I live in an amazing city. And the more I attend local events, the more I appreciate the wider bands of frith. TheScott took me to the East Austin Studio Tour (EAST) on Sunday and we had a grand old time.

Created by an ex student of mine (whose name is NOT coming to my brain right now).

I love paintings, especially originals, not prints. The kind where you can see the brushstrokes because somebody actually did them on this very canvas. There’s a primal connection to the artist which you just can’t get from a print, no matter how well done. I took an art history class in college and something about the professor manically caressing the slide show images and waxing eloquent about the thickness of the acrylic has stuck with me, I guess. The class also developed in me an appreciation for modern art, something that had always confused me before with its abstraction. But now I love it for it’s emotional impact. Modern art hits me in the gut instead of the brain.

Moon Baby by Jude Kanson

If I had my way, my house would be full of art done by local painters and collage artists (and pieces I picked up on travels – those make the best souvenirs). When I was fresh out of college I went to a fundraiser for a theater and there was a silent auction. I bought my first piece of touchable art there, called Moon Baby by Jude Kanson. It’s still hanging over my desk where I write. For Yule last year, TheScott bought me a painting that hung in a restaurant we like to eat at and I’d commented on several times. Now it’s in our TV room. And I finally scraped together the cashola to frame a watercolor a student painted as a class project back when I was a teacher. (Is it not appalling sometimes how much a frickin’ frame costs?)

Untitled by Howard E. Cook

Given my penchant for art and local artists, I had an absolute blast at the tour. The way EAST works, you visit the artists in their studios, the space where they create. Some of the artists have cleaned them up. Some have wood chips and weird instruments still littering the ground from the week’s activities. All of them have work on display for purchase. Art ranged from the highly affordable to the ohmigods expensive. From quietly beautiful to the bizarre and fantastic. TheScott was particularly drawn to the works of Katy Horan (check out her etsy page, too!) a I was enchanted with this particular painting by Tina Schweiger.

Our new piece: Evening, by Julie Stansberry

But what TheScott had really brought me to see was Julie Stansberry. Julie is a delightful young woman who hails originally from California, but has been an Austinite for the last three years. She used to be a business type until her husband told her to quit and pursue the thing she loved most – painting. TheScott had been to her showing the week before and (correctly) predicted I’d fall in love with the colors and flowing movement of her work. And I’m pleased to say we added a piece to our collection! Our new painting is called “Evening” and it will take the space in our stairwell which has been a blank wall of butter-yellow for far too long.

If frith is about community, then I think it extends from the food we eat to the art we hang on our walls. I can’t imagine loving something from anywhere else more than I do the gorgeous piece by Julie. I thank her for the hard work she put into her piece and for being brave enough (and her husband for being supportive enough!) to tackle life as an artist. We had so much fun talking to her about her work and art in general. I highly recommend surfing over to take a look at more of her lovely work!

I’d love to hear any stories from the realm about the artwork in your homes! How do you pick out art? What are some of your favorite works?