18 April

Original Painting Chicago


Good lighting will dramatically improve the impact of original art and bring out its true colors.  Your painting will “pop!”  The subject is seemingly simple, but there are some complexities.

There are essentially two options, each with its own pros and cons:

• Install lighting fixtures in the ceiling; or
• Install a picture light that attaches to the back of the frame.

Ceiling lighting is clearly the preferred method in terms of the quality of lighting, but it’s not always feasible, particularly in rooms with high ceilings or rooms where getting power to ceiling lights is not practical.  If it’s possible for one to go this route, there are several variables, each with installation preferences.

• The optimum distance “cans” should be placed from the wall depends in part on how much relief exists on the frame.  The idea is to avoid shadows created by the upper rail of the frame.  Generally, try to error on the side of having the lights further away from the wall…at least 24”.

• We recommend using TWO adjustable, hooded fixtures, each pointed at a spot about one-third in from each vertical edge of the painting, so the two light beams overlap. Our experience is that one light just doesn’t get it done, especially for a wide painting.

• For light bulbs, we recommend using 50-watt, MR-16’s, i.e. low voltage, high intensity bulbs. If you already have cans installed employing conventional “line voltage,” they will work just fine.  Do NOT let anyone talk you into LED bulbs.  The technology has not advanced enough to produce sufficient intensity, even the new 10-watt bulbs that are supposed to replicate 50+ wattage.

• Within the category of light bulbs, particularly MR-16’s, there are two further options…the size of the beam (measured in degrees) and the whiteness of the light (measured on a “Kelvin” scale).

◦ We generally recommend a broader beam (i.e. the size of the light cone).  Beams range from 15 degrees to 38 degrees.  The optimum beam depends on the distance from the light to the painting, but error on the side of a broader beam.  

◦ We strongly recommend “Kelvin” ratings on the bulbs of 3500-4000 or more. This is a very white light (unlike most household bulbs that have a yellow cast, i.e. a 2200-2500 Kelvin rating), which is perfect for illuminating art.

• Finally, insist on an independent wall switch (with dimmer), so the lighting for your painting is not dependent upon the lighting in the rest of the room.

Picture Lights are an effective option and are often the only practical solution.  Again… there are several options/considerations.

• We strongly recommend the House of Troy in Vermont.  They make very high quality fixtures with impeccable finishes.  We use their “Slimline” line of plug-in picture lights almost exclusively.  It’s a very clean, attractive fixture and doesn’t interfere with the impact of the painting.  

• The width of the fixture should be roughly two-thirds the width of your painting.  In some cases, if your painting is too wide, you may require two fixtures. 

• Several colors/finishes are available.  The idea is to have the fixture coordinate with other finishes in the room and blend nicely into the upper rail of the frame, both from a color and a height perspective.  The height of the light can be adjusted up or down (easy to do with adjustable set screws on the back).

• Some words of caution on picture lights…

• You will need to install a recessed duplex plug behind the painting.  This avoids having a chord dangling down below the painting to the wall plug.  Any electrician can install this plug fairly easily, particularly if there are duplex plugs already installed near the bottom of the same wall.

• Again, insist on an independent wall switch with dimmer.  Picture lights come with a built-in on/off switch, but they’re a pain to use and can’t be hidden easily behind the painting without creating an obstruction that prevents the painting from hanging flat.

• Do NOT let anyone talk you into battery-operated lights.  The batteries need to be replaced constantly.

If you decide to go with a picture light, we can help determine the best size/color and order one for you.  They’re not inexpensive ($300-$400), but they are magnificent fixtures that will last forever.

To discuss your lighting options, please call or visit Art Post Gallery.  It’s an important part of creating real “impact” with your original art and an area of expertise that distinguishes us as one of the best art galleries in Chicago and the Chicagoland area.

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27 February

Glass making is a unique art form, requiring years of practice and a vivid imagination to create intricate glass works from molten glass, heated to 2500 degrees Fahrenheit in an oven the artist calls a “Glory Hole.”

A Baltimore native, Tim McFadden found his love for glass blowing in 2001 while attending Salisbury University on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After graduation, he won a grant that would jumpstart his plan for a glass blowing studio. While continually refining his craft, Tim’s work is built strongly on Italian techniques he has studied and developed at some of the most reputable glass schools in the United States, most notably the Corning Museum of Glass and Pilchuck Glass School.

