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[ Insert Art Here ]: Art For Every Pocketbook

4 Jan

I am a firm believer in buying art at whatever level you can afford and I’m not talking about the framed art aisle at Target.  While there are certain levels of art collecting which some of us may never reach ( I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that I’ll never own an original Georgia O’Keeffe, just keepin’ it real ), there is fabulous art available for every budget!  Just because your budget is limited, that’s no excuse for blank walls!  For this installment of [ Insert Art Here ], we’ll take a look at 3 art options for the same space– all fab, each fitting a particular budget level.  Here we go!

Let’s begin with our blank( ish ) canvas–

From http://www.nestdallasdesign.com, home of Bradley Agather, designed by Beth Dotolo, photo by Kevin Dotolo ( artwork removed, to see the original design, click on this photo )

For the Beginning Collector:

Artwork by Ann Tarantino via 20x200

Prints are the easiest and most budget friendly way to begin an art collection and these days there is no shortage of sources for quality limited editions.  These Ann Tarantino prints ( Far and Wide [ left ] and Flying Colors [ right ] ) are archival pigment prints, $200 each ( not including framing ) and are available through 20×200.  Pretty sweet, right?

For the Mid-Range Artsy:

Artwork by Michelle Armas

So you’re ready to put your money where your mouth is and begin a serious art collection?  Original work by emerging artists is a great place to start.  Atlanta artist Michelle Armas has become something of an art & design blog darling and with that comes a certain ( well deserved! ) notoriety which makes her work highly collectible.  Her abstract paintings are riotous and painterly, filled with joyous color.  The piece above, Eggplant is an acrylic work on canvas, 30×40 inches.  It is available through Gregg Irby Fine Art at $1000.  An awesome price for a piece of that size and quality!  Forego your daily $4 chai-mocha-frappawhatever from Starbucks and you will be able to purchase a piece like this, too.  It’s all about priorities, ya’ll. 🙂

For the Serious Artophile:

Artwork by Christina Foard

Christina Foard is a painter’s painter.  She paints intuitively and revels in the materials, not afraid to get her hands dirty.  There is an emotionality to her work that, along with its glorious physical texture, provides a depth that you don’t always find in abstract compositions.  The piece above, Floating Invasion ( acrylic on canvas, 40×30 ) provides this space with a certain amount of gravitas, while still giving just the right amount of color and movement.  But Foard’s works are pieces you buy because you can’t stop thinking about them.. you have to have them.. If they happen to match your throw pillows, well, that’s just a bonus.  ( FYI– Floating Invasion is no longer available, but Foard pieces in a similar size are usually in the $3000 range )

My final word.. as Dan Fear said “Buy art because you like it and because it moves you, and because it enhances your life.”  This has been a little exercise that I hope will inspire you to purchase a piece of art that you love this year.   Now that’s a new years’ resolution I can get behind!

Friday Forager Faves: Treehuggers

2 Sep

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 is nothing I love better than a day spent walking in the woods or paddling down a slow moving river.  Nature’s beauty has a way of inspiring me to want to paint, write, cook, just create.  In celebration of Earth Day, this Friday’s Forager Faves round up includes a few artists who obviously feel the same way.  These are works insprired by the wonder of the earth in which we live.  Enjoy and get outside!

Quiet Cypress by Jim Draper

Sweet Grass No. 7 by Lori Keith Robinson 

Riverbank Afternoon by Debbie Martin

 

Tree Song No. 7 Colorshow by Kristi Taylor

 

Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford to Buy Artwork! ( Part 2 )

1 Sep

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!

The affordable artfest continues today!  In case you missed it, you can catch Part 1 here.   Here are a few more suggestions for purchasing affordable artwork:

  • Art festivals– Just about every community at one point of another puts on some kind of arts festival or at the very least, there are a few within easy driving distance of where you live.  Festivals are a great place to check out ( usually ) a wide variety of artwork.  And with individual artists manning their own booths, it’s also a great opportunity to chat with them about their work.  Plus, you can usually score some funnel cake.  Win-win!! 

 

  • ArtWalks— Many communities are also getting on the ArtWalk bandwagon, which I am all for!   ArtWalks customarily take place once a month, usually the same evening every month such as the First Friday or Second Saturday.  While the ArtWalks usually involve visiting local galleries, which we’ll touch base on below, many of them set up tents in a local park or closed-off street where local artists can display their wares.

