Original fine art since 2007

Questions to ask when buying original art

Buying original art can be a little bewildering, given all the choices you face when selecting a single painting or series of paintings for your home or office collection. Once you have found a painting or artwork that you really engage with, there are some further (more logical) practical questions which can help you decide whether it is the right choice or not.

Here are some questions to ask when you buy original art:

Is it acceptably within my budget?

Establishing a budget you are comfortable with is important of course and this will also help you to focus on the kind of artist's work you can afford. If you'd like a rough idea of how much to spend, I've heard people suggest spending half of one month's income over a one year period on one quality piece of original art.

Is the original art in keeping with where it will be displayed?

Size, colour, tones (light and dark), textures, composition etc. are properties to consider for the art to work well within it's intended space.

Is the artwork created in the same style as the artist's other work?

This will help you clarify whether you would consider a 'one off', in a different style or if you'd rather stick to the artist's signature style.

Is the original painting or drawing signed?

An original artwork by the artist is usually signed and it will probably be dated, possibly titled as well.

Does it come with a certificate of authenticity or record of provenance if not new?

A useful document proving ownership and authenticity. Not all galleries offer this though and some collectors simply rely on the artist's signature to show authenticity

Does the artist or gallery offer a 'cooling off' period once you have bought your original art?

If you buy online, it can be difficult to make a decision about a work of art you've never seen, so it makes sense to be able to see it with your own eyes at home and to be allowed to return it if it isn't as you expected.

Is delivery included in the price?

It is worth checking beforehand as many galleries can charge extra for delivery. The larger the work is, the pricier delivery. So its something to factor in.

All these questions can help you decide and to narrow down further so you can hopefully make the best decision when buying your original art!

Is the artwork framed or unframed?

This is something which artists and/or galleries have particular preferences for. On the one hand, offering a framed artwork saves you time and cost framing but you will not have a choice as to its aesthetic. There is a strong possibility you will end up having it re-framed anyway to suit your taste or preference. My opinion is that an artwork is such a personal item with which you or your family (or indeed office) have a deep connection with and having the right frame is an important component as to how the painting or artwork looks. Everyone has differing interiors and preferred styles. Framing adds an extra cost to the artwork either way, so I suspect you would rather buy one frame that is right for you and the artwork once rather than having to waste a less than ideal frame and start again.