Art for Interiors: Mid-Century Paintings

by Lisa Doherty 20. March 2018 09:45

People are passionate about the Mid-Century look. It’s iconic, stylish and not at all out of place in a 21st Century interior. For most people, once bitten by the Mid-Century bug, there’s no going back.

As with all great interior trends, art complements décor and furnishings to help finalise and set-off a specific look that is trying to be achieved. This certainly isn’t any different with the Mid-Century style.

Unfortunately, Mid-Century does have a bit of a reputation for having quite unattractive or ‘tacky’ art, but this really isn’t the case. Before you think brown and orange abstract paintings, or the Green Lady, think again. There’s a lot to this look than meets the eye.

What is Mid-Century style?

The Mid-Century period starts around 1933 and comes to an end in 1965, and spans a significant period in world history, which includes the end of the second World War, the start of the Cold War and an obsession with space exploration and the future.

Naturally, this climate impacted and influenced artists and we start to see an increase in Abstract Art and Abstract Expressionism from painters such as Jackson Pollock, Piet Mondrian and Marc Rothko. We also see the birth of the Pop art movement during this time, so there are a lot of styles to choose from!

Hedgehog Spray by LEO BROOKS
Hedgehog Spray by LEO BROOKS Other People's Paintings Only Much Cheaper: No.3 Mondrian. by Juan Sly
Other People's Paintings Only Much Cheaper: No.3 Mondrian. by Juan Sly

This was also an iconic period for furniture designers and architects who responded to the political climate with futuristic and experimental furniture that still hold-up as examples of great design to this day. The Eames chair is probably the most famous, as well as the Tulip chair by Eero Saarinen.

From a high street perspective, this period also saw furniture combine function and design to create a more stylised home. These manufacturers included G-Plan, Parker Knoll and Beautility. Again, today, their furniture has now become highly desired and sought-after.

How to choose a Mid-Century painting

Abstract art and portraiture are key artistic styles for the Mid-Century look. The key colours and tones are muted orange, brown and blue, which may sound a little drab, but they have been brought up to date by today’s Abstract Artists to be more vibrant and vivid.

Geometric shapes were also popular in art during this time, so it’s worth considering this when looking for a painting that best matches the Mid-Century look. This was also a time of texture in art as well with the use of thick, visible brush strokes and also decorative, or three-dimensional wall art.

Mid Century Madness by Lisa Vallo
Mid Century Madness by Lisa Vallo

Through Abstract Expressionism, Jackson Pollock and Marc Rothko tried to capture noise, emotion and even music on canvas. Capturing these in a painting has been a long-held pursuit of artists, who have tried to convey this in so many different ways. Pollock and Rothko did this by dripping paint, soft tones or ombre, and the use of colour.

Sound Waves 04 - Limited Edition Lithograph by M K Anisko
Sound Waves 04 - Limited Edition Lithograph by M K Anisko

There was also a futuristic element to this period, as there was an obsession with robots, aliens and space exploration, all underpinned by the fears of the Cold War. This was also known as the Atomic style, which uses a lot of lines, dots and circles, again, in an Abstract style.

RETRO ROBOT Returns by Tony Lilley
RETRO ROBOT Returns by Tony Lilley Corona  by Robin Gray
Corona by Robin Gray

Mid-Century Portraits

This period saw the home evolve into a place of comfort and style, and not just a functional space. As a result, art became more mainstream and could be bought on the high street - remember Woolworths? - which became very popular and led to some paintings, such as The Green Lady or Mysterious Girl, become iconic statement pieces for this time.

To bring this look up to date, there are portraits you can buy with a Mid-Century twist that reference famous portraits from this period. They do this through the use of tone and colour scheme, as well as a softness with the brush.

These portraits also took on a more global perspective as they portrayed women from other countries and cultures in a more relaxed pose - as opposed to the more formal, European paintings - which was considered ground-breaking, and very popular, at the time.


60's Woman 1 by Victor White
60's Woman 1 by Victor White

The best rooms for Mid-Century

There are a lot of muted tones in the Mid-Century look, so choose a room that is bright and airy and can carry-off the look. Otherwise, a room that has quite poor light is at risk of looking very brown and quite drab.

