Monday, January 17, 2011


When I was a Music/Art major in college, I visited a home with the most amazing collection of original art work. The home inspired me because the people who lived there were not wealthy by any means. In fact, you could probably call them 'starving artists.'

Nevertheless, they had an amazing collection that included paintings by well-known regional artists as well as unsigned paintings found at tag sales.

It was a collection that they had been working on for many years and it was a collection they acquired passionately. And it showed. Their house breathed a wonderful sense of vitality because of it.

My collection of paintings has been greatly inspired by them. Here are a few of my favorites.

18 x 14

I bought this Eric Jacobsen painting, unframed, at a fundraiser for our local art gallery. Months later, I happened to find an antique frame that fit it perfectly (see this post). The painting in the first photo was also purchased at the same fundraiser, and is by the same artist. I found an antique frame ($15) that happened to fit it as well.

15 x 18

This still life was purchased at Matthews Gallery in Portland. I had taken the owner a few paintings for him to appraise, and ended up trading them for this piece.

18 x 23

This piece is a reproduction of the The Torn Hat by Thomas Sully. It's signed by a well-known Seattle artist. I purchased it for $60. I found an old wood frame for $20 and had it cut down to fit the piece for another $20.

28 x 15

This is one of my favorite pieces. I love the companionship of the horses. It was a rare find in that the original frame was in pristine condition. I paid $120. Margaret and Graham have taken a liking to this one too!

9 x 13

13 x 9

A few years ago, an artist friend of mine allowed me to raid her seconds bin in her art studio. This pair of landscapes paired nicely with these antique Victorian frames ($45 each).

26 x 19

This piece is one of the largest pieces I've acquired. The frame drew me in as it's a beautiful chunky gold frame with clean lines and a wide profile. I knew the frame alone was worth the cost of the painting - $225.

17 x 22

I did a post on her here. I found this portrait unframed for $44. When I got home, I was thrilled that she happened to fit into this antique floral frame I had picked up several months prior ($20). My friend Steve described the frame poignantly as a beautiful 'dress' for her.

13 x 11

This is done by a local artist, Cathleen Rehfeld. Cathleen's work lovingly captures the essence of the landscape in our region. I bought it unframed and paired it with an antique frame I had cut down to size by a frame restorationist for $100.

16 x 13

This lone oak is by the same artist. I had this frame cut down as well.

As you can see, I'm especially drawn to landscapes and portraits. And I love finding beautiful antique paintings, but I also collect new art that offers that classic Hudson Valley School aesthetic.

I look forward to continuing to grow our collection. The vibrancy of the art is one of the reasons I'm so drawn to having white walls in our home. I love the way the neutral wall contrasts with the brilliance of the gold frames and the lovely imagery of the paintings.


  1. Your art collection is beautiful and proof that original art does not have to be expensive. I have a few paintings - none of them costly - and love them!

  2. That's a lovely collection you have. Our home is nothing but a mish mosh of commercially created items with no personality. I'll have to work on that.


  3. Trina,
    These are lovely and all work beautifully together. I'm a strong advocate of having original art and it can be obtained on almost any budget. Original art possesses a little bit of the artist's soul and, as a result, has a "life" that a print can't have. Auctions are also a great place to great prices on original artwork and, if you educate yourself on local artists, you can even get huge bargains on original artwork.

    It's not only a nice collection you've started for yourself, they're heirlooms that can be passed down through generations.

  4. Trina,
    What a lovely collection! Thank you for sharing it. It's nice to see it all in one post. I don't know which I like best, though I'm leaning toward the last two by Cathleen Rehfeld. Very pretty. I've been thinking about doing a post on our eclectic artwork collection, which includes paintings by my mother and our niece, and pastel drawings I've done. I like that your collection has a common theme in that the frames are in the same color family. It makes for cohesive look. Well done.

  5. Beautiful and striking. My fave thing, art. I have more than I have walls!

  6. love the art, and as you know I love your antique frames too! I'm still so grateful that you gave me the idea to marry antique frames with paintings by having the frames cut down to fit! thank you for that gift! in fact have one I need to take to the gallery now!
    as with art I don't think antiques need to be "precious" or expensive to be wonderful. I think so many people miss out because they think they can't afford an antique or an original piece of art. nothing like their soulfulness to make a house feel like a home.


  7. Trina,
    It is so nice to be greeted by one of your posts on my Monday morning! I love your art collection, I think it is one of my favorite things in your house. It brings each room to life (as do all of your beautiful flowers.)

  8. It makes me so happy when I see people buy real paintings made by real individuals. You've got some lovely paintings!

    I would want to raid that particular seconds bin. Is that artist online anywhere?

  9. Thanks for sharing! Love, love the landscapes. I think I need to start collecting some for my home!

  10. So rad! I always find myself leaning toward landscape shots (probably b/c I would love to escape right into most of them :)) Happy Monday! xoCatxo

  11. Loovely taste in pictures, especially the plein air, and you selection of frames is right on!

  12. Wowie, what a beautiful collection! Your kids are going to grow up with such an appreciation for art of all kinds.

    If you ever want to experience the Hudson Valley School "first hand," let me know! Olana, the home of Frederick Church, was a client of mine for a few years, and I live not far from both that home and Thomas Cole's house. We rent out our farmhouse and would be happy to accomodate you!

  13. How wonderful to have such beautiful paintings. The fact that you didn't have to re-mortgage the house makes them that more special.

  14. So many gorgeous that you paired them with just the perfect frame!!

  15. I love that you know each piece intimately. So many people collect just to have a collection. I enjoyed seeing yours - thanks for sharing it.

  16. Hi Trina,
    What beautiful paintings and I love that they (or most of them) are done by local artists and of local scenery. It's amazing that you were able to find so many antique frames to fit them! Paying the price to have them cut down to fit is well worth it...both paintings and frames compliment each other. Just beautiful. I'm hoping one day I'll come across some paintings depicting our rural Kansas scenery...I'm sure I will in time. Enjoy your art...and that beautiful baby of yours.
    Maura :)

  17. You have a beautiful collection of artwork. I am also drawn to landscape paintings, as well as, still lifes of natural things. I love your choice of frames, too. I would love to see each piece in its place in your home. Carla

  18. Thank you for the great and informative post. I know next to nothing about art except that my dad has a love for paintings and photography. From your link I visited the Mathews Gallery and realized that I could really love to learn more and maybe even collect. Without your post I don't know I'd have done that. Thank you for the mind-broadening!

  19. Such a beautiful collection, Trina! My guess is that this post means that things have settled down a bit with the babies and you are feeling better? We need an update! ;)



  20. Your art collection is wonderful! I live by the quote: "Live with Art. It is good for you." I feel so blessed every day to live in a community surrounded by artist. Thank you for sharing! xo Samantha

  21. I love the ones picked out of your friend's seconds bin. If she has anymore I would love to purchase some.

  22. Trina,

    you have an amazing eye and taste...the images here are beyond any compliments. Your house is so looks like a fairy tale home.

    Best of everything for you and your family,


  23. Thanks for a new way to think.

    I've got old paintings & old frames & I'm not ACTIVELY working my collection the way you are.
    Yet, I actively add pieces. Some are in the closet.

    This will be fun, trying to make something of it by the end of the year.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  24. real art. there is nothing like the life of an oil painting!
    - {darlene}

  25. We, too, are drawn to art. When we first married ten years ago, we decided to buy art on our road trips and vacations in lieu of traditional souvenirs. It has turned out to be a wonderful tradition and investment. The art around us reminds us of our beginning, middle, and present. I loved this post. Maybe I'll do one of my own--thanks for the inspiration! And congratulations on such a great post while nurturing newborn twins!

