Buying Canvas Artwork (Originals)

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What should I buy ?

Well that's a personal question!  However I always advise people to buy something they love .... you have to live with it on your wall for some time.  You can love it for a lot of reasons .. from the fact that the work itself is inspiring, to the fact that the colour matches your sofa, curtains or carpet.  As long as something clicks with you then thats a good start!

How do I know if the piece is original ?

A good place to start is to ask the company or artist selling it.  A print will be fairly obvious when it arrives though there are a number of techniques which people can use to make a print look at though is has brush marks in it!  However you will find most people are selling work as advertised.  We sell work which is original .. however there may be between 1 and 50 of the same style within a series as a general guide.  The less of the edition there are .. the more expensive the piece will be.  Many of the gallery originals we sell from our artists sell for over the £1000 mark so if you are buying a piece for £120 then it's likey the artist has created a few of these pieces to sell through both gallery, direct, and perhaps on ebay too.

What helps to identify a quality piece ?

We only use quality materials in all our pieces, including artist grade paints and professional canvas.  There are many cheaper alternatives that artists can use however as a professional gallery we simply know what works, and what doesn't.  Not only that but we know which materials will stand the test of time.  A lot of canvas is imported from China these days and some of it is actually very, very good.  However there are cheaper ones which are not.  If you have an doubts ask about the canvas used for the piece, the materials and paints used and find out if they are student or artist quality.  Of course there are excpetions to this rule especially with mixed media pieces but it should at least show you are partially informed.

Colour accuracy on screen ?

Ok, this is a difficult one.  At the Gallery we have colour calibrated monitors and software ... however what you see on your screen may not be what we see on ours.  Chances are your screen will show a version of ours ... as professional calibration equipment is expensive.  We take all sensible precautions such as using the correct colour profile for the internet and also getting our photos as close as possible to the main web browsers of internet explorer, firefox and safari (Mac).  That said colours may still vary and it's always advisable to ask for a colour check if this is crucial.  You can always send in fabric or colour samples if you need a custom piece creating.

What about insurance?

Insurance during transit is crucial.  Despite careful packing some pieces do receive damage during transit.  This is simply because of the fragile nature of the product.  Insuring the item with the courier alone isn't likely to leave you fully covered.  Some sellers may well replace your artwork anyway, however as a gallery we take the precaution of fully insuring each and every piece that leaves us through our own insurance.  That was you have total piece of mind.  In the even of any damage we would replace or restore the painting free of charge with no excess.  Our fully insured postage cost is £26 however we would be able to send without this level of protection for around £16.  Check this as a guide with other companies - you will find that we are a little more expesnive and that's what you are looking for with insurance in mind.

Insure your piece on your home insurance and ask for the insurance value at the time of sale.  We often have pieces sell on ebay for as little as £50-70 in some instances.  However the actual replacement cost for one of these could be as a high as £700+ !  It pays to make sure you know the actual value at the time of buying so you can stipulate these items specifically on your home insurance if required.

Methods of hanging/placement ?

If the piece arrives stretched then its as simple as tapping some nails or screws into the wall and situating the piece on them.  If the canvas is particular large and heavy you may wish to use a hanging kit which can be bought from the likes of B&Q however you will find 95% of pieces dont require this.  (In commercial environments it is best to screw the artwork to the wall with a 90 degree bracket).

Take good care of placement of your piece.  Many textural pieces benefit from light hitting them, either natural or artifical and this is something that should be experimented with on arrival.  If you are working ahead of time bear in mind the lighting situation when you are deciding where to put your art as this can make or break a piece in some circumstances.  We often use angled or eye ball downlighters which have some flexibility in positioning ... these help to create highlight and shadow details on texural pieces in particular.  It is wise to consider how much sunlight your artwork will receive too.  Sunlight is very damaging so you need to make sure that the artist or company you buy from has taken the provision of giving the work enough coats of varnish to protect it.  If you are putting your piece in a high risk area such as in front of a window or in a bathroom it is advisable to speak with the gallery in advance so they may advise best.
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