Which comes first the chicken or the egg?
The same can be said for art and decor. Do you decorate your room and then find artwork to match, or do you buy your favourite pieces, focus on a few colours and use those in your paint, carpet and furniture colours? To buy the art first makes sense but it can be difficult to know your budget before essentials like flooring and somewhere to sit or sleep! Then there are complications. You may not be starting from scratch and already have some colours and themes you are already happy with or simply have to work with. You may want to be right on trend or you may have sentimental items or antiques and a preference for the more traditional or classic look.
As an art gallery of course we would suggest you choose your artwork first . It's really important to buy a piece that you love looking at! If it doesn't fit with your new decor that would be a shame. However it's just not that simple for everyone and it might be too late by the time you hear this suggestion! A more realistic approach is to use the framing, positioning of objects, and the incorporation of accent colours to create a room with harmony. Hopefully this blog will give you some ideas.
The on trend colours for 2021 are grey and bright yellow. Add to this some blue, also fashionable for the coming year. When thinking about colour from first principles there is the science behind the colour wheel. This tool helps you find colours that harmonise together, for example complementary colours are blue and orange, yellow and purple, and green and red. To read more here's an excellent article from Better Homes and Gardens.
You may wish to stick to a theme in your room. This could be the content of a picture, a pattern on a cushion, a certain style or similar / complementary colours. You might have an eclectic mix of objects perhaps in age (contemporary or old fashioned), pattern, or subject matter but if they are all one colour this will make for a harmonious but very interesting look. Or perhaps you want to have an on trend themes. For 2021 these are nature, animals and natural well made products.
We all know the difference between a traditional and contemporary look. But at the moment provided things harmonise in a different way it's fashionable to have an eclectic mix.
When thinking about artwork it might be exciting to think about the various styles of art and mixing them together in one room but with a theme running throughout. Let's have a look at some styles of art:
Contemporary is the current phase, modern refers to mid 20th century following on from the modern art movement in the late 19th century. Soon contemporary will be replaced by a new description.
Before modern art artists tended to paint landscapes, religion and wealthy models in a realistic way. Of course this was before photography so it also acted as a record.
Modern art brought with it abstracts and pop art, in other words art became less representational. However modern art is a continually moving genre being flexible and current even today.
Art subject matters
This means what the painting, ceramic or sculpture is of. Current subjects are animals, nature, abstract shapes, faces in one continuous line and the female form.
Wellness art is a new genre. As people are more aware of their mental health they are looking for something that makes them feel uplifted and calm. Creativity is well known to improve mental wellbeing. Appreciating others' creativity is an extension of this. It often acts as a stimulus for taking up something creative yourself such as the trend for adult colouring books. A calm and peaceful sculpture is the latest trend in creating that feeling. Continuing this theme is art inspired by nature. Natural wood, greenery , leaves, waves, all bring a sense of calm and grounding.
Maximalism in decor
This is a very recent fashion but stems from the Victorian era. It's the opposite of minimalism - lots of objects, pictures, colours, textures and boldness. It's a great juxtaposition to minimalism and very stimulating. It suits the collector in us but may be less calming.
Luxury and quality
Plush velvets, trimmings, deep carpets and high quality craftsmanship are in vogue. It is a comforting trend particularly taking into account the fact that we have lock down and are more aware of our home environments.
So all in all, with the current world situation, it's even more important to be happy and contented at home. Your environment has a part to play in this. The most important thing is to buy something you really love, something that will give you great pleasure to look at whether it be to relax or provoke. Hopefully this blog will help you make some decisions.
So you've been to the gallery or looked at the artists' galleries on this website, but you're still not sure. You're asking yourself:
Then there are framing options. The framers we use have over 1100 options! That sounds daunting but once you categorise your preferences it's much easier.
Most of our originals and prints have an off white mount and a textured off white wooden frame. We find this is neutral so if in doubt it's a good point of safety. Another safe bet is an off white mount with a black frame. This is great for more graphic style pictures with strong black lines. A bold look can be achieved with a black mount and black frame. It really makes to the painting "ping". This can be stunning with the right painting but may not be to everyone's taste.
At the moment the trend is to have a collection of different frames in a room, perhaps in varied sizes, colours and type of wood, so really you can't go too far wrong whichever you choose.
Lots to do during lockdown as a gallery owner or an artist. Most of us can work on our artwork from home or in our studios. Here's a fab image of Katherine Message working at her wheel to create her beautiful porcelainware. I've been painting ferociously myself but there's lots of other aspects as well.
As a gallery owner I have never spent so much time on my laptop, sore fingers as a result!! I've revamped the website, been more active on social media and been researching business strategies. We'll be pushing our profile further into Dorset.
I've got some exciting ventures in the pipeline.
1. Dorset Art Weeks - 8 of our regular artists are taking part with brand new collections and hosting "Meet the Artist" sessions during the art weeks. We're also having an exhibition of young emerging artists' work in gallery 2.
2. Purbeck Art Weeks - the above will continue through to our Purbeck Art Trail, the gallery will be one of the venues.
3. A visiting exhibition in Lyme Regis at the Town Mill Gallery in August. The artists taking part to be confirmed.
Now I'm having a go at blogging - early days so I'd really love to have some feedback; either about the content or how to do it well. I'll be back in the next few days to update progress on our exciting projects.