That's right! Now I'm not only an art creator but also an art collector!
Last week I had the privilege of meeting up with printmaker Nancy Camancho to view her portfolio of hand-carved block prints. Each bold design is carefully thought out and every detail has personal meaning--some prints tell her own life story and others tell the story of this historic crossroads where the high plains meet the foothills.
As I enjoyed looking at her work and contemplated which one I wanted to take home, I started to understand the perspective of an art collector (aka an art buyer).
Is it just me or do the words "art collector" somehow seem intimidating? Like somehow to be one you have to be an art expert, or an art aficionado, and have a large amount of disposable income.
But the truth is much different.
Why do people collect art? The late art historian Kenneth Clark once remarked: “It’s like asking why we fall in love, the reasons are so various”.
In my experience, some people collect whatever catches their eye and may find pieces they love for $5 at a flea market or pay much more at an art market. Some seek out specific types of art--oil painting, sculptures, folkloric, etc. Others may approach purchasing art from an investment perspective and seek out established artists with a proven track record of increased value and pay prices in the tens of thousands of dollars (or more) for a work. And still others look for undiscovered / emerging artists and pay a small amount now hoping that in time the work will increase in value (and/or bragging rights, "I found this artist before they were famous").
As it turns out I seem to fall in the last category. As I looked at Nancy's work I found myself thinking not only about how and why she makes her prints and how much I liked them, but also where she shows them, how successful she's been at selling them, and who else is collecting her work--currently 2 regional museums.
It was an eye-opening experience and one that makes me consider the reasons why people might consider buying my paintings.
For me personally, I'm excited to be an art collector because I like being surrounded by beautiful artwork and on some level my burgeoning collection reflects back to me who I am, what I like, what I want.
When you come to visit my home dear reader, we can sit and enjoy my small but growing collection and have a lively conversation when/where/why I bought it, who the artist was, what their intention was, what it means to me, and find out what you do/don't like about it.
In other words, it's FUN!
And will bring us closer together. 😊
You can be an art collector too! Start by looking for art by a real person in your community (instead of in a big box store) and make the artist's day by buying something they created to enrich your home.
Instagram is a good place to start your search.
Or you can buy one of my paintings or prints on my website's store. 😉
If you are interested in Nancy Camancho's work email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org or message her on Facebook:
And for a more in-depth academic look at art collectors in the larger art world check out this article on Artsy: The Four Types of Art Collectors.