Monday, October 27, 2008

Buying art, collecting art, decorating with art and enjoying art! Where to begin?

Start here!

Look around your home (or office). If the area is already decorated...and if it was decorated by you or subject to your approval, you already know what colors please you...and you know a bit about the style of design that makes you comfortable. If you haven't committed yourself to colors or styles, look through home magazines and cut out pictures of rooms that really appeal to you.

Next, look around your home. Make a mental list of those spaces that cry out for art work. Those quite often include the wall spaces over sofas, mantles, beds, and credenzas. Analyze your lighting. Does harsh afternoon sun bathe the wall over your sofa? If so, make a note of it. Do you wish that your dining room had more windows? Jot that down.

Accumulate art and memorabilia that you already own. You might be able to appropriate and frame or reframe items that have been in your basement for years. (Such items often can be used in a new way to add personality to groupings, for example.)

Visit your budget. Framed works of good quality might run $500 and up. Can you afford to purchase several works of art at once? Or would one item at a time (perhaps paid for on layaway) suit you best?

If you have a quality art gallery in your community, visit often. When you are ready to buy, enlist the assistance of one of their knowledgeable art consultants. It is the job of the consultant to help you purchase what you like and what you can afford. The gallery will want your repeat business, and will strive to keep you happy.

Feel free to look, ask questions and enjoy. Share information about your home and your likes and dislikes. Reputable art dealers and consultants are knowledgeable and love sharing information with you. Check out informative web sites.

(At, we have developed a "learning center" to assist collectors.
Click on

Art pricing seems mysterious to the uninitiated buyer. Works that look similar might bear very different prices. Make certain that you understand why an item is priced the way it is prior to making a commitment to buy.

Finally, don't skimp on the framing. To do so is often like putting Ford tires on your Bentley. Quality art galleries have at least one Certified Picture Framer on staff to supervise the gallery's professional framers. Rely on those pros to make certain your art is framed appropriately.

That's all for now.
Norah Lynne Brown, VP & CPF

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