Art for Offices

by Lisa Doherty 21. September 2018 10:19

Your employees are probably now all back from their summer holidays, and with the next break being Christmas, we imagine there’s a fair amount of the holiday blues going around the office.

A great way to help reduce this and boost morale is hanging some great art on the office walls. You may be more of a fan of the clean white walls and wood floor look, but a splash of colour and striking visuals can make all the difference employee motivation and productivity.

To hang or not to hang?

Let’s face it, the main requirements for a business are happy and motivated staff. They mean people will stay longer and create an all-round, positive working environment.

Achieving this is not just about great perks or bonuses, but also about the ‘softer’ touchpoints, such as the office space. The trend for the New York Loft-style interior is now being replaced with colour and vibrancy. Why? Because, quite simply, plain walls don’t increase productivity.

There is a school of thought that a plain office environment reduces distractions and increases productivity, but research from the University of Exeter found that this isn’t the case at all. 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.

To add to that, the University study also found that motivational posters didn’t constitute art and had no impact on the employees or the workplace. Essentially, staff need something visually interesting to inspire and help rest their mind from a task or looking at a screen for too long.

Types and styles of art

Hanging art that challenges the viewer is ideal for the workplace. It also needs to be a good size for it to be noticed and stand out when hung on the wall. If it’s too small, employees simply won’t see it and it won’t have the desired effect.

An office may not be the right environment for a traditional landscape or portrait, but Abstract or visually challenging Photography does work well. The reason for this is because they are open to interpretation, which gives the mind a chance to escape and think of something different. Not to mention inspire creativity.

A Meeting in the Aisle by Simon Cleary
A Meeting in the Aisle by Simon Cleary

Art is also good to help reduce noise. If acoustics are an issue, then a painting will help dampen sound, and if you have a noisy reception area or communal space, sculpture or an installation are also useful.

If you’ve gone for a particular look and feel or style in your office, then there is scope to buy art that may clash or contradict the design. As we’ve seen with gallery walls, mixing and clashing styles can really work well together.

Ultimately, you don’t want the art to blend in too much otherwise it will lose impact. You want your employees to sit back, take a mindful moment and embrace the image, so don’t be afraid to be bold!

Colour

Colour does have an effect on mood, so it’s important to take this into consideration when buying art for offices.

Blue is calming, whereas Red is energising and can encourage conversation. If your office is in need of a bit more energy and noise, then this colour will help. Yellow wakes the brain up and encourages thought, so is a great colour for the workplace as it can help give employees more energy and creativity.

Green and Orange are probably not the best colours at work as they are more calming, earthy tones that are better suited to more personal spaces or home interiors.

Black is a very confident colour, so monochrome photography could also work in an office environment. It may be worth breaking this up with splashes of colour to avoid creating the feeling of a ‘Lean Office’.

Three-Dimensional Art

Art doesn’t have to be a painting or a photograph, it can also be sculpture or three-dimensional, which could really shake things up in an office.

The conventions are to have paintings on a wall, but what about a piece of standalone art within the office space. It could really change the way employees think and help drive creativity. It could also be a little disruptive, but, in a corporate environment, that may not be a bad thing.

Good art is challenging and can make for good talking points with colleagues, which can also help create more of a team atmosphere and encourage conversation. As we all know, it can be easy to work in a bit of a silo, so it’s always good to break out of that from time to time.

Art can be a really positive force for good and can transform any space. The workplace is full of different personality types and interests, but a painting or sculpture can help colleagues find common ground. Not only that but buying original art doesn’t have to bust the budget as there is so much for all price ranges and styles. Go on, get shopping and have some fun!

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Art for Interiors: Surrealism

by Lisa Doherty 15. August 2018 20:58

How many Surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? A Fish

Not all of us like conventional or traditional art. Some people may want something a little different, something quirky, that gets them thinking and talking. This is where Surrealist art can be a great alternative, it’s weird, whacky and sometimes a little bit bonkers.

Of course, when we think of Surrealism we immediately think of Salvador Dali, but there’s more to this art movement than you’d imagine, and it’s also a great style to hang in the home.

What is Surrealism?

Brace yourself, we’re about to get Metaphysical and Freudian.

The earliest form of Surrealism can be seen in the work of Italian artist, Giorgio De Chirico. He painted dreamlike scenes that had a sense of the otherworldly, or Metaphysical. De Chirico’s paintings were loaded with symbolism and fused with references to psychology, as well as the Greek myths; as you can imagine, they had a profound influence on the Surrealist artists, who were mainly, Rene Magritte, Max Ernst, and the most famous of all, Salvador Dali.

Alongside De Chirico, the surrealists were also heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud. His book, ‘The Interpretation of Dreams’ outlined his belief that dreams were driven by the unconscious mind and represented deeper meaning. He felt they were full of symbolism, as well as open to interpretation and analysis to help understand an individual’s state of mind.

Freud’s theories helped shape the themes and content for Surrealist art - think Dali’s melting clocks. Combine De Chirico’s enigmatic spaces with the power and strangeness of dreams, and you have the source of Surrealist inspiration, as well as a deeper understanding of what they attempt to capture in their art.

Capturing dreams

Although Surrealist paintings capture a dream-state, they’re not just random scenes, far from it. This art is loaded with symbolism and meaning and is very carefully thought out, which is slightly contradictory to the chaos and unpredictable strangeness of dreams.

This movement, however, did want to capture the essence of dreams in all its jumbled, surreal state, leaving it open to psychological interpretation. At a time when therapy and psychoanalysis were becoming increasingly mainstream, Surrealist art certainly captured that moment in time.

In fact, Freudian analysis was so popular, Salvador Dali worked with Alfred Hitchcock on his film, Spellbound, to create the iconic dream sequence with Gregory Peck.

