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My top 5 tips for picking out art

Are you in love with the idea of adding art to your home, but completely overwhelmed on what it would feel like to add art to that blank wall? I’ve got some tips for you to make it easier:

1. How does it make you feel?

Does the work leave you with any of these feelings?

  • More Alive

  • Inspired

  • Joy

  • A memory

  • At peace

  • Tears

If a piece has left you with any of these feelings or more, I've got news for you! The artwork is speaking to you. When something speaks to you; it pulls you in and leaves you with more than you arrived with. You cannot go wrong with picking out an artwork if the colors, and presence of the piece speak to who you are.

Art is created from a soul place, which means that I'm not making it from the logical side of the brain. I abandon the thinking brain for a couple of hours, and just create from my truest self. Not only is it powerful to experience as the creator, I often find those same emotions strike the people who bring this art into their home.

Northern lights painting inspired by Spring 2024 Kristine Cooper. Bend, Oregon artist

2. Painters Tape

Use painters tape and measure to mark out where the corners of a piece may go. For instance, take painters tape to mark out 30” height x 40” width to see how it would feel in the space.

Oftentimes we go on the smaller scale because we’re nervous, BUT I’m telling you a piece that becomes a focal point can become truly so stunning! Don’t be bashful to go big when it’s the right piece.

Painters tape used to tell how a painting will fit.
An example of painters tape in action!

3. Mockup Images

This is a simple way to test out and see how art will look on a wall of your home.

Here are the steps:

  1. Place painters tape on the dimensions of the pieces you're considering so I can make the mockups to scale

  2. Snap a photo of the wall or walls you're considering

  3. Let me know which paintings or prints you want to see on the wall & send your wall images to

  4. I will send back your images and a few recommendations if you would like!

This process is SO SIMPLE and honestly really fun to try out how things will look. Reach out if you need some help getting started, I'm happy to direct you on what I think may look best.

Beautiful original art, Abstract Painting, PNW art

4. Get art that complements the space

You may be wondering, how can I get art that complements my space. I get this question a LOT, and for good reason! You don't want to invest in a beautiful piece of art only to feel like you have to redo your entire home. I have some good news for you though, art isn't meant to match everything perfectly. From a design perspective you don't want everything in the living room to feel matchy matchy. Doing that will make it feel like a staged home rather than a real home.

The key to getting a complementary piece is:

  • Get a frame that matches other work in the space. This simple step really elevates and makes the piece coordinate with other work.

  • Make sure at least 1 color is repeated elsewhere in the room. Say the painting you like has turquoise water, if you have couple of turquoise items in the room (a pillow or a throw blanket) it can really pull the space together.

  • If you have a more neutrals palette home, the beauty of bringing in a bold statement piece of art is that this becomes the show stopper. It doesn't need to match anything and should exist as a foundational part of the home.

An example of art hanging in a home. Beautiful landscapes inspired by the Deschutes National Forest

Abstract original painting hanging in a home

5. Go with your gut

3 years ago I was traveling through Flagstaff, AZ when I stumbled upon this print by an artist. It was more than I was expecting to spend, but I really LOVED the design, colors and the way it spoke to me. Do I have remorse over that print today? You bet your bottom I don't! That is one of my FAVORITE pieces in the home, and it makes me so happy every time I pass by it. We have moved it from the bedroom, bathroom, to living room. Every place I've moved it to, not only does it look good, it truly makes me feel joy and reminds me of that Arizona trip.

I know it sounds cliche to go with your gut. But when something makes you stop in your tracks or it sits in your mind for days that is because it connected with you on a visceral gut level. Trusting your gut will make your home vibe feel amazing because you're choosing things that are meaningful to YOU.

Hood River inspired artwork hanging in a home mockup

I hope these tips helped bring some insight to how I select work. Art is meant to be a fun purchase, loosen those shoulders and remember to not take it so seriously. What is meant to be your piece, will be the work that speaks to you.

Wishing you luck on your art discovery! Kristine Cooper

My top 5 tips for picking out art

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