Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The Art of Arranging Art

What do you do when you have a big blank wall and a lot of paintings or photos to hang? How do you arrange them? It looks like a daunting task but really, it's something to have fun with. It doesn't have to be stressful. Here are a few tips to get you going. 

 👉 It's all about the planning. Start with the largest painting first and then arrange everything else around it. 
 👉 To make a plan lay each piece on a sheet of paper larger than the painting or frame and trace around it. Cut out the shape of each painting and use them to tape an arrangement on the wall. This way you can play with the arrangement without poking holes all over the place. It's much easier than hanging and rehanging the work.

 👉 Be aware of spacing between the artwork. You don't want to have them too close together because it can look cluttered. Also, don't hang work too close to the edge of a wall or too close to the corner of the room. 

 👉 Do you have a theme? Think about style and color combinations. You want things to coordinate but not everything has to be matchy matchy. You can mix photos and paintings, different types of frames and different content but you don't want things to clash either. It's nice if there's some kind of connection between the pieces but it's not absolutely necessary. If you love your collection, then by all means you can make it work. 

👉 Small pictures are great fill ins for groupings. Having different sizes and shapes makes for a more interesting arrangement.

I have a series of works that I painted based on aerial views of the Florida coast. I used photos I took from the plane as we approached Tampa Airport. In the pictures below I arranged 7 of these paintings in different ways. Sometimes hanging a series can make a real impact. 

The paintings in this series are different sizes ranging from 18x24 down to 11x14. Here I placed them in a pretty formal and symmetrical arrangement. Just like art, the style of arranging art is purely subjective. Some folks prefer symmetry and some don't.


The one below is a looser arrangement but still balanced. Even though no two paintings line up together I still think it works. The overall shape makes an arch over the seat. 

The next two arrangements are more structured. Some of the paintings are lined up in a row and they're more symmetrical.

This last one is like a circle of paintings. Again, nothing is lined up in a row but it feels balanced and could still work.

Finally, for this last picture I used some different work. This one mixes large and small, framed and unframed paintings. Matchy matchy is not the goal. Balance and loving the art on your walls is the goal. Take pieces you love and want to look at all the time, start with the placement of the biggest one first and then use the smaller ones in a group to balance the weight of the larger one. This wall looks good as is but it also leaves room for some possible additions. I hope you find these little tips helpful. Just have fun and play with your arrangements.

Wait! One last tip..... use your cell phone. When you have your size templates taped to the wall take a picture of the arrangement. Then try some other arrangements and do the same. Then you can compare the different ways of showing off the work and pick your favorite.