Art

Image source: jamesgalindo.com

Today’s guest post is about something close to my heart – ART! I absolutely love art and would love to be able to invest in some pieces one day. One of my favourite painters is actually a friend of mine, James Galindo who I met while travelling in the USA. I would so love to invest in some of his work!

If you are interested in investing in fine art, check out this how to guide.

Investing in fine art requires knowledge, the ability to diversify and a bit of patience.

Fine art investment has always been a bustling, relatively healthy industry, but since the global financial crash of 2008, it has undergone something of a transformation. New investors are emerging on a regular basis, making the purchase of art more competitive and lucrative.

How popular is it? Well, take for example the fact that 20 per cent of all registered bids at Christie’s in 2012 came from new buyers. This demographic is varied, but what they all share is an understanding that as far as investments go, in the twenty first century, art is up there with the best.

A work of art doesn’t lose value like stocks and bonds, is beautiful to look at and remains relatively robust in the face of economic uncertainty and crises. All in all, investing in art is a very, very good bet.

Here are a few things to consider.

Knowledge is power
One has to know about art. Investment in this industry is a serious business and it pays to be informed. For example, while post-war and  contemporary art is currently enjoying a boom period at auction, you still need to approach buying in a shrewd manner.

Mark Rothko is one artist seeing a lot of activity, but even this abstract expressionist had works which were less than brilliant. Spotting which ones have real artistic and financial value is a skill. Where knowledge is lacking, it is best to get counsel of experts, who can point you in the right direction.

Image source: wikipedia

Expand your horizons
Buying art as an investment as opposed to developing a collection for pure passion means you have greater freedom to acquire works that may not directly appeal to your aesthetic sensibilities. The result is a diverse portfolio, one that will always hold its value, but also allow, when it comes to selling works, the ability to respond to trends and moods in the market.

Again, it comes down to information, how well versed you are in spotting developments, what kind of contacts you have and how much you are involved in the world of art both personally and professionally. It helps to know that Jean-Michel Basquiat is a serious investment at present, while it also pays to start making inroads into the Middle East. It’s not just money that is currency in art: information matters.

Image source: wikipedia

Take it nice and slow
Investors need to appreciate that art is a long-term game, one where patience is a virtue. It’s not at all unusual for people to hold onto works for an extended period of time, anywhere between five to ten years.

A work might be a commodity in pure financially sense, but, because its origins are artistic, there’s an unwritten rule that it shouldn’t be treated casually. Buying and selling works of art like hotcakes is not advisable.

For example, Will Ramsay, the founder of the Affordable Art Fair, has said that it doesn’t work to “flip it quickly”, as investors will quickly lose the respect of galleries and museums. It’s about tact.

You have to be able to present yourself as being serious, with, for example, an understanding about fine art storage facilities, provenance and art techniques. If you’re seen as being much more than just an opportunistic buyer, you will be able to win the trust of the art world’s most powerful individuals.

As far as financial pursuits go, art investment is certainly out there as one which is fun, interesting and grounded in beauty. Come rain or shine, a work of art will always sell. Sit back, enjoy it and when the time is right, it’ll go under the hammer for quite a price.

Sunday night we arrived home with a rosy, happy and somewhat grubby glow. We’d spent the weekend at the amazing Wilderness Festival in Cornbury Park, Oxfordshire – A celebration of the arts and outdoors in the wilds of England… and my goodness do they know how to celebrate! I can only describe it as a heady mix of creativity, inspiration and beautiful, happy people set against the most gorgeous backdrop in picturesque middle England.

Friday we received bad news, which by Saturday, had had time to settle in comfortably in our headspace. Hmmm. We discussed the ‘situation’ on the way in the car but on arrival at Cornbury Park were silenced by the breath taking views. We glanced over at each other and excitement took over from tension – we knew we were in for a treat! This weekend we could leave the real world behind us and enter into a magical playground! Hooray!

We collected our tickets from the box offices and made our way hurriedly through the fields dotted with tents already pitched. I’ve never been so eager to pitch a tent in my life but we could not wait to get into the thick of the festival. We could hear the music playing and the streams of people walking into the festival were enticing us to follow…

Wilderness Festival is set out over the land of Cornbury Park Estate, an absolutely breathtaking location complete with rolling hills, woodland, lakes and rivers. What first hit me was the flags, I’m a sucker for anything colourful and all along the festival terrain were lines of gorgeous brightly coloured flags waving in the breeze as if saluting the sun in the sky. The festival was well laid out with various different areas which made it easy to work your way around.

