July 17, 2012 in We Love
We love the work of Andrea Mastrovito!
June 30, 2012 in We Love
We love the work of Lucie Bennett. Here’s a little about her…
“Bennett explores female sexuality and identity in her work. In her latest series, the body appears to be in the process of transformation or symbiosis, increasingly becoming part of a landscape or amorphous jungle. Her imagery explores the striking similarities between the anatomical and botanical.
Bennett references the traditional view of the female being close to nature, yet with a contemporary take; she uses industrial materials – aluminium and gloss paint – to create something fluid and sensual, exploring the juxtaposition of metal and paint, and the languid forms of the female body.
Bennett has exhibited in London, New York, San Francisco and Miami and has work in a number of permanent collections including the Groucho Club, London and Virgin Group. Her work has been featured in a number of BBC television programmes and a feature film. She has donated work to the Terrence Higgins Trust, Paintings In Hospitals, NHS Healing in the Environment and the British Red Cross among others. Bennett lives and works in London.”
June 17, 2012 in Inspiration
After two centuries at the top of the art game, if you’re an artist of any kind, it’s likely that you’ve had the absolute joy of working with one of their materials at one time or another. We caught up with Bjorn Schalburg, to talk all things Daler-Rowney…
Could you give us a brief outline of the history and background of Daler-Rowney?
Daler-Rowney has been at the forefront of the art scene in one form or another for over two centuries. Key milestones and achievements include exhibiting at the Great Exhibition of London in 1851, collaborating with Turner as official lithographers, and setting the pace for pop art through the creation of acrylic colours with Cryla in Europe.
How has Daler-Rowney evolved since it was first established in 1783?
Daler-Rowney has always been driven by the market to evolve and reinvent itself in front of the ever-changing artscape. Since 1783, what began as a provider of wig powder has become a global reference in the fine-art arena, providing quality solutions for artists of all levels of expertise and accompanying their needs from the core materials that are drawing materials, colours, brushes, and surfaces across accessories and framing materials.
Have changes in art trends and art movements affected your products in any way? Do art materials have to change with the movements?
We are fortunate to be in a market where the creativity and passion of the artists using our products naturally leads to developments within the product ranges we offer. We are of course in constant exchange with artists worldwide, who offer us suggestions, feedback, and constructive criticism to ensure that we remain at the top of our game. When a clear gap in the market is identified, we get together to discuss, define, and pave the way for breakthroughs that we feel will further enhance and catalyse the creative forces observed in the market.
How much does Daler-Rowney value traditional materials – I noticed you have an egg tempera product for example.
I would gladly give you a tour of headquarters in Bracknell at some point where we still produce all of our colours. I am confident that you will be amazed by how much tradition and craftsmanship continues to filter through every drop of colour that we manufacture!
What makes your art materials so popular? How are they unique to other brands in the arts materials world?
One of the keys stems from our desire to provide the best quality art materials across four market segments (entry, amateur, fine-art student, artists’), always at the best possible price. Because we began our journey at the very top end of the spectrum in terms of quality, it has been relatively straightforward to develop quality products with slightly lower specifications to provide artists with materials suited to their needs that are cost-effective as well pleasurable to use. As a result, we have a very strong position within the student market with brands like System3, Georgian, and Graduate. All products developed by Daler-Rowney are crafted by the same experts overlooking the very finest products that we manufacture. 200+ years of experience becomes invaluable for all of these reasons.
Are there any well-known artists in the past and present that swear by Daler-Rowney products?
Because of the presence and size of Daler-Rowney in the market, it is reasonable to assume that almost all artists, certainly in the UK, use some of our art materials. Out of respect for the many artists who shy away from being commercially linked to any one brand, we will opt not to drop any names!
Who are Daler-Rowney’s favourite contemporary artists and why? (For example, Do you follow artists that have a technical skill using texture and colour through oil paints?)
We have recently chosen to work with Hashim Akib on our System3 Original and Heavy Body campaign. What counts for us is raw talent, and what artists can do to inspire future generations. Hash is young-spirited, talented, creative, and personifies what we appreciate the most in artists.
How important do you think art and creativity is in todays society? Do you believe that everyone should be creative, not just artists?
The wider population has never had so many opportunities to be creative as today. Creativity can be observed everywhere, and is transcending all traditional channels and mediums that we have defined art until today. Creativity is vital – art is therapeutic and makes people feel good, adding meaning to their lives. To answer the second question, we believe that everybody is an artist. It is part of the normal constitution of the human being, and dates back to the caveman.
How popular are your products amongst University students and graduates?
On top of being available in all college art stores, our products feature on all almost all lists given to students by art teachers. We have also recently developed many new ranges within our “Graduate” brand which are proving extremely popular in this segment of the market. Students are key in the world of art, and as a result are one of our key focuses and inspirations when developing new materials.
Do artists progress through your product ranges as their technical ability or career progresses?
