Monday, April 11, 2011

One Stone

There is a family treasure which came to me after dad divested himself of his traitorous body. It is a paiting done by one of his students in 1973, a simply magnificient portrait of the Father of Relativity - done in pouding strokes, vivid in yellow and organge, and perfectly wonderful in its graphic artistry. My paternal granddaddy died after it was painted, and I adopted the painting as another grandfather. I have sat for years of my life, staring at Einstein for hours at a time, following the curves of its boldness, reading its simple message (what else? "E = MC2"), reading the incredible expression in his eyes, admiring that great nose, following the wild halo of his hair.

Not long ago, he had a move. He's lived in my study for eight years, and been an amazing piece of that place. Next to him, a beautiful 1970s orange and yellow globe pendant lamp. In front of him, on the altar of the bookcase my father built for a home inexplicably constructed without any, dad's childhood globe (circa '48, if I recall).

While I was off my feet last weekend, and bored to nothing BUT distraction, mom came over and visited for a while. She took a look at a print I had borught downstairs; a piece from TEO's family, which I want to keep (a beautiful piece itself - the Windows of Jerusalem), and somehow we ended up really getting into what-should-be-hung-where.

Over my couch, the entire time I have lived here - a Klimt and a blue and green Van Gogh, framed images chosen for an office I was escorted from after September 11. My boss from those days saved the posters for me. He was another good one.

The walls, too, have been blue most of this time. I have fond memories of my sister-in-law coming over and painting with me. A very pale blue, with my vivid turquoise mantel.

I've been growing tired of the blue, and while mom and I tried to figure out what should hang alongside Einstein (the Aztec calendar *worked* but was just so very small ...), we talked about my walls. A saturated color; not plain old antique white - but nothing so vivid as my fireplace and trim either. Something warm. But not yellow nor red; big as this room is, I don't want to darken it that much.

And so we looked at Einstein, knowing he needs something warmer than a blue wall to rest on, and we looked around this room, and ... we thought the unthinkable.

That, really, some sort of well-pigmented beige is the way to go.

(I had fun telling my brother this - his long history of non-joyousness at my mother's penchant for a beige-y wall did make this amusing for me.)

It would probably have been kinder to say I want a wall the color of warm oak. Something richer than a washed-out taupey color, but still a "neutral" as my mother, and our late, beloved aunt too, has always been known for.

He came up with a good idea, though. That the paiting should be set off by a contrasting halo, an area of paint where it's darker, an aura for Einstein. (Great title for a nicely strange children's book, that: "An Aura for Einstein" - in which the great thinker has his tea leaves read and aura analyzed - heh.)

Thing is, some sort of contrasting paint job might look kind of cool in here. I've got one really big wall, it could take one of those finishes with a pattern of some kind painted-in. So I might actually consider - if not a halo - some manner of setting-off, beyond one expanse of color. Could be as much fun to plan as some of the ideas we had for similar color experiements in the kitchen.

In the end, beside Uncle Albert, I found the perfect companion.

For a while, I put up "The Essential" beside him, and that was a great pairing. (Hilarious aside - go to the home page for a quote from none other than Charlie Sheen regarding Donnie's art! Um. Yowza.)

But it put too much wild geriatric hair in one place, so I was dissatisfied. So I moved my Essential old lady to the mantelpiece (it was she who brought me to its beautiful turquoise color ANYway!), and moved the third poster from that old job off its post up there, occupied for as long as the rest - and now Van Gogh in St. Remy and Auvers, a rich and bright, pixellated madness of sky, red earth, and orchard, sits beside the genius.

And it is perfect.

The old blue-green poster went to the office, against the dark paneling previously occupied by Einstein - and it looks very good in there, fresh - and even visible, not blue-greening itself away against a blue wall.

And so last weekend, lasting even until now (I still have another TEO's-mom piece to find a home for, and the Klimt has been displaced), was not a *complete* loss.

And also it's time for me to reacquaint myself with Donnie's art. "Come in and get your eyeballs smacked" the site used to say. And it does. Donnie's wonderful.

Maybe I should find a place for the three portraits he did of me. Heh. Or maybe not.

No comments: