Because T and I are such different people (he is more left-brained and I am more right-brained) I usually try to bring him more into my world so he is able to explore his creativity and let loose a little. Plus it was nice doing things together and learning as a couple!
A few months ago, I signed us up on a painting class at Inglis Academy. I had a Groupon voucher so it was pretty affordable... but we didn't expect it to be also so much fun!
Peter (Inglis) was a great instructor who taught us the history and basics of art plus some techniques and methods to expand our repertoire. As a perfectionist, I tend to be someone who likes to take my time so it usually takes me a while to complete a project. Peter taught us that art doesn't have to be perfect, and is all about how you feel and how everything flows and connects. Plus the class only ran for 4 hours so there was no way this would be achieved within a short time frame!
Such a great class, I learnt to let loose and T learnt that he can paint!
I definitely encourage everyone to get out of their comfort zone once in a while, and try something new because you never know what you would learn in the process!
If you've read my previous post, you would have know that I took forever to complete this project. Whilst this gallery wall is far from perfect, I think it brightens the home and it brings me (and T) so much joy everyday. Hopefully through the below tips and tricks you will also feel empowered to complete a gallery wall that you will love on your own.
It's all in the mix, and not the match
As with fashion (and many things in life), the best outcomes are not when you have the best of everything but how you make the most of what you've got. Always go for a combination of frames and images, some cheap and some higher-end and of different styles / eras. One of the frames only costed $5 from Salvos, and one if the images is postcard from NY that I sent to myself whilst on holidays (yes, I am one of those people!). I also painted one of the images so it doesn't look too 'perfect' plus I was able to choose the colour scheme that I wanted - blue and yellow / orange to brighten up the room. Having a combination of different pictures not only means that you have something unique that is different from everyone else, but also ensures that your style never dates.
Don't be afraid to customise
I was unable to find frames that fitted the bill for my painting (mostly because I painted on the only canvas I could find at that time and was surprised that it didn't turn out to be shit) and postcard. So I found a frame maker to customise the frames to not only fit the images, but also mix with everything else that I've got. Plus they were really affordable! I literally brought everything I had to the store when I was ready to have the frames made (the seller thought I was a crazy person) but it turned out to be the right choice because not only did the frames mix with the pictures well - they also looked great with everything else.
Set the intention
For T and I, the gallery wall is a reflection of who we are and what we love. Some pictures are from trips overseas, there's a wedding photo, a quote from Dr. Seuss that we absolutely adore, and some other random things. We don't take ourselves too seriously, so the gallery wall showcases our more relaxed side - and we want the gallery wall to make us feel happy when we are at home.
Good things take time
Although taking 3 years to complete something is a bit excessive, I do think that sometimes the best things in life take time. As you grow, you'll learn more and more about yourself - and you will discover hidden gems that you didn't know exist. The vintage painting on the top left, for example, was a recent discovery (which was not even that expensive!) which pulled the entire gallery wall together.
Measure, measure again and measure what you measured.
I don't need to tell you how important it is to measure everything! Arrange all your frames on the floor, then cut out paper to the shape of the frames and arrange them on the wall. Measure to ensure the width is correct, as well as the height (as a guide, the middle of gallery wall should be about 150cm off the floor). Get one of those Spirit Level things to ensure everything is straight. Measure again. You don't want to regret this.
Get your photos professionally printed
I used Image Science, an Australian printing services provider to print out my photos. I wanted high quality, affordable photos printed on thick paper, and they delivered. As I first time user, I was unsure of whether my images were correctly set up for printing - but they checked the quality of my submission and provided some feedback to improve the printing results. They print for galleries and have a range of paper options to choose from which they can send to you for $10, but is redeemable when an order is made.
There is no right or wrong way to do this - sometimes you gotta go with your gut and what makes you smile. Also, if shit happens I've been told that Bunnings sell a sealer that lets you easily fix holes caused by nails.
So here you go, my top tips! Hopefully that makes it easier and inspires you to implement one for yourself.
Gallery wall - something that sounds achievable in principle but is a pain in the ass to implement.
My 'gallery wall' journey started three years ago after I purchased a few frames for our home. The wall above our sofa was bare, so I wanted to make it more interesting by showcasing our wedding photos and other pictures from our travels. At that time, I didn't really know what I wanted but had a few frames / photos in mind.
Slowly, our collection of frames grew.. but it was a mess..
The huge frame that I purchased from Country Road fitted well with everything else scale-wise however it was so difficult to find a print that would match. As you can see the pink flowers above just looked horrible!
A few things didn't quite work here:
So we took some time off, I visited art galleries and looked at Pinterest for some inspiration, and found an amazing antique store that sold an artwork (which is surprisingly extremely affordable) that would be the perfect piece for the gallery wall! I also added a painting I made to include the colours I wanted to bring some vibrance to the collection.
A few weeks ago, the frames looked like this:
Whilst it looks a lot better than it used to be, it is not exactly complete. I needed the painting to be framed and I didn't want the anchor piece to be a photo of us kissing. #pda
I had the artwork (& postcard) framed and laid on the tile floor (so the colours would be closer to white). Thank goodness a friend pointed out that the naked dancers were probably a little too provocative for my living room, so that needed to be replaced. We also outlined the shape of the frames and taped them on the wall for a week. Husband was not impressed.
It looked okay, but I still felt like something was missing and I thought of something I saw a few months ago at a furniture store called Orient House. It was a 'butterfly' frame that would be perfect for the blank spot above..
And voila.. this is (almost) finally done! I still need to have some photos professionally printed but the images are pretty much set in stone (for now)
What do you guys think? Do you like it? Learnings & tips to come through on the next post..
For the longest time, I've been wanting to start a blog.
But I procrastinated because I was too busy with work.
Then I quit my job, read Big Magic* but still procrastinated because I wasn't feeling particularly creative or 'inspired'.
But without the stress of needing to start a blog, I realised that I was free and was pretty much doing all those things that I enjoyed doing anyways.
Then, magically my desire to start a blog and document my passion projects came back.
I don't know if this will lead anywhere, or if it will die down in a few months.
And I am okay with that.
* Big Magic is a highly popular book written about creativity by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was a gift from my youngest brother received a few years ago.