Because of the launch of our “Simply” range of entry level products five years ago, artists are now able to progress across four different ranges. We encourage this evolution, as overspending on art materials is an obstacle to progression, and we are obviously here to remove obstacles and not create them. The quality of these products also ensures that from the very beginning, artists get good results, which is also fundamental if we want budding artists to continue indulging, experimenting, and progressing artistically.
How would an artist be able to use the Daler-Rowney website as a tool for marketing and developing as a professional artist?
Our website is constantly evolving, and we have a gallery section and forum that we encourage artists to post on. Beyond the exposure, it is obviously also a good place to learn about our products and what we offer across the different ranges as tools for creativity. We also have Facebook and Twitter pages to keep artists up to date with our latest product developments, competitions, and events, which can also serve as platforms for future recognition.
How have changes in marketing affected the art world? Do you think that it has become easier for artists to promote themselves over recent years due to the internet and social media?
The internet and social media are perfect channels for artists to share their work and network, but many of their challenges remain the same – balancing their time across creation and promotion, standing out against other artists, letting loose originality when mainstream is what is selling the most, etc. Creativity in communication is almost as vital as on the canvas itself today!
Are there any other types of marketing that you think would best suit artists?
Live events and “battles” are obviously trending in parallel fields. Something is definitely going to pop up in a very big way in our field at some point in the near future. The only question is where!
Do you think you will ever go back to selling perfume and wig powder?
Every colour manufactured by Daler-Rowney has a specific fragrance to it. It might not be considered as perfume by all, but we know that many artists link it with the creative experience in an almost Pavlovian way. Believe it or not, we actually work on the fragrance of all of our colours in one way or another! As for placing colour in wigs, it is probably one of the lesser extravagances we have witnessed over the ages! Art makes the world brighter, and we have a world of artists to thank for making it more colourful in many a place – the sky is the limit!
February 27, 2012 in We Love
We love the work of Neil Canning. Here’s what he says…
“Gestural abstraction in the sweeps and swathes of thick, smudged and glazed patches of colour often have an urgent, expressive quality. These strokes of colour are not only evident of the action of the material on canvas, but the paint appears to evoke the pictorial techniques used by artists to describe the powerful aspects of the natural world and its weather systems which we can find in the epic narrative paintings of the nineteenth century. In a relatively small painting such as Shine 2006 there seems to be a response to the scale, dynamics and textures of the elements encompassed in what is, ostensibly, an image brought into being through intuitive abstraction.”
February 14, 2012 in We Love
We love Peter Monaghan‘s playful, colourful paintings and installations. Here’s what the Irish Times said…
“Monaghan makes intricately patterned, rhythmic compositions with incredibly dense sequences of coloured, curved ribs.
Everything is precisely calculated and impeccably executed. An element of movement is provided by the viewer, as when one moves across the front of any of the pieces, it changes shifting smoothly and then abruptly into another colour register.”
February 1, 2012 in We Love
We love Catherine Knight. Here’s what she says…
“Upon waking from a dream, the harder you try to recall details and events, the faster they disappear, leaving just a trace of a feeling that remains with you for the rest of the day.
My fascination with the process of sifting through old family photographs of people who are part of me, yet quite unknown, is the motivation behind these paintings. Created from found photographs together with guidebook images and postcards, these compositions toy with perspective and scale. They mirror how family histories and personal mythologies are half- remembered, smoothed over, and exaggerated over time.”
December 9, 2011 in We Love
In a world full of shouting images and messaging, where so much has already been done, so much ground covered, so many curiosities already created and devoured, it’s so rare that we hit upon something that really makes us say wow.
Orlanda Broom‘s use of colour and delicate degenerating form, along with varying canvas sizes and shapes makes us very inspired today.
June 2, 2011 in Interiors
Art and the use of colour should be fun and used as a way of expressing yourself without following set regulations and guidelines of what goes where and what goes with what. The aim here is not to give you rules but just some helpful tips and pointers to consider and think about to make the most out of your art and create an environment that inspires you.
Choosing your art is a very personal decision and in most cases depends heavily on a relationship and understanding that you develop with a particular piece. Let’s face it, most of us will buy a piece because it really leaps out at us or we connect with it in some special way, not just because it fits precisely into a room’s décor. Colour can also be a very personal thing, so it’s important to choose what fits you.
Part of the beauty of understanding established practice is the ability to break it and make a real statement in a room.
It may seem very basic, but to help you decide on what colours might be best for you, let’s take a look at the colour wheel.
The colour wheel explains how to balance the use of colour to create what is known as a harmonious effect. There are three main colour schemes using the colour wheel that are used by professional designers and artists. These are:
This is where your major colour is used not only as the predominant colour but also as the accent. This is accomplished by using different tones and textures of the same colour, for example using red as your major colour and a tint of red for the accent.
This where colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel are used, for example red as a major colour and orange as an accent.
This is where colours that are opposite to each other on the colour wheel are used, for example red as a major colour (and therefore set a warm mood) and green as an accent.
