I have had several friends who were directors at art galleries or interior designers and they shared many tips for hanging art with me. I have also been in several homes or businesses where I've seen prints or paintings (or calendars) hung near the ceiling...it wasn't pretty. And because I was recently interviewed on how to hang art, I decided I should share what I've learned here, too.
Most of these 'rules' can be broken (which I do regularly) but they are a good guideline. Because I'm 5'2" (62"), I use myself as a guide but because my husband is 6 feet tall, I so also hang work a bit higher on occasion. I also don't keep it to artwork or prints, I also include pottery (often find suitable hangers for three dimensional items at craft, hobby or hardware stores), memorabilia and at times interesting framed fabric or scrapbooking paper.
1. Typically pieces should be hung so that the vertical center of the painting is at approximately 60 inches from the floor. For example, if I hang a painting that measures 30x40 inches, with 30 inches being the height, I would make sure that the 60 inch mark on the wall would hit the halfway or 15 inch (30 divided by 2) mark on the painting. Recently my work, all in different sizes, was hung with the tops of each piece at the same height which is a contemporary manner of displaying artwork and was very pleasing to the eye.
2. When hanging work in a place where you typically sit rather than stand, such as a dining room, the paintings can be hung slightly lower to incorporate the fact that the viewer's sight line will most likely be lower.
3. If you are hanging work over furniture, such as the back of a sofa or a hall table, a good guide is to hang the work anywhere from 6 to 10 inches above the piece. This gives the furniture and the artwork a visual connection.
4. When creating a grouping of smaller pieces, initially I like to place them on the floor in a pleasing combination as they should be treated as one large piece, so that the center of the group of art will sit at 60 inches on the wall. Groupings do not need to match, the style of work or frames (or frameless) pieces can all work together well if they all appeal to you.
5. Finally, if you have a piece that tends to tilt, try using a piece of sticky tac or tape on the bottom right corner. I find it works every time. Masking tape is also good to use to mark the 60 inch point on the wall or the place you want to hang your hook, instead of marking with a pencil.
I am grateful for...
* work on a new commission based on a small sketch I created in the 1980's...tulips, my favorite
* the weekend ahead because my baby's coming home from university for a week - yes!
* another lovely evening with my young art student - spending time with her is such a pleasure
* beginning the first in the 'Wheel of Time' series...think I'm really going to like it (there are 14 books!!!)
* finally being ready for my exhibit in March...whew!
* a fresh, warm chocolate croissant from the bakery for breakfast :)
* potted daffodils for an early valentine's gift from my beautiful husband
* matcha tea & happy conversation with an old friend
* warm & sunny February days
Yes...finished no. 6...and can't wait to begin on no. 7. I wanted to paint a wolf in honour of my youngest daughter as she has always loved wolves and has been told several times that her eyes look like that of a wolf (a huge compliment for her). That beautiful, sparkling turquoise that seem to see right through you.
Wolf is a free spirit, perceptive and filled with integrity. As a teacher he demands respect, sincerity and excellence, advising us to move forward with confidence as we learn to trust our inner voice while being sensitive to others.
I'm really enjoying how these pieces work together and wonder what this series will turn into, and how they will all look together in a year. It's a good thing that I know how my process works...love the beginning, not so much the middle, and then a happy resolution in the end. I recently read that 'doubt is part of the creative process' (Danielle LaPorte) and I definitely agree.
Enjoyed the exhibit at Okotoks Art Gallery even more than I expected (it was fabulous!) and spent a lot of time in the studio this weekend. I believe that the body of work for the exhibit next month is ready and today I'll begin on two commissions...and stretch canvas for a third. Plus I have six other canvases in progress, the weekly 52 Weeks pieces...and several more months of work ahead of me. I am such a lucky girl.
This afternoon I'm heading into Kensington for an appointment and to pick up a few art supplies for a commission...one of my favorite places to visit. Of course I'll stop by Higher Ground for a delicious latte and afternoon snack.
Tomorrow I'm off to the Okotoks Art Gallery to view the CAMP exhibit by Janice Tanton. Can't wait. I love Janice's work, and I have never been to the Okotoks Art Gallery, which is really a shame as I've seen many beautiful photos and heard fabulous reviews.
And, of course, I'll finish off painting number six of the 52 Weeks series. This has been an interesting process as I had decided in the beginng to share the pieces whether or not I felt they were finished (or rather, finished in my mind) which is a little scary and I'm not allowing myself to go back into any of them to re-work the pieces. In the past I've been able to re-work or burn (literally) the work that I wasn't whole-heartedly invested in so that no one got to see theI really am grateful for the positive feedback I've been receiving. I'm excited for this sunny weekend ahead.
A major obstacle to creativity is wanting to be
So I've made it to February...whew! Who would have thought this would be so difficult...already :) This one was going to be a moose because we saw two in a field recently but the more I researched images I became attracted to elk and thus this elk was born. They always seem so wise and gentle.
The wisdom of elk is connected safety, knowledge, wonder, love, and connection with the land. He is about being grounded and trusting the changing earth and seasons. And about the knowledge that whatever we really need, we know intrinsically. It pays to stay true to yourself.
This weekend was spent with my family and it was lovely. It's so good to see my adult daughter so happy and surrounded by such wonderful friends. It does my heart good to see her make good choices. I hope that if I've taught her something it is to live with authenticity and integrity. To be true to herself while being kind to others. It's all about balance.
It's a good day...the sun is shining, canvases are almost finished for the exhibit next month, my article is almost ready to send, I've got a date with my husband tonite (wood fired pizza...mmmmmm...) and tomorrow I'm going to see my baby girl, well she's a 5'8" adult but still my baby...first time since Christmas.
Today was a day to head into the city (something I don't do often) to one of my galleries and it was such a good meeting I cranked the stereo and danced in my seat all the way home...everything from Raise a Little Hell by Trooper (oh the glory days of my youth) to Diamonds by Rhianna...it was good.
I'm excited for the weekend ahead, for the warm days and time with my family. When I hear of the challenges that friends and family are facing I feel heart broken and at the same time, in the words of my husband, like I've won the lottery...so blessed...and I am thankful beyond measure. So, yes, it is a very good day.
AIRdirondack Art Project