Art Styles and Movements

The focus of this blog is on contemporary wall art, though it’s good to understand the related styles and past movements. Art styles and movements appear to be entwined, for example, realism was an artistic movement that began in the 1850’s, but is also a style of painting that attempts to represent subject matter truthfully, like a portrait.

To try and make things easier, it helps to understand the main art styles that exist. Knowing these styles is enough to help define a piece, but of what movement does the piece relate? This is not easy, if a cartoon strip is created with spray paint, is its origins in Graffiti, Street Art or Pop Art. Therefore I tend to break art down into two types, the type I like and the type I don’t like.

Here is a list of some of the core Art styles and the key movements which have adopted them, in the hope that they might help.

Art Styles

Realism is where the subject of the painting looks very much like it appears in real life, like a portrait. When you look at the painting from a distance everything looks real, but up close you can see the use of paint strokes.

Styles Realism
Impressionism is about painting captured moments of everyday life. The characteristics of it are the use of light and movement, open composition, intense colors, visible brush stroke and the overall visual effects rather than focusing on small accurate details.

Styles Impressionism
Expressionism is characterised by the artist not feeling compelled to use realistic colours or perspective to recreate the illusion of reality. The artist instead uses colours to fit the emotion felt by them or to create emotional impact.

Styles Expressionism
Abstractism or abstract art doesn’t try to look like anything from the real world, it is an art style that is intentionally non-representational. The subject or point of the painting is the colors used, the textures in the artwork and the materials used to create it.

Style Abstractism
Art Movements

There are hundreds of art movements, so I’ve tried to highlight some of the key periods in time below:

Art Movements

Art 14 London 2014

Art 14
Today’s post comes from having enjoyed a trip to London a few weeks back where I visited the ‘Art14 London’ global art fair in Kensington Olympia. Having previously visited the ‘London Art Fair’ in Islington a few weeks earlier, I was keen to take in some more contemporary wall art. The event, which houses art works from galleries all over the world, was in its 2nd edition. The inaugural edition of the fair in 2013 attracted 25,000 visitors, where as the event this year attracted 31,231, an increase of almost 25%.

Art14 2

So having brought my ticket online for £12, I arrived early so as to ensure I had plenty of time to take it all in. On entering the venue I also brought a catalogue for £5, which came in handy for noting down which artists I liked.

Walking around the show, I found myself migrating towards the British and American galleries. I think this was due to finding peaces from other galleries too surreal and not to my taste most of the time.

Here however, are some nice pieces that I did really like:

Gallery: Paragon – Artist: Marc Quinn

Paragon - Marc Quinn

These peaces appeared to overlay maps with eyes in order to make some really colourful wall art.

Gallery: Kálmán Makláry Fine Arts – Artist: Hur Kyung-Ae

Kálmán Makláry – Hur Kyung-Ae

This artist really interested me with regards to her technique; she builds up layers of different coloured paint before she treats the canvas like a sculpture and scrapes off areas to reveal the hidden colours.

Gallery: Lazarides – Artist: Katrin Fridriks

Lazarides - Katrin Fridriks

This large abstract used silver with other vibrant colours to create a peace that really popped, it looked amazing.

I thought overall, that ‘A14 London’ was a really good show, but not as good as the ‘London Art Fair’ which had more pieces and much more that was to my taste personally.

More examples of peaces I enjoyed can be viewed here.

Chuck Elliott – Digital Art

Chuck Elliott Digital Art 1

Today I would like to introduce Chuck Elliott, a digital artist from Camberwell, London.

Chuck has been making digital images for over 20 years. An early adopter in the digital revolution, he claims to have used one of the first Apple computers imported to the UK. Over the last six years he has gone on to produce ever more fluid digital abstractions. 

Once digitally mastered using the latest technologies, his works are rendered onto metallic paper and reverse mounted to acrylic in order to create the most amazing wall art. I just love how colourful all his pieces are.

Chuck Elliott Digital Art 2

See more Elliott pieces here.

