Friday, February 27

How to Collect Art--Cheaply

Today’s Image

I’ve found an inexpensive (cheap) way to collect art--wall calendars! They hang on a wall and people look at them, so they qualify as art, right? I think so. Calendars seem to be most plentiful around the December holiday period in many parts of the world, and year around in other parts.

Do you have a favorite theme? Of course, the calendar graphics don’t necessarily have to be artwork. Just about any subject seems to have been put on calendars: kittens, Mercedes Benzes, rainbows, Greek isles, bulldogs—you name it. I suppose once a graphic or photo is on a calendar, it does become art in a way, even a calendar featuring Elvis Presley.

You probably have at least one hanging around the house somewhere, and another one, maybe, in your art studio. I find them to be a great way to jump-start your creativity and to collect and view your favorite types of artwork. You can find them at almost any kind of store. One of the “big box” pet stores in my area has the best selection of dog, cat, bird, and fish calendars around.

While they’re not necessarily inspirational in the creative sense, these types of calendars can provide a way to expand your mind on the days when you experience artists’ block. Here are some of the calendars I have in my collection for that purpose (in no particular order):
  • North American Landscape 2008 – beautiful photographs of outdoor places, some you’ve heard of—Yosemite National Park—and some you haven’t—East Orange, Vermont, US.
  • Lighthouses 2009 – photographs of picturesque lighthouses in the US and Canada.
  • Beaches 2009 – a collection of photographs of beaches with turquoise water and palm trees that could double as screen savers for your computer, but no locations identified.
  • California Coast 2007 – one of my favorites; dramatic photos of the rocky shoreline up and down the California, US, coast.
  • In the Garden 2009 – photos of all kinds of flower gardens in bloom associated with the seasons and months (northern hemisphere).

The ones I like best, however, are the ones that feature the artwork of either one artist or an entire genre. The art may be some of their most famous work or collections of famous works from a certain period. Here are a few of my artist and artwork calendars:

  • Edward Hopper, Whitney Museum of American Art 2009 – a collection of Hopper’s paintings in the Whitney Museum, with favorites, such as Soir Bleu, Early Sunday Morning, Cape Cod Sunset, and Second Story Sunlight.
  • Thomas Kinkade, The Plein Air Collection, 2007 – I can see eyes rolling, and I’m aware that some think of his art as cliché, but this collection is worth seeing as it is in the Impressionist style; I especially like Brussels; Paris, St. Michele; Jackson Street, Cape May; and Catalina, Rosie’s on the Pier.
  • Vincent Van Gogh 2008 – a collection of Van Gogh’s iconic paintings including: Irises; Still Life, Vase with Fifteen Sunflowers; and, of course, Starry Night.
  • Impressionists 2009 – a collection of work of some of the well-known and not-so-well-known Impressionists and post-Impressionists including: Claude Monet, Woman with a Parasol Turned Toward the Right; Pierre August Renoir, The Seine at Asnieres; Edgar Degas, Dancer; Alfred Sisley, Little Town on the River Seine; Mary Cassatt, Summertime, and Edward Potthast, At the Seashore.

You can also have your own art made into a calendar, as some of mine was as a gift from a family member. What a nice surprise. At sites such as Hewlett-Packard’s Snapfish service, you can upload your art and select a calendar style for a totally unique art calendar.

So, if you want to collect artwork on a budget, add wall calendars to your gallery!


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