we have this thing for chairs.
we collect them, but not so much anymore as we are running out of chair space in this little bungalow.

as an artist and designer, i have been thinking about collections, collectors, artists, artisans and the desire to have objects in our spaces. 

in my studio, i get to know my collectors whether they are locally accessible or available through note.
in between painting, we share coffee, talk, messages, phone conversations and they check into the studio often. over time i get to know their families, stories and we see each other outside of my art practice. and then i get fascinated by what they collect too, in their homes, gardens, and terraces.
i just can't help it because making a place for art is part of collecting.

lately i have been thinking about how i collect things to create my world.
what is it i collect and why?

Alvar Alto and oyster shells.

as i looked around a pattern emerged. all the works in our small collection of handmade treasures are directly related to the places we spend our time: Atlanta, New York, Alabama, and the Gulf Coast.
we are local, place-based collectors:

we collect handmade things and vintage mid-century modern things.

1992, by Mr. Imagination (Chicago and Atlanta). Pottery by Peter Anderson (Mississippi)

we have favorite designers.  there are other items too, like shells, notes, everyday objects, works of art, books, pillows, and pottery.

walks in mississippi meet modernism.
the goddess cup by potter Lori Buff (Atlanta) 
clashing patterns by George Nelson
150 year old student made box, carved chestnut wood (extinct species),  (New York)
Stokes pottery (Florida)

when we can afford it, we collect fine art that has meaning for us. an acquisition of a piece from another artist may take us a long time. that's okay. we do like to collect, support other artists and create community. when we resonate with a work and bring it home our world expands and we further define our place in it.  and again, for us, a good bit of it comes from the places we know: Atlanta, New York, Alabama and the Gulf Coast.

new york
amalfi coast, italy

we believe that art is for everyone. art is easy to engage. you look at it with your eyes ears nose hands mouth and skin. it is everyday life. it's easy to be a collector. start small with things that are handmade and interesting to you. learn about the process of the making. learn about artists near you that resonate with your world or shock you or make you think. books are accessible. they are written from a unique perspective by a creative individual. we have lots of books. we treat them like art. they are handmade thoughts. visual art can be as accessible as a book.  collectors help make art possible in the world.

when conversations start, so do friendships. adding artists to your life is as enriching as adding art, music and books to your world. art makes you happier, smarter, thoughtful and more present in the world. and in your looking,  you may be surprised that excellent fine art is affordable.

some more favorites:
oil on postcard sized paper by Don Voisine (!) (New York)
painting on paper by Caroline Nye (New York)
collaborative watercolor between my daughter and artist William Downs (Atlanta)

recently i worked with  a group of two year olds to create three paintings. 
my job: 
to teach them what an artist does.  
to teach them the word "artist." 
to spend time with an artist. 
to show how a painting is created over time.
to see and hold a finished piece of art.

the kids made marks in graphite and i made marks in paint. we kept visiting each other until we had three paintings that had a balance of their marks and my response in paint. it is never too early to introduce children to art, the process of making by hand and collecting. in our house we start them young and i am pleased that some of the day schools in the city are doing the same.

detail from one of the St. Anne's works (Atlanta)