An Art for an Anniversary

In more turning-into-our-parents news…

My folks have various artworks in their house, each with some story attached that’s meaningful to them, but utterly unmemorable to everyone else. Over the years I’ve heard many of these little anecdotes repeatedly, retellings often accompanied by exasperation that I could have forgotten since last time. I can’t even recall details to illustrate – all I’ve got in my memory associated with the explanations is white noise. Artists related to people who they met while going somewhere and who knew someone who did something or studied somewhere or… sorry, I’ve tuned out of my own paragraph.

Anyway, for our anniversary in December, Keri and I have decided to buy ourselves an Art of our own. We don’t actually know anything about Art, but we thought it would be nice to have something unique hanging on the wall that we picked out together that speaks to both of us. It might not be great art, it might not be a future classic, but it’d be ours, and it would be pretty, and we’d enjoy looking at it.

We were driving back from lunch with my parents yesterday when we saw a sign advertising an art show just around the corner, so we stopped and wandered through. It was one of those shows where the artists are actually mingling around the paintings, so you want to be careful just how candidly you criticise a work, since its creator is probably standing just behind you.

09-10-26 our arts 002
Hint when photographing paintings: don’t do it in the midday sun. It’ll make them look much paler and less colourful than they really are.

We selected some Arts – we’ve also settled Christmas to each other, now – and had a little chat with the artists while we were negotiating the purchase. Each had a story associated with that painting – and if I were to relate that story to our kids, they’d probably die of boredom. This painting was of a friend’s paddock in Emerald and when she died she made a special point of bequeathing it back to me; it has special sentimental value. But you can have it for $x! This painting is of a pretty little bluff down near Anglesea where my husband took me for a picnic one day and sparrows flew out at us! RIVETING. Oh, I cannot wait to inflict these on innocent children.

09-10-26 our arts 003
Also, try to photograph them from above rather than a stupid angle to the side that makes them look wonky.

The painter of the third one we bought, an indefensible impulse purchase, was no longer present by the time we arrived. It’s a happy little country scene and we have no horrifically uninteresting story yet associated with it.

09-10-26 our arts 001
The Mona Lisa it isn’t, but we like it.

Rather than spare our future offspring with the non-painful truth – it’s just a painting we liked, nothing more – we thought we might make something up. It’ll be bizarre, unbelievable – but so boring that they will be able to hear it multiple times before they notice the implausible. If they ever do. That’s the challenge of being a parent.

Only problem is, I can’t seem to make up such a story without falling asleep myself. Maybe I’m not all the way there yet.


15 responses to “An Art for an Anniversary

  1. Future kids, future kids. Before anyone jumps to the wrong conclusion.

  2. A nice post ,
    and you have nothing to apologise for You have successfully made up the story of why you bought the painting, you have become your parents after all!
    There is a great deal to recommend the idea of having tokens that mark the milestones of your life, and to telling amusing anecdotes about them to you descendants.

  3. If you look closely enough at that last one, you can see the clues that indicate where the bodies are buried…

  4. Ixnay on the urdermay! That was told to you in confidence.

  5. Ah, there’s an interesting story behind this painting. In 1957, I remember it was, I got up in the morning and made myself a piece of toast. I set the toaster to three: medium brown….

  6. Ah, but does it contain a series of mystical symbols, each more secretive and mysterious than the last, leading the way to a dreadful secret that will change the history of Christianity forever, and will take you on a gruesome but thrilling chase to an ancient mansion on the other side of the world where you will at last discover the secret of the grail? Well, does it? Does it?

  7. Even better, its hidden meaning contains the instructions to program our DVD player.

  8. That doesn’t make sense – what would you program a DVD player to do?

  9. If you have one that records you would have the usual problems getting it to record at the right time.

    There are some pretty strange DVD players out there. You could program this one to fly over to you so you don’t have to get up to insert the DVD.

  10. Um, scan for channels? Make me tea and toast?

  11. Funny post Pop

  12. philip travers

    Jeremy is losing the point rather than gaining a parental type view of Art.You don’ t have to have a memory about a painting and what it may mean etc. except the memory of who you told your latest story about it too.Save describing the paintings for those very boring visitors,who haven’t got the common decency to know when to leave.Thus stuck with these sods[as in big useless clods]like writers cramp,you slowly unwind outof a sense of boredom a story that involves the guests obliquely with some dramatic flourish.I actually like all three,because in a dump like this,they might keep a few spiders interested so they hang around long enough for fly season.Picture no.2 if placed upside down may have erotic qualities to it for the discerning eye. They would also be good with those mirror art pieces that seem to be a good attempt to make art and mirrors more interesting.Think about performing hand shadow puppetry with said paintings,adding things between your fingers,although a good rabbit is a sign of artistic competence to the more imaginative kid or adults after a few beverages of the alcohol type.To insure maximal artistic license with light maybe, roughen up the glassware that the painting is behind and be sneaky with LED lights, hold a seance.Ouija board stuff and have a secret switch that lights up the paintings in an awry way.There is always comforting cocky’s in a cocky cage,if they get sick of reading Murdoch newspapers,or the pretence to fairness in newspapers where ever you find them.Allan Bond may want to buy one!

  13. well they look restful and that’s an important attribute in our book for a painting you see constantly on your wall. Remember though, you need to move them about occasionally or they will become just another ‘mark’ on the wall you won’t notice at all. Once moved, it’s amazing how you suddenly ‘see’ your painting again and enjoy it all over again. Enjoy. Oh, and there’s nothing wrong with becoming like your parents!

  14. Lynda Hopgood

    The artist’s father-in-law had a cleaner who told him that the property he was now living in was once owned by a friend of hers and her family and one day she and her half-brother tried to rescue a kitteh from the flooded stream during a storm in the spring of 1963.

    Add extra detail as you see fit, like the boy bravely rescuing the kitteh but then being struck by lightning.

    More outlandish than yawnworthy, but making stuff up is far more interesting than real life. 🙂

  15. Mrsdave and I have a couple of original artworks, but my favourite is a painting of the headland, lighthouse and main beach at Yamba, which is where I proposed.

    We bought the painting shortly after we were married, still young and poor, so affording it was a touch and go proposition. Now that we’re at the opposite end of the state having something to remind us of Yamba is doubly special.

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