This is the sixth post in my Tiny Art Collecting series. If you've missed the others, find them here:
Tiny Art: How To Collect Art on a Small Budget
Tiny Art: Linda Robertson's Collection
Tiny Art: The Quinn's Collection
Tiny Art: Mary Witt's Collection
Tiny Art: The Powers' Collection
Upon entering Sarah Stevenson’s house it is obvious that it is the home of a collector. Sarah collects old wooden balls with stripes on them (a nod to her business’ name: Red Line Design), bird houses, books, and lots of art. Within her art collection, Sarah likes to focus on specific types of art including photography, etchings, and tiny paintings. And every piece has a story.
Sarah started collecting tiny art when she purchased a tiny etching of a barn from an old friend back in her Chicago days. Later, she randomly met her friend’s teacher at a Chicago art fair and bought an etching from him as well, this time of Wrigley Field. Chicago is still a formative place for Sarah and echoes of its inspiration are scattered throughout her collection.
In Chicago, Sarah was an interior designer and it is this background that she now brings into her home for the placement of her collection. Sarah displays some art in a typical eclectic arrangement in her living room, but also sprinkles it around the house in built-in bookshelves, on picture ledges, and - most notably - tucked inside letterbox-style cubbies. The cubbies stand out as a dramatic tribute to the act of collecting. Tiny miniature paintings are intermixed with vintage red balls, a Cubs ball, vintage toys, and stacks of colorful fabric. Many of the collections around the house include her own photography and the art of her children as well. This whimsical and eclectic approach gives the whole house a loving sense of family.
Sarah says that she mostly chooses art that speaks to her, art that speeds up her heart rate when she sees it. Although she doesn’t intentionally choose art to match, she recognizes that all her pieces are generally calming and simply. She sees collecting tiny art as an inexpensive way of growing an art collection. For her, it was a natural progression, as many of her artist friends make tiny art. Many of her tiny pieces are by Marisa Cummings and another large part of her painting collection is by Lisa Congdon, both friends. (Full list of artists below.)
Her aunt, also an artist, always used to say that one should grow a collection of art that one loves, but don’t feel like you have to display it all at the same time. Sarah follows this principle and often moves pieces around and swaps pieces out.
Her advice for starting a tiny art collection?
Start small and buy art from your friends.
For further reading, check out Sarah's art and creative business: Red Line Design.
This is the last of my posts on tiny art collections. I hope we were inspired to start collecting tiny art to bring joy and connection into you home. If you are interested in my tiny art that will be posted soon, please sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of this page!