April 27, 2017

Choosing Artwork For Your Home

Choosing Artwork - Splurges and Bargains

If I have a choice, I will always purchase original one-of-a-kind works of art to place in my home.  

Spring Freckles by Alena Vyborna
24" x 24"
Like this one.  I fell in love with it when I first laid eyes on it and I still love it.  It is painted on silk and the depth of colour and vibrancy stole my heart.  I admit that this was a bit of a splurge for me.  You may spy it hanging over the mantle from time to time.  It moves around the house season to season.
I bought this at the Buckhorn Art Festival a few years ago.  I believe Alena, the artist, lives in Lindsay, Ontario.
I did try to contact Alena before I posted this, but was unsuccessful.

I know that owning original art sounds like an impossibility.  Most art will always and forever be out of reach for a person of my limited means.

However; there are ways to find art at affordable prices.  There are times too when you will have to pay full price if you really want the piece.

Trendy art that you think looks good today.   But, when decorating styles change next year or in five years will it have been a wise investment?  

Cute, yes?
This one doesn't belong to me.

If it matters to you that the art increases in value, try to imagine what the market for the art you are interested in will be like in ten years, twenty years, or more.  Will it hold its value, increase in value, or end up worth less than you paid for it.  We can never be entirely sure what the market will be like when it comes to art so it is a bit of a gamble if you are buying purely for financial gain.

Beetlejuice on black velvet
I don't own this either.

I suppose there will be collectors who would buy a certain genre no matter what it is just because they like it. 
Think about whether or not you will still like it in ten years.

It may help when choosing art to look at paintings by some of the Masters like Michelangelo, Reubens, and others just to study how they use colour, light, and technique in their work.

The Starry Night
The Starry Night by Vincent vanGogh.  It hangs in MoMA, NYC

Check out some of the more contemporary artists as well.

Andy Warhol
Gold Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol at MoMA, NYC

I do not profess to be an art expert and I certainly do not understand the art market.  It can be very volatile, at best.  I don't buy for investment, but rather I buy to fulfil my love of art.

I can't imagine buying a piece of art because I think I should own something by a certain artist, then bringing it home and not wanting to put it on my wall because I really don't like it.  

For me, the fun part is the hunt and going to art shows and galleries.  You can get a feel for the type of art that pleases you.  You can meet the artists too.  

Buying new artists or emerging artists can be a smart way to obtain original art.  Because the artist is unknown, their work can sell for a fraction of the price of better-known artists.
Those Warhol paintings selling for $40 million today once sold for $300. to $500.

Some of the pieces I have are what I call Stumble-Upons as you will see in the next two examples.

You can sometimes pick up bargains at local auctions that don't primarily sell art.  
I once bought a lot of three paintings at an auction for $40.00.  The auction specialised in some antique furniture and farm implements, not art and not a lot of art lovers attended.  The two larger pieces were not very good and I didn't like them.  I either gave them away or donated them to a garage sale for charity.

8" x 10" Oil on Board by Jane Patricia Ruff

The smaller painting I did like and kept.  I believe Jane Ruff still paints, but I was unable to find out much information about her.  Some of her work had been featured in a gallery in Peterborough, Ontario at one time.

These last two little paintings measure about 3.75" x 6" each without frames.  The scenes are of the Gatineau Hills in Quebec.  The artist is known for painting miniatures - doll house sized oil paintings.  I didn't know anyone did that until I researched her.  These two are larger than the miniatures.  I haven't been able to find a lot of information about Joanne Modderman.

Top:  "Reflextion" Black Lake Gatineau Hills 1986
Bottom:  "The Four Neighbours"
both by Joanne Modderman

I bought them at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store for $5.00 each.  That's right.  I couldn't believe it either, but that's what they cost.

My Sources for Art Collecting

Art Shows and Galleries - These are always inspirational.  You can learn a lot about your tastes in art.  You can often find something within your budget.

The Artists - Connect with them and get to know them.  Generally, they are very willing to talk about their work.  You can get good background knowledge directly from the artist which, in itself, can be fascinating.  Sometimes they will come down a little in price or steer you towards another piece you can afford.  Don't expect artists to discount their work for you, though.  Often the piece is fairly intricate and has required many, many hours of work to complete.  Always be respectful of their efforts.

Auctions - Try to get to the auction early enough to inspect the art you want to bid on and set a price limit for yourself.

Thrift Stores - Rarely, but sometimes you will find a piece.  It is worth taking a look, though.

Garage and Estate Sales - When it is time for one generation to release the previous generation's belongings, it is possible to find some decent, but otherwise inexpensive art.  

Gifts - I have been the recipient of gifted art.  One piece was given to me by a wonderful friend and other pieces were passed down to me from family.

Look for art everywhere.

I can never tell you what to buy, how much to spend, or if what you buy will be worth a lot of money some day.

I can tell you to buy what you love and if it ends up being worth something someday then you made a good choice.

The reason I prefer original art is because it is the real thing.  Someone thought about their idea for a painting, planned it, sketched it, changed it perhaps more than once before they put brush to paint and with their own hand painted a piece of art.  It is forever an extension of the artist.  It is not a picture of a painting and hopefully, it is not an imitation of someone else's work.  It is real and original and one of a kind.

Now that you have seen a little of my collection and heard the stories behind them, I hope I have encouraged you to source original pieces of art for yourself.  I believe you will enjoy living with them as I do.

Thanks for stopping by.


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