This weekend I finally was able to add the final touch on my living room decoration. The painting shown above, “Crimson,” is the first art work I’ve commissioned someone else to do. I have to say I’m very pleased with it.
We moved in the new house last summer. The living room was the first room we decorated. When it comes to interior decorating, my style is minimalistic and functional. I’m a big fan of clean lines and simplistic shapes found in Mid-Century Modern furniture. But I also like to offset main furniture with more organic accessories so the room doesn’t come off as boxy or sterile. I’m very keen on balance. Straight needs to be offset by curves; dark should be accessorized with light; calming should be accompanied by a little chaos, etc.
Here’s the overall picture of my living room:
Overall I’ve been pleased with how the room turned out. However I always felt that something was missing. It took me a while to realize the colors in the room are a bit boring. The main color palette in the room is comprised of beige, white and dark brown. The last accessory I added to the room was the cowhide rug, to give the room more contrast in terms of color, texture and shape. But I don’t think it did quite enough. Recently, I’ve been on the look out for a piece of wall art that stands out, but without disturbing the overall theme of them room.
Connor is a young aspiring artist I’ve known for a while. I enjoyed looking at some of his past work, which were mostly abstract paintings full of raw emotions. I showed him my living room, and told him where I’d eventually hang the painting. I asked him to come up with something. I purposely did not tell him what I wanted the painting to look like or resemble. Quite honestly, I didn’t have a clear picture in mind. I provided him with the art supplies. I picked oil paint because I definitely wanted the piece to have more texture.
When I first saw the painting as he finished it, I was rather startled. The the amount of vibrancy in this painting wasn’t what I expected. I stood there for about thirty minutes to slowly digest the painting as a whole, then in parts. Abstract Expressionism to me, is not just about the artist’s own expression, but also about viewer’s own interpretation as well. This painting definitely has some Franz Kline influence.
I asked Connor if he had a title for this piece, he just shrugged. He was OK with my suggestion “Crimson.”
Once I hung the painting up on the living room wall, it became apparent to me that Connor definitely had the room in mind while he was painting. Crimson, by itself is overwhelming, but when it became a part of the room, it complimented every element. It brought chaos to the calmness by its color, form and irregularity. However, it does not over power what was established before.
The the brush strokes around the accent colors at first appear random, but upon closer look, the strokes around it conform to the motion. It feels there’s a calm within the chaos.
This happens everywhere on the canvas. If I were to frame the painting to smaller rectangles, I could see a repeating pattern: chaos vs. orderly.
The subtle use of blue streaks not only breaks out of the red, but also stands out in texture.
The sponge left on the canvas was the first thing I noticed. I’m sure it was left there intentionally. I wondered why. Then I realized its circular shape is a perfect balance to the square shape of the canvas. Also, its contrast in color resembles a Yin Yang symbol, subtly.
The bleeding of the edge on the canvas could be due to carelessness, but I think it’s a perfect contrast to the overwhelming “neatness” of the room.
I’m pleased with this new painting. I’m sure I’ll find new meanings in it everytime I look at it some more.
Connor, my two year old son, working hard.