An interesting thing has happened as I’ve put my art out into the world… My home has started filling up with beautiful art from other artists.
It comes from seeing more art, meeting more artists, and fundamentally believing that art has value. The more art I see, the more I want to surround myself with pieces that have interest and meaning to me. The more artists I meet, the more I appreciate how much time and energy they spend to create something special. The more I get out there and share my own work, the more I am willing to spend real money to buy something that makes my heart sing, especially knowing it supports my fellow artists.
Maybe it’s a little bit of good karma, because this is what I want to happen to my art too. I want it to go to good homes where it will be loved and cherished. Where the owners understand it’s a little piece of my heart, hanging on their wall.
It didn’t come as an conscious thing, this idea of becoming an art collector myself. It came as a natural extension of participating in a world that appreciates handmade, local art. But it’s been a delightful and surprising experience which has helped me realize: A house is just walls and a roof, it’s the people, and what they bring into it, that make it a home. A home should be a space that protects and refreshes. A space that you love to be in. Adding art you’ve carefully chosen makes your space something truly special–a home.
I thought I would share some of my growing collection, and a little bit about the artists who made them.
The newest addition is this porcelain plate from Carol Lebreton, a ceramics artist in Portland. She had a booth across from me at the Lake Oswego fair a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn’t help but admire her work. I love her use of pattern and texture, and the green celadon glaze she uses is not only gorgeous, it’s the perfect match for one of the colors in my kitchen. Yay! Someday I would like a whole set of tableware from Carol, not just one showpiece in my kitchen.
This gorgeous piece is another recent addition, from glass artist Jerri Bartholomew. Jerri is one of my fellow Philomath Open Studios Tour artists and I loved being able to visit her studio to learn about her process. She’s also a microbiologist at Oregon State University, and her science comes through in her art. As someone who also has a technical background, I love seeing how other scientists blend their art with their science. And of course, I love that it’s a tree!!
This monotype by painter Mike Baggetta of Portland fulfills my cravings for abstract art. I discovered his work when I bought this piece at an art auction here in Corvallis, and I was excited to meet him when I visited the Art in the Pearl art fair last year. It was wonderful to learn more about his process, and how his monotypes influence his abstract paintings. I would love to have one of his large abstracts some day!
As you enter our home, the dining room wall is one of the first things you see. This area is one of my favorite spaces, a collage of art from various artists:
- The centerpiece on the top is from Ron Dobrowski, a photographer from Springfield, Oregon who was my mentor for the Salem Art Fair & Festival last year. He does film photography and these gorgeous silver gelatin prints.
- On the top left is a piece from Meri Walker, aka @iphoneartgirl, another iPhone photographer who lives in Oregon. I met Meri through the Expanding Vision exhibition I helped The Arts Center put on last year.
- Top right is another photographer I met through the Expanding Vision show, Angie Lambert. She came all the way from West Virginia to attend the opening, how cool is that! I loved the simplicity and the mystery of this piece.
- Bottom left on the wall is a small pastel by Kate McGee, another artist I’ve gotten to know through the Philomath Open Studios Tour. She does mostly color, scenic landscapes, but my heart lept when I saw this black and white, more abstract piece.
- Bottom center is a photograph from a teenage artist, Emma Spakoski. This piece received an Honorable Mention in The Arts Center’s Howland Community Open show, and I just loved the composition and beautiful softness. I hope she will keep creating as she gets older! (Her Mom, Alexis Spakoski, is a local illustrator and ceramics artist, so she has a great example to follow.)
- On the shelf is a wood-fired vase from local ceramics artist Eric Moran. The colors and textures in this vase are amazing, I wish you could feel it. Eric is another artist like me, who works a full-time corporate job, as well as creating and teaching his art. He’s a ceramics instructor at the OSU Craft Center.
- Last but not least, the photograph on the shelf is from Lorraine Richey, a Portland photographer who I’ve gotten to know through the PhotoArts Guild. She also does quite a bit of wonderful iPhone work!
In the corner of the dining room there is also a shelf unit with several wonderful pieces:
- The top print is an etching of the Duomo in Milan, one of the things we brought back from Italy with us. Unfortunately we never met the artist for this one, but I love the intricate details of this print, a reminder of our time in Italy.
- The funky vase in the center is by Corvallis ceramics artist Cynthia Spencer. Cynthia is an amazing supporter of other artists in our area! I first met her when I took an Art Marketing class from her last year, and learned so much from her. She’s done the art fair circuit in the past, was the Director of the Corvallis Fall Festival art fair for many years and is currently the Director of The Arts Center. I love having a little piece of her fun personality in our home.
- The bottom photograph is from another local photographer, Rosie Saraga, who passed away about a year and a half ago. She had an amazing eye for form, and I feel so privileged that I got to know her through the PhotoArts Guild. Her vision and love of the world is very much missed.
Now, if only my dining room furniture were as pretty as the art! A local-made dining room set is currently on my wish list.
There are so many other amazing artists I’ve met and work I’ve seen, there is so much more art I would love to own. I’m afraid I’m going to need a bigger house! It’s gotten to the point I tell my husband that I don’t want gifts for birthdays, anniversaries or other holidays. I just want to buy art when something strikes me. As our home fills up with beautiful art, he’s finally to the point he believes me. And, he’s getting in on the action and helping to select the pieces more often, too.
Do you have art from local artists in your house? If not, I bet there are an amazing number of artists in your area, who would be happy to provide some of their art a new home. Keep your eye out!