Buying art on a budget with @around.robyn
To mark the drop of our Christmas Market, Robyn Donaldson aka @around.robyn brings us some special Under £500 selects.
“With an incredible range on work under £500, there’s something there to suit every budget“Robyn Donaldson
It’s getting Winter-y and Christmas is just around the corner. In case you missed it, over the coming weeks, our Christmas Market will highlight some of our best independent galleries and awesome art.
To celebrate, we turned to Interior’s enthusiast, author and Instagrammer Robyn Donaldson aka @around.robyn for some influencer-worthy tips for festive shopping on a budget and her carefully selected with Marketplace finds.
Scroll on to check out her chosen artworks below to do a bit of artwork treasure-hunting yourself. Over to you Robyn!
“When Affordable Art Fair asked if I wanted to do a guest blog post for them, I was like ‘sign me up, I am there. Can I do a trolley dash?’. Full disclaimer: I didn’t get an actual trolley dash but I did get a digital version via a whistle stop tour of their amazing Christmas Market.
Whether you want to spruce things up before the family descend in December, are looking for inspiration for gifts or simply like exploring amazing contemporary art – there are tricks to finding work to suit any budget. You can reuse frames, search out pieces at flea markets and charity shops, wait for artists to put up pieces with slight imperfections (happens more than you’d imagine) but if that all sounds like too much effort and you want accessible art this minute then the Affordable Art Fair is the place for you.
I went to my first fair in Hampstead about eight years ago and I’ve seldom missed one since – even if you don’t buy anything you get so much inspiration and pick up tips on the best new galleries from all across the UK. But if you’re not based in London (or one of the many other cities that host the fair), or it’s one of the 315 days a year that there’s not one on – you need to head over to their website as there’s a beautifully curated range of pieces from all of their partner galleries.
With an incredible range of work under £500, there’s something there to suit every budget – whether a gaggle of you are splashing out for someone special’s big birthday or anniversary or you just want a few bits to overhaul your home without breaking the bank. I pulled together five of my favourite artworks under £500 from this year’s Christmas Market in the hope Santa gets the memo and that one, or ideally all, make their way down my chimney this year…
If you want your art seriously surrealist
Are your interiors playful? Do you like people to lean into the artwork and have a think about what it all means? Do you like to keep things surreal and a bit mind-bending. Well, Maxine Gregson is the artist for you.
Expect collages with a vintage feel – think the Jetsons meet Dali. They’re expressive, richly saturated and make a great statement whether hung in a pair or as part of a resplendent group set up. Perfect for a mid-century interior, the lively colours compliment teaks, creams and let’s say, a wall painted in Downpipe.
Yes, I’m basically reading out the hipster handbook for décor and this piece should be in the index.
For those with a minimalist mindset
I love Anime particularly, though all the works of Gillian Garnica are absolutely gorgeous. Her intricate etchings are fluid and expressive and the monochrome palette has enough movement to add interest, ideal for a stripped back interior and tonal décor. Use one alone as a statement piece or group the work for a little visual poetry. Luckily you could do the whole hallway as Gillian’s collection is vast and impressively varied considering she’s working in only black and white.
If you, or the person you’re buying for, loves large Parisian apartments, parquet floors and a palette of mainly taupe, cream and greige, this is going to be exactly the right piece of art to pick.
Live your floral fantasy
Have you, say, just bought a Victorian terrace* and want to create a feel that speaks to its heritage without actually making it feel like a National Trust property? Agent X’s Elizabeth II in robust florals is the absolute perfect thing for you.
It screams grandeur but the blousy flowers and queen’s cameo are subverted into a glorious mashup that creates a piece that screams ‘I’m a classic for the modern day’. Pop it up in a hallway, preferably against a William Morris wallpaper to show that you mean business when it comes to restoring a property but giving it a little modern day pizazz.
*me, I just did that.
Your one stop shop for drama
So, you want your art big, bold and taking centre stage? Linda Saccoccio it is then. You’re presumably an architect, you laboured over your sofa choice in Heals for months, only the best is good enough and aesthetics are your oxygen. I’m joshing – anyone can fall in love with a piece of original art just like this beauty.
There is a particular excitement and reverence that comes with owning something that people can only see in your home. And that’s what I’m suggesting here. The big purchase. The one that’s going in the will for the grandkids. Sometimes the texture and movement of an oil is just that little bit more delicious when it’s in its original form so here I am advocating for everyone to own a one-off in their lifetime. And this is the one-off for me, a soft, enveloping colour scheme. Dreamy and abstract enough to grow with you wherever your décor takes you in the future. This is art for the ages and I love it.
Give them the razzle dazzle
Sometimes you need to bring your super fandom to your sofa and really play homage to who you love. Photography offers that always but if you want to do it with an extra wink and a nudge then go straight to the David Studwell section of the website and don’t look back.
Reimagining iconic images of the past he provides us with a nice little nod to the stars that matter while creating artwork that stands up right now. There’s liberal use of colour and, in the case of Audrey Hepburn III, lashings of diamond dust. The perfect piece to sit alongside Popham tiles and Pepto-Bismol walls –it’s got maximum modern-day-Warhol-feels. I’d style on striped wallpaper with some other monochrome photography but hey, it’s your party and this awesome Audrey will looks incredible anywhere (much like the real thing).
So, there you have it – my top five must-haves from the online Christmas Market. It was difficult to whittle down my original list of, like, 50 but I got there because I’m a Trojan. If you’re feeling like you want to switch up your art in the run up to the festive period then head over to the Affordable Art Fair pronto – you can filter by your taste be that abstract, illustration or oils or simply take a meander through all they have on offer. I can guarantee you’ll stumble on something that will work perfectly for your home and keep you smiling all year round. After all, art isn’t just for Christmas…”
Robyn Donaldson, is an author and content creator renowned for her cracking interiors and writing on trends, style and wellbeing. She is the author of It’s Your Loss: Living With Grief Is Hard. We Hope This Book Will Help.