Do you spend your vacations wandering around art galleries and wishing you could own some amazing works of art? If so, you are not alone. Millions of people love spending their spare time gazing at Impressionist paintings, post-Impressionist sculptures, and modern art masterpieces.
Art appreciation has no societal or class boundaries. You don’t need to be rich or upper-class to appreciate the soft palette of a delicate watercolor or the fine composition of a print. We all have our own tastes in art and this is what informs our choices when we buy prints. The hard part is not finding a piece of art you love; it’s selecting the right place to hang the piece in your home.
Hanging one, solitary painting isn’t so difficult. You will probably give it pride of place above the fireplace, or on a wall facing the bed. However, once you start collecting more works of art, arranging a large collection of artwork is more problematic, especially if you have rather eclectic tastes.
Take, for example, my own collection. I have a penchant for prints of cats. I love cats, so it’s natural that I am drawn to artistic renditions of cats in various poses. But, I also like landscapes and movie prints, particularly in the horror genre. As you can imagine, these three different niches are hardly sympathetic to each other. If I displayed a landscape painting next to a cat etching, it wouldn’t jar too much, but if I added a framed Boris Karloff movie poster, it would look distinctly out of place. What’s the answer?
A Group Show
The best way to display your pictures if you have eclectic tastes like me is to separate them into groups. For example, if you have a collection of botanical etchings, hang them in the same room. You don’t necessarily need to hang them all on the same wall, but like bedding plants, small groups work best.
A Gallery Wall
Another option is to create a gallery wall. This can look amazing, especially on a large wall with a high ceiling. To maintain focus on your art collection, paint the wall white and refrain from adding any other decorative features. Organize your artwork on the floor before you start banging picture hooks into the wall. Play around with composition and grouping. Mix up large and small pictures and don’t fret too much about different styles of frame, although using similar frames will help to create a cohesive feel.
If you have a piece of artwork that you feel deserves some extra love, give it pride of place on a prominent wall, such as above the fireplace, as mentioned earlier. This turns your painting or print into a conversation piece. Check that your picture has sufficient lighting, and if it isn’t well-lit, add a picture light. If you don’t have a focus piece, invest in one! One of my favourite sites for artwork is FineArtAmerica who have some beautiful collections by thousands of artists. Find a piece of art that jumps out at you, and make it the focus of your wall.
Play around with the positioning of your artwork. Some pieces work better together than apart, even if the subject matter is very different. Group similar styles of work together but don’t be afraid to mix and match if it feels “right”.