Monday, August 29, 2016

The quirky charm of vintage portraits

Well, I’m done.

This morning before I left for my yoga class--I finished shooting nails into the very last shelf and now it’s official; my matching bookshelves are finally done!
(Well almost, I still have some touch up paint but no more construction for now)
I’ll have some pictures to share soon but today I decided to take a break and do something I haven’t done in a while...
grab my nice camera, take some pictures and do a fun post on a topic I love.

I've always had a thing for quirky, old portraits of interesting--even peculiar-- looking people. And everywhere I go I keep an eye out for them because I like the charm they inject into an otherwise serious space.

Especially when you put them next to a modern or industrial piece.

I found my latest oil portrait in a thrift store right under a pile of cheap frames and it was only a few bucks too.

(VERY rare for around here)

I recently had it in my upstairs bathroom, similar to this one:
Have you ever considered putting an oil portrait in your bathroom?
Well after several months I noticed some signs of water spots on the canvas, and even though I paid a whole $8.00 for my thrift store buddy, yesterday I moved him to my kitchen nook wall.

Do you have a gallery wall in your house?
Whenever I add something new to it I end up changing everything around. Sigh. It always takes longer than I think.
Here it is next to my giant (32 inch tall) metal letter E and my modern graphic print.

If you're like me and you like the idea of having a stodgy looking character from the past hanging on your wall, only you don't know how to begin, it's pretty simple.
OneKingsLane recently gave some design ideas that are helpful.
You can go bold with a large statement portrait (pricey though)--and in this case--that's all you need:

In my opinion, the reason it works so well in this room is because of the casual, airy vibe. And that striped animal rug---I want one!

I love this serious looking woman next to all the lush textiles and bold graphic print.
One stodgy man+lots of black and leather
=ultra cool, modern vibe.
Doesn't this lone vintage man add a retro, artistic feel to this bedroom? 

Or ,you can integrate your vintage portrait into a gallery wall like I did. 
Here's an idea I love, clustering similar themed pictures together--in this case ocean landscapes-- creates a cohesive look but that also takes more time and patience as you build your a collection.

Before I go here's a few portrait sources you might check out:

  • If you like portraits but are interested in a female, here's one source I found on Pinterest.
  • Believe it or not I haven't shopped for art on Ebay yet. But Emily Hendersen wrote THIS guide to buying art on Etsy you might find helpful.
  • The talented Emily Clark shared her favorite source for Lady portraits: HERE>

But in the meantime, when you're traveling through beautiful areas, don't forget to stop at random thrift might get lucky.

What are your favorite sources for art ?


I'm sharing this post with theses friends:


Van@Luxuria said...

I've never thought to put paintings of this nature in my home. I've always thought they only look good in large, stately homes. But you have certainly changed my view on that Leslie. How you have styled your finds look fabulous xx

Simply LKJ said...

Love the mix of old and new. Of course my hubby would ask, "who the heck is that person?" LOL

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I love your gallery wall, Leslie! I love old portraits, but only have one...a 40's era is hanging in our gallery wall in our living room. I would love to find more!

Karen said...

Your wall gallery looks fabulous. I love the vintage girl painting. I have a couple of vintage paintings but for a long time have longed for a vintage portrait of a military man. Since my day job interferes with thrift store shopping, I'll just have to be patient. :-) I did find my daughter-in-law a great "quirky" looking painting of a man from the 15th century on ebay for not too much money.

Katie Mansfield said...

I adore old oil paintings. Your finds are amazing. Your pictures are wonderful.

La Contessa said...

WELL,I would like to COLLECT OLD PORTRAITS and fill MY KITCHEN...........I have PRINTS at the moment!I have very tall ceilings..........with YELLOW WALLLS!IT would be FABULOUS!My STEP Mother collects OLD portraits of MEN ONLY!I have a few in the bedrooms........that are GOODY ONES!
I found a few back EAST........see my blog post TODAY!But to ship them back HOME would make the GOOD price like OUR PRICES HERE!

Blondie's Journal said...

I totally get you on this, Leslie. I waned a vintage floral for my den and found the perfect one on eBay. Many of these people shop estate sales and do the legwork.

Love what you've chosen...your home is coming along so well!


Joan said...

Love the rooms!

Carla from The River said...

I do have a few oil paintings I found at thrift shops. One of my favorites that I have is an Autumn scene, with a swing and the leaves are falling gently.
I like what you have created here. Thank you for sharing.

michele said...

love the ideas you share here. your gallery wall looks awesome. last summer you may remember i scored an incredible oil of a young girl in the 20s. i bought it from her niece who was so happy i would give it a good home. i haven't found the right spot yet...truth be told, i have not hung very much on the walls yet STILL! thanks for the nudge.xox

Sarah said...

I've never thought about statement portraits, but I love it! '-)

Calypso In The Country said...

I love when people mix old pieces with new ones. These are some beautiful examples!

cindy hattersley design said...

Leslie you always inspire me. We have two (actually really valuable) portraits that we inherited from Steve's family. I have always loved antiqu portraits of children, animals, and young adults, but have always found the adults kind of creepy. You have inspired me to use them in a different way.

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