Making Artwork Arrangements

Making Artwork Arrangements

Hanging artwork in groupings can create an exciting look for any room. The simplest grouping is a pair: two pieces of art, framed identically. They can be placed side by side or one over the other, in an even or uneven manner.

Another simple grouping might be three or more pieces of art of varying sizes. Each piece must be framed in the style and color that works best for that individual item. It will look best if one work of art is quite large, while the companion pieces are of smaller sizes.

For an easy way to set up a grouping wall in your home or office, spread your artwork over the floor in front of the wall area where it will hang.

Rearrange the smaller items around the one or two larger pieces until the grouping has a look of harmony. Take care to have faces looking into the center of your arrangement. Watch for a rhythmic flow of colors, shapes and media.

Imagine your items hung low over the furniture or trailing to the baseboard for a designer look. Take light switches, outlets and heat ducts into consideration. When the “floor arrangement” looks perfect, move each item to the wall in the same relative position.

Note: Some homeowners swear by the following method: Cut newspaper or kraft paper to size for each item. Work out the “floor” design using these templates. Hang the “paper” items on the wall using small pieces of removable tape. Make needed adjustments. Use a straight pin or pencil to mark the spots where hooks should be nailed. Then hang and enjoy.



The Beauty and Mystique of Fine Sculptures

The Beauty and Mystique of Fine Sculptures

Traditionally regarded as a form of art, sculptures have been around the United States since the 18th century. These sculptures are man-made objects, which sometimes employ the use of a tool or machine. Used mainly as a form of expression, sculptures were witnesses to the ancient past. For example, relics discovered from ancient ruins depicted life during the old Greek civilization. These sculptures help man understand the evolution of art through the ages. Depicting archaic forms, these artifacts were just the beginning of the popularity of this particular art form.

For most part, sculptures differ due to the type of design they usually reflect. Starting from the classical Hellenistic era, sculptures have evolved to the romantic and even dramatic eras, to the abstract styles preferred today. Those who make sculptures are called sculptors. They are the ones that actually dictate the trend of sculptures as an art form. Nowadays, modern sculptors are more inclined to create sculptures in architectural settings such as public buildings. Combining classical and abstract styles have produced sculptures that are mostly figurative.

Created entirely in a three-dimensional perspective, sculptures greatly differ from other forms of art. They can emulate either realistic or theoretical images. Sculptors in their art creations employ different techniques. One is called sculpting in the round while another uses an incised type. Some of other notable techniques include molding, carving, casting and construction.

Modeling may involve the addition or subtraction of a material. This makes it very different from the carving method. Creativity is more apparent in the modeling technique. Because of this, carving presently has also begun attaching similar or different materials. Casting, on the other hand, involves duplication of another sculpture or even ordinary object. This particular technique is advantageous if you want to duplicate another sculpture made of heavy material; but this time, you will only be using a lighter material. This duplicate can now stand without any clay or stone support.

Among these three techniques, modeling remains unchanged today. Materials such as clay, papier-mâché and wax are still used. The invention of the plastic as materials for sculptures replaced the preferred clay, terra cotta and ceramics. Contemporary sculptors are collecting and utilizing objects that are considered as “junks”. Many museums and art galleries feature this kind of sculpture that seems to be very appealing to the younger generation. Other sculptures use different metal or wood. Equipments were also invented to aid man in creating his masterpieces.

Sculptures have played a very big role in defining what is considered as art today. Conservative critics may frown upon the proliferation of modern objects, which do not belong to any specific genre. On the other hand, the youth today has different views and opinions about the traditional sculptures. Saying that the old sculpture no longer depicts modern times. Still, the art of sculpting will be considered as a major influence in the art world and though it may change in the coming years, its function and effectiveness as a medium of expression will remain.




Oil Paintings To Soothe The Soul

Oil Paintings To Soothe The Soul

A close relative had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. Upon entering his hospital room to visit, I was surprised & delighted to find several striking pieces of artwork hanging on the walls.

