I have an insanely hard time committing ... to artwork, that is!
There is just so much out there at the moment for options regarding pictures, canvases, and photographs — how the heck do you choose, and choose for the long haul?
Speaking from experience, selecting art and decor for your walls isn’t typically an easy or fast process. To help narrow down the field, below are a few of my go-to items I fall back on when I just can’t make up my mind.
BLACK & WHITE
The only custom framed pieces of art I’ve had in my possession for longer than a year — seven to be precise, because that’s typically when my tastes and decor obsessions start to wane and wander — are two hauntingly beautiful black and white photographs: one of a tethered camel under a lonely African Acacia tree, and the second of a gorgeous cluster of low white clouds, juxtaposed by the barren African plains.
Just to be clear, I don’t own a single zebra striped pillow, wooden giraffe ornament, or brightly coloured African textile. There is nothing in my home that says ‘jungle theme’ or camel collector!
But the graphic and abstract nature of these prints speaks to my soul on some bizarre level — and that’s why they’ve lasted for so long, throughout many paint and decor changes.
When in doubt, forget colourful and splashy artwork , and zero in on an abstract black and white photograph or print. And who cares what the subject matter is — when you know it’s right, go for it.
Nature, and natural elements found in nature, never goes out of style. Simple, isn’t it?
You can incorporate timeless and even contemporary pieces into your collections and not have to worry about trendy subject matter or colours ever losing their charm.
Yes, a quiet landscape will offer up warmth and familiarity on your wall, but for something a little more abstract, focus on a more macro approach to the elements found in your landscape: highly magnified tree stump rings, the knots of an aging oak, the up-close repetition of blades of grass — going in for a closer look adds an intrinsic layer of mystique to your art.
The patterns and raw beauty found in fabrics, textiles, and embellishments can serve as a highly captivating focal point in any space. In a bind, I’ve found inexpensive picture frames with generous-sized mats, and used cuttings from sample books and memos to come up with the most unconventional collages and focal pieces.
Using different materials with the same colours is a clever way to tie this idea together — repeating the same pattern in a number of different colours is another.
This ties in a bit with the organic paragraph above: the human connection to water and watery landscapes is one that shouldn’t be ignored.
Scientific studies have proven that art lovers surrounded by images of multiple ‘blue spaces’ (oceans, rivers, lakes, seas, etc.) can benefit from lower stress and blood pressure levels, and a greater general sense of well being overall.
I love water scenes because they’re calming, soothing, refreshing, and deeply inspiring during the coldest, darkest months of winter.
Consider bringing in a few pieces showcasing various blue spaces, and watch your daily cares melt a little farther away.