Creating a Gallery Wall Part 1

Creating a Gallery Wall Part 1

There are many how to guides on creating gallery walls. However, there isn't a lot of talk about the Now Plan and Later Plan. What to do right now to make sure you stop having blank walls and what to do later on when you find other pieces you like. I'm discussing the Now Plan and why it's important. Stay tuned for how to create the Later Plan!

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Collage Process- Holly's Colors of the Market

One of my pieces is going to be in an art auction to support my friend Holly’s adoption process. I wrote about her story here

When I was asked to participate, I knew I wanted to have my piece connect to her work somehow. So, I decided to use her photograph “Colors of the market” as the inspiration and create a collage that incorporated the colors and textures of the food represented.

"Colors of the Market"

"Colors of the Market"

I had had some time to think about this piece for a little while. So when I was at a farmer’s market in the fall, I shot a few photos of some gorgeous displays of eggplants, squash, and other produce.

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Eggplants

Eggplants

When I start collages like this, I don’t usually have an idea of how it’s going to look at the end. Typically I just know what I’m going to do first. And then go from there. I also knew I wanted lots of layers and textures- like the subject matter themselves. 

Here is a series of photos from this process:

If you want to know how I know when to stop…I don’t. I just evaluate as I go along. Here are some of my thoughts: 

“Is that enough purple oil pastel? Why did I just draw it on a diagonal? Oh well! Can’t go back, so I have to make it work”

“What else should I put in this corner? More color or a neutral…neutral.”

“Oh crap. That paper got water on it….but do I hate it? Actually that looks good!”

“YES! I’m going to add some white paint to this pomegranate.”

“Great…now I have to add white on the green leaves because they look flat now”

And on and on…

However, after I splattered red paint on certain parts of the canvas (to tie everything together) and then drew the almonds in the bottom right portion I knew it was done. I felt your eye successfully travels around the piece and the light and dark portions of the piece are the way I want them to be. I think that any piece should be critiqued in order to really reach their full potential- because it’s in community that art (and actually people) can be made more beautiful. Since i don't have time to get this critiqued before the auction, it will stay like this. But as an artist, I want my art to attempt to be the best they can be. 

Here is the final piece:

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I think that this would look beautiful in an eating nook or next to some open kitchen shelving (as long as it’s not going to be splashed with water or spegetti sauce). 

 

What kind of art work do you like to put in your kitchen? Do you like complex art or do you feel like you have to understand it before you can like it?

Designing around art- The Uptown Condo

Designing around art- The Uptown Condo

I've had the joy to design a condo living room around artwork this past fall. I'll discuss how I thought about the art piece connecting with the design and one of the design options I created. I discuss the second design option (and the winning design) in the next blog post.  

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How to put art in an open concept home

Photo courtesy of Home Bunch

Photo courtesy of Home Bunch

I love open concept homes. I love how the light filters throughout the rooms and how you don't have to yell around the house looking for someone because you can usually see them. 

But one of the challenges of having an open concept home is what to do about art. Where do you put it?

Let's first think about what the lack of walls means. It means that what you have on the walls is important. The less wall space, the more emphasis you put on the things that are on the walls.

You draw attention to them visually. 

So where do you put art in open concept designs? I'm going to highlight in red 5 places that you can put art in open concepts to take away your guess work.

Photo courtesy of Home Bunch

Photo courtesy of Home Bunch

1. Over the fireplace

You'll notice that they decide to put the TV on the side and let the art work be the main feature. Not only does it minimize the TV, but it also allows the focal point to be something beautiful that can tie all the colors in the room together.

Photo courtesy of The English Room

Photo courtesy of The English Room

2. In between windows or small walls

This great design by Holly Phillips highlights that even small walls are great places to put art work. I like how this piece brings in the white from the kitchen but also picks up colors in the open dining/living room. 

Photo courtesy of Rikki Synder

Photo courtesy of Rikki Synder

3. Above a stove top

Typically in an open concept design, the kitchen is open to the main living area. Since this is the place you spend the most time, you have to really optimize what art work you want to look at all the time. I love how Iris Danker used a simple ledge on the hood to utilize the height of the ceilings and break up all the cabinetry. 

Photo courtesy of Allison Jaffe Interior Design

Photo courtesy of Allison Jaffe Interior Design

4. Utilize corner walls

There are usually several "awkward" corners in open concept designs. I like how this design by Allison Jaffe uses art in the corners to bring in more texture on the white walls and connect all the colors in the room. 

                                          Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

                                          Photo courtesy of House Beautiful

5. High Placement

This design had a particular set of challenges, since it had a beautiful chair molding that went higher up the wall than typically seen. I really like that they chose to put art above the molding instead of using wall paper or just not putting anything there. Even in spaces with unusual characteristics, I think you can still find a place for art. 

Notice how most of these spaces have very modest sized pieces. They carefully place art work in spaces that are "petite" and create more interest and detail in the rooms. I think another approach to placing art work in open concept designs would be to have a piece that takes up the entire wall. 

I hope this helps if you're struggling with ideas on how to incorporate art in your open concept space! 
 

What challenges do you have in putting art in your open concept (or non-open concept) home? Have you found any tips that have worked?