This sparked my curiosity! I spent a great deal of time looking at the curative affects of art. I’ve discovered and learned that in order to help create a healthier environment for patients, hospitals work hard to make certain that patients rooms and waiting rooms are inviting. This helps to ensure their overall stay is peaceful. To help boost a patient’s morale, works of art are hung in their surroundings thus creating a warm home-like environment.

The simple act of hanging beautiful oil paintings on the wall may make a huge difference in a patient’s overall disposition. In addition, analysis of hospital statistics has confirmed that visual art & wall decor can reduce the use of pain-killing medicine throughout the hospital floor.

Art has always been associated with a positive effect on both health & wellbeing. Art can help fade levels of anxiety & depression in patients during the wait prior to surgery. Studies have shown that oil paintings and art have a beneficial impact on patients. For a small cost, hospitals can decorate their walls with oil paintings and bring some piece and quiet to their world.

Traditionally, oil paintings have been utilized in healthcare settings in 2 ways –

  1. As decorative pieces to improve the environment
  2. As therapeutic devices, especially for people with mental health problems

With that said, wall décor and great art reproductions in particular have been playing an increased role in people’s general wellbeing and day-to-day health.

As I walked passed the Monet reproductions on the wall, I wondered what affect these masterpieces can have on a person’s vigor… There are a slew of different ways in which art and health can go together:

The way art makes you feel, dares you to dream & gives you the will to get better, back on your feet & see the bright future leading a healthy life.

It appears the benefits of art are just starting to be understood. Our lives can benefit from art on every level. So get inspired and get better. Let art lead you on the road to recovery!




A Guide For Interior Design When Choosing Art

A Guide For Interior Design When Choosing Art

There are several factors to consider when choosing art for the home or office and often these factors interrelate so I thought it best to break these up into categories for the sake of simplicity.

#1 The Composition and the Room: This is a great place to start. There are certain types of compositions that are best fitted to certain rooms. For example, when I think of the kitchen I think of fruits and vegetables, chefs, wine bottles, etc. When I think of the bedroom I think passion, softness and perhaps botanical, like a large rose picture. When I consider the bathroom I might visualize images that portray a clean, fresh, good smelling idea. Yes, it is ideal when the images we choose help the mood of the room. Another consideration with composition involves the application of more than one image in an area. When several pictures carry a common theme a very different feel is given to the room.

#2 Color: Color considerations include the walls, furniture, carpeting, window treatments or draperies, trim molding and other room enhancements. The colors in a room should complement one another. An art piece with a well balanced array of color can tie a room together. If a room is empty I like to choose the art first and then the furniture. Usually, people do the reverse, however, choosing the art first makes sense when you think about it. To illustrate, how often does someone walk into a room and say, “That ottoman is majestic! It just takes my breath away!” However, that can happen with a well chosen piece of art. Often, art will be the show piece of a room. So, rather than let the furnishings dictate what your art will look like, allow the art to dictate what kind of furniture you'll choose.

#3 Space: This aspect can be tricky. Say, for example, you have a space above your stove that is a foot and a half tall by four feet wide. It could be hard to find one image to fill this space. However, you could use three images of a similar genre. I might choose three 8 x 10 sized images of grapes placed vertically. Another challenging space might be a very large sized wall or a room with a vaulted ceiling. A grouping of images often does the trick in both of these situations. I have also seen very large prints, 4 x 8 feet tall and larger, put to good effect. Art this large is proportionately more expensive, of course. Another option is to use a single image broken up into several gallery wrapped canvases spaced apart to cover a large area.

#4 Genre and Personal Preference: Perhaps there is an art piece that you are particularly fond of but it clashes with the style and architecture of your home, or maybe it just doesn't match the color scheme of the room you want to put it in. I have seen people change wall colors and room accents to accommodate art. At the end of the day, I guess the real question when it comes to art is, does the art I chose put a smile on my face and on the faces of those who live here? If we can say yes, then everything else is just a rough frame work when it comes to choosing art.


Choosing Art To Decorate Your Home With

Choosing Art To Decorate Your Home With

When you go about decorating your house, you’ll have many different things to consider. It can be hard to add enough accessories to fill up your walls and surfaces to make them seem less desolate. Once option is to buy art to hang on your walls. The right painting would be a tasteful addition to your wall, giving you artistic value as well as decorative value. Most people don’t know the first thing about buying art. If that is true of you as well, then read on as I go over some basics of purchasing art.

