There are those who buy art to suit the house and purists who would rather buy the house to suit the art! Some people paint the walls to match the print they’ve lovingly framed. Of course, not everyone would do that, so let’s be practical about it and look at some ideas on how to not only purchase the art you love but pieces you can hang or install in your home.
This is good advice which sounds counter-intuitive, but don’t even try to match the new art piece to your room. Rather than doing that, what works best is to complement and contrast your room with art so it functions well and the art isn’t lost in the mix. Also, try mixing expensive with far less expensive, and styles and periods, or architectural drawings to tell a story. Another good idea is to start an art collection by supporting young artists especially if you find a piece you can’t resist. You might find in years to come you have a painting by someone who has become famous!
You don’t need to know all that much about art, as long as you enjoy it; that’s what matters most. As you learn more your passion and knowledge will grow. Most artists and dealers will tell you to buy what you love, no buts, no ifs and no maybes because the art you buy should give you a thrill every time you look at it.
Purists believe artworks should be bought for their own excellence not so they can complement a house but the thing to remember when you hang art in your home is that yours is the only opinion that matters.
But here are some practical things to consider:
When you buy a piece of art size does matter. A stunning but minuscule work of art wouldn’t work well on a huge white wall. By the same token, a massive painting that takes up an entire wall and takes over the room probably wouldn’t work very well. That’s not saying you can’t do that if you want to make a huge statement or if you just can’t resist the piece. However, most people would agree it’s a better idea to focus pieces that are standard sizes, not too small but not too large either. Stick to sizes from 30 cm and 120 cm which will be easy to hang in any home.
2. Go boldly, mixing modern with antique
There’s nothing more striking when you hang an antique piece of art such that it collides with a striking postmodern painting. If they sit well together that can mean the modern pierce is a really good work so you can’t go wrong. But if you do go bold, it works best to keep other pieces minimal. This way, your best canvas will remain the piece that stands out, and by keeping things simple, your pieces aren’t competing with each other.
3. Trust your gut feeling
If you really love it, then for goodness’ sake follow your heart and buy it! You can always find somewhere on a wall to hang a piece of art that you adore. Still, if your space is very limited, take along the measurements of the walls that need some art so you can at least get some idea of where you’re at with it. Art is so personal, so if you trust your instincts when making your choice on what to buy you’ll at least have something that will thrill you every time you look at it. Paintings not only enhance the look of the environment, they bring life and dimension to a room, and they say a lot about you. They can generate emotions in the person who views them and it’s much better to stare at a blank wall than see a painting that doesn’t make your heart go zing!
4. Try black and white
Black and white works of art, whether drawings, painting or photography, can be striking and if you are trying to complement your room with a painting or drawing then don’t pass them up. Black and white photography can evoke responses such as raw, classic, bold and also natural and can enhance greatly your room.
5. Don’t forget lighting
Museums and galleries know all there is to know about lighting to enhance a work of art or exhibit. Any art, whether it’s a sculpture, a canvas painting, print or vinyl decal ought to have good lighting to show it to its best advantage. You can use either natural light or artificial; it just depends on the area it is going to be hung. Track lighting or downlights are a good idea if the piece won’t get much natural light or track lighting? Whatever you do, don’t place an artwork where it will be exposed to direct sunshine or it can devalue your art or even ruin it altogether.
6. Go online to find originals.
Nothing can bring more interest or life to a living space than a fabulous display of fine works of art, tapestry or an eclectic gathering of prints or original paintings. Instead of wandering into art galleries on the weekend, many Australian art buyers are staying at home and searching online. The number of online marketplaces to buy original art has grown so much that the astute buyer can look at art in the comfort of home. So why not give it a shot? If you want beautiful originals they can be bought online and shipped all over the world so don’t let distance deter you.
7. Buy affordable prints on the internet, on social media
If your budget is a tad tight (and whose isn’t these days?) one of the best ways to discover artists you don’t know about is on social media using tools such as Etsy. Try Pinterest, Instagram, and Facebook as well. You can find some great prints and originals that aren’t expensive but are simply divine and also great as gifts.
8. Educate yourself and uncover your taste
When you buy art it’s all about the connection you make and your emotional response. Learning more about art can only expand your knowledge and passion. Begin by training your eye and mind so you understand the different techniques used by artists and also read art books and magazines as well as doing your online research. Understand the difference between an original, a limited edition and a reproduction because they all differ in price and value. Visit art galleries and museums to get ideas of what you like and don’t like. This will help you uncover your personal tastes but during this stage don’t ask others for their opinions because until you develop your own tastes others opinions can overwhelm you.
9. Find out who did your favourite street art
Street artworks done well add vibrancy and a sense of place to Australian cities so it’s not surprising that many people want to bring that energy and style into their homes. Street art is a means of self-expression and offers great opportunities to beautify your walls in interesting and unique ways. If there’s a piece of street art in your neighbourhood try to find out whose work it and commission a piece of your very own, be that a mural on the kids’ bedroom or an interesting drawing for the bathroom, or any wall in the house.
10. If you like Indigenous Australian art, buy it ethically
Buying Indigenous art is a wonderful way to support Australian art communities in the central desert but it wasn’t so long ago that conmen, shifty and slippery gallerists would sweep into remote areas and return to the city with a booty of dot paintings, obtained by unscrupulous methods. They paid Indigenous artists food or alcohol and gave them less than $100 for work they later sold for thousands. If that wasn’t bad enough, now people are selling fake Indigenous art which isn’t illegal but it is an insidious, immoral practice. It violates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, steals their economic opportunities and the real artist’s resources, leaving them no say in how their art is used. Indigenous art is defined by how it represents a cultural connection to country. So, when buying it always look for the Indigenous art code (a system devised after a Senate inquiry in 2007) to preserve and promote ethical trading in Indigenous art.
Finally, remember that art is a personal choice and everyone’s view of art is subjective and different and there are millions of opinions people want to share with you. All you need to remember is buy within your means, take your time, know what you love, and imagine it in your room. Make sure every artwork speaks to you and you will have begun to build your collection of beautiful art.
We’d like to thank our Guest Blogger Alex Morrison. Thanks for the post! 😀
Alex Morrison has been an avid digital marketer for over 10 years. In this time he has worked with a range of businesses giving him an in depth understanding of many different industries including real estate and home decoration! As the owner of Integral Media he is now utilising his knowledge and experience with his rapidly increasing client portfolio to help them achieve their business goals.