I have been digging around on the great website ETSY since I found it last week. ETSY is a marketplace for artists and artisans the world over. In fact, it's a lot more than a marketplace. It strikes me as a virtual artists' community. The members network with one another in ways unavailable to them if they had their wares listed on Ebay for example.
ETSY's home page has a pretty advanced search function and through it, you can contact people who are local to you wherever you are. It was through this local search that I found a woman in Saint Pete who calls herself "craftyhag" and from seeing her name alone, I knew I was going to love her work. I'm using the images of her art here with full permission, so buy something. Craftyhag's work is impressive. It comes across to me as both knowing and carefree. Her wit and intelligence shine through some of her more primitive works and I love all of it. Craftyhag works in stained glass, linocuts and monoprints, ACEOs and paintings on wood. She even makes Shrinky Dinks. Shrinky Dinks?! Who doesn't love a ShrinkyDink? Of all of her stuff though, I have to say that I'm a sucker for her stained glass work. She uses shells and rocks and even sand dollars in some of her free-form stained glass work and to me all of it screams FLORIDA without resorting to cliches.
Check out this talented, talented woman's website, MySpace page and Etsy shop. Great local art needs local support and I think it's fantastic that a Brooklyn-based website like ETSY can help to provide it.