CHOOSING YOUR ARTWORK
Tips for Buyers and Collectors
- A painting is a totally unique object. It is hand-made, the original work of an artist who has spent a lot of time learning how to make it; and days, maybe weeks creating it, so it does deserve careful thought, and also happy appreciation of the fact that you alone will own that piece.
- You might be in the company of this artwork for some time, so think about what each piece you consider may mean to you.
- Try not to worry too much about whether a painting works with your furnishings, let it just speak for itself, and be a point of interest.
- Paintings are a uniquely long-lived kind of investment, and may even get passed down through families, charged with memories.
- When you have decided what you may be happy to spend to obtain an artwork, browse through pieces in that range first. If you like something that's a little larger or more expensive, consider asking a gallery for special payment terms; at Blue Stone Cottage Studio I am happy to consider arranging lay-by payments.
- It can be useful to know the dimensions of any space where you might like to hang an artwork before you start seriously looking. When browsing through artworks, notice the dimensions supplied for each one. You will then know immediately what is suitable. On the other hand, space can probably always be found for something you really love!
HANGING YOUR PAINTING
- Generally speaking, but not always, a painting is best hung in a way that centres it at eye level.
- As a general rule of thumb, a painting needs some breathing space around it, and ideally should take up half to three quarters of the width of your chosen area or furnishing arrangement. Any smaller and it might look a bit lost, any bigger and it might feel crowded.
- Where smaller works are concerned, they are great for narrower spaces, hanging over furniture, sitting on shelves or cupboards. They also work well arranged in a line or grouped in a pattern if they are varying sizes (known as a 'salon hang'). They may also be hung around larger works to give them balance (you can find lots of ideas for salon hangs on Pinterest).
- Hanging systems can be a wonderful solution to arranging artworks. Suspending works from a rail just below ceiling level saves you making holes in your walls, and allows you to move works around very easily. They are also excellent for larger works, where you can suspend both ends of the painting from the rail, rather than from a central hook, adding stability and strength to the hang.
CARING FOR YOUR PAINTING
- When travelling with it yourself for a short time, make sure is carefully wrapped, perhaps in acid-free tissue paper, certainly foam wrap or bubble wrap. At the studio, I always try to provide for this.
- When moving house, artworks should be boxed with good reinforcement to prevent damage from other objects.
- When storing paintings on stretched canvas, take care that nothing is leaning against the canvas, or denting the canvas from behind. Wrap it well in a covering that is not likely to trap moisture, or interact with the paint in any way.
- Paintings on stretched canvas, like stringed instruments, do not like extreme changes of temperature, excessive dryness or humidity. All of these conditions can warp, swell or shrink the stretchers, and result in cracking or blemishes on the painting. Bathrooms and kitchens are not ideal.
- Paintings, especially oils, do not like constant exposure to sunlight or very bright lights, these can fade or alter the pigments in the colours. Try to place them in a position where there is indirect sunlight.
- Where cleaning, repair, or re-varnishing is concerned, it may be best to take the painting to an expert. A light dusting with a very soft fan brush or clean cloth, if necessary, should normally be fine.
- Take good care of your painting, and it will be a source of enjoyment for you for a very long time!