Sunday, September 18, 2011

A picture wall for the little one

Well, hello. It's been a while between posts again. Waiting for bub number 2 to arrive (any day now) and so most of my creative energies have been directed towards preparing for the new arrival. I have a painting on the go, and two more planned but I feel reluctant to throw myself into them at the moment knowing our world is about to be turned upside-down again by the tiniest and most demanding of beings, at least for a little while.

One thing we've had to do in anticipation of the little one is re-distribute the contents of our 'study' around the house to make way for a third bedroom. We did this with the help of Ikea and by doing a big, cathartic purge of things no longer needed (felt pretty good to get rid of a whole bunch of stuff, I have to say, and I did my first ever book cull – very difficult for me).

So we were left with a completely empty room and the possibilities excited me. It's very small with no built-in robes, so we put in an Ikea wardrobe and chest of drawers which Kim deftly constructed. I had this urge to experiment with a picture wall. I'd always thought they looked great when done well, plus I'd ended up with an eclectic selection of illustration prints and artworks I'd collected over the last few years without any real idea about where I'd put them. For the picture wall I'd been inspired by some fabulous ones I'd seen on blogs. Particularly this one from Rachel Austin:

Also, this gorgeous one from Melbourne illustrator Paula Mills.

It took a while to decide what to leave out, what to keep in, and I spent a couple of days re-arranging the design on the floor before finally making paper cut-outs of the pictures and blu-tacking them to the wall. That's where Kim took over and actually did the hanging.
Top (L-R): Becca Stadtlander 'Red Fox' print, Kim Wiley 'Blossoms' acrylic on canvas, Paula Mills 'Peony' archival art print, Ashley G 'Come on In' print (clipboard idea courtesy Paula Mills)
Bottom (L-R): Emily Martin (The Black Apple): 'Be Good' bear postcard, Jodi Wiley 'Birdie' acrylic on canvas, Susannah Tucker 'My heart's a Flutter' photo block (top), watercolour cat from Japan (unknown artist), picture and frame from my great grandmother (unknown artist), Kim Wiley 'Childhood' acrylic on canvas

I'm really happy with how it turned out and I think (I hope) I've left the possibility of adding to the collection in the spaces around it. I'm especially attached to it because all of these pieces are precious for one reason or another. I have some prints from illustrators I love (Paula Mills, Becca Stadtlander, Emily Martin, Ashley G) as well as paintings Kim and I have done. The picture in the centre with the ornate gold frame belonged to my great grandmother and so has special significance. It might be a bit hard to see but the small picture to the bottom left of it is an original watercolour of a cat, framed by a cardboard postcard, which I brought home from Japan several years ago. The image above it is a butterfly photo block from photographer Susannah Tucker who does gorgeous, vintage-inspired work.

Here is a picture of the wall in situ:

Because the room is so small I couldn't get much else in but you can see the top of the cot and our wing chair and so I think you can sort of get the idea. On the right is some paper bunting I made out of an old picture book, which I'll blog about in a few days.

So there's our picture wall. Hoping the new bub enjoys it. And the fact that there's so much going on there means that I will have plenty to gaze at in those endless hours of feeding and settling. Joy!