Art and the art of buying paintings

24th January 2018

By Helen Parker

peeping out of her bubble wrap, this lovely lady is the beginning of a love affair with quirky paintings by Sophie Leigh

Peeping out of her bubble wrap, this lovely lady is the beginning of a love affair with quirky paintings by Sophie Leigh

Art, it’s such a difficult subject sometimes isn’t it?

Yet I have found myself being more and more drawn to it over recent years. I think the resurgence of old portraits in interiors was perhaps the moment I surprised myself with my critical eye. Now this eye may not be very honed yet, but I feel I can spot a reasonable picture and a rotten picture. If you like what you look at then you’ve chosen well, if you enjoy it everyday and don’t tire of it that’s a pretty good gauge. When we opened St. John’s Square, Paul and I were on the hunt for some interesting, well executed old paintings with a little character and charm to hang in our new showroom and it proved tricky, a little frustrating and surprisingly difficult. We both have a pretty good idea about buying old things, but somehow choosing a shabby old cupboard or Victorian table seems a lot easier, as there is some choice at reasonable prices. Now this is when things started to become clear to me, old stuff can be expensive or you can pick up a bargain, either way you can always find something you like at a price you are comfortable with. When it comes to paintings though, things get much more expensive and difficult to find unless you really know where to look and are prepared to spend lots of money. It’s almost impossible to pick up a great painting at an antiques fair or bric-a-brac type shop for a few pounds, there have been a lot of poor artists over the years and their work is all that’s readily available to the casual buyer.

This Spanish looking lady caught my eye early on but it was sadly sold along with the lady in negligee which I adored as soon as I saw it

This Spanish looking lady caught my eye early on but it was sadly sold along with the lady in negligee which I adored as soon as I saw it

4-new

Skip a few months of eBay searches and all the other ways I tried to find wonderful paintings at decent prices and jump to a week or so ago. I’m an Instagramer of sorts and I kept noticing these delightfully original painted faces on different people’s feeds so I started following ‘seedofmemoryart‘  and like so many things, once I became aware of it I saw it everywhere. Everyone was loving these paintings by Rebecca Sophie Leigh,  she told me her very first sale was to a member of the royal family who has gone on to buy another three (I bet they had the lady in the negligee!!). I sent Paul a link to these paintings and he loved them too. We noticed that Sadie Frost had recently hosted an exhibition of Rebecca’s paintings at Tann Rokka in Primrose Hill. This seems a good spot to get the very best potential customers, housed in the old Primrose Hill Tube Station, this shop is a luxurious homewares store and by all accounts most of Rebecca’s paintings sold on the night.

Sdaie Frost and Matthew Williamson attending the exhibition at Tann Rokka in Primrose Hill

Sadie Frost and Matthew Williamson attending the exhibition at Tann Rokka in Primrose Hill

I chose three pictures from the Instagram feed and they were delivered to St. John’s Square on Monday, it’s all very exciting and maybe, I hope, the beginning of a small and humble art collection. The image below shows the people I chose, propped up against the wall they are waiting for the new Sebastian Cox Kitchen to be fitted in a few weeks. They will then hang on the walls of our new showroom for all to see.

The delivery, two ladies and a Moulin Rougesque couple

The delivery, two ladies and a Moulin Rougesque couple

So I wanted to know why I had only just seen Rebecca come up on the scene recently and asked her where she had been selling her paintings before Instagram and her celebrity endorsed exhibition. She sent me a short piece about herself and told me that after raising her family as a single parent she picked up a paintbrush for the first time one and a half years ago!! How could that have happened? Rebecca is a member of The Chelsea Arts Club which is notoriously difficult to get membership to, so she must have mixed in the right circles and been able to connect with people and get her new found skill out there. She believes her inspiration comes from years of theatre trips with her granny, a love of glamour and a desire to dress up the stars.

A youth spent going to the Theatre with her granny sparked this love of all things glamorous and ultimately her new found passion as a painter

A youth spent going to the Theatre with her granny sparked this love of all things glamorous and ultimately her new found passion as a painter

If you would like to see all Rebecca’s work then take a look at her Instagram, her paintings range from £600 -£800 ish at the moment but they do vary. Now I know this isn’t pocket money but really, it’s a great place to begin collecting something really different and a sure way to brighten up your day. There is something really special about these faces, they are seductive and mesmerising in a naive way and I really think Rebecca’s work is beautiful and so it appears does everyone else.

There is so much to see in this simple almost childlike painting, there is a feeling of personality and emotion and sometimes delightful movement in all Rebecca's paintings.

There is so much to see in this simple almost childlike painting, there is a feeling of personality and emotion and sometimes delightful movement in all Rebecca’s paintings

 

 

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St. John's Square 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street 020 3837 5900

 

US Showroom

usa.enquiries@devolkitchens.com

New York  +1 212 210 6269

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