There were artists, though, that did want to capture the immediacy and unpredictability of the subconscious mind, such as Jean Arp, who’s automatic drawings, or automatism, were spontaneous works of art where the hand was allowed to move randomly and freely across the paper or canvas.

 

 

Weird and wonderful

There is also another strain of Surrealism that questions accepted norms and standards. Dali questioned why a telephone meant telephone, and why he wasn’t handed a Lobster instead. Basically, he was questioning language and human understanding.

This element of challenging human understanding has become a very popular strain of Surrealism. It can make for humorous and entertaining art. This is probably the most popular form, as it can be nonsensical and easier to ‘read’ than a more complex Surrealist painting that is loaded with symbolism.

Leading artists

As it is a popular style, there are still many artists producing Surreal works of art. Spencer Derry is an artist whose work combines Surrealism and automatic drawings to produce complex and detailed results. 

Neil Helmsley is a digital artist who uses this new medium to create dreamlike, haunting images. Digital art enables artists to create more imaginative and experimental works, and something Salvador Dali would have probably used if he were alive now.

Janette Boskett creates landscapes and still lifes with a surreal twist. Painted in a style similar to Rene Magritte, she takes the everyday and plays on the use of language to create lighthearted paintings that amuse and entertain.   

The term Surrealism covers such a broad range of art that there are paintings to suit every taste, style and budget. It can range from being lighthearted to very serious and conceptual, which means it can be hung anywhere in a home.

Like Dali, Surrealism does like to show off, so make sure that, wherever you decide to hang it, it’s always front and centre to grab people’s attention. As one of the most famous art movements, some people may feel that Surrealism is a little dated and unfashionable; looking at what’s being created by artists in the present day, we’d say this was far from true.

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Art History | Buying Art

How to Hang: Landscapes

by Lisa Doherty 31. July 2018 09:48

Landscape art is a style that gets very mixed reactions. There is a perception that it is old-fashioned, a little bit predictable and only shows scenes of rolling hills and lush, green fields intended to conjure up a chocolate-box vision of an imagined Britain from the past. 

Well, this isn’t always the case. Landscape art is developing in many interesting ways and there is so much more to this style than meets the eye.

Let's take a look at the latest traditional and contemporary landscapes to show you that there’s something for everyone, and that all is not what it seems.

What is a landscape?

Before photography came into existence, landscape painting was the best way of showing our appreciation of the beautiful British countryside. 

Once the camera became a mass consumer product, landscape art responded to the challenge and took to looking at nature in a completely different way. There was less of a need to capture a realistic view in a painting because a photograph did all that anyway.

To add to this, industrialisation dramatically altered the UK’s green and pleasant vistas to create more urban landscapes. Artists started painting politically charged scenes that challenged this change to the natural order. From Constable’s famous painting, The Hay Wain, to Turner’s highly charged, abstract scenes of the sea - these weren’t simply romanticised views of Merrie England but, in part, statements on rural change, mechanisation and the permanent loss of landscape. 

Essence Of A Storm Impressionist Seascape 27.5
Essence Of A Storm Impressionist Seascape 27.5" x 23.5" On Canvas by Maxine Martin

Today, landscapes tend to explore the issue of how we live, as well as the impact the human race is having on the land and the environment. They also tend to be more complex and symbolic than straightforward reproductions or nature, intendted to make you challenge and question what you are looking at.

Modern landscapes

Since the advent of impressionism, artists have felt completely free to interpret their subjects any way they like, and this has been great for landscape art, making it a hotbed of creativity. 

Light is one way that has sparked this change. If you travel to different parts of the UK or the world, artists are painting landscapes that are made up of sequences of colours, which are based on the differences in light and shade in that particular area.

Some areas will have a softer light, others starker, harsh light, which is represented through differences in shade or tone. As there is no such thing as a pure colour, artists will use a range of colours to create their interpretation of a landscape.

The artist will give you their vision in a painting, whereas, a photograph will give you the reality (the camera never lies?) As it rose to dominance alongside industrialisation, it seems only natural that photographers tend to capture more urban scenes of towns growing or in decay.

This style of photography is also filled with symbolism around what is seen and what is meant by the image. A run-down building may not be the most attractive view, but when you look at what it stands for and ‘read’ it in more detail, it suddenly becomes something very different.

Not only that, but photography also captures stunning landscapes. Instead of being purely documentary images, these views can take on different meaning and form when taken from the viewpoint of the photographer. Also, unlike paintings, a camera can capture true scale and representation of a landscape with amazing results.

Seascapes and cityscapes

Landscapes aren’t always views of hills or derelict buildings, they can also be scenes of beaches, seas, towns or cities.

Seascapes are very popular subjects for artists as the weather offers constantly changing views and perspectives, so it’s impossible to get bored.

You could have a whole gallery wall of the same beach, but every painting will be different! This is no less the case with cityscapes, as, again, these scenes are all down to interpretation. One artist may see a street or area one way, whereas another may take a completely different perspective.

Getting traditional

If you’re a bit more of a traditionalist and prefer a more pastoral view, there are many artists creating stunning landscapes. Emma Cownie paints landscapes and urban scenes, but with a classic twist that are bursting with light and shade.

Graeme Robb is another artist who also paints more traditional views. It was while he was on a charity bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats that he fell in love with landscape painting. Some of his scenes are dominated by clouds and are very ‘nostalgic’ views of the British countryside.

Cloudscapes are also another form of art that comes under the landscape banner. Constantly changing and very dramatic, they are ripe subjects for stunning scenes and great to hang in a room where you need to be calm and creative, such as an office or study.

