When an old friend sent me this quote the morning after the Blog Awards, I wanted to hug him.
We say "Eh?" a lot in Yorkshire. It's not that we're all hard of hearing or anything. Eh? can mean pardon, but it's also the equivalent of WTF?
And WTF is the world without art in it... eh? It's empty that's what. And so is my house and your house and anyone else's house whose walls aren't freckled with pictures or pieces of art that evoke good vibes.
He's not a typical art lover, my old school friend, and he's probably one of the last people on Earth I was expecting a message of support from the morning after the Blog Awards. But that kind of made it even more special that he saw this arty farty quote and thought of me. As chance would have it, that night I went home to my latest art acquisition, this beautiful limited edition photographic print by Nadia Atturra called, Candy Floss Beach.
Art is now my favourite thing to buy along with faux fur and Pinot Grigio. For milestones and special occasions, I'll always buy a painting or a print that speaks to me and will forever remind me of that particular moment in time. Likewise, I'd always prefer to buy art as a gift over, say, jewellery that may end up shoved at the back of a drawer and forgotten about.
But buying art can be a daunting business. I once entered an art dealer in York and emerged 40 minutes later, tipsy from free prosecco and on the verge of committing to a hefty monthly payment plan. I'd only gone in because the paint on their back wall was the same shade that I was thinking about for my entrance hall.
Buying art needn't be a high brow event. You should always visit galleries and exhibitions for unparalleled inspiration and also to get a feel for what styles you like, but it is totally possible to buy art you love from the comfort of your armchair, thanks to online specialists such as Rise Art. Of course a computer screen can never match the gallery experience, but when you are undecided about how to fill a particular space on a wall, I've found that sitting staring at said wall with laptop in hand and the ability to hold up a few options, really helps. It's also worth remembering that if you like it on a computer screen, the chances are you will LOVE it in real life.
Rise Art is run by professional art curators which means that if you're keen on collecting up and coming artists, they've done the research for you and pulled together a collection of recommended artists at varying price points. You can rest assured that you are buying a recognised or emerging name that will hold or increase in value.
Whilst we'd all love a Tracey Emin or a David Hockney to call our own, we shouldn't be swayed entirely by the hot artist of the moment.
I chose Candy Floss Beach from the extensive Rise Art collections by scrolling quickly through the site and shortlisting the pieces that made me stop. At first it was the colours that grabbed me - all the dusky shades and faded pastels that I love so much and reflect my own personal interior tastes. Then it was the subject matter that resonated. A bloke selling pretty, pink Candy Floss on a deserted Indian beach? This dude and I clearly share the same business sense.
Finally, it was the size that sold it to me. I wanted a standalone piece to sit above a vintage sideboard. The print filled my space to perfection and, framed in walnut, also blends well with my beloved vintage furniture. It felt like it was made for me which is always a sure fire sign that you're onto a winner.
Buying from Rise Art is a simple process and all costs, including shipping and packaging, are clearly outlined. Framing is also an in-house option in a choice of three colours (black, walnut and white) but if you've got a specific request, just ask and they will do their best to accommodate you.
Don't be scared by "try before you buy" option which sounds like a sales trap but is intended to give you a chance to feel confident that the art you love is going to work in your space. For a monthly fee, you can borrow any artwork on the Rise Art site and if you do decide to buy it (most people do) they will offset some of what you’ve already spent against the original price.
If you’re renting a piece, you can also opt in to an additional damage waiver which is a great idea if you have young kids or are as accident prone as me.
Mine may seem a surprising choice if you don't know me very well and a perfect choice if you do. My aim is always to make my walls personal, not predictable and the more unique your art collection is, the more you will come to love it. Here's some more of my favourites from the Rise Art collections, and even if you're not buying, it's an enriching experience just to visit the website and explore what art is at the centre of your Earth. (see what I did there?)
L to R Witness by Negar Farajiani, Nuff Said by Niki Hare, Audition no 1 Girl From Behind by Jonathan Alibone The Broken Dream by Ali Cha Aban Retroversion Artist's Proof by Hush, Apple Blossom Graphic Impression by Robin Duttson, Anchor Bull by Peter Haslam Fox, Notice Me by Mikela Henry Lowe
What are your experiences of buying art online? Do you tend to play safe and buy prints or are you addicted to the point where you're running out of wallspace? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I'd love to hear from you.