A few years ago, a girl friend visited her younger brother’s new house and told us about the ornamental mirrors on the floor. Okay, I grew up with mirrors on the wall, at eye level, so I was more than a bit surprised. I said, “…on the floor?”
“Yes,” my friend said. Her sister-in-law told her that it was the “in” thing in interior decorating to place mirrors and paintings on the floor and stand them propped against a wall. Like this. But that’s not the house of my friend’s brother — just an example to illustrate what I mean by paintings and mirrors on the floor.
Personally, I don’t get it. In the first place, my friend’s brother and his wife had very young children at the time. As in pre-schoolers. If you’re a mom who has pre-school aged kids, or you’ve gone through that, you’ll know that anything you don’t want damaged had better not be in their path especially when they’re playing. A heavy ornamental mirror on the floor is dangerous to young children because they can smash when hit during rowdy playing.
And paintings on the floor? Well, unless they’re behind a glass wall, they’re likely to get nicked by anyone who comes near. Besides, how can you look into a mirror, or look at a painting, that’s way below eye level? You’ll have to stoop. And unless the windows are floor-to-ceiling, very little natural lighting will land on the mirror or painting. It just doesn’t make sense.
I have another friend, a lawyer, whose late mother painted for leisure. She did portraits of my friend’s two kids and my friend’s wife put them up in their living room. On the floor? Heck, no. On the wall then, old-school style? Nope. On easels. They were propped on easels. And the effect was really, really cool.
I thought about all that because we’re accumulating a lot of paintings at home. Nope, not bought. Paintings by Sam and Alex.
First, there was Sam’s landscape. Now, it’s Alex who has a painting class (I don’t know the name of the subject) and, the other weekend, she was doing a still life in black and white.
I don’t want to discard their paintings after their teachers have graded them. I want to keep them. I always thought we’d have them framed and hung on walls. For some reason, we never got around to having them framed. In fact, there is one, a large self-portrait by Sam that’s propped on a chair in the dining room. Our dining set is a six-seater, we’re only four in the family so Speedy placed the two extra chairs against the wall. Sam’s self-portrait is on one of them.
I suppose we’ll still have the paintings framed — more for protection and preservation than anything else. Simple narrow wooden frames. In natural color. Then, we’ll buy more easels to prop them on. Probably not all of them but the best of the girls’ paintings.
UPDATE on February 14, 2012 @ 10.57 p.m. More photos from Speedy’s camera.