So, who said landscapes were dull? There is a lot more to this style than meets the eye and it’s well worth checking out. With so many different types of landscape there is a painting for every room in the house, don’t you think it’s time to check out this very modern art?

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Art History | Buying Art

How Colour Affects Mood

by Lisa Doherty 23. July 2018 11:30

As we all know, colour can influence our mood. There are some tones that can make you feel positive and focused, creative and calm and others that can make you feel angry or negative. If you’re looking to update your home or buy a painting in a specific tone or shade, then colour can influence your buying decision, as it’s not just about liking an image or shade, but also the effect of the colour on your emotions.

We look at how colour can affect mood to help you decide what room to hang a painting in; after all, what may work in a living area, may not necessarily work in a study or bedroom.

Why does colour affect mood?

The brain responds to colour, which is controlled by the hypothalamus. This secretes hormones, as well as regulates and controls various impulses, such as hunger, body temperature and sleep patterns.

As a result, in the light of the morning, which is usually blue/green in colour, cortisol is released to stimulate the brain. Whereas, the blue light of dusk and going into the evening releases melatonin to make us drowsy.

Improvisation No.13 aka Brain in colour by Andrei Autumn
Improvisation No.13 aka Brain in colour by Andrei Autumn

The brain processes and responds to colours accordingly, so whether or not we actively feel like our emotions are reacting, colour does have a subconscious impact.

For example, a railway company in Japan wanted to decrease the rate of suicide on the line. In response to this they installed blue lighting, which has reduced these incidences by 74%. Why? Because blue is a calming colour and puts people in a more positive frame of mind.

Oxygen by Branisa Beric
Oxygen by Branisa Beric

Room selection

Sticking with the colour blue, not only is it calming, but it is also an intellectual colour, which is great for environments where people need to be productive, such as an office or studio. It is also said to reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

New Hope by Lesley Finney
New Hope by Lesley Finney

Take caution, however, some blue tones, such as a light pastel blue can be quite cool and therefore make you feel detached, aloof or antisocial.

When it comes to red, this is a whole different ball game; it is vibrant, energetic, as well as an empowering and strong colour. Use this colour wisely though, and only in rooms that need a lift in spirit. It’s a colour that encourages conversation so it’s ideal for social spaces such as a lounge or dining area.

As you can imagine, red is not necessarily a great colour for bedrooms as it essentially wakes the brain up and encourages thought. This is where a blue tone would probably work best to encourage a good night’s sleep. If you want to feel creative and confident, then yellow’s your colour! Like the sun, it makes us feel happy and positive.

It’s a great colour for bedrooms, as well as kitchens, social areas or hallways. Just like blue, getting the right tone of yellow is also important to create the right mood otherwise it can have the opposite effect.

As it is in nature, green is a balanced colour that encourages harmony and peace, making it ideal for bathrooms and bedrooms to create that tranquil sanctuary. Orange is also a great colour as it is a fusion and red and yellow, so it is warm and vibrant at the same time.

Opposing colours

If you’re familiar with a colour wheel then you’ll know that you can have a lot of fun using opposing or clashing colours, which can work really well in a room. It can show personality and character, not to mention - especially with original art - a real statement piece.

If you’re a little nervous about going all out for colour in a room, then white walls broken up with bursts of colour can look great, and this is where art can come into its own. White is a clean colour but can be quite cool and lack warmth, so breaking this up with a vibrant painting can make all the difference.

Black is Black

Believe it or not, black can have a positive effect on a room, as, when used as an accent colour, it can create a glamorous or sophisticated space that oozes confidence. If you think about various movements, such as Art Deco, black is frequently used as a key part of that style.

More often than not, when we think of art, we tend to think of colour, but going for a darker shade can also be just as effective. Sometimes it can help tone down a bright colour on a wall or create a striking look against a white background.

Like anything in life, rules are sometimes made to be broken, and this is no less the case with art and interiors. The unexpected can often complement each other well and bucking a trend can create amazing results.

Whatever mood you want to create in your home, art can help finish and round-off that look. There are so many styles and genres to choose from, such as abstract, figurative or landscapes, that you can create a space that is the envy of all your friends. Have fun!

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Buying Art

How to Hang Pop Art

by Lisa Doherty 8. July 2018 23:00

Who doesn’t love pop art?! It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s colourful and gets noticed. It’s from an art movement that’s over 50 years old, but still looks great and very contemporary, even today.

By turning the ‘trashy’ or mass-consumer into art, the Pop Art movement has been incredibly influential and has inspired many artists, such as Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons and The Guerrilla Girls who continue to turn everyday objects into art.

If you’re thinking of investing in Pop Art for your home, then you’re going to have a lot of fun selecting a painting. We give you our tips on buying Pop Art and the best rooms to hang this style.

What is Pop Art?

Believe it or not, there are different types of pop art. When asked about this movement, we instinctively think of Roy Lichtenstein’s comic strips, and of course, the Pop Art master himself, Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol by sharon coles
Andy Warhol by sharon coles

However, in the 1950’s when the movement first started, there was British and American pop art. The Brits took a more collage-based or illustrative approach - with artists like Patrick Caulfield and Richard Hamilton leading the field - and they commented on all things American culture.

Richard Hamilton defined Pop Art as: Popular (designed for a mass audience), Transient (short-term solution), Expendable (easily forgotten), Low cost, Mass produced, Young (aimed at youth), Witty, Sexy, Gimmicky, Glamorous, Big business

The Best of British by Angela O'Donnell
The Best of British by Angela O'Donnell Room 22 by Tim Gilpin
Room 22 by Tim Gilpin

At the same time in the US, there was Lichtenstein and Warhol also commenting on popular American Culture. As we know, the 1950’s was the start of mass consumerism and technological advancement in the states. McDonalds drive thru’s, popular cinema, household gadgets and convenience food. Not forgetting, space travel and an obsession with life on other planets.

