Encouraging our Children’s Love of Art

Sharing our Love of Art with Children

Whether it’s music, interior design, photography, ceramics or painting, most of us have a love of the arts. Although our tastes are all unique and individual, we can encourage our children to take an interest in art by sharing with them what we love ourselves and explaining the reasons why we do.

Listening to different genres of music together, letting them help out when we’re painting furniture at home and pointing out our favourite paintings at a local art gallery are all ways to help them discover their own tastes. By sharing what you love, you are encouraging them to take a real interest in the art available around them.

Inspiration through reading children’s books

The joy of books is something that is shared between children and parents alike. Not only do children learn from reading the words on the pages, but they are also inspired by the beautiful children’s illustrations that lie within.

Before children even learn to read, they are happy to turn the pages to discover vivid pictures and magical scenes. Their creativity and imagination are activated, and they begin to create their own unique versions of the story. You could encourage your child to tell their own story based on an illustration that they like. Or, similarly, draw a picture that encapsulates their favourite scene or character from a book.

If your child loves a certain book or a particular scene from a book, you may be able to find prints or even original works to hang in their bedroom or playroom. From Beatrix Potter to Sir Quentin Blake, and Jane Ray to Edward Underwood, prints and illustrations are perfect gifts for children. They help to keep their imagination flowing as they grow up and can even be passed on to their own children in the future.

Taking photographs & capturing scenes

Many artists are inspired by scenes of nature around them. From beautiful coastlines to fields of poppies or farmland, the list of inspirational places found here in the UK is endless.

Let’s remember that cameras aren’t just for holidays. You can inspire your children to appreciate the stunning scenery around them every day. Try encouraging them to take photographs and then re-create the scenes on paper once back at home. Whether photos are taken on a digital camera, phone or instant film, your child will be captivated with these natural landscapes. Whilst also discovering more about the world around them simultaneously.

Experimenting with materials and textures

Kids are naturally curious and creative. Therefore, you can be extremely inventive when it comes to the materials you give them to explore with.

Pencils, paint and markers are all natural choices when it comes to children’s art. But, why not think outside the box next time you have a craft morning? Charcoal, sand, salt dough, food colouring and even shaving foam are all materials that could be used to create a masterpiece.

Similarly, recyclable items such as cereal boxes, wallpaper, empty toilet rolls, plastic tubs and unused pieces of wood can all be used as blank canvases for a new creation.

Here at Watermark, we are a family-friendly gallery. We are always keen to welcome little ones and let them explore their favourite pieces on the wall. There is lots to choose from! We hope to see you and your family very soon.

How to choose art for your child’s bedroom



Long gone are the days when the only option to decorate your boy’s bedroom was to paint it sky blue with stars or baby pink with hearts for the girls.

Today, we are lucky that we can find a phenomenal amount of inspiration for our kid’s bedroom interiors – coming from magazine articles, Instagram pages, Pinterest boards and numerous posts from parent bloggers and stylists. We don’t have to look far to find beautiful Scandi-style furniture, dreamy bed linen and soft furnishings as well as fun children’s prints and murals to match. The options are endless!

Many families are currently opting to keep children’s bedrooms neutral and soft on the walls and shelving, dressing them up with brightly coloured artwork instead. To help you to narrow down the options for your child, here we share some tips about choosing the perfect pieces of artwork to complement your child’s style and personality:

Each child is unique in the things they love to play with and the topics that they find the most interesting to learn about. Therefore, finding artwork that is thought-provoking and fascinating for them can not only look great, but it can help with their development and learning journey too.

If your child has a favourite book or a favourite author, then do some research to see if the illustrations are available to buy either in original format or as prints. Children’s illustrations on walls and shelves can create magical environments for your little ones – sparking imagination and encouraging role play. These pieces can also be a great investment, which, in the future, your child can pass down through the generations to their children too.

Personalised spaces

Personalisation has become a growing trend over recent years among children and adults alike. Bespoke prints, wall stickers and illuminated canvases using your child’s name (or nickname) can add a really personal touch to their bedroom space, making them feel totally at home.

This style may have previously been reserved only for babies and toddlers but is now popular with older children and even teenagers too. If you feel that their full name is too much, then opt for the first letter of their name or initials only.

Kids’ own artwork

Nothing is more personalised and encouraging for a child than to have their own designs and creations displayed in their rooms for themselves and everyone else to see. Whether it’s a rainbow collage of tissue paper in their favourite colours, a painted bird image or a portrait of their family members, you can show your children how special you think their work is by getting it framed and hung in their room (or even somewhere more prominent in the house).

