Friday, December 30, 2016

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Why the New Year is the Most Janusian Time of the Year

As one year winds to a close and people turn their attention to the upcoming one, the ancient Roman Janus gets a little love from social and traditional media. For those of us who haven't been near a junior high school history class in more years than we want to admit, Janus is the god of beginnings, transitions, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces, one looking to the future and the other to the past.

We chose Janus as inspiration for our company name -- Janusian Gallery -- because one of our co-founders was at a career crossroads at the time we founded it. We also liked the concept of "Janusian thinking", where seemingly contradictory ideas are simultaneously held in mind to inspire new, creative solutions. It's a REALLY big name to live up to, especially at this time of year.

So what is it about the start of a new year that gets so many of us thinking about our pasts and futures? Why does the single-day transition from December 31 to January 1 seem to be so much more meaningful than say, the change from March 18th to March 19th? Perhaps it's that we see the changing of the calendar as a defining point, a chance to break away from the past and to try something different and wonderful. (Ironically, in craving change and new experiences, we're actually carrying on a long-standing custom: at the start of each year, the ancient Babylonians reportedly made promises to their gods that they would return objects they borrowed and pay off money they owed.)

2016 is the first calendar year that Janusian Gallery has been in existence for a full 12 months. From our start in 2015 as a hobby, we grew exponentially. Today, we operate online storefronts on Zazzle, RedBubble, Society 6, FineArtAmerica, Curioos, Crated, and Amazon. We have a strong social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Flickr... you get the picture. We also started a spinoff company, ThinkJanusian, which offers social marketing services to businesses of all sizes. We are extremely grateful to our customers, affiliates, manufacturers, social media followers, and everyone else who continues to support us.

Finally, while it's laudable for persons and organizations to annually assess how things are going for themselves, it's just as important to pay attention to -- and care about -- how things are going for others. So in 2017, you'll see us doing more pro bono work and supporting the community around us. These aren't mere "resolutions," they're our word and bond.

Happy New Year from all of us at Janusian Gallery.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean

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Monday, December 26, 2016

New Curioos Exclusive: Christmas Bows Mandalas

Most people take photos of family and loved ones at the holiday season. Then there's us. We crawl under our Christmas tree to take photos of interesting light patterns or watch the sunlight bounce off metallic bows. Then we turn those source photos into intricate mandalas:
These twonew designs are available ***exclusively*** at our Curioos store as regular prints, canvas prints, aluminum prints, etc. We also think they look amazing as round disk prints. We recently started putting our work exclusively on one or another of our stores because we don't think you should have to bounce from site to site to see who's having a sale (and consequently whose prices are best that particular week).

Meet Lynne and view images from our "Love in the Digital Age" series on Feb 3

Can't get enough of the "Love in the Digital Age" binary code series by Lynne Guimond Sabean? Two of the images will be shown and made available for sale as hand-signed small works at McGowan Fine Art (Concord, NH), as part of the gallery's annual "Love, Lust and Desire" juried community show.

The show runs from January 31 – February 14, 2017. There's an opening reception on February 3, 2017 from 5 – 7 PM and we're planning on being there. (And trust us: you'll ***really*** like the prices.)

We typically make our work available for sale through our online galleries, so we're really looking forward to being displayed in a bricks-and-mortar gallery and meeting area arts lovers at the reception. We hope to see you there!

Friday, December 2, 2016

How to Buy Art Your Child Won't Outgrow

One of the best gifts you can buy your offspring is art that grows along with him or her. Here's are some tips for selecting pieces that won't look too "childish" in a few years and can survive the rigors of active childhood:

  • Choose "mature" colors: While pastels are lovely for a nursery, they often need updating in a few years. "Big boy"/"big girl" colors have greater longevity.
  • You can't go wrong with neutrals: Colors that work for either gender means that your nursery will still work for Baby #2, 3, 4 (or your grandkids).
  • Avoid "baby" themes: As he or she grows, your child will have ideas of his or her own on how their room should look. Select something simple that still works when your kid's tastes change.
  • Select timeless subject matters: These can be incorporated into a nursery now, a bedroom later on, and perhaps even a dorm room or first apartment when your child is grown.
  • Consider emerging artists: the artist's reputation and the value of the artwork may very well grow right along with your child.
  • Think beyond the wall: Sculpture, mobiles, quilts, and pottery can all work for kids of all ages. Just be careful of placement when your child is young.
  • Don't forget durability: There may be grape juice spills, crayon "enhancements", etc. Can it be cleaned if need be?

