How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier Than You Think!–Part 4

[This is the fourth in a series of five installments by Seabrooker Barbara Burgess. Earlier installments included “Getting to Know the Artists”, “Developing a Theme”, and “Training Your Eye.”—Ed.]

* * *

Part 4: Consider Your Pocketbook

Having loads of cash helps with just about any endeavor, but it is not essential to being a collector. There are many people who set a limit on what they will spend on any piece of art, say $500 to $1000. This forces the collector to spot artists when they are just developing and their pieces are still affordable. What collectors are doing at this point is helping to enhance the artist’s reputation.

When collectors set a price limit on what they buy, that adds to the fun of the chase. There are many web sites that offer very affordable art, some already framed. For example, I found online, simply by seeing the art work others were collecting and realizing how well Red Piano’s offerings fit my collection.

Buying more affordable art would include finding fine art prints, water colors and drawings on paper. The price point of this kind of art is lower, simply because you are not dealing with originals. This art is more affordable because much of it has already been reproduced.

If you want to buy the artist at a low price point and you want to grow the value of the artist’ s worth, it helps if you assist the artist in this process. This may involve putting their paintings in a museum show, which has a huge impact on the value of their art, or actually selling the artist’s pieces to other collectors, friends or acquaintances. Getting the artist’s work to be shown in a gallery can help immensely. I was personally involved with one artist whose work I helped place in a gallery which went on to sell twenty-one pieces of his art to one buyer.

* * *

In the final installment of this series, we will consider how to Gift or Sell Your Collection.

—Barbara Burgess

Barbara Burgess


How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier than You Think!–Part 3

[This is Part 3 of a five-part series by Seabrooker Barbara Burgess. The first two were “Getting to Know the Artists” and “Developing a Theme”.–Ed.]

* * *

Part 3: Train Your Eye

Training your eye is the most subtle part of becoming a collector, yet it is the most critical. Julia Norell, the Washington D.C. collector who influenced me, can walk into a room of paintings and her eye will automatically pick out the best ones in the room. This is because she has spent her life looking at art. Even after selling 1,000 pieces of art to the Morris Museum, she went on to collect 1,000 more pieces many of which are in traveling shows today. She has been looking at art since she was 16 years old, and she is 78 today.

Training the eye is only done through years of exposure to art. Getting to the stage where you are described as someone who “has a good eye” takes time, a lot of study of the work of many artists, many conversations with dealers, collectors, and even curators, all to be able to tell a good piece from a mediocre one. It takes time to develop the ability to spot distractions in a painting that limit its effectiveness in telling a story. You will always be subject to the different tastes of many people who will disagree with your assessment of a painting. What looks good to one person, may not to another. The only person whose taste you have to please is your own. You will develop this confidence in your own taste as you advance further along the path of being a collector.

If you spend considerable periods of time studying art as well as your surroundings, you will find a subtle change takes place. First, you start to see the big picture of what the artist is trying to put forward, like an old church that needs a new roof; but the smaller details of how the artist shows the love the congregation has for this church creep up on you in more emotional ways.

Training your eye is about becoming aware of the visceral reactions you have to a painting. It’s a combination of a reaction that goes from the eye to the heart. You know when you’ve been touched by this painting because your body tells you so.

Would-be collectors worry that their taste is not ”good enough” to be at the collector level. The good news is you can train your eye to discern good art just as you can train other parts of your brain to different tasks. It takes a good amount of study, but it also requires that you become aware of the world around you. What does the beach look like to you when it is crammed with people enjoying the delights of the sun? What does the beach look like when Autumn colors are playing over the now empty sands?

Developing an eye for art is learning to discern the emotional reactions you are having to a given piece of art. It can be a very satisfying feeling indeed.

* * *

In the next part of this series, I’ll discuss the fourth guideline on how to become an art collector; namely, Considering Your Pocketbook.

—Barbara Burgess

Barbara Burgess


How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier than You Think!–Part 2

[This is the second of a five-part series by Seabrooker Barbara Burgess. The first installment was “Getting to Know the Artists”–Ed.]

* * *

Part 2: Develop a Theme

Becoming a resident of the South naturally led to the works of Southern artists where I found the light, lively objects I wanted to display in my home. My collection quite naturally became one of Southern Art as my overall theme. The artists I collected shared common themes, such as love of the land, powerful colors, old run-down buildings, old cars, music, hats, baptisms, as well as a myriad of activities related to a church.

I feel having an over-arching theme for a collection makes everything that follows much easier, from displaying the art to telling its stories. There is debate on this point. It is not to say that disparate pieces of art telling mostly different tales cannot make a striking presentation, but it is much harder to do so. If your art is a jumble of art worlds by artists of uniquely different backgrounds, with vastly different messages, you run the risk of totally confusing your viewing audience, no matter where that audience is, either in your home or in a museum.

Continue reading “How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier than You Think!–Part 2”

How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier Than You Think!–Part 1

[This is the first of a five-part series by Seabrooker Barbara Burgess.–Ed.]

Introduction: An Unexpected Journey

Imagine my delight when I learned that the prestigious Franklin G. Burroughs and Simon B. Chapin Art Museum in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina wanted to add my collection of art to their permanent body of works. I had no background in art, but over a period of 10 years, I had assembled a collection of 53 pieces of art–all by Southern artists. I had not thought that my first purchase, “The Escorting of Ruth” by the artist Jonathan Greenescorting of ruth
would lead to 52 additional purchases, 21 of them by Green. Suddenly my museum-bound collection had qualified me as an art collector, but what I also realized was that being a collector was not as difficult as I had imagined it might be.