Furniture-wise, this style uses a lot of wood and leather, so again, it needs a bright space to have impact. A bright conservatory, dining area, living room, study or home office is great for this style. Use sparingly in kitchens or you’re at risk of being overwhelmed by wood. A great alternative, especially for dining furniture, is to go with a round, white table and Tulip chairs, with bright cushions to break things up a bit.

A Mid-Century interior is a lot of fun to design. It’s helped that there is also a lot of art out there - especially on our site - to help you complete the style, create maximum impact and transform your space. Have fun!


Art History | Buying Art

How to Hang a Painting

by Lisa Doherty 7. March 2018 11:59

If you’ve invested in buying real art, then you want to make sure it stands out and always catches the eye when hung on a wall. And, although the actual process of hanging a painting is straightforward, how to frame, place and get the right measurements for maximum impact is a different thing altogether.

Here are our top tips on how to hang a painting and get the most out of the art you love.

What frame to choose

A lot of paintings on our site have already been framed, but it is standard practice to expect a canvas to arrive without one, which gives you more scope and flexibility to buy the frame you want.

To make that choice, it’s best to look at the style of painting first and work from there. The key to framing success is to make sure the art does all the talking - the frame simply helps bring that out.

Gold or gilded

Ideal for a simple still life, abstract painting or a clean and uncluttered image. If you’re going for a more classical look, then gold keeps to that tradition.

Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen
Black gold II by Birgitte Hansen The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark
The Toy Boat by Stephen Clark


A frame that uses the same tone as the dominant colour in the painting. This complements the painting, enhances the image and merges the frame with the art into one whole.

Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill
Girl in a blue dress ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill

Natural Wood

A versatile and popular choice, which is great for natural scenes, such as landscapes, portraits, still life’s and photography. They also work with contemporary art and can enhance a minimalist or mid-Century painting.

Starman by Sara Sutton
Starman by Sara Sutton

White Wood

Another popular choice for retro posters or paintings bursting with colour. If you’re hanging a painting against a dark wall, then a white frame can really stand out and show off an image.

Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga
Lights in the sky (large) by Paresh Nrshinga


Black metal is the go-to frame for photography and can be bought in a wide-range of thicknesses. It also comes in a wide range of colours to work with nearly all styles and genres.

Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns
Sunset over a Scottish Loch by Louise Cairns

Choosing the thickness of a frame is purely a matter of preference, but the rule of thumb is that thinner frames take less attention away from a painting than a thicker one. When choosing a metallic frame, it’s always worth veering towards a matte texture to avoid shine taking over the painting.

Selecting the right wall

If you’re hanging a small painting, the it’s best to hang it on a smaller wall or space, a larger area will drown-out the image. If you do want to hang it on a larger wall, however, then smaller painting hangs well next to a bigger image or a cluster of paintings, like a gallery wall.

A painting needs light to show it off, but not too much that it affects the canvas or photo, so look for a bright space that isn’t in direct sunlight. If the wall you want to use does have strong sun, then you can buy anti-fade glass from a framing specialist.

Art should always be hung at eye level, so placing it too high will leave you straining your neck too look at it. the rule of thumb is that the midpoint of a painting should be between 50 - 60 inches from the floor.

Hanging over a bed, sofa or mantelpiece

There is a different rule when hanging a painting over furniture or a mantelpiece. The whole idea of hanging a painting over a bed or sofa is for the painting to work with the furniture and almost be an extension of the interior design.

Basically, there should be a connection between the two, as opposed to an image floating on a wall. To make this work, the bottom of the frame should be 8 to 10 inches above the piece of furniture.

If you’re going for a more relaxed or eclectic look, then a painting also looks good simply leaning against the wall on a mantelpiece.

Buying the right hanging kit

Most multi-purpose or hardware stores sell a wide-range of picture hanging kits for all types of art. A small piece can be hung simply with a nail and picture hanger, but a larger, heavier piece will need hanging wire or strong string for a more even distribution of weight.

Make sure you use nails that are around 1inch in length as anything over that will be too long and will leave the painting sticking out of the wall, and anything less will be too short.

If your walls are made from brick or plaster, then it’s more advisable to use a screw and rawlplug to secure it in place. Always make sure you use screws with a small head.

In all, there is a lot to consider when hanging art, but it’s worth going through the process to have a knockout painting that brings a wall to life, and leaves you feeling it was worth every penny spent!


