Growing up, I was an avid stamp collector. My friend Gina and I would get together at my house with our fat stamp albums and sit for hours trading stamps and glueing the little colorful shapes in the proper spaces. It was always a real thrill to match an actual stamp that someone had used to the black and white space holder in my album.
I still remember the joy I felt picking out a delicate, crinkly envelope of stamps off the shelf at Woolworth’s, where I bought all my stamps with my weekly allowance. But what I most remember is the passion I felt for stamps because to me they felt like tiny paintings. Little gateways into a beautiful world. My favorite stamp by far was the 1973 love stamp designed by artist Robert Indiana. I love the simple, bold, graphic layout and the vivid colors.
I don’t know what happened to my stamp collection. It probably got tossed in the many moves my family made. And somewhere along the process of growing up I figured out that the less stuff I had the easier it was to move. So I stopped acquiring many things.
Now I only collect one thing: art. Just like I did with stamps, I see art as a window into the soul of the world. Since I have a very small budget, I have to be very picky about the art I choose. Last week I purchased two small photographs to add to my collection from my favorite photographer, Robert Lerch. One is of a turquoise rowboat in clear, shallow water and one is of rocks and water on the Essex River in Massachusetts. They are gorgeous.
The reason I love Robert Lerch’s photos are because of the beauty and serenity of the composition. You can feel yourself in the scene. Plus, my whole family loves his photos so I feel a connection to them whenever I look at one. I received this one for my college graduation from my grandmother, who knew it included two of my favorite things: fall leaves and a cat that looked like my own cat, Mittens.
My new photos are being shipped. I can’t wait to receive them. I have a perfect place picked out for them over my bed.
I’ll end this post with another of my favorite Lerch photographs. This one is of the bridge to Good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA. It hangs in my kitchen. Don’t you want to walk over that bridge?