Art Junkies

There's people who like art. Then there's people who love art. Then there's people who love art.

Those of us who love art have many reasons for it and many are quite personal. But I think in a more general sense, it's many of the same reasons for loving a dog or a cat. Art is always happy to see you, it will take all the love you have like a sponge, then give it right back, it's faithful, beautiful, quiet when you need it to be and wild with life when its allowed. Is it any wonder people fight over art when they're getting a divorce? Can we not feel compassion for those who have fallen under art's spell and have to think very seriously about which they want more: that amazing painting in the gallery, or food?

We all have addictions of some sort or another, and some are healthier than others. If art is yours, and you're looking for some guidance, you've come to the right place, and you've come to the wrong place. I'm a semi-recovering art addict and an artist, so I may be able to help you regain a measure of control, but on the other hand, I do have a beautiful new piece that I really think your going to love! In truth, if you're truly an art junkie, I can't talk you out of your art excesses anymore than I can talk you out of breathing, but I can offer some guidance. We're going to sit down, you, me, and art, and hash it out; we're going to explore some effective, workable, strategies that can be employed quickly and easily when challenges arise.

Challenge #1: You've been on a buying bender for a few weeks and you've got more art than you do wall space.


There's no reason to give up all that beautiful art, rotate it! Think of it as a fun new way to redecorate and change the mood of the room. Think of them like clothes, leave some in a closet and pull them out later. Try unusual combinations and groupings. Make your home a big piece of art! Think of decorating like creating a painting, adding shapes, leaving neutral space, enhancing certain colors, muting others. You may have gotten used to the way your room looks and it feels right but don't forget, it's just one version of it. If you're creatively inspired enough to fill your home with art, you're creativity inspired enough to keep it a fresh, evolving thing. After all, that's what art is.

The only issue you'll have to deal with is that sooner or later your wall is going to look like eight cats walked up it, four times. Lots of teeny little nail holes. Putty and paint, putty and paint. But it's just touch ups, galleries do it all the time. When the wall starts looking like a giant cracker, bring in the bigger art to cover it all up until you're ready to do touch-ups.

Challenge #2: You've got oodles of art, and some of it you don't care for anymore, but you can't just toss it out.


  • If it's expensive art, try putting it an an art auction; you might make a few dollars and add one more smile to someone's face.

  • If it's not worth much money, put it in a garage sale or take it to a charity-run store. All that matters here is that the art is far better off making someone else's home a more enjoyable place to be than it is being a reason your mother won't go down to your basement.

  • Give it to a friend who has a larger storage room than you do.

  • Reuse the frame. Maybe find an interesting picture that fits it or make a collage or put some family photos in it.

Challenge #3: This is for the more seriously addicted of us, the kind that could probably use the occasional intervention. Someone is banging at the door, they want money, rent money, but you're too weak to answer the door because you haven't eaten in three days. You're laying on the rug with your entire art collection, fondling a huge painting of a chicken playing the mandolin, completely oblivious to reality.


Answer the door, pay your rent, eat something, then go shopping for more art, you'll feel much better!

Asking an art junkie about what to do about your little “issue” is probably a not the best idea. But in this case, you can trust my advice, I no longer have a problem, I'm no longer a junkie; just ask anybody — except my therapist, she says I've got denial down to an art.