Q & A

Q     Why should I be purchasing original art?

A     Quite simply, original art transforms a room into the extraordinary.  Buying original art involves you in a process of social, cultural, and historical significance that’s just about as old as we are. It supports the tradition of hand-made, one-of-a-kind objects that resonate beyond the corners of their frames in terms of beauty and presence. It supports the artists and galleries who have made it their life’s dedication to bring you these pieces.You buy original art because it adds value to life in a way that a reproduction simply cannot. A collection of original paintings can be a considerable asset, appreciating in value over time in a way that many more conventional vehicles do not.

Q     Does Hampton Gallery offer a lay-away plan?

A     Yes! These days most galleries offer some sort of managed payment plan as it just makes sense to be mindful of people’s budgetary requirements. At Hampton we’re no different, and are committed to offering you several convenient terms to fit your needs.

Q     May I try before I buy?

A     Absolutely. At Hampton we understand the importance of having you experience a painting in your own home.

Q     How should I care for my paintings?

A     Once you’ve acquired your Fine Art piece, you want to do everything possible to ensure it will last for generations. When purchasing from Hampton Gallery, much of that task has already been accomplished for you: We make sure our artists are the sort that only use the best materials and practices to guarantee longevity.

  • Plan ahead of time where the piece will hang or sit, to avoid unnecessary movement of the piece.
  • If the piece is very large, do not move it or hang it by yourself, have someone with you. At Hampton, we will come to your home to help you hang your larger pieces.
  • Avoid hanging paintings in strong light to guard against fading.
  • Avoid excess humidity and/or heat
  • When cleaning, be extremely mindful of the piece you are dealing with:  Soapstone sculpture, for example,  is highly susceptible to scratching.
  • Never use chemical cleaners of any sort.
  • If dusting is a must, make sure you use a soft, natural hair brush (sable is excellent).
  • Shake free any contaminants that may be hiding in its bristles, then pass in a steady, uniform fashion lightly across the piece.
  • If at all in doubt, contact someone with experience cleaning paintings.

With oil paintings, it is important to note the difference between ‘dry (to the touch)’ and ‘cured’. It is quite possible, not uncommon really, that your oil painting may be dry at the time of its purchase, but not yet cured. An oil painting becomes dry to the touch in a few weeks to a month, depending on the thickness of paint layers. Curing, however, can take six months to a year, and is a chemical process that the painting undergoes over time in the presence of oxygen. In the early stages of curing the painting is more vulnerable to colour changes due to strong light, which is why it must be hung as mentioned above.

Q      I understand that Hampton Gallery will look after my framing needs, but what am I looking for when framing?

A     It’s always a good idea to know a bit about framing before setting about the framing process.

  • You want to have the best materials: wood and metals (plastics tend to lack the necessary strength in many cases), archival, acid-free mats and liners (to avoid damaging the piece chemically), and archival linen tape in the event a piece needs fixing to a mat.
  • In the finished frame you want to look for well-fitting joins, and a seamless liner. If in a floating frame, you want the piece sitting comfortably, not sticking out too far from the frame.
  • You want to make sure the painting is secured with clips screwed into the frame, that staples have not been driven into the canvas and stretcher itself.
  • The picture wire should be mounted, using plates, a third of the way down the frame, with just enough slack to fit easily over nails, etc.

A word about dry-mounting your Fine Art piece: Don’t. Dry-mounting is a process, using heat, to permanently affix your painting to a mat or board for easier framing. It’s irreversible, and reduces the value of your piece to near zero. It is an absolute must-avoid.

From an aesthetic perspective, you should be looking for a frame that compliments, never detracts or shouts over, your painting. Colours should be chosen with a view to accent and compliment.

Q     Where and how should I hang my art at home?

A     The final location for your painting is indeed very important.

  • A painting should be on the wall so its middle is near eye level (6 inches above or below that height is fine)
  • Similar paintings may be stacked above or below that line
  • Do not over-crowd paintings. Keep each 6 to 12 inches from its neighbour.
  • Ensure good lighting. Natural, indirect lighting is preferred, although properly placed track or task lighting is fine.
  • Do not use spot lighting, it is too harsh and focused. Rather, use flood lighting.
  • When hanging above a sofa or mantle, make sure to hang at least some 8 inches above that object’s top.
  • Single paintings can have great, dramatic impact. It’s important to ensure they are not swallowed or too cramped by the surrounding space.