Before deciding to purchase an artwork from a gallery or
direct from the artist, make sure the artist
used high quality paint and not inferior student quality pigment.
quality paints will not fade readily and are more stable unlike cheap household
paints and student grade pigments. Unfortunately, many emerging and
"self-declared" artists use inferior materials, including canvas, stretcher bars
and paint and unsuitable yellowing varnish. In the case of digital prints, they
may not use pigmented inks and acid-free paper, but dye based inks which fade
Avoid experimental mediums such as bitumen and like, I have
seen many artworks self-destruct over time where the "artist" experimented with
unproven methods and materials including non-archival materials.
Look at all available paintings and sculptures in the gallery
or artist studio and assess the artwork's
suitability for their intended location. However, when selecting a piece do not rely entirely on
intellectual reasoning and logic, but listen to your gut feeling and intuition.
An artwork should "speak" to you, capture your attention and
get you emotionally moved. Recognise this and follow your desire and
If you and your partner cannot agree on an
artwork, consider having a "his and hers" purchase, ie each of you choosing
a piece really really liked, rather than a middle of the road compromise.
Always choose enjoyment over investment considerations unless your
main interest is just to make a profit.
paintings in living areas instead of mirrors
Instead of mirrors and such "lacking in personality" items, consider hanging paintings or bas-relief wall sculptures on
your walls . When you have mirrors in living areas (as opposed to
bathrooms and dressing rooms) why would you want to look just at
your own reflection all the time when you could enjoy an artwork instead.
You might be very pretty and impressive, but ... really, stop being narcissistic
and be serious!?
Advice on hanging paintings
Do not try to match colours in a painting to your
cushion or curtain. This pedestrian approach will ignore or minimise any artistic merit an artwork
may offer. Most paintings and sculptures have a life of their own and do
not need to harmonise with an existing interior design colour scheme.
It is important though that there is no significant clash with
existing dominant colours in the room but a certain amount of contrast may be
acceptable and beneficial. Like jewellery provides accent to an otherwise
Do not place a small painting on a large wall. Be brave and
choose a decent size artwork on a given wall space that creates an impact and
improves your visual environment.
not hang paintings too high, ie the centre line of the painting too far above
the eye level of an average height woman.
Don't be afraid to buy a non-cliché painting, ie a highly
original piece different from the run-of-the-mill ordinary stuff. Many
galleries promote pigeon-holed, mass produced works, where a successful artist
is encouraged to turn out paintings in the same style over and over. The
sense of adventure and the thrill of discovery and the magic of freshness may be missing
from such works.
Give preference to
galleries and artists who have a satisfactory return and refund policy.
This is important in case you are not
entirely satisfied with your purchase.
If you own a
number of paintings, try to rotate them between rooms and available wall spaces.
You will be surprised how a painting can assume a new lease of life in a new
location. It is like a holiday for pictures and for you like a pleasant
meeting of an old friend.