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"A Discussion Regarding Collecting Art"
by Elizabeth Jean Billups
Why does any one buy original art?
Why not just purchase prints, and copies?
From a personal, inner awareness, I know why:
It is not because I have studied "fine art."
It is not because I am a creator of fine art.
It is not because there is a profit in fine art.
There is something that is intuitive, something that original art has,
that it possesses, or perhaps that it EMITS, that it gives to those who are sensitive to the energy that original art
something below the surface, almost spiritual!
I always felt the energy from original art, as I passed by it, be it in a museum, a gallery, in a
hotel, or a home. I never quite understood this, until I spent the night in a B&B, where I was the
only person present. As I walked thru each room, observing the antiques and the art on the walls, I
felt an unusual feeling, in the rooms where there were original paintings hanging, verses the rooms
with just prints. There was an energy, a feeling of something DEEPER, that I could not quite
There have been other times, viewing original art, where I have had a deeper feeling, regarding the
art viewed. They can be small, and by unknown artists, and touch my very soul, and others by
perhaps well known national artists, that are so familiar, almost to the point of boring, because
it appears so very similar to all the other pieces they have created. They have a feeling of
shallowness, of non-adventure, of someone who has spent precious time making some art form that
perhaps is 100% SAFE...because they KNOW, there will be a market for the work! But in so doing
they loose the adventure of discovery, in order to make sure it will be accepted and sell!
About the only thing that is more
wasteful than copying another artist creation, is to copy
your own discoveries! That is not to say, that a person has to constantly swap horses, to
constantly be different, for different sake...but to dive into an adventure, falling if need be,
looking foolish possibly to others, if one can discover another nook, or cranny... to open another
THIS IS NOT TO SAY, to discover new adventures requires using mind altering drugs, but to grab deep
within oneself, to find the joy and adventure of discovering hidden treasures, and to learn how to
express this to the world, to share this treasure with others, in a new and refreshing manner!
What is the purpose or need for owning fine art?
Primarily to feed the soul! The soul is not touched only by spiritual readings and understandings, or by
human touch, music, and poetry... it also benefits by the beauty of a sunset, the sweep of a cloud
across a deep cobalt sky. And often times, the mundane elements of Life, have tremendous beauty in
the nuances that embrace her!
These elements can be captured thru the artist's brush, which sometimes opens doors of appreciation
for those too busy to look at the soft afternoon haze on a hillside, as evening approaches. Then an artist has truly given a great gift to a people almost blinded by their daily mundane experiences.
Creation should come from a sense of ADVENTURE!
Reaching beyond what they KNOW they can create,
in order to discover something that maybe has
never been expressed before!
Thus, creating a true ORIGINAL!
What are the primary reasons for making purchases
of any kind? Investment? Survival? (Probably not with art,
at least for physical survival). Enjoyment?
That about covers it, for the surface or primary level!
One reason can merely be the physical investment...so that
if and when any artist might become well known,
or grow in reputation, than the moneys spent
can bring back 10 FOLD. Well, that is the business end of collecting.
However, it may or may not bring FULL satisfaction!
There is perhaps a deeper reason, and a more fulfilling purpose:
PURCHASING ART FOR PURE ENJOYMENT!!
Some art is not only food for thought, but many creations can actually
feed the very soul, and become a
Some can touch the inner thoughts of longing, of past dreams,
of lost feelings, that Life all too often steals from us,
as we forage along our paths of "SURVIVAL"!
Or maybe original art can bring the wilderness into our homes in over crowded cities, giving us a sense of "freedom" and "ENJOYMENT"!
Or perhaps the gentle beauty of the nuances of color, that few have time to witness, even in a piece of white cloth caught in the afternoon sunlight, bringing a person "full circle" in this wonderful thing we call LIFE,
giving some sort of reprieve, or salvation, from our challenging daily existence!
"SURVIVAL", what does this involve? Is it merely physical,
or could it also apply to inner spiritual and mental survival, thus better health?
"ENJOYMENT", is this for short or long term? Does it apply again,
to physical, mental or spiritual?
"INVESTMENT", comes in all forms: stocks, gold, real estate, art.
But I bet not all of these
bring along with it the same energy as original art!
Then there is a psychological level: to feel good, to impress others?
What is the difference in purchasing any commercial item vs
purchasing an original piece of fine
We call it FINE ART, because why?
Is it FINER than other objects purchased?
Or is there
that should be taken into consideration?
Stocks usually set in safety deposit boxes,
property and homes need constant attention.
It seems that the visual arts, if not tucked away
into some vault some where, for safe keeping, can also bring:
"FOOD FOR THOUGHT"
"NOURISHMENT FOR THE SOUL!"
With technology today: over population, stress from success or failure
on a daily basis,
which of the above would be of the greatest value, to mankind's SANITY:
A RENEWAL OF AN INNER SPIRITUALITY and STRENGTH?
If the inner person, if their soul, can be refreshed and revived
from the harshness of daily living, so that the following day at work
could be their best, their strongest, their most creative...
then Original Art could very likely be that healing element!
And a sound reason to invest in it, thus investing in one's own sanity!!
Guess it all boils down to each individual:
TO THY OWN SELF BE TRUE!
To KNOW THEY SELF...
is the basis of painting
from your soul!
(built on the knowledge
you have gleaned!)
I never list another artist's web site, but I'm making an exception!
To understand this, a friend of mine, Robert Walton, use to climb many of the
mountain peaks in the NW, in his youth...with pike axes, etc...with teams...peaks such as the ones he paints! Walton teaches many painting workshops each year, perhaps many of you have studied with him!
If you care to view some of the magnificent painting he has created,
from his own mountain climbing experiences,
than from any reference material, please visit his web
Robert Walton's Website