Thursday, November 17, 2016

How to hang art (correctly)

how to hang and display art

Whether you’ve been an art-lover all of your life or just recently fell in love, the step from the gallery to properly displaying a newly acquired piece in your home usually feels gargantuan and is filled with lots of questions.

How high should I hang it? 

Should it stand alone or be grouped with other artwork? 

Where should it be displayed? 

What do I use to hang it? 

How can I protect it?

Don’t fret. I’ve got you covered with some great ideas on how to display art in your home, how to hang pictures like a pro and some best practices to keep your art investment secure for years to come.

how to hang and display art
Sultry Sunflowers, 20x60" is a great over the sofa artwork sure to please him or her

Display art in your home

I know you set out to find artwork to complement a certain room or to put the finishing touch on a remodel. However, just as often, you might just fall in love with a piece of art that you cannot live without. Whatever the route that brought you and your new artwork together, the next stop is to find the proper place in your home to display it.

Since I always get asked the best way to hang art, I have created a Pinterest board for you to use for inspiration and to get the creative juices flowing. While no one but you can tell you what works best in your home, there are a few rules for hanging pictures I wanted to share with you.

Seven  key rules for hanging pictures

1. Hang art at eye level

2. Leave 2-2 ½” between pictures to utilize wall space

3. Art reflects your personality; don’t settle for a just reflection (mirrors are not art!)

I created this pin just for you!

How to protect art in your home

Even though most of us can’t control our home environment to be as art-friendly as curators can in museums, there is still plenty we can do to protect art in our home. Here are the factors you need to consider to best protect your artwork:

4. Location is everything

Not every room in our home is art-friendly. Rooms with walls that are shared with the exterior of your home typically experience more temperature fluctuations—bad news for artwork. Interior walls are a better choice to hang artwork. For similar reasons, rooms with windows and doors are less stable for artwork. It’s also never a good idea to display artwork where it’s directly impacted by a heat source such as a fireplace or portable heater. Ideally, you want to keep your home around 70 degrees at all times, the optimum temp for artwork.

how to hang and display art
It's easy to hang gallery wrapped canvas that doesn't require a frame, like this original floral painting depicting daffodils

5. Avoid Sun damage 

how to hang and display art
Add the outdoors and modern color and texture with abstract tree art

Light can cause considerable damage to your artwork, but there are alternatives to living in darkness for the dedicated art collector who wants to preserve their collection. First, hang pictures where they will not be exposed to direct sunlight. Be sure to close blinds or curtains when the room is not in use. There are also options to install UV-blocking film to windows and skylights. To create optimum lighting for viewing artwork without overdoing it, use a dimmer switch to control incandescent low-wattage bulbs that have no UV. Picture lights designed to attach to frames should never be used. Light levels in a museums are controlled to 50 lux for art on paper up to 150 lux for paintings, while a piece in your home subjected to direct sunlight would experience 20,000 lux or more. It’s no wonder that controlling the light that directly hits your artwork is critical to its longevity.

how to hang and display art
soft and lovely, protect delicate watercolors under glass
6. Frames are your friends

Frames not only complement your artwork and décor, the glass you choose can provide significant UV protection for your artwork. Museum-grade glass, although expensive, can block out 99% of harmful UV rays compared to the zero up to 50% protection you get with non-glare or regular glass from frames typically sold at craft stores.

Add  a pop of pink with a Playful Flamingo

7. Use Proper hanging technique

The proper materials and techniques should be used to hang your artwork to protect it and the furniture or other art that might get damaged if it falls. When in doubt or if you need to re-hang all of your artwork after a move, consider hiring a professional art hanger who will know based on the weight of the piece and the hanging surface, the right hardware to use.

If you’re on the hunt for a new piece of art to add to your collection, pop on over to my online gallery and we can collaborate on the best place to display it in your home.

About Me (Miriam Schulman)

Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. See the art I create at or leran how to paint with me at

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Thursday, November 3, 2016

My 5 Favorite Podcasts

5 favorite podcasts

One of the biggest challenges I see with artists, myself included, is quieting the monkey mind and the inner critic in my head. So in order to not listen to those demonic voices, I like to listen to podcasts while I create. While my conscious mind listens to the entertaining podcasts, my subconscious mind is set free to create without the pesky inner critic constantly evaluating my process.

