A well designed home interior should provide physical comfort and nurture our spirit. A secret to achieving that is creating relationships between the elements in the space. Fine art is an integral part of an interior environment because it can engage us on many levels. One of my favorite sources for fine art is David Stier.
I first viewed David’s work at the Silverman Gallery in Buckingham. I’m drawn to his paintings. It is the warmth of the earthy color palette he uses. I also see his compositions as uncluttered with simple lines, and yet not one single detail is missing. We each have our own reaction to different pieces of art. At a glance we may decide that we like a creation, or do not. The works that we choose to surround ourselves with usually evoke a deeper response. The appeal may be emotional, intellectual, spiritual, or a combination of triggers.
We know that art and design impact the human condition. Understanding how and why can be elusive. Following are some thoughts on why David’s art is so compelling.
He has done studies of the Moravian Tile Works, that subject matter connects on several touch points. Whenever I walk the grounds of Fonthill and the Tile Works I am in awe of Henry Mercer’s abundant accomplishments. Mercer constructed those buildings when he was fifty plus years of age. That thought energizes me and reminds me that there is still time to reach my goals in the latter years of life. The Tile Works is also a beloved historical, architectural icon of the Bucks County community. David’s paintings mentally transport me to that place inducing an emotional sense of connection to my community and sparking the same spiritual reaction felt when physically present at that property. Are you a Bucks County native? Have you visited the Tile Works? Does that place hold a special meaning for you?
In David’s piece Still Life with Magnolias, a beam of sunlight comes through the window and plays across the surface of the dresser. Immediately the scene brings to mind the joy of a warm, sunny spring day. Is your mood elevated at the sight of a sunbeam on a beautiful day?
That illustrates a few ways that art can provoke our psyche. How does our overall living and working space effect us?
Depending on the time of day and current activity our living/working spaces need to offer us stimulation, rouse our minds, or provide solace and sanctuary. Let’s focus on sanctuary and save the stimulating spaces for another discussion. Family rooms, bedrooms and spaces for entertaining should offer rest and relaxation. The art selected for those rooms should bring joy, offer comfort through a sense of connection, and bring to mind pleasant thoughts.
l’ osteria e’ salone (The Bar and Lounge) was the space Hearth & Hedgerow created for the 2015 Bucks County Designer House & Gardens. Our goal was to create an inviting room for family and friends to gather and celebrate life. Thousands of visitors toured the home and were amazed at the transformation. Our space was designed to mentally transport them to an Old World tavern somewhere in France, Italy, or Spain. We succeeded, tour guests commented that they were reminded of their European vacation, or they wanted to open a bottle of wine and stay awhile.
The various elements used in the space; David’s paintings, embossed leather chairs, distressed wood, and wrought iron all relate to each other. Earthy textures, mossy colors and natural materials form a harmonious arrangement. Even the subject matter of David Stier’s Tile Works studies relates to the room and the home. When Mercer built the Tile Works he was inspired by the Spanish Colonial architecture seen while traveling throughout South America. Of course that style has Mediterranean roots. The existing bar and the home Villa Di Braccia, were also built in a Mediterranean style.
This does not imply that art should match the furniture! In fact the opposite is true, art is not supposed to be identical. Creating relationships is not the same as matching. One quirky item creates interest. Too many disparate items can be discomforting. Fine art and design is not all about the eye candy, it is about affecting the human experience on an emotional, spiritual, or intellectual plane. A composed room or painting is successful when the relationship between the parts invokes a cohesive human response. Striking the right balance is a skill that develops with education and experimentation.
In addition to representing David Stier, the Silverman Gallery specializes in Bucks County Impressionist Art. The bucolic landscape of the region is a popular subject matter. There are places in Bucks County that many people describe as magical and there are artists who strive to capture that essence. That is one reason why this genre of fine art works so well in living spaces designed to rejuvenate the soul. I encourage you to visit Silverman Gallery and explore the secret treasures within!