What creates fine art? Are you puzzled by what you should spend money on that has no physical function in your home? There are many kinds of fine art and the definition from one online dictionary is a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture. I would have to add that commonly it is considered an investment that will appreciate in value. Keep in mind that the art market goes up and down like other investments.
Perhaps you don’t really know what you like? Take the time to visit art galleries, go to art walks, art museums and fine art shows. Get a feeling for what you enjoy and what you wouldn’t want to see hanging in your house. Also keep in mind that if you like portraits, not every picture on your walls should be a portrait. Your collection will be more interesting if you hang a variety of work from different artists. And most importantly don’t purchase a piece only because of its possible appreciation value. Buy pieces that you like because you will have them a long time.
As you research art for your walls you will find that a certain artist, or two, create pieces that you really like. It’s interesting to follow the artists work on the internet and watch them grow, during the process their art can change dramatically. Often times detail will be better as the artist matures. Sometimes you can tell when an artist has gone through a period of depression as their pieces may use less color. As you read their biographies you will learn a lot about them.
So how do you know if you are just buying more stuff, or if you are buying a piece of fine art? Simply put, a print is art, a signed print is considered fine art. You will usually pay more for a signed piece. As you are choosing pieces for your home keep in mind that an unsigned picture probably won’t be worth what you paid for it if you go to sell it in a few years. Often times signed pieces are also numbered, such as 34/100. This means the print that you bought is the 34th print out of 100 made. Some people prefer to collect artist proofs. These are usually the first few prints that the artist may keep for himself or sell. Commonly the print will show AP, the artists signature and is numbered. Some people collect only artists proofs. Sometimes an AP will appreciate more, but not always. Most collectors tend to buy prints that have fewer pieces available.
Every picture doesn’t need to be valuable. If you are hanging a print to add interest to your bathroom you might consider a nice picture or photo over an expensive piece. Moisture from showers can ruin the fine paper that is used. It is simply not worth taking the chance. Hang less expensive pieces where damage can occur. The other culprit that can destroy a great piece on the wall is the sun. When framing a signed print consider going to the added expense of museum glass, or hang the picture where the sun is not going to directly shine on it. Fading occurs very slowly over time and chances are you won’t even notice, until you go to sell it.
Most importantly buy what you like and remember, fine art never matches your sofa limited abstract prints.