Artwork is often lacking from interiors, perceived as a luxury for the elite and generally expensive. Many bedrooms, living rooms and even kitchens (really!) look unfinished and feel incomplete without the joy that art can bring. Bristol is home to many fantastic artistsworking in a variety of mediums and styles. There is a huge array from cheap and cheerful prints to labour intensive original oil paintings with provenance. Such choice can be overwhelming, so if you can’t decide on a favourite artist, can’t afford to invest or simply like the idea of having a try, why not create your own? It doesn’t matter whether there is artistry in your genes or not, here are some ideas for getting creative even if you don’t have experience.
One of the easiest ways to create wall art is to find a large piece of curtain fabric that you simply love, then gently stretch and staple it on to the back of a piece of wood, ideally with a couple of layers of wadding sandwiched in between for a little padding. If you don't have a staple gun, webbing tacks and a hammer will do. Just one metre would be sufficient for a decent size artwork, so depending on the budget you could potentially buy a more expensive, intricate fabric design seeing as its not for a full set of curtains. It may be possible to buy a large remnant at a reduced price, and a wood panel may be sourced inexpensively from pallet boxes or off-cuts from a wood yard. Freecycle is a fantastic resource too.
If you’re feeling really brave, why not try painting your own fabric, as I did with powder pigments. With a lovely colour palette there is no need to depict anything at all, it can be totally abstract and the colours can be enough. The bleeding of the paint adds to the effect, and is definitely worth embracing rather than trying to overcome. This process is not dissimilar to painting on paper with watercolours, which is another option to try out, particularly if you fancy trying out evening classes.
For fans of more 3D, sculptural wall art, why not play around with found objects such as wood offcuts, metal scraps, or assemble bits of broken treasures, toys or jewellery into a figure or upcycled display. As long as everything is secure with the right type of glue or screws, this could be a really interesting and unique adornment to the walls.
If the sophistication of monochrome black and white is more to your taste, using the largest canvas or paper and widest brush you can find with black acrylic paint, a simple circle or continuous brush stroke in any wiggly line makes a dramatic statement. Or paint and fill in a black square, then fluff up the edges by stroking a dry brush gently away from the paint.
A real Jackson Pollock would set you back literally millions, and prints just don’t quite capture the real deal. Making your own would be huge fun and a great way to involve any budding young artists. Simply drip, drop, splish, splash, and spill paint over the largest paper or canvas you can in any colours you like. It would probably be best to do this in the comfort of your garden or yard, and for added authenticity, do like the man himself and ride a bike all over it too!
Images (c) Zoe Hewett Interiors