Monday, February 22, 2010

El Vendedor de Flores

El Vendedor de Flores by Diego Rivera

I consider myself a creative individual, but I have never been drawn to art. It's strange, I know. My dad is an artist - he's a beautiful painter. My mom has a great appreciation for art. The combination meant that I was dragged to many art museums as a child on family trips, and boy did I hate them. HATE them (but kudos to my parents for making me go).

And yet, I turned out to be a completely design-obsessed, color, scale, balance-loving fool. So you'd think that I'd live and breathe art as an adult, but I still don't.

I will say that now, I have an appreciation for art that I never had before. I understand its draw and purpose in the world. And I of course always want to learn more about the intersection of art and interior design.

As we decorate this new house, I'm struggling with art. I often decorate with mirrors, prints, photography (all forms of art, I suppose) but fine art pieces have yet to make it in, and this time, I think I want to add a little art to our walls.

As I contemplated this, I came across the painting above by the famous Mexican artist Diego Rivera. It is so beautiful - not to mention it has many of the colors I'm using in my living room. It is titled "El Vendedor de Flores" or the flower seller.

Some other works by Rivera:

Aren't they beautiful? I won't pretend this is a blog post to educate you on the work of Diego Rivera as that would be quite a lengthy piece, and best not written by me, but he is one of few artists whose work I've always enjoyed - especially his calla lily paintings.

Reviewing some of his paintings this weekend got my brain thinking about what I'm drawn to in art and why. A little self exercise, if you will, to help me gauge the kind of piece(s) I might want to add to our home.

What are your thoughts on art in your own home?


  1. I always think that the best art comes from my travels--a peasant painting from China, a pub sign from England, a watercolor from a sidewalk sale in Barcelona. No real rhyme or reason except that they evoke memories and they are conversation starters. I just choose images and colors that I am drawn to and go from there. There's nothing worse, I think, than a house filled with art picked out by an interior designer (or even by the homeowner) that doesn't reflect the person's interests or aesthetics.

  2. Good morning! I found your blog via Alison of "My Little Happy Place". It's been such a wonderful read.

    Art is as personal expression as fashion, in my opinion. It shoudl appeal to you and not geared towards impressing others. We have many different types in our home: pen and inks done by my mother (also a talented artist!), oil paintings, antique prints, and my favorite, the children's artwork. They have special meaning to us. Maybe we purchased some from trips, or received them as gifts from loved ones. But they all hold special places for us. We're currently furbishing our apartment in Tokyo, and the Diego River's are gorgeous. I wonder if I could find prints as orange is our main accent color there...

    Here's hoping!

  3. I agree Elise - art is often a display of memories and travels. In the bit of traveling I've done, I haven't been particularly drawn to art pieces as something to bring home - although I do have some pieces here and there. Maybe looking at those items will help with my inspiration...

    I do think that art is sometimes used as an extension of a space - like any other accessory used by a designer to create an overall look, so I guess in those cases the art isn't personal. But, on the other hand, if it makes your room look awesome (and that's the only reason you like it) then that's Ok!

  4. Love Diego Riveria -- his colors are always gorgeous and I love the emotion he imbues in all of his work.

  5. Like you, my husband grew up around very artsy parents. I however, never had that exposure, so I've really enjoyed learning about, and making art a part of our home. We don't go by any formulas, and certainly don't have the means to be serious collectors, we just buy what we like, and that we can afford.
    Typically, it is work done by local artists of places we've visited.
    Honestly, I think it adds a very personal touch to interiors, and ours brings us a lot of joy.

  6. I agree with everyone here! I was just thinking about this topic this past weekend, because I was visiting a friend who has all sorts of things on the walls of her amazing house... but unfortunately none of it seemed to have any meaning for her and that made me sad. While we don't exactly have the means for original (one of a kind) art, limited edition prints and photography are more in our price range. We too simply pick out what we like and I am happy to say that pretty much everything that dons our walls has a story or a special meaning.

    We also like to pick up things from our travels... a large frame made from old wine barrels we got in South Africa; a rustic wooden bowl made from exotic Costa Rican wood, colorful prints of the old city from Jerusalem, etc, etc.

    I also find that ETSY is an amazing resource for finding great artists and/or vintage prints for wall decor (I just ordered a whole slew of things yesterday for our bare bedroom walls!)

  7. Alison, I'm totally with you on Etsy as a great source for art. I actually just found an artist that I really, really like on Etsy - great way to get original art at an affordable price.


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