Bratatat Triptych - Very Large (9 ft wide by 4 ft high) by Peter Mason
Bratatat Triptych - Very Large (9 ft wide by 4 ft high) by Peter Mason

What to look for when buying pop art

This is the fun part! As Richard Hamilton says, mainstream, glamorous, sexy and expendable is what you need to be looking for when identifying and buying Pop Art.

One Artist who really embodies the Pop Art sentiment is Juan Sly. His work represents all things pop and his series of paintings entitled: ‘Other People’s Paintings, only Much Cheaper’, highlights the disposable element of this movement.

Other People's Paintings Only Much Cheaper: No. 4 Warhol (On Paper) by Juan Sly
Other People's Paintings Only Much Cheaper: No. 4 Warhol (On Paper) by Juan Sly

In true Pop Art style, Sly also takes iconic images and subverts them to make a statement. His treatment of Donald Trump from Obama’s ‘Hope’ image is a great example, where he’s been placed in a heroic context for purely ironic purposes.

Other People's Paintings only Much Cheaper: No. 10 Fairey (Trump) (on The Daily Telegraph) by Juan Sly
Other People's Paintings only Much Cheaper: No. 10 Fairey (Trump) (on The Daily Telegraph) by Juan Sly

Other artists painting in the Pop art style, include Peter Masonand Joe Henry. Mason uses postage stamps to create his abstract and popularist images, whereas Henry takes iconic figures of the 20th Century and creates ‘pop’ collages.

The best interior styles to have pop art

Pop art is a very strong and colourful style, so this needs to be hung in a more contemporary looking interior. It would probably jar in an art deco or antique space. It’s also best to hang against white or neutral-coloured walls to make it really, well, pop.

Pop art works well with the cleanest and most cutting-edge interiors, and it can also work with a modernist, retro or vintage space. After all, it is a ‘vintage’ art movement. As it’s art that really shouts at you, it’s also worth carefully considering the room or space you want to hang it.

Where to hang pop art

Now, there are no hard and fast rules to hanging art in the home, but you’ve made an investment and you want it to stand out, so it is worth giving it some serious thought.

Going back to Richard Hamilton, pop art is trashy and noisy, so this style of painting needs to be hung on its own and probably not part of a gallery wall, otherwise it will look too busy and confusing. Ideally, it needs to stand out on its own.

KATE MOSS - WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME by JOE HENRY
KATE MOSS - WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME by JOE HENRY

This movement is also irreverent, but this is the fun part of pop art. Hang it in a central location, such as over a fireplace, or in a central location in a hallway where it makes people stop to look at it. Pop art isn’t shy, so make it stand out!

We have a great selection of pop art, as well as artists using the medium of art to make a statement on politics and consumerism. Not everybody wants to hang a traditional portrait or landscape in their home, which is why we also showcase the latest and most innovative artists who are bucking conventions and making a noise. Just like true pop artists!

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Art History | Artists | Buying Art | The Art World

How to Create a Beautiful Gallery Wall

by Lisa Doherty 26. June 2018 15:57

If you’ve always dreamed of having a gallery wall in your home, then why not make it a reality? They are striking, visually interesting and a great way to show off your taste and favourite art styles.

With a little bit of thought and consideration, a gallery wall can give you that glossy interiors magazines look in your own home. We show you how.

What is a gallery wall?

Just like an art gallery or museum, a gallery wall is made up of five to six large pieces - or more for smaller paintings - clustered or grouped together on a wall.

If you’re starting from scratch, this is a great opportunity to think about whether you want to have a theme for your gallery wall or whether you want a mashup of styles or genres. Both can be fun, eclectic and reflect your personalist. Either way, a gallery wall is a collection of art, so it’s a great excuse to start building and developing your range of paintings.

If you’ve got a small collection already, but it needs building, you can start creating your gallery wall now and add to it, each time you find that perfect painting, photo or sketch.

Themed, eclectic or random?

The only rule with a gallery wall is that no matter how different they appear, all the paintings should work or connect together in some aesthetic way and have some sort of visual flow. Otherwise, your viewer is going to get confused and the wall risks looking like a jumble of paintings.

Here are some ways to theme your wall:

  • A selection of portraits
  • Still life’s
  • A series of near-identical paintings or
  • An eclectic mix of vintage, period and modern

The great thing about art is the way the unexpected happens, especially when two opposing art styles work really well together. How this happens is largely down to the eye and the layout of the wall, but a classical-style painting can sometimes work amazing well alongside a contemporary work of art.

The Shopkeeper by Alan  Harris
The Shopkeeper by Alan Harris

There are also other ways you can make your gallery wall connect by either using the same frame throughout, display paintings from the same artist, hang in uniform rows or randomly ‘scatter’ them on a wall in a mix of shapes and sizes.

Interiors

A gallery wall is likely to be the focal point in your room, so it's best to keep your walls simple in colour for this to work well. Patterned wallpaper, for example, will make it too busy for the eye, although you could separate the art from the wallpaper to create two distinct sections on a wall.

In the setup below, we have overlapping unframed prints above a patterned wall. The prints stand out against the deep blue, whilst the green of the sofa complements the colour scheme. 

Study Sketch -
Study Sketch - "Are those birds?" by Aasiri Wickremage

Another way is to zone your walls by creating a clearly defined area for the gallery that can be complemented by a different colour scheme. This can also help create a sense of space in a smaller room.

