Supporting artists, hand crafters & local businesses - My art collection

Art is something I have always loved, I remember as a child declaring to my nanna that 'one day I want to be an artist' from the age of about 4. Life took a different path for me and I ended up working as a arts & crafts shop owner, product designer, craft demonstrator and craft teacher for over 10 years but I did complete my art & design degree at the same time as brining up my young sons. This year I vowed to push forward with my art and give myself time to learn and develop my skills and style. 

As well as loving creating art I also love collecting it. Not just paintings but hand crafted pieces too. As much as possible I source locally. Financially I am not at all well off, I am open enough to admit that as a lone parent brining up children, running a home on my own and trying to run a business isn't easy so I can't exactly go out and buy every piece I like. The pieces I do save up to buy or that get gifted to me do become extra special to me though. 

I thought I would share with you today my art collection: 

This piece I have owned for the longest, over 9 years now I think. It was a gift that I have treasured for many years. The artist is called Mandy Wilkinson. When I lived in Taunton a lot of her work as exhibited locally and this was a piece that caught my eye and I kept going back to see until I was surprised with it as a gift. 

The little owls by the clock were handmade by a local crafter from when I lived in Taunton too. The leather bound book resting there is a handcrafted piece I was gifted whilst on a trip to London. 

The main piece here is a mixed media piece by an artist I've admired for many years. Alison Board.I purchased it last year during Dorset Art Weeks when I visited her studio at Down End Farm. This piece prompted a whole room redecoration! 

The pieces of pottery in the centre are from a local antiques shop. I fell in love with them because of the leaf patterns at the front in the right shades for the room, then I found out they were Axe Vale pottery which made them more special for me as locally made. 

The two glass pieces here I purchased at a local fair only yesterday. Voltron Food & Garden festival. There were a fantastic range of stalls and I came across a stall owned by Jane Baker a glass artist trading as Maridadi Designs. These two pieces caught my eye and ended up coming home with me to decorate my newly painted room. 

This piece is by another favourite artist friend of mine. Sara Perry. I was lucky enough to get to know this lady when she lived locally. Unfortunately she has now moved away but I still have this beautiful commissioned piece up on display on my landing.

The most recent piece I was gifted, a very special person purchased it for me. It is this amazing piece by local artist Bob Bradshaw from the art gallery Grandpa's Gallery. 

I was looking for something completely different, for a completely different place in my home but this piece caught my eye and it is named 'Together' which just made me love it even more. After walking away from it I think it was obvious I loved it as within an hour later we were back and it was being purchased for me! It now has pride of place in my newly decorated living room. 

This piece I have owned for around 5 years now. It was a commissioned canvas made for me and gifted to me during a really tough time in my life. It has lyrics from one of my favourite songs, my lucky number and lots of symbols that have meaning to me. 

I still have many spaces left in my home that I would like to fill with artwork and handcrafted items. (There is a piece in a local gallery Usula that I will be going to get next week hopefully!) I love that every piece I own has its own story that I will remember.
I have never been one for owning things for the sake of it but the few things I do own all have meaning. Whether they were gifts or if I saved for months to get them they are all hand made / hand painted or locally sourced. 

If you are able please do buy handmade and shop local. Here in Devon we are so lucky to have many talented artists and crafters and I am sure that is the case nation wide.