Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Embracing the Circle

close-up of artwork

It probably doesn't surprise you that I'm a square. Sure, I'm pretty nerdy, but I mean geometrically. I like parallel lines and right angles. Round things make me a little uncomfortable. What am I supposed to do with that? How do you straighten a circle?

I've been a knolling like madwoman for at least 20 years, even though I only recently learned the term. Is it new to you too?

Knolling: the process of arranging like objects in parallel or 90 degree angles as a method of organization 

When I learned that word, I did a little happy dance. So that's what I've been doing all this time!

While I've been straightening things for years, I never once thought consciously about parallel lines and right angles until I began to decorate this house. I quickly realized that I'm averse to round things. Tables must be squares or rectangles. The backs of the kitchen chairs--squared. The faux Roman shades in the family room--patterns of squares. The two 5x7 rugs--complementary square patterns. The craft room floor--square FLOR tiles. You get the idea.

And then I redid our master bedroom. I repainted the ghastly camel color we inherited with a grayish blue. I replaced the crappy black furniture with less crappy brownish-gray IKEA Hemnes furniture (I'm not a big spender on these things). Once that work was done and the bedroom was a more inviting place to be, I decided that it needed wall art. Preferably big wall art.

I started looking around online with a particular style in mind. After a while, I realized that the style I had in mind was that of my artist friend, Nicole. I'd seen an online photo of one of her paintings, a hydrangea composed of large dots. Think pointillism but with really, really big dots. I didn't know if it was weird to ask a friend to sell you a painting, and I didn't know if her and my price points were going to be at all in the same ballpark, but I asked.

The hydrangea painting I had in mind was quite small for the space I wanted to fill, so Nicole showed me some other options online. I liked this one. She told me I could take it home and try it out before deciding, so I did.

painting
The Neighbor's Shed by Nicole Maynard-Sahar
When I went to her home to pick up that painting, I saw the most stunning painting covering most of her kitchen wall. To my eye, it looked just the right size for the wall I had in mind. Perhaps committing a major friend-of-artist faux pas, I asked if she'd be willing to part with the one on her kitchen wall. She said I could take it home too, so I did.

painting
Sunrise (Welcome to Rhode Island) by Nicole Maynard-Sahar
We ended up buying both for the master bedroom. Here is the latter in its new home over a low dresser, so you can get a sense of how wonderfully large it is.

painting on wall above low dresser

In exchange for a favor I did for her, Nicole later offered me a choice of some prints she'd made. I had those framed, and they also hang in our bedroom. They too are made of lots of perfect circles (painted free-hand, I'm told).

I must have grown accustomed to all those circles, at least within the confines of the master bedroom, because in a moment of wild abandon I recently replaced my conservatively striped duvet cover with this one from IKEA (Malin Rund is the pattern).

duvet cover and pillowcases with colorful dots

It took a few months of convincing by a friend with a much better eye than mine, but I finally caved and purchased a round rug for our foyer as well. It still makes me a bit uncomfortable, but it is the right shape for the space. I'm only taking baby steps, but thanks to some beautiful art, I'm beginning to (slowly) embrace the circle.

*    *     *
My apologies to Nicole if my photographs don't do her artwork justice. My skill is not yet that of a fine art photographer, but I tried.

To learn more about the paintings in the artist's own words, click on the titles below:

Sunrise (Welcome to Rhode Island)
The Neighbor's Shed

If you love those dots as much as I do and would like to see more of Nicole's work, you can do so at http://artweekly.blogspot.com or her accompanying Facebook page (link is embedded). If you live in the New York area, you absolutely should check out her upcoming show.

Nicole Maynard-Sahar: Paintings and Ceramic Reliefs
Bowery Gallery, 530 W. 25th Street, 4th floor
February 26-March 23, 2013
Opening reception to the public on March 2, 4-6 p.m.




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