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Become an Art Collector

Guest writer, color expert and artist Amy Wax shares compelling reasons to become an art collector.


Encaustic Art by Heather Davis shown in a dining room

Art, like this pair of encaustic paintings by Heather Davis, can relate to remembered places.


There are many reasons for bringing art into your life. Some of them very personal, and others are reasons that are purely aesthetic. Every person approaches the process of buying artwork from a different perspective. Here are several reasons why bringing fine art into your life might be the right decision for you!

The Emotional Connection

Many people approach the process with their heart. We have all looked through artwork, but there is something special that happens when you find a particular piece of art and fall in love with it. There can be an emotional pull to a work of art that is unlike anything else. You can feel that draw to the piece if you relate to the subject matter, or an event that the theme is about. You might be the same age, gender or have the same background of the person in a piece of art. Or, it might remind you of a place that you use to live. There are many ways of feeling connected to the artwork you are drawn to. What is consistent is that you feel an emotional connection with the artwork that caught your eye.

A second reason for being drawn to a piece of artwork is that it might bring you to a place you would like to experience. A painting or photograph might show a quiet place in the country or a soothing scene at the beach. It might be a place you can relate to in a personal way, whether you would like to be there or have fond memories of enjoying a similar environment in your past.


Painting by Kristen Jongen

Artwork by Kristen Jongen provides a pop of color in a neutral interior.


Collectors as Creatives

Another reason for wanting to bring artwork into your home is that you appreciate the skill or style of the artist. You may appreciate a creative personal style, whether it is tightly rendered or loosely painted. Their talent can be savored when you bring a piece of their artwork into your home. Many people will find a style of art, Impressionist, Hudson River School or Abstract for example and simply love it for what it is.

If you are creative person or simply appreciate the skill of an artist, you might fall in love with the work of an artist and follow them, or simply appreciate owning an original piece of art. In a whole different class than prints or posters, original art holds a tactile quality and value that the artist created it with their own hands. I have always enjoyed the value of an original drawing or painting. It is as if you have brought a bit of that artist into your home!

Quality of Life

Finally, as simple as it sounds, you might find the colors of the art itself brings you joy. They might compliment those of your home, or be the accent colors you want to complete your design. The overall color palette might be soothing blue grays that will work beautifully with a coastal palette. It could be brilliant oranges or reds that will bring focus and excitement to any room. Every work of art has a color palette. It might play a part of why you are attracted to it or not, but it certainly can be one aspect as to why you can be drawn to an artwork without even realizing it!

Whether you feel that a piece of art tells a story that you feel a part of, are drawn to because it is the work of a particular artist, or simply love the colors, buying art is often a very personal process. What can be the most rewarding part of the experience is that it is personal, and can bring you visual and emotional satisfaction. Open your eyes to exploring the world of fine art. It is an investment in your quality of life. Art will tug at your heartstrings from the day the new piece becomes a part of your life!


Amy WaxAmy Wax is an artist and color expert. Originally an illustrator, she enjoys pencil and pastel as her mediums. She spends many hours enjoying the work of others in galleries of all kinds. As a color and design professional, she enjoys seeing how people can improve their lives by surrounding themselves with design and creativity.

The post Become an Art Collector appeared first on Artsy Shark.

Featured Artist Christina Peters

Christina Peters creates beautifully patterned kaleidoscope images using food photography. See more of her fascinating art by visiting her website.


Abstract Kaleidoscopic photograph of peppers by Christina Peters

“Mixed Pepper Mandala” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


I started taking pictures when I was eight years old with my father’s Minolta XT100 in the eighties. When I would get the pictures back from the lab, I was always so disappointed. They didn’t look like the images I had in my head of what I remembered shooting. This started my obsession with figuring out how to get that image in my head onto a photographic image.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of corn by Christina Peters

“Corn Kaleidoscope” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


I went to college and got a couple of degrees in photography along the way. It was always in the back of my mind that I couldn’t do “fine art” because that meant being a starving artist, so I figured I had to become a commercial photographer. I was still obsessing over mastering my camera and lighting.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of figs by Christina Peters

