What you put on your walls, (or the lack thereof,) says a lot about you and your home. Whether it is a one-of-a-kind original painting, a framed print, or some other piece of wall décor, the size you chose for the space you have can make or break a space. Art can make a room feel larger, grander, smaller, cozier, or in some cases, just plain awkward. Art is a focal point, it’s a key part of décor that changes the mood and energy of a space, it sparks conversation and either finishes and polishes a room, or makes it fall flat.
The biggest problem I find with most art installations is not the quality of the art but rather the size being wrong for the space. If you are DIYing your space, you may find yourself asking “What size is right for my wall?”
Here are 4 things to consider when choosing what size art to put on your walls:
1. The Room – If you are investing in art, you certainly don’t want to buy it, and hang it, only to discover your room still feels barren. Measure your walls and measure out different size pieces to fill your space. I suggest taping up craft paper in the dimensions of the measured space just to get a sense for how much space the art is going to take up. Measuring is different than seeing and feeling the occupation of space. Take into account the kind, size, and quantity of furniture in the room. Do you have shelves that will clash with the hanging height of the piece to make it look awkward? If the if the room is sparse, then a large piece of artwork will fill up the visual field the same way furniture might. Think about your ceilings, are they high? vaulted ceilings? If you have large walls then you have to either go with big art, or something like a gallery wall to fill that visual space. Do you have a low clearance and want your ceilings to seem taller? Just keep in mind that bigger is usually better. I’ve never heard the complaint, “it’s just too big,” but I have heard, “I think the painting is just too small. This is especially true if buying modern, contemporary art, bigger is definitely better to maximize the statement.
2. Orientation of the Art –When considering the wall, you will probably measure it several times, maybe even map it out with craft paper to see how much space it will take up, then what? You need to think about two things here, there is the overall dimensions of the wall, but then you also need to think about the orientation and optical illusions you’d like to employ with the painting. For example, if your ceilings are low and you have a narrow space above your couch, you may be tempted to put a horizontal piece in that space. Consider putting in a vertically oriented piece or a square to draw the eye up and make your ceilings look taller. In looking at the overall wall space, your artwork should take up two-thirds to three-fourths of the wall. The same is true of gallery walls, they should take up the same or even more wall space than one large statement piece should.
3. Hanging over Furniture – Many clients who ask for my help in size recommendations for art for their home send me photos of the wall where they intend to hang the piece. I really appreciate it when I get photos from clients because it really helps be visualize the space and can better assist and advise. The size in relationships between art and furniture is important. For example, a 30” painting looks lost and floating over an 8-foot couch. Here is a good rule of thumb when hanging art over furniture like a couch, table, fireplace, bed, etc.… The art should be at least three-fourths the width of the furniture, if not full width. There should be an equal distance from the ceiling to top of the painting, as there is on the bottom of the painting to the furniture below. Of course it doesn’t need to be exact, and most of the time I’m a huge fan of off center, asymmetrical hanging or foregoing hanging all together to letting a big painting just rest of the floor. It brings wonderful visual interest and a flowing peaceful energy to a space.
4. Price – Usually I find that people choose smaller art it is because of their budget. When a piece is purchased or commissioned solely based on price sometimes it just falls flat in the space because it’s too small. My encouragement is to think about buying art in the same way you would buying a couch or dining room table. It’s a statement. In the same way that you’re willing to invest money on a big couch or table, it is no different with big, custom, handmade original art. In fact, original art is often more valuable than a couch or table, because it’s handmade and one of a kind, unlike a mass-produced couch you’re going to throw out in ten years. If you’re doing your art buying strategically, art goes up in value over time, unlike a couch or table which decrease in value over time. Invest in your art and walls the same way you’d invest in furniture. The art is going to last longer and be more valuable in the future. And if a specific piece is out of your budget ask about a payment plan or save up for the right size piece for your space. Never sacrifice size for price.
I hope you enjoyed this sizing guideline. As always if you ever have any questions regarding sizing for you space, don’t hesitate to ask. If you like this post or learned something new, please share it with your friends, family and followers.
