Museum-grade digital art prints are a classy way to buy art on a budget. Master digital printmaker and founder of Printism.com.au, Roger Saddington, offers his top tips for using art prints in your home.
1. Put the cart before the horse
If possible, wait until you’ve bought your art before painting the walls. It’s much easier to paint the wall later than to find the perfect art piece in exactly the right colour.
2. Don’t worry about who the artist is
The world is brimming with truly excellent artists who simply can’t be accommodated in the overcrowded upper echelons of the art world. Unless you’ve got huge amounts of money to spend on a ‘name’, concentrate on the ‘great unknowns’ that catch your eye.
3. Buy for love
Buying art for investment is a risky, long-term enterprise, with no guarantees. Concentrate on affordable art that will give you pleasure over the next decade and save your real money for blue-chip shares, a much safer investment.
4. Meaningful looks
Search for art with authentic detail or a meaningful subject. These are far more important than the colour palate. The symbolism or intricacy of a carefully made work will give you years of pleasure long after the joy of matching your existing curtain colour has faded.
5. Develop a theory
If you buy a beautiful print, your family and friends are sure to comment. Think about what attracted you to this image. Perhaps the subject has personal meaning or the light reminds you of a favourite place. What do you think the artist was trying to achieve? Put your thoughts forward in conversation to really get people talking about and admiring your art (and your taste).
6. Size does matter
Don’t try to fill a big wall with two, three or four smaller pieces. If you have a large wall in your home, rejoice in the opportunity to make a stunning statement. High quality ‘large format’ print material is now coming onto the market at prices that were unthinkable ten years ago. The right subject, presented at the proper scale, can make you whole home sing.
7. Look for painterly art
Clichéd photographs of international tourist destinations are multiplying like rabbits within the department stores of the world. Look for prints with an effect you’ve not seen before. Images that feature a ‘hand-made’ technique will age much better than straight photography.
8. Beware of wallpaper art
Likewise, the production line art studios of China have spawned a plethora of ‘oil on canvas’ paintings often found in suburban framing galleries and market stalls. Many of these are simply patches of colour with a few squiggly lines – you know the ones… Hold off on buying this ‘abstract art’ (art that doesn’t have a recognisable subject) until you’ve had a bit more experience.
9. Boring beige and worthless white
Plain white or beige walls are the sanctuary of the fearful.
Unless you particularly want the ‘white box’ art gallery look, splash some colour around. Take your cue from the colours in the artwork and check out some high-end interior design mags to see how the professionals put colours together.
10. Create links between the art and the room.
Chose objects that echo colours in your art and distribute them throughout the room. Cushions, rugs, throws, vases, plant pots and other decorative items can all help to bring your theme together.
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