Continue reading “How to Become an Art Collector: It’s Easier Than You Think!–Part 1”

Guest Columnist Catherine Farley: Breath = Balance for Better Health

imageHave you ever felt like you were on a see-saw and just couldn’t stop the “teeter-totter?” Or maybe a sense of entanglement where a direct path is difficult to envision. There are many times in our lives when we may experience these “sensations” or “feelings” that bring about worry or concern.

Whether the source seems to be rooted in work, family, health challenges, financial problems, or any other “teeter,” finding balance can come from within. Continue reading “Guest Columnist Catherine Farley: Breath = Balance for Better Health”

Look for New Column Beginning Sunday

Catherine Farley, fitness columnistPart-time Seabrooker Catherine Farley is a physical therapist with an undergraduate degree in Nutrition. She is also the mother of three children ages 10, 8, and 5. Her business, called Creative Sole, LLC  is in Charlotte, NC., and the name describes her vision for living a resourceful life with creativity. Catherine’s first column will appear on Sunday.

Submitted by Tidelines Editor

Black Scoters on Seabrook Beach

There have been regular sightings of Black Scoters on our Seabrook beach. But Scoters are winter visitors that are often seen in the ocean at some distance.

imageAlthough rarely seen here in summer, they are now on the SC eBird Rare Bird Alert. By now they should be way up north on tundra lakes. These are sea ducks, but are now very close to shore. We’ve even seen a few standing on the beach!

Submitted by Aija and Ed Konrad


Editor’s Note:  I believe I saw one of these among a flock of gulls on the beach last week. It definitely stood out from the others. I thought it might be hurt and walked close to it. The bird didn’t fly away, but just paddled into the surf.




Guest Columnist Roy Sessions, MD: Redefining Hope

RoySessionsDr. Roy Sessions will be authoring a series of articles for Tidelines.  He is a Seabrook resident who specializes in cancer related health conditions. Please click to read his first article followed by his bio-sketch.

Continue reading “Guest Columnist Roy Sessions, MD: Redefining Hope”

Cancer Doctor is First Tidelines Columnist

RoySessionsDr. Roy B. Sessions, a Cancer surgeon with superb credentials, is joining the Tidelines Blog with a monthly column. I interviewed Dr. Sessions one lovely Sunday afternoon, sitting outside on his flower covered deck in Seabrook. I had read two of his proposed columns for the blog and was impressed at his patient-focused treatment approach.

“Cancer care should be circumferential”, said Dr. Sessions, meaning everyone on the team should be giving support to the patient. “Cancer patients are intimidated by the illness; they are consistently frightened and scared, thus it’s the doctor’s responsibility to see that the patient understands what is going on. If the patient said he understood what I  was saying, I would feel I had connected”, said Dr. Sessions.

In his retirement, he wrote a book about how the cancer treatment should unfold. The book is titled “The Cancer Experience, the Doctor, the Patient, the Journey”. In this book, Dr. Sessions lays out how important the role of understanding the cancer diagnosis and treatment is to the patient and the things the doctor can do to make the experience more understandable. The cancer experience should evolve with the help of a team of experts, all with one goal of getting the patient through the very difficult and frightening experience of cancer.

He talks about the toll cancer medicine can have on the doctors and other specialists caring for the patient. He feels this is part of the reason doctors can be arrogant; it is a self-protective mechanism that helps the doctor steel himself/herself from the pain of the patient. This may be true, but emotional involvement is critical to the process.

Years ago, doctors were unquestioned, and a deferential attitude was given to them which fostered an unrealistic attitude as to how the world was. Today with insurance companies setting up the rules, the doctor’s word is no longer accepted as gospel. The doctor is no longer the final arbiter of treatment. The modern attitudes have made the upcoming generation more inclusive. Dr. Sessions sees a young generation of people who is in tune to the emotional needs of the patient. Part of the message of his book is to help young people be good cancer caregivers.

We are delighted that Dr. Sessions has agreed to contribute to Tidelines. His first column will be posted on Sunday. It is entitled “Redefining Hope”.


Submitted by

Tidelines Editor Barbara Burgess



Seabrook Island Club Recognized for Environmental Excellence

The Seabrook Island Club has retained its designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, an Audubon International program. Sean Hardwick, Director of Golf Course Maintenance, led the effort to maintain sanctuary status on this course and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Seabrook Island Club was designated as a Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary in 1996 and is one of 894 courses in the world to currently be designated as such. Continue reading “Seabrook Island Club Recognized for Environmental Excellence”

New Recreational Limits at Deveaux Bank

DNR Deveaux Bank










The South Carolina DNR has announced new limits for the recreational use of Deveaux Bank.  Deveaux Bank is the small island in the middle of the mouth of the North Edisto River in front of the Pelican’s Nest.  It is a major bird sanctuary along the Atlantic coast for brown pelicans and other species. Anyone planning to visit Deveaux Bank should read the following release from the SCDNR on the new restrictions.

Submitted by Tidelines Editors

Backpack Buddies on Seabrook Island

A hungry child is incapable of learning. Feeding local, hungry children is what this Seabrook volunteer effort is all about. We have recently learned that there are a number of families, right in our own back yard, on Johns Island, who do not have the resources to feed their children properly. During the school week, students are fed in school, but on weekends, parents and caregivers struggle to provide for their children. As a result, they arrive at school Monday morning famished. We would like to make sure they arrive at school ready to focus on their studies. 

With your help we want to institute a program to support Mt. Zion Elementary School’s effort to combat hunger with a weekend food program which will be known as; Backpack Buddies, Seabrook IslandThe goal is to send students home from school on Friday afternoons with a backpack full of nutritious and tasty foods and snacks for the weekend.  Continue reading “Backpack Buddies on Seabrook Island”