Follow me on Instagram @christineolmstead Pinterest @christineolmstead Facebook @ceolmstead
Well another bucket list item crossed off, I finally have a product at Anthropology. Okay, okay, it’s probably not as cool as what you are thinking. No, I don’t have prints sold at Anthropologie, (not just yet anyway, but if you know any brand contacts, do let me know!)
I made it to the shelves of Anthropology on the shoulders of my friends at Schmutz Watches. So let’s backtrack and tell the story from the beginning.
Several years ago now, the owner and craftsman of Schmutz Watches, Lee, contacted me to do some art for his watch faces. His whole premise is really cool. He collaborates with artists from around the world to create custom, and unique watch faces. He himself creates the inner workings of the watches and places the faces onto the bodies. He has some truly spectacular pieces and I’m honored to be in his collection.
Lee has partnered with Anthropology now to sell his watches. Congratulations Lee, I know what a long process it has been for you, and thanks for taking me along on the ride!
And while I’m still hoping to land some prints or other goods in Anthropology all based on my own merit and negotiating ability, it sure is nice to know a very small, piece of me and my work has made it to their stores. How thankful I am for the opportunity.
See the watches here and don’t forget to check out Schmutz Watches and the beautiful craftsmanship behind each piece. If you like what Lee is doing at Schmutz Watches, or liked what you saw in this post, please share it with your friends. Follow me on Instagram @christineolmstead Pinterest @christineolmstead Facebook @ceolmstead
Photo by Tori Watson Photography, check her out here!
It’s the season for giving and the season for spending. I don’t know about you, but when I do my Christmas shopping and find gifts to give I’m always left feeling bad that I can’t support all the small businesses and charities that my friends own and run.
There are so many artists, makers, and small businesses that I want to support every year, but it can’t always happen for financial reasons, or maybe I just don’t have the right person to give their gift to. So this year, I’m creating a support guide.
A support guide is different than a gift guide because you can support any business owner, or any artist using these methods WITHOUT SPENDING A SINGLE PENNY! You want to know how? Keep scrolling….
- Like their Content
Due to algorithm changes that we have all experienced, likes and comments are more valuable than ever. The truth is that networks like Instagram or Facebook, don’t serve a post to all of someone’s followers. They serve a post based on how much engagement it gets within the first hour. One of the kindest things you can do for a small business or artist is to “like” their content to boost their post.
- Comment on their Content
The same engagement algorithms apply when people comment on a post. When someone comments and likes a Facebook or Instagram post, those algorithms will serve it to more people. It doesn’t have to be a long comment, just a word of encouragement or something you like about the post will suffice. Get your double tap on!
- Share a Post
Repost a photo and tag the business in it (always ask permission first). Share a blog post, shop page, or photo on your own social channels, making sure you tag, and link back to them. Re-sharing the content of artists or small businesses makes a huge impact on business. Even if you can’t afford to spend more on gifts, you never know if one of your friends may enjoy the products or services offered by that small business you are supporting.
- Re-pin Their Pins
I’m constantly pinning images on Pinterest from the websites and content my fellow makers and small biz friends have created. Repining an image might not seem like much, but every re-pin counts. Pinterest is such a helpful tool to support small biz, so much so that Pinterest, on average, drives 3 times more traffic than any other paid service, or social media platform. For my business personally, Pinterest drives 85% of my web traffic and sales. Becoming a pinning ally for your favorite brands goes further than you know!
- Write a Blog
If you have your own blog, consider writing a blog post roundup of some of your favorite makers and small businesses that you want to support. Always link to their website and/or social media links. This helps their SEO and will further legitimize their business and website in searching engine results!
- Send a Note of Encouragement
It doesn’t have to be an actual note, it could be a comment on a post, a direct message, or an email. For many small business owners, this is our busy season where we are working overtime to satisfy our clients and make sure everyone receives what they ordered. The holiday season can be exhausting, frustrating, and downright discouraging sometimes when you’re an artist or small biz. Sending a small business owner, a quick note saying, “You’re doing a great job!” Simply telling them one thing you like about what they do or the way they run their business can go a long way. Spread that cheer, far and wide!
There are so many ways to support artists, makers, and small businesses without breaking the bank. It’s time to get over the guilt of not being able to support everyone and take charge by supporting them in the ways you can! Can you think of other ways to support small businesses without spending a penny? Share your ideas below in the comments or send me a message!
