At this time of year, we at the Affordable Art Fair HQ begin to reflect on 2018’s top trends, thinking about the mediums, subject matters and colours that have captured your attention over the last year. Through our online shop and our global fairs, we’re able to see what pieces inspire, intrigue and draw you in: whether it’s brilliant blues, awesome acrylics or mesmerising seascapes. As you know, our online shop is a veritable smorgasbord of artworks from artists and galleries around the world. So it’s interesting to see what proves most popular, and which trends to look out for, fall in love with and snap up! With this in mind, we thought we’d explore a little more what has turned your head so far this year.
Your trending art subjects in 2018…
At the fairs themselves, we often encounter collectors looking for original, affordable landscapes, so it’s no surprise that you have picked this genre out as a firm favourite. There are many reasons landscapes prove particularly popular; perhaps it’s their ability to transport the viewer elsewhere, or maybe the way they give an additional sense of space to a room. Of course, landscape painting is hardly a new trend, and our roster of artists have been drawn to its different variations, from vividly coloured abstract styles to scenes which evoke a sense of nostalgia. Our online shop has a wide range of pieces in this vein, including the brooding Winter Series from Abbas Afshar or the wonderfully bucolic This Beautiful Land (main image) from Glynne James, which expertly blends beautiful colouring with an abstract touch. Ultimately, landscapes seem to work in most rooms — expansive scenes above kitchen workshops, small pieces in kid’s bedrooms, or mid-sized abstracts in bathrooms — you’re sure to find a landscape that fits the bill.
Similarly, you’ve paid seascapes a lot of attention this year. In Colin Moore’s Holkham Beach, the sky, sea and clouds mingle in this atmospheric linocut. Images of the sea tend to be extremely evocative, bringing to mind sensory memories; toes in the sand, the smell of sea air, and the sounds of the beach. These positive associations make them extremely popular pieces to buy, in a sense bringing those memories home with you. There’s a huge interior decor scope with seascapes and they too prove versatile around the home: Clare Bonnet’s Trusting Tide would be a brilliant addition to a light airy bedroom or bathroom, with its flash of bright pink and sparkling, electric blues.
But it’s not just natural scenes that take you somewhere else, bustling cityscapes teeming with life have also been a trend this year. Clare Halifax’s iconic Sightseeing at St Paul’s captures the vibrancy and vitality of London through its tightly rendered lines, yet also includes splashes of colour through its evocation of the city's pockets of green. City scenes at night also have a dazzling atmospheric quality, perfect for a cosy corner of the living room or office, like David Hinchliffe’s Night Lights, Times Square.We often find that city-dwellers enjoy buying and hanging works which serve as little odes to their favourite city or hometown — so it's no surprise that you favour these too!
Your top art medium trends in 2018…
Moving onto mediums, top trends you’ve fallen in love with include oils, acrylics and photography. Oil paint has a gorgeous depth and luxurious quality that captivates artists, perhaps due to its long heritage, as works such as Claudia de Vilafames’s Orange Cup demonstrates. Bringing to mind the work of Dutch masters or Renaissance still lives, the pigment of the paint creates works which are extremely rich and vivid, sometimes taking days to dry.
Acrylic paintings are also in hot demand, their fast-drying times making them a popular choice with artists, who in turn are able to experiment more with the medium. In a work such as the vibrant Adrift by Chad Goei, it’s clear that the quick drying paint lets the artist create a meticulously accurate composition. Juxtaposing Goei's careful lines is Audrius Grazys' Far and Away. Grazys' looser application of acrylic paint creates a more impressionistic and fluid piece, as the subtle brushstrokes conjure a softer abstract work, appearing almost like a watercolour.
With so much photographic imagery around us on a daily basis, it’s no surprise that you’ve rated photography as a top trend this year. But the diversity of the medium is probably in part responsible — works such as Miguel Vallinas Prieto’s You are numero 14 encapsulate the playfulness and intrigue that a photograph can convey — at times proving abstract or surreal, other times extraordinarily detailed.
Your top art colour trends in 2018…
Colour-wise, our art-lovers have been drawn to works in vivid greens and cool blues, as well as a dazzling array of multi-coloured pieces. Work such as Philip Hearsey’s Beach Song 22 perfectly conveys the glorious capacity of the colour blue, replicating the relaxing colours of the sea in a way we'll know you’ll love. Long a colour seen as beneficial to both body and mind, through its calming and soothing effects, this piece embodies the cool and calming richness that a blue piece of art-work can bring to your home, and why it proves so popular year on year.
Similarly, the colour green has an extremely evocative depth, bringing to mind nature, the great outdoors and a sense of serenity. When looking at a piece such as Richard Heeps’ Mirror, it’s not hard to see why you are drawn to green tones, with the piece having an extremely energising quality.
In contrast, a work such as Nathalie Maquet’s Kimono 4, immediately reveals the appeal of a multicoloured piece — highly original, full of pattern and depth, a piece such as this breaths energy lightheartedness, and is sure to lift your spirits in no time. Or how about Kilmany Jo Liversage, Floura 318? With its smattering of bright colours, a spray-paint work such as this is sure to energise any room in your home, proving a brilliant talking piece when hung in shared spaces such as corridors or the hall.
And there you have it — your hotlist of this year’s trends! It’s amazing how hearing a little more about the works we’re attracted to and want in our own homes can inspire us, and make us think about how we would incorporate these themes, colours and mediums into our own home. With Christmas on the horizon and a lot of shopping to be done, why not invest in a gift inspired by your top trends of the year? And be sure to let us know which trend you’ve been most drawn to, or any you feel we’ve missed out!
Glynne James, This Beautiful Land, 2018, oil, signed, £3,500, London Contemporary Art.
Featured art from first to last:
Abbas Afshar, Winter Series 1, 2018, oil, signed, £1,995, Capital Art London.
Colin Moore, Holkham Beach, 2018, linocut, edition of 100, signed, £350, Wychwood Art.
Clare Bonet, Trusting Tide, 2017, oil, framed, signed, £1,850, Gala Fine Art.
Clare Halifax, Signtseeing at St Pauls, 2018, silkscreen print, edition of 75, signed, £250, Wychwood Art.
David Hinchliffe, Night Lights, Times Square, 2017, oil, signed, £3,500, London Contemporary Art.
Claudia de Vilafames, Orange Cup, 2018, oil, signed, £1,950, Artdog London.
Chad Goei, Adrift, 2017, acrylic, signed, £850, Kahn Gallery.
Audrius Grazys, Far and Away, 2013, acrylic, signed, £2,200, Rado Art.
Miguel Vallinas Prieto, You are numero 14, 2018, photograph, signed, £790, My Life In Art.
Philip Hearsey, Beach Song 22, 2017, bronze, signed, £1,750, Degree Art.
Richard Heeps, Mirror, 1986, photograph, edition of 25, signed, £495, Bleach Box.
Nathalie Maquet, Kimono 4, 2018, oil, £1,000, Eclectic Gallery.
Kilmany Jo Liversage, Floura 318, 2018, spray-paint, signed, £5,999, Strange Tracey.