I finally did it. Bit the bullet. Achieved a dream (other than this) that I’ve had for awhile.
I bought some art in Hawaii. Three pieces, to be exact.
And for someone as fickle as me, this is quite a big deal. See, until this point, there are 2 things that have held me back from ever buying art (other than bookstore posters during my college years and mass-produced prints from places like Kirkland’s that end up getting shoved in a corner of my closet because I can’t bring myself to hang something meaningless):
1. Money. Original paintings (since that’s mainly the type of art to which I’m referring), can be gastronomically expensive. Understandably. You’re essentially buying a piece of a person’s soul to hang over your mantel for your friends to discuss its merit over a glass of merlot. Talk about putting yourself out there…
2. Indecisiveness. I can’t decide on a meal to cook more than 3 hours in advance, let alone art that will represent my personality, mood and taste (or lack thereof) for the rest of my life. It’s too much pressure. That, and I tend to love practically everything I see. Who am I to decide which is better than the next?
But then I realized… most collections start small. I don’t have to have a huge original oil painting the size of my mattress in order to be moved. And my art doesn’t even have to be original, for that matter. And the indecisive part of me is never going to change. If my tastes/desires/moods change over the course of my life, then what I buy today will simply represent who I was at that particular moment in time. And that, my friends, is the point.
(Am I deep tonight, or what??)
Okay, two of the pieces are actually very inexpensive prints of real art, but hey. We’re not made of money.
I think I was drawn to the first for its colors.
It’s surreal, almost dreamlike, very calming… with just a hint of trippy. Perfect.
I love the detail with the birds (seagulls?) in the background and the horizontal texture running across the sky and trees. I love that the flowers look like pink artichokes and the leaves of the ferns aren’t attached to the stems.
It doesn’t scream Hawaii to me (at least my experience of Hawaii), and that’s okay. In fact the artist, Kellie MacQuoid, lives in California. The palm trees… the ocean… the lizard… the inspiration is still clear. Exotic, coastal beauty. On acid.
I would LOVE to own a real one some day. Or maybe even a giclée (I use this term to try to sound art-smart, which, I assure you, I’m not), if an original is beyond my reach. It never hurts to dream, right?
The second print will completely take you inside my head.
(Ha-ha, no I’m not about to show you a photo of a blank picture frame. I know what you’re thinking, and you’re mean.)
The style seems like a dream. No details, just memory.
But really, it’s the subject itself. The surfer girl… she’s in one of the most beautiful places in the world, she’s got this big ocean in front of her, and all she has to do is jump in. She’s free to do anything she wants.
I would love to be the girl in the painting. Heather Brown, the artist, seems like a phenomenal person. She lives on the island of Oahu, surfs and paints for a living, is absolutely beautiful, and is basically living the dream. I saw a few of her originals and several giclée prints in some of the Oahu galleries. I drooled. But only a little.
It looks like she signed the matte of the print, although I’m not sure if that’s just a stamp…
I want to be there again. And since I can’t (or won’t?), this print might get me close.
Because these prints were a standard size, all it took were some inexpensive frames from Target to complete the look.
I removed the mattes that came with the frames and used the ones that came with the prints:
Now all I have to do is hang ’em! Give me another year or so and I might find the perfect place (ha).
For now, they’re both in my kitchen, sitting up against our (finally) completed backsplash. I actually kind of like them in here, because I see them every day.
And finally, the real painting.
It’s an original. (Imagine me saying that with my nose stuck up in the air.)
I walked into this little gallery in the small, beach-front town of Hale’iwa on Oahu’s North Shore. Inside the owner displayed works from several artists, including her husband, the local candle maker. It was the art of Dennis McGeary, however, that caught my eye.
I was initially drawn to a a large, abstract piece, very similar to those in the top 2 rows of this page. It appeared different every time I looked at it. Once I saw a waterfall. Then an ocean. Then the wind as I fell from the plane. Then the mountains. It was continuous, and I loved it. I can’t describe it.
I realized this piece, while extremely reasonably-priced for an original oil painting, was just more than we could justify spending at this point in our lives. But then I was drawn to a much smaller piece, more decipherable (and less interpretive) in its subject, but still intriguing.
An Oahu coastline. Tropical forests. Jagged mountains. But, when viewed a little differently, a serene underwater-scape. Colorful coral. Reflections off the surface.
And look! Brush strokes!!
I own something with brush strokes besides my painted window trim!
And it has a signature. A real signature.
Is it weird I’m so excited about this?
I’m sorry to get all artsy-fartsy on you tonight, but I can’t help it. I just finished a glass of red and I’m too sophisticated for words.
All of this is still made worse by the fact that I still want to move to a van on the North Shore. I’m still working to convince the hubs it would be a good idea. We can survive on some rice, our wits, and our passion for life, no? (Okay, maybe I shouldn’t have read Into the Wild during our vacation. The combination appears to have been toxic.)
But I figure first we’ll finish remodeling this place… one thing at a time, right?
One thing at a time.
Katie. Loved your story. You’re so sophisticated! UM
Wow!! I love them all…and they are all very different in their own way. Great finds!!!
Thanks, guys! Now I know what kind of souvenir I’d like to get on all of our trips. (We’ll just have to work it into the travel budget, right?) :)
LOVE your art. Especially surfer girl. I have not purchased art before based on some of your same reasonings. I have one piece – that I found at Marshall’s, no less. I stared at it in the store for like 1/2 an hour the day I found it, wondering if I should buy it. Would I still love it in a month? Then I realized it would take me less time to buy it, take it home, hang it on the wall, and really SEE if I loved it, than it would to decide that in the store just staring at it (among all the Cafe and You Go Girl! wooden plaques). And I DID love it and DO love it and am so-o-o glad I bought it! That day taught me something. If I stare and stare at something because I really like it, just take the darn thing home. Because it’s rare a piece of art speaks to me like that.
Good lesson! My problem is that a lot of the ones that “speak” to me end up being like $4K. But I love the ones I got – and it just goes to show that you don’t need to spend a fortune to surround yourself with inspiration and beauty!