A few years ago, when I was holidaying in a beautiful hill station, I decided to visit an old friend who lived there. I reached her home late in the evening and by that time, a sense of tranquility had set in. The deodar trees outside her home stood tall and steady, as if they were guarding the house. A light breeze was accompanied by the sounds of rustling leaves and a stream trickling down in the distance. As if the place had not enamoured me enough, what waited inside was even more interesting.
A wave of awe and admiration hit me when I saw the collection of artwork that ornamented every room of the house. I was instantly drawn to one of the paintings. When she saw me staring at it, she said, “That’s my favourite too…”. She paused in admiration and then continued, “…It makes me feel powerful.” The painting was called Power struggle and was the work of a well-known contemporary artist, Amol Pawar. She further explained how the artist played with colors and textures to exuberate strength and vigour in his works.
She narrated stories behind every artwork and I realized that each room in her house spoke a different tale. I listened intently, immersed in her stories, and before I knew it, I had already spent more than 3 hours at her place. That was the day my impression of my friend and art changed completely.
From my experience, it was evident that artwork has the power to transform the way you feel and the atmosphere of your home. Ask any art lover and he/she would agree. Carefully chosen artwork changes the appeal of the home and infuses it with life and vigour. It’s an extension of who you are and a reflection of your personality. It adds class and elegance. Having said that, choosing art is an art in itself. You will need to keep in mind certain factors before you bring home any piece of art. Let’s explore what these factors are.
Fall in love before you buy
By that, I mean, fall in love with the painting. Don’t buy just for the sake of it or because you think it’s value will rise. Buy a painting online when you know that you would be missing out on something if you don’t bring that painting home. It’s not necessary that others find it beautiful or the artwork is by a popular artist. What matters is that you connect with it in some way and you just can’t take your eyes or mind off it.
On one of my visits to an art gallery, I came across a painting called Waves by contemporary artist, Lalitha Bandaru. It was about a year ago when I was going through an emotionally enervating phase and had found comfort in art. Amidst the turmoil that was going through my heart and mind, a simple but intense artwork depicting raging sea waves in the wake of a storm spoke to me at a different level. For me, it was as if I was looking at the storm within coming alive in the painting in front of me. It was then that I truly understood what falling in love with a painting truly meant.
Consider the size and placement
It will be a good idea to select the visible walls, and have a measurement of them with you. Choose the places which you pass by frequently or spend a lot of time in. Above the sofa in the living room, the dining area, the fireplace, and also the bedroom wall are the most popular places. If your house is a duplex, the staircase is also a good place to place artworks.
Having a long horizontal wall in the living room? Pick a long horizontal painting. The same goes for a narrow, vertical space. Accentuating the height or length of the wall makes the room appear larger. Don’t hesitate to fill the entire wall with a large painting you like.
Also, keep experimenting. Shuffle and move around your artwork from one room to another, or create clusters of small paintings in your bedroom wall. If your space is big enough, you can even consider an installation art.
What’s your taste?
Abstract, figurative, or cityscapes? Figure out what you like. Understand your taste and the style of art that appeals to you. If contemporary art is your thing, then get to know the different styles and genres. Additionally, you also need to understand if your taste of art style will match the settings of your home.
Usually, abstract or figurative art fits perfectly into the settings of a contemporary or modern home whereas something like tanjore paintings could add more elegance to a traditional house. Muse over the design of the room, its color, and style carefully, wherein you intent to place the artwork. Go through decor magazines and websites to get more home decor ideas.
Yet, there is no hard and fast rule that every vintage home should have only vintage artwork and vice-versa. Just as we mix and match our clothes, and contrast colors to get a new stunning combination, matching a few pieces of artwork that contrasts the look of a house can give your home a dynamic and vibrant look.
Your taste in art may even evolve as time goes by and you grow as a person. When I began my own journey with art, I was drawn to abstract paintings a lot. Abstract art gives me the freedom to interpret the artwork in my own unique way. I love the fact that it has the ability to evoke different emotions in me and help me introspect to understand myself better. I have started exploring other styles too and have recently developed a fascination for landscape art, Prof. Zargar Zahoor’s paintings being my favourite.
Black and white artworks are timeless pieces
The beauty of any black and white form of art is that it agrees with all types of interiors, from traditional to modern, and never goes out of style. There’s something mystic about black and white artworks that bring their own class and elegance to your room.
The impeccable appearance of black and white artworks can weave magic but that’s not the only thing that makes them so desirable. They are also a great choice as they can complement a colorful wall, artwork or fabric.
You can explore black and white photographs, or acrylic combined with charcoal art, or even digital paintings. A painting by Umakanth Kanade once caught my fancy and left me enchanted by its timelessness. The contemporary artist is known for his intricate work on canvas as he brings out every little detail of the trees, rocks, birds, or other elements of nature he captures. He has chosen to bring out the vivaciousness of the birds in this painting with bright colours in a dominantly black and white artwork.
Keep an eye out- Art collection takes time
The passion for art collection has existed since time immemorial and has always been an epitome of affluence and grace. However, in ancient times, art merely served to glorify the power and distinction of royal families. But, in the present time, artwork goes beyond than being just a collector’s item. It is an expression of our tastes, likes, dislikes, and also reflects our personality and style.
Art collectors do not make a decision to buy just because a painting is considered great by others or with the intention of matching it with other pieces of art in their collection. They love everything, and once they bring a painting home, they figure out how it will be grouped with other pieces in their collection. It maybe a cluster of paintings on a wall, or just a single large piece on one of the walls of the room. Keep in touch with your galleries to stay updated on upcoming art exhibitions.
Also, keep learning and stay abreast with the latest trends in the art world. If you are new to collecting art, familiarize yourself with the history. For latest trends and artists, read art magazines and visit exhibitions to help you make informed decisions. Online art galleries are reliable and convenient sources from where you can explore and buy original art.
Art is not merely enjoyed, rather it is felt and experienced. It adds value to our life and is a unique way to personalise our homes. The feeling is gratifying when we hang a piece of unique artwork in our room and it brings a certain richness to our living space. Art is the highest form of luxury and class and it goes beyond necessity. Being an art lover means that there’s no limit to what you can own. Keep collecting quirky works of art, in any form that speaks to you.