I enjoy all kinds of art, even though I admit I don’t understand all of it. I love vintage posters. I am a fan of black and white photography. I love cyanotypes and paintings. I am by no means an art expert or an art snob, but I do have strong opinions on what I like. However, even with works that don’t appeal to me, I appreciate that a fellow human being put their time, passion and effort into creating.
I grew up in a military family and subsequently my childhood home was full of art on the wall and objects that reflected the many places we lived. I am still enamored of a marble goldfish from Italy and a wood carving of an owl from Germany. I think if I made the hypothetical list of what beyond people and pets I would rescue from my parents house in a disaster, those would be top of the list.
Like most people, my home is heavy on framed prints, but over the years I have acquired a few original paintings and have treasured everyone. Back when I was in college I babysat for a wonderful family whose home was full of some fantastic original artwork, including an enormous piece I fell in love with. It was enormous. It hung on the wall, but it had three dimensional colorful fish and seaweed. This piece was actually used to produce the posters and t-shirts for the Charleston Spoletto Festival. Not sure if it was late 1980’s or early 1990’s, but that piece spoke me. It evoked happy thoughts and awe. It inspired me to make acquiring art a worthy goal.
While I was in graduate school I taught at a local pre-school and one of my parents was an artist with her first art show, in downtown Charleston. I went. It was my first real art show and I left with a watercolor of morning glories that still hangs in my guest room.
Fast forward to my buying my first house (I did own a townhome previous). My realtor and friend was also a talented artist. In her real estate office she had a small painting of poppies on a field of red. I remarked on how much I liked it and she painted me a large version for over my fireplace, and over ten years later it is still hanging there. I smile and think of her daily.
I found a great oil painting of cows a few years back that spoke to me of my parents and myself. That has found a home in my kitchen.
This spring break, while staycationing, okay . . . while I was taking a much deserved lunch break between appointments, house, yard, and writing tasks, I wandered into one of my favorite galleries in Mount Pleasant. Once again a piece of art called my name, and the lovely oyster in the reclaimed wood frame has found a home between my living room and kitchen.
I enjoy my prints, but there is something deeper in an original work. It has soul. It stirs me in a way no print has ever accomplished. Whether it is a painting or sculpture, an original work has the sense of being wrought with human hands and heart. I still marvel that I don’t have to be Miss Moneybags to afford it. So if I had to make my rescue list for my own home you can easily guess what pieces would be on my list.