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The Craze for Country -- It's Worth Keeping Your Head

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The Craze for Country -- It

I don't watch TV, but even from under my rock and behind my easel it's hard not to miss that country is in -- which is great, because I live in the country myself and know that it's called beautiful for a reason.

What makes me sad about the country craze is the push by TV, talk show, magazine and other "down-home" celebrities to force people into a fantasy, sanitized version of "country living" that has everything to do with pressure to make the house look like something on the TV set, and not a home that people actually want to live in. Real country homes look like people live in them -- not everything matches; there's something old and something blue and something borrowed in them; and the items that are there are -- or should be -- meaningful to the people who own them.

As long as a person's major source of country decor is a TV show, blog, or magazine, then what they get won't be a home, but rather a potential showcase that's constantly in transition, and will never reach completion because the goal behind home country decor shows is to keep selling products.

"But you sell a product," people might object. "You sell art." That I do -- and the art I create, paint, and sell goes far beyond mason jars that -- in a secondhand store actually cost under a dollar, but from the country design guru, go for much more than that. If you're going to invest in anything to create the sense and beauty of country, then go for the art, because it not only adorns the wall, it takes you, the viewer, out of the room and into the landscape.