London Art Fair 2014

London Art Fair 1
Today’s post comes from having enjoyed a lovely weekend in London a few weeks back when I visited the ‘London Art Fair’ in Islington. I’ve not been before so I was really looking forward to seeing a lot of modern and contemporary wall art under the one roof. The event, which houses art works from almost 100 galleries, was the 26th edition and received 30,694 visits, up 22.6% on last year.

London Art Fair 2

On arrival, I paid the £17 entry fee, was handed a guide and proceeded to enter the event via the lower pavilion where The Hepworth Wakefield had been invited to exhibit works on British Modernism. To say their pieces were not to my taste would be an understatement and I immediately began to worry if my attending was going to be a mistake. However, on walking up onto the main mezzanine floor, any fears I had soon vanished as I found more and more exhibitors with amazing pieces on show.

My favourites included:

Gallery: Flowers Gallery – Artist: Patrick Hughes

London Art Fair 3

This image probably does not do the piece justice. When you stand in front of it and move, the perspective of the room changes. It’s only when you get right up close that you realise the painting is actually three dimensional. Seeing this was worth the entry fee alone: the technical aspect to this art was stopping many a visitor in their tracks.

London Art Fair 4

Gallery: Cynthia Corbett Gallery – Artist: Tom Leighton

London Art Fair 5

Being a keen photographer who likes to dabble with digital editing, this piece really impressed me. The artist deconstructs cities and then recreates surreal fictional landscapes out of hundreds of photos which are then mounted to Perspex. The results are amazing.

The next couple of pieces are based on the very popular use of maps. I’ve seen stenciled maps made from splashes of paint and maps that are constructed using typography. These were unique in that they used media that represented the countries being depicted. The first uses money and the second uses passports.

Gallery: Tag Fine Art – Artist: Justine Smith

London Art Fair 6

Gallery: Tag Fine Art – Artist: Yanko Tihov

London Art Fair 7

I noticed that some pieces were priced rather high, some in excess of £20,000, though it didn’t put off some buyers (Mason’s Yard dealer Alan Wheatley reported the sale of a large 1950s painting in excess of £100,000). If you’re looking to procure some art and feel that most would be well out of your price range, then I have been advised by a friend that the ‘Affordable Art Fair’ is the place to go: with all exhibited pieces being priced from £40 to £4,000, most people should be able to find something that fits within their price range.

All in all, I thought the event was great and am already looking forward to the next edition on the 21st-25th of January next year. More examples of pieces I enjoyed, can be viewed here.

I’m Back!

It has been a while since my last post as you can see, but moving and changing jobs has taken up a lot of my spare time. Though I have found some time to indulge in my passion for everything wall art related by visiting galleries and websites. In addition I’ve been working on a mosaic wall art piece that I am keen to share. It has taken a lot of time and effort, but I think it will have been worth it.

Coming soon, there will be posts on the ‘London Art Fair’ in Islington that I visited in January, as well as planned upcoming visits to ‘Art 14′ and the ‘Affordable Art Fair’ in London. This will be in addition to showcasing the works of some amazing artists and the supplying of some great tutorials on ways to create stunning wall art.

So please enjoy the forthcoming posts and feel free to get in contact.


Yuki Matsueda – Extruded Acrylic Art

Yuki Matsueda Extruded Acrylic Art 1I wound like to introduce you to some amazing wall art by Matsueda, an artist born in Ibaraki, Japan.

Yuki brings art and signage to life by taking numerous elements from his pieces, extruding them off the background and encompassing them in acrylic to create 3D wall art. I think the results are stunning and very different.

Yuki Matsueda Extruded Acrylic Art 2

See more Matsueda pieces here.

Piaggi – Mosaic Art

Piaggi 1 Mosaic Mirror

I thought that instead of showcasing an individual artist, i would instead show some colourful pieces by a design company called Piaggi.

Piaggi manufacture decorative products such as mosaic mirrors, glass art panels and tables. The company is a family run business that has been trading for over 20 years with a current marketing strapline of “We are here to bring a breath of beauty, luxury and glamour into your rooms and into your lives”.

I would definitely class their mosaic mirrors and panels as pieces of wall art, they are beautiful! If you are interested in purchasing one of these items, the cheapest I have found is at Jazz it up interiors, though I would do a few web searches just to be sure.

