A picture's worth a thousand words. Lucky for you, I have both. Part one of a two part series.

I hate blank walls.

My obsessive personality is such that I see a blank spot an a wall as a challenge.  I HAVE to find the perfect thing to fill the emptiness.  I have been this way for as long as I remember.

I also subscribe to the thought that the things you surround yourself with are a reflection of who you are, your personality, and what's happening in your life.

Here is a timeline of what my artwork has said about me over the years.

Pre-1992: During my elementary and high school years, my tastes ran toward posters of cute kittens, calendars of Chippendales dancers, and framed pictures of teddy bears wearing lace.

What that says about me:  Oh, come on.  You were 16 once, too.  What did you expect?  

1993: RJ and I got married for the first time and were gifted with these from his Mother:

They have hung on our bedroom wall ever since at least during the times we had a bedroom that was, you know, together.  At some point along the way, I learned the shiny parts were possibly made from snail shells, which freaked me out a little.  Still, they are quite lovely.

What that says about me:  I'm terrified of RJ's Mother. Duh. 

1994-1995: We were living in a little ramshackle apartment over top a grocery store where cable was free, money was tight, and decorating the lovely feather-painted mauve walls was NOT a priority.  I don't remember much about what we had hanging up on the walls - except a gigantic poster of Elvis - at the time, but I do remember we spent all our wedding money on some particle-board bookcases instead of on this little start-up stock we were looking at... called Amazon.  Worst. Decision. Ever.

What that says about me: I have poor financial planning skills and my love for the King will never change.

1996-1998: This was the first of many "art-acquisition" phases.  We had moved to a slightly less crappy apartment, money was slightly less tight, and aside from the Elvis poster which still hangs in my house today and the snail-art, the walls were painfully bare.  We shopped around for things we could agree on, and discovered our love for Disney sericels - Mickey Mouse to be specific, with an occasional Fox & The Hound thrown in for good measure.  I mean, after all, they were LIMITED and therefore INVESTMENT pieces.

When we moved to our current home, these (and the million more like them) started out in zj's room and when he started to get opinions, moved to cj's room, where they will stay.  Forever.  Sorry, baby, we're out of rooms to move them to.

What that says about me:  I had more money than taste.  

During the same time frame, RJ and I both became interested in J.W. Waterhouse, specifically his mythological series.  I paid an exorbitant amount of money framing picture as a gift for RJ:

But that was ok, because I knew I would always get to enjoy it, too.  Now, fast forward a year to our break-up, during which I got custody of the cats and RJ got custody of the Waterhouse.  So I did what any crazy person would do.  I got my own, identical except for the slight variation in the frame.

Both of these pictures now hang on opposite walls in our library.

What that says about me:  I have no flippin' clue.  But RJ and I also ended up with matching lamps, matching silverware, and matching dishes, all purchased while we were divorced.  I like to file this little tidbit into the "Stuff I Can't Think About Too Much Or My Head Will Explode" category.

1999-2001: At this point, I was a young, single girl living on my own for the first time ever, and EXPRESSING myself became very important.  Aside from the 496 journals I spent hours drunkenly writing MEANINGFUL quotations in, my biggest takeaway from this time was my love of black and white photography.  Since I didn't have two pennies to rub together, I began to frame (in Dollar Store frames) random things I had ripped out of magazines.

What that says about me:  I'm resourceful.  Also, I overuse the word "MEANINGFUL."

One day while walking through some sort of flea market/antique store kind of place with my friend Natalie, I happened on a picture that struck me in a way a piece of art never had before.  It was a black & white photo (of course) of a woman sitting on the porch of a ramshackle house with laundry strung all around.  It was titled "Monday Morning."  I had never wanted any THING so badly in my life. Sadly, the price (maybe $75?) was way out of my price range, so after visiting it over and over during our time in the store, I walked away without it.

That year for Christmas I unwrapped my present from Natalie to find this:

Today it hangs in a spot in my house that I pass a million times a day, and I stop from time to time just to look at it.  It's still my very favorite piece of art.

What that says about me:  I don't make friends easily, but the ones I have are keepers.

2002-2003: I moved from my crappy little single -girl rental house to a slightly less crappy single-girl rental house in a different city.  I had just received a a big promotion with a small raise, I was footloose and fancy free, and I was starting a new chapter in my life or so I thought.  The overall mood for me at the time was "whimsical" and my decorating choices definitely reflected that.

What that says about me: I have the tastes of a 12 year old girl, and I'm comfortable with that.

Join me next time as I walk you through the past eight years in J artwork.  It's a tale fraught with danger, intrigue, love and loss.

Or at least with pictures of shit I have hanging on my walls.

1 comment:

  1. I have such fond memories of all this artwork. I have seen it in various walls throughout the years and it all makes me happy!!


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