If you learned something or liked this post, share it with a friend or repost it to your feeds. Follow me on Instagram @christineolmstead Pinterest @christineolmstead Facebook @ceolmstead
What does it all mean?!?
I often get emails or comments from collectors, potential collectors, or collaborators who ask for one thing and confuse me when they describe it and mean another.
I’ll give you an example. I recently got an email from someone asking for a print, but she didn’t want it to look exactly like the other piece she liked. She wanted me to change the colors and move some lines around and send her the print.
There is a lot about this that confused me. First of all, I do not do custom prints, I get a lot of requests for custom prints, but it’s just not something I offer right now. Secondly, she was asking for a custom painting (for me to “change the colors” that’s a different painting) and when she was saying “Print” she meant “work on paper” because the piece she liked that she wanted changed was a work on paper.
I get a lot of requests for “custom prints” when people really mean is they want a custom original painting. So by way of education here are some terms so we can all communicate better and we can all get what we want with fewer headaches! Ready? Let’s begin!
An original is a one of a kind piece. Every painting has an original. It’s the first one the artist made. Originals can be scanned and made into prints via a printer but originals are one of a kind made only by the artists hand and only one exists. Here’s an example, Monet’s painting Meule last sold at auction for $81,447,500. No that’s not a typo, the painting is worth over 81 million dollars. That is the purchase of the original work of art. It’s an original because it’s the original oil he painted with, his hands were the only ones who made the strokes, there is only one of that painting in existence. When I refer to my own originals I usually mean “works on canvas,” which I will explain soon.
Monet’s painting Meule
A print is a reproduction of a painting. Today you can take a high resolution photo or a high resolution scan and reproduce any work of art at a much lower cost and time. You can make as many prints as you want if you own the copyright or have a license to print from the artist. That last part is essential, as it is illegal to take a photo from a artist and make prints of their work. It’s called stealing. So! you could get a print of Monet’s exact same painting Meule, for a $20 online. Originals are much more valuable and increase in value over time. Prints can be prints on canvas, on metal, on wood, on paper on home goods or other products, prints can be literally “printed” on almost anything. And here is where people get confused!
- Works on Paper
This is probably where people run into the most confusion. Works on paper is another way of saying an original. Just because the surface isn’t canvas, doesn’t mean it’s not an original. Almost every time I show a picture of a “work on paper” I almost always get a comment from someone, “Oh I love that print!” When it’s actually an original. I think the confusion is that when people think of art prints, they usually think of something printed on paper. I think most people know that it’s an original on paper (at least I hope so). Artists will often specify what an original is made on so that people know what surface was used. Works on paper are most often confused with prints, although prints can be printed on canvas, wood, or literally anything else.
- Works on Canvas
Works on canvas are original works of art on a cloth canvas, usually these works are stretched around a wooden or metal frame and painted upon. These are what most people think of when they think of a painting.
- Works on Panel
A work on Panel is a work of art on wood panel. Paint responds to surfaces differently and different artists sometimes prefer the look and feel of wood over canvas, it’s really all matter of preference.
There are a million things you can paint on so I’m not going to over everything! But when you hear these terms, or if you need to use these terms when commissioning art now you know what to ask for!
If you learned something in this post please share it with your friends or on social media. Follow me on Instagram @christineolmstead Pinterest @christineolmstead Facebook @ceolmstead
HOW DO I BUY AN ORIGINAL? Go to my online shop HERE, pick your new original, and check out. I release new pieces a several times a year. I usually announce new collections on my email list first, then on social media and then to the general public. To be first to see new works by getting on the email list sign up HERE.
DO YOU SHIP INTERNATIONALLY? I do. The checkout should work the same as any other order. If you are interested in a large original or commission I often suggest using Genie canvas or shipping in a rolled tube and you stretch it once it arrives.
DO YOU DO CUSTOM COMMISSIONS? I do! Custom commissions are very fun projects and it is always my pleasure and joy to work with interior designers, architects, or private collectors to craft an original custom piece for their space. Custom commissions must be a minimum of 18”x18.” There is always a waitlist for custom commissions, depending on the season or what is already in my pipeline custom commissions take anywhere from 1-5 months. Custom commissions are a first come first serve basis. If you need a piece in a rush, a rush fee will be charged. To inquire about a custom commission click HERE.