Investing in quality pieces is a great way to instill in your children an appreciation of the visual arts. It can also be a piece of you that they'll have long after they leave the nest.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean is co-founder and creative director of Janusian Gallery

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Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

How to Buy Art As a Gift

Art makes a thoughtful and unique holiday gift. It is also one which, if properly purchased, can increase in value over time. However, buying art can be a daunting task. We're here to help you select just the right piece. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • How well do you know the other person's taste? Art is an intensely personal thing. Perhaps you should consider a gallery / store gift certificate instead. Seriously.
  • Will the gift be a blessing or burden? Does the person you're buying it for have the space to hang it? Is he or she even into art? Are they trying to downsize? Conversely, is this a couple just starting out? Will added insurance be required? Are there any special care requirements? Is it headed to an art-friendly household or office?
  • Will you be offended if the recipient doesn't like it? Make sure there's a generous return or "try before you buy" policy.
  • Solicit professional advice. Gallery personnel and interior designers are experienced in matching art to "good homes" and can help you find something exceptional within your budget.

Have you bought art for someone else? How did THAT work out for you? Tell us in the comments below.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean is co-founder and creative director of Janusian Gallery

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How to Buy Art for A Nursery

Decorating a nursery is a wonderful way to welcome an infant to your home. Here are some tips to help make Baby's first bedroom "picture-perfect":

  • Safety first: Think acrylic or a canvas print, rather than glass. No sharp edges. Also, be careful where you hang it. Mobiles should be high enough that Baby can't grab it. Also, while a picture looks great above a crib, what if it fell off the wall in the middle of the night (or Junior got tall enough to reach for it)? Make sure that your artwork is bolted down tightly.
  • Easy to hang: Don't select something too heavy or unwieldly. Consider having a one-of-a-kind image printed to wallpaper or hanging vinyl wall decals.
  • Easy to care for: Cleaning projectile spit-up off the walls is a rite of passage for many new parents. Don't keep priceless heirlooms within "dangerous airspace".
  • Chicken-or-egg? Are you designing a room around the art or trying to find art to match an existing room theme? While starting with a clean slate gives you more style choices when selecting artwork, it's not always practicable. Will Baby be sharing space with an older brother or sister? Be sure to keep in mind the tastes of all room occupants.
  • Unisex or gender-specific? Neutral colors and classic, universally appealing subject matter make it easy to redecorate use the same artwork as the room grows with your child. At he same time, don't be constrained by traditional themes. (For example, baseball is appropriate for a family of sports lovers, no matter what the sex of the child.)
  • Don't forget the family photos: Babies are hardwired to be attracted to faces. Place family photos within eyesight on walls or on top of furniture.
  • Think outside the box: Consider hanging a HD video monitor and load up its memory stick with an array of favorite pictures.

Have an amazing nursery? Show us a picture of it in the comments below.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean is co-founder and creative director of Janusian Gallery

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

How to Successfully Mix and Match Art in Your Home or Office

Maybe you just got married or have a new roommate. You each bring your treasured belongings, including lots of artwork. Or maybe you want to start or grow an art collection on your own. How do you make everything work without having your home or office look like an episode of "Hoarders"? We can help:

  • Select artists with similar styles: Such as impressionistic, abstract, representational.
  • Choose artwork with similar themes: Think all landscapes, sailboats, portraits. Too keep things interesting, don't pigeon-hole yourself too narrowly.
  • Think similar size and scale: Play on repetition. The physical symmetry can help you blend different styles and subject matter.
  • Tie it together with similar matting and framing: The similarity in such treatment visually organizes otherwise-like artwork.
  • Group artwork with similar colors: Red barn, red-purple flower, orange-red sky... you get the picture.
  • Select pieces from similar periods: Egyptian and art deco can look fabulous together, as can midcentury modern and today's contemporary art. Art nouveau next to a Grateful Dead poster anyone?
  • Embrace the eclectic: Let your imagination run wild and let a meticulously-curated rest of room pull it all together.

