so much.

it's easy, with all the internet has to offer, to get wrapped up in the digital and technological. it's even easy to think nothing is truly special, as we are pelted with so many extraordinary things a day. even in the "unusual"-- i get so many emails, read so many blogs about things that are perfectly designed, absolutely divine, with splashes of color everywhere and so much beauty that anyone could become overexcited. but with all that beauty, doesn't seeing it so often make it less special? i'm not sure, but i hope i never lose my appreciation for the handmade, the skillfull, the crafty.
but, in a high-tech world, sometimes the concrete is the most fabulous of all. this is one of the reasons i feel so strongly about buying art-- it's handmade, an expression, and best of all, it can be passed down from generation to generation (if you keep it in good condition and respect it). now, i'm only seventeen, just beginning to figure myself out, let alone my future. but i feel that, despite everything that will change in the next ten or twenty years, i'll still feel a special satisfaction in handing my children some beautiful piece of artwork that i bought in my youth. HANDING it to them, not giving them the link to it or a CD that has it burned on. actually picking up the protective cardboard tube or wrapper and giving it to them.
so, with that, here are some beautiful pieces of artwork done by people who are just passionate about it-- not professionals, per se. but there are some things here for any budget. a print, if done in a limited run, is still art. a poster for a favorite band, screen-printed color by color, is still art. it's just where you look for it that's different.
James Nares, original paintings. www.jamesnares.com

Push Me Pull You Design, three-color screenprint. www.pushmepullyoudesign.com

Jennifer Davis, original painting/drawing. www.jenniferdavis.etsy.com

Bird Nerd, archival print. www.birdnerd.etsy.com

Mary Maki Rae, original serigraph. www.marymakirae.etsy.com

The Black Apple, print. www.theblackapple.etsy.com

Sanna Annukka, screenprint. www.sanna-annukka.com

Aesthetic Apparatus, screen printed test print. www.aestheticapparatus.com