Collecting art can be one of the most enjoyable ways to spend your money. But a painting can provide you with more than just viewing pleasure. It can be a financial investment. This weeks ‘Advance’ is dedicated to exploring one of principals for selecting quality art. Buy what you love! But what constitutes a painting that will be a pleasure to look at and increase in value?
There are some indicators for aesthetically pleasing paintings that also bode well for wise investing. You need to be reasonably sure when buying for investment that you are purchasing a painting that is aesthetically appealing to others as well as yourself.
In terms of universal appeal, it helps greatly if aesthetically the painting is broadly liked. Paintings that are most likely to fall into this category usually have subject matter that is not imposing, that has broad appeal. As a comparison, landscapes are a popular painted and bought subject, people can relate to landscapes in a great number of ways. Portraits on the other hand, most often have a limited appeal because of the difficulty people have with associating or relating a representation of an unknown person with something and somewhere that is familiar to them. Consider balance, composition and colour of a painting. There is a balance and symmetry in life and nature. In a visually appealing painting balance and symmetry are also evident. Appealing paintings generally don’t have too much painted over one side or on the top or the bottom of the painting. When considering composition, as a viewer of a painting, your eye is drawn to the most important part of the artwork. Good paintings, lead your eye over the whole canvas, and then draw you to this point. Most paintings are composed around a triangular structure, which leads your eye around the painting.
It goes without saying that colour is more than just considering whether the painting will match modern décor. It’s worth keeping in mind that colour is an important facet of our lives, most importantly, it affects our moods. Bright, vibrant colours encourage a lively, jovial atmosphere. Dark coloured paintings can create sombre, reflective and perhaps more formal environments. White represents simplicity, cleanliness, winter. Orange is considered a warm colour and expresses energy. Blue is considered a business colour because it reflects reliability. Red is the colour that we pay the most attention. It is associated with danger. Colour choice can make or break a painting. If the wrong combinations of colours are used, it makes for a visually unappealing painting.
Consider balance, composition and colour when purchasing but also take a moment to consider your own feelings about the painting. Take note of the context of the painting. Does it draw your mind to much to the past and be in danger of becoming dated or old fashioned? Consider the mood of the piece. It is sombre or exciting? Is the painting an intelligent reflection of the artist’s talents and knowledge of art and art history or is it childish or crudely composed? Consider how you relate to the painting. Has the artist encouraged individual interpretations or is the painting one that can only be truly understood by the artist. From an aesthetic point of view art selection does come down to how you feel and relate to a painting.
Enjoy the art you purchase. Whatever motivates you to buy art collect those that give you enjoyment. Art Investment can for various periods of time and in most cases you will be living with the artwork. Living with art is different from just viewing it in a gallery. A well chosen artwork can be enjoyed over time in changing lights and varying moods and will reveal different features, colours and details.
Sian Whitehall is the co-founder for Smart Art Investments. An Australian art investment website. She has built a knowledge base of Australian artists and art investment information and would like to share her own knowledge and understandings with others.
Serious collectors will be pleased to know that http://www.smartartinvestments.com.au is committed to showcasing the work of quality Australian artists.