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Tips for buying art

22 May 2019


The Whyte Avenue Art Walk provides new patrons with the opportunity to meet emerging local talent. It is our hope you will become a patron and a collector of art, not just a consumer. Many people come back year after year to add to their collections. Investing in a painting means you are investing in an artist’s career, or at least providing some money so they can keep painting.

Buy what you love - not what matches your sofa. You can always get a matching sofa later. Many patrons worry about the art in their home matching. Often they will buy only from one or two artists. Other collectors prefer an eclectic approach and will choose similar themes created by different artists. Not sure where to start? Walk several blocks before making your decision. You may notice a theme that appeals to you. Whether it is birds, skulls or landscapes, there is bound to be a lot of diversity from which to choose.

The best art is a conversation piece and focal point for your home or office. Why not get the whole story? Make time to talk to the artists. They are just as nervous as you. Please don't evaluate the art by asking the dreaded question, "So how long did it take you to paint this?" Most Art Walk Artists have been educated to respond "ALL MY LIFE!”. This is true. There is a lot of research, practice and failed attempts that go into each painting. Many layers of paint are hidden behind most finished works. Few artists keep track of time anyway. Time is irrelevant; a painting is finished when it is finished. Even Picasso could work quickly creating some works in minutes but then took years to complete other works.

Here are some good questions to ask artists:

  • Why do you paint this subject matter?
  • What medium(s) do you use?
  • How was this work created?
  • What is your technique called?
  • Who inspired you?
  • Where else can I see your work?
  • How did you decide to become an artist?
  • Where do want your art to take you next?
  • Do you do commissions?

How much to budget for art? There is little need to haggle at The Whyte Avenue Art Walk. The work is all affordable but there is no standard pricing. No two works are the same. No two artists are the same. Prices along the venue vary greatly and are related to the experience level and confidence of each artist. Size of work and cost of materials are other factors.

Suggestions for setting an art budget:

  • Still in school? Your budget is the cost of your favourite outfit (or sports equipment).
  • Your minimum budget for Art Walk is the cost of dinner and movie (trust me art lasts longer).
  • Looking to start a serious art collection? Your annual budget for art could be 1 week's salary.
  • Just moved into your first home? Your budget is the price of your last piece of furniture.
  • Thinking of redecorating? Art could be half your decorating budget or 20% of your last home improvement project.

You have no idea how pleased you will make an artist if you stop, talk about their art and buy it. Hope this helps. Enjoy The Whyte Avenue Art Walk this summer!


© Kim Fjordbotten 2013 The Paint Spot Whyte Avenue Art Walk

Blog post submitted by Chamber member The Paint Spot


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