Art is probably the one thing in your home that is the most personal but it often gets overlooked. If and when you do get round to thinking about how to adorn your walls, it’s difficult to know where to start. So I’ve had a look at the best of British art for sale and how you can begin your own art collection that celebrates the countryside.
British art is some of the best in the world, because British artists like to paint Britain, and they like to paint it looking its best. Tim Betjeman, grandson of the late Sir John Betjeman has been the artist in residence at Marlborough College for the past year; a year which culminates in an exhibition at Marlborough’s Mount House Gallery, running until 25th June. My first favourite is his oil on board depiction of Marlborough High Street, with various shades of blue impasto and light scratches to the surface to reveal details of building facades. The great thing about this painting is that it can be hung in a number of places; art is a great way of bringing blue into a room or scheme without it becoming cold so this would work well in a Bedroom or on a Landing. Alternatively, Kitchens are often lacking in that homely look and so a small landscape such as this would be a lovely in one of the rooms that’s used the most.
The High Street 24x32cm, oil on board
Betjeman’s exhibition also features several depictions of the chapel at Marlborough College and so my second choice is this Evening Altar, also oil on board. There are paintings showing the chapel during the day and at dusk as well as under various liturgical guises and it has been captured in all its many roles. Art with a religious subject matter is often tricky to place in a home but the way in which the chapel has been painted focuses on light and architecture rather than any iconography. At about 40cm x 30cm, this isn’t an enormous painting but the colours are there and the textures are there, making this a real conversation starter wherever you put it. I can see this taking pride of place over a mantelpiece in a Study or in a larger Hallway.
Evening Altar 39x30cm, oil on board
If a seascape is better suited to your tastes, then the Affordable Art Fair has a website full of art for sale that you can search by style or subject matter. I love this painting in a Bathroom or Kitchen; waves and seascapes are calming and relaxing and so this would also work very well in a spare Bedroom that has a simple cream and/or blue scheme.
Estuary blues II 75x75cm, oil on canvas
If you need something a bit more colourful, Jonathan Pocock has a couple of really vibrant landscapes. ‘Down the Meon’ really does show Britain at its best; bright green fields, trees and hills painted with a mixture of textures and brushstrokes. This would be a perfect option for either a period home or a contemporary one as it depicts traditional subject matter in quite a modern style. It would also work in a city apartment for someone who wants a bit of a reminder of the countryside. This sort of painting really needs to take pride of place; hang it above a mantelpiece or on a Landing for maximum exposure and it will bring a kick of colour to even the most minimalist of interiors.
Down the Meon 30x30cm, oil on canvas
Whether it’s villages, buildings or rolling hills, British artists are the ones to go to for real British painting and if you’re looking to add some art to your home…this is the perfect place to start.
Timothy Betjeman at Marlborough; until 25th June 2017. The Mount House Gallery, Marlborough College, Bath Road, Wiltshire SN8 1PA. www.timothybetjeman.com. Gallery open 10am-6pm daily and 12pm-4pm Sunday.
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