The delivery of artwork from artist to the client's wall has certainly changed, thanks to the Internet. While the experience of going to a gallery and seeing the work before you purchase it is part of the enjoyment of buying art, we are witnessing an explosion in choice online.
If you're willing to forgo the person-to-person experience and trust what you see on a computer screen, you can buy fine art ranging from classic posters, reproductions of the old masters, photographic images and even original sculpture and paintings from contemporary artists. A number of companies have evolved to serve this market, including Fine Art America, Imagekind and Saatchi Online. Most of the time, the risk of buying art online is mitigated by very good return policies.
As a photographer, I want to create compelling images, but don't want the hassle and expense of colour management, printing and shipping worldwide. That's why I've revamped my photographic prints website to include simple-to-follow links to print fulfillment sites like Fine Art America and Imagekind. Not only will they supply you with canvasses and archival paper prints in a wide variety of sizes, but they will frame them, if you wish, using materials of your choosing. Fine Art America also offers greeting cards, made from any image in my galleries.
For local buyers who prefer to deal with me directly, or prefer a hand-signed print, I work with a local facility where I can monitor print quality. Ordering and payment is still handled online, though, via the secure e-commerce feature on my Photoshelter website.
Save some money and time (unless you love going to galleries, of course). Try exploring the vast array of fine art options online!