Guess, what? I can't tell you. (Cheeky grin!)
Good art depends in large part on the viewer and collector, not solely the creator. Here are some of the ways "good art" can be defined...
Does it follow the defined rules of art? Maybe you are an artist or longtime collector and can see how well an artist has used color, shape, form, value range, perspective, composition, and movement. It excites you to see perfection (or imperfection) in some or all of these components. Perfection of these components is usually the cornerstone of works being juried for a show. There are famous paintings that follow the rules and others that do not. Maybe you like perfection. Maybe you delight in imperfection. For the purposes of your domicile, fortunately, you get to choose.
Is it a good investment? Hey, if you are good at this style of collecting, it can be lucrative. From the artist perspective, I look at the other artist. Are they making the efforts to create a business? Are they getting out there and making sales? Are they getting into good shows? Are they in the studio... a lot. Are they gearing up to move into internet sales if they haven't already? These kinds of activities point to someone who is taking their art seriously and more likely to still be around in 10 years. Keep in mind that to make art work as an investment strategy, you have to (gasp) sell the art off at some point. (Just sayin'.)
Does it fit your budget? Starting out, my husband and I thought it was a huge deal to get a print directly from the artist in the (pre) print on demand world. I'm sure most people would understand those first few years of "Ramen 50 Ways". We have since graduated to originals and will soon be moving onto rotations through storage. But, seriously... if you love the piece, and the only way to have that 20k image in your home is to have a print, who gives a rat's hiney? Frame it nicely and put that bad boy up so you can enjoy the heck out of it. Art that fits your budget can be perfectly good art.
Does it fit your lifestyle? Are you into zero waste and are looking for "used" art? Need everything in digital format? Are you very mobile and need lightweight prints? Do you live in a tiny little house and can only even look at small work? Worried it will fall on your head in an earthquake? Do you like to have dramatic vignettes in your home? Do you have absolutely no wall space and need to have your art be on things like mugs and linens? There could be any number of questions here that only you could answer. But good art for you will be what works for you in your personal circumstances.
Does it express who you are or have a feeling to it you identify with? Consider how the art you choose would be different from the art another person/couple/family would choose. Someone might have a collection of sports art. You might find a collection related to women in another house. Just think of what your art might say about you if you weren't subject to the whims and fashions of prints at big box stores. Could you imagine the fun we could have going through each others' houses looking at different collections of really cool art?
Does it match the couch? Yes, you could always buy a new couch to set off that beautiful new painting, but that is not always realistic. (I have been tempted though.) If your mind feels at peace when your surroundings are in harmony, why not have this be a reason for good art? As humans, we tend to find symmetrical faces and things most pleasing to the eye. Is symmetry in color and surroundings much different? Shouldn't good art "fit" in your home?
Does it make your heart sing? Does the painting haunt you and stay in your head? This is my favorite definition of "good art". Are you going to enjoy greeting this piece as you sit on the couch with a glass of wine at the end of a long day? Or be inspired by it as you get into bed (oh my!)? Or smile with it as you brush your teeth in the morning? Then it is good art... and good feng shui too... well, having things that bring joy is. I have no clue if it is good feng shui to have art in the bathroom.
I sometimes wonder if this last definition of "does it make your heart sing" actually encompasses all of the above. It really doesn't matter if it is a print, original or digital image on your home screen... or even why you bought it in the first place. If it brings you joy for whatever reason, then maybe that is all that is needed for good art.
Have a definition of "good art" you'd like to add or share? Feel free to make a comment below or email me.
All the best! -- RB