Thinking about buying original art? How to become a collector

By June 9, 2015 Paint Annapolis

You love art.  You’ve seen some pieces you like, but you haven’t purchased any original work yet.  Well, this week, with 30 plein air artists painting for Paint Annapolis, is a good week to start.

Here are some tips to help you feel comfortable when buying art:

1) Think of purchasing art as starting a collection, rather than just buying a painting. Perhaps you already have one piece of original art. Buying another now adds to it. Remember when you were younger and you had a poster collection? This is a more sophisticated collection, with much greater value.

2) Consider how much you love the piece, rather than whether or not it will increase in value. I was at the Affordable Art Fair in NY this spring, and attended an excellent talk on collecting and investments. The knowledgeable panel down to the last one sent a single message: Unless you are spending $20,000 on a work of art, you shouldn’t buy it with the hope or speculation that it will increase in value so you can sell it in the future. Buy it because you love it. Buying art from reputable galleries, establishments, and artists is rarely going to decrease in value, and will probably increase some, but let’s face it – there are only so many living artists will attain the status of Wolf Kahn, Wayne Thiebaud, or and Jeff Koons, no matter how good they are.

3) Plein air artists in competitions like Paint Annapolis have credentials. They have all been juried in, meaning they were selected by professionals in the art world because they consistently excel in what they do. The quality of work is already established. So you don’t have to worry that you might be spending $400 on a painting that might have been sold to the next guy that came along at the end of the day for $50. Small works in plein air competitions usually run anywhere from $350 to $800 depending upon size and will vary a little by artist.  Be advised, these artists are established:  some works can go as high as $2,500.

4) Choose a piece you love. Now that you know the work is priced fairly, and the artist has been deemed to stand out in his or her art form, you can focus on what appeals to you. You might have a sentimental attachment to the subject matter, or you are drawn to certain types of paintings, like landscapes or marine art. Each artist has a unique style; sometimes a painting just speaks to you.

5) Build your collection:  Come back next year and buy another. Having a plan to build your collection gives it meaning and becomes part of a story. The collection takes on more significance than just the beauty it provides, it takes on more dimension through the story as it is builds.

Follow us on Facebook and this blog as the week unfolds, and join us on Saturday, June 13 to view the work created throughout the week.

Opening Reception: Saturday, June 13

  • Sponsor Preview: 4:30 – 6pm ($20 per person)
    Featuring wine by Great Frogs Winery
    Music by Norm Saunders
  • Free Public Reception and Awards 6 – 8pm

This is the complete information page about Paint Annapolis.  You can also buy a sponsor ticket here.

If you want to know more about each of the artists, just click on the category “Paint Annapolis” in the column on the right, you will see all of the blog posts that feature a Paint Annapolis artist of the day, which provides a short bio, and an example of their work.Rick Casali, Paint Annapolis 2014

Meanwhile, if you are out and about in Annapolis this week, you are bound to see the artists in action. Stand back and watch.  You just might find your new favorite artist, and a work of art to add to or launch your collection.


Patrice Drago,
Communications Chair, Editor

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