This week I’ve decided to put the glue gun aside, and tell you all about a wonderful art buying experience I recently had. Yes, I am a devout crafter, but my first love lies in the arts. Being classically trained in fine art, I find myself living a balance between strokes of oil paints and papers full of glitter. Opposite styles of art yes, but both somehow define who I am as an artist.
I am so fortunate to live in the thriving and intoxicating art culture of Los Angeles. A couple of weeks ago I attended Santa Monica Museum of Art’s (SMMoA) annual benefit and art sale “Incognito.”
Attendance to the reception almost assures shoulder brushing with a celebrity and guarantees a great snap shot of the LA art scene. The room is packed full of 700 little 8″x10″ unframed drawings and paintings in all styles from pen, paint, crayon, watercolor, spray paint, glow in the dark, resin, and whatever else your imagination can conjure up. One may be a beautifully detailed etching of a tree and another a single dot of hot pink on a piece of white paper. All art is for sale at the reasonable price of $350. Big names such as John Baldesarri, Betye Saar, Ed Rusha and Yoko Ono have pieces right there in front of you for your taking at $350 bucks! Imagine going home with a Ed Rusha for $350!!! Crazy cool!!
So here’s the fun part. Pieces are signed on the back. 😉 😉 The idea is you buy art based on what you like rather than the name behind. Imagine that concept! Ha! To purchase your piece, you take a numbered tag to the cashier, pay your $350 + tax, go back to the reception and do your best to brush hands with Ashley Olson, and then return for your piece where your artist is revealed.
No, I didn’t go home with the Yoko Ono, but I must say I am very happy with my purchase! For one, I am in love with the piece. It’s a simple painting on wood covered in a thick resin glaze. The artist I discovered is R. Nelson Parrish originally from Alaska, and currently living in Southern California. You can see my piece here: http://www.rnelsonparrish.com/portfolio/72-untitled/.
I could go on and on of why I think it was destiny I ended up with his piece, but I’ll sum it up with this: My whole life I find myself drawn to opposite sides of things. Like my love of crafting vs fine art, opposites do attract me. Born and raised in the beautiful state of Utah, I am an outdoor enthusiast who can’t live without a good pair of hiking boots. On the other side of the coin I find myself completely entranced with my Los Angeles city life. I lived in Venice, CA for 10 years and loved the raw urbanity of its street graffiti and sirens. But just steps away from all the chaos is the ocean. R. Nelson Parrish’s pieces are just that! Opposite in composition. On one hand, his use of natural materials defines his Alaska upbringing and his innate connection to nature. His pieces expose and showcase beautiful wood grains enhanced with long strokes of paint. Then he goes and covers the whole thing in a man-made synthetic thick resin. Too toxic to work with without a ventilating mask. His art isn’t just defining him, but it defines me too. Isn’t that exactly what art is supposed to do?
To see more of R. Nelson Parrish’s work, visit his website at www.rnelsonparrish.com
Jessica Begum is a crafty momma of two living on the west side of Los Angeles. Her blog Hipster’s Tea Party is mostly mom and kid friendly crafts, partly ideas for more ambitious projects, and a sprinkle of art and recipes thrown in just for fun. As well as being crafty, she is classically trained in fine art and loves to paint with watercolors and oils. You can join her in a craft, see her paintings, or get inspired at www.hipstersteaparty.com