Buying Art | Exhibitions | The Art World

Art for Interiors: Art Deco Paintings

by Lisa Doherty 6. March 2018 16:56

The Art Deco look has become a timeless classic. Interior trends have arrived, gone, come back and gone again, but Art Deco has remained constant.

The main reason for this is because it is a style that remains modern in its look and feel and doesn’t seem to date. Not only that, but it’s constantly evolving to work with contemporary interiors.

If you’re in the process of recreating this style in your home, we take a look at how Art Deco  painting and photography can help you complete the look.

The Art Deco style

Originating in the 1920’s and 30’s, Art Deco is made up of strong geometric lines and shapes, such as triangles and circles, and also uses bold colours. It was heavily influenced by the latest technology of the day and drew from artistic and creative styles from the Orient and Persia.

The style grew out of a need from Designers, Architects and Artists to create a more ‘modern’ look. This new look was immediately popular and became a key style for almost anything, such as buildings, fashion, furniture, and, of course, art.

For Art Deco artists, the Cubist and Fauvist art movements were the main influences, and you can see this clearly in paintings through the use of strong, ‘block-like’ figures and shapes, and bright colours, such as yellow and red. The key artists of this movement consisted of Tamara De Lempicka and Sonia Delauney.

MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden
MANSCAPE 3 by John Varden

A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter
A coffee with Tamara de Lempicka by Jean-pierre Walter

How to choose an Art Deco painting?

An Art Deco painting is very distinctive and easy to recognise. They also tend to stick mainly to three themes, which are figurative studies, abstract shapes or landscapes.

If you’re looking for a figurative image, then the Art Deco movement focused mainly on nude studies or portraits. If you’re especially influenced by the work of Tamara De Lempicka, then look for portraits with accentuated curves, or with a ‘solid’ or ‘heavy figured’ feel to it.

The Art deco period was also a time of innovation in travel and transport, as cruise liners, high speed trains and air travel became more affordable and increased in popularity.

As a result, posters became even more popular during this period and were treated as works of art in their own right, so think iconic London Underground posters or adverts for trains, Cars, or Cruise ships. Who doesn’t love this style?!

Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade
Two Figures, Aqueduct by Miles Bodimeade

Cat and I. by Carron  Howe
Cat and I. by Carron Howe

In the morning by Florentina(anca)  popescu
In the morning by Florentina(anca) popescu

BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd
BSA motorcycle poster by Michael Gadd

Modern art deco

If you want to create a more modern Art Deco look, then it’s worth looking at abstract art or photography to bring the look up to date.

Modern Art Deco colours are still very much based around monochrome, but they are now mixed with elements of pastel Pink, Gold or Green.

This is the beauty of this style and one of the reasons why it has stood the test of time, as it can be adapted, brought up to date so easily and work with a modern or traditional look.

The City at Night by Neil Hemsley
The City at Night by Neil Hemsley Beginnings by belinda jackson
Beginnings by belinda jackson DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh
DUVER VIEW by Suzanne Whitmarsh

The best rooms for Art Deco

As we all know, the 1920’s are synonymous with partying, so this look does tend to work better in the more social spaces around the home, such as lounges, dining rooms or even the home-office. This style also works in bedrooms and bathrooms, so you can wow house guests when they come to stay.

Overall, Art Deco is quite an indulgent and decadent style, so it works well in a room where you can really show-off. As a result, you can either go all out for patterned wallpaper or go for a sleek monochromatic look, which is broken-up with pops of colour from fabrics or paintings.

The Art Deco style also calls for a lot of geometry, not just through shapes, but also in the use of furniture and accessories such as lamps and chairs, which are always used in pairs to balance out a room.

This geometry is also worth considering when choosing art. A painting that works as a pair – also known as a diptych - can be placed either side by side or further apart on a wall, which could provide balance over a fireplace or desk in a home office.

So, whether you’re in a new build, or even a Victorian home, there is a lot of scope and range to work with. And, even if you’re a modern or traditional Art Deco-ist, this is a style you can have a lot of fun with.

Art is a great way to help you express your look, but don’t think it is something that is the left to the pursuit of the super-rich; there are paintings available to suit all budgets, tastes, and of course, styles…so what are you waiting for, it’s time to get creative!

