How to buy original art for your real home with your real budget.
Johannes Vermeer was a Dutch painter during Holland's Golden Age, in the seventeenth century. His paintings showed a peaceful world that Vermeer himself never lived in, as the father of eleven children. Art historians often speculate that his work reflected the quiet the artist may have longed for. He specialized in domestic, middle class scenes of every day life, such as The Milkmaid, pictured below, although Girl with a Pearl Earring (above) is perhaps his most famous piece thanks to a Scarlett Johansson movie and a novel by Tracy Chevalier -- not to take credit away from the stunning original work itself.
It's easy to see why Vermeer is so well loved. The scenes of domesticity, while not exactly relatable to modern every day life, nevertheless reflect a sense of tranquility and home that speaks to a lot of people, and the vibrancy of his palette is very attractive all on its own.
So, assuming that you don't have $30.1 million to spend (which was the sale price of Vermeer's Young Woman Seated at the Virginals in 2004) on an actual Vermeer, and you want an original pieces of art, here are a few contemporary artists that might awaken the Vermeer love in you.
The quality of light in these gorgeous photographs by Helena Moore.
Much like the work of Vermeer himself, the photography of Helena Moore celebrates the beauty in the every day - the way the light falls through a window or the drape of a piece of clothing thrown over a piece of furniture.
Many of Moore's photographs are self portraits, so if you loved the highly-featured human figure in Vermeer's work, she's got you covered there, too.
Moore's work runs from $-- to $--. To purchase, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
These incredible portraits by Jennifer Anderson.
These stunning portraits by Jennifer Anderson capture the same quality of the human spirit as Vermeer's work, and the portrait below bears such a compositional resemblance to Girl with a Pearl Earring that I wonder if it wasn't inspired by the Vermeer masterpiece!
While the realism of these portraits is highly classical, the gestural quality of the brushwork, 'unfinished' compositions, and the empty surface that serves as the backdrop lend a decidedly contemporary feel to Anderson's work.
Anderson says that her work attempts to create a dialogue between viewer and subject using the lone figure, as opposed to group scenes, and ambiguous backgrounds.
A figure becomes timeless when their environment is removed. -Jennifer Anderson
Prints of Anderson's paintings may be purchased on her website starting at $32.
The vibrancy of color in these abstracts by yours truly.
Of course, Vermeer never worked in the abstract, but I think that the palette in these abstract works is nevertheless reminiscent of the vibrant oil palette of the master.
Fioritura is acrylic on canvas, 30"x40", and is available here for $2500.
Sciolta is oil on canvas, 24"x48. It exemplifies the incredible blues in Vermeer's work, and is available here for $2500.
Discendente is acrylic and charcoal on a cradled wood panel, which means it's a flat board with a wood frame on the back which protects it from cracking or warping over time. It's 11"x14" and available for $375 here.
So, whether you love the figurative element of Vermeer's work, the tranquility, or the gorgeous colors, I hope you've found something here to satisfy your artistic desires.
Elizabeth Shanahan is the artist owner behind Shanahan Fine Art, sharing the art making process and demystifying the art world. Shanahan lives in North Carolina with her husband and their two year old daughter, a quivering spotted cattle dog, and a chronically disgruntled orange cat.
Ongoing: View my work hanging in Baked Well in Matthews, NC
Coming soon... New collection release! Portami al Duomo will be released sometime in the next month. Stay tuned, or sign up for my mailing list for updates.
Starting November 4th: View my work at Camino Bakery in Downtown Winston Salem. Reception to be announced for early December.