It’sssss Christmas! Well Almost

I love this time of year as we’re gearing up for Christmas.  I know many people get irritated when you start to hear Christmas tracks on the radio or in stores weeks ahead of the actual event but I love it!  If I could I’d put the tree up at the end of November to extend the excitement.  But I’m also one of the first to take the tree down after the 25th.  The tree rarely makes it through to the 31st in our house as I like to start the new year afresh.

Edinburgh at Christmas

This weekend we got into the Christmas spirit with a day trip to Edinburgh. Despite the rail companies trying to scupper the trip we had a fabulous day. We visited the Christmas market, enjoyed some good food and of course great company!

The lights were amazing! If you get the chance I’d definitely recommend a trip to the Dome. The market isn’t the biggest but combined with the shopping already on offer in Edinburgh there’s plenty to keep you entertained.

Buying Gifts

Another favourite of mine are the gift list ideas that start to appeal in magazines from November.  The ‘For Him’ and ‘For Her’ lists rarely match the interests of people I’m buying for, but there are always a few suggestions that spark other ideas.  It does however, always strike me that art rarely makes the cut.  And maybe that’s right, after all art is such a personal choice but I would like to see it appear as a suggestion.

So what do you need to consider if you are thinking about investing in a piece of art….

Buy What You Love

Ok, if you’re buying art for a future investment then I guess that’s a bit different.  I understand that for many art is a commodity like gold, but I really don’t understand those who buy pieces and then lock them away to sell at a future date.  Surely the whole reason to buy art is to bring joy to your life??? 

Over the years I’ve bought art by many different artists and despite owning many for years I still love each piece.  When we moved into our new house back in November 2019 my favourite job was deciding what paintings would hang in each room.  So if you’re thinking of buying some art for yourself or your spouse buy something you love!

Mix It Up

There are so many great artists out there I’m a big fan of having lots of different styles of art in the house.  Unless you really want to display sets of art, which do look fantastic, I would encourage you to go for different styles, different mediums and different subjects.  Difference gives you contrast and that grabs attention.  I love the fact that I have weird and wonderful sculptures alongside more classical figurative paintings.  Abstracts alongside portraits.

Be Confident

I know that buying art can be daunting.  The first time I bought an original piece of art I umm-ed and agh-ed about it for a few weeks.  Unlike buying an IKEA print it is a long term investment.  But if you love it you’re unlikely to tire of seeing it each time you walk in the room.  And that cost, for years of pleasure, is a lot easier to justify.   An original piece is also unique.  You can be confident that you won’t walk into your friends house and see the same piece.  And as a unique piece it is guaranteed to be a talking point. 

A painting can absolutely transform a room – even a small piece can add a pop of colour or change the mood.  So if you’re tired of the same old prints and you want to make a statement buy some art!  Plus you can be proud of supporting the arts.

Do Your Research

If you’re nervous reach out to the artist.  Almost every painting I have sold has come at the end of a conversation, either in person or online. 

I guarantee no artist will object to you asking them questions about their painting – what was the inspiration?  What is the medium?  Is it part of a series?  Where have they exhibited?  Etc.  And if online and you can’t see it in person ask for more photos or videos.  Many of us artists use apps to showcase how a painting might look in a room.  They are a really useful tool but they don’t always give you the best feel for how the painting looks in the actual frame so ask for more photos.

Take it Slowly

If you’re not ready to dive in with a big purchase ease yourself into collecting. If you really want to build up a collection of art there are no rules. You don’t need to kick off with a hefty price tag. Why not treat yourself to a small piece. Maybe pop along to a local art fair or check out some artists on Instagram – there are some fantastic artists around.

Here’s a few to get you started…..

  • Mixed media artist Sue Johnson creates some fantastic collage pieces
  • Check out the beautiful work of Julia Weston at Shed Studio
  • If you love atmospheric landscapes then Paula Dunn‘s oil and cold wax paintings are stunning
  • If like me you love energetic paintings then Karen Stamper‘s work might be just for you
  • For those who love stylised nautical paintings Stuart’s work in worth checking out
  • and finally you can’t go wrong with a colourful collage from Emma Davis

I could go on and on – so much great art out there!

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