The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore
The Three Hills (Diptych) by David Moore Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman
Waterloo by Rebecca Coleman Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham
Surrey Landscape 7 by Jan Rippingham


Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

Inspirational Art to Lift Your Mood

by Lisa Doherty 12. February 2018 12:29

"The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless." Jean-Jacques Rousseau 

Art is good for you. It can help reduce stress, it’s therapeutic, and is a source of constant inspiration. In fact, brain scans have revealed that looking at works of art triggers a surge of dopamine into the same area of the brain that registers romantic love.

If you’ve spent time designing an interior you love, then adding art to the walls will, not only give a room a focus, but can also help shape a thought-provoking and creative environment.

We look at how inspirational art can transform your home, how it boosts creativity and helps with relaxation.

What is inspirational art?

Quite simply, inspirational paintings are usually landscapes, seascapes or abstract paintings. When you look at them, it gets those creative juices flowing, and lets your imagination run wild.

The reason for this is because they’re not telling you how to think. They are scenes, shapes or brush strokes that are open to interpretation. As a result, they trigger thought and curiosity, and let the mind wander.

That’s not to say a figurative painting can’t be inspirational as they can also be thought-provoking. Images based around dance or movement are great examples of how you can let your imagination run free.

Structured abstract by Peter Cross
Structured abstract by Peter Cross

Inspirational art is about paintings that leave you with more questions than answers. Every time you look at the piece you come up with a new thought or idea around the image, which, in turn, proves to be a constant source of inspiration. 

Manifestation - a winter woodland landscape with deer by Gill Bustamante
Manifestation - a winter woodland landscape with deer by Gill Bustamante Just Go. by Laura Kinnell
Just Go. by Laura Kinnell

How to choose?

Like everything with art, your choice should be based on a painting you love. Remember the Dopamine surge?

However, it is important to remember that buying art is also a financial decision, so it’s worth considering a few other elements before you hit the checkout button.

The first thing is whether the painting matches your interior style and colour scheme. A painting can transform a room, but it can also clash and look uncomfortable if it doesn’t work with the look and feel of a room.

Secondly, think about how you want the painting to make you feel. You can be inspired in many different ways, whether it be creative or spiritual, so think about whether the image needs to ignite ideas or be a calming or mindful influence. 

Structured abstract by Peter Cross
Structured abstract by Peter Cross Above Grasmere by Kevin Sean O'Connell
Above Grasmere by Kevin Sean O'Connell Morning Blues'  by Kerry Bowler
Morning Blues' by Kerry Bowler

Best rooms to hang inspirational art

Essentially, you can hang inspirational art in any room, but again, think about its purpose. A piece that gets the brain thinking and buzzing is best for a home office or work space, and a relaxing piece is more suited to a lounge or living area.

Another great place for inspirational art is in the bathroom. We tend to get some of our best ideas in the bath or shower, so why not hang art that provokes thought in there. It can also help get you energised and inspired for the day ahead.

Ultimately, it’s best to hang inspirational art in a place where you will look at it and engage with the image, so think about places in your home where you have quieter moments and take time to reflect, or spaces that make you feel your most creative.

Entangled 6 by Rachel Mccullock
Entangled 6 by Rachel Mccullock I've Reached That Happy Place by susan wooler
I've Reached That Happy Place by susan wooler Coastal Waters by Sarah Blakey
Coastal Waters by Sarah Blakey Dungeness by Jonathan Talks
Dungeness by Jonathan Talks Inner Realm by Stefan Fierros
Inner Realm by Stefan Fierros

How to find inspirational artists

We mainly buy paintings that we love, but it’s also useful to find out more about the artist and how they work to get a deeper understanding of the image. 

There are so many artists creating great art, but we’ve picked out a few to help get you started and give you inspiration as to the style of art you’re looking to buy.

Gillian Luff is a bestselling artist and her work stands out in any interior. Her range of colours and her ability capture mood, means that they can work in any room, from a clean, minimal interior, right through to a darker, more gothic space.

Other popular artists include Peter Nottrott, who’s abstract paintings capture movement and are ideal for more modern interiors, and there’s also Paul Acraman, an artist who specialises in seacapes. His images are great for traditional, vintage and antique interiors, or more eclectic rooms.

