In a parallel universe there is a better version of me. One that speaks fluent French and plays the piano with no sheet music. She also reads poetry and actually gets it. This version of me wanders around museums and sits for hours in art galleries. You know the type, you always see a perfect silhouette of them casually hanging out, just appreciating the art. I want to be that person! She has probably just stopped off to have a quiet coffee and at home she also has a gorgeous reading corner with a squashy chair that she actually sits and reads in. She’s likely to be surrounded by plants that she hasn’t killed and she can open a bottle of wine and just have one glass ‘for the taste’. What she doesn’t have is four small demanding kids, three jobs and a touch too much back fat to spoil that perfect silhouette. Clearly the latter IS me.
I guess that’s why I’ve never been what you would call an Art fanatic, or even cultured for that matter. If I’m honest, art intimidates me a little. I genuinely have no idea how to separate the ‘Realism’ from the ‘Surrealism’ or the ‘Expressionism’ from the ‘Abstract’. Listening to people talk about art must be similar to patients listening to me do a check up, it’s mysterious. Although if my job is anything to go by it’s just a ploy to make you sound more intelligent than you actually are. This is likely why I’ve never invested in any serious art. Yes, I’ve certainly traded up from the old university Trainspotting poster but I’ve never had the confidence to do much more than that. So when Rise Art got in contact and offered me the chance to choose a piece of art work to refresh one room and experience a different way of selecting, I’ll admit , I was excited and terrified in equal measures.
My first thoughts were who the heck is going to hold my hand through this, who will point me in the right direction, what if I balls this up? My next thought, ten minutes after logging on to the site was ‘well hello, this is going to be fun’. Any worry of being overwhelmed by artistic jargon was dissipated instantly with a site exploding with colour. There was no fuss or stuffiness, no intimidating artistic lingo to scare me off, just a very pleasing selection of beautifully curated art.
I went into this choice with a totally open mind. I had no particular space in mind, no size, no particular style, I just wanted to make an impact in one room. The challenge was to refresh a space. What was completely overwhelming was what I was actually drawn to. You expect your art to reflect your personality and style. Because of that I had always presumed that I would choose a piece of art packed full of colour, something that scratched all of my vibrant itches. No matter which art rabbit hole I fell down, no matter how many beautiful pieces I added to my wish list, I kept coming back to the hauntingly beautiful art of Andrew Millar. This East London based artist uses polaroid and 24ct gold leaf to create the most beautiful pieces. I didn’t choose this piece of art, it chose me. His art ranges from exquisite 9x11cm pieces (which are set to become my new major obsession) to larger collages and prints. To me, stumbling across his art felt like finding buried treasure and my booty came in the form of Fulfilled, a limited edition of 40 and most definitely ‘the one’.
So, which room to refresh?? Just as the art chose me, it also chose its spot. After initially thinking I would love to see her grace the walls of our bedroom, like a little insecure puppy, she just didn’t settle. Personally, I don’t think she wanted to be hidden away, she wanted to see and be seen so we let her hang out in the hall for a while. A lot has happened in this 117 year old hallway and it’s her turn to have some fun in here now.
So this is where she shall remain, keeping a close eye on the comings and goings of the Peach Palace and I have sneaky feeling that I won’t be able to resist finding her some 24ct company.
Want to know more?
Who are Rise Art?
Scott Phillips and Marcos Steverlynck are the co-founders whose love of art and digital expertise combine spectacularly to offer a site that beautifully serves up a range of art to suit all budgets. They believe that everybody deserves access to incredible art. Along with their team they have curated an incredible selection of art in a variety of mediums
Favourite site features
Personality test. I LOVE this feature. Remember those tests in More magazine, you know, the mostly a’s or mostly b’s? They told you which type of fella you are most likely to want to frenchie, well this is way more fun. Try it out here to find out your art personalilty and discover tailor made suggestions based on your preferences. I’m an Urbanite in case you’re interested.
Try before you buy. If you’re a bit of a commitment-phobe renting a piece of art is a cracking way to road test it before you invest. Rentals are also great for a short term quick fix and if you’ve got a party or a photoshoot coming up this is the perfect solution. What I love about this is that some of the cost of the rental can also be offset against the cost of the art if you do choose to buy. Take a look here to find out more.
Framing Service. If you are anything like me then ‘frame chicken’ is a game often played in our house. A bit like taking the bins out, it’s one of those jobs that just doesn’t seem to get done as much as it should. Unless it fits into an Ikea Ribba it tends to remain a little neglected. Any piece chosen comes with custom framing as an options, boooooom!
Search by budget. As much as we would all like to not have to count the noughts, we obviously have to. I’ve spent a very enjoyable few hours curating my favourite pieces.
My favourites under £100
My Favourites £100-500
Balls to the budget…………
From the hundreds of artists whose amazing work I was introduced to via Rise, these are most definitely the ones whose art is going on my lust list. Go take a look for yourself.
So whilst I’m certainly no art aficionado, my choosing cherry has been well and truly popped and do you know what? I enjoyed every last second of it.
This artwork was kindly gifted by Rise Art but all of the words are my own.