The Little Things: Five reasons to buy small artwork

If you’re looking to buy some new art, going small is not only a safe bet but offers a lot of versatility that is underappreciated. Whether it’s for your home or office, there are a lot of reasons to consider buying smaller pieces. Not only are they ideal for holiday gifts, but their size gives them an inherent preciousness--not to mention they’re easier to move than a large painting!

If you need more convincing, here are five more reasons you should consider adding some small works into your life:

Starting your collection?

If you’re new to buying art and want to ease yourself in, small works should be a go to! Any art collector will tell you that your investment in an artwork is truly an investment in the artist his or herself. Art buying is a unique opportunity to connect with the maker, so buying small can be a great way to get to know a new artist and begin to support their work gradually. Soon you can have your own collection of an artist with whom you connect!

You have a small budget or small apartment...

You’ll hear us say it again and again, there’s always a way to make a little room for a new piece of art. However, we understand that there’s always a budget and an amount of space with which we can work. But the good news is, buying small is wallet and space friendly! Especially if you’re young and are just starting your art collection, adding small works to your apartment is the perfect element of sophistication and will let people know you’re passionate about supporting the arts.

The perfect gift...

Art makes the best gift -- take it from us! Buying art this holiday season is a thoughtful way to celebrate your loved ones. Have a difficult relative to shop for? A painting is a unique and collectible gift they’ll be sure to appreciate. Even if you *accidentally* left your shopping to the last minute, a small painting is the perfect gift that definitely makes it seem like you weren’t in a scramble.

Be your own curator!

Buying a few smaller works gives you the opportunity to be your own designer and cultivate your own eye for beauty. Pairing pieces and arranging them on your wall is a dynamic way to elevate your home. You can switch paintings out, try new combinations, and arrange them in fun ways--just as we do in the gallery!

Brighten up corners and bookcases!

Small spaces need love too! Adding a small piece on a forgotten wall is the perfect thing to freshen up your home and bring life to corners. People will notice and admire your attention to detail! Even if you have no more wall space, tucking a small painting in your bookshelf can make the perfect bookend and be a delightful surprise for visitors with a good eye.

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So, how do you find the perfect piece to add to your collection or start out with something new? Join us at Shain Gallery Friday, December 7th from 6-8 pm for our annual Small Works Show! The show will be hanging throughout December so stop by any time to seek out the newest addition to your collection!

Eileen Power: a change of scenery

Eileen Power

Art is about the individual artist who creates it. As a result, when we see an artwork we are seeing the hand, mindset, and soul of the artist who creates it. Especially in abstract art, emotions can become a main player in the call and response of mark making. When an artist goes through a physical or mental change, how much does the transition appear in their work?

Eileen Power is one of our recently exhibited abstract artists. In her artist statement, she claims:

“These paintings are about space and energy and the paint. While my paintings are greatly influenced by "place", reflecting the light, color and atmosphere where they are made, the soul of the work is internal and drawn from personal memories and relationships and the feelings generated by such.  The dialogue begins with the first mark on the surface. While the color sets the mood the marks and shapes tell the story.”

Eileen recently moved from Kiawah back to her hometown of Atlanta, GA. When she brought in her new work for the opening, we saw a transition in her visual style from the older work we have in inventory. Wondering if her recent move from the beach to an urban landscape was the cause for this change, I asked her how she creates and integrates her experience into her abstractions.

“I grew up in an urban environment on the east coast. That sense of space and energy impacts my art. My teacher said we each have a sense of space that’s “baked in”, if you will and formed very early in life. A great example is the minimalist work of Agnes Martin whose work is in the collections of most outstanding museums around the world. She grew up in the flat plains of western Canada. A train passing through the town could be seen long after it passed the station because the land was so flat. The artist is most well known for her minimalist, horizontal stripes painted with great precision.

The view from my studio while living in the low country, while beautiful, was one flat plane after the next. Perfect for plein air marsh scenes, not so great for my type of work! Resisting the the calm, horizontal line so obvious in the low country was a challenge. I even turned my easel away from the view to resist having it influence my work.

I am very happy to be back in Atlanta. It’s a city of high design and great architecture.

Currently, someone I love is experiencing cognitive loss. I find myself “masking” the work. Covering large sections of paintings with grey or white shapes. While the paint is still wet I draw into it removing some of the mask allowing light and color to reveal itself. Originally, this “graying out” was unconscious. Critiquing my own work --something all artists do-- revealed this to me. It confirms my belief “art is the teacher”. Creating allows an artist’s unconscious feelings to reveal themselves in the paint.
Earlier, in my painting career returning to the studio after time away was always uncomfortable. It took days to hit my stride. Now, the opposite seems to be true. I absorb so much when traveling and come back with a renewed spirit and energy.

Grace Hartigan, one of the exceptional woman abstract expressionists of the last century, said we all have certain gifts, at the rest we have to work. Hartigan’s work was on display at the Mint during the record breaking show, “Women of Abstract Expressionism”. My gift is a keen sense of color. Sometimes I see a color or combination of colors so beautiful it imprints itself in my memory. I then find it appearing weeks later as I mix paint. I’m blessed with the ability to see and remember color.”
--Eileen Power

Come in to Shain Gallery to see some of Eileen’s new work and experience her transition and visual style yourself!

Meet the Gallery Girls

Welcome to Shain Gallery!

Tune in each week for artist bios, exciting happenings, and all things creative on our new blog.

To come: our beloved artists share what inspires them and what makes them tick. But for now, we would love for you to get to know the girls who make the magic happen behind the canvas.

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Read on for details, quirky facts, and hidden secrets of the Shain Gallery duo.

Sybil Godwin was born and raised in Charlotte, NC, and has over 15 years of experience in the art world. She attended North Carolina State University, and, upon graduating, moved straight to Atlanta to begin her career in galleries.  Sybil worked in galleries in Atlanta for close to ten years, and moved to Charlotte in 2013. She became owner of Shain Gallery in 2017 after almost five years as Gallery Director, and continues to cultivate relationships with artists and clients within Charlotte and across the country. She is always keeping an eye out for up and coming, emerging artists and loves having the opportunity to support her artists and witness their work finding forever homes. As owner, her goals for the gallery are to continue supporting the Charlotte art community and keep connecting her clients with the perfect pieces of art. Sybil is married to Bill, and has two gallery girls of her own under the age of five.

Fact: Sybil loves 70s & 80s rock (the only genre allowed in the gallery), she has never lost a pair of sunglasses, she is an avid book collector, she's a middle child, and she is obsessed with Kate Middleton.

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Eli Cordell was born and raised in Charlotte, NC and received a BA in Art History from the College of Charleston. After having the opportunity to travel and visit the arts and cultures on which she focused her studies, she moved back to Charlotte to pursue a career that would allow her to combine her love of art with her desire to contribute to the ever-expanding art network in her native city.  After beginning at Shain Gallery in March of 2017, she became Gallery Manager in the Fall of 2017.  As someone who has always found her own home and office more welcoming with the right works of art on the walls, Eli enjoys working with clients to find the perfect pieces to complete their own space.

Fact: Eli was born and raised in Charlotte (unicorn), she hates cucumbers but loves pickles, and secretly she is a huge Arsenal fan (GO GUNNERS!).

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Art Fact of the week:

Instagram's new Shopping features now allow users to buy artwork from approved sellers with a few taps. But will it work for the art world?

More thoughts on this here:

(We may not have moved into this online feature yet, but, find us on Artsy)

Thanks for reading - see you in your Inbox next week!


Gallery Girls at Shain