How to Choose Amazing Office Art for your Business

by Aileen Mitchell 6. June 2017 11:07

The positive impact of art in the workplace is often underestimated. Whether you want to provide a talking point in an otherwise bland corporate reception, impress clients, motivate employees or simply fill white walls how do you go about choosing the right art?

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, is your office art saying the right thing? When choosing office art there are many things to consider. Here we look at buying and hanging tips for office art.

Office art shoud promote your company brand and values

The JP Morgan offices display artwork from every country they operate in, demonstrating global reach whereas LinkedIn uses local artists to convey the message that they support and embrace their local community. BP displays photos of the company’s history promoting a feeling of nostalgia and emphasising longevity and security.

What do you want your office art to say about your company? Carefully selected pieces of art can send a clear, yet subtle, message to those who see it, reinforcing the brand values. Art is a good way to start people talking and can give a powerful first impression.

Office art can help you connect with your clients

Many companies rely on specific types of people or socioeconomic groups for most of their business. Your artwork can help you connect with those groups on an emotional level.

For example, if you are in the financial services industry you may want to display art that reflects the rewards and life style of clever financial planning, perhaps a luxury yacht like the one in Moored for the Evening by Graham Williams, whereas a lawyer specialising in family law may display paintings or photographs of happy families.

Moored For the Evening by Graham Williams
Moored For the Evening by Graham Williams

Office art affects the atmosphere of a room.

Research by the British Council for Offices in 2013 suggested that 61% workers believe artwork inspires them to think and work more creatively. Employees thrive in a positive and optimistic environment and it appears that the positive effects of art work on employee productivity, satisfaction and morale cannot be ignored.

The use of colour can have a huge impact on the feeling and atmosphere of your office. Different colours evoke different feelings so it’s important to decide how you want your customers and employees to feel. If you want to promote feelings of peace or content, why not use romantic artwork with scenes of nature? Sam Martin’s colour block landscapes are a beautiful example of this.

Exciting and fun artwork stimulates creativity and helps to foster motivation. Vibrant colours and pop art could reflect youth and enthusiasm for creative industries such as advertising and design work. Vivid colours evoke energy and spontaneity so could be used in, for example, a call centre where you need your employees to feel energetic and upbeat.

Mike Coffey’s playful paintings of London landmarks would add a colourful contemporary twist to the feel of the workplace.

Westminster over the Thames by Mike Coffey
Westminster over the Thames by Mike Coffey Big Ben and the London Eye by Mike Coffey
Big Ben and the London Eye by Mike Coffey Big Ben, Westminster and London Bus by Mike Coffey
Big Ben, Westminster and London Bus by Mike Coffey

Office art improves employee experiences

Research by Exeter University’s School of Psychology found that employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are not only happier and healthier, they’re also up to 32% more productive.

Why not put together a small committee of five or six people to select art for your office? Offering employees a choice in the art they see in their work space is an effective way to give them a say in the aesthetics of their workplace environment and show that the managers care and trust their employees.  Humph Hack - artist, art expert and our Art Gallery Curator - gives some great advice:

“It has become fashionable to display work on canvas without a frame.  In most cases the simpler the frame the better.”

Thinking about choosing art, Humph adds:

“Work for offices or public areas of a building are normally bigger in size and grander in design. Domestic spaces normally require and benefit from work with more modest aspirations. Use our “Try it out – Test Drive” facility to see the scale and change the wall colour to match your wall.”

Finally, does office art need to be expensive?

You may baulk at the idea of art in the workplace since the word itself conjures up images of a hammer coming down and an auctioneer announcing “Sold for ten million pounds to the man in the top hat.”

At ArtGallery.co.uk, we’re excited to offer original art from talented artists. If you’re looking to buy affordable art online from inspirational independent artists, we can help you find an artwork you’ll love at a price you can afford.

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Buying Art

Choosing the Perfect Painting for the Bedroom

by Aileen Mitchell 31. May 2017 11:37

Homes are our modern sanctuaries and the room that should most reflect this is, of course the bedroom. It is the most intimate household space, a place where one should feel relaxed, inspired and safe. Whether your bedroom is a spacious and light minimalist affair, filled with Moroccan fabrics and incense, or a lavish velvet boudoir, choosing art for the bedroom is a detail ridden journey in terms of matching the mood of the room and promoting a harmonious night’s sleep.

