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

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

Latest Interior Art Trends

by Lisa Doherty 18. April 2018 11:54

This year is proving to be an exciting year for interiors. There are such a wide-range of trends to help transform your home and suit every taste. We take a look at some of the top predictions and show you the art you need to make that style pop.

Folk or global style

For fans of tradition, or those who love to see the world and experience different cultures, Folklore and travel have been combined to create a global look. The key colours for this style are Terracotta, muted greens or sage and off-whites, which are offset by patterned textiles and wall hangings.

Example of folk/global style

Image courtesy of Dulux.

From an art perspective, this is all about pattern with a naïve twist. So, paintings that have a folk element, or a global tone to them are perfect for these interiors. This means looking for art that is more simplified and patterns that have a textile feel to them.

Creative Africa by Robert Niland
Creative Africa by Robert Niland Leaf Art #1 by Jo KC Ellis
Leaf Art #1 by Jo KC Ellis Green Palm by Jo KC Ellis
Green Palm by Jo KC Ellis African Tribal Women by Irina Rumyantseva
African Tribal Women by Irina Rumyantseva

Colour pop

As a nation, we’re getting much bolder and confident with colour, and this is being reflected in interiors. In fact, Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018 is Ultra Violet, which is a vivid purple, and marks the start of a trend in rich pigments, such as yellows, emerald greens, and blues.

Example of colour pop

Image courtesy of Swoon Editions

Even though we’re getting braver with colour, it is understandable that some people may be a little nervous about using it to cover a space. If so, then art is a great compromise as it allows you to be bold without saturating a room. With that in mind, you could have white or off-white walls and use art to provide that striking colour pop. Abstract art is great for this style, as are landscapes.

Despite the cold - XXL abstract painting - XXL abstract painting by Ivana Olbricht
Despite the cold - XXL abstract painting - XXL abstract painting by Ivana Olbricht Yellow line by Poonam choudhary
Yellow line by Poonam choudhary

Touchy feely textures

Alongside the Global style, texture is becoming more popular and we’re seeing large-weave rugs, carpets, baskets and wicker-style seating and lampshades becoming key interior features. This is no less the case with art as there a wide range of artists bringing texture to their painting with rough brush strokes and layering. This style of art complements the textured interior look well.

Table and chairs

Image courtesy of John Lewis

Portraits, abstract and three-dimensional art are styles to consider - or any paintings that use strong textures - when enhancing this look. Especially textured paintings with colour, as woven materials tends to be a neutral tone and can look a bit flat when used too much. Basically, this is a chance to be bold and really make a statement. Mid-Century art is also a great style to go with this look.

Mojito by Kerry Bowler
Mojito by Kerry Bowler Down in the Valley by Andrew Alan Johnson
Down in the Valley by Andrew Alan Johnson

Totally tropical

The tropical trend is set to remain popular this year and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. One of the reasons for this is, not only because it can create a warm and relaxing space, but it’s a style that you can have a lot of fun with.

Tropical themed bedroom

Image courtesy of Dunelm

Whether you want to just use hints of the tropical, by using art and accessories, or go all out with wall colour and house plants, there are no holds barred. As you would expect with this look, greens, reds and yellows are key colours.

Starfish by Jean Tatton Jones
Starfish by Jean Tatton Jones Organic2 by Jean Tatton Jones
Organic2 by Jean Tatton Jones Tropical forest by Viktoriya Gorokhova
Tropical forest by Viktoriya Gorokhova Blue and Yellow Macaw by Zoe Elizabeth Norman
Blue and Yellow Macaw by Zoe Elizabeth Norman

Latest art trends

It’s not just interiors that focus on trends, but the art world does as well. Currently, digital art is opening-up a world of opportunities for artists, and, as a result, we’re seeing a fusion of photography, paint and illustration to create mixed media imagery.

Artists are also using digital as an opportunity to be more creative with light studies as well, which has led to colourful and almost surreal images that play with and use technology to their advantage.

