Great ideas for blank walls part 1: my wall art wish list.
Wonderful wall art.
We need to do something with the blank wall in our old living room. There are so many possible options for filling the space: framed prints; canvases; gallery walls; personalised wallpaper; photographs; objects; handmade crafts and prints. With so many options to choose from, I thought I would share some of my ideas with you and ask for your opinion.
In the first part of my series I look at wall art and tell you which 5 artists are on my wish list.
What shall I do with our living room wall?
Those of you who have followed my blog will know that we had a new single story extension built on the back of our house last year. It extended our existing kitchen and added another room, creating an open plan kitchen / dining /living room (here). I feel like there should be a ‘proper’ name for this type of extension, like a ‘kidiliv’ or something, but that’s probably because I have become rather obsessed with designer dogs such as Cavapoos, Cockerliers and the like (Why I want a dog but can’t have a dog).
When we had the extension built we revamped our living room as well. The builders removed the large double doors that opened into the middle of the room, replacing them with a single door at one end. We also had the coving, artex and fireplace removed and substituted the pendant lights for dimmable LED downlighters. The alterations meant we had the full run of the longest wall of the living room for storage and we had room for a corner sofa as well.
Our ‘smushed bug’ wall.
The extension and improvements to the living room were completed last September. Although we have ‘populated’ our living room with a lovely ‘grown up’ fabric corner sofa (now the kids are older we have finally been able to move on from our practical, wipe clean leather sofas) and new soft furnishings, we haven’t done anything with the bare walls. It’s just a huge blank space crying out for wall art, photographs…anything.
In fact, the only thing we have on the wall is the remains of a smushed bug…At least I think it was a smushed bug. It’s either a bug or jam. If it’s jam, I have no idea how it got on the walls, but I live with children so it’s possible to find all sorts of things in unusual places.
You are probably wondering why I haven’t cleaned the bug stain off the wall. That would probably be the rational and sensible thing to do but most of the time I’m neither rational or sensible.
There are several reasons why I’ve left the smushed bug stain on the wall:
- It reminds me (like a knot in a handkerchief) that I have to put something on that wall.
- It motivates me to put something on my wall so I can say goodbye (or cover over) the bug stain once and for all. Mind you, seeing as it has been there for 8 months, it obviously hasn’t been that motivational.
- If I want to remove the stain I will probably need to use the Magic Eraser sponge and you know I have a phobia of dry sponges (Room 101). Yes, I know Magic Eraser sponges need to be wet when you use them( they’re neutralised when wet and I don’t mind touching them) but I would have to touch the sponge before it gets wet.
- I’ve grown attached to my smushed bug stain.
So many ideas, so little time.
So why have I still got a bare wall in my living room? So far, the problem has been having the time to do anything about it (and the budget!). I blame this blogging business! I love blogging but it’s been such a huge investment in terms of time and energy since I started last December: I’ve hardly had time to sleep, never mind fill the blank space on my wall!
I suspect that another reason why I haven’t done anything with the wall is because I have the designer’s equivalent of ‘Writer’s block.’ Not because I’m stuck for ideas but because I have too many ideas! I’ve thought of gallery walls, personal photographs, shelf walls, craft wall art, framed wallpaper, framed prints, canvases. Having so many ideas has preventing me from making a start. It’s almost as if I don’t want to settle on one thing or I’m worried about choosing the wrong thing.
I think it’s also a bit like me and stationery. I love stationery but I love it so much that when I get a spangly new notebook I hesitate to write in it. I don’t want to spoil it with my scrawly untidy handwriting, or worse still, make a mistake and have to cross something out and make a mess! Please tell me I’m not the only one who feels this way about stationery! In the same way, I don’t want to make a mistake and spoil my wall.
Enough of my excuses as to why I haven’t done anything about my smushed bug wall! Let me share my thought process and ideas about my first option for decorating my bare wall: wonderful wall art.
It’s a living room not a study.
Choosing wall art for our study (link here) and our extension (link here) was a relatively painless exercise. It all seemed to fall into place. I don’t know about you but I find it easier to choose artwork for studies and kid’s rooms. Studies mean posters, personalised prints, typography, quirkiness. When it comes to a ‘grown up’ living room, some of my favourite wall art such as the framed prints of classic Penguin books or The Tate Gallery By Tube framed print that I featured in my recent John Lewis Great British Gifts post just wouldn’t work.
I also love the framed Jacky Al-Samarraie prints we chose for our extension, but I need to be brave and try something different.
So, if I decide to fill my living room wall with wonderful wall art, which artists are on my wish list?
