Every Home Should Have Original Art

5 Reasons Every Home Should Have Original Art

Art, Luxurious Living

Every home should have original art. The benefits of art are reaped on all levels, from individual, to family, to society. Here are five benefits of having original art in the home:

    1. Original art is personal.
    2. Original art has a story.
    3. Original art generates conversation.
    4. Original art creates culture.
    5. Original art is a luxury.

Original art adds a personal touch to any environment. Its creation is personal as well as its meaning. It wasn’t made by a copy machine or mass produced. It was made by human hands, individually, one at a time. Because original art was made individually, it is unique, and one of a kind. It is exclusive because there is none other like it out there in the world. Its unique quality adds a richness unachievable by copy machines that copy work. This is why it is not the same experience to see a photograph of a place as it is to be there. By the same principle, a photograph of a work of art doesn’t do justice to experiencing the real thing. This is not to say that photography isn’t an art form in and of itself. It most certainly is, but here I’m speaking of originals versus copies. A photograph may be an original piece of art, but a photograph of the Sistine chapel or of Michelangelo’s David is certainly not the same as experiencing the real thing. Similarly, having a photo of someone is not the same as meeting them in person. The original is always the best.

Original art has a story. A story of its creation, a story of its creator, a story of its meaning in the eyes of both the creator and the viewer. Stories bring meaning to life. Stories are one way we relate to each other as members of the human family. Think about it, how often have you felt close to someone- even a stranger you have never met- after you have heard their story. Our culture is full of stories. The news, our entertainment, stories of athletes, stories of musicians, politicians, cancer survivors. Stories of suffering, stories of success. Often these stories provide meaning and purpose. Our appreciation is deepened when we know a person’s story. Art is a powerful way of communicating these stories.

Original art is a conversation piece. It generates conversation, engaging host and guest in meaningful and pleasing dialogue. Conversation deepens relationships. Conversation is an opportunity to share our stories. Generally people who come into my house know I am an artist and appreciate seeing my work in person. This is both gratifying to me as the artist and enjoyable to them as the viewer as well.

Art creates culture. By purchasing original art, you become a patron of the arts. Your support allows the artist to continue to produce work. Collective patronage of the arts, in harmonious conjunction with the production of art, creates culture. Being a patron of the arts isn’t something that touches the individual purchaser of the work alone, but others as well. Purchasing art is a contribution to society in the sense that it an individual testament to the value of art in society. Individually the purchase of art is a declaration of value, collectively it established culture. A culture which values the arts is rich indeed. This culture can, and should, be cultivated in the home.

Art is a luxury. The idea that art is a luxury is deeply rooted. Original art has long been associated with the aristocracy, the rich in society who could afford it’s luxury. Having original art in your home elevates the environment and makes it more luxurious. Because of this historical association with the aristocracy, original art is often viewed as expensive. While this may be true of some art, it is not true of all art. There are many sources for affordable original art, if you know where to get it.

Do you have original art in your home? What benefits have you experienced from having original art in your home? Share in the comments.




What does “me graphsen” mean?


Me Graphsen” (με γραφσεν) literally means, “wrote/drew me” in Attic Greek. From grapho (γραφω), meaning to write or to draw/paint. From this same word we get other common English words such as graph, graphic, calligraphy (meaning beautiful writing), geography (literally meaning earth writing), biography (life writing), lithography (stone writing), and many others.

In ancient Greece, craftsmen (potters and painters in particular) would sign their work with their name, followed by me graphsen, (This phrase was commonly used by the painter of Greek pottery), or the more common, me poiesen (με ποιησεν, meaning so-and-so made me, used to denote the potter). The statement, spoken in the voice of the art itself, implies that the art spoke for its creator.

As an artist, a writer and a lover of mythology, I chose this statement as the title of this blog to represent the conglomerate of my creative passions and pursuits- things I’ve made, my writing, and my drawings and paintings. Read my Artist Statement here.

In the fine art department at Brigham Young University-Idaho, I took a few ceramics classes. These are some images of one of my projects. This was one of my favorite assignments in which we were to recreate a historical piece or technique. Because of my passion for Greek mythology, I chose to recreate a lekythos (ληκυθος), which is a cylindrical-shaped vessel used for storing olive oil. In the images you can see both my potter’s signature and my painter’s signature.


Art is Creation


Pegasus on the Beach     As a senior at Brigham Young University- Idaho in the fine art department, all students are required to take the dreaded Readings class- a 400 level art theory class with two thick texts. For art students (who have a reputation for being the not-so-academic-type students taking “mickey-mouse” courses) studying centuries-worth of philosophies about art was not universally appealing. (By the way there were no “mickey mouse” courses in the department of fine art. There was no “A for effort.” On the contrary, there was stiff competition and if you didn’t put in the hours to master the techniques- if you couldn’t draw- you didn’t pass.)

As with any campus there were peer recommendations regarding which professor to take the class from, and who not to take the class from. As it turned out, the only section of this course which would fit into my schedule was the one not recommended by my peers. It was required for graduation so I told myself I could handle a difficult course, and that “boring” was just as much in the eyes of the beholder as is beauty. So I braced myself and signed up for the class. If it is at all a revelation of the nerd in me, I loved the class. I found it incredibly fascinating. Yes, it was a lot of work and time in preparation to keep up with the required readings, and the content was not light reading to study things like Aristotle’s theories of “what is art.” The ideology and enlightenment were completely worth the effort.

The classroom was a long narrow lecture hall. The professor would sarcastically refer to the sections of seats from the front to the back in terms of grades. He would say things like: “We’ve heard from all the A-students in front, let’s have a comment from one of the C-students toward the back.” It was painfully obvious when a student was unprepared, and I did not want that to be me. I didn’t sit in the front with the A-students. It was uncomfortable to crane my neck to look up at the professor and the blackboard. I sat near the middle, just close enough to remain an active part of the discussion. I quickly discovered that what I got out of the class was entirely dependent on what I put into it. This meant participating in the discussions as well as being prepared by having read the assigned readings.

As we discussed the different philosophies of art such as art as idea, art as process, art as expression, art as beauty, art as nature, and so on, we were exposed to these ideas through the writings of artists, historians and critics. I began to wonder about my own opinions. What was art to me? I agreed with many of these philosophies, but didn’t prescribe solely to any one of them like some artists did, advocating for the ideals which characterized the associated movement to which the artist’s work belonged.

As I pondered these things, I found my answer not in the words of an artist, but in the words of a man whom I believe to be a prophet of God. Deiter F. Uchtdorf, in an address to the women of the world, spoke about the divine act of creation. He said: “The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul… Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment.” You can read more of his remarks here.

Pegasus silhouetteJack Foster, in his book: How To Get Ideas, quotes James Webb Young (from his book, A Technique for Producing Ideas) stating: “An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements.”

In his essay The Creative Mind, Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) juxtaposed these two theories, art as creation and art as idea. He wrote: “…works of art are explorations…of a hidden likeness [between two unlike elements]… This is the act of creation, in which an original thought is born…”

I have discovered one of the joys of creating art is in sharing it with others who appreciate it. Bronowski advocates: “This view of the creative act… gives a meaning to the act of appreciation. In the moment of appreciation we live again in the moment when the creator saw and held the hidden likeness…we do not merely nod over someone else’s work. We re-enact the creative act, and we ourselves make the discovery again…and in the instant when the mind seizes this for itself, the heart misses a beat.”

You can read my Artist’s Statement here.