{spaces: displaying your art}

Do you have an art collection? Maybe that sounds a too formal, do you have a collection of creative or memorable pieces that you would like to display? It can be photos,  a well designed post card or a piece you bought at an art show, an etsy purchase or a masterpiece by a cute 5 year old you know. Either way, it’s always nice to have them up for everyone to see rather than stored away in a drawer somewhere. Displaying your pieces always makes them feel more special, regardless of their value. 

Here’s my wall of art. There’s one big vintage inspired piece that I actually found at a home decor liquidation store (sorry, it’s not a more interesting story) but it’s mostly a bunch of small pieces. My collection includes pieces from art shows in the park, etsy, greeting cards I saved, gifts from friends, 3D art, embroidery, thrift store finds, design geek prints, my own silk screen print, photo booth moments, vintage mailbox stickers and lastly my huge collection of thank you cards (it’s nice to feel appreciated, don’t you think?). It’s really a completely random collection that I’ve made work together. It’s hard to give instruction or tips on this style because it’s just about having an eye for mixing and matching. 

But I’ve found a ton of great inspiration that’s a little more specific to help you dust off your pieces and pull them together and put them up on display for everyone to see. 

I hope these great spaces inspired you. Don’t be intimidated. In fact, if you see something here you like, I say copy it! It will never be exactly the same because what’s in the frames will always be personal. 


{artist showcase: kelly reemtsen}

I came across these lovely pieces of art by Kelly Reemsten that made me smile. As a single gal with my own place I find myself doing lots of handy stuff. My ‘tool drawer’ is getting pretty full, it looks like I may need to start a second one. I’m also more familiar with my local hardware store than I would like to be. Basically I’ve become handy because I have to be. That’s why I love these paintings with the contrast between the feminine subjects wearing vintage dresses carrying some not so feminine tools. And don’t forget to accessorize – a colourful bracelet & ring will get noticed when you’re swinging that ax. 

I’ve never done any work in a vintage dress but I did install a light fixture in a black slip once…now there’s an idea for another painting. 

{artsy souvenirs}

One of the sweetest escapes in the world is, well, exploring the world.

Aside from photos and memories of course, my favourite souvenirs from my trips are artistic ones. Having a creative memento in my home from a trip is such a great way to take me back to that place. 

My latest adventure was a trip to Vietnam in January. Boy did it ever live up to it’s reputation as a beautiful country. You can see a tiny visual snapshot in this post over here

I saw many beautiful pieces when I was there but the truth is that the Asian aesthetic just doesn’t fit with my decor. Then one day I visited a studio where all the pieces were handmade by locals with disabilities and I was really drawn to the embroidery pieces. I found something that was SO me. Needless to say, I fell in love with a piece and it became my souvenir of Vietnam. 

I just finally got it properly framed & hung it up. It’s a beauty!

I was immediately drawn to the colour and I love the contrast to the simple black background. The detail is unbelievable. It’s 100% hand embroidered. Even the black background!

Here’s a look of the local women at work at the studio. It made me appreciate it even more to see the time & effort that goes into one piece. 

Check out the crazy detail. I chose to get it framed in a shadow box to show it off even more. 

Man, it even looks good from the back. Now that’s a sign of a great piece of art. 

{artsy fartsy: Toronto Artist Expo}

There’s always a ton of great art events in Toronto, it’s part of what makes it such a great city. Last weekend I went to check out the big Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. It’s a huge outdoor exhibit right in the centre of the city. Even though the insanely hot weather made it a bit tougher to wander around in the middle of the day, I still enjoyed it and came home with a new piece that I love.

I was sucked in by the Lucky Jackson booth. The artist (let’s call her Lucky) oozed with cool character & charm and had a huge friendly smile. Embroidery pop-ish art is her thing (that’s my term, not hers). Her colourful vintage inspired pieces sucked me in, not surprisingly. She did a bunch of celebrity portraits but my favourites were the other characters & scenes she had.

Here’s the beauty I took home. According to my friends it could be a self portrait…hmmm.

Here are some of her other pieces that I loved. Check out her store and website to see all her work or even buy a piece if you’re so inclined. She’s working on a project where she makes a new one every day of the year, so there’s lots to choose from.

Here are some other artists that caught my attention:

Carmen Schroeder and his amazing & super detailed 3D paper drawings. You really had to see these in person to get the full layering effect. I love that they’re scenes from Toronto. 

Ross Bonfanti and his kinda creepy but charming heavy heads & concreatures. I know these may not be for everyone but I liked them. The animals were once stuffed animals, then stuffed with concrete then pulled off, leaving a new look of their former selves. I particularly like the stick-ish characters with the baby doll heads. It’s hard to tell by the photo but these were very small pieces. 

Lastly I really loved the mixed media pieces by Lili & Jojo. These are great but would be even more special if you either commissioned or attempted to make a piece on your own using old family photos. It’s such an interesting way to display your family history. 

{pretty mess}

Holy cow do I ever love these painting by Michael Cina that I saw on Design Sponge this morning. I know, I know, some of you are like “it’s just a bunch of paint blobs” and I guess in a literal sense you’re right. But there’s something about these paint blobs that get a reaction from me, so that makes them more. Not surprisingly I think what I love most is the colour selection. I also love how organic they blend and bleed into each other. I can appreciate the ones where the paint is manipulated more by the artist because it takes a great eye & skill to create balance or tension or anything else you want the viewer to feel but I really love when you put a bunch of great materials together and let them do their thang & see what happens. Here are a few of my favourites….

{music + art}

Those that know me well know that I LOVE music. And the love has just gotten stronger over the years as my tastes have gotten more diverse. Sometimes I’m just overwhelmed by how much great music is out there.

Of course music itself is an art form but getting the music out there to the people or the people to the music is also an art.

graphic design + music = music poster!

Music posters have been around forever and are so much more than an advertisement for a band or show. The good ones don’t expire with the date of the event…they become collector items or at the very least find a place on your wall…maybe eventually the basement rec room wall, but still! They’re art. Like art, they can stir a memory or feeling from you or they can just look great.

Even though I’m such a huge music fan I have yet to declare my devotion in the form of a music poster. Mostly because I’m so indecisive. And also because of the dilemma of choosing a poster based on the band or the design? That is a big decision for a music & design geek like me. But I’ve been looking, trust me. Here are some favourites from bands that are cool with the kids these days:

via FloraFauna

via FloraFauna

via PosterCaberet

via PosterCaberet

via PosterCaberet

via PosterCaberet

via PosterCaberet

via PosterCaberet

Pretty huh?

I’m lucky enough to have a great little stationary & print shop on my street in the market called Kid Icarus which is tiny but full of great printed greeting cards, calendars, unique goodies and a bunch of great music posters. Like this one:

All the silk-screen printing is done on site under the name Studio Number Nineteen. Definitely worth a peek if you’re in the area.
I think it would be amazing if I found one for a show I actually attended & loved. That is the goal for me. Still searching…