Invest in Art

Corso Palladio, Vicenza

Corso Palladio, Vicenza

Rarely does a week go past without one of my customers commenting about the value of their paintings and often they joke about their “Alan Reed” original being worth a fortune once I’m dead! Joking aside, it does raise the question, should one invest in art, and if so, whose art should one buy?

The truth is, not every artist’s work will be worth more money once they are dead, after all, what one generation finds appealing and popular, the next generation may find it ghastly. Conversely, paintings by artists like Van Gogh who hardly had any success when they were alive, are now way beyond the reach of the average collector.

It is also possible to buy art from a living artist at the start of their career and see it soar in value, even during their own lifetime. A good example of this is Jack Vettriano. One of my clients bought two of Jack’s paintings when he first started off for only a few thousand pounds. He later auctioned them several years ago for over a hundred thousand pounds!

Buying paintings by artists who are dead can often be a sound investment. I recall seeing a delightful watercolour of Venice by Edward Seago at a gallery in London for around £8,000 back in 1994. I had only been married for a year and it was just a little out of my reach at the time. A similar Edward Seago watercolour of Venice would now set you back £20-30,000 and I suspect that his prices will continue to rise.

However, the value of art is effected by a multitude of varying factors, so investing, like most investments, can never be an exact science. Buying from a reputable dealer and seeking expert professional advice is usually a safe guard from making a bad purchase, but even then, I’ve seen forgeries that have deceived the dealers expert eye. One of my clients bought an original watercolour signed W. Russell Flint from an auctioneer that was never in a million years painted by Sir William Russell Flint who died in 1969. I’ve also seen paintings being passed off as an “Edward Seago” that were clearly not painted by the great British artist who died in 1974.

The upside is that investing in art, particularly modern art, has been a huge success in the last couple of decades according to experts. Buying from a living artist means that you know the art is likely to be genuine. Finding an artist to invest in is just the first part of the challenge. Investors and collectors need to know that the artist has talent and staying power. The artist’s commitment to their practise is of paramount importance. I’ve seen a number of artists burst onto the scene only to disappear after a few years, unable to make a living. You need to ask questions about their background, training and how they are progressing in terms of their ability, creativity and success before purchasing for investment purposes. Also look for an artist that has an identifiable style that is developing and improving.

Over the last few years I’ve made my own modest acquisitions using some of the criteria mentioned above but with one underlying philosophy. I like to buy a painting that looks good on my wall which I can enjoy every time I look at it. If it goes up in value, then that is an added bonus.

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About alan

British artist Alan Reed, was born in Corbridge in the North of England into a family with a history of painting. "I have been passionate about painting all my life and committed to helping others through my paintings". Alan trained as an illustrator / graphic designer in the North of England and spent the early part of his career doing artist impressions of new building projects for architects. Alan Reed specialises in landscapes, cityscapes and portraits both in watercolours and oils. His unique, fluid style captures the atmosphere of different settings from the drama of city life to the serenity and beauty of a rural landscape. Alan Reed has had many successful exhibitions both in the UK and abroad including those at the Mall Galleries in London, Malcolm Innes Gallery in Edinburgh, Italy, the USA and the Middle East and has been a regular exhibitor of rowing scenes in the Stewards’ Enclosure at the Henley Royal Regatta. 2013 Winner of "The Artist's Prize" in the Royal Watercolour Society Competition 2013 with his painting "Jebel Akhdar, Oman". The painting was exhibited at the Bankside Gallery, London.   2011 Alan Reed - Winner of the "Circus Painting Prize" in the Bath Prize. Alan Reed's painting of  “Pump Room in the Snow” was highly commended in the Bath Prize. 2011 Alan Reed - One of the finals with his painting of "Grey Street" in the "Show me the Monet" programme shown on BBC2. 2010 Alan Reed - 1st runner up in "The Bath Prize" with his original painting of "The Royal Crescent, Bath". Alan Reed's painting of the "The Roman Baths by Torchlight" was also highly commended in the Bath Prize. Artist Alan Reed's approach to painting is described in a book
entitled "Landscapes in Watercolour" by Theodora Philcox, an inspirational book which features the work of 23 leading watercolourists from around the world. The Middle East is an area to which Alan has given his artistic attention thanks to a series of ongoing commissions for the government of Oman. Alan’s work has become increasingly collectable and is widely represented internationally through private and corporate commissions including those for Royalty, Coutts Bank, Rolls Royce, Northern Rock PLC, several client’s private and corporate properties both in the UK and worldwide. We supply to Interior designers, Cruise ships, Corporate companies and galleries providing the perfect solution to meet all your needs. Portraits, Gift Vouchers, Sherree V-Daines, Sketchbook, Reviews, Painting Tips and Paintings for the Queen Worldwide Shipping