Art & Decor Trends

Taking Inspiration from the Masters

“Art is an adventure into an unknown world,
which can only be explored by those willing
to take the risks.”
Mark Rothko
It seems lately that many people are looking for inspiration regarding their walls.
Different textures on the wall are always interesting to work with, but where lies the muse behind the surface? If you are an art fanatic like myself, you may look at art in a different way than most. Two inches away, three feet away, a mile away (ha!)…Do you ever notice the brushstrokes in a painting? Are they vertical, horizontal, heavy or light? Every different painter throughout history has had a different technique, and I believe upon closer observation, we can use these techniques to make our homes unique and stunning! Use small areas on your walls, or go crazy with the entire room! Consider the following examples.
Starry Night

Starry Night; Vincent Van Gogh: Who can deny this great masterpiece?! Vincent used thick, quick brushstrokes applied by a course brush, or even a palette knife. Why not add a little Van Gogh to your bedroom? Coat your wall with a base color and then apply sweeping spirals and organic lines in a shapely manner. Take notice of the way Vincent used continuous outline on certain objects until the outline of corresponding objects met. This technique makes for a calming and graceful interior. Try it in your bedroom, bathroom, or nursery!

Fulfillment; Gustav Klimt: Klimt created one of the most exciting and unique styles of painting. Spirals of monochromatic color, cryptic shapes in lively colors, and a jumble of diverse forms are key to this method! Try starting with a cast of neutral tones, developing a pattern over the top with a monochromatic, (tints and shades of the same color—as shown here with a taupe background and a terracotta pattern of spirals) add small bursts of color in various shapes and sizes. One of Klimt’s most charming aspects was his incorporation of different objects such as flowers, eyeballs, grids—whatever shapes came to mind!! Use this to your liking or follow a theme in your particular space. Now this is what art is all about!
Kandinsky: Structure Joyeuse
Black and Violet; Wassily Kandinsky: One of my personal favorites. Now, if you are into the mod, the chic, the avant-garde, then I assume you are familiar with Mr. Kandinsky! If not, then check this out! Imagine a canvas about 7’x 8’, i.e. your wall! Slap on some gold, or maybe some crimson, how about black?! Take a look at Black and Violet, Gravitation, or any of his abstractions. Here’s the key—simple geometric shapes, overlapping with different color schemes. Throw in some lines and grids as well. Think Frank Lloyd Wright meets Klimt!
Cliff Walk at Pourville Monet

Cliff Walk at Pourville; Claude Monet: Into more soothing spaces, earth tones, and nature? Take a look at Monet. Pointillism is a method used by most of the Impressionists. Small dots of different colors bring out an ultimate color and a realistic looking scene. Sea sponges may be a more convenient way to accomplish this in modern day, as most of us don’t have the time to sit in front of the wall with a paint brush for eternity. The sponges are cheap and you can get them at any home deco store. Grab some Periwinkle, Sea Green, and Violet paint while you are there. Dab a sponge into each and go to work on your sky scene. Drag the sponge a bit to create wispy clouds. And voila! How’s that for a good Impression?

Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko: If you are more interested in mood than detail for your interior, here’s an interesting painter for you. Rothko focused more on color, composition, and shape then anything else. Although the paintings seem arbitrary to some, I believe they bring out an instant rush of emotion. As a designer, I see each of his paintings as it’s own definition of color theory. I also see them as an insight to modern interior décor and design.

  • Long streaks of color, side by side, horizontal and vertical.
  • Color on top, texture on bottom.
  • Outline or none. Simple and unpretentious.
Which style can you consult to create your own– one in particular, or a combination? These are only a few ideas to get those gears cranking and those hands working. Who’s your favorite artist? What do you like about his/her paintings? What grabs you about it? Inspiration is all around you! Put it on your walls and let it surround you!
*All of the paintings above and many more are available at!!!

About the Author

Amitai Sasson of is an art world traveler on a mission to seek out the beauty and passion of the art world. As an avid enthusiast of art and oil paintings, he contributes to as Chief editor and writer.