Thoughts on (secondhand) original art

Like a lot of people, I am a big art fan. I don’t have a substantial budget for originals, however, and to be honest, I’ve had a hard time finding local artists with work that is a good match for me.

But I have had some luck buying secondhand original art. There’s just no denying that original art has depth a print does not, so if I can find good stuff and a reasonable (or even ridiculously low) price point, I’m there.

mixed-media over fireplace

My favorite is this mixed-media piece my husband bought while we were in grad school. Found at a consignment shop, it wasn’t as cheap as something you’d find at a thrift store, but the colors and texture are beautiful. I usually keep it above the fireplace March through September.

landscape painting

I bought this canvas at a thrift store when we lived in Reno, Nevada. It reminded me of the landscape where I grew up—water, fields, hills, and blue sky.

island oil painting

This good-sized painting came from a thrift store in Jackson, Wyoming, and it cost $10. I love how abstract it is and how it tells a story of people who live on an island, work hard, and love each other. The colors are vibrant and rich, and the texture is gloppy and great.

thrift-store painting

This little guy was a few bucks at a local thrift store, and I love its abstract city scene.

I rotate a few more pieces onto my walls during different times of the year, and now I have quite a collection of secondhand art. Which leads to my question: Do I have too much? Is my house looking like a thrift store? Not all secondhand art is “good.” So I’m trying to be selective and not bring home every canvas I find.

Portraits are another matter entirely, and I’m working on a post on the topic. It’s a subject that fascinates me and that has shaped culture for centuries. You’ll notice I don’t have a single portrait in my house, however. I’ll explain why next week.

Do you have any original art in your home? Did you commission a piece, find an artist online, or buy it secondhand? And if you’ve got favorite sources for art, please share. •


3 thoughts

  1. I love secondhand original art. It fits my budget and I can also be assured that I won’t see it hanging in someone else’s home. I’ve collected a few pieces; a few I bought for a song and then spent an inordinate amount to have it framed.

    You’ve found some great pieces. Somehow I think we remember where and why we bought something more when we’ve bought it secondhand.


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