My wish list
1. Jenni Sparks.
I first discovered Jenni Spark’s work in a feature by one of my favourite bloggers, Karen Knox of Making Spaces, (link here). Jenni’s hand drawn maps of iconic cities such as New York, London, Berlin and San Fransisco are available from Evermade. It took Jenni Sparks months to create each map, comprising of hundreds of meticulous illustrations representing buildings, hidden gems, fun facts and more. The level of detail is extraordinary and the idea so original and eye-catching. I love the New York map as it reminds me of all the wonderful places Richard and I visited for our 10th wedding anniversary trip to the city. For more information visit Evermade or visit Jenni’s website (here).
2. Mike Matola.
I love Mike Matola’s artwork. Again, I discovered his incredible prints in the article on Karen Knox’s Making Spaces website. Like Jenni Sparks, his hand-drawn portraits are striking and wonderfully original. I always appreciate art that is unique and represents a ‘labour of love’ and these eye-catching monochrome images certainly fit the bill.
Mike’s work involves creating portraits using the written word. His portrait of George Harrison, for example, is made using hand-written lyrics from his songs. How cool is that?!! It took him over 80 hours of writing and craftsmanship to create his George Harrison portrait, painstakingly writing every lyric, moving line by line down the page and decreasing the space between the letter until the portrait took shape. For more information about his prints his website (here). You can also visit his Etsy shop, LineByLinePosters, (here).
This print is my favourite. Emily loves Totoro and this would be perfect for her bedroom.
3. Susan Entwistle.
Susan Entwistle is a Nottingham based artist and one of the few painters practising the art of pointillism. This technique, made famous by artists such as Georges Seurat, uses layers of colourful dots to capture the vibrancy and essence of beautiful gardens, woodlands and landscapes.
I know Susan personally and I am a huge fan of her work. Again, I appreciate her unique approach to garden and landscape painting and the hours that have gone into creating her beautiful images. Susan Entwistle says of her paintings:
Colour is all important in my work. I create the painting by building layers of coloured dots and marks using acrylic paints instead of threads to emulate a tapestry-like impression of my subject.
Susan has had some impressive commissions over the years, her most distinguished commission to date being from the Principality of Monaco. It involved painting the Chelsea Flower Show garden “The Monaco Garden” (designed by Sarah Eberle) for HSH Prince Albert of Monaco in 2011. The painting was presented to Prince Albert in Monaco at the Princesse Grace Theatre. The commissioned painting can be seen here: The Monaco Garden.
As well as selling original paintings and prints, Susan’s website features cards, ceramics, and scarves inspired by her designs. Visit www.susanentwistle.com for more information.
4. Kathy Ramsay Carr.
King and McGaw is one of my favourite online art retailers. We bought one of Jeremy Harnell’s Mix Tape posters from them for our study and we love it (see here). Their website is so easy to browse as they have categorised all of their artwork. You can also narrow your search based on characteristics such as size, colour and medium. Whilst looking for colours to compliment the teal in my curtains and cushions I stumbled across these wonderful paintings by Kathy Ramsay Carr. Her evocative abstract paintings are inspired by the coastlines, beaches and moorland of the South West of England, where she lives. To see more of her stunning images visit King and McGaw or her website, www.kathyramsaycarr.com
5. Andrew Bird.
Again, I discovered Andrew Bird’s work on the King and McGaw website. Andrew is from Derbyshire and frequently visits Cornwall so he draws inspiration from both these places. He loves the hustle and bustle of coastal life and the rugged nature of the landscapes. Andrew builds layers of textures into his paintings; scraping, scratching and reworking the surface to capture the essence of these places.
Andrew’s style of painting creates stunning, bold abstracts and the colours would fit perfectly in our living room.
No wonder I can’t decide!
I think you’ll agree there are some wonderful artists on my wish list. It’s hardly surprising I’ve had trouble making a decision! I still haven’t decided whether I’ll choose paintings and prints from my list or whether I’ll opt for a gallery wall, photo wall or create some framed hand-crafted items to display.
Tune in next time to see what other options I’m considering in my quest to populate my ‘Smushed Bug Wall.’
Over to you!
What do you think of my wall art ideas? Do you like the work of the artists I’ve featured on my wishlist?
Do you have your own bare wall you need to fill (smushed bug optional)?
As always, I love to read your comments and opinions so don’t be shy!
A little message from me!
If you like this post, please don’t forget to share it on social media. ‘Sharing is caring!’
All the images are ‘pinnable’ so don’t forget to Pin them for later.
You can also follow me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram using the social media buttons on the top of this page for updates between posts.
If you are enjoying my blog, it would be marvellous if you could support it by signing up to my email feed (see the subscribe box in the sidebar on the right on a computer or below on a tablet or smart phone) so you don’t miss a single post.