In the centre of the festival was the food section offering fantastic delights from Tapas at Moro to Wild Game burgers from The Wild Game Co. Good food featured heavily at Wilderness and there really was something for everyone. With a 3 year old to please we only sampled the delights of pancakes and oven baked pizza but both were exceptional! The main section was also staggered with tents offering inspirational talks and theatre as well as various stalls selling everything from festival clothing, including furry tails with Littlelish was desperate for, to bubbles! The bubble shop (bubbleinc) was of course one of Littlelish’s favourite destinations over the 2 days as she loved watching the giant bubbles being created from the net – I am determined to make one of these one day, check out my video below!

 

As well as the main stage area where the likes of Rodriguez y Gabriela, The Temper Trap, Jake Bugg performed there were also several smaller stages like the Friends of the Earth stage and The Folk Guild stage which had some awesome artists performing on. One of my favourite songs was the one that accompanies the video above. Listening to them perform and watching the bubbles took me to another, very happy place! I totally missed who this actually was performing though if you have any idea please let me know I’d be very grateful! Although normally a festival minus Littlelish would have been very much about the music this time it was all about keeping her entertained. Luckily there was plenty to do for little ones as they had not one but two fantastic kids areas as well as entertainment for them throughout the terrain.

The kids sections offered a host of activities, make your own festival hat, tutu, fairy house, jewellery. You name it they were making it, creativity was the order of the day! There was also opportunities to leave your children doing activities with a babysitting service freeing you up to go and do something grown up for a while. Being big kids at heart both Daddylish and I rather enjoyed staying to watch the children’s entertainment in particular The flying Seagull – they were fantastic! Funny, talented and with big hearts they spend their lives touring around the world (Romania, Cambodia and India) offering inspirational comedy, fun and laughter to disadvantaged children and communities. Check out my video below to hear me chuckling ;)

 

 

As well as the children’s section the festival boasted several other areas leading off the central food area.

The Sanctuary – A serene peace and almost muffled silence hung over the sanctuary where they offered healing, yoga, reiki and massage all centered around the chill out area. We took a stroll through this area and felt immediately at peace, I could have stayed much much longer but Littlelish had other plans.

Green Crafts –  Where you could try your hand at pottery, wood turning and stone masonry and artisans gave people the chance to learn their trade which I thought was fantastic.

The Vintage festival – An amazing extra festival joined onto Wilderness festival which featured Vintage singers, dance shows, a roller disco, crafts and vintage clothes shopping galore. There was even a vintage hairsalon to get you looking the part! Littlelish was mezmorised by Elle and The Pocketbelles and could be found reenacting their show by the tent later in the evening before bedtime.

The Riverside / Spa – For those wishing to pamper themselves there was a wonderful spa area down by the river and boating lake. We chose to test the water with a spot of wild swimming which was invigorating on a sticky, Sunday afternoon. It was positively magical down there, again a world away from the festival and people gathered here to soak in the beautiful surroundings including a waterfall. On Saturday night there had been a secret swimming event where they tried to break the record for the world biggest group skinny dip – not sure if they succeeded.

There was so much to see and do that I felt like I often wanted to be in two, three or four places at the same time especially when we were cosied up in our tent at 10pm on Saturday night and I knew that  there were all kinds of amazing artists, performances, clubs  and parties going on. That is the only downside to bringing children to a festival with you and something us mummy and daddy’s just have to accept as a fact of life :) However we had had such full days, doing and seeing so much that we didn’t feel too hard done by.

The campsite was well set up with a special area for families away from the main noisy festival route. This meant we actually got a decent night sleep (apart from Daddylish who had the leaky airbed!) and could enjoy a full day on Sunday without feeling too tired and groggy. In the end we had to drag ourselves away from the fun as we had a 2 hour drive home and needed to be up for work on Monday.

We arrived home totally buzzing. Littlelish had tales to tell of riding a camel, practicing circus tricks and wild swimming and I was just totally recharged with inspiration and good feelings. Being around so much creativity and so many happy, smiling folk was beautiful. There was a really laid back, chilled, joyful vibe about the festival and everyone who was there was very kind and thoughtful. People watched each other’s children, offered to decorate each others faces with their jewels and welcomed the talent of the artists and performers at the festival. The natural setting and space to explore only enhanced this feeling. And so we returned to our daily lives safe in the knowledge that although the day to day might sometimes be hard, this life and planet truly is worth celebrating!

 

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