Decorative Fine Art on Canvas
Historically, much of fine art has been decorative. Most artists have needed to create art that decorates buildings and their interiors. The idea that art is purely aesthetic, and meant to simply look at, is really a relatively modern Western notion. Most art in other nations, especially in Asia and the Near East, has been created to adorn homes and places of worship.
Some of the most beautiful art created throughout history has been decorative. For most cultures, the purpose of art has been to uplift its viewer, which is why art in places of worship has been so important. Much of art has been based on religious themes, whether it’s the great cathedrals of Europe or the beautiful Islamic art adorning mosques.
Possibly one of the most beautiful of the decorative fine arts is the use of mosaics, which is the art of creating images by assembling small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. Mosaics have had great cultural and spiritual significance because they have been used extensively to decorate churches and cathedrals, especially in medieval times.
There are three methods artists use when creating mosaics: the direct method, the indirect method, and the double indirect method. The direct method of mosaic construction involves gluing individual tesserae, or pieces of material, onto the supporting surface. This method works well for surfaces that have a three-dimensional quality, such as vases, and for small projects that are transportable. It’s also progressively visible, so adjustments to tile color placement can be adjusted as the project goes along. The artist must work directly at the chosen surface, however, which is impractical for long periods of time. This method is generally considered unsuitable for large scale projects.
The indirect method of applying tesserae is often used for very large projects. Tiles are applied face-down to a backing paper using an adhesive, and then later transported onto walls or floors. The double indirect method is used when the artist needs to see what the end product will be. The tessarae are placed face-up on a medium such as adhesive-backed paper as it appears when installed. When it’s completed, a similar medium is placed on top of it, the piece is turned over, the underlying material is carefully removed, and the piece is installed as in the indirect method. It requires a great deal of technical expertise.
Another common method of creating mosaics is to reproduce a painting with tessarae. This takes a great deal of technical expertise, both in the art of mosaics and in understanding the techniques of the original artist. Contemporary mosaic artists are often called upon to recreate the masters. They are also often called upon to do restorative work, since mosaics are fragile and easily damaged.
The art of mosaics, as a decorative art, is experiencing a resurgence of sorts these days. Many consumers are realizing its originality, versatility, and beauty. Mosaics are an ideal way to decorate both the inside and outside of your home. They are truly works of art, whether they’re placed in your home or at a lavish and splendid cathedral.