Art Gifts for Mother’s Day: A Definitive Guide

by Robb Shingles 27. March 2019 09:58

Some of us are very lucky, we know before we’ve even started gift shopping what we’re going to buy for a loved one. The ideas flock to us, there is little research involved and often, the gift is very well received. However, for the unfortunate majority, buying gifts for loved ones can be a long drawn out affair, with regular standoffs and frustrations. 

As art enthusiasts, we know that buying art as a gift for Mother’s Day is often perceived as one of the most thoughtful and perceptive of gifts. However, there are still many pitfalls that people can easily fall into, especially if not art enthusiasts themselves.

So, that’s why we at ArtGallery have put together a handy little guide, which hopes to inform readers on how to make the best artwork selection and ensure their gift is well recieved.

Art Gifts for Mother's Day - Botanical Jazz by Alexandra Grashion-cowley

Botanical Jazz By Alexandra Grashion-cowley

 

How well do you know your Mother’s tastes?

Some may say this is a silly question to ask, but careful consideration is needed here. If you feel that you aren’t particularly brushed up on your Mother’s tastes, try following these simple steps: 

  • Look for art/prints/pictures already erected around the home. This isn’t a fullproof method of picking the perfect piece, but it is certainly a safe indicator.
  • If you mother is a crafter, have a browse through her supplies. Within here, hopefully you’ll discover patterns, colours and styles.
  • Home Décor – Buying an artwork which doesn't compliment internal colour schemes is likely to go down badly, so take this into account. The general tones and patterns of wallpaper, wall paint and furniture is likely to give you a solid understanding of your mother’s tastes.  

 

See The Light By Tracey Rowan

 

Space in the house

Another important factor to consider when shopping for that perfect artwork is working out if your Mother has the space to hang it! Whether you’re looking on ArtGallery or on another online art marketplace, they should have functionality enabling you to filter artworks by size.

To go through the entire artwork selection and purchasing process, only for your mother to put your gift into storage would be disheartening for everyone, so try your best to make sure your Mother’s Day art gift is an appropriate size. Perhaps even sneak around with a tape measure and scope out a few potential hanging spots prior to purchasing. 

Iris With Lilacs Bouquet By Elizabeth Williams

 

How much are you willing to spend?

This is certainly something that needs consideration, as artwork prices can vary hugely. As with size requirements, all good online art marketplaces, including ArtGallery.co.uk will have price filtering. This should cut out endless browsing and help you find a piece within your budget, within just a few clicks.  One handy hint; we at ArtGallery are real advocates for quality over quantity. If in doubt, a smaller more expensive piece will be better received than a large cheap piece.  

Beautiful Autumn Day By Oleg Riabchuk

 

Don’t buy for yourself, however hard that may be

Although very difficult, we always advise people to try and park their own tastes and feelings at the door. When it comes to buying Art for Mother’s Day, or for any occasion, you must try and put yourself in your recipient's shoes. 

 

When do you need it by?

It’s always best to make sure that the artist can deliver in good time. That being said, for the perfect piece, it’s no bad thing to wait an extra couple of days. Just make sure you let you Mother know, so she doesn’t think you’ve forgotten about her!

At ArtGallery.co.uk, all UK sales are delivered within 5 working days unless otherwise specified. However, your order can be delivered quicker. The best way to take advantage of this service is to contact Chloe Draper, our Sales Executive at [email protected]. Alternatively, you can call her on 01666 505152.

Blue Skies in London 2 By Aisha Haider

 

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Art Galleries | Buying Art

Paintings of Pets - Capturing Animal Spirit in Art

by Toby Ward 20. February 2019 15:00

This week, pet owners show off their special animal friends on Love your Pet Day.

Studies have shown that owning a pet can increase your chances of being happy and successful. In fact, of 1,000 pet owners studied, researchers found that they brought laughter to six in 10 owners and made seven in 10 feel more relaxed.

As a nation of die-hard animal lovers, it’s not surprising our furry (and feathery and scaly) friends make us happy.

Animals are hugely popular subjects for artists, and why we have hundreds of paintings of all kinds of wildlife. 

Pets in art

Dogs and horses have always been incredibly popular in the history of art.

Some of the earliest cave paintings ever discovered is of horses. Many years before horses were domesticated they were being carefully observed and recorded by humans.

Renaissance artists painted their subjects with their dogs. Dogs symbolised loyalty, faithfulness, protection and love. One of the most well-known and recognised being Velazquez’ ‘Las Meninas’ where a dog snoozes in the corner, or Jan Van Eyck’s Arnolfini marriage where a puppy is at the forefront of the painting.

