I’m always fascinated to see what people have on the walls of their home. Things end up there for so many reasons: because you like it, sure, but also because you want to impress someone, because you want to show someone you care about them, because it was the right size, because it covers up the hole you made when you were trying to figure out where that smell was coming from, because it already had a frame, because it was on sale, and so on.
Anyone want to see what we have on our walls these days? Or maybe you’d rather talk about politics, hmmmmmmmm?
So, here’s what we have on our walls these days.
In the kitchen, a lovely Matthew Alderman print, plus a little Audubon guide to clouds next to the window
These photos are in alphabetical order according to file name, rather than in an order that makes any kind of sense. Since no one asked for this post anyway, I guess it doesn’t really matter.
Here’s the hallway/computer alcove. This is an area in flux, as the shelf I installed, with wall anchors, even, fell down and took a bunch of stuff with it, and it never really recovered. This St. Michael icon has been floating around from room to room for years, which seems appropriate. Going his rounds, I guess. You can also see one of my few attempts at linoleum prints from a long time ago. I think it was a copy of a Picasso painting.
There are several of these woven stars here and there around the house. The kids had a teacher who was on a weaving kick for a while. This one’s in the bedroom above the window.
Here is the last remaining decorative mirror of a set of three that I bought on a “why can’t we have normal decorative things like normal people” kick. It is cracked.
A very large original woodcut I found at a yard sale for a few bucks. I have always meant to give it a better frame, or at least a better matte than cardboard, but at least it’s up.
Over the kitchen sink. This is What’s For Supper central, as you can see, plus something from William Blake’s Book of Urizen. I have never read it, and I’m afraid to, because I like the picture so much. You never know what you’re getting into when you start with Blake.
This is right near the stove, as you can see by the tomato sauce splats. Here is little Clara at the beach. How she loved to eat sand.
Many things in the dining room. At left we have an Immaculate Heart of Mary by Margaret Rose Realy, and a portrait of my three oldest kids as little ones, my Christmas present from Clara. The glass bowl has half a dozen Jesse tree ornaments we didn’t get around to hanging, guarded by a lion. Which lion it is, specifically, escapes me at the moment, but it was a wedding present from Paul Connell.
The other side of this shelf has a wonderful Sacred Heart by Margaret Realy, and here is my beloved icon showing Christ rescuing Adam and Eve from the netherworld. That’s a good one.
Of course there’s a certain amount of this. Someday I’ll clean the wall, but right now it seems like a poor investment of time.
More kitchen shelf. Here is merry little baby Dora, and some of the pretty cast iron shelf brackets I put in. I guess the star is a Texas thing? It’s just a star. And somebody’s pottery project.
Here’s something that I keep . . . on the treadmill. For now. I grabbed it at this weird little music and poster shop in Hanover, NH, and I was planning to frame it . . .
but then I flipped it over and it has a whole other picture printed on the other side. So now I don’t know what to do.
I think I like the whirlpool scene better, but those are some pretty good fish.
A flamingo! This is in our bedroom. Dora was doing a project on ancient Rome or something in middle school, and made a mosaic out of paper. She didn’t have the strength to fill in all the little bits in the background, and I don’t blame her.
In the bathroom. I ordered this colored Flammarion Engraving print in the middle of the night because it seemed urgent at the time.
This is the other thing on the wall in the bathroom. I like Goya a lot, and he deserves better than to be a potty joke. (I also hasten to add that that frame is rusty, that’s all.)
Yo, Fra Angelico! This is over the piano. I just about had to stab the lady at the thrift store to get her to sell it to me, but eventually I got my hands on it. I also bought a wonderful frame, also at the thrift store, but when I got it home, I realize it had what seems to be an original drawing from the 1800’s. It’s some kind of miscellaneous Americana scene, and I don’t like it at all, but I’m now suffering from Antiques Road Show Paralysis, so I just keep taking it out, scowling at it, and putting it back again. Anyway, here’s Fra Angelico.
Here’s my favorite Frost poem, illuminated by Dora back in elementary school for a present. You can also see a bit of a pumpkin by Heather Schieder, whose style has evolved a lot in the last few years!
