What is the Art you Wish For?

During Portland Open Studios I had a chance to observe viewers as they considered purchasing art. While many people wanted to take artwork home with them, only a few did.  One viewer expressly said to me, ‘I wish I could buy one of your pieces.’

My reply was half serious: “Anyone can buy one of my paintings.” Really, this is true. I’ve seen everyone from Corporate Giants to Housekeepers purchase my work: those with lots of money, and those with little money.

What makes them all commit to buying art? Each purchase is a choice. It may mean deciding that the vacation must wait, the car gets a little older, etc.  Read here about Herb and Dorothy Vogel, who amassed a world-class art collection on a modest budget.

Falling in love with an artwork and finding the perfect spot in your home to view it each day is a pleasure that you share with family and friends and a legacy to your heirs. But it is also a gift to the artist who created the work. It tells that artist that what they made is worthwhile, that it speaks to you on a meaningful level. It encourages that artist to make more work. Your purchase makes the world more beautiful.

If you have other ideas about ways to acquire original art, affordably, leave me a comment! If you see a piece of art you wish for, let me know!


"Rope Swing" ©Ruth Armitage, 2015 Acrylic on Paper 22x15"

“Rope Swing” ©Ruth Armitage, 2015

Acrylic on Paper, 22×15″

Six Ways to Own the Art You Wish For, Affordably!

1. Work with the artist or gallery to set a payment plan. Most artists are happy to accept monthly or quarterly payments for works that are out of your monthly budget range. This makes everyone happy – it saves you the interest you’d pay on a credit card, and helps the artist or gallery make the sale.

2. Consider Barter. I’ve traded artwork for Orthodonture, Vacation Rentals, Massage, Hand-Knit Sweaters, House-cleaning and more.

3. Start Small. Smaller works are often more affordable. Accumulating a group of smaller works and hanging them together can make an impressive and eclectic display.

4. Rent to Own. The painting above and others of similar quality are available at the Portland Art Museum’s Rental Sales Gallery. If you’re not sure about how long you’ll be in your place, renting a work is a good solution. When it is time to return the work, you may apply the rental fee to your purchase if you decide to keep it. Many communities have similar galleries.

5. Shop Antique, Thrift and Consignment Stores. My sister has scored some fabulous art at amazing prices by using her keen eye to discover work by well-known artists. One of my favorite family pieces was an estate sale purchase by my mother and grandmother. It always reminds me of my grandmother’s house. Who knows, you could even score a masterpiece like Teri Horton did!

6. Give your spouse or partner a hint. Sometimes it is hard to treat yourself to what you really want. Let someone else treat you! Some of my favorite sales have happened during holidays or birthdays when someone surprises their significant other (or kid) with the gift of original art. I’ve even delivered on Christmas Eve! I’m great at keeping secrets, so if you have something in mind, let’s talk!

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