Thinking of Buying Limited Edition Art?

Contemporary artists, just like all artists before them, will have invested an enormous amount of emotional energy, physical effort and creativity into their work and they all want to have their art appreciated and enjoyed by as many people as possible. One way to make this possible is by the production of Limited Edition prints of their work.

Such prints have very much become part of our modern society because they make good contemporary art accessible and affordable to a much wider audience than had previously been possible. During the last 50 years producing Limited Edition Prints has become a standard part of an artist’s career for this very reason. Even the best and most celebrated artists of our time have created them and these should not be regarded as inferior substitutes for an original piece of art but a way to enjoy a piece of exceptional art in your own home.

Current trends in art buying are becoming more and more associated with the decorative merit of a piece rather than collecting art for its own appeal. Many buyers will spend substantial sums on an original painting simply because it matches their decor or, conversely, spend very little on a piece with no artistic merit because it matches their sofa or cushions. It is a shame that very few people first buy art that they love and then use the artwork as the inspiration for their decor. But where these two apparently conflicting approaches actually come together is in the purchase of Limited Edition Art – the buyer or collector can obtain a piece that has artistic merit and a certain amount of exclusivity but is still affordable and, therefore, can be replaced when the decor is changed without too much angst. The artist, obviously, also benefits from the sale of reproductions as they can start to establish or increase their reputation as more of their works become known to the art-buying public.

Advances in technology mean that giclee prints are now far superior to the traditional lithographs used for Limited Edition Art in the past. Up to date printing processes result in an image that has richness and depth of colour as well as superb resolution which can reveal brush strokes and the texture of the original canvas. For substantially less than the cost of a good quality piece of original contemporary art, you can have an exclusive, high-quality artwork.

An added advantage is that art publishers only produce Limited Editions of works that they regard particularly highly and that they believe have investment potential. The publishers know what sells well and, therefore, can potentially increase in value. So there is no risk of buying a high-priced original that may not retain its value. Bear in mind that just because an artwork is original it is not necessarily of high quality and does not necessarily have much originality, whereas a Limited Edition will only be produced from the highest quality original artwork.

Limited Edition reproductions are far superior to mass-produced modern art prints both in the printing process, the quality of the inks and the quality of the canvas or paper substrate. And when produced to Fine Art Trade Guild standards the inks and substrate are assured of being of the very highest quality.

As well as the assurance of quality printing, all genuine Editions will have a numbered Certificate of Authenticity signed by the artist as an indication of the artist’s approval of the piece and of its authenticity.

The satisfaction of owning a genuine piece of art of which very few exist is huge, and the opportunity to do this at an affordable cost are the main advantages of investing in Limited Edition Art Prints.

The Art of Hanging Art

How exactly can you be sure that you’re hanging your art in a truly flattering way? Follow these insider tips and tricks to learn the perfect way to display your art and how to avoid the most common mistakes.

Follow these insider tips to learn the perfect way to display your art.


Whether hanging several pieces of art or just one painting, proper placement is critical. The most important considerations for placement of artwork are the scale of the room and the art itself.

Always follow the general rule of big art in big spaces, small art in small spaces. And always hang art with the centre of the picture at eye level which is 155-170cm from the floor.


Large artworks look good when placed over pieces of furniture or a fireplace. But make sure that the art is NOT longer than the furniture. It should be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the length of the object over which it hangs.

Never leave more than 20cm of wall space between the base of your picture and the object over which it hangs. Otherwise the eye will focus on the wall rather than your art.


Try to group small pieces where possible. Using similar or matching frames and mounts will bring unity to the set but is not necessary if the theme or colours of the paintings already provide unity.


One of the most interesting ways of displaying art is in groupings, which can be used in large or small spaces. There are several professional ways of grouping your art collection as described below.

Salon Display

Select a group of paintings with a common theme such as colour, subject matter or even frame type. Pieces need to be of different sizes and can be centred or lined up above each other and next to each other. Spacing between pieces should be kept consistent to avoid the layout appearing random.

Horizontal Display

Group a collection of differently framed artwork directly next to each other with the frames almost touching. This allows a display of several artworks in a small space. It works best with an odd number of pieces and the largest piece in the middle and getting smaller as it goes out.

Vertical Display

Group a collection of uniquely framed artwork directly on top of each other with the frames almost touching. The uniqueness of the frames and their various shapes and sizes are both emphasized along a vertical axis.

Mosaic Display

This type of arrangement is perfect for an architectural niche and uses pieces of various sizes. Start by lining up the outside pieces for a consistent square or rectangular outer edge and then fill in the remaining space. The spacing becomes irregular as you get toward the middle but it works because the edges form a regular shape.

Symmetrical Display

Display a collection of pieces of the same size in the same frames and with the same distance between them. This can either be a single row or rows can be added to create a grid. This is particularly effective when the theme of all the pieces is the same.

