Saturday, July 24, 2010

Home is where the art is . . .

Picture hanging, coming up tomorrow! Maybe once we get some of our pictures on the wall, the place will begin to feel like home. There’s lots to like about our new house, but we still don’t feel at home here. At one point last week, Hubby looked up from his chair to ask, “This has been a nice change, but can we go home now?” I had to laugh—that’s exactly how I was feeling. It’s as if the place we’re staying is some fancy B & B (without meals, however), and—even though pretty—it’s time to go home. But this is home!

I’ve made three piles of pictures for tomorrow: First pass, the inherited: these are the prized artworks, mostly originals, most by Northwest or Asian artists who achieved fame and fortune. In a couple of instances, the pictures in this tier are woodblocks or silk screens. We both like the pictures a lot in this tier and are happy to look at them every day. There are seven or eight pictures in this category.

Second pass, the sentimentals: these are the works Hubby and I have purchased over the years (some photographs) and prints that at least one of us is passionate about, and prints that are very nice (and signed) but need new frames or something else to perk them up.

Third pass, the miscellaneous: these are little souvenir pictures we’ve brought home from trips, art made just for us, prints we’ve been given as gifts. We’ll squeeze them in here and there, often with just a tiny thumbtack in one of our offices.

After that come the optionals, which we won't get to tomorrow and which make up the fourth tier: these are pictures that could stay in the closet for a while, or maybe forever: these are the items that we feel obligated to keep, such as original art that was to the taste of the buyer (my dad, in most instances) but not to ours; original art by inferior artists (including me) we’ve acquired in a variety of ways; and prints we can’t bring ourselves to part with, despite our reluctance to hang them.

And there's a fifth tier, too . . . the pictures in the garage of the old house, awaiting the HUGE yard sale that will take place before the end of August. So, yes, we are downsizing.

I think we’ll get through the first tier tomorrow. Hubby is a precise measurer and is extremely patient . . . at least for the first few. But there’s only so much, “A little bit to the left—no, down a little bit—oh, I meant up a little bit—now to the right, uh . . . guess that will do for this one” a person can tolerate while standing on a step-ladder, holding a hammer, and balancing a picture. But as long as there’s no deep bellied sigh of regret when the picture is hooked into its place, we’re usually good for the next one.

Ironically, we left a few pictures on the walls of our “For Sale” house to help it look homey for prospective buyers. While of little intrinsic value, several are favorites of ours. The favorites were precisely the ones removed by the realtor who is trying for the "right look” to make our home more saleable (bless his heart). So even our artwork bespeaks Thomas Wolfe’s observation that You Can’t Go Home Again.

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