It can be difficult to buy art for others given that taste in art is so personal. However if you're up for the challenge, a well chosen piece of art can be a cherished and meaningful gift.
Over the years, we've watched and listened to hundreds of people buying art as gifts and have developed these tips and ideas to help get you started.
Given it's personal nature, choosing an artwork that has meaning either to the recipient or you, or is symbolic of the relationship you have, can take the stress out of where to start.
For example, if you are buying for somebody who is like a sister to you, Colleen Wallace's Dreamtime Sisters' might be meaningful. Perhaps you want to offer some kind of protection for someone and a small Atham-areny painting by Angelina Ngale could be somewhere to start. If you have shared many conversations with this person, then a social kind of piece (think women gathering bush foods or preparing for ceremony) might strike a chord. Ask yourself what their hobbies and interests are, what their favourite places are or what you think is important to them. Don't be afraid to ask them too!
If that's all just too much, then go for something YOU love. Everyone's tastes are different so if you just don't know what they will like, choose something that speaks to you. Maybe it's the colours, the smudge in the corner or something you just can't put your finger on, but go with your gut. Chances are, the recipient of your gift will appreciate those same qualities. If not, they will likely see how much love you had in choosing it and appreciate it all the more. You could be opening their eyes to something new and beautiful in the process.
If you don't feel like you've narrowed it down any further, play it safe by getting something popular or mainstream for gifts. Don't know what's popular? Do a google search for certain artists or styles to see what trends appear. Be sure to ask galleries as well. Often they will have helped many people just like you challenged with buying the gift of art.
Artwork that make popular art-gifts in this way are usually neat and balanced and use complimentary colours so that they appear universally pleasing and are a safe pieceto choose when you don't know someone's tastes. Consider keeping the subject or origin of the artwork easily identifiable - we're thinking scenic, a pretty flower, traditional Aboriginal or native symbolism, or even art deco.
Larger artworks become centrepieces of decor in the home and require planning and measuring, and therefore are all the more personal. Unless you know for absolute certain what your recipient desires, opt for small pieces. A small piece might be a good starting point for a collection of their own, or to add to an existing one. Small paintings call also make great table-top arrangements and add accents of colour and style to a room without overpowering it.
Small paintings also look great in sets too, allowing for creativity by the recipient to suit the display to their tastes.
1. Angelina Ngale, 30cm x 30cm, $295.00
2. George Petyarre Club,30cm x 30cm, $189.00
3. Nikita Inkamala, 30cm x 30cm, $189.00
4. Betty Mbitjana, 30cm x 30cm, $185.00
5. Lindsay Bird Mpetyane, 30cm x 30cm, $295.00
6. Delvine Petyarre,30cm x 30cm, $245.00
7. Lucky Morton Kngwarrey, 30cm x 30cm, $169.00
Prices in AUD.
Prices do not include stretching.
Want more ideas? Chat with us online (window at the bottom right of your screen if we're available) to help you choose and find the best options for you. Or, take a look at our pinterest collections for some decorating tips and ideas.
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Opening on Australia Day, this special exhibition is a collaboration with Delvine Petyarre and Dulcie Pwerle to celebrate our beautiful land and country.
100% of the profit from every exhibition painting sold this Australia Day weekend will be donated.
Subscribe for an exclusive preview delivered to your inbox on Saturday 25th January.
Until the end of January, we'll be donating $30 for EVERY order, plus 100% of the profit from every My Country exhibition painting sold this Australia Day weekend.
My Country opens on Sunday 26th January however you can subscribe now to receive a preview (and chance to buy exhibition artwork via a private link) on Saturday 25th.