Sunday, July 14, 2013

Gallery Wall

I had quite a lot of pieces to choose from for my gallery wall (as you can see in prior posts), but I thought I'd just quickly go over the ones that I picked for this group.

As you will see below, most of the art and frames that I used were total bargains. I don't think a single piece cost me over 20$, with most being around 5-10$. I estimate the total cost including spray paint, glass, backing boards, and custom mattes at around 60-80$ for the entire group. I am hoping that this will inspire you to keep an eye out for some great pieces, and look for budget friendly options. It's unbelievable how expensive it is to get artwork framed and matted these days. Old frames are very easy to find, and can easily be spray painted to match your decor (a lot of people like to have many similar frames and paint them all black, gold, or white).

For my grouping, I liked a really eclectic mix of frames and styles, but I kept the theme fairly limited (architecture and boats). I have seen many fantastic art walls, and I've been gathering inspiration for mine for quite some time.

Things to consider: Do you want a neat and orderly arrangement (like mine, which is kept within a tight rectangular shape), or a more free-form grouping? The same pieces in a different arrangement can have a very different look.

Here are a few of my favourite inspiration photos, some of which may also get your creative juices flowing, hehe.

Here is one of the most eye-catching examples I've come across. This would be an "advanced" style, since it requires a lot of very careful measuring, and calculation, as well as additional fasteners (I imagine that each piece has 2 nails). I also like the mix of frames, crosses, letters, and plates, yet there is still a theme of browns, greens, metallics, and muted colours.

A nice orderly grouping that includes empty frames.

This is very orderly and simple (with ample spacing), yet still asymmetrical around the edges.

This grouping was one of my inspirations to go with totally mismatched frames and styles. A very cozy and inviting look. This group is also asymmetrical/random.

This is my favourite gallery wall photo. There's just something amazing about the arrangement, and the wall colour. I also adore the classical lithographs used.

A stairwell is a great place for a gallery wall. The only thing to consider here is whether your staircase is wide enough to avoid frequently grazing some frames (as would be the case in my staircase). You may consider additional fasteners here as well. Note the use of matched simple black frames.

My Pieces:

1. - This is a print of Lincoln Cathedral (UK). I found this matted print at Value Village for 5 or 6$. I absolutely love Gothic architecture, and I knew it would look great with some of the other pieces I already had. The frame was a very lucky find from Winners, and it was only 9.99$.

2. - This is a yard sale find that I've had for many years. I believe I bought it in the mid-1990s. It's a pen and ink drawing of Parliament Hill (one of my favourite places to visit, and again: Gothic architecture. Sadly, the mat used was not very high quality, and the core has yellowed and "bled-into" the artwork. I'm sure I paid under 10$ for this piece (and it was framed).

3. - This is an antique print of St. Martin's Church (aka St. Martin-In-The-Fields, UK). It is a hand-coloured lithograph, and it came with a line-decorated mat. I picked it up for 5$ from a local second-hand store. The frame was a yard sale find (I paid maybe 1$ for it?) that had been painted off-white(click to see the frame restoration). I really love this piece.

4. - This is a pen and ink of the Bluenose II. It's dated 1980 on the back, and I'm not sure if it's an original or a print. It was also a yard sale find that I've had for many years. The greyish mat is nearly the same colour as my wall, which is fun.

5. - This is a "mystery piece", simply because I can't remember how I came across it. It's an original pen and ink (you can see some nib marks on the paper and faint pencil lines), and it's signed: Dwayne St Louis 1978. I picked up the beautiful gold fame (no glass, no mat, no back - just the frame) along with a few other empty frames for 5$ at a local second-hand store. For the mat, I actually used some very thick water colour paper that was on clearance (1.89$ for a very large sheet), and I cut it myself with a mat cutter (it needed to be a custom size, and I didn't want to spend 20$ to have one cut). I also cut the glass from a spare sheet that I had on hand.

6. - This black framed print is an original lithograph from 1836(!) and shows the "Radcliffe Camera" (part of Oxford University in London). The building (which is the library) is still standing and it is jaw-droppingly beautiful. This was a Value Village (thrift store) find, and I believe it was around 5$. It is also hand coloured.

7. - This is an original pen and ink by my mother JoAnne. This is the only piece in the grouping that has sentimental value, since it's one of the few pieces that I have that my mom made. She's quite a good artist, but like me, never really finds the time to paint or draw. I believe this is a piece she did when she was in high school. I asked her if she remembered where this covered bridge was, but she said it was just copied from a stock photo. I framed it with a custom cut mat (also the watercolour paper), and I used a very simple black frame that I found at Value Village (4.99$).

8. - This was a very interesting piece that I came across at the Salvation Army Thrift Store just down the street from my house. It's a romanticized version of some sort of sail boat/row boat. The corners have Fleur-de-Lys decorations, and the main sail has some sort of horse/boar/animal on it. It's done in embossed brass. I wasn't sure whether or not I should get it, but since I love old brass (and it ties in well with all the brass on my clocks, old lamps, and accessories) I thought it might look good in a grouping or a vignette with other items. I have no idea how old it is, but the back hanger is stamped with "Made In England". I believe it was 3.99$.

9. - TBD. This was a 2$ frame (one of two), and I think I might have bought it when I went to Lac-M├ęgantic. I can't be 100% sure. I just remember that it was from a Giant Tigre store, and that they were on clearance for 1.99$. I will likely frame an architecture photo or print in this one.

1 comment:

  1. Hi JC. This is your mother, Mrs. D

    How are you? I miss chatting back and forth with you.

    I love your gallery wall and subjects. Very crisp and orderly--a style I appreciate.

    I recognized the room light fixture. It gets better looking every time I see it.

    Tell me, what room is your gallery wall? I read all of your article but didn't see a reference.

    I suppose I should go back and re-read older posts and re-acquaint myself with your house.

    Your house is changing so fast now as you finish rooms. I'll bet you are so giddy-happy with the results of your hard work, eh? It is so impressive. The house looks amazing.

    Always, I enjoy your photos and details.

    How long have you been doing your restoration?? We are into our sixth year restoring our 1893 Victorian Farmhouse.

    Your mother
    Mrs. D