Awareness by James Shipton
Awareness by James Shipton

 

1 Model Man by Toby Frossell
1 Model Man by Toby Frossell

 

If you have a large space in your home, then a range of different sizes and shapes of painting will work well. However, in a smaller room, it may be worth looking at paintings that don’t overwhelm, and it may be better just to use a single wall to create the gallery.

How to arrange your gallery wall

Gather your paintings, arrange them on the floor and see how they look. Keep re-arranging until you’re happy and take a picture to remember the layout.

Following that, start measuring-up and thinking about distances between paintings. If you’re hanging an eclectic mix of art, then give them a little more room or ‘breathing space’ so the eye can take it all in.

Wandsworth Common high summer by Louise Gillard
Wandsworth Common high summer by Louise Gillard let's go walking it is sunny spring summer day pencil ink sketch paper by Elena Haines
let's go walking it is sunny spring summer day pencil ink sketch paper by Elena Haines

If you’re renting or concerned about nail holes in the wall, then you can also create a gallery wall with picture shelves. These are really effective and look great in any room. Large retail outlets, like Ikea, sell a range, and you can buy them online.

A mountain to climb by Richard Freer
A mountain to climb by Richard Freer I'm Half The Man I Used To Be by Laura Kinnell
I'm Half The Man I Used To Be by Laura Kinnell

Picture frames

Since a gallery wall consists of many pictures, the eye is not focussed so much on one individual picture as the impression that the whole collection creates. Because of this, the frames you choose are much more part of the effect than when hanging individual pieces. 

So, if you’re looking for a more uniform look, then it is probably best to use the same or similar frame throughout. But many people choose to go a bit crazy with the frames to create a more scattergun, eclectic feel.

Mix and match any which way you want. Wood frames, next to coloured frames or light colours next to dark. You choose! The only consideration is whether to place deep-framed pieces next to flat-framed pieces - this can sometimes be too jarring. 

If you don’t have the budget for a bespoke framing company, then places like the SAA or Ikea sell-ready-to-hang, cost-effective frames and framing kits. If you’re going for a more aged or weathered look, then junk shops, charity shops and vintage markets can also be great places to buy frames at very low prices. You might need to throw the picture away to salvage the frame. 

Where to create your gallery wall

A gallery wall deserves the largest wall in a room, whether it’s above a sofa, a corridor, bed or on an opposing wall, it needs to be in a place for all to see. It needs to hang where people can stop, look at it and enjoy it.

Gallery walls also work in any room in a house, from kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, studies, offices, or even a downstairs loo, you name it, it will look great.

With these tips, you too can create a gallery wall that is worthy of the pages of Elle Decoration or Homes & Gardens, so what are you waiting for?

Image credits

Houzz https://www.houzz.co.uk/

Sixteen Doors https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/204802-sixteen-doors-eclectic-bedroom-new-york

Katie Ridder https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/354492-katie-ridder-rooms-contemporary-dining-room-new-york

Interior Therapy https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/32478586-buckinghamshire-full-house-refurbishment-living-room-buckinghamshire

Peg Berens https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/116642-hollywood-regency-living-room-contemporary-living-room

L. Weatherbee Design Studio https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/25238829-cheerful-bedroom-with-gallery-wall-eclectic-bedroom-new-york

Turner Pocock https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/10147506-a-colourful-london-home-transitional-living-room-london

Dulux https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/100179-eclectic-bedroom-shabby-chic-style-bedroom-burlington

Heidi Caillier Design https://www.houzz.co.uk/photo/78169808-tacoma-eclectic-staircase-seattle

Tags:

Buying Art | The Art World

Art for Interiors: Minimalism

by Anthony Annarino 13. June 2018 15:22

Minimalism. For people who feel less is more.

In a hectic world, minimalist art is a great way to escape and have a tranquil moment. It’s also an enduring interior design trend that never seems to go out of style.

We look at the best art for minimal interiors to help you create a serene oasis within the chaos of family, friends, career or general life commitments.

Minimalism in art

Minimalist art is different to minimalist interiors, but they both converge to complement each other and have the same overall effect; a calm and centred environment.

A minimalist interior is, more often than not, made up of white walls and simply furnished with Nordic-style wood, black, metallic or off-white furniture. It is a very clean style with no additional or decorative objects - or some might say ‘clutter’ - as you would with a Vintage or Art Deco interior, for example.

In contrast, Minimalist art is colourful and bright. It’s usually an abstract composition, but (and here’s where we touch on a bit of art theory) it doesn’t refer to anything but itself. The pattern on the canvas is meant to suggest nothing more than - a pattern on a canvas. There’s no reference to society or politics, which means you can enjoy and lose yourself in a painting for what it is; essentially, it’s an immersive experience.

Timeless by Paresh Nrshinga
Timeless by Paresh Nrshinga

Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman were the key artists of this movement. They believed in colour theory and its impact on emotion, as they felt that colour and art combined should be a more mindful experience. Which is why this is such a great style for interiors as it’s calming and relaxing.

Multicolour abstract by Monika Howarth
Multicolour abstract by Monika Howarth

Today we are very influenced by the impact colour has on mood, especially when it comes to home decorating, and it’s these artists who helped shape this way of thinking.

What to look for when buying Minimalist art

Less is very much more when it comes to choosing a minimalist painting. They’re usually abstract works of art and are always clean and simple pieces. The barest, well, minimum needs to be in the painting, so they are very uncluttered.

Since a minimalist interior is quite white and sparse, it’s often best to go art which includes bold colours, to break things up a bit. Barnett Newman’s paintings were usually just one tone or shade over a whole canvas but were always calming shades of reds, blues and greens.

