Monday, July 11, 2016

8 Tips on Collecting Fine Art

En plein-air painting:  Eden, Cathedral Rock, 
9 x 12 inches, Acrylic on Wood,
Copyright 2016 Braylee Rush/Mary Gravelle

8 Tips on Collecting Fine Art

As an artist, it is integral to my art career to gather collectors and patrons of my art.
As in any business, it becomes important to not only locate customers–for artists that would be art patrons and collectors–but to educate them as well. Collecting fine art might be easier than you think.

Follow along as I give you some tips that I think will make your fine art collecting a meaningful experience. Whether you are purchasing fine art in person or online, I think these tips will apply. I will be referring to painting in my tips, as that is my medium of choice. But, you can substitute work of art for painting, if you want.

Tip #1: Take Your Time

The first tip in collecting Fine Art is to take your time. Once you purchase a painting, you will live with it for a long time. So, take your time in selecting just the right pieces. They will become your friends over time and offer you enjoyment for many years to come.

Crystalline Energy and the Blooming Century Plant,
Acrylic on Birch panel, 12 x 24 inches, en plein air,
copyright Mary Gravelle.

Tip #2: Go Where There is Art

Go to museums, galleries, artist’s studios, browse online galleries and artist’s websites, and anywhere else where they show and sell art. As in Tip #1, take your time looking at different paintings. Begin to get a feeling for what style of painting you like.
My collectors have bought my art online, from my studio, from my home, from galleries, and hopefully not dark alleys… lol. The point is that you can find and buy art anywhere there is art. Don’t limit yourself to the typical experience of purchasing only at fine art galleries.

Walking in Paradise, en plein air, 11 x 15 inches,
acrylic on canvas, copyright 2016 Mary Gravelle.

Tip #3: Allow Your Tastes to Grow

Taste is acquired over time. Just as you may have started drinking Boones Farm wine in your teenage years, you have most likely graduated to fine wines over time. It’s the same with your taste in paintings. Once you begin collecting, you will become more sophisticated about what you like in a painting. But, don’t let that stop you. Dive right in and begin to experience making the purchase and enjoying what you have bought. It’s a process that can be fun. You will delight in how your taste in painting changes once you get the hang of it.

Waters of Birth, 36 x 48 x 1.5 inches, Acrylic on Canvas,
Copyright Braylee Rush / Mary Gravelle.

Tip #4: Learn How to Appreciate Art: Curiosity is Key

As an art patron, appreciator, or collector, stand before a work of art in your home, a gallery, museum, the artist’s studio, or an online art gallery or website. Pick out one painting.
Let yourself become curious about that painting. Imagine yourself being taken into the painting and becoming part of it, ala Alice in Wonderland. Where is the painting taking you? What is happening to your thoughts? What is happening in your body? Are certain areas of your body, such as your gut, or head, uneasy or tingling? Or maybe parts of your body feel joyous and delighted. Are certain emotions arising? Allow your curiosity about the painting to open you up to what it might have for you. Your Curiosity is the key to understanding or at least appreciating the painting.

Summer’s Song
Acrylic on Canvas
60 x 36 x 1.0 inches
©2008 Mary Rush Gravelle.
In private collection.

Tip #5: Do You Love It?

When it comes to purchasing fine art, buy a piece that you love. If you connect strongly with a work of art, go ahead and consider purchasing it. The joy and happiness that this original painting will give you will prove to be immeasurable and priceless.
One collector found one of my paintings online. Her and her husband had just inherited a small amount of money and wanted to use part of it to purchase a southwestern landscape painting. They made it a fun adventure while drinking wine one night as they googled “southwestern landscape paintings.” They found one of mine that they fell in love with. They contacted me, I shipped it, and as they told me, “made them smile.”

In Situ. Cherry Tree Promise, 36 x 24 inches, Acrylic on Canvas
Copyright Braylee Rush / Mary Gravelle

Tip #6: Ask Yourself Questions

Listed below are some questions that you might ask yourself.

• Why do I like this painting?
• What does it remind me of?
• How do these colors make me feel?
• Overall, how does this painting make me feel?
• Would it make a great gift for someone special?

Tip #7: Imagine Living With It

Either physically or in your mind, peruse your home or office. What room or space could you imagine it fitting into or adding some sort of ambiance or atmosphere?
Paintings add energy to your space. From the questions above, what kind of energy does this painting give off for you? Which area of your home would benefit from that type of energy? Imagine in your mind’s eye, the painting hanging where you think it would be a perfect fit. If that excites you, get out a measuring tape and measure your space to the dimensions of the painting. You might need to rearrange furniture to create just the perfect place for it.

Tip #8: Allow Art to Fulfill Its Destiny

If you connect to a certain painting, allow it to fulfill its destiny of energizing your space. Allow the painting to be in service to you. Paintings can soothe or instill passion or anything in-between

Once I have completed a painting, I wish for it to fulfill its destiny by finding the right buyer, someone who will appreciate it and give it a good home.
Serenity, 24 x 48 inches, Oil on Wood, in private collection.
One of my collectors has several of my paintings. She is in the medical field and travels with her job every 13 weeks, sometimes staying as long as a year. She has been collecting my art since 2006. You can imagine how many times she has moved into a new home, taking my paintings with her. She tells me how much joy they bring her every time she moves. She carefully wraps them in a moving blanket and off they go to her new home.


Paintings have much power to fulfilling your long lasting joy. They will become your friends. So, get out there–look at some art, appreciate art, and buy art! It’s easier than you think.

I would love to hear from you. Make a comment on this blog article, or go to my Contact page.

Become a Patron of My Art

I have made it easy for collectors and patrons to support me and my art via the platform, Patreon. Here is a YouTube Video where I explain the four reasons why you might want to do that.

Further Reading

Now that I have shared my tips, there is a great article on theInvaluable website that will enlighten you even more.

About the Author

Braylee Rush is an artist, author, and creativity catalyst and consultant. She resides in Sedona, Arizona with her loving and efficient assistant, Sir Kitty. Her art and other work can be found at:
Art Website,
Art Blog,
Sedona Art Hikes,
Wisdom Painting for Self-Discovery,
Igniting Your Intentions.

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