In the Eye of the Beholder 

Collecting art is like buying shoes. One purchase and you become addicted. It often happens by accident. Picture this….You are strolling along on a leisurely afternoon not necessarily looking for another purchase and then suddenly it hits you.  A captivating distraction.  You find yourself overcome with desire knowing if you walk away, it may become a lost opportunity. 

I wandered into a small gallery one blustery day and was greeted by the purring of the cat in residence.  “She can tell you’re a cat-lover”, remarked the owner from behind the counter.  “Oh, yes indeed”, I responded, “and I appreciate the warm welcome.”  As I turned my attention about the room, I was drawn to a wall of vibrant tiles.  Each one embodied a unique story of life.  Upon closer scrutiny, words were inscribed around the edges of each piece further encapsulating the imagery.  “These are Spiritiles*”, a voice behind me explained, “created by Houston Llew.”  I was mesmerized and intrigued.  The proprietor handed me a brochure which explained the mysterious artistic technique.  “Every Spiritile* is handcrafted in Atlanta, USA from American made copper, glass and wood. Finely ground colored glass is hand painted on copper, then fired by kiln at 1500 degrees. It’s like drawing with sand then toasting it on a very hot fire.”  I began to see my life mirrored through the blocks before me.  A French perfume bottle embraced by a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson.  A double heart repeating the words of e.e. cummings.  A three-layer cake deliciously inscribed with a Yiddish Blessing.  And that was just the beginning. I fell in love with Joyride, a French bicycle.  Coco Chanel’s Timeless expression of beauty was a “must have”.  Beach Walk reminded me of glorious vacations.  The list goes on and on.  I left the gallery that day with one treasured piece, already imagining where it was to be hung in my home.  Two years later, thanks to my impassioned husband, our collection has grown to a dozen pieces including a few priceless gems personally autographed by the artist.  I suspect the future holds more surprises in store.  And just like another pair of shoes, there’s always room for one more.