Making everything work together doesn't have to be a daunting task. There are many ways to achieve a cohesive look that doesn't requiring jettisoning the artwork you've already collected.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean is co-founder and creative director of Janusian Gallery

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So You've Outgrown Your Art...Now What?

You know that artwork you bought for a lifetime? All of a sudden, it doesn't seem to match your life anymore. Now what?

It's happened to all of us. You fall in love with a photo, painting or sculpture. You bring it home. You display it proudly. You make it the centerpiece of the room. Then it starts to look... well, "ordinary." Then it starts to get on your nerves. One day, you decide you just can't stand it anymore. What do you do? Fortunately you have many options:

  • Get its value assessed by a qualified art appraiser: As strange as it sounds, people seem to like an existing piece of artwork more if it's worth $30,000 than if it's worth $300 (or $30). Plus, if you decide to sell or donate the art, a written appraisal will be useful.
  • Move it to another room: Maybe the room you have it in now isn't used often or has bad lighting. Or maybe the style of the room just doesn't work with the artwork in it. Live with your art somewhere else for a while and you'll know if you've truly outgrown it or are merely bored with looking at it in the same old place.
  • Add something new to the room or take something out: Maybe the room in which your artwork is sited is getting crowded or looks incomplete. Don't let your degree of satisfaction with the room overall color your opinion of the art within it.
  • Match the artwork with something different: Maybe that yellow sofa or dark wood armoire isn't showing off your artwork as well as it could. Consider pairing it with something that better shows off its good points.
  • Store it: In our house, we have more art than wall space. We like to swap out our artwork for different seasons. When we take something out again, it somehow feels more "special", like reuniting with a long-lost friend. Educate yourself on proper storage: you don't want your artwork to warp, dry out, chip, crack, or get moldy.
  • Reframe it: Mats and frames are like jewelry: they're designed to accent and complement what's around them. Maybe a wooden frame should be metal (or vice versa.) Is the mat looking a little dingy or dated? Is the glass scratched or casting a glare every time a light hits it? Swap it out.
  • Gift it to family or friends: Mom likes to garden? Maybe she'll love a botanical print. Does your best friend always complement that black and white abstract you now loathe? Maybe she'd love it in her new apartment. You get the picture.
  • Loan the artwork out: to family, friends, or a museum. Hospitals and nursing homes also frequently solicit "loaner art" for their facilities. Who knows? You may love it again when you get it back. Make sure you have adequate insurance to protect you against damage or loss.
  • Swap it: You may already swap unwanted clothes with your circle of besties. Why not do the same with your home décor?
  • Donate it to charity: This is where that written appraisal comes in handy. Inquire and send photos first. You'll have the satisfaction of supporting a worthy cause without having to whip out your checkbook.
  • Sell it: Again, this is where that appraisal comes in handy. Note that the appraised value is not necessarily what you can expect to get from a buyer. And depending on the value of the piece, selling art is not a DIY project. Your local gallery is knowledgeable about the local market and is plugged in to a network of art collectors. Don't be shy about asking if they'll help you sell it. Keep in mind that galleries can take commissions of 40-50% or more on sales.

Outgrowing art is a natural consequence of your evolving taste. Keep these tips in mind to help you gauge when it's time to move on.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean

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Sunday, November 13, 2016

Thursday, November 10, 2016

New Collection: Donald Trump White House Cartoon

Janusian Gallery and Smell My Feet are pleased to announce their new collection. It features a Kawaii-style cartoon illustration of president-elect Donald Trump in front of the White House.

It makes a great holiday gift for your favorite Red-Stater. Having an inauguration party? We also sell paper plates, cups, and napkins.

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Sunday, November 6, 2016

New Design:Love in the Digital Age (Binary Love Quotes)

Preview these new square black-and-white designs before we make them available for sale! We know it's not even Thanksgiving yet but we're already working hard on our 2017 designs.

Each is based on a binary version of a love quote. We then treated the 0s and 1s as design elements and created intricate checkerboard "quilts" from them.

