Firstly, you should always buy what you like. You should fall in love it, as it has to go on your walls! If you are on a budget or just don’t have cash to spare, then there are different ways to buy art. Every town has an artist’s studio and they will organise regular open studio days. It’s a good way to see what artists are working on and I’d recommend opening up a dialogue directly with the artist and asking him/her about their prices. You can be upfront and say what your budget is. If, for example, your budget is £1,000 and the artist only has works that are £2,000 then the artist might come back to you with something in six months’ time. S/he might have drawings,or works on paper too, which are cheaper. It’s important not to feel daunted by commercial galleries - they're there to sell art. So don't afraid to go in and talk to the gallerist.
Another option, for when you find a piece of artwork that you love, is to get an interest-free loan through the Arts Council England. That way you can spread the purchase over 10 months. It’s a great way to own art and provide a revenue stream for artists. It’s how I’ve purchased some of my artworks.
If you’re struggling to know where to start, here are four artists, whom I think are really interesting at the moment:
2. Cathy Lomax's work is very much inspired by popular culture, especially film. She does loads of very glamorous paintings of film stars and has an interesting take on pop culture and nostalgia.
3. Jake Clark's work is concerned with mid-20th century suburban European seaside architecture but with a punchy pop aesthetic.
4. Darren Jones - I love his whimsical, pointed political work - very minimal and understated...
With my own work, I like to explore the area between how we’d like things to be and how we actually experience them. When we think of a natural place, we tend to think of a picture instead of the experience of the place such as its dankness or humidity. In my latest series of paintings, I explore the idea of a rainforest, but one devoid of insects and oppressive humidity. The jungles depicted are not hot, dank places, but fantastical ones full of hallucinatory shapes and gaudy colours.