Wondering if anyone owns an original piece of art, like a painting. Not talking about prints or the drawings that your kids do in school, but a one-of-kind piece of art.

My favorite painter has a painting that I really like, and it’s actually available. Most of her previous work is in the hands of private collections. It’s pricey, but her dealer does offer installments.

I often look at pieces of art that I would buy if I was rich, rather than a broke grad student. Does that count? Do my own paintings count?

I have an original (signed) bird illustration by a author and naturalist, Michael Jeneid. He was one of my neighbors when I was growing up, and it was given to me as a birthday present. He’s not a huge artist, more known for his books and involvement with the founding of Outward Bound type programs.

I’ve purchased 3 artists’ work: David Darrow (San Diego), Vladimir Vitkovksy (San Francisco), and Asia Katz (Israel). They were an oil painting, ink drawing, and set of prints, respectively.

I have some drawings (pencil, pastel) that local artists gave me for figure modeling. Some are hung, others are not.

Do comic book artists count? I think I have a Tim Vigil sketch piece from an old ComicCon somewhere.

I would love a miniature sculpture of that bull with the nuclear explosion coming out of its ass and plastering the guy to the wall that was posted here awhile back. Shoe on the floor and all. Bronze.

We have quite a few. First I have plenty of crocodiles / green iguanas having worked indirectly with various illustrators for books over the years. One of these iguanas is drawn by my wife, who is a brilliant artist who doesn’t recognise her own talents (ie. I can’t persuade her to draw more stuff). I love those highly detailed (almost engraving-style) pencil/ink drawn renderings of animals, reptiles in particular because of the complex scalation on their head. We also have various paintings by local artists, some of them aboriginal bark paintings. Art is a big thing here in the Territory.

I have a few that were done by friends of mine. None of them are famous artists but the pieces are nice. Being an artsy sort of person I’ve never had the disposable income to drop on a really pricey work of art. But if I hit the lottery you bet your ass I’d have a nice collection. There are a lot worse things to spend money on.

Given the price to work ratio, I think you probably can’t get much worse than really pricey art. Art for the most part (unless you buy directly from artists) is just swapping money among wealthy people. At least hookers and blow employs people that need the money.

The only originals I had were my own shite. Heh. I’d settle for being talented enough to make quality fine art paintings than the money to buy them (unless we are talking like Jackson Pollock money, then I’d take the money instead of talent).

We have Jordan Eagles, for one. It’s a tetraptych, very understated relative to his, um, body of work, and it’s definitely not one we explain to every guest.

I can’t think of anything so simple that has brought me as much pleasure as the ability to see what an artist makes and bring it home for a somewhat unreasonable sum, and never lose sleep over it. Viewing art as a financial investment exclusively is usually the sort of thinking that the very rich or the very shallow employ. I’m sure there’s a middle ground somewhere, but I’m not privy to it.

I definitely meant buying directly from the artists. Art dealers can suck it.

Artists put their stuff in galleries and pay art dealers 50% commission to promote and sell their art. We’d never hear about many artists were it not for gallery owners promoting them.

Of course, the economy is shit right now and even the obscenely rich aren’t buying art in the quantities they used to. Lots of artists are feeling the financial sting.

I have some original comics art plus stuff from artists at conventions - I really should frame my Art Balthazar sketch of Kid Flash (well, Patrick the Wolf-Boy as Kid Flash, but I digress) as it is both kitschy and would fit the apartment decor.

KC does local artist fairs a few times each year, and while most of what you can pick up there are prints, a few of the artists do originals and take commissions there. I’ve been meaning to actually find something that (and this sounds really pretentious) ties the look of my apartment together. Whatever the modern version of those ubiquitous 80’s Nagel prints would be.

We have a few pieces that came through my wife’s family. Her great uncle (maybe? some relative) was a minorly famous painter that can be found in the “American Impressionists” area of some museums. We have a painting of his wife that I call “the disapproving old lady” that hangs in our dining room mostly because I can’t stand the old biddy looking at me anywhere else.

There’s also another smaller impressionist that apparently hung over her grandmother’s phone table at the old brownstone in Philadelphia. Since grandma was a chain smoker, it is covered with a layer of tar and nicotine that accumulated over 30 years (my wife thinks it was grandma’s passive aggressive dislike of the painting that kept it there so long). We talked to a restorer at one of the local art museums about it, and he got all giddy when my wife told him the name of the painter, which I forget.

One side of my wife’s family is old money Philadelphia, and the other side is old money Toronto-- descendants of loyalists who fled from Boston, the cowards. I married well, because I’m the descendant of dirt poor Irish potato farmers who came over and worked the mines in Pennsylvania around the turn of the century.

The universities up in your area may have state-of-the-art conservation/restoration facilities far beyond that of your local museum. I know a couple of hardcore conservation scientists who have grants or some shit (I dunno, i’m no academic) who work in artificially controlled environments 16 hours a day. Send me a PM if you’d like me to ask them for a referral for you.