The stark yet detailed design is perfect for nearly every décor and makes a fabulous Valentine's Day gift.

We expect to post some to Curioos and Crated stores before Thanksgiving.

NOV 13 UPDATE: These designs are currently available for sale at the Janusian Gallery Crated and Curioos stores.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

New Designs: "Gilded" Mandalas

Just in time for the holidays! These mandalas are among our largest and most-detailed images to date. They are based on one of our favorite metallic-effect Mandelbulb 3d illustrations. We've adjusted the scale and intricacy until it's just right. You'll see something different each time you look at them. The neutral colors work in nearly any décor, while the gold, silver and bronze tones act as jewelry for your wall.

Buy for the holidays; enjoy all year long. They're available exclusively at our Curioos store.

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New Mandala Designs: Persephone's Garden

We wondered what our Mandelbulb illustrations would look like as mandalas and blew ourselves away with the results. Our "Persephone's Garden" collection of kaleidoscopic images are the largest and most detailed mandala images to date. Frankly, these small preview images don't do them justice: the closer you look, the more intricate they become.
Coming soon as exclusive limited edition prints at the Janusian Gallery Curioos store.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Preview: Mandelbulbs!

We're a bit taken with the concept of Mandelbulbs (3D fractals) recently. We love the idea of infinitely-detailed images that look different the more you explore them and recently created some of our own. In making them, we used the colors of flowers and plants, but intentionally kept things like a beautiful dark underworld. They're evocative of the classical myths of Proserpina / Persephone.

We think they work great with the idea of Janusian thought: making something new and wonderful out of two seemingly-incompatible things: traditional 2D Mandelbrot fractal images and 3D imaging. We can't wait to see what new marvels can be produced by increasingly sophisticated and powerful computers.

We're going to live these these for a bit before perhaps making some available via our Curioos site.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

New Mandala Designs

Available exclusively at

Are You Curioos About What We've Been Up To?

We just launched a new Janusian Gallery print-on-demand store on Curioos:

This print-on-demand site is unlike others we're on in that it specializes in only art prints, on a variety of surfaces. We submitted some brand-new mandala designs there that you won't see anywhere else because we love Curiooos' round disk format so much.

See our Curioos store at

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Trick-or-Treating Tips For First-Time Parents

Some well-intentioned parenting discussion threads recommend taking your child trick-or-treating around the time he is about two or when she can eat the candy herself.  This presupposes that the annual first-world Halloween begging ritual all about your kid.  However, we've collectively raised four kids to adulthood and know differently: trick-or-treating is  ***really*** about acquiring vast quantities of free simple carbs.... for yourself to feast upon while binge-watching your favorite horror movies. The following are pointers we've learned over the years for using your tiny hobgoblins as "candy bait":

1. Choose your trick-or-treating costumes carefully.  The most successful beggars are those who can tugs at the heartstrings of their intended targets while looking irresistibly  cute.  So your kid's Halloween outfit should invoke a sense of "aw": princesses, firemen, Lin-Manuel Miranda as Hamilton, etc. Consider wearing a coordinating design for maximum cuteness.  (Down to your pre-pregnancy weight yet? If so, make sure it's form-fitting so everyone will be envious of how quickly you got back in shape.) Finally, make sure everything's bathroom-friendly.  If you've ever tried to wrestle with a costume that won't come off while balancing on one leg behind a dark tree, fervently hoping you're well out of sight of passersby, you probably know why. (Or so we've heard... from ***others*** who said they've had this happen to them...yeah, others...)

2. Got a pet? Consider getting it a costume to match baby's. (Obviously, this works better for a puppy than a goldfish.) Refer to the pet as your child's "brother" or "sister." This arrangement also makes it easier to justify eating all the chocolate yourself: you're merely keeping Fido safe from toxins.

3. Choose your candy donation route wisely. Find that neighborhood that gives out full-size candy bars to help make the most effective use of your valuable time... and caloric intake plans. It's not always the wealthiest neighborhoods who give out the best chocolate. (Those streets are instead usually filled with dentists who pass out toothbrushes and stay-at-home yoga moms who distribute gluten-free cookies.) Instead, look for the "aspirational" middle-class neighborhoods with Pinterest-inspired yard displays.

