The Affordable Art Collection – Coastal Framing and Design
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The Affordable Art Collection

Featured Art – Latest addition to my collection:  “Cracks in the Pavement” multi media on canvas by local artist Jane Hoggard.

We’ve all thought about art collecting at some stage.  We’ve had visions of grand houses with extensive walls being adorned with masterpieces that extend from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, with ornate and layered framing that all scream out ..”Hello … I’m a famous art collection”.  And of course, we think of the security that goes with it, and the insurance policy.

Whilst some are fortunate to be able to do this, an art collection doesn’t have to be big.

Here on the East Coast, we live in a culturally enriched environment saturated with art of many forms. If you keep your eye out, art collecting can be easy, affordable and enjoyable.

Here’s a few tips I stick to:

  • The best collections start small and are gathered over a period of time.
  • Don’t be afraid to select small pieces.
  • Your collection should include only those pieces that truly sing to you. Love what you buy.
  • Choose a theme – like coastal, environment, abstract art, figurative, drawings, indigenous, female artists, male artists…..
  • Make sure it fits your space and  your walls and that it looks good in your home/office. You have to live with it.
  • Visit your local galleries, art space and places like Coastal Framing and Design to find the emerging artists whose work may increase in value.
  • Learn more about art or do some yourself – join a group, do an online course so you can articulate features about the art.
  • Set a budget – plan to spend money on art and go about acquiring the pieces you can afford.   Think limited edition prints, post cards, framed or unframed or that one, special original.

In the past, like ‘back in the day’, Rex and I have had large houses with the luxury of large art works with big frames being the feature. Living in a small regional country community, we’d go along to our local art exhibitions to feast on the scones, cucumber sandwiches and tiny quiches, washed down with bubbly.  Everyone knew each other and it was always polite, if not expected, that you would purchase a piece of art.  In some cases, you’d arrive early to get the red dot on the art work you wanted.

Our art collection is not extensive but we have a personal connection with each artist.  They include Rod Bax and Russell Morrison, two great South Australian artists, whose art is now recognised globally.  They were a good investment, affordable at the time but greatly increased in value over the years.

These works are presently in storage until we have bigger walls to hang them on and of course, a framer who has the time to update them with a conservation frame and a more modern look.  It’s a good idea to swap the art work around from time to time to allow them a ‘rest’ from your walls and a time away from the light.

These days, just like many of you here on the coast, we have a small apartment near the beach.  The walls spaces are fewer and the window spaces larger.

However, this doesn’t stop me pondering the eye catching work of our local artists. I’m not fussy about how popular or famous these artists are.  If a small piece resonates with me, I ask if I can purchase it.  Alternatively, we check out the local galleries and coffee shops as this often presents the opportunity to discover an unknown artist.  I often buy the printed gift cards, or limited edition prints that are available as these can all be framed for interesting pieces.

One of the best things about working here at Coastal Framing, is meeting many artists and experiencing their amazing work. Whether it’s photography, original art, sculpture, 3D or limited edition prints, it’s always exciting and inspirational to hear the artist’s story and learn about their journey. We are honoured to frame their art work and we have a discerning selection in our apartment.

Our art work collection includes:  Suzanne Healy, Ian Tremewan, Lorraine Abernethy, Kathryn Cleland, Rosemary Upton, Phil Barron, and Jane Hoggard.  Most of these artists have exhibited at the Murwillumbah Regional Gallery, many of them after I had recognised their talent and added their work to my collection

So if you are starting out here on the coast,  procure those art works that appeal to you for whatever reason. Support the local artists as this is their work.  For many, it is their living.  And who knows?  If you choose wisely, your art collection may increase in value over time.

When you go to your next exhibition, gallery opening or a gallery visit, do yourself and an artist a favour by just acknowledge something….whether purchasing an original, a print, a card, or simply making the time to give a comment, or add a review on social media …..

Buying art adds personality to your home.  Always thank an artist for adding something special to your day.

Here’s a few local artists that I am keeping an eye out for:  You can Google them all for more details. 

  • Helen McCullough – Fenton and Fenton
  • Leah Thiessen (Art Piece Gallery) Dirt Music latest framed art work.
  • Jane Hoggard – Murwillumbah Art Trail and Coastal Framing and Design
  • Phil Barron – Murwillumbah Art Trail
  • Trish Callaghan – Murwillumbah Art Trail
  • Rosemary Upton – D Bar Gallery
  • Jo Biles (Banana Lounge)
  • Barbara E Bear – Illustrator Tyalgum
  • Matt Ottley Limited Edition Prints – Illustrator of books- Teacup/Suri’s Wall Uki

MURWILLUMBAH ART TRAIL – Get started with your collection!   May 25th – May 30th.

Trish Callaghan in the Sugar Beat Cafe and Coffee Shop

Jane Hoggard in the Pink Tavern

Phil Barron – M-Arts .. ‘quirky artist’s studios that are created in an industrial shed where art lovers can come view and buy art”. 

Jo Biles –  M-Arts

Yellow Brick Studio is also a great supporter of our business. 

And then there’s the photographers… I’ll talk about them in another blog.

Happy Collecting for now



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