Animal Art Totems: Choose Art Based on the Animal in You

If you were an animal what would you be? Learn about animal symbolism in art and how this can be appropriated in decorating your space.

Written by on November 3, 2013

Many of us choose to live in the city and the suburbs, which has its own perks, but we miss nature (definitely not the mosquitoes). We miss the peace and privacy that comes with it: So we seek hiking trails, mountains to climb, and preserves to take photos of endangered species. For all of humanity’s history, animals have played an important role in our evolution by providing us with food, shelter, warmth, and companionship.

MJH2808 FR 446G20X24 300x300 Animal Art Totems: Choose Art Based on the Animal in YouAnimals have also played an important role symbolically, be it spiritually or aesthetically. Animal totems are prevalent in many cultures and traditions, with various meanings. The Vikings wore bear skins to intimidate the opposing force, symbolizing courage; to the Celts, the bear often symbolized the sun. There is evidence in some cultures of the bear representing fertility; We have a modern association of Mother Bears’ fierce protection of her young that we associate sometimes with our own family and motherly reactions. Ever wondered why a particular artist chose to paint a certain animal?



Perhaps the animal meant strength over adversity or survival to the artist, or maybe he or she just really liked that animal as a kid. In a way these animals are like totems, bringing spring (growth and comfort) into our homes, reaffirming a state of mind we want to have. It can make us think, too, of that CEO with paintings of great hunts in his office to stay in the hunter’s mindset, to close the deal and snag the prolific client. When the time comes for us to have children, we often commission murals of animals and buy our children stuffed animals and coloring books of their favorite animal.

We can use animal symbolism to make the act of decorating our spaces easier and feel more connected with the personality of ourselves, our families, or our company. Here are a few associations between animals and their symbolic messages. This information is a guide only, but it can provide a starting point for you. Our symbolic associations with animals are natural, based on their behavior and habitats.

Animals and their Symbols

  • Hummingbird Symbolism

    The hummingbird generally symbolizes joy and playfulness, as well as adaptability. Additional symbolic meanings are:

    • Lightness of being, enjoyment of life
    • Being more present
    • Independence
    • Bringing playfulness and joy in your life
    • Swiftness, ability to respond quickly
    • Resiliency, being able to travel great distances tirelessly

    The Ruby-Throated Hummingbird by Martin Johnson Heade reflects “swiftness,” “playfulness,” and “enjoyment of life.”

  • Wolf Symbolism

    In the spirit animal kingdom, the wolf symbolizes:

    • Sharp intelligence, deep connection with instincts
    • Appetite for freedom
    • Expression of strong instincts
    • Protective

    He Stands Guard by Peggy Miller of the modern ArtistBe.com Collection exudes the traits of “protective,” “strong instincts,” and “sharp intelligence.”

  • Fox Symbolism

    The symbolic meanings associated with the fox are:

    • Physical or mental responsiveness, increased awareness
    • Cunning; seeing through deception; call to be discerning
    • Ability to find your way around, to be swift in tricky situations
    • Affinity with nocturnal activities

    The Fox by Franz Mark is a Cubist work, which in style reflects the traits of “discerning” and an “ability to find your way around.”

  • Butterfly Symbolism

    What is the meaning of the butterfly? This animal is primarily associated with symbolism of change and transformation.

    • Powerful transformation, metamorphosis in your life, personality
    • Moving through different life cycles
    • Renewal, rebirth
    • Lightness of being, playfulness

    Blue Morpho Butterfly by Martin Johnson Heade reflects “powerful transformation” and “lightness of being.”

  • Lion Symbolism

    The lion often symbolizes:

    • Strength
    • Assertiveness
    • Personal power

    Lions are also animals who dominate other animals in nature.

It’s important to ask yourself what animal is your favorite and why? What associations did you have with your animal as a child? Dolphins, for example through studies and human experience, have proved to be helpful, intelligent, and social creatures; so we develop these associations about this animal.


Learn about the animals habits and their habitats. You can then purchase an oil painting of that animal and use the colors in the painting to decorate your space. This idea of decorating may feel more appropriate for zoo offices, children’s rooms, or the CEO’s hunting theme…but animal symbolism in art can be useful across many rooms and environments.


What animal would you choose, and what meaning would it represent in your home or office environment?
**(Symbolism knowledge gathered from spiritanimal.info)

7 Tips Surviving a Date to the Art Museum Infograph

Learn the Ins and Outs of Going out on a Date to an Art Exhibit. Follow these tips and you will be sure to get a second date!

