The Thursday Thirteen: The Art on My Wall

Each Thursday, I publish the Thursday Thirteen, a themed list. Today, I’ve been sitting here looking at the wall. Now I know that sounds funny. But the wall I’m looking at isn’t like others. It’s a gallery wall, full of art that Sam and I had when we moved in together and a thing or two we’ve gotten in the year and a half we’ve been living together.

One of the things I always loved about Sam’s apartment was the art, as I had tons of art, too. We also had in common that some of our art was created by family members or acquired on trips, so the pieces served dual purposes—they were beautiful, but they were also personally meaningful.

So today I want to show you 13 of my favorite pieces of artwork that are on our wall–and tell you their stories:

1.

tree

I wish I could get a better picture of this painting. It’s one of my absolute favorite possessions. In 2008, I went to London a a study abroad trip. I spent the summer living at King’s College London, and there was a small art shop right down the road. I saw this there one day, and I had to have it. I love the odd, other-worldliness of the tree and Saturn in the background. And the colors are magnificent.The shop owner sold it to me at a discounted price because it has a chip on the frame, and she explained to me that her daughter painted it. I brought it home in my suitcase, wrapped carefully in clothes.

2. wild thing

I saw this in a shop in Hattiesburg one day. From across the room, it just caught me eye, and I just wanted it. At first, I thought it was a painting, but as I looked closer, I realized it was a photograph. I picked it up, and I could see Mardi Gras beads hanging from the wild thing’s horn. It’s a local artists’ photograph of a Mardi Gras float. It seemed more perfect than ever, as I was then contemplating the move to New Orleans.

3. moms painting

This is a painting my mother made for me. I love Kandinsky’s “Concentric Circles,” and I have a print of it hanging up, too. Mom started painting when she retired, and she made me this large canvas at a time when she knew I wanted to make the stark walls of an apartment more homey but was a poor college student.

4. moms painting 2

Another picture that my mother painted, though this one wasn’t especially for me. She gave it to me because I liked it so well. There’s something about the way the colors just wander about that I really enjoy.

5.

we attack at dawn

This is a photograph taken by my sister-in-law and Monster contributor Lyn. As I’ve mentioned before, Lyn, who is a friend from my undergraduate days, is Sam’s sister. I met him at a birthday party for her some years ago. When we were in school together, Lyn took this photo as part of a course she was taking. I’d always wanted a print of it and of all the amazing things, Sam had a copy of it. Just one more fun, wonderful way life works out.

6. jans painting

This is a painting that by my mother-in-law, one that Sam had when we moved in together. It’s on-loan from Lyn, and I’m glad we have it while we do. I enjoy the composition and pondering what that ballerina is thing.

7. geneos painting

Most of you know Gene’O as a writing guy. He’s also a painting guy on occasion. He painted this for me a few years ago, and it’s followed me from apartment to apartment.

8. mask

This is a piece of artwork that Sam bought when he was living in New York. It’s the piece that caught my eye when I first walked into his apartment, and it’s still one of my favorite pieces to look at.

9. zombies

Sam bought this photo, and for some reason I just love it. Everything about it is styled beautifully. If I’m going to have pop culture art, this is the sort I like.

10. unframed

And then there’s this bit of pop culture art, too. It’s actually not yet on our wall, as it needs a frame. I bought it in Disney World when we went last year–it was our first vacation as a family. Figment, the little dragon on Mickey’s head, has always been one of my favorite Disney creations. Little Jedi enjoyed him, too, and he loves Mickey, so this was for all of us.

11. jameela peter pan

This is a vintage Peter Pan illustration. I’ve mentioned my obsession with Peter Pan before and that I wrote my master’s thesis on Peter Pan. My thesis director gave me this illustration when I passed my thesis defense–she brought it back from a little shop in London.

12. peter pan

Another vintage Peter Pan piece, this is actually sheet music from the Disney animated film. It’s a fun piece of pop art to have hanging about.

13. piglet and pooh

And finally, another that I wish a photograph of did justice to. This is a line drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh and Piglet sitting on Pooh Bridge, playing Pooh Sticks. I bought it in Ashdown Forest, and it has a companion line-drawing of Winnie-the-Pooh hanging from a balloon, trying to get honey. I like the friendship in this one, though, and the Pooh Sticks game was always something I thought was fun.

….And there you have it. Most of these are so my more lovely in person, but you’ll have to take my word for it.

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21 Comments

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    1. 🙂 Glad you noticed.

      This post got stolen by the ‘bots, too. I have been doing well at avoiding the tags that trigger them, but I forgot with this one. It aggravates me all the more because it’s something so personal.

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  1. This makes me wonder what the rest of your house looks like because the art is so colorful and represents a mix of styles! One of my favorite art pieces in my house is an ENORMOUS painting of a toucan my dad did in 4th grade–it amazes me that he was that talented then but never pursued art beyond that. I’ve never seen him do anything particularly artistic or creative, so I like thinking about there being another side of him that I just don’t know about.

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    1. So cool! I don’t think my mom started painting until she was an adult, or at least, if she did, she didn’t save any of the things she painted as a child. I love having those big canvases she did, though.

      The rest of the house is pretty varied, too. The rest of this room is fairly muted, though—tan chairs and dark wood, though we do have a plum-colored couch. I thought it might look garish if we threw in too many other colors. Little Jedi has a completely Star Wars room, and our room is mostly navy blue with a few neutral pieces of art on the walls—that’s where most of our family photographs are hanging.

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    1. Thank you! That’s my favorite part about our art, too—there are only a few pieces that we chose just because they looked cool or just to fill up space, so we’re sentimentally attached to most of them.

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      1. Our walls are also an eclectic mix of ‘souvenirs’ …. a paddle from Hawaii, a spear and club from Tanzania, and my favourite – a framed copy of our DNA.
        My home might not be ‘decorator perfect’ but it reflects us and our life, as I’m sure your’s reflects you. That’s why we call it home 🙂

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  2. This is lovely. You’ve inspired me to get my own wall started. I always spot some cool pieces of art and then wonder where I would put them and then decide not to buy them. But I love what you’ve done, and all the special stories that come with the art. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you! We have a pretty large mixture of things, and we just decided that we’d use our living room wall for most of them rather than trying to split them into different rooms in the house. This open space is our living/dining/kitchen area, so we spend a lot of time here, and it’s a good use of large blank space because we have a long, narrow room. There’s a huge mixture, and that’s part of what makes it fun.

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