Some people have certain “favorite” artistic works that they have always admired or enjoyed. In this situation, it would be a good idea to look for a replica. You can get an exact photocopy of the original, or you can even find a hand-painted copy with the personal touch of another artist. As long as you know the title of the painting, you can search online at auction sites, or for art dealers who have copies that you can buy. Buying art on the internet is relatively cheap, as long as you don’t have them ship a frame. A frame increases postage greatly.

If you buy copies of famous art, you are supporting businesses that do nothing but copy art. For many people, this is unacceptable. If you’d like to support some real artists, you should purchase original paintings. You can go to art shows, galleries, festivals, or many other places to find paintings. There are many festivals that invite hundreds of amateur artists who show off their paintings that are for sale. You shouldn’t attend with your mind set on getting a painting. Instead, you should walk around at your own leisure and enjoy all of the art. If you see something that really strikes you and is within your price range, then buy it. But don’t be afraid to go home empty-handed.

Buying art is fairly easy to do, and once you get started you may find that it is hard to quit. When you hang a beautiful painting on your wall, it adds so much to the room. It gives your house a whole new level of aesthetic value. So even if you’ve never been interested in art before, you should start to look at some of the options that are available to you. Attend art festivals, talk to painters, and visit galleries. You’ll find that along with the items you purchase, you’re also getting involved in a vibrant and interesting lifestyle with lots of cool people!


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Buying Art For Fun And Profit

Buying Art For Fun And Profit

If you appreciate art, investing in it can be a fun and profitable way to learn more about the subject and make some money as well. This is the kind of field where you really have to enjoy it to be any good at it. This is true of most things, but you can, for example, make money at trading items like pork bellies in the futures market without knowing or caring about the product at all. In the long run, you are always better off doing business in areas that interest you, but with art it's especially crucial. When you browse auction listings online, go to a live auction, or perhaps rummage through someone's basement during a house sale, you simpy must have the "art bug" to maintain interest and gain any expertise.

There are, of course, many categories to choose from in art. There are many periods, locations, styles and media and you may have a very specific area of focus or take a more general approach. It is usually good to specialize at least to some degree or you will be overwhelmed by the myriad of objects to choose from. Personally, I have a liking for antique paintings, which is itself a very wide field. Antique can mean just about anything that is 19th Century or earlier (though some might include early 20th Century, depending on your definition of "antique"). There are also American, European, Asian and artists from every other corner of the world.

First of all, you may be wondering if art is a good investment. This is practically as impossible to answer as asking whether real estate or the stock market are good investments. In all these cases, the answer depends entirely on what, exactly, you are investing in. It also, alas, depends on market factors that cannot be predicted. With art, as with other investments, there are safer and more speculative choices. If you buy a well listed artist (one of your first investments, if you are at all serious, should be a reference book of artists and paintings, or perhaps an online subscription to a service with these listings), the value of your painting (I'm assuming you are buying paintings for the purpose of this article, but the same would be true of prints or sculptures) is almost certainly going to only rise, or, at worst, remain stable. With lesser known, or unknown artists you are always taking a bit of a risk. That's why one of the first rules of buying art is that, even if you are looking at it as an investment, only buy something you will enjoy owning, in case you end up in possession of it for a very long time!

There is another kind of risk involved when buying art. That is authenticity. There is, unfortunately, a great deal of ambiguity in the art world. There is also, even more sadly, a fair amount of outright fraud. As with autographs, not all signed paintings were actually signed by the artist whose name appears on them. There are many skilled forgers out there. There are also techniques to make works of art appear much older than they really are. Aside from outright fraud, there is also a vast gray area when it comes to selling art, especially at auctions, whether online or live. Many works, for example, are described "in the style of," "attributed to" or "" Sometimes these words have little or no meaning and are merely a silver-tongued auctioneer's way to make an unimportant work of art sound exciting. If you are spending small to modest sums of money -say anything from under $100 to a couple of thousand dollars on works of art, you have to face the fact that the rule is pretty much caveat emptor (let the buyer beware). If you are dealing with high-end auction houses, this kind of maneuver is less common, but by no means unknown. At least in these cases, you are more likely to be able to trace the provenance of the art. You will also have to spend more money, of course.