Celebration III by Gillian Luff
Celebration III by Gillian Luff Black And White Nature Wings XXL 3 by Peter Nottrott
Black And White Nature Wings XXL 3 by Peter Nottrott Chilly Dip by Paul Acraman
Chilly Dip by Paul Acraman

There are so many other artists to choose from, and these are just a select few. By going to our Bestselling or Featured artists pages, you can see a lot more, and if you’re a collector of up-and-coming talent, then why not visit our New Artists page.

Whatever your taste, art can transform a bare wall, so have fun selecting your dream piece and being constantly inspired!


Buying Art

Digital Art

by Humph Hack 16. January 2018 11:46

For centuries, artists have used a variety of technologies to assist them in producing images. Almost as soon as a new technology is developed, it is adopted by forward thinking creatives. An early example was Albert Durer, using a frame with a grid made from wires to accurately produce the two-dimensional foreshortened shape of a three-dimensional object.

A few years ago, the British artist David Hockney published his book “Secret Knowledge”. He set out to prove that Vermeer and other Renaissance artists used the “Camera Obscura”, lenses and mirrors to help them produce accurate townscapes, portraits and other art works. He claimed that Caravaggio, Raphael, Frans Hals, Vermeer, Velázquez and Ingres; all used lenses to trace out their pictures. Some in the art establishment were horrified.

Here are two examples of commercial products available more recently; one in the 1840s and a later version sold in the middle of the last century.

But in 1820s the first photographic images were produced, which made the use of lenses in art far more accessible to all artists; they could hold a two-dimensional image in their hand or even project an image onto a surface to trace. Modern Art began to change things forever, and the development of television and then computers heralded the possibility of digital art.

Many artists today, use photography, computers, and graphic tablets to produce both originals and limited edition artworks. The most popular and sophisticated software is probably “Photoshop”, but there are countless other ways in which images can be produced and manipulated. A work can be “drawn” onto a blank page or individual photographs can be manipulated and/or combined to make something unique and totally original. And, in exactly the same way, that “knowing” renowned Old Masters were assisted by technology takes nothing from their achievement, knowing that artists use modern technology to produce an image makes their products no less engaging.

Here are just a few of the artists on the website who are leading this field of digital art.

And Venus Rises Red - Georgina Bowater


The Harbour, Bouzigues, Herault, France - Memories A' broad

Green Man - Michael Aaron

For other artists, the image is produced without using any photograph as a starting point. As such, these are not reproductions of another artwork and they only exist when they are printed.

Tunnel Vision V - Pauline Thomas

Swimming Pool - Steve Palmer

As ever, with any artwork, it is the end product which matters, not exactly how it has been produced. When creating, the best artists know when to stop; when further work would add no more, and possibly detract. It is the amateur artist who tends to “overwork” a painting. Knowing when to stop is what separates the remarkable from the mundane.

To see more of either digital genre, search for “digital art” in the STYLE section of the ADVANCED SEARCH.


Art for the Home Office

by Gordon Smith 16. January 2018 10:47

Happy New Year!

It’s great to see in the new year refreshed and with an energised focus on the future. But going back to work after the festive break can be tought, , especially if you’re home-based or work flexibly, as you may miss out on office chat to help lift the spirits.

Instead, why not be the envy of your friends or colleagues and use art to get your motivation levels back up? Our tips on getting your home office space re-energised for 2018, should help you fall back in love with work all over again.

Art to ease work stress

Art is a key element when creating an inspirational workspace, or enhancing that interior look you’re aiming to achieve. Simply stopping to look at a painting for a few moments can help give you a bit of headspace when you’re up against it.

In fact, looking at art can trigger a sense of wellbeing. A study from the University of Westminster found that stress levels reduced after a lunchtime visit to an art gallery. So choosing a painting you love can give you that same art gallery experience at home.

Not only that, but experts recommend that we look away from our computer screens at regular intervals and take a break every 90 minutes. By hanging a painting you love on a wall in front of you, or where you can easily see it, will encourage you to take those all-important breaks.

De-clutter your workspace

First things first, are you starting the new year by looking at the same old untidy office or cluttered desk? Do you feel your spirits drop when you sit down?

It has been proven that there are links between clutter and stress, which can hinder the ability to think clearly, whereas a tidier space helps boost productivity and creativity.

This is the perfect time to do an annual clear out and refresh your space by sorting through paperwork, creating more space and tidying that desk.

