7 Expert Tips You Need to Know Before Purchasing Art

best tips you need to know before purchasing art

If you are going to buy the first artwork for your home, you may be interested in some useful tips you need to know before purchasing art. What should you pay attention to as you buy a work of art? How to know whether an artist you want to commission your work from is trustworthy? How to go about selecting an appropriate size? These, and many more questions may be running through your head.

7 Expert Tips You Need to Know Before Purchasing Art

We can all agree that art transcends time and space. Art has the unique power to awe for centuries. Who remembers the most popular good sold in the 15th century? Very few, if anyone. However, everyone does remember art from the 15th century. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” is a case in point. Across centuries, people have remembered, admired and respected art. It is because art has a profound impact on who we are as humanity.

Masterpiece Last Supper by da Vinci

Since the 15th century, people have admired, appreciated and respected da Vinci’s piece “the Last Supper.” Art has the power to transcend time more than anything else.

We encourage you to think about inviting art to permeate your life on a more permanent basis. We can guarantee that art will not just inspire but fascinate you each and every day. Art will give you a sense of belonging. It will give you a sense of home.

Expert Tips on Purchasing Art

We encourage you to select art that will serve you and your family for decades, if not longer. Selecting an appropriate piece might be confusing. Therefore, we would like to help you with some expert tips that will facilitate the process for you.

Our expert tips come from veteran artists with decades of experience in not just creating but purchasing art. Today, I am very honored to feature conversations with two incredibly inspiring artists. Their works of art have not just amazed me. They have touched my heart and soul.

Bobbi Heath and Susie Gregory were kind enough to share their invaluable experiences with art. They provided invaluable tips you need to know before purchasing art. While the process of selecting and commissioning a work of art may seem confusing at first, Bobbi and Susie reassure that working with artists is a truly enjoyable encounter.

We hope that as you embark on your own journey as an art collector, you will find 7 expert tips you need to know before purchasing art useful.

  • Listen and see which paintings speak to you.
  • Review previous artworks of the artist to see a consistent approach with lines, composition, and design.
  • Invest in a high quality painting that will last you and your family for a long time.
  • Be sure that you understand the size of a painting.
  • Purchase artwork at a gallery or directly from artists.
  • Remember that many artists sell their artworks online.
  • If you are commissioning a custom painting, understand whether the artist paints from photographs or live.
  • [EXTRA] Enjoy the painting!

We invite you to the conversation with Bobbi Heath and Susie Gregory.

Bobbi Heath: ‘So listen and see which paintings are speaking to you’

Bobbi Heath an artist

I fell in love with Bobbi’s art from first sight. Little did I know what a great impact her story with art would have on me.

I first encountered Bobbi Heath as I was working on the article the American Dream with Carol Marine. I fell in love with Bobbi’s art. Little did I know what a great impact her story with art would have on me. As a young child, Bobbi drew artistic inspiration from her mom, since her mom was a fine artist. After her mother’s death, Bobbi decided to take up where her mom had left off.

Bobbi consequently pursued her education in drawing and painting. She learned from New England’s most accomplished artists: Suzanne Harden, Tina Ingraham, and Robert Abele. Today, Bobbi paints in oils, and teaches drawing and painting classes and workshops. She is also a daily painter. You may admire her work on her blog Bobbi Heath’s Drawing with Paint.

Bobbi’s work has been acknowledged nationally and internationally. She is represented by Yarmouth Frame and Gallery in Yarmouth, ME, Artists Corner & Gallery in West Acton, MA. Bobbi was a prize winner at the Ocean Park Plein Air Festival in July, 2014 and has participated in the Castine Plein Air Festival since its inception in 2013.

Adam Ziemba: What are some tips you need to know before purchasing art? Why?