Psychology

Psychology suggests that imagery has a healing effect on mood. According to Elaine Poggi, founder of The Foundation for Photo/Art in Hospitals

The mood changes when our beautiful nature photos are placed on the walls, providing colour, comfort, and hope to patients, caregivers, and loved ones.

It stands to reason, that surrounding ourselves with positive imagery will encourage mental wellbeing. A solitary figure depicting closed-off body language may consciously or unconsciously evoke feelings of loneliness, vulnerability or sadness. Your bedroom is your private sanctuary, and you deserve to feel safe and at peace.

Lost Within Oneself 3  by Paul Turner
Lost Within Oneself 3 by Paul Turner

Though the bedroom is an ideal spot for a nude, this painting carries the risk of amplifying feelings of vulnerability or loneliness.

Away from domestic distractions – loading the dishwasher, ensuring the kids have brushed their teeth, emptying the litter tray – the bedroom may be the only space to enjoy a few moments alone or with a partner. Therefore, it’s a good idea not to select a painting that will be too distracting or discordant (definitely no Where’s Wally!). Although art should make us think, we must also be able to switch off from it.

Finding harmony

The key to creating harmony in the bedroom is choosing a piece of art based on personal taste: what makes you feel relaxed?

If you’re a city slicker, chances are an image of the London rush hour won’t help shut out the stresses of the day. Likewise, though some may find views of the ocean soothing and calming, it may be prove stressful and lonely for others …

Depictions of nature are generally considered to evoke pleasant, relaxed feelings – wild flowers dancing in the breeze, fluffy clouds on a summer’s day, lambs prancing through open fields. Whilst a sunset will help prepare your brain for sleep, a sparkling sunrise will energise the mind and body for a brand new day with infinite possibilities. These natural images may be particularly tranquil, soothing, calming and beneficial to those who spend their days in busy environments with limited exposure to these evocative and atmospheric images.

Sunset Beach by Graeme Robb
Sunset Beach by Graeme Robb

A sunset can put the day’s events into perspective; we can always try again tomorrow. After all Pablo Picasso famously said,

 “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”

Placement

Humph Hack - artist, art expert and our Art Gallery Curator - gives some great advice not only on the style of art but making sure it has the best setting,

“The bedroom is a private place. Erotic art will be the choice of some. For others images which offer calmness will lower blood pressure and aid sleep.”

Thinking about the setting Humph adds,

“Works on canvas without frames are quite light, but framed works can be much heavier. Make sure your fixings are secure. Don’t hang works over radiators, canvases in particular don’t enjoy the heat. Similarly, direct sunlight is a no-no. Even the very best of materials will fade in time.”

According to the Feng Shui Society,

‘The idea is that we all respond to our environments… our response to the atmosphere of each room may influence our mood, thinking, energy levels and more.’

Influences can include colours, natural light, plants and images. Whether you believe in this ancient discipline or not, it can’t hurt to keep it in mind when planning and designing your bedroom.

If sharing your bedroom with a partner, feng shui suggests choosing multiple pieces of artwork which relate to each other. This conveys a message of a shared relationship, shared likes and complementing each other’s taste. Of course, it’s essential to communicate with a partner when buying art. What one person simply regards as an interesting piece may unwittingly create a conflict with their partner. 

Spring Equinox #2 Diptych by Lucy Moore
Spring Equinox #2 Diptych by Lucy Moore

This dual-part piece works as two standalone artworks, whilst also complementing each other as a pair.

We are most vulnerable in our own homes at the moments we wake up and fall asleep, so when considering feng shui you may find that your current art isn’t suitable for the bedroom. If you’re particularly attached to a particular piece, consider moving it to another part of the home where it won’t have such a detrimental effect on your subconscious.

