Everyone reading this has, in their lifetime, seen more visual imagery in films, photographs, books and magazines than all the generations before us combined. As a result, we are extraordinarily visually literate, but don’t give ourselves credit for it. While we may lack the vocabulary to talk about art, we all have enough visual literacy to make intelligent decisions about choosing art without much outside assistance. Nevertheless, there are several useful concepts to keep in mind when considering artwork for your Lake Of Bays Cottage or Muskoka cottage/home.
What works vs. what matches.
An example of matching would be a linear abstract painting in a minimal, monochromatic interior. It matches, but doesn’t add to the environment. In contrast, a lushly painted still-life in the same room doesn’t match, but it works in the room. Thus, a vivid painting with strong brushwork works in a minimal room by creating a dramatic counterpoint to the uniformity of the room. A painting which matches the room too perfectly runs the risk of making the space as characterless as an expensive hotel room.
Choose colours you like
Occasionally, you may hear that you shouldn’t buy art to match your sofa. This is misguided. The colours you have chosen for your furniture and home are a reflection of your sensibility and taste. In all likelihood, the paintings you like will have been created with similar or complementary colours. Trust your instinct.
Art as an expression of your lifestyle and creativity.
Once artwork leaves the studio, it takes on a new life. Imagine buying art as an opportunity to express your own creativity. Art is the single most effective way to add character to your home/cottage, so don’t play it too safe.
Don’t paint the walls white
A bit of colour alters the way you look at paintings. Paintings look richer and their colours clearer when they are hung on a tinted wall. You needn’t worry about the colours you choose as most paintings have such depth and range of colour that they will work on most walls.
Take artwork home and live with it for a week before making a decision.
Artwork reacts differently to each environment. The effect of size, colour, content and style will change with the surroundings. Any reputable gallery will allow you to borrow artwork on consignment for a reasonable period, so you can make an informed decision in your own home, not in the gallery. Insist on this option.
Lastly, be sure to work with an informed and trustworthy gallery (we have many to choose from in Lake Of Bays/Muskoka), have fun with the process and, above all, trust your own instinct every step of the way.