Minimalism vs Maximalism
Interior design is a form of self-expression, and everyone has their own unique style. However, two of the most prominent styles in interior design are minimalism and maximalism. These two styles are diametrically opposed. Artwork can be an essential component of interior design, and it can help to define the style of a room. However, it can be challenging to determine whether a piece of artwork is minimalist or maximalist.
Minimalism is a design style that emphasises simplicity, functionality, and the use of negative space. Minimalist interiors are characterised by clean lines, neutral colors, and a lack of clutter. The focus is on functionality, and the design is meant to be unassuming and understated.
Maximalism is the complete opposite of minimalism. It's a style that celebrates excess, abundance, and opulence. Maximalist interiors are characterized by bold colours, eclectic patterns, and a mix of textures. The focus is on creating an impact, and the design is meant to be eye-catching and memorable.
So which category does my artwork fit into?
Galleries often categorise artworks based on style to make it easier for collectors to find pieces that fit their taste. However, some artworks can fall into both the minimalist and maximalist categories and it can often be frustrating as an artist to have to just pick one. I tend to think the categorisation of my work into either minimalism or maximalism is largely dependent on its intended location and the general style of the space it will occupy. While many of my pieces may exhibit busy, energetic, and vibrant elements, typical of maximalism, the repetitive abstract mark-making might also make them a good fit for a minimalist interior.
Ultimately, many of my works can fit into both categories and could complement a range of interior design aesthetics. Whether you prefer a clean and simple look or an opulent and eclectic one, the key to choosing any artwork is to pick one that speaks to you. So, while it's always good to keep in mind the style of your home, make sure you choose a piece of art that you love and can enjoy every day.
Sustainability in Art Practice
Finalist for painter of the year award
Singulart, a global online gallery for contemporary art based in Paris which represents 12,000 artists and designers from 110 countries, just had their 2nd SINGULART Awards. A jury composed of four international experts gave out four awards in the following categories: photography, painting, sculpture and design furniture. I was shortlisted along with 9 other artists for painter of the year.
The theme for the 2023 awards was: There is No Planet B. Climate change, biodiversity, natural resources. This year’s awards highlight artists and designers who integrate an eco-responsible approach into their work, aim to reconnect with nature, or rethink the future of our environment. Paintings inspired by organic patterns and natural landscapes. Incorporation of recycled materials.
If you're familiar with my work then painting organic patterns is probably pretty obvious, but what about how I use recycled materials, especially paper?
As artists, we have the unique opportunity to not only create beautiful pieces of art but also to make a difference in the world by considering the impact of our work on the environment. The art industry, like many others, contributes to the world's pollution and waste, but as artists, we can choose to adopt sustainable practices and use eco-friendly materials in our work.
One way as an artist I make my practice more sustainable is by using recycled paper in my artwork. Studio offcuts, household papers, I try to save as much as possible for use in future works to reduce the amount of waste from the studio.
Using recycled paper in my artwork also adds a unique aesthetic to the piece. The variations in color and texture can bring a new dimension to the art, one of my more unusual techniques is paper weaving with recycled strips to form the base for a painting.
Sustainability in my studio art practice extends beyond just using recycled paper, however. I reduce waste by reusing and repurposing many other materials and found objects. I use left over paint to cover my strips of paper to weave into new work later. And a big one - sustainable shipping and packaging. I choose to use recycled packaging materials sourced from places like my local framer, who saves large mailing tubes, and homewares shops that have big boxes and bubbles wrap left over from deliveries to their store. They don't always make the prettiest package I suppose but it's important to me to try and reuse materials as much as possible.
Visual Snow Artist
This year I began a new body of work exploring visual snow disorder a little more and produced several works based on the dancing colours and shapes I see at night. Hopefully it will help raise awareness of the condition. So if you are finding this post by searching for visual snow, hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm an artist and designer based in Brisbane, Australia. I've had visual snow all my life. Some of my earliest childhood memories are watching the kaleidoscopic patterns of colourful dots at night to go to sleep. It’s all I’ve known.
If it wasn’t for a conversation in my early 20s I’d probably never have known how I see isn’t considered ‘normal’. I had a slight headache, someone asked if I was ok and I replied “the dots are a bit intense today”. That led to finding out the entire office didn't see dots! So when I got home I rang my mother and yes she could see the dots. I asked my dad, he didn’t know what we were talking about. I rang my sister and she didn’t know either. I rang my brother - yeah the dots what about them?! So at least I knew I wasn’t going mad which was lucky becasue when I mentioned it to a doctor they advised me not to tell people I was 'seeing things'! It also led to issues at work being a designer at the time. "How can you say that colour is ok if you see dots everywhere?" So I stopped trying to find out more.
