Archives For contemporary art

Warm Contemporary

June 29, 2017 — Leave a comment

Contemporary design has been leading the way in interior decorating since the early 2000’s. This style is unlike any other because it evolves over time as it adapts and incorporates new elements, which help keep it on trend.

Before getting into today’s topic, it is important to understand first and foremost what makes for contemporary design. Here are some fundamental elements: the use of masculine and cold neutral colours, sleek and clean lines, clever storage solutions and the visual components of patterns and colour blocking. Typical materials used are wood, steel and other metals similar in colour, and concrete. What makes this style different is the use bold pieces in contrast to stripped down elements.


Let’s talk about  warm contemporary. While contemporary tends to be cool in its colour palette, warm contemporary uses warm greys and other warm tones on the colour wheel, such as earthy hues. Also, there is the addition of materials such as glass, which creates a great contrast to concrete. Glass helps add an element of femininity to contemporary design. Likewise, pairing wood with metal can have the same effect. Another characteristic that differentiates warm contemporary is plants. Greenery is used in warm contemporary to bring warmth and life into a room.

The picture above is of a contemporary bedroom, and features painted exposed brick, a wood ceiling, a cool neutral palette, and a black accent wall. The picture below depicts a warm contemporary living room. What makes this room warm contemporary is the warm neutral palette in the wood and fireplace surround, the glass coffee table top, and the addition of greenery.




Yesterday evening, my husband and I visited Galerie St-Laurent + Hill, before heading to a lecture on creating native bee habitats, at the Main Branch of the Ottawa Public Library.

In just three short hours we absorbed beauty created by people blessed with imagination and talent, in the form of artwork on display at the gallery, and beauty found in the natural world as demonstrated by Susan Chan in her lecture on bees.

Most of us can only dream of ever having the means, or space, to own every piece of art that we want; but in my line of work, I can recommend artwork suitable for my clients’ homes.  The following are works by three artists featured at Galerie St-Laurent + Hill, and whose work I’d be happy to have in my personal art collection.

Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Siri ta robe te va comme un gant, Mixed Media on Panel, 2014 – Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Siri ta robe te va comme un gant, Michel Harvey.  What’s interesting about this artist’s work is that he transforms items that he’s found outside: people’s litter, and finds straight from nature.  As someone who finds herself perplexed and annoyed at the attitude of those who litter, I appreciate how Harvey turns the outcome of this vulgar transgression on its head, to choreograph a work of beauty alongside items that are intrinsically beautiful.

Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Orange Click One, Acrylic construction, 2014 – Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Kal Mansur is another artist whose work we discovered last night.  Both my husband and I were taken by the ethereal beauty of the three dimensional artwork created using Plexiglas, of all things! Mansur cuts and stacks pieces of coloured acrylic behind a translucent sheet laid over a shadow-box-like acrylic frame, constructed so that when the light hits it, the surface takes on a luminous quality – a luminous quality that changes depending on your vantage point, type of light, and its striking point.  I was really surprised at how captivated I was by this piece of contemporary art.  If you live in Ottawa, it’s worth a visit to the gallery to see for yourself.

Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Photo: Galerie St-Laurent + Hill

Finally, I just couldn’t get enough of the large sculptures by Marc-Antoine Côté.  There are two pieces in the gallery, both made of aluminum.  You would never guess at how involved a process it is to create these pieces!  Either sculpture would look glorious in the right type of garden. You can find his work in public spaces across the province of Quebec.  I’ll be keeping an eye on Côté’s work, for when one of my gardens has reached the scale and maturity to showcase his art. Looking forward to adding his work to my lovingly-created native bumblebee habitats.

The second event we went to was a lecture by Susan Chan, on creating native pollinator habitats, which Just Food hosted in the auditorium of the main branch of the Ottawa Public Library.  But that’s for another posting in which I’ll share photos of bees in my young, two-year old, front garden.