the discerning art collector

Whenever I walk past Pier One I look at the display windows and wonder, who finds mass-produced art attractive and actually wants it hanging on their walls?

Admittedly, it’s quite snobby of me.

I believe in one-of-a-kinds, originals, cool shit you find in the back of a thrift store, or art produced by friends.

So as I’m checking out at the Salvation Army the other day, I saw this hanging on the wall:

And I’m totally excited because it’s a real canvas stretched on a real wooden frame and there’s even a layer of gesso on some sections.

Convinced I’ve scored, I hang it on the wall, sit back and appreciate my new bird.

Then I notice that it’s hanging a bit cattywumpus and when I take it down to adjust, I see the sticker on the back:

Pier One Imports.

Guess who like mass-produced art.

Utah vs Colorado

I went to Moab this weekend to have dinner with my son.

What I am aware of when I go to Moab, is that I don’t call it going to Utah.

When I “go to Utah” I am going for desert and solitude and nature.

When I go to Moab I’m going for an urban experience, so the two barely feel like the same place.

When I am there, as beautiful as it is, I feel incredibly disconnected from the rocks around me; I’m distracted by cars and people and coffee shops and parking spots and sometimes even schedules.

But my boy is there, so there I go.

Tourists abound – it’s like a monstrous bus opened its doors and dumped out thousands of passengers then went away and came back with another busload.

The people are there for thrills, Arches, and shopping for Red Dirt T-shirts.

We have tourists too – they’re here for ruins and train rides.

The thing I notice the most about the adventure tourists is that they tend to be really uncomfortable in their bodies – these are people who do not spend a lot of time outside connecting with the dirt beneath their feet.

Everything in Moab is about the adventure; boatingbikingclimbing4-wheeling. It’s a scene.

My son loves it – he gets sick of the crowds, but as a river guide, he is right in the thick of the action – he’s part of the energy that creates the scene.

It’s a world that I used to be a part of but no longer am. I am conscious of bringing a little bit of country with me when I sit down at the dinner table at the restaurant owned by the boating company which caters to people in hiking boots and brand new Keens.

I used to feel so cool when I was a guide there. Now I’m totally not cool and totally okay with it.

After dinner, as I was leaving town, I thought about the fact that I no longer fit into that scene and I realized that after close to 23 years in a rural ranching community, I am very much a Colorado gal.

Albeit a Colorado gal from New Jersey.

2 hours away from each other, my town and my son’s town are like night and day – I feel like a hick – unsophisticated, working class, an intimate participant in the landscape of my home.

We work hard and get dirty a lot ’round these parts. W e are comfortable in our bodies because we use them and because we have a connection to the land.

On my way south to my very remote camping destination, I stopped at a used gear store on my son’s recommendation and my observations were proven correct.

In Moab, people buy pearl button shirts and straw cowboy hats at the same place they buy climbing equipment and wetsuits.

Hip, trendy, cool.

Over here, on this side of the border, we buy pearl buttons and hats at ranch stores.

Utilitarian.

 

 

so fun

I love scoring cool dishes in thrift stores.

I love dishes period.

Tableware, serving platters, teapots, even though I don’t drink tea, all thrill me. Large bowls really rev my engines.

Generally everything I have in my hutch is “one of a kind.”

And I do have a few items that truly are one of a kind.

Occasionally I will pick up two or three of the same kind in a thrift store, but they have to be something really fantastic.

And, I won’t be the shopper who fucks up a complete set.

Anyway, the added bonus to my mismatched dinnerware is that it’s not the Ducks Unlimited stuff that I used in my past life.

My dishes now are a bit more reflective of me.

At some point I picked up these killer lunchtime plates – 4 of them, unchipped.DSCN0761

Tonight, I was cooking dinner with one hand and holding one of these cheery cherry plates in the other and I flipped it over to read the back:DSCN0762

So I decided to look it up.

And lo and behold, there’s a whole story that goes with them and people seriously collect these.

To eat off of, not to hang on the walls.

Websites, auction sites, Wikipedia, a fan club.

This pottery was made in Tennessee at some point between 1930 and 1957.

The company shut down in ’57 because they could no longer compete with plastic dishes.

My particular pattern is called Cherry Bounce.

It’s hand painted.

Isn’t all that just fantastic.