You will find that most pieces of art have a dominant colour that draws your eye and it could be this colour in particular that you will want to match with other elements of your room.
It’s easy to forget when buying art that you also need to consider the frame. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of walking around a contemporary art gallery, then you’ll probably recognise the concept of displaying art in as minimal a context as possible. In an art gallery this means lots of white wall space but few of us either have pristine white walls or the luxury of space that your average gallery would enjoy.
Bearing this in mind, there are other ways that we can help to give our chosen art a little more space. The most important being the frame selected to house the piece.
At Curator, we put a lot of time and effort into carefully selecting a concise group of framing options for each piece available. Largely for us this is about carefully considering how colour elements within each piece might match with their respective frame, but other factors do come in to play like how the size and level of decoration might affect how a piece is viewed when hung.
It’s probably stating the obvious but a frame stands between your artwork and its surrounding, so it can be used both to embellish a piece and to reset the eye. Sometimes a mounting board, normally very neutral in colour can even be placed between the piece and its frame so both the art and the frame itself can create a statement without visual conflict between the two.
I’m a big fan of large dominant pieces, particularly in my front room. If you’re buying a really big piece then colour is going to be pretty critical to your decision because it’s going to stand out so much in the room. Selecting a bold and bright colour in this case can make a really impressive and dramatic statement when placed in a room with relatively muted or neutral décor.
In contrast colour selection in small pieces might not be so critical especially if you intend to hang several pieces on a wall together. Then again, don’t be afraid to pick something that’s small but really stands out, because it can really catch someone’s eye and draw them in for a closer look.
Because colour choices are so personal, I always find that following strict rules is difficult or at odds with my own personal taste, but ultimately thinking through some of these aspects always helps me when I pick something new for my home.
For further inspiration, colour combinations that occur in the natural world are often really great to transfer into the home. But if you are still stuck for ideas then maybe check out Adobe’s Kuler website which has stacks of really beautiful colour palettes to give you a head start.
Without a doubt, most of us will pick a piece of art to hang on a wall of an already decorated room. Often art is either the last thought in interior design, or just an afterthought as a finishing touch.
But what about when we move into a new home? It’s quite unusual that you will want to live with décor decided by a previous owner for very long so this gives us such a wonderful opportunity – a blank canvas! But not entirely – we all bring treasured objects to a new home with us and this definitely includes art work that we have previously purchased. In this case, it’s a good chance to consider how we might decorate a room to fit better with our favourite art, rather than the other way around.
You don’t need to necessarily be moving house to look at decorating in this way, if you are refreshing any room at home then selecting a piece of art to hang at the start of the process can help to make valuable decisions about the rest of the room before a potential clash.
If you don’t already know what you’re going to display on the walls of your room then sticking to a neutral base colour for walls is going to be a good idea. In a most literal sense, white walls will go with anything you hang and can be easily accented and disrupted by brighter colours on other elements of the room.
You can read my article on Colour Basics which runs through the essential components of colour theory that you might want to consider when selecting a palette for your room. At the most basic level, at least spend some time looking closely at the art you intend to display and identify some of the key colours used so that you can match them with appropriate paints or find other colours that combine well.
If you want a very simple way of linking a beautiful piece of art on your wall with the rest of the room, then consider repeating some element from within the image.
Is there a particular flower used in the painting, a pattern you can identify within the image or maybe it’s the dark mahogany tone frame that you could chose to repeat using other elements around the room?
Look out for wallpapers that suggest similar patterns or textures as those used in your artwork, and definitely consider the materials used for your furniture and fabrics like curtains to see how well they match with elements of the painting.
Especially consider placement of mirrors in a room that contains prominently placed art work because it’s a great way to bring gestures of that piece on to another surface when viewed from a particular angle – so consider points of entry to the room and areas that are frequently used socially.
Is your art work depictive of a particular time or movement in art? Perhaps carrying this theme across the rest of your room might be an inspirational starting point. Don’t forget the frame which may have a big impact on the room when hung – if it’s simple and minimal then hopefully it will easily slot into any contemporary interior, but if it’s much more ornate then consider how it might interact with simpler furniture or items from another period.
You may chose to move in a completely opposite direction however. A traditional painting in a rather ornate frame can look spectacular in a minimalist room, and an abstract contemporary piece can equally bring a spark to a room that is furnished with period antiques.
Does your art present largely free flowing lines or much more rigid geometric shapes? This can be quite easy to reflect in other elements of the room. Consider a basic minimalist style for prominent furniture like sofas, armchairs or beds if you can identify strong geometric elements. Look for furniture and ornaments with rounded edges and corners, or use much more fluid shapes if you feel they match the style of the art.
What emotions does your art work conjure? What about for other members of your family? You might be able to either support or contrast these emotional responses by selecting particular ornaments or furnishings for your room as well.
Last but not least, getting an idea of what art you intend to display in a room before decorating at least ensures that enough space is left around the piece to give it justice.