I've mentioned before that historically, my husband and I make it a point to purchase an original piece of art whenever we travel. In the past this has resulted in a wonderful collection of art from all over the world -- and it's amazing the emotions that looking at our art pieces can stir up every time we look at them.
But, you know, times change: the economy bottoms out, I quit my job, the dollar weakens -- traveling doesn't really happen in our world very often any more. And so, you would think that the opportunity for us to get art from far-flung places would have flown out the door.
Enter, of course, the internet.
Blogging is an amazing thing: it allows for artists to have a much farther reach than they might otherwise have in their local communities. And, of course, conferences like the upcoming BlogHer, Squam and others allow fantastic venues for artists to show their work. In fact, if it wasn't for blogging, I likely wouldn't have met some of my favourite artists, and certainly wouldn't have the opportunity to own some of their art. And the best part? Not only are most of these art bloggers amazingly talented, often their art is really wonderfully affordable. And without fail, I've always been thrilled at the quality of the art that I've ordered online. (Case in point: this beautiful original piece by the inimitable Mati Rose that arrived at my house today:
Trust me, this snapshot is NOT doing the art justice. Even my husband was blown away when he came home and saw it. I keep wandering by the mantle just to look at the thing, it's so vibrant and stunning.)
A couple of tips before you buy:
a) Start googling all the art bloggers out there. A good place to start is the BlogHer directory of Art & Design blogs. Literally, just start scrolling through them, and find which artists appeal to you the most. Don't worry about whether or not their style is fashionable, or whether the colours they use will go with your home decor -- just start bookmarking the ones whose work moves you. Many of these bloggers tend to have online shops; however, if they don't, there's nothing stopping you from e-mailing them directly and asking how much it would be to purchase one of their pieces. Trust me, you'll make their day.
b) Once you've found an artist you like, start googling their name. As you know, the internet is a powerful tool: if someone has purchased their art and had a strong reaction to it (e.g., "Wow! More amazing in real life than in the photograph!" or "Wow. I'm actually sort of disappointed.") people will write about it. You can start to see an artist's business reputation by just doing a bit of research. And finally,
c) Once you've found the blog of an artist you like, check out their blogrolls. Most people link to bloggers who inspire them, and art bloggers are no exception -- chances are you'll find some additional fantastic artists.
With that, it's time to get surfing. Besides, Mother's Day is around the corner -- so you're running out of time to grab a wonderful print or painting (or start dropping hints about which ones you want!).
Kelly Rae Roberts -- wonderful, whimsical art filled with wonderful whimsical women. Really beautiful stuff.
Jill Bliss -- I bought one of this artist's journals at a Barnes and Noble recently, and was thrilled to find out that not only does she blog, but she has an online shop where she sells posters and prints at shockingly reasonable prices. Be sure to take a look.
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