Tim’s process is highly intricate and varies according to the series he’s creating at the moment.  It starts with a blob of molten glass that is swirled onto a blowpipe that has been previously heated to at least 1200 degrees Fahrenheit.  The blowpipe and molten glass is then inserted into the “Glory Hole” where the precise use of centrifugal force and gravity are employed with minimal spinning to allow the pieces to take shape.  The piece is then further shaped and cooled along a tabletop.  McFadden’s “Glass Rock” series of random, bulbous, colored glass pieces is a good example of this technique.  They look like scattered stones floating across a wall (when hung on invisible hooks).

Often times, a piece is shaped and cooled in a wood block after being dipped in hot liquid glass for a second time.  McFadden’s “Nesting” series is a good example of this technique.  It produces a very organic, flowing vessel.

Irrespective of the series, another variation is the application of “frits” (small pieces of colored glass).  Super hot glass is rolled over the frits then reheated in the Glory Hole to create a blend of color.  A finishing touch is the use of a torch to create a shine on the inside of the piece, which also helps to reduce the interior color.  

Fine art glass can add a truly modern, yet unexpected three-dimensional impact to any room or office decor.  As one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Chicago, the Art Post Gallery has a wide selection of 3-Dimensional art, including sculpture, ceramic forms, steel bowls and wood boxes.


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19 January

You can find modern paintings in Chicago by many figurative artists, but not many as quirky as Wisconsin born, Terri Hallman. She is an extraordinarily driven and innovative artist. For Hallman, her art is in the process itself, which she regards as the essence of her work. On the surface, the work may appear simple, yet there is considerable emotional depth inherent in the artist’s multi-layered approach.


Terri begins her work with stick figures on paper. The loose and somewhat abstract forms act as a matrix for the composition. She then begins the laborious process of rubbing dry pigment (by hand) into the paper. Between the layers of pigment, she marks off sections with tape and leaves other areas unmasked.  The process is repetitive, in essence “revealing and discovering the nature of the subject.” The creative pace is intense and very hands-on; the result is supersaturated hues and curiously crude textures. In her own words: “It is the layers that expose the passage of time, how some things are covered up and how others are revealed.”


Hallman also employs symbolic elements in her works, assigning meaning to simple objects. A pea depicts nothingness, while a horse epitomizes freedom. One familiar element in her paintings is a bird, often perched on a shoulder, representing the trusted companion.  

Terri Hallman’s whimsical, figurative paintings are widely collected and featured in galleries throughout the US, Canada and Great Britain. As a top Chicago contemporary art gallery, Art Post Gallery exclusively represents Hallman’s work in the Chicago area.

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6 January

Large Paintings - Art Galleries

As we enter the New Year, take note…2017’s home trends call for a move away from rooms of predominately gray and taupe tones and towards a new pallet of jewel tones. These lush colors include greens, deep blues, amethyst, rose quartz and fiery orange. As a Chicago gallery specializing in large paintings, we have begun seeing our clients and designers take a greater interest in large, original artwork (and other home accessories) with much bolder colors to add a “pop” of interest in otherwise neutral rooms. Particularly in rooms with big, open spaces, large colorful paintings are needed to make a “statement.”


According to Sue Wadden of Sherwin Williams: “We’ve been watching green gain momentum in the last few seasons.  Look for deep emerald greens as well as the Pantone color of the year…’Greenery’ (a strong parrot green).” Pantone says: “Greenery represents refreshment, revitalization and optimism. This life affirming shade is something we could all benefit from in our complex social and political environment.”


Indigo blue also remains a popular color choice for a modern twist with a traditional feel. Navy blue pairs well with practically any color scheme and lends mystery to a space without making it feel small. Artwork with strong shades of blue is peaceful, serene and continues to be very much in demand.
Look for these color trends in art, home decor, fashion and commercial design in the New Year.  Maybe it’s time to embrace a color change and update the look and feel of your home.

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9 December

Best Art Galleries Chicago

As a Chicago original art dealer, we are often asked: “Why collect original art? Why is art important?” Following are a series statements, collected from the world of art.

