If you're not used to going into galleries or buying art it can be a bit of a scary prospect, intimidating even and part of our ethos at Bils & Rye came about in response to this, ‘Taking the Intimidating Aspect Out of Art’.
Art really is in the eye of the beholder, and as such, no one option of it is right or wrong. It comes down to personal taste and that is exactly how it should be approached when you consider purchasing anything.
Don’t be scared to ask questions, or even to say that you like it but don't necessarily understand it, not all art is easy to understand at first glance and you should never feel like you cant ask the questions. Great art should make you stop and stare and question.
What we’ve found on our journey as art lovers and gallerists is that there is always a story but it is not always about the work. Sometimes that story is about the artist themselves and how they got there, and the work itself is just a natural response to how they feel or need to express themselves. Some of the best works we’ve seen are created purely because the artist had the urge to make it - no coded agenda or message.
Art doesn't have to be expensive to be great! When we started collecting art together Nick and I would use the money I made from my sales as a painter (which never really left us with more than £50-£150 once costs were removed) to buy art from other artists. It felt indulgent, but wonderful, and our home slowly started to fill up with one off wonderful little masterpieces. Now it’s true that trying to buy a good painting on that kind of budget is hard, but not so with ceramics. You can buy ceramics from some of the leading UK potters and ceramists for less than £100, and even on a lucky day for under £50. Ceramics can be every bit as beautiful as a painting - more so in some cases, and they have the wonderful benefit of being tactile. There is nothing quite like being able to hold in your hands a piece of artwork made lovingly by someone else. It’s an old cliché but every piece of art really does hold a little piece of that artist’s life and their creativity and (I like to think) the soul.
A question that crops up from time to time is “what about buying for investment?” the answer is that there are no guarantees that what you buy will definitely accrue in value - unless you’re talking about the likes of Picasso or Monet, but even then it’s all dependent upon trends, and what’s today’s must have might not be tomorrows. So, unless you’re willing to potentially make no money or worse still watch your artwork decrease in value, then buying for investment isn't for you!
Our advice is always to buy for love. Art is a luxury purchase, not a necessity - though in our humble option everyone should own at least one piece of original art. Surrounding yourself with things of beauty that you love enriches your life and not only that, purchasing it enriches the life of the artist who made it and will help them on their journey of creating more works for people to fall in love with.
So with Christmas fast approaching… (shameless plug) why not consider popping in and buying art for yourself or your loved ones or both, and share the love of art
We have a big stand in Harrogate for the inaugural Harrogate International Visual Arts Expo from the 20th to 22nd November. Please pop into the Harrogate International Centre over that weekend to see an array of new work by many talented artists from around the UK and overseas.