Art galleries can be a bit intimidating. Do you think I go to Boston galleries? Nope. Why? Probably some misplaced sense of inferiority — wrong clothes, wrong paycheck, wrong address. NH is just so nice and comfortable. For better or worse, people wear fleeces to funerals. Perhaps that’s why I can saunter into a gallery here in my running clothes without feeling too out of place. But if you aren’t lucky enough to live in New Hampshire (hehe), and you’re a little afraid, but you’re interested in exploring and beginning to collect original art, where can you turn? I’ll get to that.
My Short Career as an Artist
When I was in elementary school, we had a different “special” 3 days a week — P.E., music, and art. P.E. was always required as we went on to junior high and high school, but because of the more intense daily schedule, kids had to choose whether to continue art or music.
I remember this was a horrible decision with which to be faced! When I was younger, I loved drawing and painting. I took extracurricular classes in it. I even remember receiving my first set of “real” watercolors and acrylics when I was in 6th grade for Christmas. My mom still has some of my paintings ferreted away underneath my parents’ bed. But when it came down to it, I loved music more. So, at the ripe old age of 12, I gave up art.
Sad but true. Kids (everyone, really) can’t do everything they show an interest in! But I never really gave up my love of art, especially paintings. I can’t pop over to Currier Museum in Manchester that often, but I do love dropping in local art galleries that are right around me to see what local artists are coming up with. Places like One King’s Lane, Minted, and a bunch of Big Box stores sell prints by the gazillion — and I’m totally not opposed to using them! — but I love owning an original work of art that speaks to me. My budget isn’t huge, and I haven’t bought much, but what we have we chose carefully and consider heirlooms of our home. They probably won’t be swapped out for the next thing that comes along.
For many middle-class homeowners, purchasing art may feel a little decadent and hard to justify financially. Not everyone is willing to risk a “no-return” policy and purchase art from an auction out of state, like I often do. If only there were a way to shop original art from your kitchen, financially risk free.
Saatchi Art: Original Art for Everyone
I’ve discussed some of my favorite places to acquire vintage original art before — through auctions, eBay, and Chairish. One King’s Lane has a great selection as well, but you don’t have the ability to negotiate purchase price. For current artists, Serena & Lily has really touted its curated collection, and Etsy is a wonderful way to buy direct from the artist up to a certain price point and with a certain look.
Saatchi Art blows the top off these outlets, at least when it comes to current art. Based in California, Saatchi Art is an online gallery platform. Known for its enormous collections of art spanning paintings, photography, collage, sculpture, and drawings, Saatchi connects more than 50,000 emerging and established artists worldwide with a catalog of more than 500,000 works to both beginning and bona fide collectors at all price points. Director Rebecca Wilson (formerly of the Saatchi Gallery in London — do a Google search and you’ll find some unresolved legal tensions over the use of the Saatchi name) leads a team of curators to develop weekly online exhibitions, some of which are historically-based and, IMO, super cool.
Don’t know quite what you’re looking for? Saatchi’s completely free art advisory service is available to anyone. For people in the design trade like moi, Director of Art Advisory to the Trade Hayley Miner, who formerly ran her own art advisory firm and spent time working for Michael S. Smith, legendary designer for The White House, is invaluable for finding the perfect piece to complete a room.
And there’s a 100% money back guarantee if you want to return an item for any reason within 7 days.
No, this is not a sponsored post. 😉
Much like with a physical gallery, a percentage of the sale price goes to Saatchi and the rest to the artist. As it has no actual storefront, the cut Saatchi receives is generally lower than a gallery.
One of my favorite features is that, like Chairish and some eBay vendors, Saatchi has a “Make an Offer” option. I believe artists deserve their fee, but sometimes you just can’t afford the asking price. It doesn’t hurt to offer what you can.
Now for the fun part!
Some of my Saatchi Picks
I tend to go for deep saturated colors, abstracts landscapes, and figurals. I also go for a price point that ranges from affordable to a little aspirational (Think, 15 year anniversary gift!). In that bracket, these are some of my favorites. (Some text taken from artist bios.)
Driven by color and the physicality of paint, Janice is inspired by the Bay Area Figurative Artists of the 50s and 60s, Abstract Expressionists and Pop Culture, past and present. I am really loving her “Skirts” series, depicting scarved-headed women walking together.
Canadian artist Lisa Carney’s work is vaguely floral and/or landscapish. I love its lush, bursting quality.
I love Sabrina’s representational collage work. Beginning with sanded layers of National Geographic pages to build a foundation rich with texture and subdued colors, she then builds a framework of line to organize the piece. Washes of acrylic paint build color, while varying transparency ties all three layers together in contrasting depth.
Do you have any particularly beloved work of art in your home? Art can be a wonderful springboard for a room design!
If you have any topics that you are interested in my exploring, please reply in the comments. I’d be happy to take Qs from the audience (Though various and sundry politicians may not. 🙂 And I never talk about anyone specific.)
‘Til next week!
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