A Guide to Buying Art as a Gift
Anyone who defines themselves as an art lover knows that art can be one of the most thoughtful and personal gift to make someone not only feel very special, it makes the celebrated day extra special too. Thinking of birthdays, anniversaries, a wedding, commemorating an achievement, Christmas or Valentine’s Day, what better way to say ‘I love you’.
Investing in original artwork makes a lasting memory.
It’s something that needs thought, a little time, forward planning and most importantly, some great inspiration.
Think About the Recipients Style
Remember just because someone admires a piece of artwork does not necessarily mean they would want it their home, we all know that appreciating a painting, sculpture for its artistic quality and skill can be very different from actually displaying it the home.
Suggest a visit to an art gallery or exhibition as an adventure to help with your quest in choosing the perfect work of art.
When buying a work of art for as a gift it seems obvious that considering the style, both of their home, but also their own personal sense of style, is an important element to bear in mind. Are they a minimalist, or does their decor ooze opulence? Do they have lots of open spaces and blank walls, or is their home a delightfully cluttered menagerie? Do they favour certain colours or is mix and match more their style.
Also consider is the practicalities of their home, for instance buying a delicate sculpture for a family home full children and pets would not be the best idea, nor is buying a large work of art always suitable for a small home.
Once you have decided on the style of the piece of original art that you are considering buying, you need to be sure that the recipient has the space to accommodate it. There are far too many works of art and sculptures that end up being stored in an attic and never see the light of day because they simply do not fit in anywhere else.
Spending some time thinking about their taste in colours, mediums and size will really help with the decision and make sure you are not secretly buying for yourself!
Do not forget you always have the option of asking the intended recipient for their input. This can be done discreetly or directly, depending on how much of a surprise you want the gift of original art to be. Sometimes, it is better to check that it is what they want, rather than buy the wrong gift.
Ready to Hang on the Wall?
When buying a piece of artwork, is it ready to hang on the wall or does it need framing? You may need to factor in some time and budget for framing. If you know the recipient would prefer to choose a frame themselves, then this can give you a bigger budget to play with. Artwork on paper or photographic artwork can be easily shipped affordably if the recipient lives further afield.
A good starting point is to consider what they already have in their home, do they favour the current trend for unframed artwork or are all their works of art framed? If framing is the mode of choice are they ornate or framed with a simple box frame? If your are unsure, consult a framing expert for advice on framing the artwork of choice.
Consider the fact that the general consensus it that most people wish to take their artwork home and hang it on the wall as soon as possible.
Consult the Gallery.
A chat with a consultant at a gallery who really knows about artwork and styles can achieve a surprising result by helping you to consolidate your ideas and understand the sort of artwork you are looking for. They may also have some very good ideas of their own to share with you if you are really struggling to find the perfect work of art.
Many galleries, particularly the independent ones will allow you to exchange any artwork that does not quite hit the mark.
This may be an obvious point, it is essential that you know the person reasonably well!
Do they have any favourite artists or sculptors? It may surprise you that many people do have their ideal work of art, even if they do not own any as yet. You could be responsible for starting their art collection so it is important to choose the right artist.
Be thoughtful, if the recipient loves the outdoors and spending time in the countryside or by the sea then investing in a landscape or seascape would be a sensible choice.
Choose intricate abstract art for the thinker, a person who likes puzzles or bold splashes of colour that mesmerise and delight for the more minimalistic personality.
For the animal lover the choice ranges from tiny mice to full on tigers and elephants in all sizes and mediums, both paintings and sculptures for example ceramics, glass, bronzes and wood. or consider a pet portrait direct from the artist.
Friends who love entertaining may be delighted to receive a still life painting for their dining area, reflecting their enjoyment of sharing their cooking skills.
Don’t forget the garden, a special sculpture can enhance any outdoor space from the large garden to a small courtyard or even a balcony.
Romance is in the air this Valentine’s Day, from soft pastels, sunsets to flowers and the diverse and surprising.
Or, simply take the risk and choose a show-stopping work of art. Remember small can have high impact too.
It is essential to set a budget, how much you are prepared to spend or afford to spend on the work of art. This will help you decide on the type of artwork you purchase, whether it be an original painting or sculpture or a limited edition, oil paintings tend to be more expensive than watercolour paintings. A smaller original work of art is more likely to be appreciated than a cheaper larger piece.
When it comes to art size is not the important factor.
There are schemes available that allow you to pay for art month-on-month for a definitive time scale.
Another option is to get the family involved or close friends if your budget will not stretch quite far enough. A perfect choice for a wedding or special birthday or occasion. You may discover that other family members or friends are struggling to come up with a good gift idea and would be delighted to share the cost and invest in a worthy work of art. This extra layer of sentiment will be very much appreciated.
If all else fails then a Gift Card could be the perfect answer.
Please remember that art is not traditionally a purchase that is made in a last minute grab as the shops are closing, so give yourself time by planning ahead, enjoy time browsing in galleries and collecting ideas, have a few choices to consider. Make sure that there is time to collect the artwork or have it delivered, framed to avoid disappointment.
Do not forget the children
Buying a work of art for a child is a very special gift, the art on the walls in children’s bedrooms makes lasting memories of a special time or person. As the child grows so may the value of the painting. Children have immense imagination and delight in lots of colour and characters, including favourite animals or people.
Art makes a timeless gift for a loved one or special friend that will make a forever memory each time they view the work of art.