Written by on August 21, 2013





7 Tips to Surviving blog 7 Tips Surviving a Date to the Art Museum Infograph

TIPS TO SURVIVING A DATE TO THE ART MUSEUM INFOGRAPH:
Learn the Ins and Outs of Going out on a Date to an Art Exhibit. Follow these tips and you will be sure to get a second date!

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If you have a looming date to stare at art for an indeterminate amount of time with a person you intend on wooing, then you should know about the etiquette expectations that will make or cripple your romantic festivities. For those that emerge, validated, from the museum’s exit, the spoils of a successful date await. But without the prerequisite knowledge, you may find that the love you hoped to detect in the air has been replaced with the bitter smell of revolt.

Here’s what you’ll need to do to get a second date:

No matter how knowledgeable you may be about art, never force your opinion onto your date. A first date is no place to unleash a disparaging volley on romanticism or Picasso, especially if your date holds an opposing stance.

Perhaps you are the uninitiated one. In this case, you’ll want to be inquisitive and open to learning. Don’t forget that you’re on a date, though, and not in art class — don’t interrogate your date to get every last boring detail.

Get comfortable with your date and forget about the art. In the end, you need to remember you’re at the art museum to meet another person. If you’re uncomfortable or too focused on what’s around you, you’ll miss what’s right in front of you.

Happy Dating!

CARING FOR YOUR PAINTING FREE INFOGRAPH

A simple guide for art collectors to keep your fine art looking fine!

Written by on June 12, 2013





How to treat your painting 04b1 CARING FOR YOUR PAINTING FREE INFOGRAPH

CARING FOR YOUR PAINTING:
A simple and free guide for art collectors to keep your fine art looking fine!

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There are no hard and fast rules when framing a painting. However, the spotlight is the artwork and the frame should be the perfect complement for the art and the décor in style and color.

DO NOT USE A FRAME THAT COMPETES WITH THE ART IN COLOR OR TEXTURE

If you have other paintings hanging, DON’T TRY and match the frame. It’s actually cool to have them different and contrast each other.
Make sure the frame matches the style of the painting, and not detract from it.
Make sure the frame looks appropriate with the decor of the room it will be hanging in?

FRAME BASED ON YOUR STYLE

Portraits and landscapes look best with more traditional looking frames.
Abstract, edgy, or modern art looks best with plain geometric frames.
Not all paintings need to be framed. Gallery wrap canvas art is very popular.

TRANSPORTING YOUR NEW FRAMED ART

When transporting paintings, it’s best to travel when weather is moderate.
The painting should be carefully wrapped, cushioned, and insulated from moisture, humidity, and temperature extremes. Paintings should always be carried by the sides.
Do not carry the painting by the top of the frame. If the painting is large and heavy, you may need more than one person.

HANGING YOUR MASTERPIECE

Use the proper wall anchors for your painting. Make sure they can support the weight of the painting.
If using wire, it should be looped through eye screws, secured in the right and left sides of the frame, so that the painting hangs from a double strand of wire.

AVOID EXPOSURE TO…

Water -
Low or high relative humidity are not good for paintings. They tend to bridle and make the paint promote the growth of microorganisms that can damage paintings.

Heat & Dirt -
Heat dries out the materials, speeding up the process of natural aging. Hot air also rises and carries dirt with it. Therefore, hanging pictures over a fireplace is not recommended. Smoking indoors can also damage paintings.

Light -
Ultraviolet light should be kept away from paintings. Eventually, light will discolor the paintings and cause it to fade.

CLEANING

If you need to dust the painting, do not use: wet cloth, canned air, or try blowing on it to remove dirt. Use a clean, soft bristle Chinese watercolor brush or very soft feather duster specifically for paintings instead. Make sure it’s free of debris that could scratch the painting while cleaning.

EXTRA ADVICE

Periodically check your painting to make sure it’s secured and the wire is not poking the back of the canvas, as even the slightest pinch can damage a painting.

Caring for your Art: Tips for Hanging Oil Paintings Away from Harm

Remember to consider environmental factors when hanging your oil paintings.

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sbr2 Caring for your Art: Tips for Hanging Oil Paintings Away from HarmThe oil painting you have just hung on the wall may still be susceptible to damage. Never choose where to hang an oil painting based solely on where you think it will look best. Ignoring necessary environmental factors could damage your original oil painting more than you expect.

Event though oil painting is a highly durable media it is still best to take into account temperature, air moisture, and lighting when thinking about the best place to hang your art.