According to Twyla Tharp, ‘Art is the only way to run away without leaving home.’ We believe everybody should have access to outstanding art. In addition to creating a harmonious haven in your bedroom, by choosing you art at Art Gallery you will be supporting independent artists - and may even end up acquiring a future auction piece! With over 33,000 works for sale and prices ranging from £50 to £5000, we’re confident you’ll find a painting you’ll love at a price you can afford.

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Buying Art

Finding the Perfect Painting for the Living Room

by Aileen Mitchell 22. May 2017 09:32

Where would we be without some art in our lives, a painting perhaps that speaks to us? Art is wonderful. Art is freeing. Art is the essence of life distilled to its purest form, a form that has many different faces and many different outlets.

Art can bring people together, or it can cause debate and discussion. What’s incredible about art is that whilst one person may see one thing, another could see (or feel – much art is about the feelings that are created in the viewer) something entirely different, and neither would be wrong.

Grafitti street art mural painting

There are many interpretations of ‘art’.

Art is a way for us all to be equal; if no interpretation can be wrong, then they must all be right.

Yet there is a big difference between interpretation and aesthetics, and choosing the right painting for your living room needs to be done on something more than a feeling – although this will, of course, come into it.

Humph Hack, Artist, Art Expert and our Art Gallery curator gives some great advice.

"The choice of a piece of art is a very personal matter. Visitors will always admire work of great skill. Others will be wowed by a striking image. However, by definition, the things you wish to “live” with might be calmer and offer a reassuring view of the world, nature and humanity."

Define your goals - why do you wish to hang art?

Understanding what you want to get out of the painting you choose for your living room is really important.

Are you planning to use art to express your personality to your friends and family? Are you installing the painting simply because you love art and want some in your home? Are you using the art to cover up some issue with the wall in your living room (it happens)?

Thinking about why you want the painting will help in working out what you want it to look like and, perhaps, say.

Size

Getting down to the practicalities of installing a painting in your living room, size will need to be considered - the size of the room vs the size of the painting you are planning to hang there.

Too big a painting will usually dominate your room, but there are some exceptions - if the purpose of the artwork is to create a huge statement then a dominant piece will work. Typically, however, the art will want to blend in and complement the space rather than "being" the space itself. 

Too small and it will barely be noticed which, when it comes to a great painting, is a travesty. There is little point in hanging art in your living room if no one is even going to spot it there.

The space in which the artwork is to hang is key. The more "white space" there is around a painting, the calmer, more relaxed the feeling in the room will be.

If it is too crowded, too big for the area of wall you have chosen, hemmed in by a TV or bookshelves or other pictures then the room will feel too busy - the art itself will be subsumed and the room will feel busy and cluttered.

Living room apartment graphic with large piece of abstract art

A huge artwork can dominate a room - which needs careful planning. 

A big painting in a small room will be difficult to appreciate as you won’t be able to see the full effect. Some paintings are made to be admired from a few feet away, and if you don’t have the square footage to do that, you will need to look elsewhere for your art.

Humph also adds some other points to consider,

"Don’t hang works over radiators or frequently used fireplaces. Canvases in particular don’t enjoy the heat. Similarly, direct sunlight is a no-no. Even the very best of materials will fade in time."

Subject matter

Your living room is a public space when it comes to friends and family. Bedrooms, studies, they are another matter, but your living room needs to be a place where people feel comfortable and welcome.

So picking a painting that is suitable for all should be at least something to think about. You don’t need to find something that everyone will like – art is entirely subjective, after all – but something that won’t offend, upset or frighten guests is a good idea. But don’t be afraid to pick a painting that matches your personality too.

Budget 

As with all things, your available budget will also point you in the direction you need to head in to find the ideal painting for your living room. Unless your funds are unlimited, your interior design ideas may need to be watered down somewhat. But that shouldn’t mean you have to compromise on your art.

There are some truly beautiful paintings for less than £50, and their effect in your living room will be no less impactful just because they cost less than you might think.

Conclusion

Choosing the right painting for your living room should be fun, not stressful. Make sure you stick to your budget, that you’ve measured the space you want to hang it in, and that you’re not going to clash with your colour scheme, and your living room will soon look stunning.

So what’s stopping you? Art should be in every home, and a painting in your living room is an excellent start. Use our search facility to find the piece that is perfect for your living room and budget.