Asymmetrical Display

Group a combination of three pieces to achieve a balanced asymmetrical display with the two smaller pieces stacked and centred alongside the larger piece.


Before you hang the Art:

  1. Decide which art you are going to group together based on a common element that allows the art to work together i.e. theme, colour, frame type etc.
  2. Decide which layout you are going to use – Mosaic Display, Horizontal Display, Salon Display etc as discussed above.
  3. Measure the wall, top to bottom and left to right and the sizes of all the individual pieces to be hung.
  4. Arrange the art works on the floor in your chosen layout with 3 – 6 cm between them.
  5. Transfer the arrangement to the wall. Place the pictures – in their frames – on some old newspaper. Trace the outside of the frame and cut out the shape. Stick your life-sized paper replicas onto the wall using low tack masking tape.

Hanging the Art

  1. Find the number of picture hooks you need. 1 for pictures with a width less than 75cm otherwise 2 picture hooks.
  2. Determine the size of hook to use. Check the weight of your picture(s) and buy the appropriate size hook.
  3. Mark the horizontal position of the hooks on the wall. Using your paper replicas make a short horizontal pencil line across the top and then a short vertical line down at the centre so that you have made an upside down ‘T’ at the top of the picture. If the picture is over 75cm then you need to make 2 more marks at 1/3rd and 2/3rds across the width.
  4. Mark the vertical position of the hooks on the wall. If the picture has a string then find the centre and measure the distance from the string when taut to the top of the picture. If the picture has a ‘saw tooth’ canvas hanger then measure the distance from the bottom edge of the hanger to the top of the picture.
  5. Hammer in your hooks by placing the bottom of the hook where the ‘T’ line intersects.

Contemporary Artist Guillermo Kuitca

A recent artistic highlight for me was the discovery of an extraordinary contemporary artist whose work I had never come across before – Guillermo Kuitca. Born, and still based, in Buenos Aires, Kuitca had his first solo exhibition at the age of only 13 in his home city and while still in his twenties he began to exhibit his art internationally.
My first view of Kuitca’s work was a bright red image in the distance at the top of a flight of wide stairs in a Minneapolis art gallery. Wonderfully positioned the colour drew my tired legs up the steps before I even knew exactly what I was seeing. At nearly 8 feet across the 1995 mixed media canvas “Mozart – da Ponte I” dominated even the large space in which it was hung.   This work references the trilogy of operas produced from the collaboration of Mozart and the librettist Lorenzo Da Ponte. In it Kuitca presents a stylised view of an 18th-Century theatre’s seating plan from the perspective of the stage. By reversing the usual audience-to-stage focus of attention the viewers effectively become the actors. Kuitca also levels the theatre’s normally hierarchical seating plan by flattening the perspective and lighting all of the seating equally.

But it was his 1992 installation “Untitled” that brought Kuitca huge international acclaim. He painted 20 mattresses with abstractions of road maps as an exploration of personal landscapes. Irregularly placed buttons are labelled as major cities but their location relative to other “cities” bears no relation to reality in a suggestion of nothing being quite what it seems in a dream landscape.
Many of his works have been inspired by his experiences in the theatre and he has described his brushstrokes as choreographic or musical. Lines that sometimes work in unison and at other times are deliberately discordant, with many levels in between.

Whilst none of his works include the human figure they all show spaces that are normally occupied by large groups of people. In doing so Kuitca is exploring physical and emotional space in both public and private arenas. Throughout his career the artist has frequently returned to the familiar motifs of theatres, maps, city plans and public buildings.

But recently his work has started to make obvious references to famous painters of modern abstract art such as Jackson Pollock and Georges Braque. Yet Kuitca does not pay homage to these modern masters by imitating their styles. Instead he represents iconic forms of abstraction as empty shells in a similar way to the empty theatres and public spaces of his earlier works. So he presents familiar images removed of all the elements that make them familiar in order to create a striking balance between personal and public landscapes.

I am hopeful that the work of this important contemporary Latin American artist will be exhibited in the UK sometime soon. Unlike many contemporary artists he does not, unfortunately for most of us, produce any Limited Edition Art so the only way to appreciate his work is to see the real thing…

Abstract Art Inspired by Music

One of my favourite abstract artists is the British painter Alison Pilkington. After experimenting with various subjects, she discovered that her greatest inspiration came from music. Her abstract compositions started to reflect the style of music she was listening to while she painted.

Alison captures the musical movement, rhythms and sounds spontaneously on the canvas, using acrylic paint so she doesn’t have to wait for the paint to dry. And translates the sounds she both hears and feels into a visual movement on the canvas in  a method she terms “Musical Interpretation”.

She creates visual interpretations of a range of musical styles: Pop, Latin American, Classical. Each painting generates an immense sense of the emotions evoked by the music whether it’s joy, frivolity, passion or sadness.

