Category Archives: Art Help & Info

What to Do With Art: Hanging, Arranging, and General Care

I’ve compiled a summary of information for those that own art or are thinking of buying a piece but have a few questions regarding the care of artwork.

Tips for Hanging and Arranging Art

Before putting holes in the wall, get someone to hold pieces up so you can take a step back and see how they look.  Otherwise, you can trace the outline of each piece onto Kraft paper and cut it out.  Then tape the outlines to the wall using blue painter’s tape.  This will allow you to move the outlines around until you are happy with the arrangement.

When hanging a single piece on a wall, the center of the image should be about 56”- 60” from the floor.  The larger the piece of art, the closer to 56 inches it should be.

When hanging a pair of works, one above the other, treat them as one large picture regardless of their individual sizes.  Find the center point between them and use the 56”-60” rule.

For spacing between art on the same wall, use two inches between larger pictures.  If they’re all smaller works, use an inch and a half between them.  The same rule applies to the spacing above, below, and on either side of each frame.

When hanging art pieces above furniture, the grouping should ideally be about 2/3 the width of the furniture below it.  (For example, if an art grouping is being hung over a 60” sofa, the ideal grouping would be about 40” in length.)

When hanging artwork over a sofa or other furniture, leave 4”-8” of space between the top of the sofa/furniture and the bottom of the art.

Installation view of paintings and prints by Amy Guidry; (c) Amy Guidry 2018

Arranging multiple works can be done as a grid or the current method of clustering varieties of styles and frames together.  These arrangements can be small or take up the entire expanse of a wall.  They can even be arranged from floor to ceiling.  Start in the middle and work your way out.

Unique Ways to Display Art

Hang art above a shelf of personal objects and collectibles with similar colors to the artwork

Divide a group of frames on mounted picture ledges.  Lean and overlap frames; stagger the height of the frames for visual interest.

Highlight a particular work of art by hanging it against a contrasting wall color

Use the “rule of threes”: odd numbers of objects are usually more visually interesting.  This works with both symmetrical and asymmetrical arrangements.

Installation view of “Evolution” by Amy Guidry; Acrylic on canvas; 4″ x 4″; (c) Amy Guidry 2018

Consider the shape and size of your wall surface.  A long narrow wall would be a great way to spotlight a tall work of art or multiple small pieces.  Even the smallest wall space can be utilized as long as the art is the right size and scale for the area.

Try creating a gallery wall in your stairwell for visual impact

Display a collection of works in the corner of two walls

Hang works centered along a single line just above eye level and let it wraparound to the next wall

A variety of styles and frames can be unified when sharing one wall of color together

Try displaying art on a slanted ceiling

Hang art along the staircase itself

Display art on the back of a door (just be sure the art will not hit the wall when the door is open)

Hang art directly on bookshelves

Try displaying small works of art above door or window frames

How to Create a Gallery Wall in a Small Space

Even if you live in a small space, there’s no need to limit your art collection.  A gallery wall is a great way to display your collection and can make a bigger statement than just a single piece.  They can provide a small space such as a stairway or a bathroom wall with a strong visual impact and really pull the viewer in.  Gallery walls have a personal feel because they consist of works you’ve collected over time, possibly during your travels, and they may take a little time to fill.  For this reason, you could opt to do a gallery wall in a more private space of your home.  Otherwise, you can simply arrange a small collection together and rearrange as pieces are added over time.

 Should  Art and Color Scheme Match?

Art can match your color scheme, but it certainly doesn’t have to.  In fact, art with a contrasting color scheme can add a visual point of interest to your décor.  It can add a pop of color to a neutral color scheme.  A colorful work of art can liven up an otherwise boring room.

It would be best to collect what you love first (especially since original art means there’s only one available) and figure out the wall arrangement later.  You can always rearrange your collection as pieces are added.  And if you really feel the need to match your color scheme, you can always add accent color items such as pillows or lampshades that match a color or two in your art.

Lighting Art

Track lighting and recessed cans are the preferred types of fixtures for lighting artwork because of their flexibility for aiming at artwork. Recessed lighting with adjustable heads have a clean look, however they are not as flexible as track lighting.

MR-16 low voltage bulbs are popular for lighting art because of their compact size. They emit a small amount of UV rays which are filtered by the glass lens that comes with most MR-16 fixtures.

PAR 30 bulbs are larger than MR-16s and have a standard screw-in base. They are commonly used in recessed cans and track lighting.

Incandescent flood lights are not suitable for art lighting.

UV light rays are present in sunlight and small amounts in fluorescent and halogen lighting. They cause fading and should be avoided as much as possible.

Installation view of “Anonymous,” “On the Rise,” and “Ascension” by Amy Guidry at LeMieux Galleries, New Orleans, LA; (c) Amy Guidry 2018

Light placement should be set so that the light strikes the wall at 30 to 45 degrees, measured to a point at eye level on the wall, approximately 60” from the floor.  So for an 8-foot ceiling place your track or recessed cans 20” to 36” away from the wall and for a 10-foot ceiling, 42” to 60” away.

Tips for Hanging Art in Sunlight

Truth be told, the best way to hang art would be in a cool, dark area void of any windows or fluorescent lights.  However, this is completely unrealistic and while some works like watercolor cannot be exposed to sunlight, there are some that can withstand some sunlight.

Oil and acrylic paint can typically withstand sunlight, with very little fading.  There should be no bare (unpainted) areas of canvas showing, though, since sunlight can damage canvas.

Works on paper such as watercolor and photography should never be hung in direct sunlight.  Even indirect sunlight can cause fading.  UV plexi glass frames can minimize damage but will not prevent it entirely.  It would be best to hang these pieces in an area such as an alcove without windows.  Indirect sunlight would need to be limited to no more than several hours a day.

How to Move Art Safely

You should always pack fine art yourself.  If you’re using a moving company, they must have experience with fine art, and provide references if at all possible.  To be safe, though, it would be best to do it yourself.

First wrap the art with glassine paper, taping the paper to itself (not on the art). A clean cloth (free of any stains or dyes that could transfer) can also be used, especially for sculpture.  Cover with a few layers of bubble wrap and hold in place with packing tape.  Before boxing, cover the bottom of your box with tissue paper or Kraft paper, place art inside and continue to surround the art with more paper along the sides and top of the box.  Be sure to mark the outside of the box as fragile and with “up” arrows as needed.  Purchase crate or mirror boxes, or see if your local art supply or home décor store has any extra boxes they would be willing to give for free.

Art is sensitive to heat and humidity, so unless you are using temperature-controlled storage during the move, it needs to be relocated as soon as possible.  Letting it sit in the box to acclimate to the climate for a day or two is fine, but it should be removed from the box soon to prevent any warping.

If you have a large collection, you may want to consider hiring a professional art handler.  Find someone with many years of experience moving art.  If you are moving far, use a company with climate-controlled trucks to avoid any damage from heat or humidity.

Get the latest updates via my monthly newsletter:

Now on Instagram:

Follow me on Facebook:

Everything’s Coming Up… Copied?

Original painting (above) "Everything's Coming Up Roses" by Amy Guidry; 2007; Acrylic on canvas; 40"w x 30"h; (c) Amy Guidry 2015.  Below is a copy by unknown person
Original painting (above) “Everything’s Coming Up Roses” by Amy Guidry; 2007; Acrylic on canvas; 40″w x 30″h; (c) Amy Guidry 2015. Below is a copy by unknown person

Well, I encountered one of an artist’s worse nightmares.  I found a copy of my work on the internet painted by someone other than myself.  I don’t know who did it or why they would do this, so I will limit any speculation for the moment.  I would love it if they would come forward and explain themselves, though.