Burning Bright - a tiger in a glowing forest by Gill Bustamante
Burning Bright - a tiger in a glowing forest by Gill Bustamante

Images 

https://pixabay.com/en/graffiti-mural-street-art-painting-508272/

https://pixabay.com/en/living-room-apartment-graphic-1643855/

 

Tags:

Buying Art

Malvern Theatres - May / June Exhibition

by Humph Hack 14. May 2017 14:30

The one thing I have learnt from curating exhibitions at Malvern Theatres, is that the theatre-going public will always take the time to study the works on show. They come to see a play, watch a film or just use the popular Bistro, although increasingly, some come just because they know there will be new work to look at. To encourage customers and support practising artists it’s possible to buy via an – OWN ART – interest free loan; an Arts Council initiative. The choice of artists on show tends to be a mixture of works from artists never seen before in Malvern and other paintings from those with a proven following; nothing too “way out” or too “traditional”. All the works are intended to encourage dialogue.

David Shiers, has a proven track record of sales over a number of years. He has shown successfully in the theatre before. He travels from the Wirral, where he lives and has his studio. He has worked in various studios as a Graphic Designer and Illustrator, exhibiting widely around the country. The only tuition he ever received was from attending Liverpool College of Art life drawing classes. He now paints mostly landscapes, and architectural subjects. The paintings are all about capturing the light, atmosphere and essence of a subject. Although he works in a wide variety of media, all the works in this show are in oils.

Jill Lloyd has also shown in the theatre before. Based in Herefordshire, she paints avidly and with passion and says she feels 'driven to paint'. Her works are a celebration of the joy of nature and of colour. This liveliness is very apparent in her work. She uses brush and palette knife to produce her pictures. She has a great love of colour and whilst she likes to paint traditionally, finds herself drawn to abstracting her work and painting in an Impressionistic style. Her interest in the coast is influenced by her upbringing in Lytham St. Annes. Jill’s work is now owned by collectors across Europe and further afield.

Nineke Havinga was born and brought up in the Netherlands, but has lived in the UK for more than 20 years. Her passion for painting actually started when she moved to England. The beautiful landscape, very different from the land of her birth, inspired her to begin with watercolour. She then moved to work in acrylics, which are a very versatile medium. They dry quickly, which means she can overpaint again and again, adding new colourful forms and shapes. She says that her paintings can be of any subject as long as the end result is colourful and often abstract. Her aim is to provide a starting point from which the viewer can follow his or her own imagination to a personal interpretation. This is Nineke’s first exhibition in Malvern.

For an artist, being in an exhibition is not just about sales. For many, it is also the opportunity to see their own work displayed together, and for the chance for their art to be seen by the public. In both cases, there are few better places to exhibit. Thisexhibition is open every day, throughout the day, until 1 July.

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Ery Burns - Special Promotion

by gordonsmith 18. April 2017 09:00

There was excitement in the gallery this Friday as up-and-coming artist Ery Burns was being filmed for a new special promotion (more details coming shortly). 

Ery's style is an energetic mix of pop art/abstract and have a wonderful dreamlike quality. 

Ery Burns art

Ery Burns art

Mineral Garden by Ery Burns
Mineral Garden by Ery Burns

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Artists | Exhibitions

Stephen Williams - Creating Art with the iPad

by gordonsmith 7. April 2017 12:35
Stephen Williams

On my retirement from parish ministry the move from a vicarage to a smaller house meant that space was limited for storing all the art materials and canvases. I have always been interested in working with various media and took the opportunity to acquire an iPad when the parish presented me with a cheque. I have had the iPad for about six months and have been experimenting with various drawing and painting apps.

My initial inspiration came from David Hockney and his book 'Drawing in a printing machine'. My interest grew more and more when I saw the iPad drawings in the book of his exhibition 'A bigger picture'. There are lots of artists now producing work on the iPad and I have found it a very good tool to work with.

I began experimenting with drawing directly on to the iPad and to help me to do this I bought a rubber tipped stylus. The finger works very well after all the iPad was designed to work with the finger however the stylus gives me little more accuracy. My initial concern was that I didn't have a desk top computer to transfer my work so that it could be printed. By by doing some research I discovered that a desk top is not necessary, everything can be done from the iPad wirelessly.

