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  • Writer's pictureMichael Ashley Gallery

5 Tips on Buying Your First Piece of Art

Hello everyone and a pleasant good evening to you wherever you may be. I have been a gallery owner selling fine art for over a decade and a collector of art for even longer. I have put together what I think are the most important tips for new collectors buying their first piece of art.


The art world really can be overwhelming but there are many ways to find art info. The better education you have, the better your collection will be. I suggest reading art magazines, talking to other fine art collectors, visit local art festivals and art gallerists to familiarize yourself with different styles and mediums of fine art. This is also where the internet, specifically Michael Ashley Gallery, can be a helpful resource in discovering new art you may have never know existed.

Very often you evolve from what you originally thought you liked. This is because your taste becomes more sophisticated and you expand your horizon to find that you also like abstract photography or beautiful shots of the Milky Way you never knew existed.

Michael Ashley Gallery is one of the largest top selling galleries of modern and contemporary luxury fine art in the world. Combined with the commitment to creating a luxury product, investing in one of these pieces will bring the enriching and visual elegance of nature into your home.

We release our artwork in limited editions no more than 250 with the average print being 100. This adds incredible value to our collectors. Having low editions allows us to create true value for our collectors.

With sales increasing every month, we are have been fortunate to sell out and retire 5 Limited Edition Photographs from our gallery. Once and image is retired, it can never be produced and purchased again, adding increased value to our prints.


"Mahina" 40x60 Roma Tabacchino Framed Acrylic Fine Art Print with 3'' Black Linen Liner



Acrylic vs Metal Prints? Metal vs Canvas? Canvas vs Print? Are you buying something that you love and you want purely because you think it’s great? Or are you buying something that you love but want it more as an investment?

Limited Edition prints can be a great investment, and grow substantially in value as the prices rise quickly when prints sell through the edition and fewer are available. 

There are different types of purchases in the art world. An original painting on canvas is more valuable than a work on paper by the same artist; or if it’s a limited edition versus a one-of-a-kind piece. We offer a very collectable piece on canvas titled "December Secret". Read why this rare one of a kind artwork is so special here.

It’s very important for a first-time collector to know that there are various factors that affect the price of the artwork. For example, our Acrylic Fine Art Prints are only sold in Limited Editions and produced using the most advanced process and the highest quality materials available. It's a unique, premium product and that's what makes it so special and very collectible but comes with a higher price tag than canvas or paper prints.

"Secluded Escape" shown here as a 24x60 Printed on a Custom Chromaluxe Metal Print

For those who truly want the very best museum quality, we recommend having your artwork professionally framed. This will not only protect your art from getting damaged but adds a visual impact that can't be achieved by your local chain retail store.

We offer our acrylic fine art prints framed with luxurious Roma Moulding imported from Italy. This unique framing option adds an incredible luxurious look and feel to your art piece with breathtaking results.​​​​​​​​ For more information about these stunning frames, read our Blog about Luxury Fine Art Frames.

"December Secret" shown here framed in Larson-Juhl Panzano. This is a special process we created called Paintography. It starts by taking a photograph and Turing it black and white. Then we hand paint the red leaves on top of the canvas using oil paint creating one-of-a-kind piece.



Set a budget in terms of what you can afford and be prepared to spend a little bit more.

The things that I regret in purchasing fine art are not any works that I purchased but the artwork I didn’t purchase.

Ashley and I were in a gallery in Hawaii and loved this one artist work but had a price tag of $5,000. This was outside our price range so we thought about it for a few months and decided to pull the trigger but it had increased in price to $8,900. That was defiantly outside our range and lost the opportunity in owning a valuable piece of art.

Ask the gallery about special financing. Many galleries offer 0% financing or will put you on a payment plan.

"Spirit of the Earth" shown here as a Multi Panel 96'' Limited Edition Acrylic Fine Art Print



We attend about 25 fine art festivals around the United States and one question I hear often is why is art so expensive? I've noticed many artist have there own system to pricing and selling there art. One notable example is famous photographer Peter Lik. He prices his work on a tier structure. Once 10% of the edition is sold the price increases to the next tier. This provokes an immediate response to buy his images early in the release before a price jump or becomes sold out. This tier system increases demand and in turn makes his art more valuable.



- Buy early. If you find an artist you like get on a email list and buy when the image is released. Before an image is release we offer our previous collectors the opportunity to buy at a discounted rate before the public. Our latest print was released in limited editions of only 25 and sold out before it even hit the gallery walls.

- The proof is in the details. Look for archival printing methods. If it's cheaply priced, its cheaply made. Theres nothing wrong with artist who sell lower priced prints but this is not your best option if you're looking for art as an investment.

- Buy what you love. Sometimes theres no price for having a special piece of artwork in your home to elevate your mood or inspire your soul.

- Ask for a COA or a traceable path from artist to owner. If you eventually want to valuate or sell a work, it’s important to have this documentation.

-Have fun. There're so many talented artist and beautiful artwork for sale online. If your walking an art festival, get to know the artist and ask about the story behind their artwork. I've had collectors fall in love with the story behind the photograph more than the artwork itself. Take your time and select that special piece that speaks to you.



Thank you for reading and I hope you found this information valuable into buying your first piece of art. Please check out our Fine Art Photography Blog for more information about collectible art, how to light your artwork and much more.

Throughout the year were offer special offers for our collectors and show attendees. Follow us on facebook and Instagram.

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"Zebra" Shown here produced as 40x60 Frameless Acrylic Fine Art Print



Peter Lik

Peter lik limited edition 1/1 print from antelope canyon "Phantom" holds the record for most expensive photo ever sold at $6.5 Million. The black and white photograph is the same image from his previous release "Ghost" which is also sold out of all 950 Limited Editions.

Andreas Gursky

Andreas Gursky is a German photographer known for his large format architecture and landscape colour photographs, often using a high point of view in most of his photos. His works reach some of the highest prices in the art market among living photographers.

The anonymous sale of Peter Lik image "Phantom" shattered the previous record held by Andreas Gursky. His piece "Rhein II" sold at auction for $4.3 million.

"Rhein II" photograph shown here by Andreas Gursky. In the image, the Lower Rhine river flows horizontally across the field of view, between flat green fields, under an overcast sky. Extraneous details such as dog walkers and a factory building were removed by the artist using digital editing.


Banksy is an anonymous England-based street graffiti artist. His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine dark humour with graffiti executed in a distinctive stenciling technique.

Banksy displays his artwork of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls and bridges throughout the world. He no longer sells photographs or reproductions of his street graffiti, but his public "installations" are regularly resold by removing the wall they were painted on.

Alec Monopoly and Mr. Brainwash are also well collected graffiti artist who artwork is valued well over $100,000

In 2018, Banksy's “Girl With Balloon” was auctioned and sold for $1.4 million. Moments after it was auctioned off it was shredded through the frame. According to an art appraisal, it's now valued $2.8 million, double the purchase price.


Young Collectors Program

Appreciation for art starts at a young age. In recent years, more and more young art collectors have been emerging and proving themselves to be the next fine art connoisseur of the ever changing art world. They have a fresh perspective, an insatiable passion for art and are not afraid to take chances.

We were first introduced to the young collector program while exhibiting at the Tempe Festival of Arts in Arizona. For just $5 young collectors can begin their Fine Art Collecting journey by purchasing their very own piece of art handcrafted by one of the professional artists vending at the festival. 


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