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Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford To Buy Artwork! ( Part 1 )

31 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

It is a huge misnomer that only the rich can afford to be art collectors or even to purchase original work.  When most of us think of an “art collector”, we tend to think of the stereotype of the wealthy patron, attending auctions at Christie’s, buying artwork for more than many of us make in a year, heck, in a lifetime.  Or maybe you’ve gone into a higher end gallery and seen a price and thought to yourself, “Self, no way you’ll ever be able to afford that.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, the times they are a changin’.  It has never been easier or more affordable to purchase original artwork and/or high quality limited editions.   No, I’m not talking about the kind of “original art” you buy at the fleamarket or from a sale in a hotel ballroom.   I’m referring to original, gallery worthy fine art.  The kind you can be proud to hang on your wall.

Here are some suggestions for finding the artwork of your dreams and getting your collection started:

Online galleries/exhibition websites– These are popping up all over the place and many of them represent some very talented artists and you can usually find wonderful work in every price point.

  • Etsy— Possibly the largest online art & handmade marketplace, complete with a powerful search engine, you’ll find a wide range of artwork available.  Many artists are using Etsy to reach a wider audience and as a way to sell their work independantly. ( Note that many of the artists with shops on the “exhibition sites” will have their links on those sites connecting back to their Etsy shops. )

Into the Mystic, photgraphic print, 8″x8″ $30

  • 20×200this New York City based website works with artists to offer limited editions of original work.   Starting at just $20 for the smallest size, 20×200 offers affordable, quality work for newbie collectors.

Well-Being I, limited edition on archival paper, 8″x10″, edition of $200, $20

  • Papernstitch— I must admit, I’m a little biased toward this one, as it is run by my friend ( and fabulous artist in her own right ), Brittni Wood.  Started as a blog, Papernstitch is a growing online exhibition site, curated monthly by Brittni and features handpicked, talented artists, designers and craftspeople.   The Papernstitch blog is still going full force and features daily posts from Brittni and a handful of other talented contributors.  Papernstitch is definitely worth a look when you are searching for something special.

  Open Space by Rachel Austin, original mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″, $85

  • Artwelove— Founded in 2008, ArtWeLove “offers exclusive, museum-quality art editions by today’s inspiring artists”.  A big difference with this site is it focuses on offerings from artists whose work is found in top galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout the world.  The work is curated and commissioned directly from the artist to ArtWeLove exclusively– you won’t see these prints anywhere else.  The site has a “learning engine” similar to Amazon.com, which tracks your artwork preferences over time and makes recommendations for you.

 Petal, Pixel and Stain by Nina Tichava, limited edition on archival paper, starting at $50

  • PoppyTalk Handmade–Founded in 2008 by a Canadian husband and wife team, PoppyTalk Handmade is a monthly curated and “themed” marketplace showcasing artwork, handmade and vintage goods from around the world.   Sort of an online street fair/festival, PoppyTalk provides an online marketplace to emerging and indie artists and craftspeople. 

Pillow Land, sewn print by Clare Elsaesser of Tastes Orangey, 4.75″ x 4.75″, $20

Stay tuned over the next few days for more suggestions on ways to buy original art on any budget!

Artist Diggs: Angel’s Haven

30 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

There are people and by people, I mean artists, whose life and art are so intertwined that almost everything in their life looks like their artwork.  Maribel Angel is one of those people and I mean that in the best possible sense.  The minute I drove up to her home & studio in St. Augustine, Florida, I knew I was in for a treat.

Maribel’s home & studio, which she shares with her husband, Cash, dog Miss Hannah and three cats, is on a quiet street removed from the bustle of tourists in downtown St. Augustine.  Entering through a green gate with a little bell,  I am greeted with a hug from the artist and meow from possibly the friendliest cat ever, Lulu. 

Trimmed in bright colors reminiscent of her paintings, the house, studio and workshop are like sweet little dollhouses.  Maribel and Cash purchased the property, which faces a lovely canal where Lulu loves to beg for attention from joggers, as a fixer upper and have done most of the work themselves over the years.  It is apparent that this is a place created with love.

Let’s go into the studio.

Sunlight streams through the windows, filling the diminutive studio with light and warmth. 

Every artist’s studio needs a comfy chair.  A place where an artist can curl up with a cup of coffee and read or dream about where inspiration will take them next.  Finished artwork or works in progress are all around the studio– like these sweet little horse paintings ( below ), which were big sellers during the MOCA Studio Tour a few weeks ago. 

The studio floors are reclaimed hardwood, which came from a local horse barn.  Maribel theorizes that perhaps the floors are subconsciously leading her to paint horses!  Whatever the cause, these equestrian inspired pieces are hard to resist.  However, I am even more in love with a new series Maribel is working on– inspired by the Anthropologie catalog! 

I told Maribel how much I loved these and when she told me her inspiration source, I was downright gleeful!  There is just something about Anthropologie that we artsy girls love.  Ask anyone who has ever been in one with me.  I get this joyous, glazed over look in my eye, which I’m sure is very similar to the look I had upon leaving Maribel’s.

On the opposite side of the room, are the quintessential elements of any artist’s studio– easel, work table and of course, stacks of works in progress.   See the horses?  I think the floors are working their magic. 