4. Play the "keeping up with the Joneses" card to your advantage. Once you're handed your candy, look it over and mention how nice it is that someone's still "keeping it real" and not distributing  some overpriced limited edition Swiss chocolate  like their neighbors are. Don't be surprised if you're suddenly gifted with more candy.

5. Visiting friends or neighbors you know well? Master the "presentation of the baby" technique. This is most effective with summer babies, because they're still squishy little lumps by Halloween. Hold out your child with both hands while dangling a candy bag from your forearm. Remember: the reason for the season is to show off your superior gene pool and infant costuming skills, State multiple times that "you only stopped by to say hi",  then casually remark that you feel your sugar level dropping dangerously.  (Bonus point if you say that you hope you're not taking anything away from the other neighborhood kids as you plunge your manicured fist into the candy bowl.)

6. Feeling a little self-conscious asking for candy for a child who isn't even teething yet? (Which means you might have a residual shred of self-respect...) No problem! Let your little pumpkin do most of the work himself with a custom t-shirt or hand-written poster board sign. Feeling extra sassy? Tell your "mark" that your kid designed it herself.

7. Knocking on strangers' doors? Keep the spouse/ significant other waiting at the street, so homeowners might think you're a struggling single parent and take pity on you. No only will you get candy, but maybe also even some canned goods. This strategy works best when your town's trick-or-treat hours are at night: otherwise, you beloved looks like either a creepy stalker or a thief casing the joint.

Follow these tips religiously to significantly increase the odds you'll be in a sugar coma 'til Thanksgiving. And Happy Halloween from all of us at Janusian Gallery.

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Photo courtesy of Used with permission.

Friday, October 7, 2016

More New Hampshire Fall Foliage Photos

Headed to New Hampshire's White Mountains today for some pre-holiday weekend shooting and hiking. Purely a personal project:
Above: Frame a landscape with a tree branch to add visual interest.
Above: The water came so close to the trees that it's hard to tell where the reflection begins.
Above: The eye-shaped knot in this white birch tree makes it seem as if it's looking at trail visitors.
Above: The "rule of thirds" helps organize a photo with several points of interest.
Above: Leaf shadow on a rock.
Above: This row of brilliantly-colored trees help create a focal point.
Above: The row of green trees in the foreground helps accent the mountain of trees behind it.
Above: The vivid reflections add to the Walden-type feel of this Tamworth lake photo.
Above: This yellow bush stands out against the darker trees behind it. Photos don't need a riot of color to evoke the feeling of fall.
Inspired to do some shooting on your own? Click HERE for tips on how to take outstanding fall foliage photographs.
-Lynne Guimond Sabean
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All photos copyright (c) 2016 Lynne Guimond Sabean for Janusian Gallery.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Autumn Shooting on a Rainy Day

"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet nor dark of night..." While most of us may know this an the unofficial postal worker creed, it could also apply to photographing the fall season here in New Hampshire. So many factors go into when the leaves change that it's become quite the art to predict when the best time to shoot is each year.

We didn't let a gloomy weather forecast discourage us from taking out the camera today. Below are some photos we shot today during rain and mist:

The above picture is of a tiny leaf on an abandoned, moss-covered car hood.

The above picture is a detail of an iron fountain. We liked the chipped edge: just think how strong something had to be to do the chipping!

We noticed this red leaf from about 30 feet away and had to take a closer look.

Sometimes, rolling fog sets off the brilliant tree colors even better than does a clear blue sky, as in the above photo.

We get distracted by flowing water at any time of year. Neither shot used a tripod. Instead, we set for 1/8 sec. shutter priority, braced ourselves against nearby railings and trees, and set the camera for multiple shots.

And while you're at it, why not take a pic of the railing itself, too?

These bright yellow mums were outside the welcome center in Lincoln, NH.

Inspired to do some shooting on your own? Click HERE for tips on how to take outstanding fall foliage photographs. It'll give you more inspiration and advice for making the most of whatever Mother Nature sends your way.

-Lynne Guimond Sabean

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All photos copyright (c) 2016 Lynne Guimond Sabean for Janusian Gallery.