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.
Mixed Media on Canvas