Traveling friends and children have bestowed upon me several fascinating pieces of art from various exotic places.
My son, a professional photographer, gave me a large, matted print of the Pacific Ocean at sunset from the vantage point of a large sailboat floating somewhere in between Hawaii and Seattle, a vessel on which he crewed. Right smack dab in the middle of the sea. It's the kind of photo you sort of get lost in. It's both haunting and soothing. I love it! But it needs to be framed.
A little Italian man paints Italian scenes on paper and sells them in front of the Coliseum in Rome. A friend bought one of the Coliseum lit up at night and gave it to my family as a souvenir. Bright primary colors draw me in and make me smile. I can almost feel Italy's warmth and laid-back energy. This painting needs a frame to protect it.
A long-time dear friend hunted through the stores of Florence, Italy, for a gift for me. Finally, she came upon a below-ground-level, cave-like shop full of souvenir-type items. In this dark, musty, cluttered little hide-away she found a selection of prints. My generous and kind friend purchased a lovely print for me, a sketched and subtly-colored scene of Old Florence. Gazing at this artwork stirs my imagination. It needs a frame to bring out its glory.
A daughter visited Claude Monet's home in Giverny, France, last autumn. Knowing he is my favorite painter of all time, she bought a large print of Poppy Field, painted in 1873. I adore this gift especially knowing it came from inside Monet's famous home, carried with pleasure through his enchanting gardens by my beloved daughter. It needs a glittering gold frame.
Always keeping an eye on expenses, I have been negligent in protecting my artwork. No more! I bit the bullet and forked out the dough to purchase perfect frames for each piece. They are to arrive next week.
Noble is the task of keeping art alive. Glorious is the participation in recording and preserving one's times and experiences, however humble the endeavor.
Soul-stirring artwork displayed in average homes inspires the curiosity of ordinary people, sets imagination a-flight, replaces fustiness with aspiration. Creating a moment of newness, of otherness, of far-away dreams stumbled upon, an expression simply hanging on a wall can draw our hearts into unknown delight, speaking to us of things not yet encountered but somehow yearned for. This is the stuff of personal growth, of stretched horizons, of ordinary becoming extraordinary.
Perhaps my favorite aspect of displayed art in my home is the remembrance of the occasion when the art was received, and of the love for those who gave it to me.