by Jeffe Kennedy
My great indulgence? The thing I splurge on, even when I shouldn't?
I know - it sounds kind of harmless. After all, it's not like I can't stay off the crack cocaine or that I'm on the home shopping channel compulsively buying things that stack up in the spare room. And, art is an investment, right?
Not the way I buy it. For it to be a real investment, you have to know the market and purchase artists who are likely to gain in value. Kind of like stocks. I buy out of love, which is akin to always betting on your home team, regardless of the statistics.
I blame my mother, really.
Some of my earliest memories are of cruising in and out of art galleries. My folks would go on vacation to Santa Fe or San Francisco, giggling over whatever outrageous art purchase they'd made. Once, after a particularly wonderful and wine-filled dinner in downtown Denver, they fell in love with a painting in a gallery window and resolved to dig up the (piles of) money to buy it. If the place had been open, they wouldn't have had the sober reflection of the next morning to change their minds.
Dutifully following in my mother's footsteps, I've spend a lot of money on art. The one to the left, Straight is the Gate, is something I saw in Newport, Oregon and had to have. Over a year later I got a new job with a shiny new salary - to celebrate, I had the gallery ship this to me.
I buy art from people I know and those I don't. Hey Arnold, up above, was painted by David's sister. I've informed her that I'm expecting great things and ample return in value.
The painting at the very top is by a Santa Fe artist. I fell in love with one of her paintings, resisted buying it, like a good kitty, then experienced severe non-buyer's remorse. The painting I'd wanted had sold, but she painted me one on commission, from a Celtic symbol I love.
It's gotten so that David can tell the moment I've spotted a piece of art I have to have. He just shakes his head at me and says I might as well just buy it now, instead of hauling him back multiple times to gaze at it and yearn.
One of the worst things about this habit is, you begin to run out of wall space. We actually bought our last house partially because it had lots of lovely places for me to hang all the art I've collected. In our much smaller house, a bunch of it remains packed up in storage.
It would be lovely to have a splurge that doesn't cost me hundreds or thousands at a pop.
But then, this was never about logic. Only love.