Buying Original Art

by Lisa Stewart 14 Mar 2015

If you’re tired of filling your walls with mass marketed prints and ho-hum copies, then you might be ready to invest in original art.  Good news!  It's easier today than it's ever been and I'll show you how. 

Find what you love. Art is meant to move you and evoke emotions. Perhaps look for artwork that reminds you of something special in your past. Educate yourself, try to move beyond what you know, and broaden the scope of art that interests you. 

Look through books and magazines. Search the web. If you discover something that really interests you then remember that it's best to see the artwork in person before procuring. 

Contact nearby schools. They will let you know about upcoming art shows and possibly connect you with talented students and emerging artists. Buying pieces from fledgling artists is a win-win situation.

Go to museums and talk to gallery owners. They may be able to recommend artists based on your tastes. 

Consider having a piece created for you that is just the right size for your room and budget. When commissioning you may be able to suggest style and color range, but never try to match. Be sure to clarify your budget up front.

Investing in one large piece of art can carry more impact and be more practical than buying several smaller ones. Always buy the best you can afford.  

Once you’ve chosen a new objet d'art, protect it. Sunlight and harsh light bulbs can steadily destroy a piece of art. Frame it with UV-filtering glass and be sure your lighting won’t do it any harm.

Pictured here at the Little Gallery on Smith Mountain Lake, VA, I had a chance to chat with artist Greg Osterhaus. As much as I enjoyed these bodacious and beguiling bovines and wanted to take one home with me right then, I was reminded of my number one rule when considering art acquisitions:  take your time and make sure you'll love what you buy.  If you do that then you can invest with confidence.

Lisa Stewart is an Interior Designer in Raleigh, NC.