The Friendship of Art

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Long ago, I decided that if my stubborn heart wasn't so dead set on being a writer, I would have loved to be a great artist. (Having a generous portion of talent wouldn't have hurt.) But I think that is partly because of how much art and literature combined to influence my growing up years. There is something mysterious and sweet in the way that the pictures lining the walls of my home, and the illustrations beaming up at me from my books have shaped me, befriended me, and created a touchstone of beauty to which I am always turning back in my mind. From the great children's illustrators, to the classic artists of history, to the odd artist I have discovered here and there in my travels, their work has inspired and companioned me in all I have accopmlished. If you could come to my room today, you would find a merry myriad of pictures old and new staring brightly down at you from my walls. 

Sometimes it seems to me that people suppose a taste in art to be an intellectual pursuit. I disagree. A taste in art is simply a taste for beauty. As the art historian Fred Ross said, "all of the great art in history is Art about life". Amen. And it's not all that hard to delve right into it. I am keen to spread the lovely word about art; especially as some of my most beloved artists are only slightly known. So I will be posting a new (or old, as the case may be) artist every so often, with links to their sites and recommendations of where to get their work. My little "art gallery" at the top of this blog is also a beginning. I'll post a new picture daily. For today, I'll simply list a few of my favorite sources for posters and prints so that you'll have a place to go when you're itching to get your hands on something lovely.

PODkids
Update: apparently this site is no longer available. Here, instead, a similar, alternative link to the Art Renewal Center, a fascinating website dedicated to preserving and encouraging "realistic" art, or realism. They have an online library of many classic painters, and offer prints through their website. Well worth a ramble. This site specializes in making on demand posters of the work of the great children's illustrators; Jessie Willcox Smith, Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac. Probably my favorite place to waste time. I already have great plans to use their gorgeous prints in my future children's rooms.

ARTcyclopedia
This will give you info on just about any artist you encounter, as well as link you through to every museum carrying their work, and any posters availalbe at art.com.

ART.com
A huge selection of almost any artwork imaginable. I prefer small companies that specialize in particular artists as they tend to have more selection, but this is good for general searches, especially of well-known artists.

So, look for the first featured artist soon! Hopefully, you will discover a new treasury of color and imagination to bring a life-strengthening beauty to your days and home.