The Art Advisor

The Art Advisor is an educational resource for art appreciation. We publish practical information around understanding, buying and displaying art, in an easy to understand way that requires no prior art knowledge.

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Articles and Videos

How do I tighten a stretched canvas that has loosened?

Over time a canvas can become baggy or wobbly due to changes in the environment. Here are 2 easy and non-damaging DIY fixes that don’t require you to spend money on getting it professionally re-stretched.

When should I frame a painting with glass?

Deciding whether or not to protect an art piece with glass depends very much on the medium that the painting has been done in, as well as the surface that the painting has been done on.

I don’t know anything about art.. I don’t really get it

Whenever I mention ‘art’, a very common response I get from anyone who is not in the art world is ‘I don’t know anything about art’ or ‘Yea I don’t really get it…’. ⁠⁠I have made it one of my life goals to set out to change that and make the concept of art something […]

What is Modernist Art?

We often describe the type of art in our collection as ‘modernist’. But what does this actually mean? For those familiar with art genres you’ll immediately have an understanding of the kind of influences and concepts behind it, and can probably recognise a ‘modernist’ painting when you see one. If you’re not so familiar with […]

Viewpoints on the non-financial value of art: Marc May

Saira’s lovely husband Marc shares his view on the non-financial value of art: I grew up in a relatively working class family and for the first ten years of my life we lived in council (public) housing. My mother was great at art (I recall an incredibly drawn drawing of Pike fish she drew) but […]

Book Recommendation: ‘150 years of Modern Art in the blink of an eye’ by Will Gompertz.

My latest pre-sleep bedtime companion – ‘What are you looking at? 150 years of Modern Art in the blink of an eye’ by Will Gompertz.⁠⁠“In my option the best place to start when it comes to appreciating and enjoying modern and contemporary art is not to decide whether it’s any good or not, but to […]

Book Recommendation: ‘My Museum’ by Joanne Liu

This book by Joanne Liu titled ‘My Museum’ was a gift from a close friend to my son Maximilian and it is one of the best books in his growing collections. It is a great introductory book to appreciating art for very young children. It is beautifully illustrated, but more importantly, it shows young children […]

Art – We Don’t Always Need to Know Why We Like it or Hate it

Art is subjective, yes. But we don’t always need to know exactly why we like or dislike an artwork. It’s ok to not have a reason, and here’s why.

An Easy to Follow Approach to Looking at Paintings

Here are some thoughts around how to approach a landscape painting like this one. There are simple steps to analysing paintings that you can use across the board, so we’ll be using these methods in more videos in time to come. The painting in the video is titled ‘Verdant’ and is available on our shop.

Book Recommendation: ‘Looking at Pictures’ by Susan Woodford

Here’s our second must-read book recommendation: ‘Looking at Pictures’ by Susan Woodford. For anyone coming fresh to art and art appreciation, this book will really help you develop your eye and your confidence to look, analyse and appreciate paintings. And for anyone already in the know, this is a really refreshing, wise and unpretentious take […]

Tips on General Maintenance of Oil Paintings

Tips on general maintenance of oil paintings:⁠⁠1. Avoid displaying it in direct sunlight as this can cause it to change colour.⁠⁠2. If your painting is on canvas and it has loosened on the stretcher bars, a simple method to retighten it is to wipe the back of the canvas with a wet sponge and leave […]

What is the difference between a ‘stretched’ and an ‘unstretched canvas’?⁠

Stretched canvas is canvas that has been stretched over a wood frame ready for display. If you look on the back of the painting and see wooden bars (stretcher bars), then you have a stretched canvas! A stretched canvas can be displayed without a frame, but sometimes adding a frame can really enhance the piece […]

Book Recommendation: ‘Art as Therapy’ by Alain de Botton & John Armstrong

This book is a must read!⁠⁠It talks about art in a way that is totally different from most – it introduces a method of looking at and interpreting art that doesn’t involve the normal historical and stylistic concerns that we see in art books most of the time. It will give you the confidence to […]

How Do I Light the Paintings on My Walls? ⁠

Many of us have spaces on our walls where the right painting would fit well and really enhance that area of the room. But sometimes these walls might not be in the best lit areas of the room, which would make hanging a painting difficult since it would be too dark or have odd shadows. […]

The Short & Simple Answer to Why Abstract Art Exists

Why do some artists draw/paint/craft artworks around forms (like lines, shapes & patterns) instead of depicting realistic scenes? In other words, why is abstraction a thing?⁠⁠The term ‘abstract’ can be applied to art that is based on an object, figure or landscape, where forms have been simplified or schematised. Like in the painting above (ignore […]

VIDEO: How to Choose the Right Frame

Shanti shares some tips around how to choose the right frame for your artwork. She talks about how to make decisions about whether or not to frame, when to frame with or without glass, how to choose the right frame colour and style, and much more.

VIDEO: Why Buy a Still Life Painting?

Saira shares some thoughts on why still life paintings are more than just a snapshot of objects, and why they are so popular among collectors.

VIDEO: Practical Tips around Hanging and Displaying Art

Saira shared some practical tips around hanging and displaying art. She covers: the height to hang a painting, hot to arrange a gallery style group hang, and tools and tricks to display art without damaging your wall.

How to Look at Art

A painting can hang right in front of our eyes, and yet at the same time can seem so very far away. Just thinking of old master paintings in museums, where you have a composition of tumbling angels or portraits of unrecognisable ladies and gents from a bygone age, how are we meant to connect […]

What is art for?

“Art doesn’t have to be difficult or inaccessible, and I hope to use this space to prove that..”

How to Connect with Art

It is very normal to feel like the art in museums and galleries have a quality so mysterious and untouchable that you can’t, and shouldn’t interfere with it. But this reluctance to ‘interfere’ or make demands on the art we look at weakens the power of art and and reflects an underlying fear of addressing […]

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