Tales of an Amateur Fine Art Collector - Our Experience Collecting Art - at a modest cost

#1 in a series of blogs featuring Home Owners who display some of their artwork, how they acquired it and what it means to them and Artists who show us their studio and provide commentary on their work.

Tales of an Amateur Fine Art Collector

Our Experience Collecting Art - at a modest cost

A sample of our collection:

Barn #5 – Watercolour – D. Ketcheson


Misty Morning Horses - Fine Art Photo – Steve Levinson


Northumberland Washing Line – Oil - Jana Ewart

Large Mouth Vase – Fired Pottery – Phyllis Irwin

View From the Porch – Oil – Ruth Coleman-Harding

Poppies - Fine Art Photo – Mary Talbot

Both my wife and I love fine art. We now have over 30 fine art pieces hanging and sitting in our house and each room we enter is like visiting friends.

When we were both younger (a long time ago) and living different lives than we are today we each bought a variety of pieces, both paintings and sculptures. There was no rhyme nor reason to buy them – we just liked them.

However, when we got married a few years ago all that changed as we consolidated houses and our minimal art collections. Caroline loved large paintings, primarily of landscapes that reminded her of places where she has been or wanted to go. Many of her pieces were bought from local galleries so she had the benefit of good advice.

I on the other hand had some basic knowledge of what makes a piece “good art” and so I bought items that I felt had artistic merit and in fact even bought some lower priced pieces from Sotheby’s. Our tastes were quite different but we had to put the 2 collections together.

As newlyweds it was interesting to see how we reconciled our differences but each of us gave a wide latitude to include the tastes of the other person. I fear that in many cases my tastes prevailed but we did manage to agree on most of the pieces we now have so it has all come out well.

Our task was to both accommodate the pieces we already had and come to an agreement about adding new pieces.

But we also know that we can’t buy everything we like because of price and limited space on the walls of the house.

 What to do?

We decided that we would collect art pieces from local artists that depicted Northumberland County where we lived. As a result we have explored many areas of the County, met many artists, developed a sense of what is good art and had great fun during our travels. We now have a collection of art that gives us joy and entertainment wherever we go in the house. We have also even added pieces from artists outside the County but each piece is a reminder of where we live.

Although some people might regard the collection as rather eclectic it works for us and enthusiastically allows us the pleasure of art we truly enjoy. There is not one visitor to the house who doesn’t notice the art and enquire about it.  

Many pieces were modestly priced and in fact we recently purchased some fabulous watercolors for $95 each! It goes to prove that collecting fine art doesn’t have to be expensive but it does have to be of good quality if it is to be enjoyed for a long time.

Ken Morden

(I am afraid that my photos do not do justice to the brilliance of the paintings.

If you would like to know more about each piece just send a note to )

  • February 27, 2019
  • Ken Morden

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