If you like having beautiful, interesting things around you at home, you may decide to start your own art collection. Or, build on what you already have. This is an informal guide, with some suggestions on ways to go about it.
Mooch around markets. Find the kinds of things that appeal to you. Visit art fairs: affordable art fairs are a good place to browse. Use Instagram to follow artists and galleries you like. Try Op shops (thrift shops), local and community art exhibitions, and regional galleries. There are hidden treasures in Op shops. Even a damaged painting that draws you in can be repaired and reframed (personal experience).
Consider your space
How much room do you have? Get a mental map of the wall space, shelves, corners where you might want to display your art. How easy will it be to hang? If you’re concerned about the wall surface, removable adhesive wall hooks are great for many frames, but you could otherwise display heavier pieces on an easel or leaning against the wall. Small, framed art prints or paintings look great displayed on shelves.
Splash out a bit on that first original, special, or unique piece. When you bring it home, move it around to find the perfect spot. Give it some time and it can help you build confidence for the next special piece to add to your collection. An original print is an affordable option for something special.
Whatever piece of art you’re looking at, there are a number of things you can consider. What is your emotional response: how does it make you feel? You may be looking for something that makes you feel calm, or uplifted.
Is it something a bit different to add to your collection, for example a sculptural piece rather than a painting? Can you imagine it in your space? If you find work you like by a particular artist, have a look at their other work – is this a good example of what they do?You might like to set parameters, like concentrating on Australian artists. Explore different mediums and styles. Paintings, prints, sculpture, and textiles can all add interest and variety to your collection. Photographic prints on good quality art paper, beautifully framed, are a gorgeous addition to any space.
Go for the Big One
When you’ve built confidence, and you’re sure of what you like, it might be time to look for The Big One. The one you’ll really splash out on. Consider the space and position you have in mind. Your chosen piece may not be the biggest in size, but could be the highlight or focal point of your art collection. Take your time, trust your instinct.
Once you start, you'll probably find you can never walk past a gallery or an exhibition again. Build your collection and enjoy yourself.
Images showing art available at O Gosh Shop.
Three Cockatoos by Nicole Spillane
Storm Glow art print series by Julian Newman
Gum Leaves original linocut by Megan Debicki
In My Own Lane art print by Gill Cameron
Peachy Banksia photograph by Jen McCue