Bobbi Heath: Not many of us grew up with original artwork in our homes. I still remember the Winslow Homer prints my mother had on the wall, which were my introduction to fine art. And it can feel like a big leap, going from buying a print to buying an original. It feels like it’s more expensive, but in reality, matting and framing a print or poster can cost as much as a small original oil or acrylic painting. For me the most important thing to consider when buying a painting is that it speaks to me. Paintings speak in many ways, two of the most common are when they depict a place or an activity that’s close to your heart. So listen and see which paintings are speaking to you.

best 7 expert tips you need to know before purchasing art

As you think of purchasing a work of art, Bobbi says that you should “listen and see which paintings are speaking to you.” She further says that “paintings speak in many ways, two of the most common are when they depict a place or an activity that’s close to your heart.”

AZ: Who do you purchase paintings from?

BH: My husband and I buy artwork in galleries, directly from artists, and online. If you haven’t bought original artwork before and don’t already have a few artists whose work you love, a local gallery can be a great place to start looking and learning. The gallerist can give you lots of information about their artists, where they are from, their subject matter, and what drives them to paint. At openings you can often meet the artists, and hear them talk about their inspiration and how they work.

If you take painting lessons or workshops, then you already have a foot in the door. You may love the work of your teacher, and you can certainly ask them to point you to other artists whose work they think you’d like. Often teachers offer their students discounts on their work. I have a number of paintings that I treasure that were bought this way.

Even more fun is to buy a demo painting that you actually watched being created! There’s nothing wrong with discreetly asking the teacher if they are for sale.

I buy paintings online, and I sell mine that way. It’s a great way to have a variety or work to choose from, and many artists find it a very effective sales channel. As long as the photographs of the work are well done, you’ll get a very real sense of what the work looks like.

Be sure that you understand the size of a painting you are considering online. Cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the painting and hold it up to where you’d like to hang it.

what are some tips to purchase art

Another important tip for you to remember, especially if you buy your artwork online, is to “understand the size of a painting.” Bobbi advises to “cut a piece of cardboard to the size of the painting and hold it up to where you’d like to hang it.”

AZ: Are there any ways to recognize an artist who creates high quality work? If so, how can you tell?

BH: An artist who creates high quality work will have a consistent approach, you’ll be able to recognize their work once you become familiar with it. That doesn’t mean that they will only paint one subject or even in one medium, but what makes their work unique will win out over those variables. When I buy my first painting from an artist, I like to see six or eight paintings by that artist to make sure the one I’m drawn to is consistent with their body of work.

AZ: Oil, acrylic, pencil… Which one to choose?

BH: As to what medium to choose, that’s very much a personal preference. I love them all! I would note that work on paper requires better and often more expensive framing than oil or acrylic paintings on canvas or board, to protect the artwork from sunlight and mildew. Paintings on panels are less expensive to frame than those on canvas stretchers because the frame can be thinner. And paintings on gallery wrapped canvas can be hung without a frame at all.

best 7 expert tips before purchasing art

An important tip you need to know before purchasing art is that medium is a matter of personal preference. There is no right or wrong answer to this.

AZ: If acquiring custom paintings, how to best work with an artist to make the process smooth?

BH: If you find an artist you love and would like them to create a commission for you, don’t be afraid to ask if that’s a possibility. There are wonderful artists who regularly do portraits of people, pets, homes, and even boats. If the artist is going to work from photos, give them the option of taking the photos themselves if distance allows that. If not, carefully read their guidelines on taking photos for a portrait, follow them, and provide the artist with multiple photos to work from. Be prompt in responding to their drafts and clear about any changes you want. The artist wants you to be happy with the result.

AZ: Paintings can be expensive. Are they worth the investment? Why or why not?

BH: Buying a painting is an investment in enjoyment, both for yourself and for your family. I’m very pleased that our son appreciates and would like to have the artwork that my husband and I have collected over the last thirty years. While it’s possible that a painting that you buy may become valuable, buying them with that as a goal requires as much research and knowledge as buying any other investment. And it’s likely one that will take a while to pay off. If that interests you, do the work, make sure to keep all the documentation to provide provenance, and enjoy the beauty along the way.

farmers market by bobbi heath

Bobbi encourages you to truly enjoy a painting. “Buying a painting is an investment in enjoyment, both for yourself and for your family.”

