Friday, May 23, 2008

Trusting Yourself Enough To Buy Art

The winner of last week's small paper painting give away is the talented author Suzi Parker! Congratulations Suzi! Please contact me so I can mail the painting (shown above) to you. Thanks again to everyone for the wonderful comments! It is so nice to have readers, I remember when I had very few, and rarely any comments. Knowing that you are out there reading this means a great deal to me, and is very encouraging. Thank you all. Please tell your friends about my blog and about my paintings!

Today, I want to switch gears. Last night, I was visiting with a friend who is not an artist, so I took the opportunity to pick his brain about growing up with or without art, buying or not buying art; and what art can bring to a person's life, as well as the misconceptions that hang over the art world.

I asked my friend if he had grown up with art (original or prints) around his house. It turned out he had not; on the walls were mostly family photographs. However, he did remember a few limited edition prints by a well known regional artist that were in his house. He also remembered that his family had actually persuaded other members of his extended family into buying the same regional artist's prints as well. I then asked him if he had art around his current home. Not surprisingly, he did not, but he did have that same regional artist's prints in his closet propped up against the wall! When I asked why he did not have any other original art, he said, he simply did not trust himself, and wouldn't know what was "good" or what he "should" like. I am over simplifying our conversation, and this idea of not trusting oneself isn't completely new to me. I know some people feel they need to be told what is good. My friend was quick to point out the role of the interior decorator (telling people what to like and putting it together for them in the "right" way.) My friend enjoys art and he values it, but he just doesn't think to buy it, and he is not alone. There are many people out there who enjoy art, but just don't feel the need to purchase or simply don't trust themselves to take the plunge.

Living with art is so ingrained within me, that I forget about "trust." For me, wanting and buying art is a natural and intuitive process. I explained to him that I have never lived without it.There were always prints of Picasso, Cezanne, Modigliani, La Tour, Ben Shahn, Klee, and O’Keeffe, along with a good smattering of original art from friends and others in my family home. When I moved out, every apartment of mine had sketches from friends, art oddities, my own paintings, as well as prints. Today, I am the proud owner of many original works by local and national artists. It is a part of my life and in my life; it is a necessity. You are likely to see me wearing the same "good" pair of shoes I have been wearing for the last 5 years, but I will have bought many small affordable pieces of art since. The longer I am a part of this profession, the more I feel the need to support my fellow artists in this way.

I just received a new piece of art in the mail this week, and it is always so exciting and so rewarding! Another connection is made, another artist is encouraged, and my home becomes a reflection of the inner worlds and dreams of another, that then meet with my own visions to create the most personal and unique atmosphere.

I guess today's message is trust yourself to know what you like, and don't wait for someone to tell you when something is good. Don't be afraid to mess up, there are many affordable pieces of art in the world to purchase and to help build your confidence level. For the price of a nice dinner out and drinks, a nice outfit, a trip to the salon, or a new ipod, you could have something special and one of a kind; all the while doing something for the artist that is priceless, encouraging them to continue on the path.

Art is not food, shelter, or a full tank of gas; it is not required to live. Art is not really about having the right taste or style or about value or investment. Art is about a connection, and isn't that what we are all searching for?

Only two weeks away!!

Evidence of the Disappearance
Blue Moon Gallery

718 Central Ave.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
June and July 2008
Opening Reception: Friday June 6 from 5-9pm, during first Friday gallery walk.

Megan Chapman
Mixed Media on Canvas


  1. some people are affraid of art, of how to 'understand' it or how to reason 'why' they like it.. this i feel is a reflection of society in that we do have those interior dectorators to tell us how to dress out houses.
    in England we have 'tv shows' that tell you how to dress, what to eat, where to live...
    people are losing their own instinctive choice in these matters.
    they also fear that they may like something that is 'frowned upon' in the art world.. which is a place for only those 'in the know'

    it should just be a case of that connection.. and people should realise that in most cases, there isn't anything to understand beyond that.

  2. This post hits so close to home. In your last paragraph, I could substitute "poetry" for "art" and it would work the same. The reason I write is all about making that connection. Thanks for the insight, again!


  3. It doesn't surprise me that he had prints he'd never put up. I had a box full of prints and art photos my work was going to throw away. I never, put them up. A couple of my friends decorated my room as a birthday present and put them up. Next year I wont be so lazy though. It's been really nice having beautiful things to look at all semester. Now I've just taken them down getting ready to move out of the dorm for the summer. I miss them already.

  4. nice post
    i had a friend over today and was showing her a book of antoni tapies and she said i cant believe some of this is considered art i was shocked she did grow up in a different time but the time she grew up was when the paintings were made in the fifties

    thats one of the many things i love about art it can make people ask questions about there reality

  5. Thank you Megan for writing this post.

    I grew up in a house where both my parents were not really into art, music or literature. My parents never bought music. We never had any original art in our house with one exception - in the late 70's my dad bought an original Benjamin Landara painting when he was in Australia. I once bought him a limited edition lithograph by a New Zealand artist for his birthday. I was always into music and art but didn't begin buying original paintings for myself until about 7 years ago. My daughter is heavily into music, literature and art. She is in the last months of a B.A. majoring in English Literature and Art History. My daughter grew up in a house full of storytelling, music and art books (and more recently original art). It is amazing to see the difference between her and I and I wonder how much richer my life might have been had I been exposed to great art throughout my childhood.

    When I began buying art I also was unsure of what I "should" be buying. Unsure of what was "good". In the end I decided to follow my own instincts and justb buy what I like/what speaks to me. I made a few mistakes but now am quite confident.

    I could never happily live in a house now that was bare of original art.

  6. Well, you've certainly hit on something there Megan!
    I was lucky - like you we had art on the walls in my childhood home, and I even contributed to the walls with my very first framed paintings!! My dad always had his art on the walls, so I grew up not being afraid of art, or afraid of being an artist. (All I'm scared of now is making a living from it!!!)
    But I have been to people's homes that have no art, and it feels strange and bereft of character and comething pleasing to look at. I like to look at other peoples houses that have art - it tells me something about them. Everyone is different and they should only collect pieces that "speak to them" - that connection.
    I love, "Threads", by the way - I feel like I want to wrap it around me.
    2 weeks eh? Nerves kicking in yet??
    Debs x

  7. What a great entry. I would like to refer to it in my blog if I may (with your permission). Hugs, Maralena

  8. Thanks everyone for your feedback and personal experiences of having art in your surroundings and how it changes your life and space. I think it is a very interesting topic, and I am glad you all added your personal take on it. Nice to have a conversation.
    And, mcdc3s feel free to refer to it in your blog. I would be honored. Thank you!
    Take care everybody.