This article was written by Cara Corbin.
Art, like wine, can be intimidating, but it need not be. It is a matter of allowing yourself to like whatever you like, without worrying about what is proper or considered to be better by other people. Look at art that your friends and family have to see what you gravitate toward. Do you like photography? Do you like wild, bold color or something that feels more quiet and calm? Some people like very representational work that is easily identifiable - “It is a landscape.” Others lean more toward the "I have no idea what it is, but I like it!" vibe. Go for what you like. What makes you happy? What kind of images do you like to be around?
There's something for everyone
There is something for every taste and every budget. Buying original art, even very affordable or small pieces, will enable you to build a collection that represents your personal taste over time. You may no longer love the first piece you bought back in college by the time you retire, but it will have nostalgic value at that point. Instead of buying a shot glass or commemorative spoon from the places you visit, it can be more meaningful to connect with art from particular places and times in your life.
There are paintings, drawings, ceramic pieces, and photographs for you to select from. You may get a chance to meet the artist or see them in action. Or a piece can remind you of a special person you were with when you bought it. We are lucky that these days you do not need to be near a high end gallery to find beautiful art. Many coffee shops now feature local artists on a rotating basis. Even restaurants often change the art each month, allowing you to be exposed to many different styles while you dine. Be open to something catching your eye somewhere unexpected.
You do not have to go to New York City or San Francisco to find art that is beautiful or moving. I was lucky enough to come across the art of local Clarkdale artist, Christine Debrosky. Her day and night landscape scenes captured my imagination. Christine was gracious enough to allow me to buy the mesmerizing Clarkdale Nocture over a period of months. Now, each time I look at it, I am filled with satisfaction because of its incredible beauty and also because I am familiar with the place depicted.
Tips to consider when looking to buy art
Clarkdale artist Christine Debrosky offered some important art buying tips. “Don’t be afraid to inquire about the work,” she said, “we welcome the interest!” She went on to say it is ok to ask about prices and to share your budget. But if you do inquire, and get a response, be sure to reply even to say that the piece is out of your range. Otherwise, the artist may believe that you just were not really interested. “I am always willing to point you in a direction that will be more along the lines of what you are looking for and what your budget can afford.
Most selling artists work in a range with varied sizing and price points. If a piece that you like is too expensive right now, there may be a smaller work, or a similar work on paper available, for example. Trying to get a lower price is not favored, however many artists will offer a discount if several pieces are purchased at the same time. I have made it a practice to never pressure an interested party, however if someone does love the piece, I will work with the individual to come up with a payment plan that is within budget. After all, art is meant to be shared.
Most importantly, have fun! You are the only one who is an expert on what you like. Whether it is small sculptures, large photos, or any combination of oils, pastels, or acrylics in between, art adds beauty to our days. Indulge!