  26. Trina, I love all the art pieces you have shown since I've been following your blog. I am very fond of miniature landscapes the most, as they are so versatile in a small home with limited good walls! You have inspired me to look for good antique frames. Our little collection of paintings is off to a good start but I want to find more vintage and affordable options than what I've been buying. No good antiques here but I always hunt when we are travelling...

    So sweet that M and G like the horses...awwww! xo Terri

  27. Your collection is wonderful. It will be fun to see the additions you make to it over time. I hope you have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  28. So happy to see people treasure the value of art, both for traditions' sake and also for the unique and exquisite atmmosphere it can add to a home. Thank you for sharing!

  29. Those are all just beautiful. I'm also drawn to those light filled landscapes & have almost bought several, but ended up walking away. We are soon moving to a new house & I think that it will be my reason to start a collection.

  30. You have a beautiful collection.

  31. Trina, I love the collection of beautiful paintings you have put together. And, the idea of cutting a larger frame down to size for another smaller one is brilliant!

  32. Trina ~ what a beautiful collection. They all evoke some type of emotion when you look at them, don't they? The frames are truly stunning, too. :)

    xoxo laurie

  33. You have some beautiful pieces in your collection and I can easily see the style/colour/feel you're drawn to. I once had a boss with the most amazing art collection in her living room that went from wall to wall and ceiling to floor. I've never seen anything like it and it really made an impact on me. :)

  34. What beautiful pantings!!! And what a wonderful collection!

  35. Thank you for sharing your beautiful paintings. They are all beautiful - my favorite is The Torn Hat.

    It so exciting to find a painting that speaks to you.

  36. Love your art collection Trina. It's perfectly suited for your beautiful home. I was thrilled to see you had done another post. It's like getting a gift when I turn on the computer. Kisses to those angels!

  37. I just discovered your blog & loved it. I'm just new into blogging & have just finished off my own
    I had a lot of fun putting it together. I would love your feedback on it.

  38. Just discovered your blog and love this post. I have to re-read as I take another look at where I could add a few art pieces to my living space.

  39. This collection is incredibly beautiful. I seems people don't focus so much are the art around their house now and just fill it with more stuff. You have quite the eye for making your art breathe in a refreshing. I have to agree...I love the Torn hat.

    Question...I tried clicking on one of the "You might also like" links...Making Art...but it isn't working for it just my computer?

  40. Beautiful art collection Trina! I also love the idea of buying vintage frames, they not only look great paired with traditional artwork but being an artist myself, I also like to use them on contemporary pieces.
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful collection.

  41. Great art collection and round up! Just loved this post, and so happy to have discovered your blog today!

  42. Your collection of art is lovely. My husband and I have a small collection of originals and some prints that we just love. I love the horses, I can see why the babies do to! Have a wonderful week!

  43. Amazing collection...thanks so much for the inspiration today!

  44. trina... these are so wonderful.. i love all paintings and often find them coming home with me...

    hope you are doing great... xx

  45. Great post and beautiful collection. The first time I saw your blog I was drawn to it because of one of your paintings. There really is nothing like authentic works of art to make give a home personality.

  46. Trina,
    You have wonderful taste with so many things. Thanks for your little tidbits on each piece. Your frames are perfect!
    Oh this makes me want to paint so bad! Maybe I'll set up my easel this weekend if there is good light...and time.
    The children look like they are happy & healthy! You and hubby get plenty of rest now. Just wait till summer...oh my gosh it will be so fun to have everyone outside in the sunshine!
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Xo Lisa

  47. Such a lovely dose of pretty Trina...thank you! Your art collection is so beautiful. I'm sure Graham and Margaret will have favorites...and I just bet the Horses will be in the top ten.
    xo J~

  48. i really enjoy your collection of art.
    can only guess how much you enjoy it yourself.
    what a great eye for quiet and charming selections.

  49. It is so nice to see your post featuring art and landscape plain air works. Please come and take a look at my site. I would like to share a bit of art with you as well.

  50. Oh yes, no home decor is complete without an artwork to add color and an artist's touch.


Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Kind regards, Catherine

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