To help motivate you and ensure you reduce clutter, why not surround your work space with items that inspire you. Gather together the objects you love to look at, or treat yourself to something new, for example, a lamp, vase or small sculpture.

Vintage potters' wheel candle holder with sea glass by Karon-anne Sharp
Vintage potters' wheel candle holder with sea glass by Karon-anne Sharp Small Matt White Drip Vase by Julie Anne
Small Matt White Drip Vase by Julie Anne

How to choose art for a home office

When it comes to wall art, it’s crucial you choose a painting that you love to look at, so go for a piece that immediately jumps out at you and is unforgettable.

Ideal styles of art for the home office space are landscapes, portraits or still life’s as they can be quite contemplative pieces that can lead to your imagination drifting off and stimulate thought, creativity and mindfulness.

Life. by Laura Kinnell
Life. by Laura Kinnell

Seaghan Lake (Acrylic on Canvas 10'' x 14'') by Barry John Gray
Seaghan Lake (Acrylic on Canvas 10'' x 14'') by Barry John Gray

Abstract art is also great as it elicits a purer emotional response, free from associations with time and place, which could make you feel more energised, positive or empowered when you look at it.

Positive Flow XL 1 by Peter Nottrott
Positive Flow XL 1 by Peter Nottrott

Shades of Grey by Paul Chambers
Shades of Grey by Paul Chambers

If you are wanting to create a specific look and feel for the space, then also take this into consideration when making your choice. For example, if you’re going for a Nordic feel, then clean, muted colours and white will look great, or blues and oranges to complete that mid-Century look you may be trying to achieve.

Winter Flurries  by Bryan Duncan
Winter Flurries by Bryan Duncan Fire Corals  by Lesley Blackburn
Fire Corals by Lesley Blackburn

If your home office is a space just for you, then choose art that inspires and motivates you as an individual. However, if you share the space with a partner or children, then make the selection process a fun exercise for everybody. It may help to agree a style or look in advance, in order to narrow search parameters and make it more manageable.

Choosing a painting that is more generic could be a good compromise for different tastes. A good example of this would be illustrative or character study that gets children and adults alike thinking and talking about art.

Perlas Zu by Io Helena Zarate
Perlas Zu by Io Helena Zarate

Day Tripper by Spencer   Derry
Day Tripper by Spencer Derry

Alternatively, if you have the budget and you can’t all seem to compromise, then this is a good opportunity to create a gallery wall of everybody’s favourite painting.

Where to hang your art

It is important that you hang your painting in a place where you can easily see it or glance at it while you’re working. Ideally, a wall straight in front of your desk.

If your desk is set back from a wall, make sure your painting is striking enough to be seen and admired from a distance. This means you may need to consider the size of the painting, so always check the dimensions before making a purchase.

Likewise, if your desk is against a wall, then you should probably consider a smaller piece that is in proportion to the wall and desk space.

Ultimately, you should hang a painting in a place where you can sit back, relax and enjoy it. Art brings so many benefits, especially when it comes to reducing stress, so what better way to zone out and decompress than by having your dream painting to stare at right in front of you.

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a whole room, a nook or corner of a room, it’s important to create a working environment that you love and want to work in.


Buying Art

Malvern Theatres - New Year 2018 Exhibition

by Humph Hack 16. January 2018 10:17

Years ago, professional art students were taken through a rigorous regime involving drawing from the life model and various other still-life groups. The development of skills was paramount. Further back than that, a classical training involved working from casts of Greek and Roman figure sculptures and busts. They were considered examples of ideal beauty. There was a consistency of approach to “training” which current students would find totally limiting. On the other hand, students were actually taught, whereas today, some would claim the freedom to experiment lacks focus. So it is, that every new artist has the need to discover their own technique and decide their personal subject matter. The choices they make reveal a lot about themselves.

Aletia Thomas is in love with horses. Her knowledge of their anatomy and personality shines through every brush stroke and bounces off every canvas. Whether the technique is classical or more impressionistic, the horse is the star.  Aletia is enraptured by their curves and contours. Her painting technique describes not only her subject but the emotions they evoke from her. These animals are not mere beasts of burden, they are personalities.

Ian Blaikie’s work is just as technically excellent but his work exhibits a degree of nostalgia. His paintings most often celebrate the achievements of designers, architects and engineers from the past. Whether the subject is a motor vehicle, a bridge or other building, the images hark back to a different time. Even his landscapes have a serenity unspoilt by the ugliness of the Modern World. His approach is more conventional, but none the worse for that.

