View Full Version : What Kind of Art Do You Buy and Why?

02-14-2013, 06:34 PM
When I worked as an artist rep (for sculptors) I was always intrigued by what motivated someone to buy a piece. These were some of my observations:

To preserve a memory of a pleasant experience (event, vacation, etc)

To remind you of a loved one (human or animal)

To fit in with a decor - not necessarily any emotional tie

To impress others - especially true if the artist is well-known

To make you laugh

To create a mood in a room

To make a statement about a cause you feel strongly about

To evoke emotion (negative or positive)

To keep as an investment

I often look at the award winners from various watercolor shows around the country and there are some stunning paintings that show up over and over and get rave reviews, but they never sell. They aren't necessarily something that you would hang in your living room. It reminds me of the old saying, "There's the kind of girl you date, and then there's the kind of girl you marry." So I guess certain creations are more for entertainment and that definitely has merit.

However I am interested in eventually selling most of my paintings, so I'm trying to figure out where to focus my energy. It seems that subjects which can create an emotional bond right away are more likely to sell. I'm just curious what you all have hanging in your homes.

Most of my collection of art is people or animals. There are a few landscapes and one really gorgeous poster made for the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. I can't afford a lot, but I do like art that keeps my attention over the years and doesn't just become a part of the wall.

Would love to hear your thoughts -


02-15-2013, 12:04 AM
I've just bought an original from Ona! because I wanted it and loved it the moment she put it online! and now it's arrived I love it even more.:heart:

Ellen in Ont
02-15-2013, 08:39 AM
I buy usually from artists I know but for none of the reasons you mentioned. I usually know their whole collection but a certain piece stands out and I know I will not get tired of looking at it for years to come. I worry later where to put it and don't care if it suits a room or not. I can't describe what draws me to it. I usually see it across a room and I am immediately drawn to it. I have a wide range of styles (even an abstract), subjects and media I have bought so there isn't a theme. Each painting is a wonderful example of perfect composition, values, colours and subject and appeals to my tastes.

My advise is not to paint with the focus of producing something that will sell. You never know what will interest a buyer. Paint things that mean something to you and do the best job possible. Your passion will come through and maybe attract a buyer. But selling shouldn't be the focus of painting.

02-15-2013, 09:23 AM
Glad you like him Lulu :)

Janet, Paint what comes from your heart. Not everyone will like a particular painting but someone will somewhere. Yes, you can choose a popular theme like I have done with my Ted's and they are selling but there is no 'seller' theme really. The real trick is targeting exposing your art to the right market for you where you will get sales.


02-15-2013, 12:54 PM
Lulu, I'm so glad you gave Ona's painting a wonderful home! When one of her paintings was in a show locally people were drawn to it like a magnet and they didn't just look, they discussed it :)

Ellen, I did notice when I was working with sculptors that artists tended to buy from other artists that they knew and they definitely were more discriminating (and more appreciative of excellent work).

Ona, your passion definitely comes through and I agree about the market being key.

I probably wasn't very clear in my first post...I'm not really asking for a focus for my own work - I could not paint something regularly that I didn't feel passionate about and I already have short-term goals for subjects and themes. I'm just curious what others here (artists vs general population) are drawn to when they purchase art for their own homes.

Unfortunately I have to be somewhat mercenary when I make my choices for painting because I'm on a very limited income and I am quite disabled, so my options for marketing are also limited (can't do art fairs, can't afford shipping for out-of-area shows, etc). I have to consider what I am more likely to sell just because I have to be able to pay for my paper, paint, mats and frames and other supplies.

Hopefully I can find the right balance between producing what will sell and what will be fulfilling to me as an artist!


02-15-2013, 01:06 PM
Anything that I look at and get lost in, so the subject is an open book!

Marcio C
02-15-2013, 01:56 PM
When I am sure I will be looking at again and again and not get tired of. It is a combination of its visual characteristics plus any of the elements you mentioned above.
Now an opinion about selling: There are enough people and enough variety of tastes in the world that if you advertise or exhibit enough you will find buyers for what you love to paint.