When my son came along in 2013 I had renewed interest in finding out what it was. For me lack of sleep makes visual snow symptoms far more intense and nothing like a new baby for sleep deprivation! It tuned out by then people actually knew what it was and it had a name.
Ever since I was a child I had painted what I saw - colourful dots and lots of pattern in my art. Today my work is focused on pattern and visual perception. I paint very decorative abstracts with circles, dots and other patterns. I often refer to this as abstract pointillism. I distort photography by weaving images together and often end up with a lot of kaleidoscopic pieces. Being born with VS I am very used to the symptoms. I think you learnt to look through it a bit more growing up with it. Although some days it can be difficult I like to think of it as a hidden beauty only a few of us can see.
I have started a facebook group for visual snow artists, creatives, designers so if you would like to join in you can find it here: visual snow artists on facebook.
Trends from Helsinki Design Week
Helsinki Design Week was held recently and there are definitely some trends coming out that I can get behind. Medgina Saint-Elie highlighted a few for House Beautiful...
Design for Joy
Be like Marie and decorate with things that 'spark joy' rather than just following fads. This colourful abstract painting was inspired by the colours of a mango sorbet. After a difficult and stressful summer I wanted to create a series of artworks that, to steal the phrase from Marie Kondo, 'sparked joy'. Little beacons of painted happiness, full of colour and celebrating the good things about summer.
Commit to Colour
Say yes to colour in the home. Bold blue, deep mustard, yellows and peachy orange, whatever you like, the choices are limitless. Pictured above, Ocean Tides print in beautiful bold shades of blue and striking Gantheaume Point print of the Broome coastline with it's amazing red rocks and aqua water.
Embrace the Clash
Mix colours and shapes in fun ways. The recent geometric print collection is a fun and affordable way to brighten up any space. Inspired by playful op art and patchwork patterns, these gorgeous new designs come in a range of sizes, from cute little 10x8in and A4 paper prints, to big 24x36in ready to hang canvas art.
New geometric print collection
I'm super excited to launch my new geometric print collection (just in time for Mother's Day.) A stack of gorgeous new designs from cute little 10x8in and A4 paper prints to big 24x36in ready to hang canvas art. Fun and affordable prints to brighten up any space inspired by playful op art and patchwork patterns.
There is also free shipping on all prints for Australian, US and European customers!
Thanks to Bluethumb Art, another featured work, this time my photographic weaving 'Family Tree' in their Curve Appeal collection.
"Sculptural curves are popping up more frequently in 2022 interiors. Everything from the design of furniture to vases is embracing a softer side, adding a rounded modern touch to contrast the geometrics of previous years. Take the edges out of your life with our new curation of sculptures, paintings and photographs that take curves to the max in 3 dimensions."
Art of Display
A recent tip from the UKs House Beautiful magazine in failsafe tips for decorating from interior designers, Angus Buchanan suggested: "For the space under the stairs, organising a display is a useful way to utilise it decoratively. One tip for maximising the space you have is to use reclaimed timber to create more shelving space, where art and objects that have meaning to you can be displayed."
So don't forget the spot under the stairs as a great little place for showing off smaller artworks.
New aerial desert landscapes
Six bold new paintings have been released as part of my continued outback desert aerial landscape body of work.
The Australian outback is a rich tapestry of changing colours and patterns. Tiny dots of vegetation, wild flowers and shrubs, come and go or alter in shade with the seasons.
You can view the all current desert landscape work here
New Variegated work
With the Olympics starting in Japan it seems somehow fitting that my new additions to the Variegated collection ended up working so beautifully with Japandi decor style currently becoming very popular around the globe.
Several paintings have been released as part of my Variegated collection looking at organic patterns found at the microscopic level in leaves. Using a soft white wax over board allows for the beautiful natural wood grain to show through. Finished on top with white detail and a scattering of cut paper in a mix of metallics and neutral tones.
The calm, muted colours, focus on natural materials and organic shapes creates a Japandi style aesthetic. Japandi being a hybrid of Japanese and Scandinavian design, zen meets hygge if you like. At the heart of these works is the idea of embracing simplicity and celebrating the beauty of imperfections in nature, a core belief of wabi-sabi.
You can view the whole set of new works currently under 'latest collection'
What should I call my artwork?
Bit of fun to end the week on. Sometimes I know exactly what I'm going to call a painting before I even begin, and other times I can't for the life of my think of a good name for my artwork. So if you're an artist and you get stuck on what to call your next piece - try this out! LOL
Jennifer is a contemporary Australian artist based in Brisbane, Queensland. Know for her highly decorative paintings and unique paper weavings, she explores pattern and visual perception, often highlighting the beauty in the ordinary.