Cornwater Fine Art Gallery - Specialist dealers to the trade and retail in original paintings and signed prints by L.S. Lowry, David Shepherd and Russell Flint.

Collecting Art For Pleasure and Profit

The art of making a collection of anything goes hand in hand with an interest in the subject and is usually a labour of love. I have known many people who collect all sorts of fine objets d'art to paintings watercolours, prints, drawings and even the most unlikely articles, such as pebbles from a particular beach.

The most important factor, is having a passion for the work that is being collected, of course it is a tremendous bonus when one sees the value begin to rise and in some cases, leap out of all proportion. This is not usually the case however for most works. Artists for example need to have a long, genuine and often painful history in order for their paintings to be valued as art treasures. Their paintings usually need to say something of the world in which the artist is living, and be unique in their composition and execution.

As children , most of us have made a collection of some sorts, stamps, coins, dolls, flowers. It is only when an item becomes rare and is captured by the imagination of the public as a whole, that it becomes of some investment value.

The paintings of L.S.Lowry are a typical example of this phenomenon. For most of his life Mr Lowry painted all that he saw in his daily life around him. These were everyday things of little interest to most people at the time. No one wished to be reminded of the dreadful working conditions, the long working hours and poor living accommodation that most of his neighbours suffered on a daily basis.

Yet it was these very things and the passion with which he painted them that made him one of the great names in art that he has become today. He was not painting to supply an interior design shop with the 'right' colours, he cared little for the financial benefits his paintings could bring. Yet now, we see his work being sold for over twenty times the record for a modern British artist. A recent painting entitled 'The Football Match' was sold for Five million six hundred and forty one, two hundred and fifty pounds. This was a completely unthinkable sum for a modern British artist twenty or thirty years ago.

Even so, there is always a 'pecking order' or 'top twenty' pictures that represent an artist's best achievements. These are always the most sought after paintings by collectors who will pay well above the average price to acquire them. It must be noted that although an artist's work can have international acclaim, the 'lesser' pieces, ie. those not recognized as typical of the artist, will never achieve the dizzy heights of his known work and subject matter, this is an important point, and collectors should always strive to purchase the very best that their budget allows them, as time has shown, it is false economy to do anything less.

Signed, limited editions are an excellent way of acquiring collectible works by famous artists, these prints can rapidly appreciate in value, and the owner who has chosen wisely, can reap a handsome profit, without the outlay of many thousands of pounds.

So in conclusion, whether you wish to collect purely for the joy, or wish make an investment that you hope will reap many benefits in years to come, it is always better to collect something that gives you pleasure and happiness.


David Tatham, fine picture dealer for more than quarter of a century, has an extensive knowledge of Sir William Russell Flint's biography. Signed, prints and drawings can be seen and purchased from the website. http://www.russellflint.net

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