The following are a few tips to help you find that perfect spot for your art away from harm:

  1. Think about when you attend a showing at an art gallery. The space is usually cool as higher temperatures lead to the deterioration of the painting.
  2. Watch out for elevated humidity.
  3. Do not hang your painting near heating vents.
  4. Areas with high moisture – such as the bathroom – are not good places to hang your oil painting.
  5. Avoid walls with direct sunlight and rooms that have a hall volume of dust as it contains certain acids which can erode the artwork. You can periodically remove dust from the oil painting with a soft brush, but it may be advisable to use the brush solely for this purpose. Low light will assist with maintaining the original color of the artwork.

These brief tips will assist you as you consider where to hang your new oil painting in your home or office. Remember to consider aesthetic as well as environmental conditions and your painting will not only look great but last for generations.

Top 5 Most Popular Oil Paintings for Father’s Day

overstockArt.com reveals its annual top five list of most popular paintings dads will love hanging on their walls.

Written by on June 10, 2013

fthsday 251x300 Top 5 Most Popular Oil Paintings for Father’s DayoverstockArt.com announced today the top 5 must have oil paintings for Father’s Day 2013 to help dads create their perfect man cave.

“When a dad is elegant and tasteful, his man-cave should probably fit the part.” said David Sasson, CEO of overstockArt.com. “We love sharing our unique insights and customer favorites with the art world to help art lovers know what’s cool and trending for their space, and what would make the perfect gift for the elegant dad this Father’s Day.”

The Father’s Day Top 5 list was accumulated based on traffic to the overstockArt.com website of dads in the US only, measured in the past 12 months. According to the analytics gathered, the works of art listed above were most sought after among dads in the US.

The Top Five oil paintings for Father’s Day include:

  1. “Bullfight” by Edouard Manet – Bullfight is an impressionist painting by Edouard Manet that captures the action and moment of the Spanish corrida. French painter Manet, was a key artist in the transition from Realism to Impressionism.
  2. “Going Out” by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait – Going Out is a beautiful painting of a hunter and his dog in the heat of the hunt. Fitzwilliam Tait was best known for his ability to capture wild life using his traditional oil painting style, and earthy tones.
  3. “Card Players with Pipes” by Paul Cezanne – Considered by many to be the most expensive oil painting ever sold! This old west style painting with cowboy gentleman card players is sure to be the right move for a real man’s man. Paul Cezanne is identified today as the most dominant influence in the abstraction of modern art.
  4. “Gas” by Edward Hopper – First created in 1940, this painting depicts the exterior of a gas station with working attendant. Hopper’s classic works capture the authenticity of urban and rural American life with emotions and beauty that have placed them among the lasting and popular images of the American 20th century landscape.
  5. “Boats at St Marie’s” by Van Gogh – created in 1888 this piece shows Van Gogh’s restless spirit and depressive mental state paired with great joy and, sadly, equally great despair. Known as a prolific Post-Impressionist, he produced many paintings that were heavily biographical.

There are many more art choices dads will love at our “Gifts for Dads” art gallery: http://www.overstockart.com/giftfordad.html.

In addition, another great gift for dad this Father’s Day would be a family photo rendered as an oil painting through a commissioned artist. overstockArt.com has partnered with artists around the world to create hand painted replicas of your favorite family moments. The “Turn Photo into Hand Painted Art” is a favorite among gift givers this Father’s Day.

Choose Wall Paint Colors Based on Fine Art

Let fine art paintings inspire the best wall colors for redecoration

Written by on May 21, 2013

Redecorating a home can be challenging and picking out a new color scheme may seem like the most daunting part of the process. Reds, blues and greens are all viable options, but which shade? What about the trim? Then begins the frenzy of online searches, torn out pages from magazines, and stealthily analyzing the homes of friends and family for inspiration.

After the headache of choosing colors and painting the walls, another challenge arises: What to decorate the walls with? Let’s start with that question. Choose a work of art to inspire your color scheme and forget the online searches for “wall colors ideas.” When you go to peruse the paint chips in the home depot store, you will be prepared. Here are three examples from the reproduction art galleries of Overstock Art to inspire you as you choose home wall colors. Click on the hyperlink art titles to have the ability to zoom on each painting as if it were inches from your eye.

  • Klimt’s The Kiss

 Choose Wall Paint Colors Based on Fine ArtGustav Klimt’s The Kiss (1907-08) is an iconic painting of two lovers sharing a romantic kiss among a bed of flowers. Which colors appear the most vibrant to you? Where is your eye immediately drawn toward? Now, imagine if you chose the same color to paint the walls with. Perhaps it is the brightest yellow that you are drawn toward. If you painted the walls with this color, the painting and the wall color would appear to vibrate as if you were staring at the sun. It would be advisable to select a color a shade slightly different than the most vibrant color. The most vibrant color or colors could be chosen as an accent for the trim, if selecting a slightly varied shade. A red pulled from the painting could be a possible choice as it is less used in the composition but would make the painting also stand out.

