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The Art of Fine Art


“A true artist is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others”.  Salvador Dali

I am quite often asked to assist with finding new artwork for clients. I’m also often asked to help reposition the client’s existing work around the house.

When choosing artwork there are a number of elements to be considered. Firstly, and most importantly, the clients taste. They will be living with the piece so they need to like it ! If they are interested in art then it might be an investment piece that we choose together, or a more dramatic decorative piece chosen by subject matter. As illustrated with the large framed wall map in this interior scheme, taken by Anthony Crolla for House & Garden.

I look at the architecture of the property and the style of the interior scheme, whether it is a period or contemporary interior. The juxtaposition of contemporary and modern art in a traditional interior can work but there needs to be a relationship, be that in colour or texture.

I follow the art market closely, to see what themes and trends are evolving, and to assess where good investments can be made. Either commissioning bespoke pieces, sourcing through favourite galleries, or for something specific, through art consultants.

Artwork shouldn’t be an afterthought, but part of the whole design process. It can be the focal point, and transform the space. Here I seek to give some pointers, and share with you some of my favourite galleries and up and coming talents.

Colour The artwork in a room can be very different, but it helps if there is a common colour. I’ve just hung a series of different pictures in an Entrance Hall of a country house and the subjects were all very different, but the common theme was a fleck of pink. We reflected the pink theme throughout the room with vases and cushions. This gives continuity throughout the space.  Another good example of the use of colour is this interior scene by Lottie Cole, from Cricket Fine Art.

Backdrop I love to put a strong or dark paint colour behind a piece of art to highlight the art as the focal point. (photo credit @etalageuk). The picture needs to be in context with the room. A small picture might look lost in a big space, but could look fabulous grouped with others. A large picture may dominate a space, over shadowing other focal points in the room. 

Mix and Match Grouping artwork together can be more effective. If you have a large space and small paintings these look more effective in a collage. This dates back to 17th Century Paris when this was in vogue. The technique is also used at The Royal Academy for the Summer Exhibition. When planning a collage wall, the most effective way to arrange the pictures is to lay these out on the floor first to understand the proportions and how the pieces will relate to each other.

Credit Katharine Howard’s Georgian House, demonstrates the effect of the collage. I love the soft pink Jonquil paint from Edward Bulmer as the backdrop.

Framing the focal point The frame is really important. It should reflect the style of the room as well as working with the art it houses. It could be in vogue like these bobbin shaped frames, classic, reeded or a contemporary box frame.

Subject Matter This must reflect the client’s taste. Sometimes the element of surprise is so effective – a contemporary piece of artwork can be so effective in a classic situation.

The common mistake is to hang the artwork too high. Art should be at eye level. But then that depends how tall you are! Above all buying art should be fun. It’s a bit like choosing a car or a piece of jewellery. It reflects the clients personality, and should be something that will give them pleasure every time they see it.

In the coming weeks I will be discussing where to buy quality art, featuring my favourite artists and galleries. 

For more information or an informal consultation please contact the Studio on +44 (0)207 791 1245 or email