Purchasing Art on Vacation

Travelling to various vacation destinations is a memorable experience in itself. Taking a lot of photos of the places you visit is one way to relive the feeling you felt when you were there. Another way is the purchase artwork distinct to your travel destination and display it in your home. The artwork will be a daily reminder of the great time you had visiting that particular place, and also will create a great conversation piece when you share your experience with friends and family.

Discovering artists local to the region you are visiting can be a fun purpose when looking for that special reminder of your holiday travels. Many extremely talented artists have their artwork on display at local craft markets, or even at very sophisticated galleries. One can also purchase more famous artwork aboard your cruise ship as many ship lines offer art auctions as an attraction while you cruise. An art purchaser can often get a quality original painting from a favourite artist at a bargain price. Even if the painting is not representative of the location you are visiting, it can still serve as a reminder of that particular trip.

It seems as if any area you visit has its own style of painting to offer. Of course there are always the more traditional realistic landscapes of the area you are visiting to be had, but often you can see features in paintings that are representative of the locale. Consider a painting from the Caribbean of Royal palm trees, a sailboat off a white sand beach, or a painting of a historic landmark. A painting from Cuba may include one of the 1950’s style cars they are famous for. Or if you plan on visiting Grand Cayman you may want to purchase a Guy Harvey (a Marine Biologist and artist) print to display in your home. Mexico or Africa offer colourful hand-painted abstract art on handmade paper that can add a wonderful impact to a modern setting back home. Europe, of course, offers many styles of painting from the Picasso-like to various subjects like the Eiffel Tower, Swiss mountain views, or century-old historic buildings.

Each travel destination you visit is sure to have a distinct flavour to it that will be captured in the artwork unique to that area. For example, artwork from Panama where they are famous for their reasonable shopping prices, offers the traditional Mola from the Kuna culture. Molas are colourful and intricately sewn panels of material, usually worn in Kuna traditional costumes. Molas today combine the artistry of the Kuna culture with the influence of the modern world. Geometric molas are the most traditional and were developed from ancient body painting designs. Today mola panels can be purchased at local craft markets and have many uses. They can be framed as colourful artwork pictures, used to make pillows, placemats, wall hangings, or even quilted projects. Molas can be purchased for as little as $25 and would make a great display to remind you of that special trip to Panama.

Paintings or wall art are not the only type of art that one can purchase on vacation. Consider carvings, leatherwork or sculpture. Many travel destinations offer beautifully crafted wood carvings, carved by marvelously talented local artists. These can range in subject matter from detailed intricate carving of landscapes to more modernized representations of almost any subject, and can be made from woods native to the area you are visiting. Consider a mahogany wood carved “Rasta” figure from Jamaica. Sculptures can be made from local coral or sea-shells. Leatherwork can be tooled to enhance a three-legged stool or made into a wall picture.

Purchasing art while on vacation can be a great way to add some excitement to your trip. Think of all the fun that can be had searching out that special piece that will bring back the memory of azure ocean waters, crisp snow-capped mountain slopes, or a memorable ruin.

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