Like most people, the past year of Covid insanity has had a lot of ups and downs. What I have missed greatly is not only face-to face human interaction but going to museums and art exhibitions.
So, of course I did what everyone does - I headed down an Instagram rabbit hole. I began to explore different museums, galleries, art and artists, looking for accounts that I thought were interesting and inspiring... that brought me joy and encouragement, and to restore a feeling of connection I had lost. It was like a visual telephone hotline!
What I recognized was that I wasn’t alone – so many have been struggling both creatively and personally. Yet here were avenues where I could reach out to others with a comment or compliment and start a dialogue. I relished the interaction, but I also genuinely liked these artist's work. And then I realized the obvious.
Many artists have continued to create amazing things, but that they needed to sell these works to keep afloat, too. Instead of admiring from afar, I decided to purchase or commission their work – an artist supporting other artists just felt good. It really gives me great joy to put something special on my walls, around my neck or on a shelf from someone I now consider a friend.
Here are some of my favorite pieces I collected:Andy Paiko is a ridiculously talented glass artist. I first came across his work in a neat store called Gold Bug in Pasadena, although even the Smithsonian has his work in their collection! I've been lusting over his work for years – in particular his working balance. I mean, I'm weighing stones daily, so I figured it was only appropriate to have one in my studio and this was the year I decided to pull the trigger and commission one. I feel lucky to include myself as a collector of Andy's work!
While I don't usually purchase jewelry from other designers, Sophie Gardner caught my eye with her hand-carved gemstone shells. The beach, ocean, and sunshine are close to my heart as I spent a lot of time in the Bahamas growing up – I actually started my business creating shell pendants with little scallop shells I found on the beaches there. So, Sophie's designs particularly resonated with me. I commissioned a rainbow moonstone shell with a blue sapphire accent to match my blue sapphire and diamond engagement ring. It's now strung on a labradorite bead necklace and I'm absolutely over the moon!
Maura Green was one of my studio-mates back in my early days in New York City, so it's extra special to buy something from her to mark my new chapter in life in a new place. I fell in love Maura’s collection of abalone shell tarot card pendants – in particular, her sun between two hands design. Not only do I live near a beach called Abalone Cove that is very special to me, but I am a sun worshiper! Maura states that in Tarot, the Sun is one of the major arcana cards representing love, joy, satisfaction, accomplishment and success, pleasure in daily existence, a good friend, a happy marriage. What else could you want around your neck as a talisman and a tangible prayer?
I actually heard Mrs. Ciccoricco through a podcast first and then started following her on Instagram. A Dutch artist in America, I was interested to hear her story, but there is something in Natalie's work that really grabbed me. Each is fairly simple yet soothing and peaceful with the use of lines, color and grouping – and I loved that she incorporated bits of twigs and found pottery in her work. The first time I saw Natalie incorporate rocks, I knew just what to do. On my first walk with my husband Theo on our first day in our new home, I noticed the rocks were really patterned and fascinating. As a gemologist and geology geek, I bent over and picked up an exacting geometric fragment with a perfect ochre triangle set within a cream triangle. Unbeknownst to Theo, I put it in my pocket as a memory of that perfect afternoon moment and our bliss. I secretly shipped this bit off to Natalie and she created a special work that memorializes what this place is to us, which I then gifted my Theo for Christmas. You can imagine his reaction.
One of my favorite things to do, is go to “art camp”, which is what I affectionately call places like Penland and Haystack where one can sign up for intensive classes led by artists for a short period of time. It is absolute heaven and you meet amazing people, not to mention learn new skills. If you stay on their newsletters, you also get to discover new artists and Anne Lemanski is one of those that came across my table! Anne put out a series of mineral-collage prints that are vibrant, fun, bold and jazz me up… but she really had me at “mineral!” Of course, I had to have some for my wall. This is just the start of new collecting jag, but anything that makes me smile is worth investing in, right?
I’d love to hear about artists you supported during the last twelve months – drop me an email and share!
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