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.