Heidi Becker Burtner is a wife, mother, teacher, artist and art collector. Today, we sat down to talk to her about art collecting. She grew up in an art-centric home and is no stranger to art or collecting. She started in her teens and she still continues to grow her collection with her husband today.
She strongly encourages others to collect art. I had 10 questions for her.
1. Heidi, you are a unique art collector in that you are an artist. You create and sell a lot of your own art yourself. So, I’m wondering, why do you buy another artist’s art?
I buy art because I love it! I want to support artists. My grandma is an artist and my dad has always, always bought art. I grew up in an art-supportive home surrounded by art
2. Where do you find out about art you purchase?
I will almost always buy art from someone when I attend a fest. I occasionally buy art online from artists I follow. When I was about 30, my husband and I received a small inheritance, like $2k.
We could put that money in the bank and it would just get absorbed or we could do something special. We decided to buy art with it. Art is special. I contacted a former college art professor of mine. His name was Harold Gregor (www.hgregor.com) I admired him in every way, especially his color-filled landscapes. I asked if I could talk about buying something. He remembered me.
My husband and I drove to his Bloomington studio. He showed us his art studio.
He pulled a few pieces within my budget ($1500).
However, what I really wanted was an Illinois Flatscape but I knew they were $6000 in the gallery. So, I kept coming back to this big watercolor landscape piece. It stirred my heart. It was expensive. He knew I couldn’t afford it, but he said “well...make an offer.” So, I did. My offer was everything I had in checking ($2500) and he accepted. It was really a nice moment and I was touched.
I am the same when I sell art. If someone really wants something, I, too, want them to have it. I negotiate, I accept installments, I’m just honored to have the opportunity.
3. Do you have a process in how you buy art?
Not really. It’s fairly spontaneous.
4. Why do you buy art?
I buy of these reasons:
▪ It makes me happy.
▪ It speaks to me and I can relate to it.
▪ It looks beautiful or cool.
▪ It’s beautiful and will look great in my living room/sitting room/dining room/any room in my house.
▪ I want others to know I own and collect art.
5. How many pieces of art are in your collection?
(Ball park-ish) I’ve accumulated over 20 artworks the last decade.
6. What is in your collection?
I have an eclectic collection.
My collection consists of: woodcuts, vintage art and portraits, photography, rock posters, ceramics, digital art, watercolor and my own art (before it sells :)).
There is no specific theme that I buy.
7. You recently purchased an oil painting, ‘Float’ from me. Why did buy the artwork?
I had been following your work and I knew that it was something I wanted. What I didn’t realize is that it was 3D, with the bubbles. The way it is displayed now really accentuates that. I love how it looks amidst some of my other pieces. Ceramic orbs and one of my own paintings are part of the vignette.
8. How involved is your spouse or kids in collecting art?
My spouse, a total jock, appreciates and supports art.
9. What is the future of your art collection?
My art collection is always growing.
10. What advice do you have about anyone contemplating purchasing a piece or art for the first time?
Do it! Buy what you like- don’t second guess yourself.
You’re supporting an artist. Everyone who comes into your home will ask about the art on your walls. It’s a wonderful opportunity to talk about art that’s personal to you with your guests.
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What do you Think?
We want to know about you. Are you an artist that collects art? Why do you do it?
Share your experiences, thoughts, opinions and random ramblings in the comments below!