Decorating With Regional Abstract Artists

By Kenneth Smith

Modern art is often 'abstract', in that it is not a realistic depiction of a visible object. This differs from a still life study of fruit or flowers, for instance, or a landscape with clouds, mountains, animals, and people. Abstract artists may be able to draw extremely well but may choose to paint an impression or emotion rather than actual things.

For example, an artist could use hot reds and yellows to bring to life the feeling of lying on a beach with your eyes closed, seeing the blaze of light through your eyelids and feeling your blood coming to the boiling point. Of course, you might not discern that. You might think of a desert or of the energy of the sun which makes life on earth possible.

There are all kinds of modern creations. You might choose a small statue for your hall table, a majestic oil painting for the living room, and a tiny watercolor for the bath. The bedroom is perfect for fabric art, but a wall hanging can be just as effective in a main room. You might want to brighten up a corner or make a statement that your guests will not be able to miss.

Sometimes people find a treasure that really speaks to them, and they design a whole room around it. This can be done by picking up a color from a painting hung over the fireplace, or by choosing furniture that will display a sculpture to best advantage. The proper placement of an object and the lighting that shows it off are key.

Even in an older home, modern art can be effective. There are some wonderful studies of flowers that give the impression of color or leaf texture, maybe by focusing on a detail that is recognizable once someone points it out to you. For example, roses are bright, familiar flowers, but an accurate drawing of their shape is not necessary to bring out their beauty. An abstraction of flowers done in watercolors can look wonderful in a colonial or a Victorian home.

Pictures are almost indispensable in furnishing a home, but you have a wide choice of pictorial art. A print of a famous painting can be effective, as can the work of a local artist you especially enjoy. Pen and ink drawings can be striking, while an oil painting usually makes a real statement. Watercolors, pastels, and photographs are other ways to decorate the walls.

You can also beautify a house or a garden with sculpture. Perhaps a dramatic piece of driftwood fits a beach house, while a swirl of copper might spark an urban patio. Los Angeles, CA, has all kids of talent, and you can find the perfect thing to add beauty to your home while expressing your own taste and preference. It's fun to learn about the local art scene, and you might stumble on the next genius.

Don't settle for a humdrum home or apartment when you can have one that enchants your friends and reflects your personality to the world. Art is something that lets you make a place your own.

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