Sunday 27 May 2018

The Art of Collecting

Collectors and their collections come in many forms. 

Artists are typically overjoyed when their work captures the attention of someone who likes it enough to buy it. We're even more excited when that person comes back for more and becomes what's known as a Collector. Some Collectors have homes full of original art, others may 
have only a couple of precious pieces, but whichever the case their enthusiasm and appreciation for our work is one of the driving forces that keep us busy in our studios.

Artists are often Collectors themselves. It's an occupational hazard. Our appreciation for and ongoing exposure to the work of other artists makes us prime candidates for stretching our limited budgets so we can surround ourselves with works of art that bring us joy and satisfaction.

There's also another type of collecting that we artists are also susceptible to, and that's the impulse to acquire objects that spark our creativity. Anyone who's been around me for long knows I have a particular weakness for feathers, and also for shells, rocks and, most recently, bits of wood. In my living spaces and studios there are pots and piles of feathers, assortments of shells from sea-side rambles, and handfuls of pebbles deemed special enough to be slipped into a pocket or backpack.

I have created my own beach inside my urban townhouse.

Shells and pebbles fill bowls and adorn shelves and window ledges.

Feather "bouquets" can be found in both my city and island studios.

And then there are the sticks. My selections are often bits of driftwood but I also particularly like arbutus branches.

I think I have developed this affinity for wood from my four-legged companion Lily who rarely comes home from a walk without bringing a stick. 

Some are big...

... and some are small...

...but just about every day a stick finds its way home with us. There's a growing pile of her sticks at the end of my Mayne Island driveway, most of which were acquired during our evening rambles to the nearby beach. I sometimes find one of her sticks carefully tucked away in a cranny in back seat of my car. I have observed her burying the most special of her sticks in carefully chosen locations around the yard. Lily, who comes from a line of dogs bred to retrieve and carry, is a dedicated Collector.

The act of collecting is integral to the life of an artist given we produce artwork for our clients to collect and we collect items for our own inspiration. 

And sometimes we simply hang out with others for whom collecting is in their DNA.


  1. I say 'collector', family says 'pack rat'! I too have a collection of stones, shells, feathers and other natural bits and pieces. Nature provides endless inspiration.

  2. Perfect!!! Yes. I never really appreciated my dog as a "collector" of fine art. But apparently I have 3 collectors. I can close my eyes and imagine the smile on both your faces when you and Lily pass by "The Pile" of collectable sticks. Wonderful post and makes me smile.