Sunday, November 13, 2011

How and Why to Buy Art

Wow--it's been a really long time since I've updated my blog.  I hate to risk overexposing myself and as such, I've cut back on posting on Facebook and sending out email blasts.  I've decided to only send out one mass email a year to let people know of my now annual 'Tis the Season sale.  10 days into my third year of this and I've sold 7 pieces.  I'm overwhelmed by the response, to say the least.  It's a great way to clear out my studio to make room for new work.

30" x 36"
acrylic on canvas

I'm super excited to start working on some big new pieces come January 2012.  I have become extremely infatuated by strange doll art and have come across some amazing sculptural work.  Last winter I purchased my first "doll" by London artist Sarah Legault.  I've named her Annette and she's a permanent fixture in our living room.  Some kids/adults are a little freaked out by her but I'm certainly not.  She makes me so happy every time I see her, which is why I thought of posting about why one should buy art.

Ode to Missoni
24" x 24" x 3"
acrylic on canvas

A friend suggested to me that I read Gwyneth Paltrow's latest GOOP entry about purchasing and displaying contemporary art.  I've taken the liberty of reposting a section of this article below.  I think it's a great exposition about why one should start buying art.  

36" x 24"
acrylic on canvas
Some people like to match art to their decor (most serious art patrons will say that you NEVER match art to your room, but I say if that makes you happy...why not??).  Most people are intimidated about buying their first piece.  People wonder why pieces are priced as they are--too expensive??  It all depends on the degree of an artist's success in the art world.  Most paintings are actually priced per square inch!

20" x 40"
acrylic on canvas

Anyhow, enough of my this over and see what you think!

xx Justine

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy New Year and My New Love

Happy New Year!  Wow-it's 2011 and I'm forty years old.  Crazy how time flies.  I was kind of nervous about turning 40 to be completely honest.  I was trying to go with the fact that yes, I am very fortunate to even have lived for the past 40 years--I'm blessed with a great family, amazing husband and two great kids.  Life is great...only the sound of "40" was scary.

You know what?  It's no different than life at 39, or 35 for that matter.  The thing is, it seems to be getting better.  The kids are lots of fun and waaaay easier now.  I think my 40's will be a great decade.  I hope so at least.  I try to be grateful for everything I have.  Sometimes it's easy to lose perspective.

Anyhow, I had another great pre-Christmas season with my paintings.  I have been working on steady commissions for as long as I can remember, really.  I am very grateful to my extremely loyal clientele.  I have "collector's" now--there are several families out there who have purchased several of my pieces.  Who would have thought?

One of my very favourite pre-Christmas paintings last year was my very first dog portrait.  Lauren Gesualdi trusted me to paint her loyal and incredibly special black Lab Jersey as a Christmas gift for her boyfriend.  I only had to look at one photo of Jersey to get an understanding of her warmth and spirit.  Her big liquid "doggie" slanted eyes said it all.

acrylic on canvas
20" x 20"
commissioned by Lauren Gesuldi

The portrait was so much fun to work on.  I fell in love with Jersey during the process although I haven't even met her!  My kids now want me to paint a portrait of our dog Murphy.  My sister-in-law Nicole suggested that I paint portraits of our very beloved family dogs Megan and Josh (deceased many years ago now).  We still talk about Meg and Josh all the time--what perfect subject matter!

Sean and I also had an amazing bulldog for 5 years named Owen.  Walking with Owen (when he would allow you to take him for a walk) was like walking with a celebrity.  We would get stopped left and right for people to meet Owie.  He was an awesome dog--with the exception of the flatulence, flank alopecia (he went bald on his sides every summmer-cute), cherry eye, head twitch, shedding and of course, drooling.  He was the epitome of bulldog--65 lbs of pure bravado.  He was our first baby and we spoiled him rotten.  Owie wasn't happy when Tristan arrived on the scene.  He actually went into a total depression.  It was terrible.  Shortly before Carter was born, we made the very difficult decision to move Owen to Ottawa to live with another Sean and a pug named Otis.  We used to get pictures of Owen on his bed at Christmas, surrounded by new dog toys.  The new Sean spoiled him rotten too.  We stopped corresponding with his new owner after several years because we preferred to think that Owen would live forever.  He'd be 13 on Feb. 13, 2011.  Carter sometimes still misses him, although she never actually met him.

Our current dog Murphy, is a 3 year old Havanese.  The kids love him to death and that love is really mutual.  He is extremely affectionate and an overall great dog.  In the morning, he goes crazy with excitement when the kids get up.  He even waits at the bottom of Tristan's loft bed ladder for him to come down.

There is nothing like the unconditional love of a pet.  I think that's why I found Jersey so easy to paint.  I really, really want to take off with pet portraiture.  If anyone knows of anyone who is considering a pet portrait, please send them in my direction.  I would be honoured to take on that job.