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Creating Space for a Growing Art Collection – Yes, there is Always Room for More
Seventh Musing

by Ms. Terious

Let’s take an imaginary trip today with our new friend, Ariel, as she begins planning the decoration of her new condo. She starts with a lovely purple velvet loveseat and a round antique (1920’s) leather top end table that was given to her by her favorite grandmother. A friend brings her a lovely bouquet of sunflowers as a housewarming gift and they promptly find a home inside an already purchased vase which Ariel always thought looked like a very expensive burnished copper container. Her first original art acquisition is found at  The Smith Gallery, and upon seeing it for the first time she immediately knows it would be perfect in her new living space.

Ariel loves her home, it is vibrant and at the same time serenely welcoming. With her first original art purchase, her love for art takes hold and she wants to have something more for her space. As she contemplates any additions, she considers what it is she loves to surround herself with in her daily life and she realizes it is flowers. On a return visit to her now favorite gallery, she spots a gorgeous painting of sunflowers and it only takes minutes for her to decide that this painting could easily be added to her wall and would complement her original painting.

One night as she is enjoying a glass of chardonnay, she thinks about a recent article she has read about using Feng Shui while hanging a wall of art. Ah, balance, yes that is what she needs and she makes the decision to purchase another floral painting to add to her collection and the lovely African padauk wood side table that she noticed on an earlier gallery visit. Balance is achieved!

Friends applauded her gorgeous choices and she feels emboldened and confident to add a few more things because, well as we all find out sooner or later, art is a lifetime story of feeding your soul. An exquisite small painting of an iris is added to her collection and it complements the purple hues of the loveseat. She also finds a lovely small mixed media drawing that reminds her of her grandmother’s love of fashion and shopping. and what could be a better tribute than to place it on her grandmother’s table. Ariel now knows that small paintings can easily be displayed on easels and provide dimension to a living space when added to tables or even window ledges.

The room is now complete! Well, it was complete until Ariel went to a summer arts and craft festival and saw the red and yellow hand painted and crafted coffee table. Could something so bold and trendy work in her space? She walks around the festival for a bit and then she remembers something else she has learned; balance can be achieved in many different ways, not just by balancing various colors on your wall or creating symmetry, but also by balancing bright energetic colors and styles with calmer color palettes in your furnishings. The artsy coffee table went home with Ariel.

As she was driving home, she remembered seeing three small wooden sculptures that had been displayed at The Smith Gallery and knew that they would look perfect on the new coffee table. She made a mental note to check them out again and when she did was thrilled to learn that they had been created by the same artist who had made the African padauk wood table she had purchased earlier. A few art books Ariel is reading become the perfect perch for her new sculptures and adds more interest to this already delightful space.

Ariel is so pleased with her newly found treasures and how easily she could blend them with things she already owned and loved. Her new mantra is ‘color, texture, expression, balance, bold.’ Her confidence in her choices has led her forward to a new appreciation of just how easily she can give voice to her soul in creating her own special setting that exemplifies who she is and what she loves.

Another much shorter example of discovering more room for art is shown here in a small corner where an unnamed writer sits to create articles involving the arts.

It is a tiny space but there is a need for it to feel inviting and conducive to creativity. Originally the wall only contained two photographs but along the way the writer saw a painting of a muse and as this sighting was so serendipitous, she knew it was very important to add it to the wall with the two photographs. It was originally hung low so the muse could be in conversation with the writer. But one day on her travels, the writer ended up at The Smith Gallery and realized that there was a painting she must have; a painting of her city but seen from a very different perspective than is usually shown in paintings of Harrisburg. Hmmm, a different perspective; sometimes that is something a writer needs and maybe she could use this to remember that it’s a good thing to be open to different perspectives. But, where could this painting go? With a little thought it was determined that there could be three artworks on one wall and the city view could have its own wall. The muse now looks out at the city and the writer can engage both pieces in her creative endeavors.

Are Ariel and the writer finished with their creative and artistic journeys in their living spaces? I believe not as art expands people to see more, to feel more, to get in touch with their own inner muse. And remember – there is always room for more art!

Art used for these stories: “Catharsis Suns” oil by Linda Williard. “More Sunflowers” and “Untitled Flowers” acrylics by Sten. “Iris” oil by Susan K Getty, “Department Store Window” mixed media by Stuart Leask. Africa padauk wood table with etching and 3 Guardian Angel sculptures by Karen Morton. Hand crafted art table, artist unknown. “Behold What the Muse Imparts” mixed media by Arlene Figueora. “View from the B’nai Brith Apartments” oil on paper by Barbara Passeri-Warfel.

Please visit the The Smith Gallery to view more art by these artists and many other talented artists and view our ArtTalks videos for conversations with artists.


The Tenth Muse was created to give inspiration, information and confidence to the reader.

This publication celebrates The Tenth Muse that is alive in all of us! She gives us the confidence to embrace going beyond the nine original muses.

Ms. Terious explores many subjects related to art and framing that can be used in the real world as you explore your own personal tastes and experiences without boundaries.

See all Tenth Muse articles