Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.

Ornamental Plaster Sculpting, Mural Painting, Faux Finishing, and Imaginative Interior Design.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

What's on your Walls?

Getting ready for the interview the other day, I realized again that most of my walls are devoid of art work.  I am in the process of framing some photos and mementos, and I do have the ability to paint more pictures of my own, but the truth is, I like things with a story, and most often, a story from someone I know.  I could buy decorative art at one of those discount home goods stores, and some of it is really pretty, but I simply have a need for more from the objects I decorate with.  Even the things that aren't so pretty, like Checkum, the marionette who never got strings, and instead became the adventure doll of my brothers' childhood.  Ramon and I made him for Jess, but we all played with him.  He hangs out in my art room now, next to a Mexican dragon, and photos of my brothers.  Maybe not pretty, but he makes me smile.

In my art room, A Mexican dragon guards a Colombian bottle, on the window ledge with an old childhood friend, Checkum..
For the last few months, I've been puttering along at creating a whole wall full of photos and art in my office.  A colored pencil drawing, given to me by my brother Jess, will be included in that.  My baby blanket also resides in the office.  It just so happens that it coordinates with the warm gold walls in this room, and it's the perfect size to drape around me to keep off the draft, on cold winter nights, as I sit here typing.  I have it around my shoulders right now.
A colored pencil drawing done by my brother Jesse when he was a teenager, waits to be hung in my office.  Underneath it is my baby blanket.  Hmmm.  Grandma Norma made me this from fabrics used to sew work shirts for Grandpa, and a bathrobe for my dad.  Wonder if this explains my fashion preferences?
When we were kids, our grandmother painted us birthday cards, in acrylics.  I display one of my granddad, with other ocean themed objects, in my bedroom.  Some of the best times of my childhood, which was pretty much packed with best times, were spent with these grandparents near their home on the Oregon Coast, so I love having everyday reminders of them.  The antique frame cost me pennies at a junk shop, and the whole lot sits on top of a battered old steamer trunk.  Not only am I reminded of my childhood, but also of an era long before I was born.  Somehow, I don't think I could ever find that at TJMaxx.
This painting, which sits on top of my antique trunk in my bedroom, is one my grandma painted of my grandfather clamming at South Beach, on the Oregon coast.
Some of the treasures I've accumulated weren't made for me.  I have most of my older sibling's stuffed animals, and even one from my dad's childhood.  Hanging in my costume closet ( you have one of those too, right?) are skirts my mother and aunt wore in high school, hand sewn, of course, and my brother's Jr. High Football jersey, that I remember mama sewing the felt letters of his name onto (Somehow Ramon managed to get out of the "do-it-yourself" rule on that one).  In my art room hangs a frame Dad made for my oldest sister, Robin's, first apartment.  There were four of them, framing prints, and though she kept the prints when she moved to Maui, she gave the frames to me.  I should have stitched a sampler for one of them "My big sister went to Maui, and all I got was this crumbly old frame".  As it is, the last remaining one holds the artwork from my very first commercial logo design.  Layers of good memories in this piece!
This moss covered barn wood frame was one my dad made for my sister's first apartment.  She passed it on to me, and it hangs in my studio, holding the pen and ink sketch from my first logo design.
 Lately, I'm turning toward collecting artwork done by personal friends.  Although I don't have old memories tied to these pieces, each one brings me pleasure in it's beauty, as well as fond thoughts of the friend who created it, and gives a splash of their energy to the space.  I like the idea of collecting art from artists at street fairs, but I think it's even nicer to collect the art of people I know.
This painting by my friend, mandala artist Ann Viveros, hangs above a group of meaningful objects atop the piano.  Titled "The I in Meditation", it is a fitting piece of art in the living room, where I do my morning writing, meditation and prayers.
 Sometimes, it's lovely to find a treasure filled with another's memories, even if they can't tell their stories.  I'm starting to keep an eye out for old handmade art, like this delightful sketch of a little girl I found at a yard sale.  She's nobody I know, and yet, she fits right in here, adding personality to my guest room.  You can find mass produced posters of similar drawings, but I promise the real thing has an energy you can't get from a new page printed in China.

The rabbit is one of many of my childhood friends sewn for me by my Grandmother.  The blanket was a yard sale find gifted to me by a friend under unusual circumstances.  The sketch of the little girl was hidden behind cardboard in a frame I picked up at another yard sale.  She's a perfectly charming addition to my guest room, even if I've never met her!
 So, a lot of my walls are still bare, awaiting just the right treasure to embellish them.  It's okay.  I would rather wait for something that tugs at my heartstrings, than fill my walls with pretty but impersonal pieces.  Please don't misunderstand!  I absolutely believe everyone should hang exactly what they like on their walls, so if prints of Paris speak to and about you, that's what you should hang. As long as it holds meaning for you, it will help create a perfect surrounding for your own beautifully lived life.  That's the really important thing.  While a beautiful home can be a backdrop for a beautifully lived life, it's the life you live that counts. 

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