Going to galleries is the best thing ever. There is an absolute thrill in standing up close and personal to a painting you've only seen in digital form. Sometimes, just sometimes, there's a niggle of disappointment and most times that has proved to be due to a disparity of colour. The trend, particularly recently, has been to ramp up colour edits to unrealistic proportions. But most times it's like - woo - let me get closer and smell that paint, savour that texture and absorb the wonder. However there are two things that make buying from a gallery tricky:
1) They're closed at the time of writing this (although socially distanced browsing may return in the near future)
2) Prices. There's no getting away from the fact that galleries are Pricey McPricey due to commissions and overheads.
Now this is fine if money is a-plenty and I DO want galleries to thrive but the alternative is to buy directly from the artist and as art fairs and open studios are also closed at the moment, that means online.
Art, like anything else can be bought online with confidence if you
KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
KNOW WHO YOU'RE BUYING FROM
KNOW HOW TO MEASURE
Most people know what they like when they see it, so browse, browse and browse some more. There's nothing wrong with wanting something to match your decor and the word 'taste' should be banished to the bin. Ain't no such thing. If you see something that makes you happy and gives you all the feels you desire, that's good enough. Then, check who you're buying from. Is there plenty of information about them online? LIKE. KNOW. TRUST. This is a well-used phrase when it comes to buying and selling. Know who you're dealing with, either through word of mouth, reputation or a bit of research.
And then MEASURE. Make sure you know exactly the dimensions of the piece you have your eye on. Check and double check whether the seller has listed it in cm or inches. If there's one major pitfall to buying online, its size. Whereas the camera unfairly adds pounds to us, it often diminishes or distorts the scale of a painting. Then check COLOUR. If possible, look at the painting on different devices, not just your phone or monitor. If necessary, ask questions. Ask for close up images, extra images. Artists are happy to help and if you ever come across one who's not, take your hard earned dosh elsewhere pronto! Also, check the cost of shipping. Shipping costs for paintings can be expensive if the piece is large or if you're in another country.
I must add that the same goes for buying prints and always be aware of the difference between Giclee prints and photo prints, open ended prints and limited edition prints (a term often abused and confused) but this is a subject for another post. For now, take care and enjoy art!
To test this blog out, let's start with a photo of my constant studio companion. She accompanies me on sketching trips, she snoozes while I paint and wakes up when the biscuits appear at tea break time. She's a harsh critic but never unkind. Her name is Teabag and she is 17.