I didn't set out to become an art collector, but it seems to be a calling...
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved art. When I was a child, Reader's Digest, which came to our house, always had an art print on the back cover. I routinely cut these out and hung them on my bedroom walls in plastic sleeves. We didn't have money for real art, but I was quite content with these. I had the bug from an early age.
Most of my prints, engravings, and paintings are pale and neutral in palette, or have gentle colours.
This is an etching I bought in Paris (from a set of three). It is a favorite of mine and I adore the pale colouring and the frame:
I am an equal opportunity collector. I like 50 cent postcards as much as expensive paintings. I love this postcard of a painting by Wm Sergeant Kendall which we saw at the American Art Museum in Washington, DC:
I also bought a pile of English country house etchings on the same trip. I have them piled on the table, as I like to swap them around, and haven't decided yet how to frame them:
I bought this beautiful lady a while ago. It's a bookplate and needs to be framed too. I find her very poised and elegant:
I shared this already - an antique oil painting by Gabriel Spat, who died in 1967. This is probably my favorite thing in the house. We paid a small fortune for this. The frame alone is a masterpiece. If the house is on fire, I will grab the cat, my hard drive, and this:
You've all seen my seascapes a hundred times. They are oil paintings by American artist Al Barker that I got for a song. They were sitting neglected in a box on the floor and each one is valued at close to $1000. I got them for $50 apiece (this NEVER happens to me). The painting in the foreground is a recent acquisition by Virginian Robert Young Clay (also a steal):
I spend a lot of time on the internet looking at art and usually have at least one "want" at any given time. I discovered artist Caroline Adams at a gallery in Georgetown (Susan Calloway here) and bought this little print. I have dreams of purchasing an original miniature landscape of hers:
This etching is a favorite (and hard to get a good photo of). It hangs at our front door and shows a lady with her suitor. It was beautifully framed for me by an excellent local framer. I found this in a dusty box on the floor in an antique shop and paid $15 for it. It was very dirty but it cleaned up well. I regret I did not take more that day as he had others (when I went back, the store had gone out of business):
Here is the remaining pair of Paris etchings. I need to have these reframed as they seem a little too plain to me:
This is a print of a sketch of William Morris's wife, drawn by Rossetti. It hangs in our guest room and should really be better framed. I find it quite charming:
This is a wee photo in my bedroom. I am a photography lover, but find many photos too busy for my liking. I prefer sedate or monotone images:
I have included this next one for fun, so you can see how I've evolved...
This is the first proper painting I ever bought, by Quebec artist Pierre Bedard. I paid $1200 for this when I was 28 and had just paid off my student loans. I loved the impressionistic quality and the colours. I find it too "loud" now (this is the only red in the house). But it brightens up our dreary and as-yet-undecorated TV room (which you have never seen, for good reason):
Hope you've enjoyed the little art tour.