Are you waiting until the walls are painted and the furniture placed to shop for art to decorate your home? It's easy to be intimidated by the experience, concerned that the wrong choices will turn out to be costly mistakes that reflect poorly on you.
Selecting a piece of art is a process that should be enjoyed, researched, considered and, finally, directed from the heart. When an image stops you and speaks to you on a visual and emotional level, it is an exciting and joyous experience. You want it to be part of your daily life, and you value its company as you would a new friend.
We all have our preferences in style, materials and budgets to consider. Paintings in acrylic or watercolor, sculptures in iron, stone and clay, realism, abstract and multimedia are all championed in the fine art market. One might dismiss photography as a fine art medium, as photos have become so commonplace. With today's mass technology, camera phones click and send and Photoshop allows amateurs to manipulate and personalize their shots. However, fine art photography is something different. It's the subjective vision of the artist photographer, captured with a professional lens that allows for clear definition to be enlarged without losing quality. Larger than life images burst with tantalizing color; moody subjects in black and white echo stories and landscapes in shades and shadows.
If you are considering fine art photography for your home, visit a gallery to see the vibrant range of images that are available. Shown here are three photographs by Robert Rotella (rotellagallery.com), titled "Desire," "Red Rose" and "Happiness." Peter Pinto, Rotella gallery director, has provided the following tips and guidelines that will help you make the right purchase, what to look for and how to protect your photograph.
Once you have established what you want, ask the gallery owner or artist about the work. There is more value placed on anything that is rare, so a one-of-a-kind or limited-edition photograph will have the greatest value. Find out about the artist and where the photograph was shot. The story behind the image can be captivating, and you can pass this along to guests when it is in your own home.
Don't let your choice of frame hinder the artwork. Recess mounting adds a dramatic effect by giving the illusion that a photograph is floating on the wall. However, images such as Rotella's floral images, which have a natural flow or curve to them, work best without a frame.
Protecting your photograph from UV rays is key. Sunlight will fade and discolor over time. All the images at Rotella Gallery are traditional darkroom enlargements and cold- pressed between UV-protected and scratch-resistant acrylic for a luminous and archival presentation without the weight and fragility of glass
The art-to-wall space is an important consideration. Hang larger pieces in rooms with a long or high wall and smaller images in hallways, bedrooms or offices. Proper placement and good lighting will create a harmonious flow throughout your home.
Debbie Travis' House to Home column is produced by Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.