Travel Collections: Art

I have always been a fan of collecting small watercolors, and I try to buy a piece of art on every trip.  Luckily, in cities across the world there is never a shortage of artists who love to paint beautiful landscapes and famous landmarks.  Art is easy to pack because an unframed piece doesn’t take up any room in a suitcase (when packed at the bottom of a standard piece of luggage), and they will always remind you of your trip when you look at them hanging on your walls.  Posters are also fun to buy, although the tubes do take up a little more room (and are easy to forget in the overhead compartment on an airplane…yes, I’m speaking from experience).  Here is just a sampling of the art I’ve  collected over the years that is now gracing the walls of my tiny apartment.

All of these cute prints are actually cards that I bought in Honolulu for $2.99 each and then got framed.

Flamenco dancers poster I bought in Spain.

I bought this Guinness poster in Dublin, Ireland after a tour of the brewery, and it’s grouped with Hawaiian and Italian art, a Germany tin beer sign and a silver German plate.

Gallery wall with art from Istanbul, Key West, Puerto Rico, Oahu and Maui.

My brother gave me this vintage German poster for Christmas in 2008 when my family spent Christmas and New Year’s in Bavaria.  Such a sweetie.

Print of the beach on Oahu.

This Hawaiian poster was from a stand-up paddle board competition that took place while I was at the beach with my mom and grandmother.  The small paintings are from a Paris street artist.  The bottom piece is from a flea market in Arlington.

Here I grouped a painting from Barcelona, pineapples painted on wood from Hawaii, and a painting by my aunt.  They were all too small to be used alone, but together they fill the space perfectly.

Bull fighter poster from Spain.  I left my first version of this on an airplane back to the US…second time’s a charm.

Art is perfect for collecting because it makes your home tell a story of your life.  Plus, gallery walls are so popular now that it’s completely acceptable (and encouraged by me) to mix and match art from across the globe.  I am really excited to move to a larger home because I have so many pieces of art that I didn’t include here.  Even if you just travel to another state, go ahead and buy a piece that will remind you of your trip!  I prefer paintings and posters over photographs, because I think they are more versatile.  Happy travels y’all!

Images via my home tour on The Everygirl.

Katie Vail
Katie Vail

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Leave a comment

  1. March 12, 2014 / 10:50 am

    I love this post! I love the leaf print cards with your coral collection. That grouping is so stunning! But also love the grouping with the paddleboard and your flea market find. I never would have thought to hang things at that level, but it looks perfect! I am nowhere near as talented as you in interior design/decorating, but you are making it more and more accessible to me with each post 😀

  2. March 12, 2014 / 10:50 am

    its fun to see how you incorporate all of your travels throughout your home. we have several pieces from our time in honolulu with the navy and it brings to mind such lovely memories of our first two years of marriage.

  3. March 13, 2014 / 1:24 am

    Thanks Karen, thanks for continuing to read and I'm so happy to hear it's helping to inspire you 🙂

  4. March 13, 2014 / 1:25 am

    Thanks Esther! I bet you have some great treasures. I love how all my Hawaii things bring back happy memories too 🙂

  5. March 17, 2014 / 2:08 am

    I love this idea! Before my son was born I picked up a postcard and framed it as a reminder of where I was and completely forgot about carrying this on! Thank you!

  6. March 25, 2014 / 2:58 pm

    Love how much art you have all over your place! Also, the coral prints are divine. 🙂

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