Fill in the gaps!

When you are looking at your living space, I am sure that we can all agree that places of prominence (i.e. over the mantle and over the living room sofa) often call for that large statement piece of art. After those spaces are filled however, let me ask you this: have you considered collecting some smaller art? We are going to make a case here for smaller works of art and why they should be in your collection.

An MC Escher inspired staircase from the Bruce Bowman’s home. “Ascending and Descending” by Bruce Bowman.

Small works are a window to the artists inner world.

Cheech Marin, more famously known as half of the comedy duo Cheech and Chong, is actually the largest collector of Chicano art in the world. More recently, he has been collecting Chicano art that is smaller (less than 16″ square,) and he catalogs them in a lovely book called “The Smaller Paintings Chicanitas from the Cheech Marin Collection.” 


Smaller paintings tend to let one in on the everyday lives of the artist, where subjects reveal the environment the artist lives. Whether it is the car wash, grocery store, or hair salon that Margaret Garcia sees everyday or the graffiti or street fashion that inspires Carlos Donjuan, artists give us a window into there lives. These pieces are strangely intimate and revealing. And it was something I never thought of before I had a conversation with my sister about small works, which gave birth to Small Wonder Monday on our social media platforms and also this post! So I started to view our small pieces by our artists with this new perspective-

Todd Carignan captures his landscape in great detail and wonderful color.

Kristen Dill loves to paint still life works in her garden in Maine.


Small works are usually very affordable. 

Most people who are new at buying art may not know this but many successful artists charge per square inch for their work. Most of the time, unless you are buying a Picasso, a small work is not going to break the bank. Most of the small works we sell at the gallery are less than 500 dollars, are original, and although small make a great statement. If you are starting your art collection, small works and ceramics are really affordable.

Beautiful fall scene by Owen Wexler--he loves trees and feels like they are wise.

Handmade paper painting that has gold, blues and greens by Rebecca Humphrey.

Small works fit anywhere. 

Ok, much love and admiration for Mr. Marin, but I do suspect that one of the big reasons he likes collecting smaller works as they are easier to house and display. Here is a way for you to still collect art that is really easy to find a place for once all the large spaces are full. I have an Ann Parks McCray that is small, and I love to move it from the mantle, to the foyer, to the bar. Wherever I need a spot of color. Small works can be put in bookshelves, on the mantle, on the coffee table as craft.  And I think it makes your home so much more interesting.

Small works used as craft in the Home Show on the desk and the bookshelf.

So don’t run away from that great small piece, because as we say on Mondays, small art big statement. It is a glimpse into an interesting and intimate world, an affordable piece, and there is always room for more!


So until next time, buy some art for art’s sake!