Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The "Art" In Our "House"

The title comes from J, who laughs whenever I bring up our "art" collection. Hmph. We have some classics! As soon as I thought about writing this post, I realized 75% of the "art" in our house has a theme. Taking the pictures, I realized we actually have two themes...and each piece falls into at least one of them. Haha. Well, at least we're consistent.  So here's a quick art tour through our house.

This piece hangs in our foyer. It was my birthday present from J this year. From the thrift store, natch. Screenprinted zebras and a crazy sun on canvas? Yes, please! It's so seventies. I love it. It's signed E. Taylor, but I haven't been able to find any information about E. Taylor. Unless Elizabeth Taylor made it. In which case, OMG.

I freaking love this piece so much. I used to have a collection of vintage seascapes, and I'd really like another one. I found this on the floor at a local thrift store. There was no price on it. This never bodes well at a thrift store. I nonchalantly strolled up to the cashier, hoping A. she wouldn't notice the lack of a price tag and B. it would be cheap. Yeah, it didn't work. She told me the managers only price once a week, so I could come back FIVE DAYS LATER. I actually couldn't make it back that day, and when I did go back, I was doing my best Eeyore impersonation. I just knew it would be either gone or waaaaay over priced.

It was there, it was priced at $5, and it had a green tag. It was green tag 50% off day. Eeyore went away, and HAPPY DANCY TRACIE took over.

The signature reads Harland Young, an artist apparently best known for his western paintings. He even did an authorized painting of John Wayne! This is definitely not an original, but it looks amazing over the dining room table. 

These two prints are part of a series, and I bought them months apart at two different thrift stores. The framed one cost $.50 and the unframed print cost $.80. They are so bright and happy (not words I usually use to describe things I like). I can't wait to find a frame for the bottom one, so I can unite them on a wall. The back of both says they were issued by Winde Fine Prints, which I haven't been able to find a LOT of information about, but they apparently were a prolific issuer of art in the mid-century, going by ebay. The bottom print is by Paul Detlefsen, who produced an insane amount of happy commercial art in the 1950s and 60s.

Two pictures that currently live in our bathroom. The happy horse pictures is...insane, really. The owl picture scares J (don't tell him I told you so). The owl is probably going to find a new home in the hallway. I'm seriously considering do a little embroidery directly on the art, maybe out-lining the owl or stitching the leaves. That's the awesome thing about paying $.85. You feel like you can experiment!

The sad beginnings of a salon wall. The bottom two pictures are from a 1961 book of engravings of the English Lake District ($.50, people!). I love them so much, and really need to get more frames so I can hang more of them up. This is where the "Home Is" embroidery lept off the wall yesterday, so it looks even barer than usual. On top is a simple anchor I embroidered for J's Valentine's Day present.

So, there's our "art" collection. Every piece is from a thrift store. We are super high class like that. Did you figure out the two themes?

The first is animals, which I already knew. Horses predominate (three pieces!), but we also have zebra, duck, and owl art. 

The other theme, which I realized as I took the pictures, is water. Many of our pictures have a nautical theme (Navy anchor, Lake District, horse running through the waves, windmill). 

The TL:DR on this post isn't that you should run out and buy a lot of vintage art. (Please don't do that! I would leave less for me!) The point is that art doesn't have to be expensive. Thrift stores are FULL of art ranging from vintage paint by numbers (which I'm OBSESSED with) to Thomas Kinkade and everything in between. Thrift stores are also FULL of frames, ranging from simple wooden frames to ornate plaster and gilt numbers. So get out there and look! 

And even though I tease about J, he really likes most of the "art" in our "house."He really loves the nautical prints, and loves the zebras because I love Rose and Dorothy so much. It's a compromise. But I do love our little collection, and can't wait to get more frames/add to it in other budget friendly ways. (There's also DIY art, but that's another conversation!)

Does anyone else have a collection of budget friendly art?


  1. I love thrift store art. It definitely has a unique quality. It's also fun to add to a piece of thrift store art. I love YHL "all you need is love" painted over a piece of art from (i think it was) a yard sale.

  2. I like that, too. Plus it's nice to know everyone you know won't have the same piece (I'm thinking of an ikea poster from five years ago everyone I knew bought. Seriously.)

  3. Hi! I found your blog through Stephanie's. This is such a great idea! The first place I ever go when I hit up a thrift store is to the artwork. Vintage kitchy art just has so much soul to it. Thanks for sharing!

  4. All right, I have to share this peacock I recently got on Craigslist for $20: All my friends who pooh-pooh Craigslist were like, ‘WHERE DID YOU GET THAT. I MUST GET ONE.’ Sorry ladies! Lol. I echo Tracie’s sentiment that it’s fun to have pieces that no one can go out and copy!!

  5. That peacock is fantastic! I love all the thrift art love.

  6. Ughhhh, I'm not sure why I'm coming up as "unknown." I have a name, it's Erin and I'm signed into Google so I have no clue what's going on! sorry about that!

  7. It's fine, I found you through your awesome Pinterest peacock.


Thanks for commenting (it makes me feel less like I am just over here, talking to myself!). Comments are approved as quickly as possible. Seriously, I am trying to teach Emily to approve comments.


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