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How to display Art in a Pandemic

Emma Cownie

We have been in full lockdown since last Friday and the the terrible weather (I write this to the sound of of rain lashing against against the windows) makes it a all a lot tougher to endure. The clocks went back too, so good quality light to paint by has been in short supply.  I have, nevertheless,  just finished a large scale painting and I am now working on a commission.

The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland – Work in Progress

 

I wanted to write about how you can “show” your work when you are social distancing. On this wordpress site I am able to show more than one photos of my paintings in the “shop” section.  It is useful to take photos of a painting in a studio so you can get a sense of the scale of the painting.

The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland

 

Here it is. My most recent painting ” The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland” which is 100cm x 80cm (approx 39″x 31″). I will often post a “in the studio” photos of painting to help give a sense of the sense of the painting, but they dont really show the painting at its best. A real life exhibition would be good but its not pratictical (or allowed) at the moment. 

The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland – In my attic studio

 

The next best way of displaying my painting is using an online app which show the work “in situ” in a computer generated room.  Online galleries will often provide these sorts of images as part of the membership of the site (e.g. Singulart and Artfinder) but the choice of rooms is limited and often they won’t provide them for smaller works. 

Donegal Painting by Emma Cownie
Artfinder mock up

 

Donegal painting by Emma Cownie
Singulart Mock Up

 

I have spent some time searching online for apps so I could do this myself and have more control of the choice of rooms and colour of the walls.  It was difficult to find sites that showed works to scale.  There is not much point showing people a mock up that makes your painting look much bigger or smaller than it is in real life. That would be misleading. Unfortunately, most of the good ones were only available for ipads (we dont have one) or on android (too fiddly on a smart phone) and I was looking for a an app that I could use on my PC.

Eventually I came across a site called “Canvy” which has a free plan which allowed the use of 12 “rooms” and unlimited downloads. It was very esay to use. It was a matter of importing images of paintings, typing dimensions (this is very important so images are to scale) and choosing your backgrounds. It is all drag on drop. It seems to automatically add a frame which might be a bit misleading as I dont frame my paintings, but paint around the edges in a neutral colour (usually blue). Very importantly, the final downloaded images do not have watermarks. It has a plugin which links to Etsy.

There is also a paid plan for $15 a month (40% reduction if you signed up to an annual plan)  with access to over 200 “rooms”, it offers a 30 day free trial for the full version. Maybe there are better sites out there, I would be interested to hear what other artists use. 

Here what a few of the mock-ups look like. Which is your favourite? 

Painting of Errgial, Ireland
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland on blue wall
Painting of Errigal
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland on a brick wall
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland
The Approaching Storm (On Dunlewy Lough), Ireland on mustard wall 

 

The great thing is that you can put together a mini exhibition too! 

Donegal paintings in situ
Donegal paintings in situ

 

After looking at al these photographs, I decided to lighten the clouds at the bottom of the Errigal painting. I felt that the black storm clouds were distracting to eye away from the moutnain and its reflection in the loch. 

The Approaching Storm on Dunlewy (Final Version)

To find out more

http://www.canvvy.com