 

  • Arts Markets– A growing trend is a local “arts market”, which is a weekly market, combination farmer’s market, street fair and arts market.   A wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, grab some fresh ingredients for dinner, listen to local music and discover new artists.   

 

  • Local Galleries– You may think this one is obvious, but in many communities, brick & mortar art galleries are rapidly disappearing, thanks in no small part to the recession.  If you are lucky enough to have some local galleries in your area, do what you can to support them.  Don’t just go to the free events– actually buy something, even if it small.  Many galleries today offer payment plans for larger purchases, don’t be afraid to ask.  Galleries are in the business of supporting artists and selling their work.  While it’s nice to browse, browsers don’t pay the rent.  Most art galleries are run by average folks who love art or are artists themselves and are an important feature of any thriving community.  Please patronize local galleries– your community will thank you.

 

  • Art by Students– Chances are, you have a community college or university of some kind in or near where you live.  These institutions are often filled with budding artists.  Check the colleges’ websites to find out more about their art programs, exhibitions, etc.  Purchasing student work is a wonderful, economical way to start a collection AND help give emerging young artists a boost of confidence.  Even if they don’t make a career out of being an artist, that student will always know someone loved their work enough to buy it and they will cherish that knowledge. ( I speak from personal experience! )

 

  •  Artists Themselves– OK, so this suggestion may call for a huge, UMM..DUH, LESLEY!!, but it’s definitely an option, especially today when many artists are foregoing traditional gallery representation, choosing instead to market their work on their own.   There are certain advantages to dealing directly with an artist, such as they may have more room to negotiate on price or payment terms without a middle man, as a direct “patron”, the artist may notify you first of new works you may be interested in and best of all, you can get to know the artist personally, which often makes the work you love that much more significant. In addition, many artists are now offering “budget” limited editions of their work, which make it all the more affordable.  ( Check out Town Editions, a limited edition collection offered by Pick of the Crop artist, Thomas Hager ).   A word of caution though, on a somewhat touchy aspect of buying directly from artists which goes back to my point of supporting local galleries– if you see a piece in a gallery that you love PLEASE do not try to circumvent the gallery and purchase from the artist directly.  It’s dishonest and well, just a crappy thing to do.  Most artists value their relationships with galleries or have a contract with the gallery and would not sell such a work to you in any case, but I’ve seen it happen.

 I hope you find these suggestions helpful.  It can be intimidating to buy artwork, but buy what you love and you’ll never be sorry.

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.

Going Along Swimmingly: Samantha French

29 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie but 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!

Swimmingly [ swim-ing-lee ]
–adverb-  Definition:  without difficulty; with great success; effortlessly.
‘Tis the season for swimming.  If you’re in Florida at least, maybe if you’re elsewhere ’tis the season to dream of swimming.  I recently came across the paintings of New York ( by way of Minnesota ) artist, Samantha French, bathed in sunlight and clear blue water.
Reminiscent of summers spent on Minnesota lakes, French’s work seeks to recapture those fleeting, carefree days of summer.  Days spent in the water, underwater, by the water.. nothing compares to the lovely worn-out feeling of a day spent swimming and relaxing in the sun.
The swimmers and sunbathers in French’s work are reminiscent of days gone by.. of colorful convertibles, hotdog picnics, the days of Hepburn and Tracy.

French has a show titled “Open Swim” opening at the Left Bank Gallery in Essex, CT this Thursday.  To learn more about the artist, visit her website and be sure to fan Samantha French Art on Facebook!  Prints of her work can be purchased through her Etsy store.

Perfect for summer, yes?

Friday Forager Faves: Shutterbugs

26 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!

I can’t believe it is the end of another week already.  The time is quickly flying by as George and I prepare to make our way to the West Coast.  I plan to take LOTS of photos both on our trip and once we have arrived.  But alas, I am merely the point & shoot type.  Oh, I try to compose a nice shot or get all artsy with the angles and such, but I have a long way to go.

I took a few photography classes in high school and college and well, let’s just say I never did quite get the hang of it.  I am mechanically challenged to say the least.   I have such respect for fine art photographers, because I know how difficult getting that perfect shot can be.  So today’s faves feature some of my favorite photogs!

 Doug Eng

 

Amy Carmichael Smith

 

Thomas Hager

 

Pamela Viola

 

Heather Blanton 

 

Matt Sawyer

 

Have a great weekend, Artsies!  Get out and take some cool pictures.