My biggest struggle! Choosing art for someone else!

Posted by on Feb 4, 2017 in Blog | 4 Comments

The hardest part of decorating for me is when a client asks me to find them Art! To me Art is a very personal choice and I struggle to use something that might be found in a Staged house or that can be bought at our local décor retail shops. Not that I think there is anything wrong with any of that. There are some great prints out there! I myself even have a few…with a story behind it of course! It’s just a personal thing!

I recently redecorated my guest bedroom. I had to be careful not to make the room look too feminine or too serene, since most of our visitors are men or couples. With lots of luggage! Either Justin’s cousin, who works at IBM and travels extensively, will stay over for a few days, friends from South Africa or Namibia or out of town business colleagues will stay a night or two while in Austin for business.

In my quest to update and refresh the room on a fairly limited budget (my husband thought the room was okay the way it was :-/ ) I bought 2 beautiful abstracts at a very well-known retail store who sells gorgeous art and décor! I was determined to make them work! To my own disappointment I just couldn’t get excited when I hung the two pieces on the wall. To me, it looked like someone else’s house, there was no story to it. And I wanted to burst out in tears! Why, oh why, oh why can I not just accept it????

Plan B! A few months ago I bought two original abstracts – canvas wrapped – at a Designer Store that was closing down. The actual paint was damaged, (they were stuck together! Genius, right! :-/ ) so I was able to get them at a discounted price. I even had a hard time putting those up on my walls! But the room needed to be finished! The colors are not a perfect match for the duvet, but I decided, bugger that! I am just going to fix them as best I could and hang them. Everything doesn’t have to be a perfect match, right? ( Says the Color Gal 🙂 )

Abstract canvas art

I also hung a small collage of what I call “my memory art”.  I painted one myself, I bought the other one in South Africa from a local artist, Portchie whose signature style is to paint BLUE TREES! Here is how they describe him: “Portchie is an unusual, if not unique phenomenon in South African art”. Love that!

Portchie - Lets Talk Color

And the smaller one I bought from a water paint artist in Prague. And for obvious reasons, I was much happier. It might not be Houzz-worthy, but it made me happy <3

Art Collage Let's Talk Color

So where do I buy my Art? 

We love travelling and would usually buy art instead of a fridge magnet. Justin and I watched the artist paint this rainy street scene while visiting Prague, so it will be a special memory forever!

Street scene in Prague

I also like visiting a local Art Markets or Art Fairs, such as the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar here in Austin or the Pecan Street Festival and support our local artists. Below is one of my Kathy Womack  prints I bought at the Armadillo Bazaar and I just LOVE the vibrant colors and happy image!

Kathy Womack Austin TX

I never pass by a small town Art Gallery and yes, I will most definitely see if I can find something special in our local Designer stores. It also helps to have a brother who is an excellent painter! Pity he is not close by 🙁

So here is my question to you

Where do you like to source Art from, what’s your favorite online store for Print and Paintings and what Type of Art “speaks” to you? I really have to figure out HOW to buy art for my clients. I need all the help I can get! Please share your tips and advice in the Comment Section.

Thanks you!


  1. Teresa Wright
    8 February, 2017

    Hi Max,
    I too struggle with finding unique, speak to me, (affordable) art as well! There are fabulous artists out there but I do like a story. Fortunately my grandmother was an artist, and her art is precious to me. Others come from my travels, and the rest…well, I would say they are less art and more wall decor 🙂 Like a gorgeous piece of drift wood that we found on a family camping trip. Not for everyone, but as you said and I agree completely- it’s personal. I’ll be following to see if anyone else has any good suggestions.

  2. Max
    9 February, 2017

    Glad to hear that I’m not the only one, Teresa! I also inherited a beautiful pastel from my mom-in-law of a very old lady, just sitting peacefully with her eyes closed. The shadows on her face intrigued me and the details in her hands fascinated me! The woman who drew it, has unbelievable talent! I would love to see some of your GrandMa’s art<3

  3. Maggie DeMarco
    8 April, 2017

    Hi Max,

    Some of your clients may like these very colorful paintings by artist Peggy Johnson.

    Love the Kathy Womack piece!

    Thanks for your post, Max. Your blog is great reading!

  4. Max
    9 April, 2017

    Oh, this is wonderful! I love the innocence of the art work! And you saved me from spending time looking for a source! Thanks Maggie! I appreciate it! 🙂

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