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

by Toby Ward 28. January 2019 09:42

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

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

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

Crazy in love

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

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

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

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

Iconic images

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

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

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

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

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

Galentine's

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

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

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

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

Family

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

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

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

Affordable gifts

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

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

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

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Italian Art

by Lisa Doherty 15. January 2019 09:17

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

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

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

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

Landscapes

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

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

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

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

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

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

History

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

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

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

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

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

Towns

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

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

Cities

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

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

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

Venice

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

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

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

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

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