Sunday, 23 October 2011

Hanging Art

Browsing some blogs today I was amused to find a post about Hanging My Art by Katherine at The Last Visible Dog. (Go help her when you’ve finished reading mine!) Amused because last weekend I took home some paintings that belonged to my parents and grandparents, and just spent the whole week scratching my head over where and how to hang what; and how to combine old with new.

Buying something new and taking it home is one thing, and can be challenge enough when your home is already pretty full. With inherited artwork comes the extra strangeness of it being familiar and new all at the same time. You’ve been used to seeing it hang in a certain way, on a certain wall, together with certain other things. Taking some such items out of their earlier context, and bringing them home to mix with your own things, is a strange feeling.

It’s not like I had an empty wall waiting for just those paintings; so of course it led to a rearranging of things that were already there. It also led to buying new frames for some of the water colours, both old and ‘new’. And to the removal of one or two of my own that no longer seemed to fit in.

I’m still not sure I’m “done” but I think I’m getting there.

Some of the paintings in my parents’ home in turn came from my paternal grandparents: oil paintings in dark colours set in big heavy gilded frames. They may have fit the earlier generations’ style of interior decoration (maybe); but as for me, too much of that would make me feel like I was living in a museum.

So out of the bigger oil paintings, I chose to keep only one:

(60x52 cm including frame)

… which, in spite of being a winter scene, is one of the brightest.
It fits in with other colours in my flat, and it is also special because I know it was bought by my paternal grandparents as a wedding gift for my parents. So it’s been there all my life.

I also chose this small pastel (25x30) with similar colour scheme and the bare branches in common with the one above:


… and have now hanged those two together with a water colour (possibly gouache?) painted my maternal grandfather (have a closer look at that one here) …


The painted casket is another inherited item – it belonged to my paternal grandmother and still contains some old notebooks and things of hers.

Enough for today. Now don’t forget to stop by Katherine’s!




  1. I LOVE the way you hung those, I would never have thought to do it that way!!! I see what you mean, I like these, but wouldn't want anything darker.

  2. they are beautiful and you found just the place. i like that chest too. headed to katherines

  3. I love the winter scene, so cherry. It's hard hanging "new" paintings, but I like how you've hanged them.

  4. Luckily my younger daughter has an eye for art and since she was about 15 she insists on changing anything I hang. So now I just wait for her to come and do it for me. I like art to be in little clusters and really like how you've arranged yours with the bare branches as a common theme.

  5. I find hanging pictures a very difficult task. I have too many for my walls so some are rotated quite frequently. Others just find a natural home and there they stay.


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