My own experience in the art world, I must confess, is at the lower end. I enjoy searching for unexpected treasures at yard sales, country auctions (though even these are now often attended by slick dealers) and second-hand stores. Naturally, if you are paying very little for your "investment." caution becomes less of an issue. The odds of finding anything worthwhile, especially today, when everyone is looking for a treasure to sell on Ebay, are rather depressing. Still, if you looking for good art investments, the rule is to keep your eyes open at all times.

Online auctions can be a fun and convenient way to shop for art. The dangers here are probably no more extreme than anywhere else, though you might think otherwise. People worry about the honesty of online dealers, fake bids (e.g. bids made by the seller using alternate IDs or by friends to jack up the price), but the same thing happens at live auctions. The rule is, be careful if you are spending any significant (to you) amount of money. This means, but is certainly not limited to, checking out the seller's feedback rating. Read any negative comments. Also, be sure to read the item's description very carefully. Some sellers are very skilled at misleading potential buyers without telling any outright lies. For example, some dealers sell antique *style* paintings in period frames (or period style frames). They may describe the painting, for example, as an English fox hunt scene, or a portrait of an 18th Century lady or gentleman. This does not mean that the painting itself comes from these periods. It could have been painted last month! Be sure to check the guarantee or refund policy of sellers. I've observed that most sellers who use the kind of tactics I've just described are also very explicit about offering no guarantees or refunds. Incidentally, most live auctions have similar stipulations if you read the find print when you buy something. Once again, caveat emptor!

I am certainly not trying to frighten potential investors in the art market, only point out some common tricks of the trade. If you are new to the field, start off small. Find an area that intrigues you and make small purchases. Do research in your specialty, or general area of interest. Read books and magazines that pertain to it. After making these relatively small purchases, see how quickly you can turn them over and if you make a profit. No matter how experienced you are, you will find that sometimes you will make mistakes and lose money. Other times you will break even or merely make or lose a few dollars. But you will also have those very rewarding windfalls that make it all worthwhile. It's best not to approach the art market expecting to make a killing, especially on any given purchase. That's how people end up overpaying and overbidding. Use your rational mind and intuition equally. Hopefully, over time, you will have acquired a skill and a bit of an education into the fascinating world of art!


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Preserving And Protecting Your Beloved Oil Paintings

Preserving And Protecting Your Beloved Oil Paintings

You may have just purchased your first oil painting, to add that touch of style to your study, living room, or bedroom. Oil paintings are beautiful additions to the house, and are great conversation pieces as well. They can also be a good investment, but for any of these draws of the oil painting to remain true they must be taken care of in a proper manner. Here are some simple steps in the preservation of the value and appearance of your new oil painting.

Always check the location where you intend to place your piece. Always avoid any area that is prone to extreme heat or cold, or humidity. This includes places like over the fireplace and in a front room that isn’t normally heated. Also keep in mind that prolonged sunlight will cause the paint to fade, and choose the location accordingly.

A layer of dust will also spoil the painting, as it will tend to dry the oil colors out and therefore fade the piece. Dust your painting regularly, but remember not to use surface cleaners. A dry and soft cloth will suffice.

When moving the piece from location to location, whether to a different room or a different building, make sure lay a flat piece of cardboard, a mat, or other firm material on both the front and the back of the picture, and then wrap it in Styrofoam or bubble wrap. Remember that moisture build up will damage the piece, so if it must be left wrapped up for a long period of time store it in a dry place.

If your painting is damage despite your best efforts, do not try to retouch or repair it yourself. Instead, bring it to a professional conservator who can do the job properly.

Following these instructions will aid you in keeping your oil painting in top condition, and making sure it will continue to give you enjoyment for years.


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Step-by-Step Guide to Hang Your Art

Step-by-Step Guide to Hang Your Art

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Art Market: The Myth of Art and Business

Art Market: The Myth of Art and Business

When we are talking about the art market, there are a lot of myths that have been around for many years now. From time to time, you hear up those stories about an artist who was painting in his studio and how someone magically discovered him and made him famous.

