Art Is More Than Just An Accessory

Love at first sight is a powerful experience. Sometimes it lasts, sometimes it doesn’t and only time will tell. The best plan is to let the romance settle and not to rush into anything.

The same principle applies when you’re buying a painting, at least according to an art collector that I met at a gallery opening a few weeks ago. “I would never buy a painting on impulse,” he said. “The painting that first catches your eye can be one that you’ll tire of very quickly. The good ones keep coming back into your mind, niggling at you like a stone in your shoe. They won’t let you go. Those are the paintings that will hold your interest over time.”

So first, you find your heart’s desire and then you walk away from it. But what if someone else buys it in the meantime? The art collector shrugged. “It happens. You just have to let it go. There are other paintings.”


The crux of the matter is that buying a painting takes a bit of confidence. It’s an important decision, not just aesthetically, but also financially. An original painting is a relatively expensive purchase. “When people haven’t bought art before, they can be very insecure about it,” says Summer Obaid of the online gallery, Fine Art Seen.

The artworks that they sell are painted by artists across the world and mostly come as ready-to-hang canvases stretched on wooden frames. They generally don’t require further framing. Prices range from €100 to around €5,000, but most of her customers pay between €300 and €700 for an original painting. “You’d pay that for a sofa, but that’s a purchase that most people would take fairly seriously too,” she says.

If your budget is less than €100, you’d be better going for a limited edition print and there’s a damn fine collection at Dublin’s North Brunswick Street Studio, Damn Fine Print.

As well as providing an investment, paintings and wall-mounted art can lift the look of your home immeasurably and provide interest on every wall, be it in pride of place over the fireplace in the living room or as some light whimsy on the wall of a downstairs wc. A walk around a gallery outlet that sells the sort of thing you like has been the traditional route of purchasers in search of local artists, but online opens up the world.

Buying art online is not for everyone, but it has some big advantages. The price of a painting from Fine Art Seen includes delivery to anywhere on the globe and if you don’t like it, you can send it back within two weeks at no extra cost. Just don’t throw out the packaging until you’re certain you want to keep it.

Artfinder, an online gallery that offers an equivalent service, has similar terms of business and an emphasis on original paintings that sell for less than £500 (€576). Both galleries are UK based, but represent artists from many countries, including Ireland. Online-only galleries seem like a good deal for artists too. Fine Art Seen charges a commission of 30pc, which is much less than most physical galleries and seems typical within the online-gallery business.

But how do you choose a painting you haven’t actually seen? Fine Art Seen offers an advisory service, based on an online questionnaire which helps you to define your taste in very simple terms. Do you like abstract art or landscapes? What is your budget? What size of painting are you looking for? What room do you plan to put it in?

(Shared from

Selling Your Art Online

Do you appreciate art? Or maybe you’ve made the decision to start selling your art online. Congrats! But where to begin? Head on over to Google and punch in the search term “online art gallery.” You think this will be a good place to start, but now have the misfortune of sifting through 363,000,000 search results in the hopes of finding an online gallery that meets your needs. By our last count here at TAA, there are over 300 websites that specifically sell original art online.

Things are obviously boomin’ in the online art world. New (and younger) buyers are emerging as viable art collectors for the first time in years as prices and options such as limited edition prints are becoming more readily available. It’s a trend that’s been particularly driven by the sheer volume of online art websites that include the ubiquitous Etsy but now also encompasses world-renowned leaders like Saatchi and Christie’s.

We recently chatted with Jonas Almgren (CEO at, Nicolas Sarazin (CEO at, and Alex Farkas (Gallery Director and Co-Founder of to learn more about how they operate. You’ll find some helpful and exclusive advice from them below.


The commission structure is determined by four main factors:

  • the level of service
  • the amount of curation
  • the reputation
  • the roster of clients of the gallery.

For uncurated open marketplace sites (think Etsy), the company is relatively hands-off, charging a low commission or a small listing fee. The marketplace sites are often crowded and an artist’s work can often get lost. In this case, the artist will need to market their portfolio to generate sales and fulfill the orders themselves. Frankly, it’s a good idea for artists to do this no matter which sites they’re on.

