Last night's panel discussion at the Salmagundi Club, "Become a Savvy Art Collector" was informative, fun, and inspiring. Our moderator, Peter Trippi of Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, kept the conversation flowing with questions that brought out the different perspectives and experiences of the panelists: Kathryn Markel, owner of Markel Fine Arts Gallery in Chelsea; Betty Levin, an art consultant who runs Corporate Art Directions in NYC; Tim Newton, an avid collector of representational fine art from Long Island; and me, the artist. Some advice that was given: buy art you love, but shop around to make sure the price seems right; shopping around (and training your eye/figuring out your taste) can mean visiting galleries, art fairs, artist studio tours, museums, looking at art magazines and catalogues, and surfing the Internet; if you're going to be serious about collecting set up an annual budget and then decide whether you will buy several or one each year; warnings against giclee prints (= posters!); be sure that your advisor, dealer or consultant is as unbiased as possible. And more!! You should have been there.