By mixing a selection of their own artwork with artwork and illustrations by other artists, you are encouraging them to be interested in art from an early age. Giving them a sense of achievement and setting aspirations for the future too.

Children’s artwork at Watermark Gallery

Here at Watermark Gallery, we have a growing range of original children’s illustrations and wall art from a hand-selected group of children’s illustrators such as Jane Ray and Lisa Stubbs. Perfect for your child’s bedroom or nursery.

We welcome children of all ages to the gallery. Do pop into our gallery in Harrogate with your child to take a look or browse online for further inspiration.

Creative ways to include art into a small space

When it comes to smaller living areas, we have to take advantage of every inch of space we have. This is true when it comes to choosing furniture, storage solutions and decoration.

Similarly, the same is true when it comes to selecting artwork and sculpture to adorn your home. The artwork you choose should reflect your style and personality but should also complement the area it is placed in, too.

Luckily, there are some creative ways that you can incorporate affordable art into your small space, often even creating the illusion of a bigger area. Here, we suggest a few idea

Divide and frame

When walls and doors are non-existent, for example in a studio apartment or an open-plan townhouse, it is possible to create boundaries using art.

For example, you could separate your living space from your kitchen area by changing the mood of the art in each space. The art in your kitchen area could be very minimal, perhaps with one or two statement pieces, however your living area could feature a variety of softer juxta-positioned pieces to create a calmer and more relaxing atmosphere. You could also use plinths, shelving and large plants in ceramic pots to divide areas that don’t have a door, or that you want to keep separate.

Create an imaginary window to the outside world

Like a magical window to a faraway place, you can use art to create extra light as well as a magical atmosphere in an otherwise small, urban space.

Choose a large piece on a focal wall, which features an exterior image of a scene which you find calming or motivating. It could be of a scene you have personally witnessed before, or purely something which you see, and which has an immediate impact on your senses. The scene could be of a woodland area, a beach, a lake, a desert or a field full of lavender – choose something that you can connect with and that will open up the room to the outside world.

Place art in unassuming locations

Some of the most impactful pieces of art are found in areas of the home where they are least expected. It is not only large open walls that are fit for artworks, there are many other less-obvious spots that can help to add layers to your home without requiring oodles of space.

Strategically-placed frames on top of bookshelves can be very effective, as well as smaller ceramics and sculptures interspersed between the books themselves. You could also consider hanging art on the back of a door, which is revealed once the door is closed (if you choose this option be careful when hanging to ensure you secure the piece to prevent it from bouncing around or being damaged every time the door is opened and closed).

A bathroom is also an unexpected, but great place to hang art. Your bathroom should naturally be a place of relaxation and serenity, so a well-place piece can help to enhance that indulgent experience if placed opposite the shower, or behind the bath, perhaps. Again, you will need to ensure that your artwork is protected under glass in wet or steamy areas to prevent damage.

Here to help…

If you have a small space that you are looking to fill with art, then, why not pop into our Harrogate gallery, or give us a call to discuss some ideas. We would be thrilled to hear from you and chat to you about your requirements.

Artwork to bring your garden alive

Summer is the time when we usually get the most enjoyment out of our gardens. The bright mornings, the balmy evenings and the relaxed weekends spent with friends and family. It is also the time when our gardens are most in bloom with flowers, fruits and fragrances. And, what better way to compliment the surroundings than with a few pieces of garden art.

Garden art is a great way to add focal points and personalisation to your garden or patio space. Even in the colder months, when the colours start to fade, ceramics and sculptures continue to keep your garden full of life and beauty.

What garden art should I choose?

To put it simply, there is no such thing as choosing the right or wrong sculpture for your garden. Essentially, it all comes down to personal taste and preference.

Your garden will naturally be a place of self-expression. Showcasing the colours, shapes and textures that you love. Over time, you will have subconsciously created a space that you find relaxing, calming and inspiring. Therefore, any ceramics and sculptures that you choose should be a continuation of that inspiration.

If you have a large, baroque style garden, then a series of classic marble statues could be cleverly positioned in symmetry at various points to add intrigue. However, if your space is smaller and modern, then an abstract sculpture in glass, granite or ceramic might be much more fitting.

If your garden is earthy and traditional, then you could choose weathered sculptures, ceramics or wooden artefacts that blend in with their natural surroundings.