Abstract oil painting
Abstract oil painting "Space Y". Size 39.37/27.5(100/70cm). Unique impasto texture. by Karina Antonczak Yellow abstract painting  by Monika Howarth
Yellow abstract painting by Monika Howarth

The best interior styles for minimalism

Although we’ve only focused on minimalist interiors, there are other styles where this art also works, such as mid-century modern and Industrial, which is defined mainly by exposed brick, cool-coloured walls, black piping, neutral browns and woods, especially when it comes to furniture.

Feng Shui Water Element 1 by Rodney Holt
Feng Shui Water Element 1 by Rodney Holt Malmö by Jonathan Talks
Malmö by Jonathan Talks

The Scandinavian style also uses muted colours but with more of a focus on greys and greens for furnishings and accessories. There’s also the Bohemian style, which uses more natural wicker and hessian materials, patterned and textured furnishings.

As these styles do tend to use a colour palette that is on the cooler end of the spectrum, the colours in Minimalist art will bring a space to life and add warmth and depth to a room.

Dynamic I Ltd Edition Large Canvas by Pauline Thomas
Dynamic I Ltd Edition Large Canvas by Pauline Thomas

Where to hang Minimalist art

Due to the mindful nature of this style of art, it needs to be hung in a place where you can sit down, relax, unwind and look at the painting in order to take a moment.

With this in mind, calmer spaces such as bedrooms, studies, offices and even bathrooms are ideal. Even though a minimalist painting doesn’t relate to anything it’s not something you can simply engage with quickly, so it needs to be in a place where you can take time and enjoy the process of looking.

Mark Rothko believed his paintings worked best in a Church environment, so that gives you an idea of how calming this art is supposed to be.

Calming Thoughts by Stefan Fierros
Calming Thoughts by Stefan Fierros

Art reduces stress, and, as we’re living increasingly busy, smartphone-based lives it’s even more important to take a time-out from it all. It’s almost as if the original minimalist artists predicted the future!

There is now also an overall trend towards minimalism, whereby people are focusing on reducing life ‘clutter’ in order to sharpen their minds and create time for the things that really matter in their lives, such as friends, family or hobbies.

The mindful, or meditative, nature of a minimalist painting aims to start you on that journey for a more balanced life, which is a great way to think about original art.

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Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

Statement Art

by Lisa Doherty 15. May 2018 13:03

Be loud, be proud, make a statement!

You feel like you want to take a few risks with art and you’re thinking of buying a painting that really shouts and makes an impact when people visit your house. It’s unapologetic and is the centrepiece of any room.

Welcome to statement art.

How to make a statement

The keywords to any statement piece are big and bold. These are not small, polite pieces as they dominate the space, but also work with its surroundings. These works of art can be made up of bright colours, be period pieces or a dramatic abstract statement.

Set of 3 paintings red abstract A223 by Ksavera Art
Set of 3 paintings red abstract A223 by Ksavera Art Fluit Liefde by Zhana Viel
Fluit Liefde by Zhana Viel

The great thing about statement art is that it works well with any interior style, whether that’s antique, vintage, Nordic, minimal or modern, there is a painting for every taste, not to mention the fact that it can really offset the look you’re trying to achieve and help make that style pop.

Sunset boat in the sea  by MARIA ROM
Sunset boat in the sea by MARIA ROM

Where to hang a statement piece

Naturally, for anybody, or anything, wanting to be noticed it needs to be centre stage. Statement art is no exception and needs be the main focal point in a room. This means hanging it over a fireplace or on a wall where the eye naturally gravitates.

If your house has space, then the larger the piece the better to really stand out and be the main point in a room.

Neon Pink Cityscape by Nineke Havinga
Neon Pink Cityscape by Nineke Havinga

If you’re hanging it a bedroom, then over the bed is ideal, but make sure you get the right dimensions between the ceiling and the top of the bed, or headboard, to get maximum impact and to ensure the eye naturally hits the centre point of the painting.

The same rules apply if hanging it over a desk in a home office. Besides, studies, bedrooms and lounges, other rooms where this art would work include dining rooms or general social areas. A statement piece would also work at the top of a staircase.

Statement art for smaller spaces

As this kind of art is big and bold, a balance needs to be struck between standing out versus completely dominating the space, so it needs to be hung in a room where the painting isn’t overwhelming.

With this in mind, smaller areas such as bathrooms or small kitchens aren’t ideal for large pieces. If you live in a smaller space but would like a statement piece nonetheless, then going for a medium-sized painting won’t lessen the effect and can still make an impact.

Her Lips by ina Prodanova
Her Lips by ina Prodanova

By going for bold colour or striking monochrome the piece can still standout, especially if you have neutral white or cream walls. Again, make them the focal piece of a room to become art that’s hard to ignore.

ANOTHER GEOMETRIC DOODLE by Stephen Conroy
ANOTHER GEOMETRIC DOODLE by Stephen Conroy GRID by Neil Hemsley
GRID by Neil Hemsley

Statement portraits

Usually, people associate statement pieces with landscapes or abstract art, but portraiture can be just as impactful. An image of a person can be just as striking in a room, if not more so, than abstract or landscape paintings.

These days, portraiture is not what people traditionally expect to see in a room, so breaking with convention is also a great way to make a statement.

Male head study No 3 by jean-marc hoth
Male head study No 3 by jean-marc hoth

If you’re feeling bold enough, you can have a lot of fun with portraits by hanging a painting that may contradict the interior look you’re going for, which can also help enhance the statement piece.

A great example of this would be to hang an antique-style portrait in a modernist interior. The contrast of the two styles would certainly make a great conversation piece.

Christopher Gill is an artist who uses contemporary subjects but places them in a Renaissance-style portrait. It makes for striking works of art and ideal for a range of rooms and interior styles.