Ever wonder how Maribel creates those wonderful, collaged layers in her work?  First, she makes a color copy of the inspiration source, whether it be a textile pattern, page from a book or other ephemera, then soaks the copy in a medium solution which allows her to peel the transparent image from the paper.  The transparency allows for background paint and other elements to show through and using this instead of the paper itself will be more permanent and chemically stable. 

I can’t wait to try this out on my own.. I already have a few ideas!  If only I was as prolific as Maribel.. there is artwork and inspiration everywhere you turn in her studio.

Don’t you love the rustic window paned doors?  Maribel has definitely created a space that warms the heart and nurtures the soul.  I was there for less than an hour and came home incredibly inspired and ready to create!  I hope our visit to Maribel’s studio has done the same for you.

To see more of Maribel’s artwork, visit her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her own website.

Artist Diggs: Foard Above

25 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

Christina Foard is above the clouds– literally and figuratively.  Her new studio space sits high above downtown Jacksonville in the AT&T building.  How could she not be over the moon? This is her view, ya’ll!

Despite the breathtaking view or perhaps, in part, because of it, Christina admits her new studio was a bit overwhelming when she first moved in.   An empty office space, originally intended for row upon row of cubicles, proved challenging to figure out how to best utilize as an art studio.  But a huge advantage to so much space?  Christina has room to breath and room to create. 

Ditto goes for her three kids, who are often at the studio with her, sometimes for hours on end.  There is plenty of room for them to run around, even skateboard(!) throughout the studio and Christina has set up a “living room” so that she and the kids have a place to relax while she’s in the studio.

There is also room for Christina, the artist, to “play”.  When stuck for direction or just needing to get some creative juices flowing, she can plop herself down on the floor and play with paint and paper or stand over it and do some “Pollock-style” action painting.  If that won’t get your painting mojo working, nothing will.

Christina’s work is autobiographical– each piece is about a particular time, place, person or memory and is often used as a kind of catharsis, a way of working through a particular memory and replacing what may have been a negative with a positive.   Though a lot of her work is technically representational ( centered around recognizable objects ), it is also highly symbolic.  Circles and ribbons have begun popping up in Christina’s work lately, often symbolizing the intrusion of a chaos of thought on a peaceful mind. 

Just as her life is constantly changing and evolving, so too, is Christina’s work.  For this artist, it is more about the process of creating than a finished “marketable” product.  ( Though people do respond to her work and it sells quite well ).  The paintings she creates aren’t necessarily “precious”, she will often go back and not just tweak but completely rework a piece so that it hardly resembles its former self.

The pieces pictured below, for instance, are works in progress.. they may not exist as you see them a week from now.

This new space is allowing Christina to grow as an artist like never before.  She is filled with ideas and there are stacks of new canvases just waiting for paint.

 

The new studio is also giving her a chance to venture into collage and sculpture.  She has wiped her slate clean of exhibitions and shows until early next year, to give herself time to rejuevenate, reinvigorate and explore where her art will take her.  I can’t wait to see where the journey leads!

You can see more of Christina’s work on her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her website.

Artist Diggs: Daily Inspirations

11 Apr

I am so excited to bring you our very first Artsy Forager studio tour, featuring ( drumroll, please! ), Amelia Island artist Theresa Daily!  *applause*

Theresa and I struck up a friendship through the glory of Facebook long before we’d ever met in person.   This self-taught artist struck me as incredibly funny, generous and kind-hearted, not to mention talented.  Once I met Theresa in person last year, there was no doubt that my initial impression was true.

The artist in her studio

Though a Kentucky native, Theresa is definitely an “island girl” at heart.  Her work lovingly depicts the landscapes and life surrounding her on Amelia Island. 

You can usually find Theresa painting at Blue Door Artists on Centre Street in Downtown Fernandina Beach, FL– look for the blue door and crazy stairs!  She shares her sun-filled second floor studio with fellow artist, Carol Sprovtsoff.  You may even catch a glimpse of Theresa’s grandchildren, two adorable artists-in-training!

Potato-chip bag evidence, kids are about!

A peek inside her watercolor stash

Working in a collective studio like Blue Door allows the artists to share ideas and inspiration, as well as help each other out when they get “stuck”.  The idea of an artist working away in a lonely studio may be romantic, but not be nearly as much fun.  These artists feed of each other’s creative energy, which results in growth and more dynamic work.  For instance, when Theresa was struggling with her latest piece ( pictured below, behind the easel ), fellow Blue Door artist, Casey Matthews was there to encourage, offer suggestions and be a source of support. 

Theresa’s work has gone from mostly representational to more intuitive , abstracted landscapes.  But a consistent style and palette keeps the work coherent and instantly recognizable as hers.

The studio’s gallery space

Art for sale!!

Thank you for joining me on a little visit to the creative space of this local artist.  Stop by Blue Door anytime Monday- Saturday, 11ish to 5ish ( island hours! ) and you may be lucky enough to see Theresa Daily in action and enjoy a chat.

She may even share her potato chips.

Check out  Theresa’s website to see more of her work and be sure to fan Theresa and Blue Door Artists on Facebook.