Arts And Interior Decorating, Part One

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The Mystery of Art

Art has kept pace with man’s developing civilization. Whether it is primitive or sophisticated, witty or solemn, art reflects the feelings, thoughts, and culture of historic and cotemporary man. As such, it is an important part of his environment.

An astute decorator realizes the need to acquire a working knowledge of art. You should be able to recognize and discuss some of the various techniques and types of art, and be familiar with the periods of art that relate to the periods of interior design. Of course, few, if any, of your clients will be able to afford great original art, but your understanding of it, combined with your decorating skills, will enable you to help your clients select art that is appropriate for their decors.

A knowledge of artistic styles and periods will add yet another key element to your talent as an interior decorator. And, as you will discover, it will add a very interesting and stimulating dimension to your decorating activities.

Art Types and Techniques

Before you can tie in art to interior decorating, you need to know a bit of the art world from the artist’s viewpoint. This will give you a basic vocabulary of art forms and mediums so that you can discuss and recognize different forms.

In a general sense, a medium is the substance or material, such as pigment, pencil, stone, wood, etc., that the artist uses to express an idea in art. In a more specific sense, a medium is the liquid, such as water, oil, or egg, with which pigment (colored powder) is mixed.

Broadly speaking, art falls into two categories: two-dimensional art, such as paintings, drawings, and prints, and three-dimensional art, such as sculpture and mobiles. Some pieces can be listed in either category. For example, collages (compositions created by gluing various materials to background surfaces) are three-dimensional in nature, but often look two-dimensional.

Paintings—A Stroke of the Brush

Paintings, with their rich colors and visual and tactile textures, are one of the most sought-after and highly esteemed forms of art used in decorating. Paintings are pictures or designs made with paints. The major paint mediums include oil, acrylic, tempera, watercolor, gouache, and pastel.


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