Bringing Art Into Your Home - By Fiona Chandler
Traditionally walking into a gallery was your option, or an introduction to an artist but all that has changed. With a myriad of choices and so many ways to buy art these days including; online, art galleries, instagram, direct from artists. There is no right or wrong way to buy art. There is so much pleasure getting to know the artwork, hours of contemplation noticing a few more details each time. Artwork can tell a story, evoke memories, and stir emotions; reminder of who you were with the day you bought it, a special gift from someone, a sense of joy at your new treasure. It can be overwhelming and confusing but a great original work of art can add to your home forever and once you start, I am warning you well in advance, it can be addictive.
Galleries are spaces for conversation. They do not expect you to be experts, they are happy to answer questions about the art, artist or upcoming shows. Not everyone walks in with a blank chequebook ( do they even exist anymore). You may like the look of a gallery and pop in from time to time, for years sometimes, before you see anything that is right for you. Galleries also understand you often fall in love out of your price bracket and are happy to let you pay a bit at a time. You can ask if the artist takes commissions, bigger, smaller, similar. Original artworks can start at as little as $100 for unframed works. Bear in mind most galleries commission is 40-50% so the artist is working hard for the money.
Galleries are also on instagram. Again visit often, get to know the gallery or artist and the work they do. Ask questions. Direct Message if you are shy. There are no silly questions. You have no idea how happy a red dot or sold sticker makes and artist. Artists are very involved with each of their works, they like them to go to good homes, to people that love their work. Developing a relationship with a gallery or an artist can open up the opportunities for invitations to showings or future exhibitions. Many galleries will bring a piece to your home prior to purchase so you can see how it would look in your space. It also helps the galleries to see your style and possibly think of other pieces not on show that they may know about.
The first artwork I bought was an illustration, I saved for months! It was $80 in 1990 and it’s still hanging in our home. I now know it was a print, it was framed beautifully and I still love it. It takes me back to a time when all I wanted was to be an illustrator. I have looked at the lines so many times, recently my daughter asked if it could be moved to her room. Art gives forever if it speaks to you.
My husband’s first piece was a tiger, a lino cut at a market. He was shocked that you could buy original art at a market – a whole new world opened up. We still have the lino cut and it still looks wonderful. It represents a beautiful piece but also a day of immense happiness and possibility. One of our children has dibbs on it for their forever home. (they are thinking ahead).
The addiction continues and so does our collection. Now have works that are 10 x the price and took many months/years of savings that bring us as much joy as that very first print and lino cut tiger. I am an artist and these works continue to inspire me. They were not bought for investment, they were bought simply for the love of the piece and are now part of the fabric that is our home.