Girl in the Leather Coat  ( framed original )  by Christopher Gill
Girl in the Leather Coat ( framed original ) by Christopher Gill Lucia de MEDICI  by Shirley Wright
Lucia de MEDICI by Shirley Wright

Statement art on a budget

There is a perception that statement art is expensive, but this isn’t necessarily the case as you can make a statement on any price range – from £45 right up to £4,500.

If you’re looking to buy art as a future investment, but you’re on a tight budget, then why not do some research on up and coming artists or think about latest trends, such as digital art. Statement art isn’t something that only belongs to the rich and famous, it’s out there for everybody and every home.

Sweeten To Taste 3 by Simeon Machin
Sweeten To Taste 3 by Simeon Machin Blue Matter by Rob Thornham
Blue Matter by Rob Thornham

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Buying Art

Original Art and Gifts to Celebrate the Royal Wedding

by Lisa Doherty 2. May 2018 11:09

The wedding season starts with pomp and ceremony this year as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tie the knot on May 19th. It will be the first royal wedding in six years since Prince William and Kate Middleton married in 2011. Who doesn’t love a royal wedding?!

If you’re getting married around the same time or this year, then huge congratulations! You’ll certainly never forget the year you got married, that’s for sure.

Art and weddings go together particularly well. A painting makes a really touching and everlasting gift and can also help the bride stand out even more with unique, one-off accessories.

We show you how art can transform and enhance this happy time.

Royal wedding

The royal family have been through good times and bad times and have dealt with their fair share of politics … just like a normal family then! They’ve also had a lot of weddings over the years that have triggered bridal dress trends across the globe. Remember Princess Diana’s dress?

Diana by Peter Mason
Diana by Peter Mason

With Harry and Meghan’s nuptials coming up, why not go with the trends, check out some regal portraiture and celebrate all things royal?

Ever since Andy Warhol turned the Queen into pop art, her Majesty has become an iconic figure and is frequently captured in paintings and photographs.

Queen Elizabeth  by Olga  Koval
Queen Elizabeth by Olga Koval

There are so many paintings of the Queen to choose from, as well as historic portraits of Princess Diana, so it’s only a matter of time before Kate and Meghan become iconic images in art as well.

Kate by Mel Davies
Kate by Mel Davies

For weddings taking place this year, buying a painting with a royal reference can also be a historical document for your family, as you will have something in common with the Windsor family, and, dare we say it, a bit of a royal connection.

Wedding gifts

If you’re getting married or going to a wedding over the next few months, but you’re stuck for a gift – or a wedding list - then art may just be the solution.

Wedding Day by Maxine Martin
Wedding Day by Maxine Martin

A painting can last pretty much forever, so a wedding gift would last throughout a marriage, children, grandchildren and beyond. It can be passed down through generations and inspire people whenever they look at it.

The gift of art can also be symbolic of everlasting love and be a permanent fixture throughout all life’s ups and downs. As a result, it’s a really touching gift that means so much more, not to mention more durable than cutlery or china.

SPRING TIME by Monika Luniak
SPRING TIME by Monika Luniak

It is now becoming more commonplace for the bride and groom to request that presents be replaced with a charitable donation instead. This is because most couples have everything they need for the home by the time they get around to marriage.

Art, however, is different as you can never have too much art, it’s not disposable or wears out and is something people always want in their home.

Getting Together by Jools Lawley
Getting Together by Jools Lawley Marriage UK 2013 by Philip Hart
Marriage UK 2013 by Philip Hart Infinite Love Glass Art by Pauline Thomas
Infinite Love Glass Art by Pauline Thomas Happy swans in love. Wedding present idea. by Olga  Koval
Happy swans in love. Wedding present idea. by Olga Koval

Art for the bride

Art isn’t only for the home, it can be worn as well, and there are artists out there who not only paint, but also create jewellery and accessories. Naturally, the bride wants to stand out on the day, and what better way than with unique, one-off pieces.

Bridal hair piece by Irum Iftikhar
Bridal hair piece by Irum Iftikhar Chunky Funky Bracelet (Milk) by Paula Horsley
Chunky Funky Bracelet (Milk) by Paula Horsley

If it’s the second time around for you, then this day is by no means less important. You still want to look amazing on the day, so why not treat yourself to some standout jewellery or accessories. And, if you’re the type of person who’s not keen on ‘showing off’, then a few subtle accent pieces can make a real impact.

Promise by Irum Iftikhar
Promise by Irum Iftikhar Red delight by Irum Iftikhar
Red delight by Irum Iftikhar Floral Headband 2 by Paula Horsley
Floral Headband 2 by Paula Horsley

Gifts for the wedding group

With the wedding group traditionally consisting of bridesmaids, in-laws, parents, flower girls, page boys and the best man, there’s a lot of people to thank for their help on the big day. Which means that buying presents to say thanks for all their help is a whole job in itself.

The Queen's Head, Underbank, Stockport At Night by Michael  Gutteridge
The Queen's Head, Underbank, Stockport At Night by Michael Gutteridge

With everything else to arrange, it’s easy to leave this job to the lastminute, but it’s always worth taking time throughout the wedding planning process to ensure you do take time to think about the gifts you’d like to buy.

Weddings are considered to be one of the most stressful times of a person’s life, so no doubt there will be a few tense moments with family and friends along the way! Take some time out, think about why you love that friend or family member, and get them a thank you gift to really show how you appreciate them and all the work they’ve done.

Very drunk indeed!  by Sara Sutton
Very drunk indeed! by Sara Sutton Golf club mantel clock by Malcolm Hull
Golf club mantel clock by Malcolm Hull Handpainted Silk Scarf  N.12 , Yellow and blue by Susana Zarate
Handpainted Silk Scarf N.12 , Yellow and blue by Susana Zarate Princess themed letters by Tracy Jolly
Princess themed letters by Tracy Jolly

The Honeymoon

…and relax. Wherever you’re going and whatever you do on your Honeymoon, make the memory last even longer with art.

