Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tales of a housewifey... sans house. AND spouse :)

I'm on Day 3 of unemployment. And officially ready for it to be over. Day 1 (Monday) was cool, I got a lot done, including putting up a lot of the art I've had stuffed into corners and folders since I moved (aaaah... it feels like home now). But then... Day 2 came. And that giant TO DO list I made on Day 1 was now reminding me of all the UN-fun stuff I still needed to do (I crossed off all the fun stuff on Day 1... dang it, why didn't I think to ration it out??) So I rolled up my sleeves, er went running :), and then later, begrudgingly, tackled a few of the unpleasantries.

And here I sit, Day 3, facing the few miscellaneous items remaining on the TO DO list, with all the time in the world and not a single shred of motivation. And I find myself thinking about this newest adventure, my (hopefully brief) stint as a "housewifey," waiting to hear if I got my job as a swim instructor for the summer and if my other resume-required applications have impressed their addressee's. And then my mind skips to the REALLY important matter at hand: What works of art will I hang in my future permanent residence? I've been staring at the bare wallspace of my tiny apartment for three days now, can you blame me??

Anyone who has ever witnessed a room of Lindsey's in the last couple of years can testify that I am a visual person; I fill my surroundings with things to look at. And not the cutesy normal things to look at like Anne Geddes photos or Relief-Society-spawned fake flower arrangements. I go for the thought-provoking and memory-triggering. In my future house I am also sensibly considering what kinds of artworks my kids would be inspired by (aka which works will require me to regale them with art legends) and which artworks will create the kind of pleasing ambiance and sacred space I try to create wherever I live. (woo... I'm starting to sound like my dad, huh?)

Now, keeping in mind the fact that my list of future house-works changes continuously as I come across more and more enchanting artworks from every stage of art history, here are the all-stars that have been hanging on the walls of my mental dream house for years now:

In my bathroom:

Matisse's Goldfish, 1912 (?) I'm not too official on dates... these pictures are family, not homework!

In my office (or in the hall if I don't have an office):

Caillebotte's Floor Scrapers, I can't remember when- 1880's? Parisian, naturally.

Durer's Melencolia I, 1514, which I did my undergraduate senior thesis on. Aaaah the memories... the hours and hours and hours of research... good times. I knew I was in the right line of work when I could spend 5 months looking at something and still be excited to see it later.

Over a couch somewhere:

Yes, it's a Dan Flavin light installation. Hey, a girl can dream!


Wayne Thiebaud, I can't remember the title. Although I might replace this with a decent still-life or a Morandi if I can find one to suit my tastes.

Entry-way (cuz it's one of my all-time favorites and it still makes me smile when I see it):

Van Gogh's Cafe Terrace at Night

For Memory-Triggering's sake:

[Insert perfunctory pictures of family and friends here, hopefully they look as good as Genna's pics] and also:

Dad and bebe Lindsey, in Virginia, probably 1987

Hung in a prominent place like a stairwell or mantle (because yes, I do appreciate the importance of having images that inspire devotion in the home, and am veeeeeeery selective about it):

This big beautiful sketch is something my dad did long ago of the Cardston, Alberta Canada Temple-- I definitely have a post-it note stuck to the back of this picture, claiming it after my parents die :)

Confession: I most definitely judge people based on what they have hanging on their walls. Now, don't be worried, your decor rarely says anything negative about you (except... if you use a lot of Andy Warhol, I may mentally scoff. He and I have an longstanding disagreement about art economics). I believe that what you choose to surround yourself with speaks volumes about who you are, what you care about, and what makes you happy. I delight in asking people about their choices. For example, I love going into guys' homes here in DC, because guys' walls are usually a lot more sparse and simple (similar to guys' overall approach to life). If they have any decor at all it's fairly utilitarian, with a specific purpose (like a love-sac) or a memory, e.g. it's from a mission, or has a great story behind it that really impressed them (or... it came with the house :) My Aunt Cheryl, on the other hand, has the most creative, alive home ever, with green and purple swirled rugs and a gorgeous hand-drawn enlargement of an illustration from my favorite children's book, Ferdinand the Bull (framed in a beautiful, candy-apple red, custom-made frame). From these pieces everyone can understand what an invigorating, creative lady she is. My dad's decorating philosophy is FAMILY PICTURES ONLY, which I've always disagreed with... I got in trouble one summer for daring to hang a van gogh print in the living room. But that should at least tell you what makes him happy and what he cares about.

Feel free to infer all sorts of things about me from the above compilation. Oh, and just for posterity's sake, the gaps in that list are:

American Color Field painting (I haven't found a favorite Morris Louis yet)
Whatever wall hanging my husband brings to the table
Photography!!!! (American landscape, visual Pop photography, etc.)
Portraiture (I have one in mind... I need to dig it up out of my 19th century European art book. The most lovely self-portrait, done by a Romanticist who died young... can't remember his name)
Modernist (Ikea furniture tries to fill this gap for me)
Something ancient... although that is by far my least favorite time period to study. Snore.

