View Full Version : What inspires you to actually buy a painting?

10-05-2011, 08:01 PM
I see so many beautiful and interesting paintings here on WC, but to be honest there are only a fraction of them that I would hang on my wall. And I know the same is true about the paintings that I produce, that most people wouldn't want any of them, even if they were free. :) Don't get me wrong, I am constantly seeing art that I would love to own here on WC, but art is so subjective...

This evening I was looking at all of the art work I have purchased over the last several years, and I noticed that none of them are too photo-realistic. I think I buy them mainly for the subject matter (it somehow appeals to my emotions), although the palette and the mood of the painting are also important.

If you walk into an art show, there are certain paintings that instantly attract you...

I was just curious if you have noticed any pattern to the paintings that you actually purchase? I have a couple of paintings that I never tire of seeing. If I leave the room for even 10 minutes and then come back, I can look at the painting and think "Wow!" even though I've seen it nearly every day for years!!

10-05-2011, 08:47 PM
I think you've pretty well nailed it for me. Some folks won't buy a painting unless it coordinates with the colors currently in favor among home decorators but I am drawn to a painting that engages my imagination; a painting that never grows old because so many possibilities are inherent in the way the composition is presented. The dirt road winding back behind a hillside makes me want to stroll down the road and find out what is beyond eyesight, what is beyond the bend. Other scenes invite one to lie down in the shade of a tree and just absorb the beauty of nature, some are just plain nostalgic and take us back to golden days of childhood. Excellence alone doesn't get it for me although I do appreciate a well executed painting. For me, something about the composition has to catch the imagination of the viewer so that the painting continues to invite the viewer in, to smell the aroma of a rose with a glistening dewdrop or to take off shoes and enjoy the water. I guess I want the best of both worlds, techinque and a composition that talks to me.

10-05-2011, 11:50 PM
I think for me it's the energy in brush strokes, the colour play and light, the dynamics... these things that pull my eye back to the painting and find new things to appreciate on it every time I see it and tug the emotion I first felt seeing it. These are three of my favorites among our many paintings - the photos are dreadful - bad lighting and focus so you're missing a lot of the punch of the colour and almost all of the brushstrokes and texture. I like the feeling in them, I adore the blues, purples and greens with the vividness of the yellowyoranges and slightly browned pinks... I wish the pic showed those accurately! A lot of times when I walk by during the day I pause to stare at one or two little strokes.
I think another part of the appeal is the style and knowledge, surity of strokes, colour and structure. I love the result for viewing. The mixed colours and then in one stroke, one attempt, alla prima, in the moment NAILING it... emotional response and image alike! When I paint for myself though I paint for the process not the result. I'm drawn to a more realistic (representational? not sure that's the term) style that I can fiddle with endlessly. I just sink into the details and zone out. Painting in a looser style I can't sink into the process as I am thinking too much about the result. :lol:

10-06-2011, 10:41 AM
I buy subject matter and emotional response. I used to paint pretty pictures but now I try to paint with more emotion. I find it almost impossible sometimes to draw emotions to the surface so that I can paint. I was a graphic designer for close to 45 years and was what I called "someone else's pair of hands" which really squished a lot of emotion into a closet with a padlock on it. I struggle every day to unlock that door because I'm not satisfied painting pretty pictures any more.

10-06-2011, 07:29 PM
Aires, Thanks for your comments! I agree with everything you said, and I especially like your comment about being drawn to a painting that never grows old. I think the people that won't buy a painting "unless it coordinates with the colors currently in favor among home decorators" don't really appreciate art. No offense to anyone that falls into that category, we all have areas that we are especially interested in, and other areas that we aren't interested.

Amanda, Thanks for your response and for sharing your paintings! I really like all 3 of them, but I would def hang the 3rd one on my wall - it's an inspiring painting!
And I know what you mean about zoning out when you paint, but that's half the fun!

