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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.