And the sky turned pink by Elisabeth Grosse
And the sky turned pink by Elisabeth Grosse Birds V / Limited Edition Print on Canvas by Anna Sidi-Yacoub
Birds V / Limited Edition Print on Canvas by Anna Sidi-Yacoub

Digital is also being used to create painterly paintings that have the feel of a photo negative and is making for really interesting viewing. If you’re someone who is forward thinking and are looking to invest in art of the future, then this digital is certainly marking the way.

Apple Blossom by Kathryn Edwards
Apple Blossom by Kathryn Edwards Sunrise in the forrest by leslie garrett
Sunrise in the forrest by leslie garrett

Whatever your interiors tastes, we most certainly have the art to match. Not only that, but we have paintings to suit every budget as well. Our budget search buttons mean you can go straight to the images in your price range, to avoid any distractions or lengthy searches. What are you waiting for, go get creative!

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Art Galleries | Buying Art | The Art World

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

Coloured

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

Metallic

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!

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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

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Art History | Buying Art | The Art World

Malvern Theatres - Autumn Show

by Humph Hack 15. October 2017 17:15

It is rare for a successful artist to paint in many different styles. The public will easily recognise a Monet, a Freud or even a Hockney. As ever it is the exception which proves the rule. So, for example Picasso is known for multiple styles, but even he had periods where all the work being produced at any one time was stylistically similar.

The three artists opening the new show at Malvern Theatres are all recognisable instantly because they all paint in a practised and recognisable style.

Amanda Dagg is amongst the best sellers from the online gallery www.artgallery.co.uk from which all the works on show are chosen. She relishes in the freshness of nature although her work does not attempt realism in the traditional sense.

She hails from South Wales and as well as producing an amazing quantity of work, she helps run a community led gallery in the area. She has successfully shown in the Theatre many times over the last few years.

Victoria Stanway’s works explore the female psyche. Her humorous paintings are much sought after, not just by women, but by anyone wishing to celebrate and understand what makes “girls” different. Victoria is based in Bicester and has not shown here before.

The third artist is Steven Shaw who hails from Solihull. His works – almost photo realist, are supreme examples of the genre. The works in this show are mainly animal studies, apart from two plates of biscuits; good enough to nibble with your cup of coffee in the Bistro. This is also Steven’s first show at Malvern. Artists queue up to be seen in this great venue.

The show runs from Monday 16 October until Saturday 25 November.

Tags:

Exhibitions | Malvern Theatres | The Art World

Movember Special: The Importance of a Moustache

by Aileen Mitchell 18. November 2016 15:53

The moustache is a real statement whether its handlebar, pencil or cowboy. It also plays a key role as a statement in art as well as fashion in everyday life. Join us this Movember as we look back at the historical president of 'the tash'.

One of the first and greatest celebrations of the upper-lip adorner was the Sutton Hoo helmet. This extraordinary object is a pinnacle of Anglo-Saxon burial art. The helmet was found as part of a ship-burial from the very rich archaeological site at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk, England. Look closely at the face mask and you can see that the neatly clipped moustache represents not just a moustache but the tail of a bird flying upwards. Surely one of the most recognisable tashes in art history.

When we think of medieval knights we imagine tall, handsome men astride a horse with – of course – a terrific moustache. This hairy status symbol was of such importance that in the fourteenth century Edward Prince of Wales had an effigy on his tomb showing him in full battle dress armour but with his moustache on show.

We have always looked to our monarchy and aristocracy to keep up to date with the latest vogues. Although Queen Elizabeth didn't sport a handlebar, the Elizabethan era was the start of men choosing to be very bearded. This was then further refined by King Charles I and his iconic handlebar moustache and goatee beard.

There have been many modern artists who have used the moustache as statements in their work, and in fact on people's art! Revolutionary artist Marcel Duchamp, famous for the statement urinal in the 1917 exhibition for the Society of Independent Artists, has also paid homage to the moustache. In a series of works titled 'found objects', Duchamp would take a mundane and ordinary object and alter it, making it extraordinary. L.H.O.O.Q. is a postcard print of the Mona Lisa with Duchamp's addition of a moustache and goatee.

