Taking the pictures for that last post and walking around our house fills me with joy. We did this! We surround ourselves with meaningful objects. Some of them blend perfectly together, others are like a mix tape of all my favorite singers and bands, so very different individually but wonderful together, too. Every single one has a story. Here are these, starting from the top.
The Owl – when my Grandpa retired, he took up wood carving and wood burning, mostly birds. Until it became too painful for him to carve, he made probably a hundred different birds, and countless cars, trucks, and baby doll beds that he donated to children’s charities. My Grandma painted the majority of the pieces, painstakingly, layer by layer, though my favorites are the ones showcasing the beauty of natural wood. In addition to the owl, the duck, and the eagle I showed you before, I have a bufflehead duck that rests on my desk and two small geese.
The Birdcage Head – I bought this at my favorite gallery in Portland – The Guardino (which is still there – YAY!). I always loved the assortment of pieces there, in every size and price range. I realize now that I was attracted to this because it’s a bit like me – kinda bird-brained (see the crow below).
The Woman, the Geisha, the Succulent – Painted by Jamee Linton. No other artist is represented more than Jamee. We have nine pieces, not only because we LOVE her work, but because she is a dear friend. We met when I fell in love with the Succulent at Last Thursday on Alberta in Portland, more than a dozen years ago. I didn’t have the money to pay for it and asked if I could e-mail her to get it another time. She eyed me doubtfully, but we exchanged addresses anyway. The following weekend, we went to her apartment, met her mean cat, and bought the painting. It’s been an honor and a pleasure, both to be friends and see her work evolve.
The Cross – If you’ve been around a while, you know that I am not at all religious. My Grandparents and Great Aunt Mary were devout Catholics, and Aunt Mary (the holiest and sweetest woman I have EVER known) would have become a nun had she not returned home to care for her ailing brothers. The cross was in the hallway of my Grandparents house (which they shared with Aunt Mary for the last twenty years of her life) for as long as I can remember (until it came home with me). It is exquisite and blessed by Pope John Paul II (or maybe Paul VI?), with beautiful and teeny tiny mosaic work. It reminds me of the three of them, living happily together, and the best parts of organized religion.
The Red Flowers – Painted by my Great Aunt Mary. Mostly known for her crochet, for which she had MAD skills, it was a surprise to learn that she had once dabbled with paint. She’d do that sometimes, tell an off-color story, cackle wildly, down a Long Island Iced Tea.
The Crow – Have I ever told you that the Crow is my spirit animal? It’s true. Learn about them, and you’ll learn about me.
Napoleon – My favorite megalomaniac! My Dad is 100% responsible for my love for him. He loves war strategy, and Napoleon was particularly genius at it, so he discussed it often. I bought this print and the Crow etching on a tour of artist studios with my dear friend, Lori, an artist in her own right.
Carved Roses – Just like the cross, this was on the wall at my Grandparents until I brought it home to mine. I have always loved it.
Orange Map – No ordinary map, it is hand cut AND of our old neighborhood in Bellevue, Pennsylvania. If you were to visit, I could point to the exact location of our house on Euclid Avenue.
Red Painting – I won this at a charity auction!
And now, a playlist, all my favorite artists in one place:
Visions of Johanna – Bob Dylan
From the Same Hill – Brian Eno
They Can’t Take That Away From Me – Ella Fitzgerald
Summer Wind – Frank Sinatra
Naima – John Coltrane
Shadowplay – Joy Division
That’s the Way – Led Zeppelin
I Loves You, Porgy – Miles Davis
I Grieve – Peter Gabriel
Goodbye Blue Sky – Pink Floyd
Daydreaming – Radiohead
Let It Bleed – The Rolling Stones