How to Buy Art

By Barnie Slice

We seem to have trouble when it comes to buying art. I don’t know why but lots of folks are afraid they will buy something wrong or that it may not fit the criteria of the ethics of decorating.

When it comes right down to it, buying art has only two criteria: (1) Do you like it and (2) is it in your price range? Nothing else matters. I have talked to so many people who thought you had to meet some kind of standard to buy art. You had to consult an expert or a decorator to do your selection for you. Decorating trends have changed over the years and you can mix anything with anything nowadays (within reason, of course). It just boils down to the simple fact that if you see a painting you like a lot and can afford it, go ahead and purchase it and enjoy.

Framing your piece is another problem for some people. In the old days, back in the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, it was common for people to buy picture frames to match their furniture. If you had mahogany furniture your picture frame had to be made of mahogany. Things really have changed here, too. Of course, you want to buy a frame that looks good with your painting, but be careful. Your frame should complement your painting not overshadow it. If you look at your painting after it is framed and the first thing you see is the frame, you got it wrong. Some artists are using “gallery wrapped” canvases to paint their work on and it does not need a frame.

The bottom line here is that if you are shopping for art just purchase what you want and like. You won’t be sorry you did.

About this writer

  • Barnie Slice

    Barnie Slice

    Barnie Slice is a South Carolina artist who grew up in the state and has lived here most of his life. He loves to paint scenes of South Carolina especially the low country where he has lived for nearly 20 years. He has been painting for more than 60 years and works mostly in acrylics and watercolors. He teaches art in the OLLI program at Coastal Carolina University here in Pawleys Island and paints on a daily basis. He is part owner of Island Art Gallery but displays his work in other galleries around the area. He may be contacted at

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