building your fine art collection
What you need to know
Art is, and always has been, one of the most powerful and intimate mediums of human expression. The mystery of art is how we connect with the art and how we alone conduct our personal dialogue with the artwork.
These are some factors to consider in helping to determine if a particular work of art has the potential to be a good addition to your collection:
A small signed work, even a print will be worth more than an original by an unknown artist. Buy works by known artists. You are always better off buying works by known and established artists. While this does not guarantee that their works will increase in value, you will always have a better chance of seeing your ´investment´ grow if the artist has a/an established gallery(s) behind them and a good following of collectors.
Is it an original or is it a Limited Edition Fine Art Print? What is the accessibility of the artist’s work? In other words if you can find loads of the artists paintings at many galleries, chances are that it’s not that high in demand. A highly sought after artist is almost never able to keep up with the demand for original art. That is why many begin to fill the demand by creating fine art limited edition prints or, in the case of sculpture, multiples.
When considering a fine art limited edition these are good questions to ask; how many were created? Are there other editions of the same image created for markets in other countries? Are there other sizes of the same image? The smaller the number in an edition creates rarity and often drives the price higher. All multiples should come with a certificate of authenticity.
Larger paintings and sculpture tend to command a higher price.
Oil paintings tend to sell more than watercolors, pastel, acrylic, and pencil.
A common question is “how long did it take to make this work of art”? This question is no more relevant to creating art as it is to asking a musician how long it took them to compose a song, or a surgeon how long it took to perform a life saving operation. The real question should be, “How long did it take you to get to the skill level where you are able to create this work of art?” and “What formal training have you received”? Like many other professions, most well known artists have been classically trained from youth to go on to a six year fine art academy. To the question of time, most will answer, “Years”!
How skilled the artist is in the chosen medium. The only way to judge skill without a professional assistance is to look at a lot of art. Over time you will be able to judge who is a skilled artist and who is not.
Is the style classical or trendy? If the artist is painting for the décor of the day, or a current trend, chances are that it will go out of vogue as design changes.
Where is it being sold? Most art galleries are owned by seasoned art professionals who have a vested interest in carrying the best art available to their gallery. The best artists are highly sought after and are protected by regional territories. This is the reason most artists desire to be shown in reputable galleries. It is not to say that you won’t find good art at a local art faire. Just keep in mind that notoriety and exclusivity are the driving forces in choosing an artist of value.
Art is no different than any other market; supply and demand dictates the asking price of an artist’s work. When you see an artist commanding high prices you can assume they are in demand, but do a little research first. If the painting that you admired with the big ticket price on it is still there in a year, and further you can find plenty of the art work for sale in other galleries, it might be over priced or declining in value.
Displaying your collection:
When selecting art to fit a particular space, art that is too large will be overwhelming, and art that is too small will look lost and out of proportion. In order to make your fine art the center of attraction, you may want to play down the other design elements in the room, such as window coverings, carpeting, wall coverings, and even furniture. When you choose artwork for your home, think of the statement that you want to make with it and then place the piece where that statement can be best experienced.
But what should you do if you bring a piece of artwork home and it clashes with the current design? Try it out in various places in your home. It might look beautiful in an area you hadn’t planned on placing it. If you cannot find a place where the art looks right, you may need to make some changes in the room. Moving furniture or re-painting a wall is an option. These changes will be worth making in order to enjoy the art you love.
Enjoy your art without apology:
Beauty is, and always will be, in the “eye of the beholder”. Your decision about the art you like or do not like is instinctive and natural. In fact, you probably won’t even have to make that decision, you’ll just either be captivated by a work of art or you won’t. With that said, don’t try to over analyze your response to art. Remember that the “art experience” is an intimate matter and will not create the same experience for everyone. At the end of the day, it is your experience that matters most. Don’t let anyone tell you any different. Enjoy the process!