Sunday, March 21, 2010

Coordinating Castle

At the ripe age of about 8, my mom and I decided it was time to redecorate my room. We picked a fabulously colorful quilt to decorate the room around. My new white furniture, (which I still have) came courtesy of my grandma’s discount for working at the late furniture store Breuners. When I actually kept my room clean, it looked amazing. The only thing it was missing was a tiny chandelier and a window seat. My mom, a wonderfully talented artist, decided to paint a castle picture to complete the décor.

My mother’s artistic skills are not limited to one medium. She can paint, draw, sculpt, collage, etc. She produces many fine art pieces, but also has some whimsical pieces. The castle painting definitely falls into the whimsy category.

The castle painting is a water color. What makes it so fantastic is the way she used the water colors with such precision. Water colors tend to bleed into each other, except when my mom works her magic. She can make water colors bleed where she wants and vice versa. The tiny bricks and stones are individually filled with vibrant colors that coordinate with my quilt.

When my imagination was at its fullest, I would picture myself living in the castle…wandering the gardens…and unlocking the swirly iron gate with an old skeleton key. I imagined behind the gate was a sort of Secret Garden: a movie/book that I loved when I was little.

As I got older and my tastes for girly things changed, I redecorated my room again. The castle was loaned to my brother’s best friend’s mom. It hung proudly over their fireplace during my teenage years. The castle was replaced with posters of my favorite band and bulletin boards overflowing with pictures of my friends.

Once again, my tastes changed. Danny and I got married at a young age. I needed inexpensive, better yet, free art to hang on the walls of my tiny apartment. The castle painting was back in my life. It hung over my old green hand-me-down couch that was gifted to me from my mother. All my college aged visitors asked me where I got my fabulous art from…once I told them it was free, they were even more envious. The castle painting always received a lot of praise, perhaps it opened up its admirer’s imaginations the way it did mine. The castle painting made the tiny apartment feel like home.

The castle painting is one of those pictures, that when looked at, you will find something new. After owning the painting again, I discovered that my mom forgot to paint one of the fence posts. All of them are brown except a single forgotten white post. The people tending to the garden are unrecognizable however, the lady bending over pruning the rose bushes happens to be Eleanor Roosevelt. My mom used a picture of her gardening in a magazine as inspiration. Recently I noticed the curtains in the blue building to the side of the towers are white with red polka dots. Perhaps this had an early influence on my polka dot obsessed self.

The castle painting now hangs proudly above my bed. I feel comforted when I look at the white fence post and Eleanor Roosevelt. I think of my crazy imagination when I look past the iron gate into the secret garden, and I smile when I think about my talented mother who lovingly created a lasting memory for me, all for sake of my new bedroom décor.

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