As Duchamp demonstrated, it's not just men who have an important relationship with the moustache in art. Frida Kahlo, surrealist painter most famous for her self-portraits, often depicted herself with a moustache – or more accurately the natural layer of hair that lined her upper lip. This attention to her natural features is for a number of reasons from pride in her Mexican heritage to painting exactly what she saw, to a feminist statement about her main pleasures in life being considered as 'manly'. Putting herself under such scrutiny as she painted, it has been observed that Kahlo would make the hair on her upper lip more prominent than it really was.

Our next moustache-wearing art icon appeared in Spain at the beginning of the surrealist movement. Salvador Dali's moustache is almost as iconic as the melting clocks in his artwork. When asked in an interview whether his moustache was in fact a joke, he responded by saying it was "the most serious part".

Dali's moustache was not only a famous part of his look that we remember him by even today, but an extension of his personality and mood at the time. One day it would be tied in a bow, the next stuck in spikey straight lines, sometimes curving up like the horns of a bull. He also would sometime use his moustache to paint – either whilst it was still attached, or he would use the trimmings to make his own bristle head on a paintbrush. 

 

Van Gogh is another famous artist who had a very close bond with his moustache. Almost every self-portrait he painted includes a beard and moustache – so much so that the painting of himself simply named, Self-Portrait Without a Beard, is one of the most expensive of his paintings going for 71.5 million dollars!

It is interesting to see that in his self-portraits his brush strokes do not change from the texture of his face to the moustache and beard; the only thing that changes is the colour. Art historians consider this as Van Gogh expressing how his facial hair is very much an extension of himself rather than a grown accessory. Closer studies on this subject have also shown how little difference there is between the way he paints his landscapes and the way he paints himself. Another example of very deep levels of an artist expressing their character in their masterpieces.

There are such strong links between artists and the moustache throughout art history it would be wrong to deny its constant presence and significance. Not only is the moustache a statement on a fashion and visual level but an embodiment of an artist's emotions and opinions at that particular stage of their career.

Image credits:

User: vggallery.com/ Self-Portrait with Straw Hat / Public Domain/ Wikimedia Commons

User: The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei / Self-Portrait Without Beard / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Karl Stas / LHOOQ (1919) / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

User: Thomas Gun / Charles I of England / Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

Tags:

Art History | Artists | The Art World

What Is 'Fauvism'?

by Aileen Mitchell 17. August 2016 12:00

The Turning Road, L'Estaque – Andre Derain

Fauvism is one of the most influential styles in contemporary art, whether today's artists are fully aware of it or not. The 'wild beasts' of Fauvism radicalised colour and form, and inspired the next generation of young artists to engage with their surroundings on a whole new level, changing art forever.

Last month we looked at the trailer for the new film, Loving Vincent. It's from the legacy of Van Gogh that the story of Fauvism begins …

Starry Night – van Gogh

French artist Henri Matisse is considered the founding father of Fauvism. Inspired by Van Gogh's post-impressionist style of intensifying colours and distorting forms to create images fraught with emotion, Matisse began to use colour on a very emotional level. The results of this were bright, multi-coloured paintings and scratchy brush stroked figures.

In complete contrast to the pastel coloured impressionist paintings from the 1800s – 1900s, Matisse would use paint straight from the tube without mixing them, and combine cold and warm palettes in the same work.

The concept behind creating these daring new paintings was to not paint the scene before them as realistically as possible, but to interpret how the scene was conceived in the mind. Matisse didn't choose colours based on what looked technically correct, but based his palette on the feelings and emotions he had whilst painting a particular 'experience' rather than 'scene'.

The first time Matisse's colourful works were displayed, a respected art critic exclaimed that the one renaissance sculpture in the exhibition was surrounded by work created by 'wild beasts' (les fauves). Although this comment was intended to be highly damming, Matisse and his fellow artists in this new style decided to take this as inspiration for the title of the new movement they had created, Fauvism.

The Green Stripe – Henri Matisse

One of the most famous works created during this movement was the portrait of Amelie Matisse – wife of Henri Matisse, called Green Stripe, carrying the famous green stripe down the middle of her face.

