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.

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.

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 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.

No comments:

Post a Comment