Choosing Art for your Vancouver Home can be an exciting adventure and a source of enjoyment for many years to come. Keys to success are figuring out what kind of art you like, how it will fit in with the rest of your interior design plans, and how to exhibit the art to the best effect in your home.
The location of the artwork can also be a deciding factor. In a bedroom it’s appropriate for art to be calming, or even seductive, but in a dining room you can afford to be bolder and more dramatic. If you intend to relax in your living room, don’t choose art that’s too loud, or anything that feels as though it takes over the room. The purpose of the room where you intend to display your art should influence the tone of the artwork itself.
Deciding on what kind of art you like
If you regularly visit galleries, home ware stores or museums, you probably already have a good sense of what kind of art appeals to you. If not, there are many opportunities to browse art within your area by visiting local galleries and art fairs.
The Internet provides the largest variety and depth of fine art available worldwide. One advantage of using the Internet is that you can search for the specific kind of art, not just wall art, whether it’s photography, impressionism, bronze sculpture, or abstract painting. And when you find one art site, you’ll usually find many, many more.
Should the art suit the room or the room suit the art?
When choosing Art for your Vancouver Home, any artist would prefer that everyone buy the art they love and then find a place to put it. If you feel strongly about a particular work of art, this is certainly the way to go. But you may find that when you get the art home and place it on a wall, it doesn’t work with its surroundings. ‘Not working’ means that the art looks out of place in the room. Placing art in the wrong surroundings can diminish its beauty and impact.
If you can’t find a place where the art looks its best, you may need to make some changes in the room, such as moving furniture or taking down patterned wallpaper and repainting in a neutral colour. The changes will be worth making in order to enjoy the art you love.
The right lighting is the key to showing art at its best. You may find that placing a picture light above a painting or directing task lighting on it is all the art needs to exhibit its brilliance. If you place a work of art in direct sunlight, however, it may well fade. Pigments such as watercolour, pencil and pastel are especially prone to fading, whereas acrylics are not.
How to choose art to suit the room
You may prefer to create the look of the room first and then find the art to suit your décor. Size and colour are the two major criteria for selecting art to fit its surroundings. For any particular space, art that is too large will overwhelm and art that is too small will be lost and look out of proportion.
The bolder the art, the more room it needs to breathe. Larger canvas artwork can look stunning in a large, spacious conversion, whereas collections of smaller pictures work well in smaller cottage locations.
When selecting a painting to match colour, select one or two of the boldest colours in your room and look for art that includes those elements. You’re not looking for an exact match. Picking up one or two of the same colours will send a message that the painting belongs in this environment.
How to frame and hang your artwork
Some canvas artwork can be hung with no frame and can be a good solution for interior walls that can’t carry a great deal of weight. Landlords and developers often use this option in show homes and in rental properties for this reason. If you do select a frame, tie it in to the location where the artwork is to be hung, as well as in to the artwork itself. The frame should be a continuation of the picture rather than a contrast.
Style is another consideration when selecting a frame for your art. If you have contemporary furniture in large rooms with high ceilings, you’ll want to hang large, contemporary paintings. If your house is filled with antiques, for example, you’ll want to use antique style frames on the paintings you hang there.
As a rule, paintings should be hung so that the centre of the painting is at eye level and hung the right way up. On abstract pieces this can be confusing. Check for a signature (usually bottom right) or with the gallery you bought it from.
How to create an art-friendly room
When you walk into a gallery or museum, what do they all have in common? White walls and plenty of light. Simple, plain and neutral colour schemes work best to show off your art.
When choosing Art for your Vancouver Home you want to make art the centre attraction, play down the other elements of the room such as window coverings, carpeting, wall coverings, and even furniture. A room crowded with other colours, textures and objects will take the spotlight away from the art.
You may like to select one room in your house to focus on art. Paint the walls white or off-white. Lay hardwood floors or a neutral carpet. Install window coverings with clean simple lines and neutral colours (or no window coverings at all). Put up directional spot lights that can be adjusted to focus on the art, or use individual picture lighting for each piece.
For the furniture, follow the principle that less is more. This is not the room to display your collectibles. Let the art be the star. Then relax and enjoy it.
Local Vancouver Resources to check out:
Stewart Stephenson burst onto the Vancouver art scene in 2011, quickly becoming one of Canada’s best-selling artists. A pioneering self-taught artist, he specializes in large-scale abstract artwork known widely for their unique compositions, vibrant colors and flawless gloss finishes. His paintings can be found in private and corporate collections around the world. Working intuitively with no prior sketch work, Stewart’s paintings are expressive and bold. Strong, powerful brush strokes, fine lines and complex compositions highlight Stewart’s versatility as an artist. His recent collections explore themes of celebrity, social and media culture. His large-scale high – end paintings showcase an original finish, both matte and high-gloss, revealing rich textures, colour combinations and impressive dimensions. The subject matter ranges from abstract to figurative.
I recently sat down to speak with Stewart in his Yaletown Studio at 1063 Hamilton Street. He is currently opening another studio in Pioneer Square in Seattle with plans to open another studio in Beverly Hills, LA, later this year.
“I set out to create artwork which visually established a positive relationship with the viewer without relating to social commentary or significant connotations. However, as my portfolio developed I began to notice patterns that evolved unknowingly. People today, are bombarded with news and advertisements, tweets and posts; I began to see my unconscious reacting to these elements of daily life. The effects take shape as either a complete detachment into another world full of bright colours, radiating gestures and open space or an amalgamation of deconstructed figures, bold strokes and hidden symbols depicting a detailed yet all encompassing story. I feel my work showcases and explores the human emotion and our ever-changing capacity to adapt to the fast-paced and content filled life that we find ourselves in today.”
Custom commissioned artwork is often envisioned, created and ready to ship or install within 30 days from the date of order. All artwork is hand signed and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Prices range between $10,000 to $100,000 with the average large canvas in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.
1063 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5T4
When choosing Art for your Vancouver Home, be sure to visit one of Vancouver’s leading galleries, the Equinox Gallery is a contemporary art gallery with both Canadian and international artists. Having been around for 36 plus years, they are widely reputed nationally and abroad. With an impressive roster of artists including Liz Magor, Gordon Smith and Philippe Raphanel, they have also carried the works of more established artists like David Hockney, Roy Lichtenstein and Jean-Paul Riopelle.
Equinox represents approximately twenty artists. Large canvas prices can range between $12,000 to $90,000.
Renee Van Halm
Equinox continues to maintain a solid reputation in the art world, with collectors, critics, artists and art enthusiasts. The space is open, clean and malleable; and the exhibitions are consistently fresh and interesting.
During the rainy days – take some time out and catch the Modern Culture exhibition at Vancouver Art Gallery opening Feb 20th, 2016
The Vancouver Art Gallery’s long-awaited “MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture” takes over the gallery with 371 works, officially opening February 20, 2016.