What are your favorite ways to frame art and why?

Framing is so important! Your framing decisions have the power to elevate a mediocre piece of art or drag down a spectacular piece of art. My suggestion would be to consider the framing cost as an extension of your art purchase. I know it can feel like you are spending a tidy sum, but remember that a quality frame requires the craftmanship and skill that building furniture requires. When you look at it like you are buying a well crafted piece of tiny furniture, then the cost doesn’t seem out of proportion. That being said, I tend to keep the frames pretty simple for my personal projects. My home is fairly edited and therefore I want the framing to reflect that.

Do you have any tips on how to hang a gallery wall?

Start by laying out everything on the floor to try to get a sense of the layout. Use a strip of blue painters tape to create a visual marker on the left and right boundary and then start hanging! If you like a more precise method, you can mark the wall (using blue tape or cut out paper bags) with the exact shape of each piece you are hanging. Move them around until you find the arrangement that feels right. Some people like to organize several smaller pieces into a larger rectangular shape, while others decide on a looser, more organic arrangement. This is a matter of preference and there is no wrong way to go about it.

What are your observations on how the art scene has changed in Seattle in recent years?

I have only been aware of the “art scene” for 6 years or so, and a couple of those were in the dark nights of the pandemic. But I would have to say that the general vibe is thriving. Artists had a chance to produce some amazing work while in isolation and now that we are excited to be together again, a feeling of renewed support is absolutely afoot.

If you got stranded on a desert island and could only have one piece of art, what would it be?

I have a watercolor by my youngest daughter on the mirror in my bedroom. That would be my desert island choice without a question. Sentimentality wins out every time! 

What do you like best about working with artists?

I feel honored to have relationships with artists that allow me to see how their personhood and life experience gets translated into their work. It’s a mysterious process and these relationships have deepened my love of beauty in a really profound way.

What is unique about the service that Seattle Art Source offers?

We are a nimble operation and can adapt according to what our clients need. I love the side by side process of what we do for most people; it’s really a walk through the art buying process together. From that first conversation to the final framing and installation, we take the mystery and running around off our clients’ plate. That being said, I also ADORE my designers who come back over and over again with a succinct list of what they need. Knowing that we can be a resource for those final touches is really gratifying.

What is your favorite thing about doing what you do?

The people! I am super relational and can talk to clients all day long about their projects. I also LOVE the connection with the artists (who are my clients as well) and getting to ride tandem alongside their creative endeavors.

How do you decide what artists to add to your roster?

When I start working with an artist, I always view it as a long-term relationship in the making. I am careful about the time and investment that it takes to bring a new name to the collection, promote their work and help them reach a larger client base than they could on their own. The art itself has to bring something new and fresh to the table and the artist needs to be a good fit philosophically.

People ask: “Should the art on my walls match my color scheme?”, or “Should I buy art to match my couch?”

A special thanks to this month’s guest contributor – artist Sharon Habib. You can find Sharon’s work here, or on the Seattle Art Source gallery page.

My answer to that has always been….buy the art that you love. Chances are if you’ve furnished your home with things you love, they all fit together anyway. Of course one can enhance the look and feel of a room with an art piece that fits the color palette – there’s no hard and fast rule. But one shouldn’t NOT buy a piece because the colors don’t match. 

Is there a correct way to hang a painting above my sofa?

There are a couple rules of thumb to keep in mind when putting art above a sofa or other piece of furniture. Best practices suggest a 6″-10″ space between the top of your sofa (think: where the highest part of the back cushions hit) and the bottom of the art. And, you don’t want to art to extend beyond the width of your furniture item. Nestling your art around 2/3 to 3/4 the width of the furniture object below it creates a pleasing sense of proportion.

How do I know what type of art I like?

Growing a palette for art is just like developing a taste for anything else wonderful in life. It takes exposure and thought. How do you know what kind of coffee you like? Probably because you drink it every day and over time you have come to appreciate certain qualities about specific varietals. It’s not that any specific region of coffee bean is inherently better, it’s more that your palette has come to value particular traits over others. If you want to know what art you like, take regular “tastes” until you start to see a common thread in what draws your eye in. Thoughtfully partake and your palette will grow and deepen.

To frame, or not to frame

Short Answer: Frame It!

Even a simple off-the-shelf frame can elevate an inexpensive piece of art. But framing can do so much more, offering your art structure, protection and giving a visual delineation – the right frame helps your art piece really ‘pop’ off its mounting wall.

We love our framers and our art is better for it!  

What is your opinion on hanging art in bathrooms?

Answer: DO IT! We spend a lot of time in our bathrooms and they deserve an art moment just as much as any other room.

Something to keep in mind: lots of humidity is not kind to works on paper. Avoid hanging anything under glass in a high-traffic bathroom.

What tips do you have for deciding on the right size art piece for a given space?

A couple of things to keep in mind when deciding on the right size of art for a space are:

1) The relationship to furnishings. Generally, we don’t want our art to extend beyond the boundaries of our furnishings so that the furniture helps anchor the art.

2) The approach. A large, open surrounding space or long approach lends itself to larger pieces, while smaller makes sense if we are walking by the art in close proximity.

The list could go on, but these are two good starting rules of thumb. 

Which artist, living or not, would you most want to have dinner with and why? 

I started buying (nay, collecting) children’s books way before I ever had children of my own. I love the intersection of storytelling and illustration and it’s a good thing because any parent will tell you that you get to read the dang things 1 million times over their lifespan. Two of my favorites would be A.A. Milne (especially his poetry) and Mo Willems. I would have dinner, tea, beer anytime with either of these gentlemen (Call me, Mo! ūüôā )

Where do you see Seattle Art Source in five years?

My vision for Seattle Art Source is deeply connected to the growing list of satisfied customers that we have had the privilege of working with. If we keep working diligently and putting our clients first, then I think we will continue along this trajectory.

What is something that inspired you during recent travels that you incorporated into your SAS work?

I traveled to Berlin this summer and found the public art to be very inspiring. There is a deep civic appreciation for art and we saw historically significant elements that have been painstakingly preserved. From large public murals created as propaganda pieces in the east of the city to open air concerts, there was a level of engagement and enjoyment that was really remarkable. 

What’s new-to-you art medium that has you feeling excited this year?

Seattle Art Source artist, Shaun Heslop, has introduced me to microcement which is totally new to me. It is full of texture, carries pigment beautifully and I am looking forward to seeing Shaun take this medium to new places.

Where is SAS located? Tell us about your shop setup.

We have a brick and mortar location in the Georgetown neighborhood of¬†south Seattle and I love being here. It’s a fun and funky hood that feels old school Seattle with great eats and drinks within walking distance. Bonus: there is top notch design/interiors shopping in the hood and my neighbors¬†Kirk¬†Albert¬†and¬†Susan Wheeler¬†are a treasure trove.¬†¬†I have a work roommate that¬†I share the¬†showroom with which means we¬†have lots of COUCHES to choose from when we meet with clients. Thank you¬†Adorn¬†for being such a great roomie!¬†We don’t have retail hours so it’s best for clients to make an appointment but we love hosting so come and sit on couches with us.

This is your chance to ask us anything you want! Submit a question via email (hello@seattleartsource.com) or IG (@seattleartsource) and we may feature it here!