There are all kinds of artists out there. While some are making a living from selling their paintings and artworks directly on eBay, others believe that they don't need to actually be more than simple mediocre to sell. However, if you hear a marketing consultant speaking, they will tell an artist, either a good or a mediocre one, that if he hires him he will be able to sell all his paintings.

So, where is the truth? Do artists need to be good at what they do? Are marketing consultants that good that they can sell all artworks even if they are worthless?

The truth is that even though you already heard the old idea that "good art sells itself", it simply isn't true. First of all, there is no such thing as "good art". An artist may have done a beautiful work and just because it isn't consensual with the mainstream, he may not make a lot of sales. Or his artworks may not be as commercial as others.

The point is that an artist needs to take his own steps to become known in the art industry. Art is meant to be shared, to be talked about, and to be appreciated. And if artists don't take this step, no one will ever know he was an artist in the first place.

Another idea that we mentioned above and that is a really big myth is the one where an artist puts his paintings for sale on eBay and he will start making a lot of money because his paintings are being seen by millions of people. The truth is that artists can still make some money selling their artworks on eBay and other similar websites. However, it will not probably be worth it. Even though he might sell a couple of his paintings, this is not a sustainable business. When someone searches for artworks, for example, or paintings, he will be competing directly with other painters, on the same page.

The point is that artists do need to make an effort to become known, to show their art whenever and wherever they can.

So, how can artists succeed these days? The truth is that the best approach artists need to make is to get in touch directly with internet art galleries. More and more people are buying art online and these numbers tend to increase in the next few years.

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What Type of Art Buyer Are You?

What Type of Art Buyer Are You?

When you like art and are considering buying art, you need to know that you fall into one of four mainly categories of art buyer types. They are the art buyers who use art simply as wall decor, art buyers who believe owning art gives them prestige, art buyers who just love artworks, and art buyers who love artworks but also believe that this gives them a certain prestige.

So, let's take a closer look at each one of the buyer art types to see which one is a match for you:

#1: Art buyers who just use art to wall decor:

Someone who simply uses art as a mean to have a good wall decor is very common.  These are the kind of people who can ask an artist of he can change the color scheme of his painting to match their living room. Other commentaries that you can hear this type of art buyers make relate with the size of a painting. For example, they just enter on an art gallery and ask to see the paintings that have a specific measurement.

For this type of art buyers, the quality and the subject of the artworks aren't the most important. The crucial thing for them is that they are buying art that will fit exactly on their measurements and that it matches the color scheme of the room. Even though some of these buyers know how to recognize quality, others don't.

#2: Art buyers who believe owning art gives them prestige:

You can bet you'll hear these buyers claim countless times that they own a work by some artist and that he already had an exhibition at a fancy art gallery. They will know all about the artist's life and work and they will be glad to share with everyone who can listens.

What these art buyers do is that when they are buying art, they only search for the names they recognize. It really doesn't matter if the artist is dead or alive. The most important thing is that it is in high demand, which makes the artworks they buy extremely expensive. For them, buying a painting of someone who is being mentioned as the next top artist feeds their ego and it's just the same as if they have bought the artist himself.

These types of art buyers can even buy a low quality painting just because it is from a famous artist.

#3: Art buyers who just love artworks:

These kinds of art buyers are usually the ones preferred by the artists. They are simply looking for buying art they love just because they love it. They like to open their eyes in the morning and look at the beautiful painting they discovered in an internet art gallery or an art poster they discovered somewhere else.

The artist who created the artworks really doesn't ring any bells for them. The only thing that matters is what the artwork is saying to them.

#4: Art buyers who love artworks but also believe that this gives them a certain prestige:

The fact that an art buyer only buys artworks that he loves doesn't imply that he doesn't feel that buying art gives him a certain prestige. The main difference regarding to the art buyer who only buys artworks for the prestige is that this type of buyer actually loves the artworks. So, he will be buying art that speaks to him when it is from a highly recognizable artist.

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