Thursday, September 3, 2009

Buying Art

I came acrosss an interesting article in the Washington Post today with tips for buying art. They interviewed Allison Marvin who owns an art consulting business. I thought her advice to be excellent.
As an artist I hope to produce a piece that brings about an emotional impact or reaches the viewer in a way that they are moved to look again and search for more.

What advice would you offer someone looking for art for their homes?
I would encourage people to take their time. If that means allowing the time to budget and save the money to put towards a piece, then do it. I also suggest they resist purchasing several smaller, lower-value pieces and wait for one larger piece when they can afford it and when they find a piece that really sings to them.

How do you figure out your own personal taste in art?
Go look at a lot of art. Go to museums. Walk through galleries. Pay attention to your reactions. Have a conversation with yourself about what you like and why and what you don't like and why. It's all about finding artwork that challenges you, moves you or reflects your sensibilities.

What would you suggest to someone on a limited budget?
Ask yourself: What are visual things around you that appeal to you? What moves you? Do you have favorite books, magazines, objects? Pick a predominant wall in your house and create a display of a personalized collection of objects and images, salon-style (different sizes and shapes hung in a grouped arrangement). If you have favorite magazines and books, pull the pages out. Hang a postcard that someone sent you or that you picked up on a recent trip. Include programs or other takeaways from art shows you particularly liked. I would do that rather than pay $250 for a framed poster from a chain store.

Is there a general guideline for hanging art?
Most people make the mistake of hanging art too high. [ KSH: A pet peeve of mine!]Art is supposed to be eye-level, but it shouldn't be eye-level to a guy who is six-foot-three. If you hang artwork lower, you bring it into the room, make it much more part if the environment and you can look at it better. Rule of thumb: Art should hang so that its center is 60 inches from the ground.

What do you need to know about choosing a frame?
Let the artwork be your guide and your only focus. The frame should respect and reflect the art, not fight it. The only guideline you should have when choosing your frame is your artwork, not the color of your walls or stain of your coffee table. A good framer will show you your options and tell you what he or she thinks looks best. Rule of thumb: Simple is better.


DEB said...

Hmmmm....With the DC and Baltimore miniature art shows around the corner, I have to say there is a market for the small art pieces too. I think she meant small in value vs. size. I think she's right though about waiting to buy until a piece of art sings to you. That's what I do! Thanks for sharing, Kathleen.

AutumnLeaves said...

Some great tips, Kathleen!

Claire said...

Great information - thanks for sharing, Kathleen.

Kathleen Harrington Paints said...

I think she meant value too Deb!