Ery Burns is the youngest of the three artists on show in Malvern Theatres. The freshness of her work reflects the optimism of the young. The clarity of colour, the cleanness of technique take her abstract pop-art style to another level. She takes inspiration from nature, urban cityscape, the 1980's, and famous surrealist artists like Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro. With a love of thick bold line and vivid colour her paintings have a majestic energy.

All 3 artists are new to showing their work in Malvern Theatres. It continues to be a venue where you will see fresh art throughout the year.

The exhibition is open every day 7 days a week from 15 January until 3 March. All work is for sale, via this online gallery and will be delivered within 5 days of purchase.


Festive Paintings You Can Enjoy All Year Round

by Gordon Smith 15. December 2017 09:00

As we enter the Christmas season, all we want to do is feel warm, cosy and snug. This is when we look for the Hygge effect with blankets, warming drinks and candles to create that cosy feel, and we also look to art to give us that sense of comfort.

We turn to snowscapes, winter landscapes, festive or winter scenes to remind us that we want to be warm and relaxed indoors, and not shivering outside. These are seasonal paintings that tend to work in that moment.

The main challenge with a seasonal painting though, is what do you do with it for the rest of the year? Art is an investment and storing it away for most of the year isn’t a great use of your spend, but there are ways of getting the most of your painting and hanging it all year round.

Art for emotion

Art evokes emotion, so a good starting point is to think about what winter and Christmas means to you. What is your mood at this time of year and how does it make you feel? What one thing says ‘winter’ to you?

It could quite simply be about the spirit of Christmas and how the season makes you feel. Mousehole Christmas lights by Laura Harrison
Mousehole Christmas lights by Laura Harrison

For some people it could be about a feeling of warmth and focusing on the home, or, for others it may be the social side of Christmas and enjoying good company and good food and drink.

Winter sunset, Snowdonia by Stuart Parnell
Winter sunset, Snowdonia by Stuart Parnell

It can also be a nostalgic time as we reflect on the past and look to a new year, so it may evoke childhood memories of how Christmas felt from a child’s perspective.

Snow Day by Steph Morgan
Snow Day by Steph Morgan


Nothing says winter like a snowscape. We all hope for a white Christmas, which, of course, is rare, so snow-filled scenes are the closest thing to capturing that feeling. With British art being firmly rooted in the landscape tradition, this is a genre where we do well.

As a result, there are so many snowscapes to choose from that capture every mood, spirit or feeling. These paintings range from the more traditional landscape scenes or snow-filled cityscapes, right through to wildlife. If you want to make more of a statement, then why not go all out for something atmospheric and dramatic.

Piccadilly London by Bryn Thomas
Piccadilly London by Bryn Thomas

Wishing it was Christmas every day

If you’re somebody who loves Christmas and you want to capture that feeling all year round, then you can have a lot of fun with art and just go all out with paintings of snowmen, Father Christmas, or Angels. Even images that capture a sense of Christmas magic.


Ultimately, there are no set rules as to what paintings should be hung, and when, so you could throw out the rule book and hang your festive paintings all year round. It would make a great talking point for friends and visitors to your home.

What to do after Christmas?

If you want to make your painting a centrepiece during winter and Christmas only, what do you do with it for the rest of the year? There are a few options; instead of storing it away in a cupboard or up in the loft, why not think about other rooms or spaces in your home where it can hang.

A hallway or landing are great as they tend to be spaces where we’re passing through and not necessarily where we hang around. However, if it’s a painting you love and you want to use it to help spark creativity or help you de-stress, then why not hang it in a home office, study or quiet spot in your home.

You could also use this as an opportunity to re-arrange all your paintings and start the new year with a different outlook and fresh walls. There’s always an image that tends to be forgotten, so why not move it to a new wall and give it a fresh lease of life?

Finally, if you want to go all out, then kids would have Christmas all year round if they had it their way! So why not let them? Christmas really captures their imagination and by hanging festive art in their room will help nurture their creative side.

Art is very subjective, but it also helps to make a more informed choice when selecting a painting, just so you can get the most out of it and make it work for you and your home.

We have many winter and festive scenes on our site and have something for everyone, so why not take a look and see if you can’t find that special painting that says Christmas to you.