However, I love podcasts so much I also listen to them when I am not creating. I listen in the car when I am driving my non-driving teenage kids to sports practice and music lessons and that transforms a “must do” into a “get to do.” I also listen while I cook dinner or do other mindless chores and as a special treat I have even curled up in bed with a cup of hot tea at the end of the night to finish off an episode.

I love to read...but when I paint, I listen.
There has been an enormous benefit to my happiness as well as my art as a result of active listening. To create your most original work, you have got to refuel the creative well - and although visiting museums is another way I do that- reading and listening is another.

When you're an artist, you have to refuel your mind with fresh thoughts and ideas, so that you are inspired to paint.

So, while the latest episodes of the Real Housewives of New York City or even watching Project Runway may be a great way for me to unplug and decompress, they’re maybe not directly feeding my artistic soul.

That is why, in addition to going to museums regularly, I make sure to listen to podcasts.

I’m listing my top five favorite podcasts below — and if I missed your favorite, tag me (@schulmanArt) on instagram!

My Personal Podcast Process

Podcasts are a fantastic way to fit education and inspiration into the “in-between” times in your day. Most of the podcasts I like are about 30 minutes But just like your handy DVR, you can pause and come back to them in the middle.

Become friends with the 15 sec fast forward and rewind buttons. I use both regularly. Some podcasters put commercials in the middle and 4 taps on the fast forward will have you skipping past those. The rewind button is also great when you found that you have stopped paying attention to the podcast and became lost in your own thoughts but want to repeat a juicy part.

If you have an iPhone, you already have a podcast app and can search iTunes and subscribe to your favorites but you can get podcast apps for other kinds of devices or listen to podcasts from your desktop through iTunes.

Like I said, I like to listen to podcasts while I’m in my studio but I also love them for those in between times or while running annoying errands in the car. They’re perfect to fit into your day at any point when you are doing a task that doesn’t require your full attention, such as cooking, supervising homework (my favorite- because my eyes are on my son while I listen), or just walking.

If I have an aha moment I will use the microphone app on my phone to dictate a note for myself.

What I Look For In a Good Podcast

For me, a great podcast has to do at least one of the following.
  • Makes me laugh 
  • Inspires action 
  • Gives me something to talk about 
I’ve chosen my top podcasts based on how loyal I have been to them plus i included a few more that I thought deserved a shout out. If I missed your favorite podcast, please leave a comment below or tag @SchulmanArt on social media with a link to your favorite.

My 5 Favorite Podcasts

1. Happier with Gretchen Rubin

This weekly podcast features New York author Gretchen Rubin chatting with her sister, a tv writer and producer living in LA. Both women straddle my age and discuss seemingly minor issues as life problems. If you liked Seinfeld, then you will love this. What sets this podcast apart from all the others I have listened to is that they have a structure for each podcast with segments that helps you enjoy each one since you know what to expect.

Although the podcast is entertaining, Rubin brings research to the table while her sister deadpans one liners throughout the show so that Rubin’s quest for perfectionism is presented with a wink and a smile.

They also have a beautiful way of including their audience in the conversation through thoughtful questions and request for feedback which they often share through voicemail messages. Her podcast was named in iTunes’s lists of “Best Podcasts of 2015” and was named in the Academy of Podcasters “Best Podcasts of 2016.” The podcast consistently ranks in the iTunes Top Charts which is how I stumbled across it.

The best part is that my nineteen year old daughter also loves listening so we get to discuss the issues in the podcast.


I took Gretchen's quiz and I am a "questioner"...
which I questioned... so I took the quiz again
but changed a few answers.. and still got questioner
Favorite episode: Oh my goodness I love these. How to pick one? I think this series is best enjoyed listening to it in sequence beginning with number one since they will often reference past episodes. In the first episode, they introduce the idea of the “One Minute Rule” which I still use. The topics and discussions are very relatable for women and although on the surface may seem just humorous (like the episode on “the problem of switching bags”) I always walk away with a deeper understanding of human nature.

2. Online Marketing Made Easy

Topics include how to market using Facebook, blogging, keeping your email organized and more business related stuff.

