How To Hang a Piece of Artwork

Congratulations! You just purchased a piece of art. You are officially an art collector! Did you just purchase an original painting? Or a print? I know that my next art purchase will be a piece by one of my artist crushes, Meredith Mejerle. No matter the piece, and no matter how small or how large your art collection, how you display the artwork in your home makes all the difference. There are a few key points to ensure that you maximize the impact of each piece of artwork, so read along and learn my best tips!

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What's On My Mind Right Now

Remember when I talked about my favorite places to think? One of those places is in the car. When I turn the car on, and put it in drive, the car quickly transforms into a think tank. The trouble is, I try my best to stay off of my phone in the car, so I had to come up with a way to document these thoughts before they left my brain. Enter Voice Memos. I can quickly pull up the app on my phone, and hit record. I can capture my thoughts in a steam-of-consciousness fashion, and document what exactly it is that I’m thinking through in a raw, unedited way. When I go back and listen to them, I can shape these scattered thoughts into a real idea with a direction.

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See My Work (In Person!)

Even though I sell my own artwork online, I find it so incredible a very flat, digital image can be imagined as something that can one day hang on your walls in all three dimensions. The goal that I am always working towards is enabling someone who is looking at my work on a screen to envision it in a setup as close to real life as possible. Sometimes that is easy, other times it is more difficult. Envisioning the scale of the brush strokes and the size of canvas can be daunting to prove. The added challenge of accurately representing color is a whole other beast. I have been so fortunate to work with shop owners, gallerists, and kind individuals that have welcomed me and my art into their spaces and homes to present my work in person. As beautiful as a painting can be styled up, there is truly nothing quite like seeing art in person. You can see the history of the painting in the brush strokes and the layering, and you have the opportunity to feel the spirit of the painting even more. Have you ever seen my work in person? If you haven't, there are a couple of ways you can! 

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My Top Reading Resources

In this digital world, we take in a lot of material on an everyday basis. From tweets, to posts, to that funny video of a dog that your cousin posted on Facebook, there is a lot of information coming at us. It can be hard to decide which sources to trust, and which to dismiss. Over the years, certain sources of information of all kinds have risen to the surface, and I'm sharing with you which sources, both online and in print, that have proven to me their reliability and dependability. 

The Wall Street Journal :: My parents began subscribing to the WSJ, in addition to the local newspaper, while I was in high school. I began reading the papers along with them, and it's a practice that has solidified itself in my morning routine. One year in college, I'd expressed to my parents how much I missed having the newspaper to read every morning in the dorm, so once I moved out of the dorm, my big Christmas gift that year was a subscription to the WSJ. And to this day, despite lighthearted teasing of my roommates and now my husband, I still read the paper every. single. morning. 

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Artists I'm Loving: No. 03

        Today I'm featuring some of the art & artists that inspire me. These guys are too good not to share!

Teil Duncan :: Teil was my first artist crush. She was cute, young, and an incredibly talented artist. I wanted to be her. I still want to be her! I have been following along as she has grown bigger and bigger, and I'm continually inspired by the ways she continues to push herself with new techniques, and new subject matter. I already know I need her to paint portraits of my kids...once I have them, of course. Her beach series will always have a special spot in my heart - she is able to capture a landscape perfectly, but without fussing about the details. 

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How to Build and Stretch a Canvas

One of the most valuable skills that I learned at TCU was how to build and stretch my own canvases. It was one of those tasks that seemed a bit burdensome at first, and I could tell many stories of my epic building failures. While I am still refining and streamlining the building process, I would consider the ability to build my own canvases one of the most impactful attributes of my artistic practice not only for the quality, but for the customization of sizes, which is great for commission work!

The first time I painted on canvas that I’d built myself immediately put all other store-bought canvases to shame. The texture is unmatched. Store-bought canvases have a rougher texture that can appear plastic-y on the finished painting, but the ones I build have the right balance of texture and smoothness, and have a beautiful matte quality. Another quirky factor that I love about hand built canvases is the bouncy-ness of the canvas. I can control how tightly I stretch the canvas, and the slight bounce in the surface contributes to the movement of the scene that I eventually paint. Store-bought canvases are much stiffer and have much less give, so that is one more quality that makes hand built canvases invaluable.

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My #1 Tool to Maximize My Mornings

Ask anyone who has been with me in the first hour after I wake up and they will tell you: I am NOT a morning person. From my parents, to college roommates, to my husband, they all know how it goes. Anything involving light, sound or human interaction is off limits for the first couple hours after waking up, no matter how late I've slept in. 

In my college years, however, I learned that this reality had to change. My painting class was always scheduled at the same time: Monday & Wednesday, 9am - 11:50am. Three hours of morning studio time. Three hours to be productive and get the work done. At first this was difficult to adjust to. You mean I have to get my most important work done this early in the morning? I have to be my most inspired just after waking up?

I soon started to develop what is now the most important, and honestly, my most favorite part of the day: my morning routine. While the specifics of it have changed with the rhythms of life, establishing a routine helps put my mind in the right space to make the most of my morning, as well as the rest of my day.

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