Sunday, December 14, 2014

Decorating with Art: One More Time!

As you may have noticed, I really love the old-style, classical realism kind of art, whether 2D (paintings) or 3D (sculptures).

So when we used to watch TV (which we don't do so much anymore), it was often a bit distressing to see modern art/abstract expressionism work in shows where up-to-dateness and high style was the look intended for the backgrounds and actors. Realism was for lower-class characters or stuffy old rich folk who could afford to collect the Old Masters.

Most frustrating of all are the D-I-Y interior decorating programs such as those on Home & Garden TV (HGTV), where artwork is the last thing one does, one can make it him/herself, and its sole function is to "tie the room together." In short, anything that can be created quickly and that uses the same colors as those elsewhere in the room is fine. Eliciting emotional responses are not necessary.

Offhand, I don't know if the "artwork" to the left was made on a TV program, but it is fairly typical of an HGTV-generated piece. No doubt all of the colors that appeared in the furniture, throw pillows, carpeting et al are in this painting; in fact, many of the hues also show in the figurine of the macaw on the mantle, as well as in the glassware to the right of the macaw. It ties the room together. How color-coordinated.

Any guesses as to how long it took to paint this masterpiece?

And sadly, this kind of stuff has so infused the American consciousness that it's all accepted without question or comment. Excellence is no longer a criteria for what we look at every day on our walls.

On the right is a different approach for adding culture to a room. This is a shower curtain that has been turned into a wall hanging. I assume it wasn't expensive, and if you like octopuses (ocotopi?), then this is just the thing for you.

I've also seen TV designers heading over to fabric stores and buying material with either a pattern or pictures, stretched on art canvas stretcher bars, and hung.

Now -- maybe this is all intended to be temporary. When the decorating budget recovers, maybe the home owners will pick up some real art -- as long as it's in the appropriate colors. One can hope.

Many years ago, I took a college course in interior decorating. The instructor told us it's best to choose the carpeting and furniture colors first, since colors are more limited in these items. Then choose the paint color to go with the furnishings.

I'd go a step further: choose the artwork first -- the works that move you and that speak to you in a way like nothing else can. Then get the furniture, and then get the wall paint.

Do it this way, and you'll have a beautifully-designed room that you'll want to come home to and that makes your life better because of the art that touches your soul in special ways.

No comments: