Jamaica Gleaner
Published: Sunday | February 3, 2013
Home : Arts & Leisure
The art of love - Exclusive gift ideas for Valentine's Day
A piece by Jeffrey Perry.
Amitabh Sharma, Contributor

Who doesn't love the excitement of ripping the gift wrap, reliving the inner child in you to reveal the contents? With Valentine's Day around the corner, are you thinking of giving something to that special someone?

Getting to that 'wow' moment is often a daunting task. Herein lies the dilemma, as most times, we want to get away from the mass-produced to get something exclusive. Have you thought of gifting art? Here are some fresh gift ideas.

"I am best known for my live portraits with a charcoal pencil, which I do in approximately 20 minutes," says Jeffrey Perry, a self-taught artist.

Perry, who says he sees his talent as a gift from the Creator, specialises in portraits, done in charcoal, pastels and acrylics.

"Charcoal drawings are the most popular since it is the least expensive and takes the least amount of time to complete," Perry says.

A well-done charcoal drawing that is professionally matted and framed, he says, can hold its own against any other medium.

Perry, like his fellow artists, refutes the notion that art is for the affluent. "That is not true," he says, adding, "while an original piece may be out of reach for some, a print of the original can be enjoyed by most people.

"Also one can invest in and support young up-and-coming artists while their pieces are still inexpensive."

The portrait artist says he wants his art to be enjoyed by all. "I make myself available at local events, where I do give portraits at a reasonable cost."

"My work is centred on nature," says Andranique Morgan, a potter and ceramic artist. "This is because I strongly believe that both humans and nature share a special bond."

Morgan says he makes a range of items - from bud vases, sculptural vases (which are one of a kind), mugs and bowls to masks.

"The motifs I use range from leaves to heads, and tree branches, which are sometimes combined in some of my work," he said. "Each piece that I create is unique."

The ceramic artist says he likes to explore beyond the traditional pots and vases and is delving into making trophies and wedding souvenirs.

Morgan says there has been a slow shifting in how people perceive art and more people are buying art pieces.

"There is also a general increase in the awareness and appreciation of art. Let's say there seems to be a meeting in the middle by both the artists and the Jamaican people," he said.

Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks, said Greek historian and biographer Plutarch. A gift of a painting is opportune to get this visual poetry to adorn the walls.

Though there is a popular belief that paintings and other forms of art are seen as being for a select few, and one might have to break the bank to afford pieces, painter Ewan McAnuff is trying to dispel this notion.

"I, personally, try to encourage collectors to make instalments when they can't make a one-time payment, especially young collectors who need to be encouraged," he says.

McAnuff says his forte lies in the variation that he gives in his work.

"I make original oil-on-canvas paintings, with subject matters such as landscapes, animals and figures. I also do giclee prints (digital art prints made on inkjet printers) on canvas and fine-craft prints."

Buying art and supporting local artists not only gives gratification of getting an exclusive gift, but also helps in encouraging to create more and better pieces and take their talents to the next level. Come and indulge!


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