So I thought I should write a post about this topic now that I have some personal insight, and as I said, I know a lot of artists fear sharing their images for this exact reason.

Okay, so you find your art being used on the internet without your permission, or worse, find it being copied by someone else.  What do you do?

– Personally I don’t mind if someone shares my work on Facebook or other social media sites, so long as they credit me.  At the very least it should say that the work was created by [your name].

-Ideally if your work is shared on social media, it should include your name, the media, dimensions, year created, and a link to your website.  **Note to everyone out there sharing other peoples’ images: please follow these guidelines.  Artists work HARD to do what they do, and it is much appreciated when someone gives them credit for it.

-Always  put a watermark on your work.  I know this can’t always be done since most online publications want to feature your work sans watermark.  Do what you can, though, to help limit uncredited images going awry.

-If you find your images shared without credit to you, first contact the person posting and send a polite request that they add your contact info.  Send them the info as you would like it listed so it is easy for them to copy and paste, thus they will be more likely to follow through.

-In the event that this person ignores your request, you can go above their heads and contact their web host or Facebook, Twitter, etc.  Explain that you asked nicely to get your work credited and since they refused, tell them you want the image removed.

-If your work is being copied by someone else… my condolences.  This is aggravating, but something can be done.  First, find out who did the copy.  Just because someone posted it on social media sites does not mean they are the one that created it- it may be a re-shared image.  Trace it back to the original “artist.”

-Contact all social media outlets and the website host of the copycat artist and explain your situation.  Provide images and information regarding the copied art, yours and theirs, with links to the posts and direct links to the work in question on their website.  Ask that the images be removed.

-Your original work is automatically protected under the copyright treaty law.  If you need to take legal action, it will need to be formally registered, which can be done after the fact.

-Social media sites and the website host should comply, but if need be, you could contact a lawyer or lawyer friend, and have a cease and desist letter sent.  Further action may not be required, sometimes this is enough.  If not, you’ll have to take everything into consideration as to whether or not it is worth a legal dispute in court.


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

New Postcards

Postcards featuring "Veil" by Amy Guidry
Postcards featuring “Veil” by Amy Guidry

My new postcards arrived!  Or if you’re a cat, a new cardboard box has arrived!  If you’d like to receive one, message me or click the postcard icon here:


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Selling Yourself Short

"Crutch" by Amy Guidry; Acrylic on canvas; 12"w x 6"h; SOLD; (c) Amy Guidry 2014
“Crutch” by Amy Guidry; Acrylic on canvas; 12″w x 6″h; SOLD; (c) Amy Guidry 2014

Some think that as a “new” artist, you have to start selling your art very low until you start selling like crazy, then you can raise your prices.  A lot of people would multiply the width by height of their art and that number would be the price.  Or if you’re “good,” you can then multiply that by 2.  What?

While there is some truth to starting out small when you are a new artist, it is absolutely ridiculous to think that a painting that took 40 (or more) hours to create should be worth a paltry amount.  Not to mention supply costs, packaging and shipping costs, and any other fees such as to your photographer or web designer.  Starting out, you won’t be able to recoup all of your costs, but that doesn’t mean you have to fall that short of doing so.

For the most part, I have yet to see any emerging artist overcharging for their work.  It’s usually the opposite.

Why is it that when we make something by hand, it must be cheaper than anything else?  Why are we willing to shell out more for some mass-produced, made-in-china crap than for something created, an original mind you, by a “starving” artist?  And why do artists feel that their work isn’t worth it?  Is it lack of confidence?  Is it because the grass is greener on the other side?  Whatever the reasoning, it needs to stop.

Be proud of your work.  It’s the only one in the world.  There are no others.  It’s unique.  And you made it yourself.  It was created from your imagination and unwavering dedication.  You spent endless hours sketching it, then actually producing it, forgoing weekends or holidays off, and time with your family just to finish this one piece of art.  Why settle for less?  Be confident in your work and the rest will follow.