Piaggi 2 Mosaic Mirror

See more Piaggi pieces here.

How to create shaped Wooden Wall Art

Wooden Wall Art Lips

While I was cleaning out the garage recently I found some pine stripwood that was leftover from my kitchen refurbishment. These meter long strips cost approx £1-1.50 each, and I had a selection of a few different widths.

Wood used

Step 1) The first thing I did was to think about what shape I wanted to replicate on my wall. I was going to go with a heart shape but instead opted to create a pair of lips as I thought they would look better on my wall. I then did an image search on google for the shape I was looking for and printed it out across 3 sheets of A3 paper in order to get the size I wanted for my template.

Printed template and materials

Step 2) Measuring the size of the wood I had available, I cut strips of paper with the same width as my bits of wood on a paper trimmer. This was so I could make a paper mock up version of the piece I wanted to create without cutting and wasting wood in the process.

Step 3) Using the template of the shape I had printed out, I then started to cut strips of paper and place them on top of the template, trying different lengths and angles for the edges until I ended up with a shape I was happy with. Note, I’ve transferred the pieces of paper to a sheet of cardboard so you can clearly see the mock up that was lying on the template.


Step 4) I then got a pen, overlaid each piece of paper onto the wood and transferred the cuts that I would require, ensuring I had enough wood before getting my saw out. Note, pieces of leftover stripwood are needed to horizontally hold of all the pieces together.

Step 5) Once the wood was cut, I sanded all the edges and placed them on top of my mock up. This allowed me to work out where I was going to place the horizontal supporting stripwood that would hold the shape together, which was done using a strong epoxy glue (the sort that has to be mixed with a hardener). Note, if you’re using thicker wood you could just nail or screw the pieces together.


Step 6) Once I glued the piece together, I gave it a quick sanding with some fine sand paper before giving it two coats of white primer.


Step 7) I then gave it two coats of paint and one coat of varnish before finally attaching a picture loop to the back.

You could experiment with any shape and colour you like. The cost of the materials used to create this would cost no more £20 togive you the satisfaction of creating your own Wall Art for your home.

Wooden Art Lips on wall

Ferdi Rizkiyanto – Digital Art


Today I would like to introduce Ferdi Rizkiyanto aka Pepey, an amazing graphic design artist from Jakarta – Indonesia.

Ferdi started on his journey to becoming a successful digital artist when his brother introduced him to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop when he was at school. He then went on to college where he became hooked on 3D software like Poser and Bryce and he has never looked back.

Ferdi’s vast portfolio includes inspiring brand imagery for ‘Red Bull’ and some powerful messages on the damage we are doing to our planet within the ‘Global Warming PSA Project’. I think Ferdi is an amazingly talented artist with a great eye for detail; I can’t wait to see what creative imagery he is able to conjure up next.

My favourite works, being a big fan of running and splashing paint, are his ‘Color’ series of images (shown above and below) which he did for a magazine who were holding an art and fashion event. I think these images would make amazing pieces of wall art.

Since most of Ferdi’s work is for advertising clients it is likely that most, if not all, of his works will not be available for reproduction, although I have written to Ferdi to ask if these pieces specifically are ever likely to become available for reproduction. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.


See more Rizkiyanto pieces here.

Renato Foti – Glass Art


I thought I would showcase the works of Renato Foti this week. Renato is a Canadian who began creating pieces in the late 80’s with mixed media. In the 90’s Renato started experimenting with glass, which lead to some big exhibitions that helped him gain more popularity as an artist.

Renato is also a photographer whose erotic images raise conflicting opinions within the art world, so it is fortunate that his focus still remains on the use of fused and slumped glass wall sculptures, which are really impressive. These large-scale wall creations are composed of fused glass made out of a variety of coloured segments that form beautiful pieces of wall art.

I tend to focus on art that can bought easily on most people’s budgets so I apologise for these pieces (available at being quite expensive. I just thought these unusual pieces deserved to be showcased as examples of what is possible with glass.


See more Foti pieces here.

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