I invested in a good colour printer which also scans and copies and have been able to print my drawings this way. The scanner facility on the printer also enabled me to scan all my A4 fine line pen drawings onto the iPad and with the camera I can photograph my larger pen drawings. The apps that I use for my drawings have a copy function so that I can transfer my scanned drawings from the photograph storage facility in the iPad.

It is early days yet but with time and patience and a great deal of practice some worthwhile work can be produced.

Summer in the Country by Stephen Williams
Summer in the Country by Stephen Williams

The beauty about working with the iPad is that it can be taken anywhere. I can also work without having to have a larger space in which to paint. My wife had a stroke two years ago and that together with a busy parish meant that I had no time for painting. The iPad has changed all that and I can now produce my art work while keeping my wife company. It has given me a freedom and a new medium with which to work and in some ways in greater detail than before. It is possible to use individual pixels to pick our highly detailed features in the drawings.

Gothic Towers by Stephen Williams
Gothic Towers by Stephen Williams

One concern was the printing clarity of the finished art work. Would the definition be clear? Would the pixels dominate the finished print? I need not have been worried, the A 4 prints are very sharp and distinct even printed on standard printing paper. The definition and colour is even better with glossy photo paper and I am about to try printing on high quality art paper. The definition is so good that I have produced a collage print as I call it.

I have a publisher app on the iPad which enables me to transfer my drawings, not only that but I can enlarge each drawing section by section. By doing this I have been able to produce A4 prints of enlarged sections of the drawings to produce large scale separate prints which have then been put together to produce large scale prints from an iPad drawing which measures no more than 4 inches by 6 inches on the iPad itself. The larges multiple print of A4 sheets so far is 46 inches by 35 inches made up of 24 individual A4 sheets of paper.

As I said it is early days yet and there are many artists working in this medium, but for people with limited space and time the iPad is a tool well worth considering.

Aspects of Britain by Stephen Williams
Aspects of Britain by Stephen Williams

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Artists | Being an Artist

Malvern Theatres - April - May Exhibition

by Humph Hack 2. April 2017 14:47

Some years ago, the Royal Academy in London decided to make the initial selection of artworks for their annual “Summer Exhibition”, from digital photographs submitted online. The establishment were horrified! The selection of works to be shown in Malvern Theatres has been made in the same way for even longer. The artists all sell through this online gallery. The fact that the paintings are nearly always better than the photo has proved right, yet again. The new exhibition in Malvern Theatres, brings three artists from across the country to show here for the first time.

Marc Todd is a contemporary landscape painter, living and working in the UK City of Bath. Much of his work is based on subjects and locations in and around Bath, London, and the South West of England. He takes his primary inspiration from structure, texture and composition, and has a love for the application of vivacious colour palettes, dramatic and contrasting light effects, and dynamic mark-making to create aesthetically captivating surfaces. Much of his work is conceived 'in situ', and is always based upon real places observed first hand.

Originally trained in graphic design, Marc previously worked as a Creative Director for a number of large London based advertising agencies, before setting up his own creative consultancy advising clients including the BBC, Dow Jones International and Hearst Publishing. Marc became a full time painter in 2014 and has since sold work to collectors internationally, both private and corporate, and exhibits his work on a regular basis.

Marc's works cover a range of subjects including cityscapes, trees within the landscape, and expressionistic floral compositions. All the works in this exhibition draw their inspiration from the natural world.

Martin Leighton was born in Montrose, Scotland in 1951. A self-taught traditional artist, he now concentrates on painting in oils on canvas at his studio on the South Coast. He paints a variety of subjects including landscapes, seascapes, wildlife & still life, but he is passionate about portrait and figurative subjects having undertaken many commissions. Painting with oils is his favourite medium and he aims for his paintings to look realistic yet not photographic. Lighting is an important factor so he paints from life models. Achieving skin tones is such a challenge. He becomes totally engrossed in the painting until satisfied with the finished work.

His work has been shown in the UK and South Africa and paintings are now in private collections worldwide. He is happy to undertake commissions.