If you are trying to sell your art (or anything else online), then this is a A-list podcast to listen to however, her later episodes do slant more to those selling digital programs which may not be your thing. However, I never miss an episode and eagerly await each new one. Her voice is very easy going and strong. Her energy is wholesome and you feel like she is your best friend who is sharing her marketing secrets just with you.

Great episode to try out: Media, Meditation and a little Motivation with Gabby Bernstein

This is the podcast I listen to because it makes me feel smarter and I have something to discuss with folks who do not market online nor watch real housewives of NYC. Malcolm Gladwell tackles social justice issues in this podcast. He is passionately opinionated with a beautiful voice and a master story teller.

Food for thought: Food Fight Which isn’t about food at all but social justice in the education system.

4. The Mind Your Business Podcast

Although this podcast is primarily directed at online entrepreneurs, it has a clear woo-woo definition. The podcast is at its best when James Wedmore is chatting with his co-host Phoebe Mroczek.

Topics include money mindset, meditation and manifesting.

Favorite episode: Improving Systems in your Business which features my question in their question of the week segment

5. The Tim Ferriss Show

When Tim Ferriss got into podcasting, he decided he would skip the pain of editing each one. Therefore there are many episodes that are up to 3 hours long. That can be good news or bad news. If Happier is the podcast I share with my daughter, Tim’s podcast is the one I share with my teenage son. Ferriss is every man’s fantasy about what it is like to be a millionaire bachelor and he proudly promotes this lifestyle of work little yet efficiently. Overall, he has a good message as he is constantly interviewing top performers from Tony Robbins, Seth Godin, Malcolm Gladwell to navy seals and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It was through this podcast that I have uncovered some of my other favorites such as Revisionist History and Tara Brach’s. The podcast is on the end of my five since I do not listen to every episode but the ones I find boring, like a deep dive into nutritional supplements, my son is crazy for.

Personal Favorite: Well since I love to laugh, I have to shout out my favorite was the episode he did with Comedy’s Dynamic Duo, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg

Honorable mentions

These are podcasts that I have listened to a few episodes but haven’t fully committed to listening to every week.

  • Quiet
  • On Being
  • Tara Brach

Love a podcast I missed? Share it! Tag me @schulmanArt on social and let me know your favorites! (or leave a comment here... Either way, I’d love to hear from you!)

About Me (Miriam Schulman)

Miriam Schulman, founder of The Inspiration Place
In case we haven’t met yet, I’m a watercolor and mixed media artist. My art has been featured in numerous publications such as Somerset Studio, and Im the founder of The Inspiration Place  where I give my students stepping stones to create beautiful art as well as the emotional support they need to stay inspired. Check out my free resource section  for artists and art collectors

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Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Less than 60 Days to the Holidays. . . Are you Ready?

how to get organized for the holidays
Can you believe it's already November? What happened? Seems like yesterday I was playing tennis outside (that's because it WAS yesterday) With the unseasonable warm weather, sometimes it is easy to forget that the holidays are just around the corner. If you haven't thought about it until now, it isn't too late to get organized and make holiday gifts before time gets away from you.

Read on for a some ideas and a practical plan to stay organized even when making handmade gifts this holiday.
This year is very special. Not only will I celebrate my birthday on December 24, but the start of Hanukkah falls on December 24 as well. Time for a Carvel ice cream cake in the shape of a Christmas tree lit with Hanukkah candles!

how to make an advent calendar
Count down the days no matter what you are celebrating with an Advent Calendar! Carolyn Dube shows you how to use up all your gelli prints ( or gives you an excuse to make more) in her part of the Handcrafted Holidays course!

6 tips on how to stay organized

I’ve heard from many of you about how you run out of time to get everything done around the holidays and that can prevent you from creating a handmade gift from the heart. So, I wanted to share these 6 tips on how to stay organized throughout the season so you can get done on time to enjoy the holidays.

1. Adopt a Holiday Tracker

Whether you prefer a purse-sized moleskin journal or an electronic spreadsheet, it helps to keep your holiday gift giving organized if you record your ideas and progress. Some important info to track:

  • People you need and want to give a gift to.
  • Gift ideas (don’t forget to think of things you can handcraft) for each person. If you plan to buy items don’t forget to write down sizes, stores you need to visit and prices.
  • Be sure to have a way to mark the purchases you made or gifts completed so you know what gifts still need to get done.

