A Beginner’s guide to buying Art

Buying an artwork for the first time can be daunting. This article will help get you over the initial hurdle of where to begin. Your budget will answer many questions for you, like framed or unframed, under glass, print or original, to buy on-line or at a gallery.

When you are ready to start buying art for your home, talk to people who have artworks in their home, they will have probably gone through what you are about to. Talk to art dealers, go to galleries, talk to artists, go on-line and see what’s available, survey your market and then, start small, get the feel of the art in your home.

You will have an idea of what you do and don’t like, let this be your guide throughout the buying process. Don’t let anyone try to convince you to buy the next big thing or through any other unrealistic sales device. Most people in art sales will be honest with you, as they want you coming back repeatedly.

Let’s assume you have set your budget and you are ready to get out into the market and see what is available, you could ask yourself these questions first.

  • Do I choose to buy on-line, at a gallery, in a shop or directly from the artist?
  • What format – painting, sculpture, photography, multi-media, drawing?
  • What style – abstract, pop art, realism, post-modernism, minimalism?
  • What subject – portrait, landscape, body art, still life, nature, nudes?
  • What medium – watercolour, oil, print, pen and ink, pencil, etching, lithograph?
  • Alternatively, forget these questions and go with what you like.

You will also have an idea of where around your home you can hang or place the artwork; nudes may work best in the bedroom, a sculpture for the garden, a drawing in a study or library. The answer to this is open ended, be daring, show your family and friends how original you can be.

A company like bluethumb can be the perfect place to get you started. Here you will find over 50 artists that offer you a range of works that can be well suited to a variety of homes.

This painting by Matthew Simpson titled Clara Draper, named after his younger sister, could work well in any room. Its style is abstract and its medium oils. The nature of this work lends itself to many possibilities that can add to or offset the style of a room.

The light in or coming into a room is to be considered when placing an artwork. Strong sunlight is not suitable for viewing artworks and sunlight should never fall directly onto a work.

Cleaning an artwork, in a word, don’t. If you value your artworks, talk to an expert conservator when and if an artworks needs to be cleaned.

It is possible that you could frame a work like this; framing options are many, but as you can tell it’s a contemporary work, you would want a frame that follows this quality. Having an artwork under glass has its benefits; glass helps protect against environmental damage and people over enthusiastically pointing. Then there are issues with reflection to consider. While there is anti-reflective glass, it is just a coating and not completely effective. Talk to a reputable framer, they will advise.

by Rob Kennedy

Interview with an artist – Wendy Nolan

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