Dividing the face into two shades is a conventional portrait technique – usually used to divide the face between light and shade – but Matisse chose to use the line as a divide between cool and warm tones.

This bold new move was analysed in many different ways – some said the green stripe was for jealousy, others said it divided the painting into purity and serenity. The most likely reason, however, is none of these. Matisse was not called a wild beast for nothing. Art was now beyond the point of displaying well-known representations and symbolism. The green stripe is simply there because it was what Matisse felt inspired to do at the time. Under close analysis, art historians claim that much of the painting appears to have been 'improvised'. This is indicated by the brush strokes – which are perhaps most obviously ad lib in the black patch centre-right. 

Paysage du Midi – Andre Derain

Although revolutionary, this gaudy movement did return to familiar territory in the subject matter artists would choose to paint. Moving away from the popular urban depictions, les fauves returned to painting landscapes.

In fact, London played a large part in the Fauvist movement. We can really see this period of history in context when we compare Claude Monet's dreamy, misty picture of the Houses of Parliament with Andre Derain's piece of yellows, pinks and lurid greens.

Houses of Parliament – Claude Monet

Charing Cross Bridge – Andre Derain

London art is still by far one of our most popular categories of art to this day! Perhaps it was Fauvism that set off this iconic theme with our very own ArtGallery artists.

Icarus – Henri Matisse

Fauvism was also a revolutionary movement for exploring the negative space in a painting. This is how works like 'Icarus' came to be so famous. Out of context, some people can find it difficult to understand why a piece so simple has become so revered. The answer is context. There may be thousands of people who can reproduce work like this, but les fauves were the first to do it – the first to have this original idea of completely breaking away from traditional art.

Inspired by some of the greatest painters of the previous era, like van Gogh, Munch and Cezanne – Matisse inspired many young artists who in turn became notable painters of their respective fields, such as Chagall, Levy and many abstract expressionists.

At the time of Matisse's first exhibition, another critic commented that his work was, 'a pot of paint flung in the face of the public.' This could either be taken in a negative way, or a great of describing the rebellious, spontaneous spirit captured by fauvism. We'd like to see it as a compliment to one of the most energetic and influential styles in Western art.

[Image credits]

User: artfactory.com/ André Derain, The Turning Road, L’Estaque (1906)

/ Public Domain

User: bgEuwDxel93-Pg at Google Cultural Institute

/ Starry Night – van Gogh/ Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

User: William Allen, Image Historian

/ The Green Stripe – Henri Matisse

/ Flikr / Public Domain

User: Sharon Mollerus

/ Paysage du Midi – Andre Derain

/ Flikr / Public Domain

User: Unknown

/ Houses of Parliament – Claude Monet/ Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

User:  André Derain / Charring Cross Bridge – Andre Derain / Wikimedia Commons/ Public Domain

User: Sharon Mollerus / Icarus – Henri Matisse/ Flikr / Public Domain

Tags:

Art History | The Art World

Father's Day Art on ArtGallery.co.uk

by Aileen Mitchell 17. June 2016 16:02

Father's Day Artwork on ArtGallery

With Father's Day fast approaching, we've scoured our ArtGallery collection to put together a special blog post gallery. All of these original artworks are for sale on our website, directly from the artist.

If you can't make up your mind, there is also a selection of vouchers to choose from. These are emailed directly to you and the recipient of your choice! 

Good luck, and we hope you have plenty of inspiration to choose from:

Dad's Day Out by Susan Shaw

Dad's Day Out – Susan Shaw

Beer by Gary Hogben

Beer – Gary Hogben

Speed by Andrew Alan Matthews

Speed 3 – Andrew Alan Matthews

Fish and Chips by Gay Forster

Fish&Chips – Gay Forster

New Bond Street, Bath 1930s by Ernest George Perrott

New Bond Street 2, Bath 1930s – Ernest George Perrott

God Save the Queen by Gary Hogben

God Save The Queen #2 – Gary Hogben

British Superbike Round 2012 by David James

British Superbike Round 2012 – David James

Old Blues by Shaun Keefe

Old Blues – Shaun Keefe

Tags:

Artists | The Art World


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