WOULD YOU DO AN EXACT REPLICA OF A PREVIOUS PIECE? No, I will never create an exact replica of one of my previous works. It is boring and completely takes any creativity and joy out of the process. I’m happy to make pieces that are a similar style and flavor to previous works, but it will never be an exact replica.
DO YOU TEACH LESSONS? I no longer offer private lessons, but I do offer workshops from time to time as well as private parties. Private parties are very custom, bespoke events, if you’re interested in a private party please send me an email.
DO YOU DO CUSTOM SIZE PRINTS? I do not. I do not have the capacity to do a custom print for all the people who ask, but I do offer custom commissioned originals.
WOULD YOU DONATE TO MY SHOOL OR CHAITY? I donate a specific number of pieces and dollars a year to charity. I only support human rights organizations and specific organizations that go to food, education, clothing, and resources for underprivileged and truly suffering people around the world. To see if your charity qualifies feel free to email me.
RETURNS: Every order, commission, and sale is handled with care and as much clarity and transparency as possible. I do not handle the manufacturing and sale of my printed goods due to time constraints, all of those items may be returned directly to the manufacturer, Society6. Originals and custom commissions are final sale unless there has been damage during shipping in which case you can either have a full refund, or I can recreate a similar work or repair the piece if there is only minor damage. All custom commissions go through rigorous consultations and photographs sent to the client before shipping to ensure any changes that need to be made cane be made before shipment. My goal is for you to be completely thrilled with your purchase! Please take the time to read descriptions carefully and the check colors on multiple screens if you are concerned about color variations. I try my best to represent the colors and tones in my work honestly and clearly.
INTERIOR DESIGNERS: Interior designers are some of my best friends! They always do the best job at ensuring my pieces are cherished and styled to reach their maximum potential. If you’d like to get connected and on my list of preferred interior designers to collaborate please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I do not allow my works to be marked up for resale.
PRESS: I love working with bloggers, podcasters, editors, stylists, and writers. I’m inspired by so many of you and your work that collaborating is always something I’m down for. If you have any questions, please email me. email@example.com
Do you have a question that is not addressed here? feel free to post it below or send me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
These pieces are some of my favorite deconstructed works yet. There are 11 works in total, six of them are framed, five of them are unframed so you can choose your own frame. The pieces themselves are 9”x11” and the framed works are 11”x14”. Several of them have already sold, but I wanted to briefly explain the methodology and inspiration behind these works.
I like to think of these pieces as deconstructed paintings. They allow the elements to shine unto themselves. The purpose of these pieces is to pay tribute and attention to the specific mediums involved. The gold pigment in the pink and gold layers sparkle in the sunshine and are thinned acrylics with gold pigmented mixed in. These layers sparkle from every angle, I love the sheer sparkle of these layers.
See all 11 here.
The thick layers of white paint are rich and glossy. I love thick goopy paint and these layers do not disappoint. Like sour cream you could lick it right off painting. I go through more white than any other paint, I have to buy almost 4 times as much white than any other color. These thick deep rich strokes are a tribute to the paint I use the most. The goal was to let it shine unto itself, without being diluted with other colors, I wanted to appreciate the stroke for the white stroke itself and all it brings to my art.
The thin graphite lines add a delicate touch, and sense of frailty. I love the jagged pencil strokes because they are imperfect to me they symbolize the frailty of life, the jagged beauty of every day that twists and turns and sometimes goes off the page. It jumps around but the rough beauty holds the rest of the pieces together.
The bits of gold leaf add some sparkle and shine to each piece. The pieces of gold hold the works together and provide focal points. These bits of gold shine unto themselves, as a core feature in all my works. The gold is the good stuff, the parts of life you can’t ignore, the bits that make the other parts worthwhile. These pieces of gold stand alone among the other elements swirling around them, untarnished, unmoved, unapologetic
These pieces are mixed media on paper. The framed works come in framed a glass floater frame and is ready to be hung or stood up with accompanying kickstand. If you would like one of the unframed works to be framed just send me an email and I can easily frame it for you upon request. Thanks for your interest in these works.
Shop all deconstructions here!