Hi Bonnie, I think that would be hard to do, to be "someone else's pair of hands". You probably do better than you think about putting your emotions into the painting. (you did a wonderful job on your Granny painting)

10-06-2011, 09:46 PM
Thanks Deb, for posting this thread. I had never really thought about why I like a particular painting. I guess most of the paintings I have bought have been just to cover some space on the wall. However! I have noticed I do prefer certain paintings more than others. Like I have one of 3 Chinese Junks, that I picked out of the trash that I never tire of looking at and it is hanging on the wall right in front of where I sit most of the time so I can look at it often. Then I have one I picked up at a garage sale that gives me the feeling of when I was a kid going out to Padre Island and it is like I am in the painting and outside watching at the same time. Now that I have been trying to learn to paint I find much of what I see looks different and so some of the stuff I have on my walls just don't work for me any more but some like those I mentioned still get to me and your post is causing me to wonder why. So again thank you.

Amanda, your comments about "the energy in brush strokes, the colour play and light, the dynamics" feel like one of the main reasons I like the painting of 3 Chinese Junks so much.

Marty Shay
10-06-2011, 10:22 PM
The reason I would buy a painting is there is something in that painting that has "spoken" to me on some level, sometimes emotional, sometimes spiritual but the painting "stirs" me, keeps my eye, draws me in and draws me away to a place of peace or joy, brings to mind some pleasant experience or inspires me. Whether it matches anything in my house would be far down the line. It could be bold strokes or color combinations, or some method of painting but that would be down the list for my reasons to purchase--it first must cause a pleasant, pleasing reaction/response. To make a decision to buy, I would want that freshness to repeat that which attracted me to it at the beginning--most times that response increases with more familiarity with the work/painting. Some paintings I've seen at first sight and liked then lost interest, the ones I would buy are those that keep my attention and interest and verifying the reason I liked it in the first place.

I'm not attracted to abstract art but there have been a couple that have grabbed me and kept my interest, I would buy those. Other paintings I've been drawn by the sheer beauty of it and it continues to cause me to stop and look again and again--generally the more I look at them the more I like them. Probably not a very helpful discussion of why I would buy but I don't buy just to fill the walls. There have been times I would have purchased a work that was sad or less than uplifting of spirit (chosen because of some artist talent or name recognition), however, life gives enough of those responses. I want personal artwork to enliven my spirit, inspire me and give positive enjoyment from frequent views.

chammi kaiser
10-07-2011, 04:15 AM
I am attracted to light and a light touch with lovely juicy brushstrokes and a sense of delight in the painting process. I have two paintings of the Alpine regions, which are not in the least kitchy. Lovely impressionistic works and the light is great. Everytime I walk into the room, they give me a lift. I think what I really enjoy in a painting, is the knowledge that I wll never tire of this painting. I would love to own an original John Hammond. Love his work.

10-07-2011, 10:58 PM
Don, thanks for your response, very interesting! Yes, I started looking around the house and tried to determine why I bought the paintings hanging on the walls. It's funny, I have several paintings that were expensive (at least for my budget) and others that I found very cheap at a thrift store. Sometimes you can find some real treasures of original art at a thrift store, and you wonder who the artist was or how the painting ended up there. I recently found a little ink/watercolor painting of a hummingbird for 69 cents! I had it rematted and framed, and it is just adorable. But I don't buy a painting unless I love it, and once it's on the wall the price is forgotten.

Interesting how one of your favorite paintings was someone else's trash...I imagine that is true of a lot of paintings.

Janet, I too usually pick art work that inspires me, or is uplifting...and there is always something in the painting that speaks to me.

And I feel the way you do about abstract art...I'm usually not attracted to abstract art, but once in a while there is a piece that I absolutely love, and I never get tired of it. The strange thing is its hard to determine exactly why I am so drawn to a particular (abstract) piece!

Chammi, that would be great to own an original John Hammond - the lighting in his paintings is spectacular!

...and yes, it's a wonderful feeling to own a piece of art that you feel you will never tire of! :)