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How to Choose Art for Your Home

hilo bay how to tips advice

Written by Sonal Panse

Having art in your home enhances the ambiance in a very special way. And the great thing is, given the sheer range in art styles and genres, even the most finicky buyers can find something or the other to their liking and budget. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars, consult an art adviser, or restrict yourself to ‘high-brow’ art. What you like is the main thing – it is after all your

home and the art in it ought to be the sort that gives you joy. So follow your intuition and choose works that you find inspiring or those that evoke wonderful memories. Enjoy the process of finding, choosing and buying art for your home.

Let’s take a look at some of the things you’ll need to consider -

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Have an idea about your style: Usually, your overall sense of style will influence your choice in art as well. For example, if you have a very modernistic slant in clothes, furniture and home décor, you might find abstract or modernistic paintings and sculptures interesting. Consider also the mood you’d like to create – peaceful, restful, soothing, inviting, vibrant, and so on.

Acquaint yourself with different art forms, genres and styles: It always helps to know what you’re getting into, what’s out there and how to differentiate between priceless, good, or plain chaff. Familiarity with art history as well as the current art scene is a plus. Refer to art books, art magazines and online art sources. Visit art galleries, museums and art shows. Talk to artists, art dealers and art curators. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to zero onto your choice.

Know where to buy and how to buy art: You can buy art directly from the artist, at art galleries, art shows, art dealer stores, art fairs, flea markets, roadside stalls, antique shops and auctions. Attend art auctions to know how they work. Selling and buying art online has made life easier for everyone, but do exercise caution. Inquire about artwork provenance (provenance documents help establish authenticity and come handy if you decide to resell later) and artwork condition. Request detailed photos of front and back, and ask about payment and shipping procedures Research current art prices and do have a definite budget.

Decide if you want original art or reproductions: Original artworks are more expensive than reproductions. Reproductions – prints or exact copies in actual materials (not made by the original artist) – are great if you have a limited budget, or if the art you absolutely want is absolutely beyond your reach (like in a well-guarded museum ;-) ).

Decide if you are going to buy art by artist, genre, theme or media: Bear in mind that most artists produce quite an uneven body of work. In short, every work won’t be a masterpiece. Buy on strength of the work not because the artist is ‘happening’. Similarly, when it comes to genre (Impressionism, Expressionism, Realism, etc.), theme (landscapes, seascapes, still-lifes, figural, etc.), or media (water-color, oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, etching, lithography, etc.), let it boil down down to personal choice, not the current trend; unless you intend to keep changing the art with the changing scenario.

Consider what suits your home and your lifestyle: If you have a rambunctious household filled with kids and pets, there might be safety issues with displaying glass figurines or sharp-edged bronze sculptures

Decide if you’re going to buy for personal pleasure or investment: Get the best original art you can afford, if buying for investment; only original art has serious resale value. For personal pleasure, both original art and reproductions can do. In either case, buy art you can live with. That way, even if the work doesn’t appreciate in the future, you’ll still have a winner.

Take your home design into account: Do you plan on displaying art throughout the house or in specific rooms? What kind of space do you have? Large or small? Choose art according to area size. Large canvases or sculptures stand out spectacularly in large areas and small artworks are more effective in small areas. Go for art that is appropriate to the purpose of the room – you don’t have to hang still-life works of food in the kitchen, but you’d be surprised how well they’d work there. Avoid disturbing depictions of grief, violence or death – these might shine in museums and provide fodder for the latest social/political controversies, but do you really want to eye them regularly during meals or right before bed? Of course, if you want to be different and have them, go right ahead.

Take your home décor into account: Do you want the art to go with the existing décor or are you planning on redesigning your home around your new art piece? Both possibilities are perfectly plausible. Choose art by the dominant tints in your home or use the dominant tints in the artwork as a guide for redecorating your home.

Learn how to care for the art: Ask the seller or dealer when you buy the artwork. Should you wipe with a damp cloth or just dust? How to prevent pests and general deterioration? How much sunlight will cause fading? And so on. Regular care from you and appropriate professional cleaning, if and when needed, will ensure that the artwork continues to give you pleasure for years to come.

Photos used

1.  Batik Painting – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Batik_painting.jpg

2. Barque au matin – by Jean Michel Peretti – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:Barque_au_matin.JPG

3. Hilo Bay – by Joseph Nawahi – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Image:%27Hilo_Bay%27,_oil_painting_by_Joseph_Nawahi,_circa_1868,_Mission_Houses_Museum,_Honolulu.jpg

batik painting how to tips advice

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