By Lisa Canning
Art provides the opportunity to express your style in a very personal way. While art can often get put on the backburner after the dust of a renovation has settled, the personalized story that art tells about a homeowner shouldn’t be forgotten. Today there are many avenues in which art can be purchased, so making your personal mark on your home might be easier – and less expensive – than you think.
The first place I go when selecting art for a client is a traditional gallery. In Toronto, Canvas and Art Interiors are my local favourites. The staff is trained to assist you in picking just the right piece for you and your space. And best of all, a gallery will often allow you to borrow the pieces for a time period to “test drive” in your home. As the art on your walls can really change the colour scheme and mood of a room, being able to see it in the context of the rest of your space makes for a stress-free investment. A visit to a gallery is also a great way to find new emerging artists, and support their work at more introductory prices.
Additionally, I love to invest in artists by commissioning custom pieces. When you commission a piece, you can work with an artist to get exactly what you want, and this has yielded gorgeous outcomes for many of my clients’ spaces. Artist Becky Simpson of RLS Studios will take a client’s photograph, enlarge it to their desired size, and through a wax transfer technique called encaustic painting, create beautiful, textured, large-scale works. The texture created through the dripping wax is truly unique. I also love working with New Brunswick-based abstract artist Matt LeBlanc, who will take my client’s paint and furniture colours and create an abstract piece customized to their existing décor. He ships them to me in Toronto and it is always a fun surprise to see what he has come up with. Commissioning a custom piece of art is a great way to support the local art community and to ensure you have a truly one-of-a-kind piece on your walls.
Lastly, I love using personal photographs to create art. This can often be an inexpensive approach when conscious of budget. If a digital image is large enough, I will take it to a local print shop, enlarge the photo to poster size, and place it in a modern frame. With digital software it is also easy to manipulate an image to change the colours, increase the contrast, or crop for dramatic emphasis. Also, Internet sources such as canvasstock.com will take your digital file and transfer it onto a stretched canvas, giving you a gallery look without the gallery price tag.
Art doesn’t have to be complicated. It just has to be “you.” With the multitude of ways that art can be purchased, whether on foot or online, the perfect piece for your space is waiting to be discovered.