Art Collecting DO’S and DON’TS – Part 2

Considering how quickly the world around us can change, the act of surrounding yourself with beautiful things that enrich your life has become more important than ever before. How are you using art to create an environment that both soothes and inspires? How are you using art to set your North Star?

With the goal of helping you succeed on your art collecting journey, each segment of the Art Collecting DO’S and DON’TS series covers 3 Do’s and 2 Don’ts. This segment focuses on commitment, “on approval” buying, and staying limitless. If you missed Part 1 check it out here.

Oil painting of a golden twilight sky in New Mexico by Stephen Day as seen at Sorrel Sky Gallery


DO MAKE A COMMITMENT – Collecting art is like having a longterm relationship … there needs to be enough in common to stick together, but enough differences to make life interesting. So look for established artists whose work you like that spans a wide price range. This will allow you to start with small pieces (the first date) with the goal of eventually obtaining more expensive work by the same artist (the longterm relationship). The excitement of following an artist’s developing career will add depth to your art collection journey.

Painting of a horse's profile by Maura Allen as seen at Sorrel Sky Gallery

DO ASK ABOUT “ON APPROVAL” BUYING You saw a piece that you’re in love with … but is it true love or just infatuation? Will you still love it next week? Next month? What happens if you see another that you realize is IT? Many galleries offer the option of “buying on approval.” This policy lets you buy that piece you’re in love with, live with it for awhile and see if it really is THE one. If it isn’t, you have the option of either returning or exchange it within a certain period of time. Make sure you understand and agree with all the gallery’s terms up front.

Painting of a Crow Indian Chief and 3 Medicine Helpers riding horses by Kevin Red Star as seen at Sorrel Sky Gallery

DO LET ART BE YOUR NORTH STAR – In an ever-changing world, we all need a North Star. When you have a North Star, you know where you’re headed. When your personal North Star includes a visual representation of that direction it brings more happiness, more focus, it grounds you and motivates you … benefiting yourself and others. Using art to set your North Star allows you to dream and to take chances in life, since you’ll always have a beacon to light the way forward and the way home.

Oil painting of the Rio Grande River as it flows through Southern Colorado near Monte Vista by Peggy Immel as seen at Sorrel Sky Gallery


DON’T CHOOSE ART THAT MATCHES YOUR WALL COLOR – Your art should stand on its own. Select art that demands attention, art that makes people take notice. Your living room walls won’t always be the same color, you’ll eventually replace your couch, and that rug from Uncle Cliff. But your art … your art speaks for YOU. Don’t smother its voice.

Crow Tipis On The Big Horn by Kevin Red Star from Sorrel Sky Gallery, installed in a living room over a white leather couch

DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF – Think about looking at etchings, drawings, serigraphs, lithographs, hand-pulled prints or even digital prints on unusual substrates. If your budget is modest, including these options in your collection may allow you to add pieces by renowned or deceased artists. Talk to a reputable gallery to ensure that you’re considering pieces that are created under the supervision of the artist or their estate.

Digital print on aluminum of cowboys herding cattle by Jim Rey as seen at Sorrel Sky Gallery

Art Collecting DO’S and DON’TS – Part 3 will cover commissions, payment options and avoiding “investment art.” Until then, may you stay as inspired and excited about art as we are!