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The 'Art' of Collecting Art - Part 2

Originally published on ArtLovers Australia, written by Olivia Alexander

To get some suggestions on collecting art, I spoke to Andrea Hope from Kiama Art Gallery, a long time collector of French art. Andrea also runs online and offline courses on Art Appreciation and Art history.

Here are some of her tips.

• Buy what you love! If you buy what you love you will have a collection to be proud of.

• Don’t buy second-best. Wait, save up or see if you can pay it off. If you really love it, buy it!

• So many people say, “I wish I’d bought it”, and then it was too late.

• Andrea also said that her collection is eclectic. It embraces many different styles and genres. Not just pieces from famous artists but also local artists.

• Select works that are technically competent, both in design, balance and colour.

Tip. If you’re new to the art world, consider undertaking an art appreciation course.

It will open a whole new world and build your confidence as a collector.

Who to look at

3. Make use of the Internet.

Most serious artists these days have an online presence or website.

When you see artists you like, look them up and explore their work. Read the ‘About section’, CV resume, Artist’s Bio.

It will help to give you a greater understanding of the ‘artist behind the work’. This is

helpful if they work in a style that is unfamiliar to you.

Consider these options

Mid-career artists are a great source to find quality original work.

They have worked consistently at their art for many years displaying a solid artistic


Emerging artists are another source to look at. They may not have a long CV or

exhibition history but do have a look at their work.

Tip: Questions to ask yourself are; Do they have a consistent body of work? Can you

see that they are growing as an artist?

What to buy

4. If you're still unsure, then start with small. After all, if you make a ‘faux pas’, it won’t

be so obvious. And really, you can’t go wrong anyway.

The art you buy doesn’t have to appeal to everyone else; it’s about what you love!

Small to medium size pieces are great because they can be easily moved around your home till you find a spot to suit.

5. Look for original art, those ‘one off’ pieces, then you will have something truly


Budget is tight or you can’t afford the original piece, consider Limited edition

prints. Limited editions are usually a very small number of prints, numbered and signed by the artist.

As your confidence grows you maybe feel ready to select a larger piece of artwork.


Consider collecting works that have a theme, subject or period. You may notice

that you are continually drawn to a certain theme.


• Australian landscapes,

• Seascapes,

• Portraits or figurative works,

• Still life,

• Sports or action paintings

• Pieces inspired by a certain country

• Animals

Be Eclectic

You can be eclectic in your choices, even while keeping to a theme. Include realism,

abstract, drawings, sculpture and photography in your collection in all sorts of


Ask yourself, “What is it that I love about this work? Is it the colour, style, the

story? Is it because it’s different to my usual taste?”

One very important final point; One thing you may not have thought of, is the artists themselves.

6. When you buy original art work you enable that artist to continue their work and

career. It may sound simple but you actually have an impact on them and their future.

That’s pretty neat!

So, some quick tips to recap:

• Buy what you love, buy what you can afford. Easy peasy!

• Develop your knowledge by visiting galleries, exhibitions, online platforms and

art studios.

• Look at mid-career and emerging artists.

• Start with small works if that’s what you feel most comfortable with.

• Look for original art and limited edition prints.

• Look for works that are strong in design and that capture your attention and

appeal. Ask yourself, “What will add more strength to my collection?”

• Don’t be afraid to be eclectic in your selection, your tastes will change over time


• When you are hanging the art in your home, move pieces around till you find

where they ‘fit’. There’s always somewhere for them!

I hope that this has helped you in some way and that you are ready to go out and start your own art collection.

Good luck as you explore the exciting world of Art!

This article was originally published on Artlovers Australia and written by Olivia Alexander.

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