Viewing one of her paintings, whilst listening to the musical piece that inspired it, is a truly wonderful artistic experience.

Immerse yourself in her artistic world by looking at this image of “Tango & Electronica” and listening to the Argentinian Tango music of Orquesta Del Plata. (Find it on Spotify)

Or check out her Limited Edition Art.

Reasons To Buy Modern Art Prints

Are there any advantages to buying a Modern Art Print that may be produced in its thousands or tens of thousands? How can you be sure it is good-quality and how many other people will have the same picture hanging on their walls?

Any good artist will have expended huge amounts of emotional energy and physical effort in the creation of their works of art and they all want as many people as possible to appreciate and get enjoyment out of seeing their work on display. One way to make this possible is by the production of art prints.

Art Prints are now widely available in a range of styles, colours and quality – they make good art inexpensive and, therefore, available to a much wider audience than had previously been possible. Producing Art Prints has become a standard part of many artists’ careers for this very reason. Prints are produced of the works of, probably all, of the great artists of history and many renowned contemporary artists. Whilst a mass-produced art print is no substitute for original works of art, or even Limited Edition Art Prints, they do provide a way to enjoy a piece of exceptional art in your own home when you are on a limited budget.

Art connoisseurs are very likely to sneer at mass-produced art prints but a print of a great work of art on the walls is preferable to having bare walls. A print of a great masterpiece or a contemporary classic can still be appreciated to a certain extent and can certainly bring joy and beauty to a living space.

Furthermore, current trends in art buying are becoming more and more associated with the decorative merit of a piece rather than collecting art for its own appeal. Many buyers simply want art to match their decor – you can even have so-called artworks now printed on metal or acrylic sheets or even on porcelain tiles. It is a shame that art can be reduced to a purely decorative home accessory to be replaced when the room décor changes. But an artist, obviously, benefits from the sale of prints as they help to establish or increase the artist’s reputation as more of their works become known to the art–buying public.

And just because something is mass-produced that doesn’t necessarily mean it is poor-quality. Advances in technology mean that many Contemporary Art Prints now produced digitally are far superior prints to the traditional lithographs used in the past. Up to date printing processes can result in an image that has richness and depth of colour so, even if the resolution is not the greatest and the lifespan of the print is relatively short, at least the image itself can be appreciated if only for a short while.

Is it necessary to know the artist’s inspiration to appreciate an artwork?

In many artworks the message that the artist is trying to communicate is obvious even to the uninformed viewer. Take the work of one of my favourite artists Jo Bunce. Her highly detailed approach to painting flowers needs no explanation – she simply wishes to portray the beauty of the flowers she paints.

But in many other works the viewer can appreciate the skill of the artist, find the image evocative or disturbing but may not really know what message the artist is trying to convey. This is particularly true of abstract art.

This is where some background on the artist’s inspiration for a specific piece can greatly add to the appreciation of that work. By background, I do not mean the Artist’s Statement that most artists seem to produce under duress and with great difficulty. I believe that the reason many artists statements sound somewhat false and stilted is because artists, by their very nature, are skilled at communicating visually. This does not always make them good communicators via words. And does a viewer or potential buyer of art really want to read all about the artist, their work, how and why they create art in the way they do?

I believe a viewer is attracted first and foremost by the image itself. Then a few sentences giving them some insight into a particular work can be used to simply enhance their enjoyment of the work.

Art is not just about creating something visually appealing but about a dialogue between the creator and the viewer. The artist communicates a message and the viewer responds emotionally. Without that dialogue a piece of art has no meaning and can it really be classed as art if it is no more than a decorative image with no meaning behind it.

Unfortunately in today’s throw-away society so-called “art” with no meaning and little merit is mass-produced for the masses. Instead of being something to treasure it is often bought simply to match the décor and discarded when the décor is changed with little thought about the meanings of colour in visual art.

This is such a shame when there are so many fantastic artists producing art that can bring another dimension to a living space, provide a talking point for years to come and, yes, can also be beautiful.

Favourite Art Quotes

These are some of my favourite art quotes which remind me why I need art in my life.

  1. “Art is the expression of those beauties and emotions that stir the human soul” (Howard Pyle)
  2. “Art is not the bread but the wine of life” (Jean Paul Richter)
  3. “Art seems to me to be a state of soul more than anything else” (Marc Chagall)
  4. “Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist” (Rene Magritte)
  5. “A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art” (Paul Cézanne)
  6. “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see” (Edgar Degas)
  7. “Art does not reproduce what is visible; it makes things visible” (Paul Klee)
  8. “Art is an effort to create, beside the real world, a more human world” (Andre Maurois)
  9. “Art is long, Life is short” (Hippocrates)
  10. “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has ever known” (Oscar Wilde)

A blog for lovers of contemporary art