Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
I’ve decided that when I become a millionaire (by as-yet-undetermined means), I’m going to buy lots of art.
This weekend we went to the famed Kentuck Festival of the Arts in Historic Downtown Northport. I’ve been meaning to go for years – especially since our across-the-street neighbors are always talking about how awesome it is and showing off their artsy-fabulous purchases. But one thing or another always happens the third weekend of October that prevents me from going.
In fact, something was happening this weekend, too. I could’ve spent the whole weekend at my parents’ store helping with web site stuff, but I took a much-deserved break for a few hours to take a leisurely stroll through Kentuck Park with my hubby and admire a bunch of fantastic art I can’t afford.
My favorite stuff was the mixed media art made with found objects, especially anything collage-like. I desperately wanted a $1,600 “engraved painting” piece by a Georgia artist (edited to add: consulted my Kentuck program and found out his name is Aaron Hequembourg) featuring a portrait of a Victorian lady on what looked like a barn door with glass bottles set inside little inset boxes … eh, it’s hard to describe.
I told myself when we entered the park that if I found one special piece, I would be willing to part with a chunk of change to own it. After all, is spending money on art really any different than spending it on antiques? Sure, the art won’t necessarily appreciate, but it does have a function, as much as furniture does. If it makes me happy or makes me think every time I look at it, isn’t that worth $1,600?
But when I did find that piece, I just couldn’t write a $1,600 check. Not now. Not when I’m trying to be frugal. In the scheme of things, no matter how wonderful artwork is, it’s not a necessity – it’s not bread and cheese and black tights – and I’m trying to stick to the necessities right now.
Then there’s the other reason: when I look at other people’s art, it makes me want to make my own. I’m not one of those people thinking, “Ugh, that’s finger painting. I could totally do that myself.” I respect the work the artists have done and their creativity.
But it reminds me that I used to be creative, too. I used to make things. I used to paint and draw and make puppets out of paper bags and yarn. Okay, so it’s been a while. My creative energies have been aimed toward the Internet the last few years – blogs, websites, T-shirts – but there’s something so satisfying about making things with your hands that I miss.
The last “art” I remember making were matching collages for over mine and my roommate’s dorm room beds. Over the summer between freshman and sophomore years, I spent hours going through my many back issues of Seventeen and Cosmopolitan and Mom’s back issues of Better Homes & Gardens, cutting out words and pictures. My collage featured a glistening glob of pink shave gel in place of the head on a pink-clad Britney Spears’ body and Darwin’s name pasted ransom-note-style on a pink purse.
Sounds kind of juvenile, I know, but I still like that collage. It’s hanging over the desk in the office, and it still makes me happy to look at it. (You can catch a glimpse of it above the dolls in this picture.)
If I can ever get a free second, I’d like to try collage again – the grown-up version this time.
Photos from Kentuck:
P.S. I did buy some earrings shaped like little rulers from artist Kim Young, and a pink blown-glass ornament, and a necklace made from a print of a Victorian Halloween postcard.