If you’re off on an adventure, a trek, lying on a beach or wandering through a Mediterranean street, there will always be a painting to capture the essence of that special holiday.

Mediterranean Sunshine by Yary Dluhos
Mediterranean Sunshine by Yary Dluhos

Getting married can be an expensive process but buying art doesn’t mean you need to break the bank. We have art to suit all price ranges and tastes, so you don’t need to bust your wedding budget starting married life with the painting you love, which leaves us just to say congratulations and good luck on the big day. And congratulations to Harry and Meghan!

Moonlit Beach Couple by Steve Hawthorn
Moonlit Beach Couple by Steve Hawthorn From one Extreme to Another by Anna Cumming
From one Extreme to Another by Anna Cumming

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Buying Art | The Art World

Spotlight on: Sally Lancaster

by Lisa Doherty 27. April 2018 09:00

Sally Lancaster is a Devon-based artist who specialises in figurative art. She is largely self-taught, and her paintings focus on movement, muscle, motion and tone.

She recently appeared on the global TV show Colour in your Life, which takes an in-depth look at her paintings and shows Sally at work in her studio. The programme also looks at how artists, in general, manage the ongoing process of selling their work.

One thing that’s made clear in the show is that great painting takes time and patience. So, looking at Sally’s art in a bit more detail, we show you what’s involved when artists go through the creative and artistic process.

Figurative work

Having started her career painting pet portraits, Sally moved on to focus on equestrian art - predominantly studies of racing, dressage and polo horses that were captured in motion to highlight muscle tone and light and shade.

In recent years, however, she has moved away from equine art to focus more on figurative studies, which includes dancers. Again, like horses, the human body enables her to capture motion and form, as well as light and shade.

Curvation by the artist Sally Lancaster

Curvation by Sally Lancaster

To enhance the figurative form, Sally captures bodies in ‘stretched’ or elongated poses, which really enhances their build and highlights the detail and honed musculature of the subject’s body. Not only that, but the fact that Sally portrays figures mid-movement really makes the viewer want to imagine what they’re going to do next.

Material Feeling by Sally Lancaster
Material Feeling by Sally Lancaster

In order to capture the movement and muscle of her subjects, Sally holds a photoshoot in a local theatre hall and, through the use of blackout blinds, she puts the space into darkness in order to control the light source and enhance the variations between light and shade.

Sally then directs the model to move into positions and angles that will make for strong and compelling subject matter. Once the shoot is done, she then sorts through the images to create a portfolio, or shortlist, of potential paintings.

Reach by Sally Lancaster
Reach by Sally Lancaster

The creative process

Once Sally has chosen an image from the shoot, she then gets to work on creating her art. As you can imagine, this much detail doesn’t come out on the canvas overnight, so, on average, her paintings take over a month to produce.

The reason for this is because not only does she have to draw and paint the figure, but also work on the intricacies involved in light and shade, which can be very complex. And there’s a lot more to light and shade than black and white.

In fact, there are many shades, well, in shade. For example, if the subject is placed against a blue backdrop, then these colours will manifest themselves in various tones on the figure or surrounding areas.

To help capture this and help her gauge colours, Sally works alongside a large monitor with the photo of the subject on display. This enables her to zoom in and out of detail and clearly pick-up these tonal shades.

You can see this detail in ‘Fragile Transparency’ where the dancer is shrouded by a veil, so not only does Sally have to capture the dancer’s form, but also the light and shade in the folds of the veil. Trust us, this is not an easy task!

Fragile Transparency by Sally Lancaster
Fragile Transparency by Sally Lancaster

Interiors focus

As is common practice with most artists, Sally looks to exhibit her paintings wherever possible. She currently has her work on display at Lympstone Manor, which is owned by Michelin starred chef, Michael Caines.

Sally Lancaster's work on display at Lympstone Manor

A display of Sally Lancaster's work at Lympstone Manor

If you’re thinking of buying one of Sally’s paintings and you’re in the Devon area – or you’re even going to stay at the Manor - then this is a great opportunity to see how her paintings look from an interiors perspective.

As you can see in the photo, the copper tones and creams of the bar area really help make the painting stand out and be a striking focal point in the room. It’s also positioned in a way to make a great talking point while at the bar.

Seeing a painting in real-life, or in situ, can really help with the decision-making process and help you see it from a different perspective as well, so getting to see an artist’s work ‘in the flesh’, or using a room visualiser, can make all the difference.

Price range

With this much detail and skill, Sally’s paintings start from around £2,000 and up into the £5,000 price range. Our premier Artists are carefully selected and are noted for their outstanding work and reputation, so their work is priced accordingly. All Sally’s paintings are sold with frames, which does save on the additional cost of having to go to a framer.

Sally’s reputation is growing year on year, and she is a highly respected and regarded artist. With that in mind, purchasing her work could be viewed as a long-term investment. Not to mention that the subject matter will always be of interest to people and it’s hard to tire of looking at her work.

There are ways you can invest and own one of her paintings, however, such as the Own Art scheme, which can help you make those dream purchases with interest-free monthly instalments.

We are proud to say we are part of the scheme, so if you’re thinking of buying one of Sally’s paintings, then get in contact and let’s see how we can help.

Final note. Calling all male dancers!

Currently, Sally uses a female dancer for her paintings, but she is also keen to focus on figurative studies of the male form. If anybody knows a male dancer that would be happy to pose, then get in contact. They will be captured permanently on canvas and become a work of art, an amazing opportunity!

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Art Galleries | Artists | Artists Corner | Buying Art | The Art World


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