5 Things Every New Collector Needs to Know

Art collecting can be called an art onto itself, and I should say there is no right way to buy art! Art is a personal thing and you should always buy what you fall in love with or what excites you. Yes, there are many styles, names, trends and some art goes up faster than others. Art can be very trendy and people may be talking about this artist more than that one. But somewhere between fine wine and investments is where you can find fine art.

Art As An Investment

The basics of art as an investment is that you purchase a piece of art that you’re passionate about and in time the artist, gallery, or art house start selling that artist’s artwork for more than what you paid for it. Voila! you now have equity in your piece of art, keeping in mind there are many factors to how fast the equity grows and demand for that particular artist. A friend of mine sometimes uses her collection as currency, trading artworks for other things she needs. She has used this method to buy cars, pay bills and dinner. The real value in art is finding other people that are as passionate about that artist as you are. Because of this, if you own the right pieces of art it can be leveraged by sharing it with the world. Corporations, museums and traveling exhibitions lease these kinds of artworks all the time which provide income for the owners. But If you want a guarantee on your art buying… then I suggest you buy art for love, you’ll always get your value out of it.

Do Your Research

Spend some time learning about the artwork and the artist because trends and popularity can both be misleading. Whenever possible, buy art in person and even better meet with the artist. Ask them about the series if it is in one, ask what is the size of it and if they plan on continuing the series. At some point, you may plan to buy another artwork and it would be good to know if there will be more in that style. If you have the pleasure of talking to the artist, try to find out if they do art fulltime, where they will be showing next and what projects are coming up next. A lot of artists do studio sales, that help control their inventory, sale one-off pieces, and earn them additional income. Knowing when these artists are having their studio sales can normally save you a lot of cash, plus you get to hang-out in the studio. Research can be a collector’s best friend.

Collect with a Focus

This is a hard one for new collectors because they have not set any parameters yet. You do not need to limit yourself to just one type of work. Focus on a style or two or three styles, this will really help you build a great collection. This type of collecting helps to make it easier for identifying the kinds of works you want to purchase.

Proper Title Transfer

Any reputable art dealer or gallery should provide you with things like the provenance, condition, artist information with signature, history and edition numbers.

Documentation Is King

As a collector, you need to have all the documentation for your collection. Because anyone that needs to evaluate your collection must have a very thorough understanding of all the pieces. From your very first artwork you purchase, start a list of all the works, descriptions, invoices of sale prices, the purchase dates, and subsequent appraisal prices. It’s a good practice and will save you so many headaches in the future.

How to Keep Your Oil Painting Brushes in Great Shape

Better quality artist’s brushes will last a long time if cared for properly. This article discusses some of the best ways to care for your good oil painting brushes. Caring for acrylic and watercolor brushes is a simpler process. You just rinse thoroughly with clean water, apply a mild soap (Dawn liquid will do), and rinse again. Conditioning with Master’s Brush Cleaner is always a nice finish.

Oil painting brush care is a bit more complicated, but certainly worth the extra effort to extend the life of your brushes. I’m going to share a few different ways to clean your brushes and let you decide what works best for you. Timing is a key element in cleaning your oil painting brushes. If you plan to continue painting the next day, then you can simply wipe the paint out with a paper towel or clean cloth, swish in your mineral spirits or odorless thinner like Gamsol, wipe again, then set them aside. You can also wipe out excess paint, dip the brush in a light oil with a few drops of clove oil, and lay horizontally and somewhat elevated to use the next day. Just be sure to work again the next day!

One simple strategy to clean your brushes is to wipe away the excess paint, do a light wash with oil (linseed is okay, but Safflower or Poppy Seed oils are lighter and work a bit better), then wash the brushes with warm water and a mild soap. You have to try these methods to see which you prefer. Much depends on your quality of brush, whether they are natural or synthetic fibers, etc.

A somewhat altered method of the above strategies is to wipe off excess paint, then swish in paint thinner until all color is removed. Use a cleaning jar (Lion Silicoils are better since they have a rust proof metal coil in the bottom rather than a screen, which can be rough on brushes) half filled with thinner and rub the brushes across the coil until paint is removed. Then wash the brushes in a good quality conditioning brush cleaner like Master’s Brush Soap. Using Master’s is a good idea on all of your brushes once they are cleaned no matter the medium since the conditioner is so good for brush longevity.

One final thought on cleaning is to use Murphy’s Original Oil Soap. This stuff is so good that it will usually remove dried oil paint if you soak your brush in it full strength for a couple of hours. Just make sure you rinse thoroughly.

Lastly, drying your brushes is very important. Never dry your brushes standing them vertically with the hairs up. Over time this can loosen the hairs and they will fall out. It’s best to dry them horizontally or leave them horizontal if you are not cleaning and then plan to paint the next day. They can be stored vertically hairs down, but do not rest them on the hairs. This quickly misshapens the brush. After cleaning and removing most of the moisture, reshape the hairs before you set them aside to dry.