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A Wonky Wheel practical guide for buying Artwork.

Last week I spent some time in the Gallery doing a stocktake and making a few changes, which gave me the time and taste of Gallery life I was longing for as we enter another three-week phase of lockdown. It’s a strange time for everyone but I’m sure over the Easter half term there were lots of projects of rearranging space in the home or/and rooms to create more space for home working. There may even be an odd whiteboard put up in a bedroom or kitchen for work that’s not related to the home! You may have been decorating a room to make this space more your own or for a loved one. So to finish it you just need that inspirational piece of Artwork.

I have also been planning and designing my own little garden studio. So last week we cleaned the space in the garden where my lovely studio will eventually be situated.

In the midst of planning the studio, we have come up with a practical guide for buying Artwork for your home. When redecorating a room you probably spend a long time working out the budget for the room, choosing the paint or wallpaper considering the light and space, your furniture and of course your personal tastes.

However, what should you consider when choosing artwork to complete the redecoration? Here are some handy things to consider when buying art.

Measure the space.

Measure the space where you want to hang a picture. Depending on the location, you may want a picture to dominate a wall and really stand out. Alternatively, you may want a painting to naturally fill a space complementing existing pictures or wall features. Remember you may need to lift a picture onto a hook so consider remember to allow space to hook a picture into position.

Think about weight. The larger a framed glass picture the more it will weigh, so ensure the wall behind is capable of taking the fixings for the weight.

Always remember to check a door or window will not open onto a picture or bang against a ceramic vase.

Buying framed or unframed artwork?

Buying an unframed piece of artwork means you can get it framed in a style and colour that complements your room decoration. For example at the Wonky Wheel gallery we stock both framed and unframed work by Helen Wiseman to give you a great choice. Nothing worse than finding a picture you love in a frame you hate!

Unframed artwork will be cheaper to buy so this gives you an opportunity to collect a few items and then to visit a picture framer to have them all framed at once in the same style. If you are travelling, then you can fit unframed artwork into a case for transporting home before framing.

Choose non-reflective glass when possible.

Framed pictures can have non-reflective glass fitted, which we would always recommend for a room with lots of windows and lights. Remember to keep your glass clean and try to use cotton gloves when handling pictures to avoid fingerprints.

Consider the artwork medium.

Try to keep your artwork away from direct sunlight and heat. In particular, watercolours do not like direct sunlight and can fade. Oil paintings may also be affected by heat so avoid placing above radiators or again in direct sunlight. Acrylic artwork fares much better but we would still recommend keeping away from direct sunlight. Remember ceramic work can be damaged by frost if kept outside.

Choosing between original artwork and a print.

An artist will have spent many hours on their artwork, and this can be reflected in the price. However, a print can offer the same visual impact as the original at a lower price. Consider a limited edition print if you are want to retain some exclusivity.

You may find an artist offers both original work and prints and this may give you an opportunity to purchase both. For example, consider an original work for a feature wall in a lounge and then some matching prints for an entrance hall or study.

Original artwork does not always have to be expensive however. For example Alison Hullyer joined Wonky Wheel from the very beginning and Alison’s work is very popular with our customers. Alison works in different printmaking styles and is also an illustrator. Here are two examples of the work available at Wonky Wheel displayed . Take a look at our website for full production range available in Alison’s Artwork collection.

Vessels I 4/6 Drypoint, original print, it comes unframed at £75.00

Bridge Street 8/10 Drypoint, original print, it comes unframed at £75.00

How to choose an artist.

At Wonky Wheel we stock artwork from artists local to the area as we feel it is important to support these low volume skilled individuals. Many artists have an individual style that you can see across their works, so it may be important to you to consider an artist who you can return to for further work. Many artists may also do commissions so if you find an artist whose style you like but not the picture, consider contacting them to see if they will create a work of art specially tailored to you.

For example Lisa Ray works mainly with acrylic and stretched canvas. Lisa loved working with colour, metallic, texture, pattern, light and shade. Lisa has two styles of artwork, Pop Art and Abstract.

Pink gloss lips, pop art Acrylic £350 original piece

Ocean Spray, Acrylic pour style and £375, its an original piece of work.

Where to buy art?

Buying art from an art gallery allows you to view many pieces of work in one place allowing you to compare and contrast different styles and types of artwork. An independent art gallery such as Wonky Wheel will have great relationships with their artists and will be able to discuss the artist who created the work and will know the story behind it. For example Barry Marsden’s main work at Wonky Wheel is photography taken on walks in his home town in Essex.

Consider when buying from a larger ‘art gallery chain’ they may be rotating stock around their branches (often reflected in the price!) and their staff may not know the artist personally.

We hope this gives you some confidence when looking for art for your home. Feel free to contact us at the Wonky Wheel for any help and advice, we are glad to help.

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