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Growing your success

Amy Guidry giving a talk at the New Orleans Museum of Art
Amy Guidry giving a talk at the New Orleans Museum of Art

I had a question from someone wanting to know my thoughts on his acceptance into a particular publication (Studio Visit, to be precise, which I have discussed before here).  Often when I would get my work featured in a certain show or a magazine, I would get questions as to whether that led to something bigger.  Because I don’t ever rely on just one opportunity, I can’t pinpoint or put some sort of quantitative measurement to it.  While it would be nice to come up with a specific formula that doing X + Y = Z, I find it is best to have a continuous cycle of productivity going.

I don’t believe there is ever one accomplishment that opens doors.  On rare occasion you hear of some now-famous artist that was discovered and then had a sold-out show.  These are the stories that artists hear and think “that could be me.”  For the overwhelming majority of artists, including the famous ones, it was a series of events that got them to where they are today.

So in the case of the artist that contacted me, I told him that it is not so much about being in the magazine, but what you do with it.

For example:

– Once he is published in the magazine, get extra copies to send to collectors

– If you can afford it, get additional copies for potential buyers as well (anyone that seems really interested in your work)

– Give copies of the magazine to galleries as part of your portfolio presentation

– Inform your local press (newspapers, radio, etc.) that you got into the magazine

Find ways to make the most of your accomplishments and extend their shelf-life.  No one opportunity will do it, but if you can make it snowball into more, you’ll increase your chances of getting bigger and/or more opportunities.


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

The what, where, why, and how’s of putting art on your wall

Installation of "Sequence" by Amy Guidry; Acrylic on canvas; 6"w x 12"h; SOLD; (c) Amy Guidry 2014
Installation of “Sequence” by Amy Guidry; Acrylic on canvas; 6″w x 12″h; SOLD; (c) Amy Guidry 2014

When it comes to hanging art on my wall, I personally like to just go with what looks right to me.  Then again, I am an artist so that may be a little easier to do than for others.  So with that in mind, I’ve found a few short, visual, and helpful articles online to give you some help on how to hang your art, where to hang it, how to arrange it with other art, and how to light it.  The visuals alone are great ideas.

From 1Kindesign– 58 Stylish Ways to Transform Ordinary Walls into Art Gallery Walls:

From Elle Decor– How to Hang Art Like a Pro:

From DIY Network– Techniques for Lighting Artwork:


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Shipping Art

Bad example of packaging on so many levels
Bad example of packaging on so many levels

Occasionally I get asked if I ship my work, which is a common question among artists and non-artists alike.  The thought of packaging an original work of art and handing it over to a carrier is scary.  I will admit that it makes me anxious.  However, after reviewing the methods of other shipping companies, as well as researching the internet, I have been successfully packaging my own work for transit for many years now.  I have to say that this was not only a financial decision, but also based on a bad experience in which one of my paintings was damaged by a shipping company.  So here are the steps I follow when shipping my paintings:

– Wrap the front and sides of the canvas with glassine paper.  This can be found online at just about any art supply shop.  Be sure to tape the paper to the back, not the front of the canvas.

– Then wrap the painting front and sides with a sheet of mylar.  I like Grafix Dura-Lar which you can find on  This helps protect against moisture due to climate/temperature change.

– Bubble wrap the painting with large bubble wrap, covering the back as well.  I like to then wrap it again with another sheet of bubble wrap.  Try to limit the tape to just along the sides to help prevent someone from cutting into the painting when removing tape.

– Prep your box for transit. I like the ones offered by U-Line ( since they have boxes specifically for artwork.  I suggest getting one that leaves a minimum 3 inches of space around your painting.

– Tape one end of the box together with clear packing tape, covering it horizontally and vertically as well as along the seams of the box and corners.

