As an artist, I am always feasting my eyes on other artist's work either online, galleries, or museums so that I may satisfy my desire to be surrounded by beauty. Over the past 7 years or so, I have been collecting art for inspiration, enjoyment, and fond memories of plein air outings. But underneath all those reasons there lay a small, but silent reason for my collection and it is this; For many artists, there is a huge discrepancy for collecting other's work.
Are you surprised by this irony? I am.
Just think...if you are an artist and you are trying to sell your work, yet, you are not enjoying it yourself, then how could you expect others to do the same? In an article Art Collecting: Should Artists Buy Art? in FineArtViews, writer Brian Sherwin clearly expresses this concern. He writes:
"Let us be honest with ourselves concerning consumer attitudes toward buying art. The averatge consumer is content with the Vincent van Gogh poster in his or her living room - OR the mass-produced Thomas Kinkade print displayed prominently in the hall. The average consumer does not see the value of original art - or how owning original art will enrich his or her life. If YOU want to change the way consumers think about owning original art...you need to be part of the solution. You need to take original art seriously (not just you own art). YOU need to by original art from others."
His article pinched a nerve with me.
So today I want to share with you my growing collection with special mention on how I acquired each piece and my thoughts as it relates to my personal collecting habits. In full disclosure, some are from trading my own artwork which has it benefits as an artist, however I am trading "inventory" that I could otherwise sell, some are purchased or gifted.
Mike Kolwalski 8x6" oil purchase
Mike and I met and participated in the Pacific Northwest Plein Air event back in 2011. A bunch of us decided to paint a nocturne of this little bar in the little downtown area of Hood River. I loved his painting so much that I just had to purchase it. The glow of the neon light reflecting on the people's shirts is what caught my eye.
Sergio Lopez 16x12" oil trade
This piece reminds me of my weekends at the beach in Southern California. He painted it for Carmel Plein Air in 2012 and was posting his adventures on Facebook. I commented that I loved it and so he offered to trade one of mine that he liked as well.
MIchael Orwick, 12x16" oil trade
This is a painting of my daughter who modeled for us on a plein air outing a few summers ago. This piece reminds me of that fun summer day of painting under a historic apple orchard on Sauvie Island.
Diane Ahrendt, blown glass tumblers, purchase
I met Diane some years ago while participating in Portland Open Studios and found her to be dynamic and very talented glass blower. We often talked about color and it's endless varieties. We use these tumblers daily and love the wild '70's swirling flame-like edges.
Thomas Jefferson Kitts, 10x8" pastel gifted
This was a dare that Thomas couldn't resist at a local casual paint out. As I began this painting, he poked at me and and so I dared him to make it better. He took the bait as I watched him work out my dusty medium. Afterwards, he just shrugged and left it on my easel as proof he could create in pastel with panache. Touche' Thomas.
Donna Trent, 9x12" pastel trade
This was a Northwest Pastel Society painting exchange trade. I was thrilled to receive it for it's color and loose marks.
Blythe Eastman, 7x4x5" clay purchase
I saw a group of clay bunnies and other adorable animal sculptures at one of my galleries while I was delivering new work for sale. I spotted this one and had to have it. A purchase that brings me warm feelings every time I look at it as it props up some creative books on my studio shelf.
Anton Pavelenko, 8x10" oil trade
Anton is a good friend, fellow plein air competitor, and I love his work. We often expressed trading and so this is what I picked out of the bunch. (sorry the photo has a lot of glare on it)
Celeste Bergin, 8x8" oil trade
Traded at a group paint out at a local nature park. About 15 or so artists came out to enjoy the fall color in this marsh located about a mile from my house. I love Celeste's loose brushwork that is so indicative of her "style".
Again another painting exchange gift from the Northwest Pastel Society. I was thrilled to receive it for it's color and loose marks.
Diana Sandford, 10x10" pastel gifted
And so there you have it. I will continue to collect more art as I stumble upon it either by gallery stops, paint-outs, purchase, or trade. All have given me so much joy and fulfillment. If you collect art, then I congratulate you! If you don't, then perhaps you may consider this a gentle prompt to get you started in the benefit of enriching your life.