Anna Cumming lives in Malvern and walks the hills for a couple of hours a day with her dogs. Some days are unremarkable, but on others it’s breath-taking. Just before or after a storm; or when the mist is in the valley, and we have a white rainbow in a cobalt blue sky above it; or the October sunsets; or just an odd cloud formation and interplay with the sun or moon. All this feeds into her paintings.

She loves the hills, but is also drawn to the sea. Her works shows an interest in moody skies, turbulent seas, interesting reflections and the play of light. Her paintings are based on experiences from St Ives to Scotland, but the intention is to capture a mood or energy. The location doesn’t really matter if it evokes something for you.

The exhibition is open every day until May 13th – 38 works in total.

As ever, all the works on show can be purchased via an Arts Council sponsored interest free loan. There’s no excuse not to own something truly original.

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Easter Eggs in Famous Art

by Aileen Mitchell 14. March 2017 11:10

This is for everyone who has been told to "stand back please" when examining a piece of art. This month we bring you 'Easter eggs' in famous works of art - the secret bits you may have missed. 

Easter eggs - unexpected or undocumented features in a piece of work - have appeared in artwork as far back as ancient societies and have been anything from a sneaky self-portrait to a UFO sighting! Here are some of the most well-known Easter eggs in art that you may have missed:

The Creation of Adam c. 1508-1512 by Michelangelo 

The Creation of Adam

This renowned work from Michelangelo has graced the Sistine Chapel since 1508, and has been copied, parodied and satirised many times. But how many noticed a tribute to the artist's passion for science and the human anatomy as well as his fine painting?

It appears that God floating in his crimson pod to the right of the piece, complete with seraphim, is the exact outline of the human brain. The leg of one of the cherubs is in the correct place and shape for where the spinal chord is attached, and another's foot is in the place of the pituitary gland. The floating green scarf is even in the precise location and shape for the vertebral artery. 

If that all sounds a little too much like coincidence, you may also want to know that God even extends his arm to Adam through what we now know as the prefrontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that gives humans the gift of reason and deliberation - something that sets us apart from animals. There is also a sad looking angel in the area of the brain that is activated when we experience sad emotions.

Although the discovery of the prefrontal cortex was not until the 20th century, Michelangelo had a profoundly advanced knowledge of the human anatomy due to years of dissections from the age of seventeen. But the mystery continues as dissection of the brain alone does not reveal which parts are activated for different emotions. Could this be coincidence?

With all this new information, a controversial interpretation of the art has arisen. For hundreds of years scholars believed God to be pointing at Adam as the title suggests, giving him life. After the discovery of the anatomically correct brain representation, some believe Adam is in fact pointing at God, which gives the painting an entirely different meaning. Was Michelangelo suggesting God to be a creation of the human mind? We'll never know the true answer, as none of these things were recorded by the artist. We are left to gaze and wonder...

Madonna with Saint Giovannino - Domenico Ghirlandaio

Madonna with Saint Giovannino (1449-1494)

This Italian Rennaissance artwork by Domenico Ghirlandaio is subject of much online debate. There is some speculation over who actually painted the piece, but this is not the issue that has fuelled so much debate. People are talking about the small, dark shape in the sky behind Madonna's right shoulder, which is believed by many to be a UFO. Up close, the dark shape certainly does look a little extra terrestrial and almost spaceship-like. Others have backed up this observation by adding that the lone figure in the distance and his dog are also looking up at it. 

These shapes, however, are quite common in this era of artwork and were intended to resemble a gap in the heavens where divine light would shine through onto the subject in the painting. It is very much a religious trend that was around a lot in Rennaissance art. Not alien appearances. 

 

The Mona Lisa 1503-1505 - Leonardo da Vinci

Mona Lisa

One of the most famous artworks of all time, mentioned in many conspiracy theories and books is Leondardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Art historians recently discovered the existence of another woman painted below the surface which raised even more questions and theories about the work. On close inspection we can also see that the artists has initialled "LV" in her right eye and the number 72 on the bridge in the background. There is also a theory that the lady in the painting is pregnant, as her arms are covering her stomach and she is wearing a veil commonly used by Italian women before and after childbirth.

 

The Arnolfini Portrait - Jan van Eyck

Close up of The Arnolfini Portrait Mirror

The Arnolfini Portrait

Another very famous painting from 1434 that demonstrates Jan van Eyck's meticulous brush skills in the details in the woman's dress to the right of the scene. Although it's bursting with detail for us to appreciate, there is something you may not have spotted from behind the red ropes of the National Gallery. 

Look carefully at the back wall in the painting and you'll see a mirror. There are two new people painted in the reflection of the mirror, presumably the other guests in the room that we cannot see from the position the portrait was taken from! Art scholars think that one of these people may be a sneaky self-portrait of van Eyck himself, as one of the guests in the mirror has their hand held up in a gesture of greeting. 

Take a look at our online gallery and see if you can spot an Easter egg in our own artists's paintings!

Image credits:

The Creation of Adam/ en:Image:Creation of Adam.jpg/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Madonna with Saint Giovannino/ http://www.italymagazine.com/news/madonna-saint-giovannino-ufo-inspired-art/ 

The Mona Lisa/ Musée du Louvre/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists

Artists Inspired By Mothers

by Aileen Mitchell 27. February 2017 10:37

Mother’s Day is just around the corner (26th March – put it in your diary!). Today we look at mothers who inspired, encouraged and modelled for some of the most famous artists of all time.

Mother and Child by David Freeman
Mother and Child by David Freeman

Lucian Freud, one of the most celebrated 20th century portrait artists, had a close relationship with his mother, which we can see in his portraiture. Throughout Freud’s childhood his mother took a very keen interest in his talent, and later his career. This all stopped, however, when Freud’s father died. The death of Ernst L. Freud had a catastrophic effect on his mother, Lucie, who suffered from deep depression until she died.

It was in her long period of depression that Freud began to paint her in a collection of very intimate works. These are very detailed snapshots into a private time with mother and son that really shows the lengths of her suffering and distance from her son and the world. Works such as, ‘The Painter’s Mother Resting I, 1975-1976’ are some of Freud’s most well-known and critically acclaimed. 

It is believed that throughout his mother’s period of depression, Freud spent over 4,000 hours painting her. Art historian, Lawrence Gowing, wrote that this was the longest time in three hundred years since a painter showed so much about their relationship with their mother in art since Rembrandt.

This picture is a faithful representation of one of Rembrandt's portraits of his mother.

Rembrandt van Rijn, iconic Dutch artist, is well known for documenting his own self-portraits to show his aging process. He also used his mother as a model for many of his portraits to display similar details of aging. It was common during Rembrandt's era for artists to hone their skills by creating portrait studies of aging subjects, however Rembrandt took his portraits one step further. Using costume and lighting, he created much more theatrical interpretations of his mother that have become highly collectable. 

 

Potrait of the Artist's Mother - Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh has to have a mention here, as he is also one of the most famous artists who was directly inspired by his mother. Anna Carbentus van Gogh was an energetic, family oriented woman who always expressed great affection for her children and husband. One of her beliefs to a happy life was spending time watching flowers grow. She divided up responsibility of the family garden between all the family, which meant her son Vincent spent a lot of his time around flowers that can be seen later in his artwork. Anna was an enthusiastic amateur artist herself and loved to sketch flowers and plants. She noticed van Gogh had a keen talent for drawing and painting their garden flowers from a young age and continued to show her support when he became a full-time artist.

 

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 by James Abbot McNeill Whistler

The Whistler's Mother, or to give it its correct title, Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 is one of the most famous paintings of an artist's mother. Originally meant to be a portrait of the much younger daughter of an MP, Maggie Graham, this convas was instead used as a study of James Abbot McNeill Whistler's mother. 

In a letter to a friend, Whistler's mother explained how Graham had not shown up for a potrait appointment, and how she had decided to stand in. Anna McNeill Whistler also detailed how her son had failed to finish a painting of Mr Graham despite several sittings, producing only half finished, unsuccessful portraits. Anna Whistler was also a very supportive mother and was even James Whistler's art agent for a time when she stayed with him in London.

