Buying art - real love? (Part one)

How does one go about buying art? Do you wait until you feel a strong emotional connection with a piece of art, something that “speaks” to you? Or do you buy art simply to fill the walls, something that will match the colors in your couch? I recently moved to Denver, so I am now faced with this dilemma. My walls are empty and I’m in nesting mode.I only have two experiences with buying art. The first was at an art auction benefiting Mental Health America of Northeast Georgia in Athens. In truth, it was a spur of the moment decision. The painting I had really wanted went to another bidder (the very one whom I had confessed my desire for that particular painting to) for more money than I was prepared to spend, which, ironically was less than I ended up spending. The painting I got was by the same artist, Bob Croft, and was a set of three. I love those paintings dearly, but sometimes I wonder if the love is based solely on the fact that they were the first paintings I bought and owned. But what does that say about the art itself? They are more meaningful to me, and that is why their beauty affects me as it does.My second art purchase was a painting done by my friend and local Athens artist Heidi Hensley. Apart from the aesthetic quality of the painting, I bought it because it was done by someone whom I love and respect and the subject was a place where my friends and I went all the time, The Globe. It serves as a beautiful reminder of my home and my friends.But those paintings aren't enough to fill up the walls in my new apartment and I have found myself tempted to buy art everywhere I go. The origin of this urge feels problematic to me - buying art simply to fill the walls in my house makes it seem somewhat cheap and empty. But perhaps we don’t need to have a personalized relationship with our art. Maybe the purchase of art is just the beginning of your relationship with that piece. The real love sets in as it sits on your wall or on your book shelf and makes your house a home.