What are the best places to place garden art?

A well-placed piece of garden art can highlight certain areas of your garden as well as breaking up planted areas or adding charm to seating or lounging areas.

When considering where best to place a sculpture, you might want to consider the view from the house or entrance to your garden. Do you want to be able to see the artwork from out of your kitchen window to get the most enjoyment out of it? Do you want it to be a focal point for visitors when they first enter your garden? Or, perhaps you want it to be more discreet and hidden for a secret discovery?

Again, this all comes down to personal preference and the type of garden design you already have. Use your natural surroundings for inspiration and be creative with your placements.

How do I add artwork to a small courtyard or patio space?

If you live in a townhouse with a small courtyard or patio space, then there are still plenty of ways to add sculpture and ceramics to enhance the area. You could consider hanging sculptures, which could be attached from walls to utilise the height of your space.

You could also use beautiful stone planters to house plants and succulents. These could be arranged in various size combinations and placed at various levels in the space including on tables, doorsteps or ledges. Small ceramic objects and sculptures will also work in courtyard spaces – whether you choose animals, birds or more abstract designs – you can create small areas with oodles of interest and charisma.

If you are thinking of incorporating some artwork into your garden, then pop in to visit us at Watermark Gallery in Harrogate and we would love to ponder some ideas together with you.

Smart tips for choosing wall art for your home

Sometimes selecting a piece of wall art for your home might seem like a rather daunting task. You might be apprehensive about choosing the right size, the right colours to match your interior or even worry that you might change your mind about the artwork a few months down the line.

Choosing art for your home, however, shouldn’t have to be a stressful time. In fact, it should be most enjoyable, and it certainly can be. Especially if you have done your research first. It is much more intuitive than you think if you just follow a few simple rules…

Size IS everything

If you are looking for a piece of wall art for a specific wall in your home, then aim to fill about two-thirds of that space in total. As a rule, bigger is usually always better. You want the piece to stand out, and an artwork that is too small against too much empty wall space can look lost in space and out of place.

You can aim for this same proportion also if you are looking to hang the artwork above a piece of furniture or a sofa or dining table. Work towards finding a piece that is two-thirds the width of the furniture item it will hang against. As an example, if your sofa is 300cm wide, then aim to find a piece of art that is around 200cm wide to sit nicely above it.

Don’t be scared to break the rules

Although your home décor and interior might follow certain rules i.e. monochrome, neutral or pastel shades, when it comes to selecting artwork, you can be a bit more irrational! Your chosen art should be an expression of your personality and taste, so go for colours, textures and content that mean something to you.

The more private the space is, the more personal your artwork can be. The artwork you choose for your bedroom, for example, can be much more intimate and personal than the artwork you select for your lounge.

Choosing the right piece in a social area is instrumental in creating a welcoming atmosphere, as well as provoking conversation and setting the feel or vibe of the space. This is an opportunity to make a statement, and an eclectic mix of wall art, mixed with other artefacts and sculptures can combine to achieve a great effect – even in the most neutral home.

Trust your intuition

If you are buying art for your own home, then, at the end of the day, you are the one who knows best what will work and what won’t. A lot of the time, when it comes to choosing art for personal enjoyment, your intuition plays a bit part. If you know, you know. So the saying goes!

Some artworks you will fall in love with immediately and continue to do so for many years to come. Some pieces you will adore only at specific times in your life until your tastes change. And, some you will fall in and out of love with constantly over time.

Don’t worry about how you might feel in years to come. Instead, try to embrace the now. Trusting your instinct at the time of purchasing your piece of art is a great place to start.

Get to know the artist

Getting to know some background information on the artist that created your art will help you gain a better connection with it – even before it has arrived into your home. By doing this, you might also discover other pieces in their range that could complement each other when hung on various wall spaces in your home.

Art galleries often hold regular events and launches where you can meet artists in person, which would be a great opportunity. However, this isn’t always possible, so ensure you do your research and check the artists biographies and profiles online.

Following artists via their Facebook and Instagram channels is another great way to get a glimpse into their lives and their latest inspirations.

Don’t delay

Art is very often individual and one-of-a-kind. If your heart is calling out at you to buy a certain piece, then don’t hesitate! You could miss out and regret your decision for a long time to come!

If you are considering a new piece of wall art for your home, then we would love to hear from you. We receive new pieces into the gallery frequently and can offer suggestions to help you to choose your next artwork.

Get in touch today.

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