Here's a modern cat-tastic take on the Arnolfini Portrait.

 The Arnolfini Marriage. Feline art by Olga  Koval
The Arnolfini Marriage. Feline art by Olga Koval

One of the most famous animal painters of all time was George Stubbs who became internationally recognised for his horse portraits, and still is today. His lifelike studies show incredible detail that have influenced so many painters with horses being a subject that remains very popular.

Animals are also the stuff of myths and legends and have captured people’s imaginations for centuries. Unicorns, two-headed dogs, the phoenix have all played a big part of shaping stories for generations.

Domestic pets

Admit it, we all go gaga over a cute cat or dog. We are a nation that’s crazy about pets and animals in general and take their care very seriously.

Cats are loved - perhaps despite their famous ambivalence towards humans - unless they want something of course. Whereas dogs bound around looking for approval and attention from their owners.

Whether you are a cat or a dog person, there’s a lot of art to choose from.

The weird and wonderful

Not everybody sees the beauty in the more conventional pets, such as a cat or a dog, but instead prefer to look after some more unusual creatures, such as lizards or spiders.

These are creatures that require a lot of care and attention, as well as equipment, so people who look after unusual pets, really do have a passion for them.

Pet portraits

Because we are a nation that loves animals, there are artists at ArtGallery.co.uk that can be commissioned to do pet portraits. Elaine Askew is one artist who having lived in Florida for many years, relocated back to the UK and is now inspired by the Durham coastline, and animals.

One of the most popular animal artists on our site is Sam Fenner. Her animal portraits really bring out their individual personalities and character. Unsurprisingly, her paintings capture a range of animals from dogs and alpacas to hares, cows and donkeys.

If you’re keen to have a portrait painted of your pet, then you can commission an artist via the Art Gallery site. Either drop us a line via the Contact Us page, or you can contact the artist direct.

All our artists have a ‘Make Enquiry’ button, so do get in contact with them to find out more.

Special offers

There’s always a great selection of art on our Special Offers page. For a limited time, artists reduce the price on some of their work, so if you’re on a budget, this is a great opportunity to get a great piece at a great price.

It’s also a great way to buy a gift for a close friend or loved one. Art can sometimes be seen as something that is a nice-to-have, so presenting them with a painting or sculpture can show them how it really transforms a room and a person’s mood. Combine these elements with a cute pet image and you’ve got the perfect work of art!

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Art History | Buying Art

Cubist Art

by Toby Ward 12. February 2019 12:30

Are you feeling a bit of a square?

Well, it’s all going a bit square-shaped here at ArtGallery too, as we have gone slightly Cubism-mad!

Cubism is the modernist style that fits perfectlly into smart, stylish or minimalist interiors. Let's take a look at Cubist art - a style that changed the face of art and was the start of what we now call modern art.

The Cubist style has certainly stood the test of time as it still works with a range of interior styles today. 

When is a square not a square?

When photography entered mainstream society there was less of a need for paintings to be so realistic, especially when it came to portraiture. A camera could capture the likeness of a person, which left artists free to experiment with paint, reinvent what art means to society and create new styles.

Enter Picasso.

He realised that art could represent reality in different ways and that we could look at differently. It didn’t have to look ‘real’, so why not show multiple viewpoints and poses simultaneously?

 To test his theory, Picasso painted Les Demoiselles Davignon, which changed the course art and led to the birth of Cubism.

Portrait (cubist) by Stanislav Bojankov
Portrait (cubist) by Stanislav Bojankov

The term cubism comes from the block-like nature of the paintings. In order to fragment the image, Picasso mainly used square shapes to ‘build’ the image. Essentially, he was testing, experimenting and creating new art, which still influences the modern art of today.

Abstract or cubist

Abstract art is about distorting the everyday with the artist showing their own representation of an object or scene.

This can also be applied to Cubism, which is a form of abstract art. It’s a distorted view of reality that serves no other purpose than be a work of art.

Sounds a bit deep, but as the camera captured reality, art then became less about functionality and more about something people could appreciate aesthetically or had to think about.

Interiors

The Cubist style has certainly stood the test of time as it works with a range of modern interiors. If you love a sleek, white interior, then it can add the focal interest to a wall, as well as a pop of colour.

It can also make a great statement piece as visually,  Cubist art is colourful, but often quite challenging. It makes you want to look at it for a while. So hang in a central location where you can get to stop and contemplate it for a while.

