I have been in the Art business for almost 40 years. The number one question I'm asked is "How do I know if a piece of art is going to go up in value?" The second most popular question I'm asked is: "How do I know if I'm over paying for a piece of art?" These are difficult questions. To difficult to answer in a few paragraphs. I can however give you some basic rules to follow when purchasing artwork.
Rule 1) The number one rule when purchasing art is; always have a budget. It can be $100 or $100,000. No quick talking sales person should be able to talk you into spending more that your budgeted amount.
Rule 2 Know where you are going to hang or store the piece you are thinking of buying. If you are looking for a piece for a bedroom for example. Take a photograph of the space that includes some furnishings and take a measurement of the open space you are trying to fill.
Rule #3) Select your own art. I can't stress this enough. Don't ask your friends their opinion! Art is about you, your personality and your lifestyle. If you need assistance, Use a professional art curator, designer or licensed decorator.
Rule 4) Support your local art scene. Great art is created from inspiration. A rich and vibrant local community of artists can produce the next Picasso. There is always a story that can be told about a piece of art that was created locally. Those stories make the art live. Attend local gallery events and meet the artists in person whenever you can.
Rule #5) When Rules 1-4 are met, NEVER walk away from a piece of art that you keep going back to. The worst feeling in the world is when you walk back into the gallery the next day and find that someone else loved your piece of art more than you.
These rules should give you the confidence you need to buy the pieces you love without regret. Buy art that inspires you, moves you, touches your sole, but always follow the Rules. Remember when Van Gogh was a local artist, no one in his community bought one piece of his art. Don't make the same mistake.