easily fuckup-able

Large lettering can be cool.  Just be careful with your choice of words and mirror placement or someone might be reading "HO" in the reflection.

Monochrome Canvas
A monochrome painted canvas has just a touch of texture in the paint strokes and very subtle color variance.  Just enough to be interesting but not sloppy. I think this works on the textured wallpaper or in a room with lots of textures or patterns since the art itself is quite simple. 

Gallery Wall

The gallery wall is a fantastic way to display personal photos and mementos as art.  There are so many variations for gallery walls; they can be uniform in size, frames and mattes, or eclectic.  You can use all black and white photos, or mix in color prints, art, mirrors or other objects.  There really are no rules.  Gallery walls can be incredibly personalized, yet affordable because smaller art and frames are much more affordable than large ones.  Even when you're using 20 of them.  I swear.

Collection Display
A collection is another way to add some art to a bare wall.  Here, empty frames are arranged in an interesting way.

The Placeholder
Something is always better than nothing right?  And humor is the best placeholder.

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