Music box (landscape) by Paresh Nrshinga
Music box (landscape) by Paresh Nrshinga

Types of Cubist art

Picasso used a range of subjects for his Cubist paintings. This still applies today with a wide range of themes being captured in this style, such as food, drink, instruments and figures.

Cubist artists tend to use simple shapes and forms. This stems from the fact they like to transform the everyday by distorting the image to make it look as though you’re seeing it from a range of angles.

Artists

There is a wide selection of Cubist art on our site and something to suit for every taste. Arie Coetzee paints abstract images, as well as block-like landscapes and townscapes that are inspired by Cubism.

Neil Hemsley is a digital artist who experiments with a range of styles and themes in his art, from Surrealism to Cubism. He currently has a series of images based on this art movement.

Cubism that doesn't break the budget

There is a wide selection of Cubist art on our site for every budget. Having this style of art on your wall doesn’t need to break the budget. You can buy a work for as little as £90, and then right up to £600.  

If the budget’s looking a bit tight but you’ve seen your dream painting, then there’s always the Own Art scheme to help finance your purchase.

The scheme works on 0% APR and you can spread payments over 10 months, which gives you the opportunity to get that work of art you’ve always wanted to own.

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Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

The Art of Love - Original Art to Celebrate Valentine's Day

by Toby Ward 28. January 2019 09:42

Fire up your favourite cheesy love songs, for it’s the time of year when Cupid’s arrow hits us all and we all get a little giddy and romantic.

Hot dates, date nights, a night in with your friends, sending anonymous cards or simply spending quality time with your family; yes, that’s right it’s Valentine’s Day!

We show you how to get your romance on and share the love with some great art and gifts to really impress your partner or loved ones.

Crazy in love

Defining love is probably one of the hardest things to do.

Psychologists and philosophers constantly talk and theorise about it - and have done for centuries - but it’s one of those inexplicable forces of nature.

Authors write about it and singers write songs about it. This thing that is love. Butterflies, sweaty palms and that real joy of seeing that special someone is an unbeatable feeling, and one that we celebrate on Valentine’s Day.

Some people think it’s a pointless event, but there’s nothing wrong with having a day that reminds us why we love that person or people. Why not do something positive to make them happy and to feel good about themselves. You can tell we’re a romantic bunch here at Art Gallery!

Iconic images

The theme of love is a never-ending source of inspiration. Since the dawn of time, it’s been captured in so many ways.

But it’s art that has been one of the most effective ways of portraying love, which is why there are so many iconic paintings and sculptures that have capture our imagination for hundreds of years, if not centuries.

Rodin’s The Kiss is perhaps the most iconic piece of art of all time. Created in the 1900s, it’s an image that has never dated. That’s the power of Love, and art of course!

Gustav Klimt’s Kiss is another image that has been reproduced and interpreted many times. If you were to ask somebody what they considered to be one of the most famous works of art, they would probably think of Klimt’s painting.

An iconic image can express feelings better than words, which is exactly why they are so famous because they have worked their way into public consciousness to become unforgettable.  

Galentine's

It’s important to note that not everybody enjoys or looks forward to Valentine’s Day, and there has been a change in the way this time of year is being marketed. We’re seeing a bit more awareness of how we’re all different and don’t always want to conform to specific days or events.

A good example is Galentine’s day, which is developing into a bit of a phenomenon because it’s a day that’s happy not to conform. It takes place on February 13th and celebrates all things female friendship.

Having been created in the TV series Parks and Recreation, it’s grown in popularity in the US, UK and Europe. It’s a great opportunity to get all you friends together and tell them just how much they mean to you.

The other great thing about Galentine’s is that make sure people are around and showing they care, especially at this time of year, which can sometimes feel like a lonely time.

Family

Even though Valentine’s Day is mainly about romantic love, we think we should celebrate love in all its many forms. It’s always great to remind someone special just how much you appreciate them and all that they do to support or help you.

That’s why it’s important to celebrate family; whether it’s children, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, or other people that are so close they feel like a family member. Spread the love, we say!

Not only that, but why not use Valentine’s as an opportunity to reach out to people who may be on their own or missing a loved one at this time of year. There are reminders of love and romance on the TV or in shops, so why not reach out, you never know where it could lead you.

Affordable gifts

As much as we’d love to make a grand gesture and buy an incredibly expensive work of art, sometimes it’s just not feasible. That’s ok though, because we have something for every budget and price range.

We have paintings from as little as £25 that make very grand and touching gestures on a small budget. More often than not, these are the gifts that last and are cherished for a lifetime.

We love a bit of romance at art gallery, and so, it seems do our artists. We have over 1,000 paintings on the subject of love alone, which shows just how powerful a subject it is, not just  for artists, but all of us.

