Di­rect art se­lec­tion from the heart

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - DER­RIE TRAVIS

ARE you wait­ing un­til the walls are painted and the fur­ni­ture placed to shop for art to dec­o­rate your home? It’s easy to be in­ti­mated by the ex­pe­ri­ence, con­cerned that the wrong choices will turn out to be costly mis­takes that re­flect poorly on you.

Se­lect­ing a piece of art is a process that should be en­joyed, re­searched, con­sid­ered and, fi­nally, di­rected from the heart. When an im­age stops you and speaks to you on a vis­ual and emo­tional level, it is an ex­cit­ing and joy­ous ex­pe­ri­ence. You want it to be part of your daily life and you value its com­pany as you would a new friend who in­tu­itively and mag­i­cally knows you well.

We all have our pref­er­ences in style, ma­te­ri­als and bud­gets to con­sider. Paint­ings in acrylic or wa­ter­colour, sculp­tures in iron, stone and clay, re­al­ism, ab­stract, multimedia are all cham­pi­oned in the fine art mar­ket.

One might over­look or dis­miss pho­tog­ra­phy as a fine art medium as pho­tos have be­come so com­mon­place. With to­day’s mass tech­nol­ogy, cam­er­a­phones click and send and pho­to­shop al­lows am­a­teurs to ma­nip­u­late and per­son­al­ize their shots to make and save mem­o­ries of events and people that have cap­tured their in­ter­est.

How­ever, fine art pho­tog­ra­phy is some­thing dif­fer­ent — spe­cial. It’s the sub­jec­tive vi­sion of the artist pho­tog­ra­pher, cap­tured with a pro­fes­sional lens that al­lows for clear def­i­ni­tion to be en­larged with­out los­ing qual­ity. Larger-than-life im­ages burst with tan­ta­liz­ing colour, moody sub­jects in black and white echo sto­ries and land­scapes in shades and shad­ows.

If you are con­sid­er­ing fine art pho­tog­ra­phy for your home, visit a gallery to see the vi­brant range of im­ages that are avail­able. Shown here are three pho­to­graphs by Robert Rotella ti­tled (from left) De­sire, Red Rose and Hap­pi­ness. www.rotel­la­gallery.com.

Peter Pinto, Rotella Gallery di­rec­tor, has pro­vided the fol­low­ing tips and guide­lines to help you make the right pur­chase, what to look for and how to pro­tect your pho­to­graph.

Once you have es­tab­lished what you want, ask the gallery owner or artist about the work. There is more value placed on any­thing that is rare, so a one-of-a-kind or limited-edi­tion pho­to­graph will have the great­est value. Find out about the artist and where the pho­to­graph was shot. The story be­hind the im­age is al­ways cap­ti­vat­ing and you can pass this along when it is in your own home.

Don’t let your choice of frame hin­der the art­work. Re­cess mount­ing adds a dra­matic ef­fect by giv­ing the il­lu­sion a pho­to­graph is float­ing on the wall. How­ever, im­ages such as Rotella’s flo­ral im­ages, which have a nat­u­ral flow or curve to them, work best with­out a frame.

Pro­tect­ing your pho­to­graph from UV rays is key. Sun­light will fade and dis­colour the im­age over time. All the im­ages at Rotella Gallery are tra­di­tional dark­room en­large­ments cold-pressed be­tween UV pro­tected and scratch-re­sis­tant acrylic for a lu­mi­nous and archival pre­sen­ta­tion with­out the weight and fragility of glass

The art-to-wall space is an im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion. Hang larger pieces in rooms with a long or high wall and smaller im­ages in hall­ways, bed­rooms or of­fices. Proper place­ment and good light­ing will cre­ate a har­mo­nious flow through­out your home. Deb­bie Travis’ House to Home col­umn is pro­duced by Deb­bie Travis and Bar­bara Din­gle. Please email your ques­tions to


Three bril­liant flo­ral pho­to­graphs by artist Robert Rotello bring rich tex­ture and life to a large sit­ting area.

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