Another great thing to record is your master list of hiding places. This is especially helpful when you start creating and shopping months in advance and stash away your gifts so prying eyes can’t spoil the surprise. Once, a portrait client hid my commission under her bed and her husband found it the night the burglar alarm went off.

2. Gussy Up Gift Cards

No matter how hard you try to find or make the perfect gift for everyone on your list, sometimes the best bet is to purchase a gift card. You can still personalize the gift card by getting one to a store that is meaningful for the recipient such as bookstore card for the bookworm on your list.

Marjie Kemper shows you how to use household items while learning new technique to transform them into gorgeous gift boxes to upgrade your holiday packaging.

3. Edible Homemade Gifts

There are lots of wonderful ways to package and give edible gifts such as cookies, candies, spaghetti sauce, vinegar and even infused vodka. The key to making it manageable is to make a large batch of the same thing and parcel it out in beautiful packaging and boxes to give everyone.

An ideal way to package the goodies you make is this tzedakah box, a project from the Handcrafted Holidays class. Although the intention is to use this box to save for charity, these same techniques can be used to decorate a tin for cookies or other holiday treats.

4. Create a Wrapping Station

Lucky you if you can make a wrapping station out of a spare room, but a spare closet is what I use to stash wrapping paper, gift bags (including pretty ones I recycle), boxes, scissors and tape so everything is all ready to go when I need to wrap.

Another way to add a very personal touch to your presents is to wrap gifts with love and handmade wrapping paper. Andrea Gomoll shares all these techniques in her portion of the Handcrafted Holidays course.

5. Make a List and Check it Twice

Have you ever shown up for your child’s December recital only to discover that all the other supermoms are giving the teacher gifts, but all you have is your video camera? I have. In order to save you the embarrassment of a similar faux-pas, here’s a list of people not to forget over the holidays:
  • Teachers (school and extracurricular teachers such as music, sports, bus drivers, etc.) 
  • Fitness instructors, personal trainers and yoga teachers 
  • Hair stylist and nail technicians. Every year, I actually give handmade gifts to everyone at the salon that touches my hair starting with the receptionist who books my appointment, and often squeezes me in for an emergency appointment when my white roots are taking over! 
  • Childcare provider or caregiver of any sort 

You also want to have cards ready for all the people you plan to tip at the end of the year so you’re not handing over a tip in a plain white, bill-paying envelope including,

  • Mail carriers 
  • Garbage collectors 
  • Milk delivery person 
  • Pet groomer 
  • House cleaner 
  • Dry cleaners 
  • Elevator operator 

collection of the Artist, daughter swallowed up by the Hannukah table

6. Prepare to Craft

Now that you have your gift giving list in place (complete with handmade and store-bought ideas), a holiday tracker and a place to wrap, it’s time to get crafty! If you need more ideas, a community  to keep you on track and video instruction on just how to create one-of-a-kind gifts from the heart, consider joining me and 10 other professional artists for the Handcrafted Holidays class.

Join us for our newest class, Handcrafted Holidays! It's a smorgasbord of teachers. Enjoy them buffet style as you sample ideas for crafted gifts for the holidays!

Are you ready to create your own handmade gifts from the heart?

Colorful Advent Calendar with Carolyn Dube • Mexican Star Piñata with Danita Art  Poinsettia Mola with Jane LaFazioGift Boxes with Marjie Kemper • Wrapping Embellishments with Andrea Gomoll  Inspirational Word Ornaments with Miriam Schulman  Wonder Poppets with Mystele Paint  Star Ornament with Blenda Tyvoll  Tzedakah Box with Jessica Sporn  Golden Letters with Joanne Sharpe  •

  • Nothing compares to giving handcrafted gifts from the heart to your loved ones.
  • Our online format gives you the guidance you need and step-by-step instructions so you will complete your project without the frustration of going it alone.
  • Plus you'll have the bonus of external accountability to get your holiday projects done in time!
  • Our teacher team has done the heavy lifting of figuring out 10 unique gifts to create, so you won’t need to struggle to come up with ideas. 

Registration now open!!!
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