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Gift-Giving Guide

Art makes for a classic holiday gift, but getting it right requires a little thought on the part of the giver. This season, I’m sharing a few art-buying tips based on years of experience buying art for friends and family.

If you’re looking for custom art, go here.

Happy shopping!

Know your audience

My mom loves patterned prints and color-block paintings, so my parent’s house is filled with Paul Klee, Marc Rothko, and Henri Matisse (reproductions, of course). When I buy art for them, I look for pieces from local or emerging artists who have a similar style. Something child-like and fantastic, like Lidia Sineonova’s “Something to Talk About” or modern and messy, like Chris Pemberton’s “Derision Within.”

'Something to Talk About' by Lidia Sineonova
'Derision Within' by Chris Pemberton

Know your space

I once had a friend who moved into a beautiful new apartment with a big blank wall in the living room. The space was too big for one piece, even a large one, so we decided to plan a salon-style gallery wall there instead. As a gift, I bought her three bold, graphic prints to use in the gallery. The size and number of pieces helped break up the monotony of the wall, and the bold, graphic prints gave the room an extra pop of design and color. Choose something striking and illustrative, like Cassidy Marietta’s “Tesselate” or Christopher MacEwan’s “Tri-O.”

'Tessellate' by Cassidy Marietta
'Tri-O' by Christopher MacEwan

Know your distance

If you’re shipping, light works that can be flat-packed (i.e. sandwiched between two pieces of rigid cardboard) are your best bet for keeping the cost down. Look for photographs, prints, drawings, and watercolors. Anything on paper, like Cynthia Sears’ drawing “Marilyn” or Kira Balan’s watercolor painting “Family Penguin Art,” can be flat-packed and shipped cheaply.

'Marilyn' by Cynthia Sears
'Family Penguin Art' by Kira Balan

Know your framing

Professional framing gets expensive quickly, especially if you have a large piece on your hands. Look for smaller pieces or ones that might fit in a pre-made store frame. (Don’t go for the cheapest option at a place like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. It’ll fall apart on you.) Steve Jebbet’s “Gone Fishin'” (16″ X 20″) or Taylor Coker’s “JM” (9″ X 12″) are both standard size, flat, and not too large. Perfect for a for a nice store-bought frame.

If you have an irregularly sized piece, chances are it can be professionally matted on the cheap to fit a standard size. Then you can pop it right into the frame. If you buy a painting, look for what’s known as gallery wrap canvas. It measures at least one inch in depth and doesn’t need a frame.

'Gone Fishin'' by Steve Jebbett
'JM' by Taylor Coker

Happy holidays!

PatronArt makes buying art from independent artists easy and risk-free. On every order you can be assured the highest satisfaction and security, while knowing you are supporting an artist’s passion. Here at PatronArt, we make art personal.

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