Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Summer Barns, Plein Air Painting & Advice on Buying Art

copyright 2009, Jan Blencowe, Connecticut, USA
6x8, acrylic on panel, sealed with an archival varnish, unframed
View this painting on my website
Price: $200, + $10 sh/h/ins
Pay safely with a credit card through Paypal

Barns are such a classic New England motif. These are particularly interesting because they are yellow not the typical red or gray one often sees. On this very hot August day their warm sunny color seemed perfectly in harmony with the moment.

Owning a One of a Kind

Lately, I've been reading a lot about the twin subjects of pricing artwork (a subject for artists) and reasons to buy artwork. Pricing paintings is a task for the artist and art gallery. Understanding why it's worth it to invest in a piece of original art is important for everyone.

If you love it, buy it!

Art does not have to match your couch or curtains. A great piece of art can become the focal point of the room if selected carefully and does not have to match every color in the room.~ How to turn affordable art into heirloom

In our very utilitarian culture it's imperative to remember the long term value of owning something that feeds your soul, brings you joy, enhances your quality of life, touches your heart, brings beauty into your environment and uplifts your spirit.

The value in a piece of art is twofold. First, it's about possessing something unique, a one of a kind creation, the very special expression of one human being to another. Because of the singualrity of an original painting, my advice is, if you love it, buy it, right then and there. I say this because I know, as an artist, that I may never paint another piece like the one that is calling to your heart. I may or may not, paint another with similar subject matter, but there are many, elements some technical and many emotional that will not be the same and in fact can't be recreated. If the painting is beyond your present financial means, don't let it go, ask the artist or gallery if they can arrange a payment plan for you. I personally would readily arrange a payment option and I think many galleries would also, especially if it's obvious that you love the painting.

Understand and value the rarity and uniqueness of an original painting. You will be the exclusive owner of a one of a kind creation. Among all the mass produced products in the world when you purchase an original painting you will own the only one in the world! There are few things that fall into that category.

The second long term benefit is what art will bring to your life. I've heard some people describe a favorite, cherished painting as an old friend, with whom they have a visual conversation. I've heard others say it was amazing how the painting seemed to reflect their mood, when they were feeling introspective and solitary the painting seemed to embody that emotion, when they were lighthearted and joyful the painting seemed to take on those qualities. Others have found having paintings in their homes gave them a place to focus their gaze during times of stress or illness and they gained peace and comfort. I find the same is true with books, music, poetry even favorite movies. In fact all the arts seem to share the ability to nurture us on a very deep level. Over the course of a lifetime you can gain so much from art. Investing in art is investing in your longterm inner well being.

Ars longa, vita brevis
art is long, life is short
“A thing of beauty if a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases”
~ John Keats


main said...

Great advice for the collector, Jan. You handled the investment side very well. As a gallery owner, I have advocated buying what you like for years and posted an article by that title on my blog a while back. It may be useful to your readers. http://blueheronfa.com/wordpress/?p=61

bobeotm said...

I always felt that the artwork that people own should not be a slave to their decor. I think Interior Design had a hand in that mindset, hyper-styling space so that even the artwork supports your furniture and color choice.

Works of art should be what you respond to, that way they will never get old, like some manufactured decorative print of a painting you got from Target. It will mean more to the owner, that a real person created it, and that its unique.

I'm @brandonjd on twitter.

Jan Blencowe said...

Thanks for your response! I'm so glad you chimed in, your experience as a gallery owner is very valuable in this discussion.

I think many people are

1.)intimidated when it comes to buying art. They aren't sure if what they're buying is any "good". People really need to be encouraged to go with their heart and buy what they love with confidence.

2.) I also believe peolpe need assurance about, and an explanation of the value to themselves that art has. We are very pratically oriented. We spend money on clothes, cars,and furniture because we understand their clear use and benefit to our lives. It takes a little more explanation and understanding to realize the value of art in our lives.

Jan Blencowe said...

Oh almost forgot! Do go to the article mentioned above by Main


for more insights on buying art.

Jan Blencowe said...

Thanks Bobeotm! Yes, I've seen those uber stylish rooms where everything is all matchy-matchy. For all the coordination they tend to be boring, with everthing melding together into a color scheme and pattern.

Art must speak to the heart. A powerful painting can anchor a room not with color or design but with emotion,life,questions, memories. A painting really has a life of its own and the owner of the painting can develop a relationship with the painting over time.

As you say "It will mean more to the owner, that a real person created it, and that its unique."

That's so important!

Connie Williams, California, USA said...

Hi Jan, Very good information for collectors. I wrote a blog on the same subject recently too: http://cwwatercolors.blogspot.com/2009/07/reasons-to-buy-art.html
Thanks for your insight!

Jan Blencowe said...

Hi Connie,

Thanks for joining the conversation! I'm delighted that you also have an article to share.

This is such an important topic!

I honestly think many people are deprived of the wonderful experience of owning a beautiful, meaningful, original painting because the value of a painting is not explained and reinforced in our society.

People may need "permission" to buy something they initially view as a "luxury" or "frivilous" and without a concrete use.

But once they make the purchase they understand what art brings to their home and life everyday.

I hope we can get people to realize this sooner, understand the value first and then they will have the joy of searching for art that speaks directly to their inner heart.