How to buy art - Bath Life

Ever wondered how to buy art?  Bath Life Magazine (pp 39-44, January 2015) spills the beans with advice from experts in the city’s vibrant contemporary art scene.  Curator Sonya Rothwell at Gallery Beautiful (formerly Courts Garden Gallery) and art advisor Jessica Lloyd Smith of Modern Art Buyer tip Trudy as an up-and-coming artist to watch. 

The article features a full page image of Trudy’s painting, Premonition, on page 41. Here are some gems: 

Step 1: First off, sharpen your eye

Do the legwork online, make a shortlist and then visit in person. 

Step 2: Choose what you love

Sonya Rothwell says, “if you fall in love with it, buy it! You will never regret filling your home with artworks that inspire and uplift you every day.”  And, “Be open to falling in love with a work because of your personal response to it, not because you think you should love it,” advises Jessica Lloyd Smith.

Step 3: Remember, you don’t have to be an expert

That’s what the gallerist is for. “There’s no shame in not knowing much about art, all you need to know is what you like,” reckons Emma Birts.

Step 4: Why not start with a print?

Prints are a great way to own art that you love for a fraction of the price, says Sonya Rothwell. But understand the difference, “original prints can be very valuable and collectable” while reproduction prints are not. 

Step 5: Don’t be afraid of up-and-coming artists

Get in early before an artist’s prices rise stratospherically. Happily, Bath is a pretty good place to catch the next wave. “If I had to name one or two, I’d say Ione Parkin and Trudy Montgomery for their bold and dramatic canvases” tips Jessica Lloyd Smith. 

Step 6: Yes, art can make you money but don’t expect it to!

Buy for love but do ask: Is the artist recognised? Does the artist have a consistent track record of selling their work for at least the price you are intending to pay?

Step 7: Understand the sort of art that Bath is best at

Bath offers more galleries than any other city outside of London. There are 20+ independent galleries pus all the artist studios. It has a great variety of art from some of the biggest names in contemporary British painting to emerging painters with great potential. Plus there’s the Holbourne Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.  

Read the full article here (p39-44):