Artful and Auspicious with Lisa Quattlebaum
When Lisa moved to China five years ago, she knew there were a few personal habits that would translate in her adopted culture like using chopsticks, following the lunar calendar and adhering to the laws of Feng Shui. Feng Shui, the Chinese art of placement reminds us that our experiences are often influenced by what surrounds us. Literally and symbolically. These ancient interior decor masters suggest adopting a more intuitive eye about what we place before us. Hoping to refill her newly purchased Marc Jacobs wallet, Lisa placed bowls of lemons and oranges on her kitchen counter (they are symbolic of tree energy and fruits of labour). Lisa also cleaned the flash mirror behind her stove top to double the burners and money luck.
The masters also knew that art (paintings, sculpture, drawings, photos) can play a key role in energizing your space and inviting abundance, love, and success into your life. It’s no wonder that traditional Chinese art is rich with auspicious colours and magical animals. But art is subjective and not everyone has a fondness for opulent golds, reds, bold tigers and dragons.
A Sunday’s Walk by Marian Arends, Netherlands.
Not even this chopstick-using, lunar calendar, Feng Shui junkie.As an artist and educator turned mom-preneur, Lisa turned to her own aesthetic for decorative purposes and blessing conjuring. She soon realized that her go-to art source; aside from her own pieces and or the scribbles of her four-year old, was contemporary art. Yet while more easily available and relatable, collecting and displaying art as money-magnets came with its own set of challenges. In general, contemporary art breaks rules, establishes new ones and asks the viewer to perceive and value images based on new criteria. Sure, beauty and art is in the eye of the beholder, but some pieces of art are best beheld in a gallery not your home – imagine John Currin’s portraits staring back as you drink your morning coffee or entertain guests. So what’s a stylish Feng Shui apprentice to do?
When using art as a visual and mental nod to the direction you’d like your life to expand, think of basic art principles – colour, shape and texture as well as image content. According to the bagua (the Chinese instrument used to determine direction and chi), objects and imagery should encourage a flow of energy and be representative of the elements (wood, fire, metal, water, earth). A piece like Golden Crux, which is colourful, sculptural and textual also exudes natural and societal intelligence and wisdom, which might be a perfect selection for a study or den. If you want to activate your career section (the lower center square of your home’s floor plan), the colour black symbolized water and well, you want your career to flow, right?Water Valley, which actually shows water flowing could yield an overflow of new clients.
Water Valley by Neville Baker, Australia.
Wanting to invite fame and recognition into your life, choose an artwork with geometric shapes with sharp angles like triangles and stars. Love thrives off images with couples as in Togetherness by Mrinal Dutt. Yet, Blush embodies the soothing pinks that are perfect in the love and good partner section (upper right corner). Not into pinks – The Hunting is sultry and seductive -best if your bedroom is in the lower right corner (helpful friends and travel). Hanging this piece may be like going on a weekend-long date night.
One could maximize their real travel luck and international networking by framing artworks that depicted city or natural landscapes, objects or people in motion, like A Sunday’s Walk by Marian Arends. Of course the artwork has to appeal to you on some gut level. The playful pieces that’d work well in my child’s bedroom would not likely work as well in a boyfriend’s office. Art Expedia’s click-to-order service, commonly used by interior designers and decorators sourcing art for office spaces and even restaurants is accessible to the everyday Jane and John. If wellness and harmony are what you seek and/or inspires you, click here for a free home design challenge to bring chic luck your way here.
Togetherness by Mrinal Dutt, India.
Use this Bagua map to help with placing the right Feng Shui elements around your house and see your life becoming more in aligned with better flow of energy.
The Homesteadista by Lisa Quattlebaum, New York.
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