– While the box is empty, I like to mark it with a permanent marker, writing “Fragile” on all sides of the box and I put an “up” arrow along where the top is.  Also, it helps the gallery if you write your name (I just use my last name since it’s unique enough) on the box as well.  Just be sure that it is away from the “Fragile” signs to help with visibility.

– Before stuffing the box, I use a few extra sheets of cardboard to protect the body of the box and the painting.  I like to have 2 sheets on either side of the painting, but if it’s really thick you can use one on each side.  The cardboard should be cut to cover the painting but be just smaller than the inside of the box to ensure a good fit.

– When shipping a larger painting, I like to use a couple of sheets of thin wood such as luan, which I get at Home Depot.  I will also add a couple of sheets of cardboard as well, if space allows.

– Line the bottom of your box with crumpled brown kraft paper or tissue paper.  I advise against colored tissue paper or newspaper in case of bleeding.  Pack the bottom well, especially the corners of the box.

– Place the wrapped painting in the box, between the sheets of cardboard so there are even amounts on each side.  If using luan, place the painting between the luan, leaving extra cardboard evenly on each side.

– Line the sides of the box with more kraft paper or tissue paper.  If the box is large, you may need a dowel or broomstick to help push the paper down the sides to ensure they are properly stuffed.

– Finish with kraft paper or tissue across the top of the painting.  If including a gallery contract or other paperwork, I put that information in a 9×12 envelope and place it across the top of the painting before adding kraft paper.  Then seal with clear packing tape, again going horizontally and vertically.

In cases where the work will be shipped back to me, I like to include a typed packing instruction sheet for the gallerist.  Make sure your name, contact info, and the name of your painting is on the sheet as well.  This way you can ensure that your painting is packaged in the same manner as it was received.

Also, I won’t promote any one carrier, but I will say that I prefer 2-day Air shipping.  It can be expensive depending on the size of the piece, but it goes through the least number of hands.  (Other than overnight, which is $$.)


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Meeting Goals

I’m a list-maker, so when it comes to New Year’s resolutions, I already have a list at any given time. I’m constantly thinking of things I want to accomplish or improve. My lists get overgrown, they’re illegible, and I use the new year as an opportunity to purge those lists and rewrite them into something slightly more legible. With that said, there are several guidelines that have always helped me reach goals and regardless of your personal plan, can come in handy. So here’s what I’ve picked up over the years from various sources and my own personal experience:

Have a clear vision of what it is you want
Tell people about your goal- it keeps you accountable- you’ll be more willing to accomplish it when everyone is watching
List in detail steps and a strategy for getting what you envisioned
Set deadlines- literally put it on your calendar that you will accomplish something on a certain date and follow through
Have passion for what you are doing- you have to be truly excited about what you are doing or want to accomplish
Be flexible- if something doesn’t work out, alter your plan to make it happen
Be willing to take risks and get out of your comfort zone
Surround yourself with positive people
Prioritize your goals into high priority, medium, and low
Be proactive but maintain balance in other areas of your life


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Are you passionate?

Amy Guidry discusses her work with viewers at the Paul & Lulu Hilliard Museum

Judging by my title, you’d think this was a quiz you’d find in Cosmo.  Actually, I read an article by Norm Brodsky in Inc. Magazine recently that inspired me to write this post.  He mentioned seeing a Rolling Stones concert, watching Mick Jagger performing at the age of 69, wondering how or even why he does it.  He’s not exactly hurting for money, he’s getting older- sorry, but true, and touring is a lot even for young kids, so why continue to do it?  Mr. Brodsky’s point- passion.  Clearly this man has passion for what he does.  I can completely relate.  While I am no Mick Jagger, I can completely relate to the need (yes, this is a need) to create.  That passion is what makes you get up everyday and do what you do, despite rejection, despite challenges, and despite just having a bad day in general, only to get up the next day and do it all over again.