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Italian Art

by Lisa Doherty 15. January 2019 09:17

Who doesn’t love Italy? Bellisima weather, bellisima landscapes and bellisima cuisine.

Offering a wealth of subject matter, it’s no surprise Italy is such a popular country for artists. Let’s also not forget that it’s considered to be the birthplace of ‘modern’ art, making it a place that has a strong heritage of creative inspiration.

Not only that, but Italy is also a popular holiday destination and a country people associate with sunshine, laughter and relaxation.

To help beat the January blues and give you that nice summer holiday feeling, we have a large selection of Italian art on our site, so you can capture that holiday moment in your own home forever.

Landscapes

Italy has a diverse range of landscapes and scenery, from the rolling hills of Umbria, and the beaches of the Amalfi coast, right through to lakes, snow-capped mountains and volcanoes.

This diverse landscape means there is a lot of inspiration for artists. Different scenery also means different light, which is a really important element and point for consideration when creating and painting.

Light can make or break a painting, it brings an image to life and transforms it from a standard image into a work of art.

Changes in light is something artists are keen to capture as it does change across a country, or parts of a country. The light in a mountain range, such as The Dolomites, is a clean, strong light, whereas areas like Umbria or Tuscany tend to have a softer, orange-hued glow.

Light also impacts shadows, so in strong sun there will be longer, more angular shadows, whereas soft light makes them less defined. This is also important to capture on canvas in order to really hit the senses and emotions.

The geography of Italy also presents a challenge to artists as it’s not made up of the conventional rolling hills of the UK, but a mixture of rocky bays and cliffs or mountains. Mix this with changes in architecture across different regions, and you’ve got a great challenge for artists!

History

Of course, Italy is bursting with history.  The Renaissance saw art change forever, with artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci paint in a style and figurative realism that had never before been seen.

To this day, artists still try to recreate the style and technique of the old masters on canvas. And, although Renaissance art is mainly based on religious subjects, they show raw emotion and passion, which is still just as important to artists today as it was then.

The Italians also had a significant impact on society with the Roman Empire shaping western civilisation. In most towns and cities, you can’t move for ruins and architecture from that period, as well as the Renaissance. 

Just think, the Colosseum is over 1,000 years old, it’s still standing to this day and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

For artists, capturing ruins like the Colosseum is a great challenge, as not only do they need to focus on light and shade, but also the fragmented and broken stones and brickwork that makes-up the ruin, which requires a lot of attention to detail and accuracy.

Towns

Italy’s towns and coastal regions are also extremely popular with artists, and why we have over 100 paintings capturing these areas and places on our site.

From historic hill towns and coastal regions, right through to the Lakes, we think it’s impossible for an artist to ever get bored or struggle for inspiration and subject matter.     

Cities

We couldn’t possibly put a blog together on Italian art without talking about its cities, especially Roma!

A place of romance, history, culture and escape, Rome is the twelfth most visited city in the world. It offers so much inspiration for artists as not only is it a chaotic and busy city but is also a calm, sanctuary-like place.

Rome is not the only inspirational city in Italy though, there is Lucca, Florence, Bologna and Sienna, to name but a few. All with different personalities and historical significance.

Venice

With over 150 paintings of Venice on our site, it’s clear that this city really captivates artists and tourists alike.

With its narrow canals and imposing buildings, St Mark’s square and the Doge’s Palace, Venice offers a lot of inspiration. It’s a city that’s dripping in history and atmosphere and, as a city that is built on water, Venice fascinates. It appears that once visited, you never seem to forget it.

Of course, Venice wouldn’t be Venice without its gondolas. They’re a very popular subject for artists and we have a very varied selection on the site.

As you can see, Italy inspires artists in many ways. Whether it’s capturing the Renaissance, differences in light or its vibrant cities and towns, the creative process could go on forever, and still there would be more to capture and inspire. 

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Affordable Art That Makes You Happy

by Toby Ward 19. December 2018 13:49

Christmas is done for another year, it’s cold, we’re all heading back to work soon, and, to top the lot it’s nearly January. Urgh!

Not to worry - we’re ever the optimists at Art Gallery - let’s focus on making our home or workplace a happy place with affordable art. We believe in art for all, so here’s a selection of happy paintings that don’t have to bust the budget.

The science of happiness

What makes people happy is a question that’s often researched by scientists and academics. Studies have shown that it’s a range of areas and elements that brings joy into people’s lives.

Although the study showed that money does buy happiness (sorry), the common theme or thread amongst happier people is that they take time out and hit the pause button on the chaos of life.

The research also found that spending time with family and focusing on relationships were also key criteria for happiness, as well as general downtime or simply taking time out to stop and smell the roses.

The increasing popularity in mindfulness reflects this need to hit the pause button every now and again. We’re also seeing this in art with abstract paintings that are almost hypnotic in their nature and encourage you to switch off and ‘be’ in the moment.

Landscapes

Paintings of the sea or countryside can also bring about a mindful moment or make you happy simply because it’s a beautiful or calming scene.

Back in the days before photography, a painting was the only way to capture a moment in time, or a specific location, and would leave people excited and happy viewing a scene they may not see on a regular basis. Imagine how people felt back then when they first saw a landscape painting that presented a scene from another country.

This really hasn’t changed much in the 21st Century, even though we have cameras and smartphones. Landscapes or images of the beach or sea still bring about a sense of happiness, fascination and joy. Not to mention nostalgia. Why not put a bit of that on your wall?

There are so many styles or themes of landscape art that can make us happy. Whether it’s a winter scene or a blazing hot beach, they can both make us smile and feel happiness in different ways.

Animals

A recent study has shown that owning a pet can increase your chances of being happy and successful. In fact, of the 1,000 pet owners studied, researchers found that they brought laughter to six in 10 owners and made seven in 10 feel more relaxed. As a nation of die-hard animal lovers, it’s not surprising they make us happy.

It’s not just pets that makes us happy either, we do love a light-hearted animal painting or photograph. On our site alone, we have over 300 paintings of Dogs, the same amount for Cats and nearly 400 works on animals from across the globe.

Sam Fenner is an artist who mainly paints livestock and wild animals. What makes her art so popular is that she captures their personalities and really brings out their character. As a result, her art is amusing, charismatic and really makes you want to smile.

At work

Ok, so we know that work isn’t necessarily the place where we always want to be, but a super-productive day, positive feedback or a fun atmosphere can make us happy.

From an employer’s perspective, it’s important to have motivated staff and to ensure morale is high. Otherwise, productivity can decline, leading to unhappy and demotivated employees.

Research from the University of Exeter found that minimalist interiors and blank, white walls does not reduce distractions or increase productivity, for that matter. In fact, they found that people who worked in ‘Enriched Offices’ with art and plants were 15% quicker and had fewer health complaints than employees who worked in ‘Lean Offices’ with plain walls.

Visually challenging art is ideal for the workplace as it can help to positively distract staff and encourage them to take breaks away from their laptop or PC. It’s easy to stare at a screen for long periods at a time, so breaking it up with interesting art is a great way to recharge and have a focused and happy moment.

Colour can also impact mood. Bold tones can increase staff happiness levels, whilst inspiring a more driven and productive mindset. As you’d expect, calming colours, such as Blue create a relaxed atmosphere, whereas bold Reds and Yellows drive energy and creativity.

Affordable means affordable

Buying art doesn’t mean you have to take out a small mortgage to make it a reality. There are paintings out there for every person, every home and every business. Whether it’s a sketch for £20 or a large-scale painting for £200, there is a work of art out there with your name on it.

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Buying Art

Beautiful Winter Paintings to Bring Warmth to Your Home

by Lisa Doherty 11. December 2018 16:36

Some people love the whole winter season and the build-up to Christmas, while others simply love the festive period.

Either way, it’s a time to make your home a cosy winter wonderland for friends and family. Here are our top picks for capturing that festive winter spirit.

Snowy landscapes

Nothing says Christmas like a snowy landscape; and as we don’t often get the white Christmas we always dream of, why not recreate it your own home?

There’s something about a snowscape that brings out nostalgia and warmth in people. Looking out at the cold, while being warm and dry indoors can be a very mindful and uplifting experience. The Danish have a great word for this - hygge - which decribes a feeling of warmth and enjoying the good things in life with good friends.

The Danes are some of the happiest people in the world, which means there must be something about a winter landscape that lifts the soul. Come on, get the open fire burning, hang the paintings up and, if you really want to go for it, get wearing those Christmas jumpers. You know you want to …

Have a giggle

Christmas is a time of fun, so why not buy art that makes you and your guests smile? There is nothing like a light-hearted painting to put a smile on your face.

The winter season is great for characterisation in art as there’s something about animals and snow that makes us smile.

For those of you who’ve had pets or watched animals negotiating the white stuff, it’s pretty funny and guaranteed to make even the most serious among us smile.

It’s also the time of year where it gets dark early, it’s cold and can be quite miserable sometimes, so putting something on your wall that makes you smile, and forget the cold for a bit, can only be a positive thing.

Towns and cities

Snow can make everything look amazing, bringing smoothness and calm to an otherwise jagged and jostling environment. That's why it’s a very popular subject in art.

We have nearly 300 paintings of snow available to buy right now. One reason is because snow can be a challenge for artists to recreate with paint – capturing the glisten, movement and soft feeling of snow – not to mention a popular theme for the home.

Snowscapes of towns and cities are also great as they capture what may usually be seen as a mundane view and turn it into an almost magical image. Especially if it’s a painting of your home town.

The other great thing about snowscapes is that they work with a wide-range of interiors, from a contemporary look right through to a more traditional theme, which makes it a really versatile style of art.

Landmarks

There’s something about famous landmarks around the globe that, when captured from a different perspective, makes them stand out even more.

Usually, landmarks are painted or photographed on a sunny day or against a dusky backdrop to have more of a picture-postcard feel. But when captured in the snow it can make it look more unconventional, creating a different image altogether.

Abstract winter scenes

Not everybody is a traditionalist or has an interior that fits with a more formal style of painting, so there are also abstract winter landscapes to work with a modernist or minimalist look.

For an artist that is trying to capture the movement, texture or even the range of colour in snow, abstract art enables them to achieve this, offering them more freedom and scope for personal expression.

A gritty realist

OK, so not all of us like a romantic winter landscape, but instead prefer a more realistic or urban representation of winter. It can be strangely comforting to see wet, slushy snow, or iced remnants of snowfall, when you’re cosy and comfortable indoors.

For a lot of city dwellers, there’s a deep love for the grey, winter snowscape that is so different from a countryside idyll. It is this difference that gives them a sense of comfort, and a feeling of joy, to be inside and out of the chaos of a city.

Whatever your taste, there is always art to match it, and always a perfect wall to hang it. Treat yourself this Christmas or make it a really personal gift for a loved one. A great painting will last forever.

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Buying Art

Art for Christmas - the Ultimate Gift Guide

by Lisa Doherty 21. November 2018 11:24

Art, in all its amazing forms, is the gift that keeps on giving. It’s a really personal and thoughtful present for loved ones, friends or even that certain someone you’ve been trying to impress!

We’ve got a whole heap of gifts to choose from, and here are some of our top picks and tips on buying the best presents.

Paintings

There are over 42,000 art works on ArtGallery, so we’re pretty confident you’re going to find the perfect gift.

Paintings last almost forever and are a great way to show how much somebody means to you. They even look great under the Christmas tree!

The challenge with art is that it’s very subjective, so when choosing a gift always keep the person you’re buying for at the very front of your mind. In most cases, the rule of thumb is to buy a present that you’d like to get, but in the case of art, think about what the other person would want.

If you’re going to visit that person before the festive period, it’s worth checking out what they hang on their walls to give you inspiration. If they mainly have photography or abstract art, then a traditional landscape scene is probably not going to be their preferred style of art.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with shaking things up a bit. Sometimes a leftfield gift can be a great way to introduce new styles and themes. If you think a particular painting would look great in their home, then a good compromise could be to fuse two styles.

For example, an abstract landscape may be something they’ve not considered before.

Sculpture

Why not get off the wall and get three-dimensional with a gift of sculpture. If you feel buying a painting is just too much of a risk, then sculpture can be the perfect alternative.

There are so many styles and forms that suit every style of interior.

The fact that sculpture is mainly made from neutral-coloured and textured materials means it’s a really versatile medium. Even if you choose a more traditional theme, such as a nude, it’s hard to go wrong, even in a highly contemporary room or house.

Sculpture also looks amazing in an outdoor setting, so if you’re buying for a keen gardener, a piece of art could transform their garden and help bring out the style or theme of the outdoor space.

Finishing touches

Art can even help accessorise a room, which is why we have a gift shop on our site with an extensive range of finishing touches to help complete a look or room set.

Lighting is an important part of the interior design process, so buying a light sculpture can help shape a room and its mood. It also serves two purposes, as it’s not just a piece of art, but a functional gift as well. Ideal for the more practically-minded amongst us.

On the theme of practical gifts, form and function can take shape in so many objects. If you’re buying for a person who doesn’t really have an interest in painting or sculpture, then what about a useful household item, such as a teapot or soap dispenser?

Art can present itself in so many ways, so even for the most practical of people, there’s a way to give them something visually outstanding that has a useful purpose.

Sports enthusiasts

Buying for a sports enthusiast does make the gift-giving process a lot easier. There are many artists painting scenes of sports people, horses or competitions in action, so there’s something for every sports fan.

For example, if you know someone who is devoted to a particular football team, there are paintings of stadiums to delight, and even portraits of footballing legends to really help fuel their passion in the sport.

Christmas budget

As much as we’d love it, we don’t all have a disposable budget at Christmas, which is why we have a selection of art for every pocket. Whether it’s a few pounds or thousands, we have something for everyone.

Not only do we sell works for people making a long-term investment, but we also sell pieces for under £50. Currently, we have a range that includes a framed print by Claudinne Peronne, for all those cat lovers out there, and some Pop Art by Lee Proctor.

Even our gift shop sells items for the budget conscious, and the reason for this is because we believe in art for everybody, and not something that is the preserve of the rich and famous.

I haven’t got a clue

If the process is proving to be tougher than you thought – after all there are 42,000 pieces to choose from! - then there’s always a Gift Voucher. It’s still a great gesture and it means you can feel more confident that that person will choose a piece of art they love.

We sell Gift vouchers to suit every budget, that start from as little as £5, and go right up to as much as £500.

Whichever way you look at it, art as a gift is a highly personalised gesture that has a positive impact on many levels. What better way to show someone how much they mean to you than a present that isn’t disposable, but lasts for years, if not a lifetime.

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Art for Interiors: Sculpture

by Lisa Doherty 9. November 2018 15:52

It’s a common feeling that sculpture is for large houses or stately homes, and that it can be a little, well, fusty and old fashioned.

The good news is that this isn’t necessarily the case. Sculpture can be a dynamic and engaging art form for any size of house. From a stately home to a studio, sculpture can work in any environment.

Let's take a look at how this medium has changed over the years to become an artform that can bring any interior to life.

History of sculpture

As one of the oldest forms of art, sculpture dates back to ancient Greece and Egypt, perhaps even before. We’ve all sat through history lessons and seen sculptures of figures standing in a set pose, or military statues where the hero strides and looks to the future, but this medium has evolved a lot since then.

Throughout history, sculpture was a way for the rich, famous or heroic to preserve their name in history. Whether that was the sitter in a formal pose or represented as a Greek or Roman myth. This is why a lot of this art form represents people in a lifelike pose, part of a story or staring out as a formal head and shoulders bust.

Auguste Rodin is seen as a key figure to break sculpture out of referencing history and the Greek myths to become art in its own right. He believed in creating figures in more natural poses that were more about the human form and emotion than history.

Just look at his masterpiece, The Kiss. There’s nothing formal about that sculpture.

The Kiss by Sara Sutton
The Kiss by Sara Sutton

Following Rodin, there was Constantin Brancusi who turned sculpture into an abstract art form, as well as Alberto Giacometti, whose iconic figures helped change perceptions of sculpture.

It was these artists who helped allow sculpture to be whatever the artist wanted it to be. It was no longer about a historical reference or pose, but about expression and emotion.

What style to choose

There are no hard and fast rules with sculpture. This is because the artist is working 3-dimensionally, which gives them so much more scope for their imagination to run free. Of course, we still see ‘traditional’ figurative forms, but now we also have abstract and conceptual sculpture.

Abstract sculpture is mainly made up of shapes and distorted forms and tends to work well with modern or minimalist interiors. Like painters, sculptors also look to capture movement or flow in their works, and abstraction is a great way to capture this in 3-D form.

Conceptual sculpture is that notorious form of art that usually leads to viewers in art galleries saying; ‘I could do that’. Yep, it’s that pile of bricks or chair in the middle of a room that leaves people baffled as to why it is art.

This form of sculpture is challenging, often deliberately provocative, and can be quite hard to read. However, it is this challenge that makes conceptual art so much more rewarding. It makes you think and leaves you with more questions than answers. Having a piece in your home will never be boring, that’s for sure!

With sculpture, you don’t have to stick to one particular style. Having a mixture in your home can work well. Like a gallery wall, sometimes opposing forms can really stand out when placed together.

Sculpture for the garden

Sculpture can be created using a wide range of materials. The traditional materials were bronze and marble, but now it can be anything from iron to stone, to papier mache and include found and upcycled materials. 

One of the key reasons for using bronze or marble is that it is extremely hard wearing and durable. It’s a good material for a piece that is going to stand outside in the elements.

When choosing sculpture for the garden, it’s really important to look at what material it has been made with as it may not be ideal for outdoor purposes. Most garden sculpture is made with durable, or recycled metals to ensure it can withstand the wind and weather. Wood is also a good material as it is natural and designed to be outside.

For example, you may think plastic is perfect, but if left in direct sunlight, the colour can fade and it can become brittle over time. Either way, if you’re unsure, then it’s always worth asking the artist, who can then advise on the best location for the piece.

What size for your space?

Most sculpture is now made for the desk, table top, mantelpiece or wall. It’s only really garden sculpture that tends to be larger in size and scale. The days of sculpture only belonging to the super-rich or aristocracy are long gone. Instead, this is an affordable artform that can sit well within any domestic setting.

When we think of art we do tend to think more about paintings, but sculpture is also a form that is worth considering. If you live in rented accommodation or a listed building or any other environment where there may be issues with putting things on walls, you can still liven up your place with 3-dimensional art.

No matter what your space, sculpture can transform it. Make it a focal point to create a vibrant room designed to impress friends and family alike.

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Buying Art

Different Ways to Create an Art Gallery in Your Own Home

by Lisa Doherty 24. October 2018 11:54

You’ve bought some paintings and, if you’re a super-efficient and organised person, then you’ve already hung them and they look amazing. We salute you.

If, like the rest of us, they’re still in their packaging or, ahem, leaning against the wall waiting to be hung, then we reckon you need some motivation to finish the job. It can seem like a bit of a chore and it does appear to be one of those jobs that gets put off every weekend.

We’re here to get you motivated and in the zone. Stand back, take a look at the room or space you want to hang your paintings, throw out any preconceived notions and have some fun bringing your walls to life.

Plan before you hang

As with any interior project, the key is in the planning. Firstly, make sure your selected paintings come to life and work in your chosen room. It’s worth moving them around your home just to double-check it doesn’t look even better in another space or in a different light.

Once you’ve done this, sketch out on a piece of paper how you want the chosen wall to look. Think about whether it’s going to be minimalistic with one painting or a feature wall with many, as well as whether it’s going to have the work of one specific artist or a selection.

This will help give you a clearer idea of the style you are trying to achieve and how you want the wall to look. It can be frustrating when you’ve hung the paintings and the layout doesn’t work as well as it did when you imagined it.

Get cramming

Sometimes the best results can be achieved by going with gut instinct. If you want to use up every bit of wall space, then go for it!

Cramming paintings on a wall is great for creating a homely and cosy atmosphere. If you like a more lived-in look then this way of hanging art is ideal. It can also make a big, potentially cold space look a bit smaller and more inviting.

This way of displaying art is also particularly good in a child’s bedroom, as you can hang all their favourite pictures without having to worry too much about themes and styles. It also doesn’t matter how high or how low you go on the wall, it still looks just as effective.

Become an art gallery

If you’re buying art as an investment, then this is a great opportunity to make it the focal point of your home. By using a neutral colour palette on walls and a more detailed use of lighting, especially downlighters, you can create a gallery space.

If there are any areas, such as the hallway, where you can have hidden cupboards and remove any furniture, then you can create a space that will amaze friends and visitors alike. Suddenly your home becomes something altogether very different, a creative hub or even an actual gallery.

Break the rules!

Ok, so there are set conventions on hanging paintings in order to give you and your guests the best way to look at art. However, there’s nothing wrong with throwing out the rule book from time to time.

If you want to hang a large painting or photograph in a smaller or more compact space, then there’s nothing to say you can’t. if it works, go for it.

Large painting of a horse
Image courtesy of Houzz
Three walls with a painting on each

Additionally, if you want opposing styles and media to hang next to each other, or even hang a painting higher than the eyeline, then breaking these conventions can also be very effective.

Art collection comprised of different media
Image courtesy of Houzz
Simple gallery in a home
Image courtesy of Houzz

 

Don't hang it

If all else fails, there are other solutions besides putting nails in a wall. Bulldog clips have become a popular way of displaying art, and sticking posters on a wall is starting to make a comeback as well.

Gallery wall comprised of posters
Image courtesy of Houzz

If you live in a Victorian property and still have picture rails in your rooms, then hanging a painting from these is also starting to see a resurgence. What was, until recently, seen as a very dated way of hanging art now works well with an eclectic or Vintage interior.

Gallery wall in a home using picture rails
Image courtesy of Houzz
Pictures hung using picture rails
Image courtesy of Houzz

As the saying goes; your house, your rules. Don’t be afraid to hang art in a way that works for you and your home. More often than not, it’s the painting that will tell you where it looks great, so whether that’s on a wall, in a frame or simply leaning against a mantelpiece, it won’t fail to impress guests and be a constant joy to look at.

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