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Buying Art

Tips for Buying Art as a Christmas Gift

by Gordon Smith 11. December 2017 11:17

If you’ve decided to be more creative this Christmas and are looking to buy art as a gift, then what a great gesture! Art is very subjective however, and making a purchase for somebody else can seem daunting, and even a bit stressful, but have no fear; by taking a fresh approach and adopting a different mindset, our useful tips will help make the selection process a little easier.

Don’t buy for you

There is a belief that when choosing a gift, you should always buy something you’d like to have yourself. In this particular case, we say do the opposite.

Instead, really think about the person you are buying for; their likes, dislikes, passions or interests and also their personality. A fun-loving person, may not like a dramatic piece of art or specific styles, and vice versa for someone who potentially has a more serious outlook.

Stay as open-minded as possible during the process, as a piece that is to your taste may not necessarily be to theirs. You may end up buying a painting that you wouldn’t necessarily have in your house, but for the person receiving the gift it may be that statement piece they’ve been searching for.

Hardy Mountain Pines in Deep Snow. Vercors. France. by Georgina Bowater
Hardy Mountain Pines in Deep Snow. Vercors. France. by Georgina Bowater


There is a perception that buying art is the preserve of the wealthy. This is not the case, as there are paintings for sale out there to suit every budget, from as little as £30 right up to investment pieces from £3million and beyond!

You don’t need to break the bank to buy a painting, so it is possible to shop around and find a great selection within your price range.

Always think about interiors

Art can transform interiors, so always think about styles and genres when making that purchase. If you’re buying for someone who has a passion for mid-Century interiors, then you’d probably go for a genre like portraiture or abstract art.

Another example is a vintage interior, a painting with a nostalgic feel, or a work set in a location that celebrates vintage would really be standout pieces.

If you’re buying a gift for a specific room, then this is also worth consideration. A piece that makes you reflect or feel mindful would look great in a bedroom or living area, whereas a lighthearted piece would work better in a more social space or kids room.

Hobbies or interests

Buying for a person who is passionate about their hobby or has loads of interests does make the buying process a lot easier, and there are many artists and lots of paintings suited for a very wide-range of interests, such as sport, music, vintage cars or classic films … to name but a few!

This decision does come with a bit of a caveat, however. Sometimes it can be easier to buy something to reflect that person’s passions or interests, but it may not match their interiors taste, or actually be what they want to hang on their walls.

With that in mind, it’s always worth checking the returns policy of the art gallery or the website you are purchasing from, just in case you do need to return or exchange a piece.

Giant's Rock by Robert Jackson
Giant's Rock by Robert Jackson

Size matters

When it comes to the size of painting you should buy, we would recommend keeping it to a manageable size that is more versatile and can hang anywhere in a house.

Resist the urge of making a grand gesture and buying a large painting as it may not necessarily work well with the scale and size of house you are buying for. A small living area, for example, would be dwarfed by a large statement piece.

A more manageable size painting can be placed in any room or on any sized wall, which means there is more scope to hang or place in a space that really brings both the wall and the painting to life.

When all else fails…

If the process is proving to be tougher than you thought, then why not buy 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.

Gift vouchers also range in price to suit every budget, so you could buy for as little as £5, or 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. Sometimes, it’s easy to buy presents that are disposable and short-lived, but the gift of a painting is durable, better for the environment and lasts a lifetime.


Buying Art

Christmas Delivery Dates 2017

by Gordon Smith 7. December 2017 15:00

Happy Christmas!

Original art is one of the most personal and thoughtful gifts you can give. We also have a brand-new selection of hand-crafted gifts available this Christmas. 

At Christmas we all want our presents to arrive on time. Here's what you need to know for this year. 

Our artists always try their best to arrange deliveries before Christmas. Please note that artists are of course in the hands of Royal Mail or couriers. We suggest the following latest dates for you to order to give artists the best chance of getting your art to you in time for Christmas 

Artworks and gifts

Delivery addressLast ordering date
UK 14th December 2017
Europe 10th December 2017

Gift Vouchers

TypeLast ordering date
Gift vouchers in a presentation card 20th December 2017
Email vouchers 24th December 2017

Christmas card


Own Art makes buying art easy and affordable - spread the cost of your purchase over 10 months with an interest free loan. Find out more

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