  • Renoir’s Near the Lake

Renoir Near the Lake Choose Wall Paint Colors Based on Fine ArtPiere-Auguste Renoir’s Near the Lake (1880) marks transition from the artist’s painting in the style of Impressionism and a return to Classicism. The color palette here is warm. Soft country yellows or sage greens can be pulled. Choose colors that remind you of a sunset. Perhaps the room you are painting receives light from a beautiful sunset. If you prefer a less warm palette but still love this painting, take inspiration from the sea and the mountains in the distance, the clothing the young woman is wearing, and choose a blue-grey.

  • Sisley’s The Church at Moret in Morning Sun

alfred sisley church at moret Choose Wall Paint Colors Based on Fine Art

Alfred Sisley The Church at Moret in Morning (1893) painted fourteen variations of  Eglise Notre-Dame at Moret from a southwest direction. In his time, the artist became acquainted with Monet and Renoir. Here the color palette is cool. A rustic yellow ochre can be chosen and the blue color has associations soothing and relaxation as the vibrant painting, while the yellow ochre would have an inviting warmth. Choosing a blue from this painting is also a viable choice; notice an almost indigo color that can be used as a possible trim or accent.

Keep in mind a few tips. Remember to not match a warm and cool color together as predominant colors. Choose one color as your predominant color, and then use other colors as accents. Bright, vibrant colors add visual weight, such as a vibrant yellow which can mimic the effect of staring at the sun; this effect of visual weight can also appear to retract a room or make the room seem to expand. Sometimes a nice, deep red in a small room can make it seem lively and intimate, depending upon your taste. Warm and cool colors can even affect our perception of the temperature in a room.

These paintings by Klimt, Renoir and Sisley are only suggestions to get you started on choosing the best wall colors. Perhaps consider color schemes throughout your home from art styles, such as Impressionism or Traditional. The possibilities are limitless. Your friends and family are sure to envy your inspired idea for home wall colors based on fine art.

overstockArt.com Reveals Top 5 Most Popular Oil Paintings for Mother’s Day

Treat Mom to Something She Can Enjoy Timelessly. Flowers Die; Art Lives On Forever.

Written by on April 19, 2013

mthsday 211x300 overstockArt.com Reveals Top 5 Most Popular Oil Paintings for Mothers DayThe art experts at the popular online art gallery overstockArt.com revealed today its official top 5 must have oil paintings for Mother’s Day 2013. Treat mom to a gift that never stops giving – the gift of fine art. overstockArt.com’s most desired art for Mother’s Day is sure to be a favorite of Moms’ everywhere:

1.“Poppy Field in Argenteuil,” Claude Monet – In this colorful oil painting, originally created in 1873, Claude Monet painted his wife and son strolling together among the poppies.

2. “Le tre eta della donna (Mother and Child),” Gustav Klimt – Mother and Child is part of Klimt’s famous oil painting Three Ages of Woman. The painting depicts an image of a mother cradling her young son. The original was created in 1905, three years after the death of Klimt’s baby son, Otto.

3. “Madame Monet and her Son,” Claude Monet – While Monet successfully captured life’s reality in many of his works, his aim was to analyze the ever-changing nature of color and light. Known as the classic Impressionist, one can not help but have deep admiration for his talent. The original masterpiece was created in 1875.

4. “Bouquet of Pink Peonies,” Camille Pissarro – Originally painted in 1873, Jacob-Abraham-Camille Pissarro, was a French Impressionist painter who’s focus on landscapes, as well as, rural and urban French life have always been a favorite of the viewing audience.

5. “Maternal Caress,” Mary Cassatt – Mary Cassatt was an American painter and printmaker. She lived much of her adult life in France befriending Degas and exhibiting with other Impressionists. Cassatt often portrayed the social and private lives of women, with a focus on the intimate bonds between mothers and children. This original masterpiece was created in the 1800′s – mom is sure to appreciate the attention given the little girl’s happy face with a loving look from her mother.

“Mothers are as unique as works of art,” said David Sasson, CEO of overstockArt.com. “We love sharing our unique insights with the art world. We really feel these pieces will express to mom just how special she really is.”

Checkout more great art for Mother’s Day at the overstockArt.com Mother’s Day Gallery.

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