Thursday, April 7, 2011

Displaying Our Artwork- When does "just enough" become too much?

I have some recently finished paintings to hang.  My dilemma is a recurring one for me.  Are my walls too full of art already?  The thing is, when I finish a painting, hopefully I like it.  But I like the ones that are already being displayed on my walls also!  Most of my paintings have memories attached for me... places I have visited... such as Paris, Italy, the beach, etc.  The paintings, like a photo album or scrapbook, bring back memories.  It would be easy if I just took down the older paintings to add the new ones.

One of my art blogger friends, Pat, showed some of her walls with paintings recently and it got me thinking.  Who better to get feedback from than fellow artists who may go through the same problem with art display!  As you can see from the third photo, I have a batch of newly framed paintings (oils) waiting for me to decide where they will go.  I am not a speed painter, these were finished over a period of time and just needed framing.  I found some frames I love- plein air frames with gold or silver leaf- so, now they are ready to go up.  The wall in the top photo goes up another 10-12 feet and my husband and I thought we might just continue to hang them higher up the wall.  I am lucky in that my husband does not think there can ever be too many paintings on the walls and keeps pointing out blank spots.  Magazines and TV always seem to be showing me rooms with empty walls or maybe one or two paintings. That is simply not going to happen at my house.  So- my question is this- what do you do, rotate your art, just stop framing?   I am not going to stop painting any time soon, so our supply of artwork won't suddenly dry up!  I have been sharing with family and friends for years as gifts, and whenever I am lucky enough- I sell them...
Thank you so much for your input-


  1. Because it was my post got you thinking, here's my answer:)
    I rotate my art. As I improve , the newer paintings get the wall space. The photos you saw- all but one of those paintings are very recent ones.
    The others go into a portfolio folder with sleeves, that can contain up to 80 paintings. I have four such folders. They're not all full :)
    Because I usually paint on either a quarter or an eighth sheet, the same frames get used again when I change the art over.
    As to the wall and is there too much on it? Its all personal preference. Mine is for one large one smaller painting on each section of wall. But then, I try to be as minimalist as I can. :)

    If you feel comfortable with how it is, Sheryl, then leave it be. If you want more, put more. Its your home and what makes you comfortable is what counts. :) xx

  2. Hi Sheryl, I tend to give paintings to charities for auction, to my grandson's school alot for PTO fundraisers, to family or friends as gifts especially if someone has expressed a particular interest in a piece. I told my husband we will never run out of gifts as long as I paint. My first works I have hanging in the long hallway that leads to my bedroom; sort of like my gallery of my humble beginnings. I really don't know what I will do as I become a better artist; I'm actually hoping to paint less but larger and better quality pieces. You know we could start an art swap. Post a painting you want to swap with another artist for one of theirs. Anyone who wants to swap can post a painting and we can all arrange to mail them to each other. A fun way to collect art and not have to buy it. What do you say? Want to be the first to start it with me? Let me know.

  3. HI ,I know the feeling.I too am an artist ,I use acrylics and guess what my son also paints,so you can imagine my dilemma.I rotate our paintings every so often,but it's so nice to have people admire our work.
    Love your work.

  4. I put mine up anywhere there is a blank spot. Years ago I was lucky enough to live near many artists and I got to visit their homes. Every single one of them had art from floor to ceiling. Some of their homes were very fancy and swank. I loved visiting them and several had dinner parties and guests would sometimes make a purchase. One guy "accidentaly left" the name plate with price attached from the last show, just Like Pat said, do what you feel comfortable doing.

  5. I like walls full of paintings, your are beautiful!


  6. Speaking as a professional designer of interior spaces, I think your paintings are too scattered about.They would make a stronger decorative statement assembled in one area hung close together like paneling floor to ceiling. You see this in a lot in English manor homes particularly in corridors. Can you assemble them all on one long wall in a corridor or on an unfurnished wall in one room? If not, you have to be selective and rotate them as your friend suggested. In making your selections, you have to choose only your finest work; the ones that have held up and you wouldn't change a thing.

    In the last year, I have only produced four painting worthy of display. I only hung two of them--one is a large six foot by three foot painting. The other is a nine by eleven watercolor. The two I chose not to display are nine by eleven also. When I tire of the one I framed, I have the option to change it with one of the others.

    Also I'd like to tell you about my brother's display cabinet. He collected expensive crystal. He had a large collection and had it all stuffed into this display cab so close together, no one could appreciate the beauty of any one piece. His overstuffed display devalued his collection. It looked like he was running a store.

    Plus if you're asking this question. That's a pretty good sign you've gone overboard.

  7. Thank you all for your input! I already knew that from an interior design point of view, less is more- that's why I wanted the "artist" point of view and I am definitely not a minimalist! I will probably go with my husband's (and family's) thinking and just remember to do what feels right to me.

  8. Wax Beach- thank you for the info about the artist's homes you went to!

    Thanks, Pat for your blog post that got me thinking that I have a bunch of other artists to ask!

    Carol- thank you and interesting idea about a swap!

    Francesco- Grazie! As always, your comments make me smile!

  9. Hi Sheryl, your house look wonderful with all the art on the walls and walls of art. My favorite is the last one with the leaving room entry. The art there is so organically fit. I do too surround myself with my art. But you gave me even better idea, I'll do it more condense now :)...
    Thank you,

  10. Thank you, Irina- I was curious about other artists and how they hang their art, so I appreciate your feedback on this!

  11. I rotate my paintings too. I kind of get tired of the same ones on the wall all the time so I switch em out occassionally. Except for right now when pretty much all of them are gone at an exhibit which makes my walls look so empty! I don't think you can have enough art either and I think your home looks lovely with all that art on the walls. It looks like you. :)

    P.S. I took a peek at some of your earlier posts since it's been a while since I visited you and saw your beautiful watercolor of that bottle. I just love that! As I do all of your work. :)

  12. Thank you so much, Crystal! As you already know, I also love all of your work- and I appreciate you weighing in on the art hanging thing! Congrats on your exhibit, too!


Thank you so much for your comments- I love to hear what you think!