I recently led an art workshop in a client’s home for a small group. I learned something about how people choose art for their homes.
Fruit doesn’t move people.
This makes sense, I promise.
Her home was Sunset Magazine gorgeous. The furniture was comfortable and beautiful. The paint colors gentle set the tone in each room. The floors felt amazing under my feet and were handsome. The kitchen was an eclectic blend of commercial efficiency and farmhouse ease.
Rather than small pieces, she chose large canvases for her walls. The colors complemented and reflected the mood of each room. This woman who loved art enough to host a workshop in her thoughtfully designed home displayed fruit on her walls.
Pears. Apples. More pears.
Curious. I asked about the artist, thinking she painted the pieces or was close to the artist. No. No connection.
I wanted to ask about the significance of the fruit. I wanted to know what captivated her about these canvases. How did she decide on these pears and apples?
Instead I asked about what she loved the most about the art in her home. I may have wobbled when she replied.
”It matches so well. The colors are there. And it doesn’t stand out too much.”
I gently continued the conversation to confirm she had no emotional response or attachment to the art in her home. Those pears might as well have been in a hotel room, office lobby, or hospital.
When people look to add art add art to their homes, they often look for what matches. They want to fill space without creating a distraction. Consequently, they purchase art that means nothing to them.
I can only speak for myself here, but home is a sanctuary for me. When I am home I want to be surrounded by the things and people (and animals) I love. I want to feel peaceful, understood, revitalized, and joyful. I want to feel connected to my family and my place in the world.
I don’t get that from pears. Do you?
I invest in pieces that move me. I want to feel something. When I look at the walls I want to remember a moment or have a cue that helps to change my mood. I expect more than colors that match.
Art exists to elicit emotion. When people experience that for the first time in their homes and workspaces, it is transformative. It’s a new way of seeing the world. Sometimes they need a little help to see what is a good fit for them.
My work is not only to create art; it’s also to guide people to the right art and guide the art to the right spaces. How do you want to feel when you are in your space?
As a grief artist, I move from hilarity to heartbreak and back again frequently, both with clients and with my own family. I cry a lot. I laugh a lot. Mostly I marvel at how full my life is and how honoring grief helps me see that.