One of the great myths about art is that it is for the elite. Art does not need to be complex, mystical or expensive. Whether it is old or new, photography or watercolour, collage or sculpture, however you define art is up to you.
A piece of art can be used in the home for different reasons. Some people use art for decoration, as part of a main theme or colour scheme. Art, however, can also be used to tell stories and create atmosphere, bringing a unique identity to your home.
Telling a story
Art tells stories in several ways. Artworks depict scenes and encourage us to ponder the events of that scene: the characters, environment, what has happened and what is about to unfold.
By placing a piece of art in your home, that artwork also tells a story about you: your values, beliefs and passions. Art has long been used as a means of emotional expression, and the best pieces of art to display in the home are those which captivate your imagination and senses.
Where you choose to display your art will have implications for how it is received. For example, a busy and intricate painting like Picasso’s ‘Guernica’, hanging in a dining room, will prompt much discussion with dinner guests.
The positioning of art also determines what kind of atmosphere is created. If you want your bedroom to be a soothing environment, you could try peaceful impressionist landscapes or personal reflections on spiritual themes. Complex compositions can be saved for the study, where your brain will appreciate the mental stimulus.
Art is not just for adults, children often have far more imaginative reactions towards a piece of art. Giving art a presence in the family home shows children that art is a means of self-expression and is not only found in galleries.
The questions which children ask of art open their mind up towards greater creative thinking. Art can also help children to understand the changing world around them. The discussions which can be prompted from a piece of art might not be talked about within the family unit, and can touch on emotive topics such as life and death, and even social, environmental and political issues.
Buying art cheaply
There are cheaper alternatives to buying art from an art dealer or auction. Antiques or charity shops often sell framed artworks, and you can also buy art prints. Crafts fairs and art gallery gift shops are also excellent places to purchase original work from contemporary artists.
Most importantly, art should continue to inspire. If you are thinking of incorporating some art into your home, why not consider making some of your own? This is a great way to involve the whole family. Art materials can be bought cheap from any arts and craft shop or stationers. You could also create a personalised collage using photographs and holiday memorabilia. Digital cameras provide many tools to give photographs a more artistic look, and you can even have these printed onto canvas.
As long as your chosen artworks mean something to you, they are sure to add a touch of identity to your home.
Keith Barrett believes that portraits from photos can create a unique image within your home. He experiments with works of art to produce an environment that is relaxing and innovative.