Art is a language that speaks to all people everywhere in the world. It cuts across social, educational and economic barriers. The study of art is a study of different cultures, values, traditions and beliefs. It therefore enhances cultural appreciation and awareness.

Art is one of the major means of self-expression that brings the inner world into the outer world of reality. It integrates mind, body and spirit.

Art develops a higher order of thinking skills, including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and problem solving. The symbols in art are as important as letters and numbers.

Art can empower the viewer so that at times it can be transformative. Art makes us think more deeply, feel more intensely and experience joy more profoundly.

Art frees the mind of rigid certainty….seeking, finding and developing multiple solutions to the myriad problems facing our society. Artists tell stories that help us feel a sense of our world and our connection to the past, present and future.

Albert Einstein once said: “I’m enough of an artist to draw freely on my imagination, which I think is more important than knowledge; knowledge is limited! Imagination encircles the entire known world and, in fact, creates a world of it’s own.”

Paul Cezanne summed it up nicely: ” Art is the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul.”

To see and learn more about a variety of fine art, please visit one of the best art galleries in Chicago, the Art Post Gallery

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15 November

Top Chicago Art GalleriesArt Post Gallery, one of the top Chicago art galleries, has discovered Carol Browning, an abstract expressionist artist from Denver. Carol earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree (with honors) from the University of Colorado. She spent 20 years as an interior designer, all the while keeping her passion for painting alive, until she made the decision to give painting her full attention.

In the artist’s own words: “Painting is a vehicle for individual introspection, a form of thinking and organization of personal experiences. My work creates a visual language, intersecting thought with humanity, observation and events. My art is closely aligned with abstract expressionism and in particular the San Francisco School, which is deeply rooted in a response to the natural world. The expressionist style is as much a draw for me as the high voltage of creative energy that came from the cultural mood after World War II.”

Carol’s acrylic paintings are a series of large abstract works that delve into composition, juxtaposition of form and color. Standing in front of a Browning canvas, the spectator can feel the passion, purposeful brushwork and movement of paint and line across the artworks surface. Each piece begins with a chosen color pallet influenced by Western light. Layers of neutrals, washes and gestural marks are added until only hints of the original conception remains. It is akin to peering into the artist’s soul.

Browning’s most recent works are oversized organic abstracts often purposely created to hang side by side. “Questions and Answers” appear to have been inspired by ponds with grasses, water plants and Lilly pads, perhaps in a Botanical garden or similar natural setting. The fluid paint swatches and lines of aqua, black, rust and cream colors in this particular pair of paintings swim out of one canvas and slide effortlessly into the other. These expressive strokes of motion travel with a sense of balance, light movement and depth, creating a calm ephemeral ambience. The viewer can’t help but feel these “zen” qualities.

To see more of Carol Browning’s original paintings, please visit the Art Post Gallery, one of the Chicago art galleries specializing in large paintings.

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10 November


Saxon Figures for BlogAs one of the top Chicago contemporary art galleries, we are pleased to introduce Phil Saxon. Phil creates completely original, figurative mixed media paintings on paper and canvas that appear at once both contemporary and aged. Saxon’s subjects and style, although individually unique, are strongly influenced by the early 20th century modernist artists, especially Picasso, Matisse, Nolde and Giacometti.

Believing that we experience a common range of emotions in life, Saxon attempts to convey these universal experiences in abstract terms through his complex, often mysterious figurative drawings. Phil’s objective is to provide a personal response in the viewer’s eye as well.

Upon viewing his work for the first time one might ask with curiosity: “Is this current 21st century modern art or is it antique 19th century art? Is it a male or female figure? What is this person’s occupation? Is he wearing a hat or a helmet?” Saxon’s work is intriguing and ambiguous, yet timeless!

Depending on what direction one decides to take with picture framing, his original drawings can be ultimately transformed into traditionally detailed or cutting edge sleek. Creative framing makes Phil’s figures “pop,” adding character and an element of surprise to any room. They can be made extra large and bold, framed as a subtle pair or even combined into a varied-size wall grouping.

Saxon works from his studio in Racine, Wisconsin. His work is held in private collections throughout the United States.

To view a selection of Saxon’s original paintings and explore a wide range of fine framing options, visit one of the top Chicago art galleries, Art Post Gallery in Northbrook, Illinois.

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