|The Painter's Triumph, 1838 by William Sidney Mount, 1807-1868|
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
Photo by Dan L. Smith, 2012
Even if you have higher priorities than buying art right now, there are still ways you can enjoy the fun of exploring artists' studios at Silicon Valley Open Studios.
The smallest investment you can make is to buy a greeting card. Most artists have published some of their more popular images as greeting cards. These are collectible in themselves, and they are also useful for sending important hand-written messages. Set in a cheap frame, they can sometimes be integrated into your decor. If you like an artist's work, it is a pleasant courtesy to buy a card during your visit. It also helps you remember who is who, for the more prosperous future when you can buy that favorite work. Artists may also sell packets of blank greeting cards, which make nice gifts.
Speaking of gifts, art can be printed in just about any format, and some artists offer their work on mugs and T-shirts, and other small, useful items. If you are looking for something unique that you can afford to give a friend with taste, these items are only a little more expensive than ordinary souvenirs, and infinitely more impressive. Artists generally advertise this type of product on their website. If you are interested in any local artist, you can readily find their website by running an internet search on their name, or by searching the SVOS website.
A good compromise price-wise, and a big step up taste-wise from the decorator's section of your local discount department store, is a print of an artwork by a local artist. Many artists offer prints of various sizes in their studios, and some of our local artists offer works on online print services, such as FineArtAmerica.
It might take quite a search to find just the right painting for a certain spot in your home. During that time, you can save up your money, learn about the local art scene, and develop your taste. When you shop in stores, you see products created by formula. When you shop in artists' studios, you see works created by imagination, talent, and personality. Even if you don't buy, you'll feel uplifted.