The Thrift Shop Obsession…

I know I’ve mentioned Goodwill once already, but this piece is where my obsession with buying thrift shop art started. Up until this point, I was very selective. I would not give my hard-earned dollars away without certificates of authenticity or hand-written stories. But that all changed when I saw something that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. It was an odd trio that looked like an Expressionist/Fauvism/Cubism hybrid – if that’s even a real thing (which it probably isn’t). But anyways, there it was on the shelf and I knew I had to have it…

In Seattle, you will find a Goodwill flagship store on S. Lane St. and I am not exaggerating when I say that, on a good day, I could spend hours there. This is one of the first thrift shop pieces of art I bought when I moved here in 2012; and it is safe to say that it has become one of my favorites.

No idea who the artist is/was and probably paid about $3 for it…


The Needle…

In early October of 2015 I went to the Goodwill in Bellevue, WA looking for part of my Halloween costume. As I wandered around the store, my eyes locked on a very large painting learning up against a wall. After some brief negotiations, I was able to secure a final price of $20. I brought the canvas home and spent many hours trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it. Finally, I decided to go buy some gesso (white Italian chalk paint) and make it a blank canvas again, thinking maybe that would inspire me. Still nothing.

Randomly, an idea popped into my head: maybe a mosaic?

“Hmmm, that could be cool,” I thought. I watched a couple of YouTube videos and decided that’s what I was going to do. While all of this contemplation was going on, I also happened to buy a condo in downtown Seattle. A sweet “little” spot on First Hill (and I use “little” in air-quotes because it is literally very small).

The idea was coming together…I would make something for my new house; a housewarming gift to myself, if you will. The vision started coming together and pretty soon I was making progress.

I won’t bore you with all the details, but long story-short here is what the finished product looked like:

Yes, that’s correct: I don’t just buy things I like, I also make them. This is one of the pieces I am probably most proud of ❤

Welcome, Huichols…

The Huichol Indians (pronounced Wee-shol) are descendants of the the Aztecs. They are a Shamanic tribe who live in the Sierra Madre Mountains of Mexico. Their art was first documented in the late 1800’s and is an exploration of their culture.

Recently, my best friend was visiting Seattle and we wandered into a shop at Pike Place Market owned, for the past 28 years, by a woman who travels to Mexico every 6 weeks looking for pieces to bring back to America.

This is a yarn painting, which is made by pressing yarn into bees wax. The Huichols use bold colors, imagery and symbolism; like The Deer Spirit, Paritzica. I love that there is a hand-written story on the back. That’s not something you can get from buying a piece of art from Target.

My BFF bought me this as my Christmas present this year and it is probably one of the best gifts I have ever received in my entire life.


The Fridas…

Even if you don’t know much about her, you’ve probably at least heard her name. Frida Kahlo was self-taught, which is probably what I love most about her.

“Kahlo’s paintings often feature root imagery with roots growing out of her body to tie her to the ground, reflecting in a positive sense the theme of personal growth; in a negative sense of being trapped in a particular place, time and situation; and finally in an ambiguous sense of how memories of the past influence the present for either good and/or ill.” -Wikipedia

While I have yet to see any of her works in real life, I bought these four prints because, inexplicably, I feel drawn to everything about her. Having them in my house makes me smile. That’s why I bought them.

As these are reproductions, I have no idea who the original artist is/was. I paid $40 for all 4 of them. Zero regrets.

The piece that started it all…

The first original painting I ever bought was at an art festival in Palo Alto, CA. I had moved west for my first full-time job out of college in the spring of 2005 and, at the time, a friend from high school was living in neighboring Mountain View while her boyfriend was getting his PhD at Stanford (total underachiever). I’m not entirely sure what drew me to this piece – which, I assure you, will be a very common theme here – but I have held on to it as I’ve moved around the country over the past 10+ years. I remember how excited I was that it came with a real certificate of authenticity and perhaps in that moment, the Idiot Art Collector was born.

“Absolut Starry Nite” by David Schwartz: http://www.artzworks.com