Beyond the eye

Cappuccino Cups, 20x16, Acrylic/Canvas

As much as art is subjective it requires a bit of a discerning eye and some knowledge of the artists past to help make an informed decision when looking for art. When looking at a piece of art—let's use paintings for example—there are some not so obvious things that should be paid attention to. Questions like, how long this artist has been painting and where have they shown.

Artists are just people!

Here’s the thing—the trials and tribulations a professional artist goes through in the span of their career can be pretty imposing. Many well-intentioned artists give up creating in the first 3-5 years after formal education and 99.9 % just dabble with no intention of advancing or selling their work. Being an artist is not for the faint of heart and money can’t be a motivating factor.

Artists nowadays have several streams of income which simply means they are in an economically solvent position to pursue their art career. I, for example, worked 23 years part-time for a company while painting every day and promoting my art career. It was really tough at times but I never relented and remained committed to the art.

Truly committed artists are driven by the need to create and in fact they will always make art regardless of what else they have to do to live.

Living experience and experimentation are two important things when it comes creating a great piece of art—not unlike a fine wine. Generally speaking—you can spot a long term professional by the look of their work and how they talk about what they do—a common thread among dedicated professionals.

I’m sure you noticed by now that I have just been talking about the artist and that is because it’s the artist's energy that you see in every piece they create. My work, for example, reveals a lot about me—there is a bold inquisitiveness to my personality and I am not afraid to jump in with both feet. On the other hand, I am sensitive to nuances in people and in life and I do like a good story.

What I am saying is, good art is about the artist and if you get to know one, you will connect with their art.

I think the best thing anybody can do when looking for a piece of art is to ask questions directly to the artist—most artists love to talk about their work.

I collect art as well as being a painter so I know a bit about both sides of the street. I have made a few purchases over the years and I most often would buy based on a conversation with the artist—I am open to the same engagement in my own art practice—via email or live.

Some of my best advice

When you see a painting online you absolutely love, you should feel confident that what you are seeing and purchasing is accurately represented. When that painting arrives on your doorstep and you unwrap it, it should blow you away, moreover, it should be something you want to talk to your friends about.

More and more art is being purchased online and therefore needs to be backed up with a written certificate of authenticity and a customer satisfaction guarantee. If you are making an online purchase make sure you ask for both and don’t be afraid to ask some questions.

I always back up my work because I think of my patrons as friends and I want them to experience that “little kid on Christmas morning excitement” when they unwrap one of my paintings.

You will always get my personal guarantee of satisfaction and authenticity with any purchase.

Here are some proactive ways to help you with your online art experience.

*Google the artist's profile

*Do they have a website

*Do they have a comprehensive resume

*Ask the artist questions like how long have they been painting and do they have a satisfaction guarantee.

* I would also suggest making your purchase through PayPal or an equivalent app because everyone is protected and happy.

If you have a question about a pending art purchase I am happy to give you my best advice. Remember, there are no stupid questions so please feel free to email me at

Over the next few months, I will be posting more tips and advice to help you find and collect the art you love without breaking the bank.

When you join my NEWSLETTER you get the inside scoop on styles of art and why I think it’s a good investment, I also have a few ways in which you can start your own art collection.