 

 

Susie Gregory: ‘No matter which medium you choose, you will always find a spot for it in your home’

I discovered Susie Gregory’s art as I was doing soul searching. Her art has touched me very deeply, filling me with a sense of hope and beauty. Her artworks continue to amaze me.

Susie grew up with passion for drawing. For over 40 years, she has worked in multiple media, which include watercolor, pastel, oil and mixed media. Susie draws her  artistic inspiration from places she lives in: scenic and nostalgic hills of southern Indiana and ever-changing and yet ever-the-same marshlands of coastal Georgia.

Since 2009, Susie has been painting one piece a day. You can admire her work on her website Susie Gregory Fine Art and her blog Susie’s Queue.

Susie’s work has been acknowledged nationally and internationally. Her work has been featured in the Indiana State Museum as well as Governor’s Mansion. It is also hanging in corporate and private collections across the United States, Canada, Costa Rica and Australia.

what you need to know before purchasing art for the first time

Susie Gregory talked about her tips you need to know before purchasing art. “‘No matter which medium you choose, you will always find a spot for it in your home’.”

Adam Ziemba: What are some tips you need to know before purchasing art? Why?

Susie Gregory: Some people want a painting to go with their couch. There is nothing wrong with that. I have personally worked with folks to create something for them. Others only purchase “dead artists.” These people typically have a lot of expendable income and they purchase for investment purchases. However, the majority of people, in my opinion, fall somewhere in between.  They buy art that speaks to them.

AZ: Who do you purchase paintings from?

SG:  I usually try to purchase the demo when i take a workshop.  I consider myself to be very lucky. Over the years, I have collected some very nice pieces from high quality artists at a fraction of what those pieces would normally cost.

what-do-i-need-to-know-before-purchasing-art usa

Susie pays particular attention to high quality artists. She says that “in representational art, you can tell an artist who has spent miles and miles on the journey, who has painted on canvas after canvas.”

AZ: Are there any ways to recognize an artist who creates high quality work? If so, how can you tell?

SG: In representational art, you can tell an artist who has spent miles and miles on the journey, who has painted on canvas after canvas. Like anything in life, practice makes perfect. An artist producing quality work pays attention to line, shape, composition, value (light and dark contrast), color, edges and paint quality, just to name a few.

what-you-need-to-kow-before-buying-art usa

“An artist who produces quality work pays attention to line, shape, composition, value (light and dark contrast), color, edges and paint quality.”

AZ: Oil, acrylic, pencil… Which one to choose?

SG: There are so many types of art. Oil, acrylic, pastel, pen and ink, colored pencil, watercolor, mixed media, photography, to name just a few. Art needs to speak to you. If it does, no matter which medium you choose, you will always find a spot for it in your home.

As many artists, I started out drawing and worked my way through watercolor, pastel and acrylic. When I stumbled upon oil, it quickly became my most favorite medium. Oil allows paintings to be almost photographic. However, in my experiments with oil, I have managed to also create abstract art. However, it needs to have a meaning, not just be a bunch of mindless spatters. Design and color are so important.

buying art directly from artist online

“I started out drawing and worked my way through watercolor, pastel and acrylic. When I stumbled upon oil, it quickly became my most favorite medium. “

AZ: If acquiring custom paintings, how to best work with an artist to make the process smooth?

SG: I have done many commissioned pieces over the years. The themes included pets, nature, landscapes and humans. People commission for a variety of reasons, such as birthday gifts.

Most frequently, I work from photographs and work with the client to come up with the best result. In the case of Miminiska Falls, we combined two photos and changed up the jacket color. It was a birthday surprise. My client was truly surprised. He said it was the best birthday present he had ever received! Another reason I love what i do. 🙂

beautiful field of poppies

“I have done many commissioned pieces over the years. The themes included pets, nature, landscapes and humans.”

 

Some images in this post are a courtesy of the following:

  1. Bobbi Heath
  2. Susie Gregory
  3. Pixabay

 

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