According to Alex at UGallery, for premier curated online art galleries, their role is the same as a brick and mortar gallery. They will help prepare your work, which includes setting prices, posting photos, and writing descriptions of the work and a biography about the artist. They will merchandise the art on the site, adding it to collections and featuring it where possible. If the gallery is curated, they will ensure your work is unique relative to the other artists it represents. They will also advertise on your behalf so your work has visibility to a growing set of clients.

A site like Artfinder sets their commission at 30-percent, enabling them to promote their artists online and offline; recruit new potential buyers (they have 350,000 members); give special promotions like free shipping weekends; and offer free returns at no cost to the artists. On the other hand, a site like Artmajeur only charges a nominal commission on free accounts, but cancels this out when an artist pays for a monthly subscription. How much a site pays out to an artist truly varies from one end of the spectrum such as 20-percent (DeviantArt) or 30-percent (ArtRising) to 100-percent on a site like Artplode because they charge no commission.

At the end of the day, Alex at UGallery told us, “The key question to ask is how much you want to do yourself versus outsource to a gallery in terms of merchandising, marketing, and fulfillment. If you’re unsure, my recommendation is to try two or three websites and see which channel is the most profitable for you.”


Wading through the volume of online galleries can get overwhelming, so how do you figure out which ones are worth your time and money? Based on our conversations with the founders of these three sites, they recommended that artists look at factors like longevity (how long has the site been around?), membership size, and artist reviews to help in the decision making process.

Jonas/Artfinder: I would look at for how long the gallery has been around; how many users/members the gallery has; and customer reviews. For example, in the past six months, Artfinder has received over 2,500 reviews of which 94 give the artist and Artfinder top marks for order experience. Those kinds of results speak well for a quality site. I would also check in with artists selling through the gallery to see what their experience is as sellers. We offer an artist forum that allows artists to share their experiences and tips.

Alex/UGallery: There are a few sources to check out when researching online galleries.

  1. First, do a Google search for some common keywords – online art gallery, buy art online, etc. – and see if the gallery advertises or appears in the search results. Clients are Googling these same things, so you want to make sure you’re represented by a gallery established enough to appear in a client’s research.
  2. Second, look through lists of the best online art galleries such as Apartment Therapy’s list or Emily Henderson’s list. TAA Note: You can sign up for our Members-Only Resources to get a full list of all online art galleries with information on search rankings, approximate traffic, and other site stats.
  3. Third, browse the gallery’s website. Often you can tell a lot just by looking through the site. See if the art looks high quality and is merchandised well, and what the shopping experience for a client would be like. Also, see how often they update their inventory or their blog – you want to find an online art gallery that is active and up-to-date. Lastly, browse the gallery’s press page to see if they have earned notable press in the past few months.

Source: Abundant Artist

The Beautiful Art Called Cooking

As much as I crave the affection and love that art has to offer, my belly demands another form of art. Why do all artisans always stop at just embracing one of their 6 senses with a form of art ? Why don’t they take it a few steps further and evoke art that can be seen, felt and tasted.

Dramatics aside, I am a huge foodie. So here’s my take on a home cooked fine dining escapade. After reading this piece, I’ll bet you’d be more inclined to trying to muster the courage to create and design your own gourmet meals rather than just visiting a 5-star restaurant. Trust me the process of making art or food for this instance is just as exceptional as the finished product.

One of my favorite gourmet dishes to prepare at home involves a whole lot of knife work. So have a Chef’s knife ready. You’ll need to be accustomed with the basics of slicing, chopping, dicing, cutting and carving. I hope I gave you a hint about the masterpiece you’ll be attempting to create. Anway, here’s a simple and clear cut way to make an exceptional Chicken Cordon Bleu at home.

I found a video that has a similar recipe to the one that I’m used to. Here’s the recipe and ingredient list too.