There are some artists out there that give up because they didn’t get into a show or a particular gallery or their work didn’t sell like they expected.  There are those that give up because galleries are not knocking down their doors.  And there are those that continue to paint (or sculpt, or draw, etc.) but don’t ever expect anything to come of it.  If you are happy with that, that is perfectly fine, but if you want more for your art, then you’re going to have to give it your all.  Whatever you choose to do in life, that has to be your passion.  It has to be the thing you get up for everyday.  It has to be the thing you choose to do and do it well.  Be the best damn artist, baker, or candlestick-maker ever.  And it doesn’t stop there.  Don’t just master your craft, but also learn the skills required to make that business succeed.  Continue your education- no, I don’t mean go back to school, necessarily, but continue to learn through other sources such as the wonderful web.  And get out of your comfort zone.  Being successful at anything requires taking on new challenges or doing things we are not accustomed to.  Lastly, be flexible.  If something doesn’t go as expected, learn to adapt or figure out a new way of accomplishing the task at hand.

It seems like a given that you are passionate about your art, but that’s not always the case.  Figure out what it is that brings you joy and if need be, kick it into high gear.  Take charge of your [art] career.


Get the latest on new works via my monthly newsletter:

Follow me on Facebook:

Art and Press: Show Me Some Love

“The Wild West” by Amy Guidry as featured in Professional Artist magazine’s article “Communicating Social Messages through Art, Partnership and Publicity” by Renee Phillips

A recent discussion online brought up the lack of enough media coverage of visual art.  It is true that the number of features written about art have gone down over the past several years and it doesn’t help that some publications suffered from the economic downturn.  Some suggested that art may be too “complicated” for people to understand (bah!) while others thought bias may be given to other art forms such as music or literature.  There may be some truth to this, but I think the real reasons are much bigger.  To start, art is a luxury item and is marketed as such.  There are some smaller works that are more affordable for a wide range of budgets, but for the most part, art is a luxury item which means it is expensive due to scarcity, quality, technique, and materials, thus the price reflects this.  Part of the appeal of luxury items is that they are exclusive.  This shrinks the number of people that not only own such items, but also those that may feel comfortable enough to ask for the price.  Now, I don’t believe that art has to be completely out of reach and there are ways that it can be an easier purchase without sacrificing the artist’s own time and expense but that is another topic.  For the moment, let’s just stick with high-end luxury items.

Adding to this exclusivity are many galleries that like to orchestrate exactly which hands their works go in.  There are many blue-chip galleries which only want to see their artists in the “right” collection, thus adding to the gallery’s status.  And I have to admit that there are those galleries with the infamous “gallerina” giving the cold shoulder to visitors.  Most galleries don’t operate this way but unfortunately this is the common perception.  The “white box” psychology has taken over and makes many people uncomfortable with the art world.

To top it all off, I find that many artists and even galleries do not send out press releases to the media or when they do, it’s the same drivel that many writers receive over and over again.  It’s a boring presentation of facts- who, what, where, when, and if you include an artist statement, why.  Sure, it’s a big deal to the artist and to the gallery that they’re having a show, but why should it be a big deal to the public?  The public wants a story.  I’m an artist and even I find press releases about shows to be a snore.  I want to know the artist’s life story- why they created this work and I don’t mean some nonsensical philosophy using every vocabulary word you had to learn for the SAT’s.  What brought you to this point in your life?  What did you overcome to make this work?  What in your travels inspired this series?  It doesn’t have to be dramatic like a soap opera- although that sort of thing always interests the media- but it should be informative enough that a writer can weave this into a great story.

Even if you are lucky enough to get the elusive great review in an art magazine, these publications are for a specific niche and are not read by the general public.  If you want your art to be seen in mainstream media, as was expressed in this conversation, then you’re going to have to broaden your reach, be proactive, send press releases (good ones!!), and ask for interviews.  Be your own PR team.  Let the public get to know you as a person.


Sign up for my monthly newsletter at:

Follow me on Facebook: