One bad habit of mine is hanging older works and newly completed pieces haphazardly all around the house. With folks coming for a first-time visit I thought it would be nice to get things better organized. I targeted one particular wall in our living room for a makeover. Until Tuesday it had been devoid of everything but a credenza supporting a TV. It was ripe for a rehab. My plan was to create a "salon" of artwork there.
The television already occupied a fair amount of the available space. Then -- surprise! -- it became necessary to place a tall bookcase next to the credenza. (Formerly the bookcase had been awkwardly located in a hallway.) With the addition of the bookcase the available wall space for art was dramatically reduced. This forced me to pare down my choices.
I finally settled on three pieces that played well together visually. They're all bright, lively abstracts, matted in black frames.
For a while I considered hanging a fourth painting over the bookcase, but eventually decided to put a decorative candle holder there instead. The candle holder serves as an accent but is neutral enough to keep the attention on the artwork.
|The "after" photo.|
I think the grouping works for a couple of reasons. First, the art pieces look harmonious together, although they're distinct from one another. Two are mixed media collages and one is a painting. All feature a warm color palette, but one is predominantly red, a color repeated, to a lesser degree, in the other works.
Second, there is unity as well as variety: the frames are related to one another by the color black but each frame is a different size, style and material. Also, the trio's proportions differ, creating additional interest, yet their shapes and positions balance one another. You could say it's a grassroots example of the Elements and Principles of Design applied to decorating.
This project turned out much better than I expected. The once-boring wall is now interesting. The combination of books and art illuminated by lamplight brings a formerly dark area of the room to life. And the three pieces of art are now displayed where they can be seen and better appreciated. This has nudged me to look for ways to extend that consideration to artwork in the rest of the house. I foresee more decorating projects in my future...!
Text and image ©2014 Lynn Edwards