Incidentally, and completely unrelated to the rest of this post, Can DC Mormon Guys Get A Little Libido? I give you leave to hit on girls. We enjoy it. Thanks so much. You're all hot, by the way, don't even worry about it. My favorite moment of this week has been talking to my buddy Brian, who is Catholic, and nice and up front about liking girls. He never tries to submerge anything in shades of candor and friendship and stonewalling confusion. And to my friend James goes a close second for his gentlemanly remark: "Come back, we never made out!" Ah, soooooo refreshing. Best action I've gotten the whole time I've been in DC, thanks fellas :)


Marie said...

okay Lindsey i just want to ask that you don't get mad if i end up (in the future) using the same pictures as you. :D some of them will remind me of you! (which by the way reminds me that i love having some of "you" left in our room by leaving the pictures) but anyway i like some of them too!

and i really liked it when you tried to put up van gogh in the living room, i loved it.

MOM said...

I'll have you know, Lindsey, that one of these days I'm going to FINISH a painting of Red Rock, and then we'll have something other than family photos on the wall. Oh yeah. This was a fun read, but I have to admit, I loved the last paragraph the best. I died laughing! :) The lucky guy who gets you someday (more :)'s)
Love you! MOM

Jayci said...

nice action. :) stonewalling confusion was never a good thing with boys... blah. Makes me want to call them girls. Then when I do, they get mad and don't talk even MORE. nice. not worth it!! What you said about guys' apartments and wall hangings was so perfectly accurate, I loved it. Hanging things in a house is some of the hardest things .. yet most FUN things EVER. I'm still working on photography selections from my own little vault that I want to hang up, and also working on photos that I'll hang up in the baby's room... mine and others'. In our dining area we just hung up Dreamland by Peter Lik... we are in love with it. It's so different than what we see out our windows, that it makes you feel warm and dry just looking at it. Have you heard of Peter Lik? He's like the Ansel Adams of Color! I'm a big fan. :P Your dad's sketch is SOOO well done!! I knew he's an architect (right?) and so he MUST be good at drawing buildings, but still. That's unnaturally good and the people look fantastic too! I wish I could draw people...heck. I wish I could photograph people! Tough subjects. :P

Hello My Name is: Genevieve said...

I love this post... but you know what else I loved...the title. You are clever and I miss you.

Cheryl said...

Hi Lindsey,

Thank you so much for the compliment regarding my home. Yuh made me feel good, darlin'.

I've never really had a reaction to art that hangs on walls, except to say "Wow-that's perty!" That is, until I went with your mother to the LDS convention for cards, books, and gee-gaws, etc. the summer just after my divorce and Connor moved back to Vegas.I was wandering around the hall looking at things until I got to the Liz Lemon Swindle painting entitled "Mother". I saw it, started to cry, hurried to the bathroom to hide, went back out to look at it again, started to cry, went back to the bathroom-you got the picture? This happened probably 3-4 times. I couldn't figure what it was that sucked me into it except that it was a tender moment between a mother and her grown son. I was a mother and my almost grown son could hold me that way, except he was gone. I think it was part a sense of loss as well as sense of the possible connection between a grown woman and her grown son.
The other man in her life. I bought it. Now Grandma wants it when I die! (a Brown compliment)

But now I love Jesus' forehead. His mother looks peaceful and happy for a moment-it's been a good day. All the while his forehead is creased with pain and his eyes closed. He knows what her future holds as a mother- the pain that she is going to have to soon endure. He's her son. He's also his own mother's Savior.

The next (this is gonna be long-sorry but not sorry enough to stop!) piece of art is titled The Ascent. It too is by an LDS artist, David Linn. It is used in conjunction with the church's ARP program-of which I am now officially a missionary!(I even have 2 missionary tags to wear!) I've attended a 12 Step group that I love, for a little over a year now. (That's where the 52 pounds of fat went.) That painting just nails the purpose of ARP and what it feels like in the rooms where the meetings are held. People, that until entering one of those rooms believed themselves to be beyond saving or not worth saving, tip-toe in unsure of what they will find. What they find is people like themselves, struggling and moving up and out of addiction, only to turn and help another. The 12th Step is exactly that. In order to stay abstinent from whatever you are addicted to, or other types of problems that are just beyond your own strength-you must share what you have received. You must (you want too anyway) turn and put your hand out to someone else just a little bit behind you in the process of using the Atonement in your life, and help them in their struggle to move up. I love that-I love this connection between people. It makes me feel a part of this great chain of Heavenly Father's children climbing their way up to Him a step at a time.

So, there you have it. I never thought I would have Mormon art on my walls! But those two pieces give me peace as well as energy.

Oh, as far as Ferdinand the Bull, do you want it when I die? Something tells me Grandma might not want it. There is a little history to it. When Uncle Brian and I lived in Married Student Housing- Wymount to be exact- Dallin H. Oaks' son lived in the same quad as us. He was into art-maybe his major, and I think he said his dad wished he was going to study law. Anyway, he had this enormous picture hanging on his little tiny apartment wall. I remembered it too from the book. I love the fairytale look of it-a cross between Disneyland's Sleeping Beauty Castle and Shrek?!No, it just feels light to look at.

Say, do I win the award for longest comment? I better get dressed and get to school-the last day of the year.
Auntie Cheryl of the Purple Swirley Rug and Other Colorful Items

Judy Anne said...

I am like your dad, my family is my life. I have an original painting of a winter scene by my friend liz and one of the Savior with a child on his lap pointing to a butterfly that my friend Deb gave me. I also have a piece my mom stitched of the provo temple, but mostly I have my kids and grandkids on my walls.
By the way, I have long believed that men were slow, so, next time you want to be flirted with, tell them and see what happens. (I don't be tell them on your blog, but at church, at a dance, at FHE, anywhere will do)