“Fig Kaleidoscope” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


While I was experimenting in school, one of the things I did was take large format transparency sheet film, shoot four copies of my subject, then flip and rotate each of the 4×5 sheets and put those together. Images would be mirrored and create complete abstract shapes and designs.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of Lobster and mushrooms by Christina Peters

“Lobster Mushroom Mandala” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


That was when I discovered my love of taking everyday objects and making a beautiful pattern out of them.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of zucchini flowers and fruit by Christina Peters

“Zucchini Star” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


My commercial photography career took me to the food world. In 2003, I decided to focus only on photographing food. I did projects with ad agencies and design firms for advertising food brands. This is when I started making photographic patterns out of food for my personal projects.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of Blue Crabs by Christina Peters

“Blue Crab Mandala” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


My commercial work was often photographing completely fabricated food–fast food. I was getting farther away from why I got into shooting food in the first place. My personal work became a way for me to get back to photographing real food again, where the word “natural” actually meant something that wasn’t processed and wasn’t an advertising gimmick.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of octopus tentacles by Christina Peters

“Octopus Tentacles Mandala” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


My Kaleidoscope of Food series is celebrating what nature has given us from the earth and from the oceans. The final images have been constructed from parts of food images that I have taken. I take these parts, and use Photoshop to create these kaleidoscopes by repeating squares, triangles and polygons.


Photographic kaleidoscopic image of cauliflower by Christina Peters

“Cauliflower Mandala” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


Many of the images are of produce. We have such wonderful farmer’s markets here in Los Angeles. My inspiration is just seeing a farmer’s beautiful bounty on his table that week at the market.


Abstract kaleidoscopic photograph of pink scallions by Christina Peters

“Pink Scallion Kaleidoscope” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


I first start out by photographing a traditional still life of my treasures from the market. Then, after working on those images, I break them down and turn them into the patterns you see here. When starting a kaleidoscope, I have no idea of the direction the image will go. I might redo it several times as I begin to see what patterns develop.


Abstract Kaleidoscopic photograph of red beets by Christina Peters

“Red Beets Kaleidoscope” Photographic Print, 30″ x 30″


I stopped shooting fast food several years ago for my commercial work, and now I only work with brands and companies that have a similar food philosophy as my own. With my fine art, I’ve worked with several art consultants over the years placing my kaleidoscope images into healthcare facilities.


Artist Christina Peters invites you to follow her on Instagram.


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The post Featured Artist Christina Peters appeared first on Artsy Shark.

Make Your Own Curved Card Scraper


If you didn’t get a chance to purchase one of the Crucible curved card scrapers, you can make your own with a dry grinder and an existing card scraper. It takes about 30 minutes.

Download and print out the following template. It’s a hand-drawn version of Chris Williams’s scraper, which is where our design started.


Cut it out and affix it to your card scraper with the help of spray adhesive. Or make a cardboard template and trace its shape on your scraper with a permanent marker.

At your grinder, set the tool rest to 0° – parallel to the floor. Dress the wheel of your grinder (we use an #80-grit wheel, but a #60 or #100 will also do) so it has a slight convex shape. This convexity in the wheel makes the scraper easier to shape.

Get a bucket of water and put it by the grinder.

(Hey wait, where are the step photos? I’m in a hotel room that’s 400 miles from my shop. You are going to have to use your imagination.)

Place the scraper on the tool rest and start grinding the excess metal away. Don’t work on one part of the scraper for more than a few seconds. Keep moving around the perimeter. After 10 or 15 seconds, try to pinch the scraper with a finger and thumb. If….

… you can pinch the scraper with no pain, continue to grind.

… your fingers reflexively jump away, cool the scraper in your water bucket.

… you smell bacon, also cool the scraper in the water bucket.

Once you have ground down to your line, you will have become pretty good at grinding flat shapes – congrats. Now you need to remove the grinder marks from the edges.

Use a block of wood to hold the scraper at 90° on a coarse diamond stone and stone the edges. Remove all the scratches from the grinder. Then move up to a #1,000-grit waterstone (or soft Arkansas) and then up to a polishing stone. Then you can proceed with normal scraper-sharpening procedures.

This is exactly how I made all of our prototypes. I promise that you will become emotionally involved with your scraper after putting all the work into it, and you might not ever want to buy one of ours.

So be it.

— Christopher Schwarz