Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Decorating with Botanicals Brightly Begins 2019

Contemporary artists, both emerging and established, are reinterpreting the age-old discipline of botanical art. Botanicals started as a way to catalog the natural world in the 15th century. Now, it is an intriguing trend in the contemporary art world.

Today's artists are rendering plants and flowers in surprising new ways, often drawing on classic botanical artwork to express distinctly modern views. The current work in paintings, drawings, prints and mixed media, not only brings the beauty of nature indoors but also provides some clever commentary on art history and the environment.

Historically, in the 1600s botanical artists led with sounds like a romantic existence. Some served as members of expeditions to exotic locations, while others devoted their lives to documenting all the bulbs, plants and flowers in gardens of rich patrons. Publishers issued these engravings and etchings serially in loose-leaf folios, usually as part of an encyclopedic or scientific project. Wealthy people could subscribe to a series, and some had whole collections hand-colored and bound into books. Botanical art continued to enjoy popularity through the Victorian era, when drawing from nature diverted ladies of the leisure classes.

While illustrations still beat out photography in scientific journals, textbooks and seed catalogs (because of their greater details) it's the contemporary artists who are giving new life to the genre. Though they borrow from tradition, they don't consider themselves exclusively botanical artists and they exhibit at mainstream galleries. Some might depict scientifically accurate plants but group them purely on the basis of aesthetics. Others dispose with precise representation, creating abstract or conceptual works.

There has been renewed interest in both antique and new botanical art. Works are featured in many galleries, art and craft shows. What is significant for interior decorating is that both the old illustrations and new interpretations come in a vast variety of price ranges. Many interesting pieces for an interior d├ęcor are still affordable. And better  yet, many art studios are offering classes in botanical illustration, for you to DIY.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

DIY Tips for Interior Decorating

If you enjoy all things about interior design (as I do), then you know what it feels like when you walk into a well-designed room. You can sense how everything feels put together just right. There are principles that professional interior designers use to create those fabulous rooms. And I've got some of their secrets for you.

When you know the basic interior design principles, you can transform any room to look like a pro did it. With knowledge, practice and experimentation you're on your way to creating a beautiful home.

BALANCE
In design, balance creates a feeling of equilibrium. It's all about approximating the visual weight of objects. Balance is created not just through shape, but through color pattern and texture. There are three kinds of balance.
1. Symmetrical or formal. Traditional spaces call for symmetrical balance where the space is evenly split into two sides that mirror each other. For example, two chairs on either side of a coffee table or a mirror above a fireplace with wall sconces on either side of the mirror. This kind of balance is easy to achieve as design elements are repeated on each side. However, if you are not careful, this kind of balance can become boring.
2. Asymmetrical or informal. The visual weight of lines, colors, forms and textures are balanced without exact duplication. It is not as ordered as symmetrical balance and can be more interesting and complex. For instance, a sofa can be balanced by placing two chairs on the other side.
3. Radial. This balance is achieved when there is a central focal point with other elements radiating from it or around it. An example is a round dining table, with chairs arranged around it.

RHYTHM
As in music, rhythm in design is all about creating patterns of repetition and contrast to create visual interest.
You can achieve this by using the same color or shape at different intervals. Its purpose is to move your eye around the room. For instance, you can establish a rhythm by using a color in the pillows, picking it up in a painting and using it again in a rug. These repetitions will help carry your eye around the room.

 HARMONY
Harmony is created when all the elements act together to create a unified message. Just as rhythm can create excitement, harmony creates a sense of restfulness. You can create harmony by using just one color, even though your forms very greatly in shape size and texture.

EMPHASIS
A room where everything gets equal importance will seem either scattered or boring. You need an anchor. Architectural spaces often have points of interest such as a fireplace or a window with a beautiful view. You can choose to enhance the built-in focal point by arranging furniture around it to emphasize it. In a room that lacks a built-in point of interest, you can create one through groups of furniture or using an unusual or large piece.

PROPORTION AND SCALE
Proportion is the ratio between the size of one part to another and scale is how the size of one object relates to another or to the space in which it is placed. For instance, a large overstuffed sectional in a small room will be out of scale. Some proportional relationships are more pleasing than others. The ancient Greeks came up with the Gold Section which sought to reduce all proportion to a simple formula. The ratio of the smaller section to the larger section should be the same as that of the larger section to the whole  This proportion is present in nature, and the artists and architects use it as well.