Blue Iris in my Garden by Simon Knott
Blue Iris in my Garden by Simon Knott

Van Gogh’s feelings of isolation from the family increased as he got older. His unusual love life, his unorthodox views of the world and his battle with mental illness were all said to be strains on the family. Despite this, he always enjoyed sending his most prized paintings back home to his mother. These included giant irises, roses and great bouquets of flowers – all of which he knew she would love. Van Gogh’s famous portrait of his mother also captures her proud and vibrant nature in the colours chosen by the artist. Whilst painting his mother’s portrait he wrote to his brother Theo, “I am doing a portrait of Mother for myself. I cannot stand the colourless photograph, and I am trying t do one in a harmony of colour, as I see her in my memory.”

The theme of motherhood is also used by many of our own artists at artgallery.co.uk. Have a look at some of our own artists inspired by mothers…

Madonna Of The North by Stephen Davison
Madonna Of The North by Stephen Davison

Stephen Davison has taken inspiration from visit to an Inuit community and their culture of loyalty and motherhood. This rich monochrome oil painting is based on a photograph taken by Henry G. Kaiser circa 1906.

Happy Memory by Mrs Wilkes
Happy Memory by Mrs Wilkes

Mrs Wilkes’ line drawing is a great modern take on the notions of motherhood. The simple addition of red lips and the mark on the mother’s tummy draws the eye to the main theme of the drawing. 

abstract mum by Sandy Jai Hughes
abstract mum by Sandy Jai Hughes

Sandy Jai Hughes has created a portrait of a mother and three children in the famous cubist style of Pablo Picasso. She has also incorporated texture into the piece by adding papier-mâché stained with coloured ink.  

Mother Protects Her Child by Hanan Saied
Mother Protects Her Child by Hanan Saied

Hanan Saied has created a dramatic acrylic on canvas depicting a Nubian woman in traditional dress protecting her baby from the natural disasters in the wold like flooding and tsunamis.

Take a look on our online gallery to find more art from our own artists inspired by their mothers.

Image credits:

Portrait of Rembrandt's mother/ Own work photo of Horst Gerson 1968 catalog/ Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Portrait of the Artist's Mother/ Mefusbren69 (talk | contribs) / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

Arrangement in Grey and Black No.1 by James Abbot McNeill Whistler/ Musée d'Orsay/ Publlic Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

 

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Art History | Artists

We've Been Awarded Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award 2017!

by Aileen Mitchell 20. February 2017 17:44

ArtGallery.co.uk has won a Feefo Gold Service award, an independent seal of excellence that recognises businesses for delivering exceptional experiences, rated by real customers.

Created by Feefo, Trusted Service is awarded to businesses that use Feefo to collect genuine ratings and reviews. A badge of honour, this accreditation remains unique as all the awards are based purely on the interactions with verified customers. This feedback has been collated by the Feefo review platform, with the accolades being awarded based upon performance. 

We met the criteria of collecting at least 50 reviews between January 1st 2016 and December 31st 2016, and achieved a Feefo service rating of between 4.5 and 5.0.

Aileen Mitchell from ArtGallery.co.uk said:

“It’s a real honour to receive this award from Feefo. To be recognised for delivering exceptional experiences to our customers is a great achievement.
We’ve been working hard to ensure our customers receive the best service possible, and being able to listen, understand and respond to their needs has enabled us to improve our offering in 2016. We’re looking forward to another successful year ahead.”

Andrew Mabbutt, CEO at Feefo added:

“We would like to offer our congratulations to all the winners of this year’s Feefo Trusted Service award. We are so proud that so many businesses are putting customer service first.,”

“We have been working closely with all our customers to build trust and transparency online, and ultimately helping shoppers buy with confidence and make better decisions.” 

Feefo is a ratings and reviews, and customer analytics platform. They collect genuine, purchase-verified reviews on behalf of over 3,000 businesses. Feefo ensures that all feedback is authentic by matching it to a legitimate transaction. We believe this is the best way to combat the rising issue of fake reviews.

To read our reviews, please go to our ArtGallery.co.uk reviews on Feefo.

Feefo Gold Trusted Service Award Badge

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