Here’s another trap I set for myself. I bought this print of irises for the frame, but every time I go to take it apart, I think, “But do I like those irises?” And I kind of do. But they also kind of look like they belong in mammography waiting room. So I just stuck it up on this shelf, who cares.
JIM JANKNEGT SIGHTING! This one is right over the couch, and it lights up the whole room. John the Evangelist. Dude.
A Daniel Mitsui, one of my favorites: The Flight Into Egypt. This one is in our bedroom. Need more Mitsui.
Back to the dining room! Here you can see another one of my spectacular framing jobs. I love this photo of our little starter family. Not crazy about how it’s just sort of loosely associated with the frame. Also NOT CRAZY about how the kids somehow knocked a hole in this glorious cloud canvas by Margaret Realy. I love Margaret’s clouds so much.
In the living room: This wonderful madonna watercolor by my daughter Lena Fisher. I never get tired of looking at it.
In the bedroom, me and my little girls as mermaids – a quick one by my daughter Clara Fisher. Notice how, even underwater, Benny is still talking.
MOAR JANKNEGT. This is the view from the treadmill. It’s . . . energizing.
And additional Daniel Mitsui! This is in the kitchen, so a bit splatty. Ugh, you can’t see the detail at all. So good.
The dining room, by the door. This is one of those areas that needs major help. Someone gave us this moon mirror as a housewarming present and I don’t care for the look on his face at all, but I absolutely need a mirror there to prevent me from leaving the house with a paper bag on my head by mistake. There is also some kind of loch ness monster? Ugh, this area needs help. This is the exact spot where I lost steam when I was repainting.
Bottom of the stairs, Mother Teresa, BOOM. I think OSV was giving these posters away at some point.
My magpie nest. Some very old prints by Lena. Her technical skill has increased dramatically since then, but I love the mood, especially the windshield wiper one. Also a mini landscape by Clara and one of my favorite photos of Irene, mud and daisies.
Another greasy kitchen picture. This is from the Pumpkin Festival. Someone had lost their balloon and the kids were VERY EXCITED ABOUT SEEING IT FLY AWAY.
By the piano. Dürer. Wabbit. I’d rather have The Great Clod, but I also like the Wabbit.
This is . . . miscellaneous dining room. I bought that round inlaid wooden plaque thing from a thrift store many years ago, when $4 was KIND OF A BIG PURCHASE. Love it.
The other thing, I don’t know what to say.
By the dining room table, we have Rublev’s Trinity. The white frame is so wrong, but I guess I’ll just wait another 23 years and then find another one. That seems fine. Under it is the Masai Creed, plus Dover Beach. I forget why it seemed important to print out Dover Beach.
Here’s an old favorite: Dora helping Clara with her shoelaces, a photo by Sadie Centola. People come into my rooms and take pushpins right off my wall. Honest to goodness.
Over the dining room window. This is my “even their virtues were being burned away” painted tin thingy. You can actually get this on Amazon (which I did with my birthday money).
Next up: The opposite of that. Three cozy little pumpkins by Benny for my kitchen.
Now, here we have a situation. I got this wonderful tin triptych mirror many years ago at a junk shop. It originally had mirrors inside, but we used them for a homeschool science experiment and then lost them, so I put in a nice drawing of some birds Lena made when she was six. We once had a priest over, and he opened up the little door to see what was inside, and he was so delighted to see those birds. I guess he thought it was going to be saints? I still don’t know what to make of that. I don’t know what ever happened to him. Anyway, today, as you can see, the whole thing has gone to hell, and it’s on this hanger for some reason, along with a random holy card, and what may be a sock. I don’t know what to tell you.
More kid art, plus miscellaneous Marys and Buddhas. This is one of those windows that has several layers and can’t be opened, so it’s slowly filling with spiderwebs and dead bugs. It’s nice.
Back to the bedroom. Here is a Vermeer, The Astronomer. I could look at this one forever. See how many times he repeats the shape of a V, open about 45 degrees northwest. It’s a picture about . . . things opening up.
Back to the hallway. A wedding photo, an icon, and another piece by Margaret Realy! Margaret, WHY U NO HAVE WEBSITE?
