Fine Arts

Need a Gift? Buy Art!

With the approaching holidays, my list of gifts to purchase is ever-growing. Yikes! This year I’m taking a twist on an old tradition. Art. Yup, I’m searching, viewing and seeking that perfect ‘art gift’ for those special ones on my list. Art can come in many forms: painting, sculpture, photography, drawings, crafts, prints, media and everything in between. So before you start your creative journey, here is my last-minute gift guide on buying art:
Use your best judgment when thinking about the person on the receiving end. What is their style? Are they crafty or edgy? If your Aunt Mabel loves handmade things, favor unique baskets or hanging plant holders, hand-carved bowls or cork boards. Keep in mind the receiver’s favorite colors and textures.
Think about the subject. If a person is more traditional than contemporary, lean toward artwork with recognizable subjects they can chat about. It is always nice to have a conversation piece around with a nice or interesting story to tell others.
Take your time to see what’s available out there. Don’t rush into purchasing an original piece because it is the first one you encounter. Every gallery, museum shop, craft show, retail store or restaurant can be just the right place to find a unique piece. Search!
Do you feel the artwork would make an immediate connection or personal statement with the receiver? Would your friend who has a Boston terrier relate to an artistic photograph of a dog resembling their pooch? Perfect gift!
Art can come in all shapes and dimensions. Consider a space or place to display the work. Sometimes art is created in multiple pieces such as a diptych or triptych. Is there enough wall, living or office space to display the work? After all it is art and art loves to be seen and talked about to create an atmosphere of design and personal taste.
Let’s talk about quality. Make sure you examine any piece you are considering purchasing. How old is it? Does it have all the components to display, like a frame? Some art looks best with a frame and some without. Can the piece be hung? Notice the back and if it comes with hardware for mounting. Ask the artist or proprietor for suggestions. Art strikes up many conversations, especially with the artist. A certain moment or thought could have provoked the creation you are considering. It can be very personal to the artist and talking with the artist is often a very special experience.
I have assisted many newbies on their first authentic piece of artwork. I must say, it is exciting and easy to get carried away. Know what you can afford. If a piece is priced out of your range, consider a conversation with the artist. Most are willing to negotiate because you want it and they are willing to sell, especially to someone showing great interest in their work. It really is a win-win for everyone. And if you have the good fortune to meet the artist and discuss the work, hang on to the story – maybe even jot down notes afterward. It adds a great personal touch to the gift if its story can travel along with the work.