Creating an Environment for Living
In the late 1980s, John and I were at the University of
New Hampshire, where we were enrolled in a graduate summer writing
program. For three weeks, we were immersed in WORDS! Our on-campus
apartment was bleak and basic, and freshly-painted beige walls
that called out for a certain something: ART. What to do?
One morning, I awoke with an idea. Remember printers with stacks
of paper that had holes on both sides? You had to tear along
dotted lines to separate your copy, then remove the side strips.
My art-starved self considered what paintings Id love
to have hanging in the rooms. Claude Monets? How about
his 1920 triptych, the one in MoMA? I tore off a three-page
section, wrote Water Lilies on it and taped it above the couch.
Reading the words made the painting appear. Vincent van Goghs
Cypresses? Done! Within minutes, the rest of the apartment bloomed
with great works of art.
How far can one go to create a highly-individualized living
environment, a.k.a. home? My 2015 January blog was about artist
Sonia Delaunay (1885-1975). There was no distinction between
fine and decorative arts for Sonia. She created environments
She believed that the morale of art could
be used to defeat the worldwide demoralisation of the time.
. . painting and the art of color should influence everything
everyday life, fashion, theatre, stained glass, carpets
and books, but also mentalities and spirituality (Laurence Bertrand
Dorleacs essay, Confused Origins, exhibition
catalog, page 212). Think about it: was there ever
a better time than NOW to transform our living spaces? Worldwide
One of our most cherished collections is stained glass. Each
window becomes a floating work of art. In 2003, we needed to
have the windows replaced. The collection was carefully boxed
and relegated to the cellar. A few years ago, I was searching
for something else and noticed the boxes. My heart sank, because
I missed those beauties. What to do?
I learned that stained glass, when hung against a white wall,
can be quite lovely.
Stained glass & pins
You might notice the top item in this grouping
is not stained glass. In fact, the bottom two are not either,
strictly speaking. They are selections from my pin collection,
which until two days ago was stored in a closet on a special
multi-pocketed hanger. What happened? My foray into rescuing
our stained glass morphed into hanging selections from my pin
collection. Here, the grouping graces a terra cotta sculpture
by artist Jerry Geier.
Jerry Geier sculpture