Dining room again. Here we see one of my thwarted efforts to decorate like a ladyperson. I really like these wood curl wreaths, and this one was on clearance at Aldi. The children believe that I want them to throw things at it, and pull the leaves out. I do not.
There are also a couple of extremely tasteful plastic icon suncatchers, complete with sparkly beard on Jesus. They belong on the window, of course, but that would require people thinking to themselves, “I guess I won’t steal the suction cup hooks.”
Also a wonderful ceramic peacock light switch faceplate, a gift from the great Kate Essenberg.
Ah, Winslow Homer! This is in the living room, and is the first art print I ever spent (what felt like) a considerable amount of money on. I think it was $15, which was pretty lavish for me at the time. I have never yet regretted spending money on a work of art.
And last but not least . . . Wonderwoman at a party. I think this was a Christmas gift from Lena. You watch yourself.
Okay, that’s about it for the bottom floor! I have no idea what’s upstairs. I don’t go up there.
In conclusion: Buy art. It’s good for you, good for anyone who goes in your house, and good for the artist.
13 thoughts on “Just for nice: What’s on your walls?”
I have a print of the St Joseph of the Bread of Life icon by Theophilia. I bought that and like 4 other prints after you posted about her art one day! I also have a lovely painting of Paris with the Eiffel Tower I fished out of a Goodwill bin, several paintings by my husband’s great grandma, a wedding photo, and some plaques with classic cars and ships and information about them my husband dug out of his grandfather’s basement. My husband also intends to hang his Marvel comics and other nerd posters at some point, but he’s going to have to find somewhere the dog can’t get to them
Yeah, the star is a thing here in Texas. You know, Texas being the Lone Star State and all. We have some in and outside the house ourselves.
I know this is about art but I just have to say that I love your shower tile!
Such a nice journey, I really enjoyed this post. I have collected wood and lino prints over the years- love your woodcut. I love that you have reminders of your children’s creativity round the house- tells a story. Lena is super gifted. Well above her years. Get her to put some prints up on Etsy. If she likes that is.
I appreciate your eclectic mix!
So this column made me realize that we don’t hang much on our walls. Other than crucifixes, the only bedroom with anything hanging in it is our daughter’s. And that’s just one wall with a collage of stuff. Her other walls are empty. Except for a crucifix. And I counted the wall hangings in our downstairs, which is rather large. We have exactly 15 things on the walls, but 2 are things left over from Christmas, which I’ll be taking down at some point before Easter. I do also have everyone’s most recent 3×5 school photo framed on the mantle as well as a digital frame with changing photos on the buffet at the bottom of the stairs. And that’s it. Everything else is clutter or furniture. I never thought about it before but our home must have a rather stark, institutional appearance to more creative people.
Benny’s art opposite of the “virtues being eaten away” – well at first glance I saw claws, which I thought actual pairs extraordinarily well with virtues being eaten. Alas, pumpkins. But kinda clawing pumpkins. I like it a lot.
I appreciate all the diversity represented 🙂 and if that embroidered “repent-submit” is something you’d like to get rid of, I know a TV show on Catholic TV that would likely be willing to host it au least for season 3.
I love your art — especially the Margaret Realy pieces! — but mainly I came to say that your daughters are SO TALENTED!! Do they sell any of their work?
I do not have any pictures on my walls.
Does Lena sell prints? I love the Madonna!
You have such nice taste…I have a bunch of stuff my husband brought into the marriage and a painting I did in college of a huge snake next to a Dodge Viper.
We do have a Divine Mercy print, but it has a popsicle stick frame.
Re: Corrie’s wall autograph, we had some people over once and they saw the stairs down to the basement and said, “Oh, that’s a such a great idea, to have a wall the kids can just draw on!” Of course, that was just from one of the times the twins got hold of the markers, but it seemed silly to paint over it while the twins were still living at home.
I have poems on some walls due to your poetry posts, but I am now going to add that little bit of advice you have up next to your peacock switch plate.
Ditto about the advice near the switch plate! I need that on one of our walls.
I have Dürer’s rabbit too, in my living room. I like your array of wall art.