from The San Jose Mercury News

Fine art moves from gallery to the Web

By Heather Somerville

Artist Sheila Finch, 59, at her studio in Belmont, Calif., on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Finch , who has been an artist for over 40 years, now sells some of

If you’re in the mood to browse a collection of post-modern art or throw down a few thousand on an original painting, simply power up your iPad and go no farther than your couch.

Startups and tech giants are launching fine art galleries and marketplaces online for discovering, browsing and buying art as the Internet transforms the art world much as it has the music industry. But while musicians have largely suffered financially in the digital revolution, emerging visual artists are embracing online galleries as a way to launch their careers, and seasoned artists have turned to the Web to show their work without having to secure gallery space and traveling across the country.

Sheila Finch, a landscape painter in Belmont who has been painting for about 45 years, began selling online in 2012 with San Francisco-based UGallery.

“Up until that point I had just discounted online galleries,” she said. “I had always shown in brick-and-mortar galleries.”

Finch, 59, spent years traveling to show her work, and struggled to produce enough paintings to fill the galleries she was in, until a few years ago when she broke her leg and had to take time off. She moved most of her work online, and continues to sell to collectors across the country, but gets to spend more time doing what she loves — painting.

The online art world also gives art collectors and others access to more artists than ever before with a click of a mouse.

[ click to read full article at the SJ Merc ]