Beautiful Things — Response to OC Bare Your Walls


Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” — William Morris


While visiting an art gallery, I overheard a client telling the gallery owner he needed a “piece of art to fit my wall”. When the gallery owner inquired as to what kind of art he was looking for, he gave the measurements of the wall. Different strokes. I’m the other kind of person; the one who will find a spot for a piece I love, or regretfully admit that it is too large for my home and enjoy it for what it is in situ. The operative word here being “love”. If I’m feeling lukewarm about a painting or an object, I just walk away.


The first piece I photographed this morning (with my goofy lil’ point and shoot Coolpix) is the ink print of the Divi-divi tree, hanging across from my desk.

The Divi-divi tree is native to the ABC islands and always leans to the southwest, the islands’ prevailing wind direction. It reminds me of our time in Curaçao, the air charged with iodine, the constant smell of sea and tar, the heat, the bat-wing soft nights. It was there that I began to write again. It was there that I left a piece of my heart.

This next piece is part of a duo watercolor, “The House of the 5 Senses” which is close to the Waaigat on Curaçao. I could only get a good shot of the painting of right side of the house. The left is the same, with different gables at the top. This abandoned house fascinated me the entire time I was there. It was once a private residence, then a hotel and goodness knows what state it is in at the moment. I call it the “Hotel Dibino” in one of my island stories.


I believe this mask comes from New Zeeland, but I’m not sure. I bought it for a few bucks at a Wereld Winkel  because it spoke to me. I love his lips and his dreamy eyes.

Vincent and the boys gave me a second mask and diggeridoo for my birthday one year– also from the Wereld Winkel. I believe this mask comes from Indonesia. The diggeridoo works.


Vincent comes from a long line of master cabinet makers. His grandfather was the “smart one” and was sent on to teacher’s college to become an educator, but his love for woodworking remained with him all his life. He made this frieze when he was in his early 80’s. Again, the camera fails me. This just shows the center section.


More of Grandpa’s work. The Rooster is just a wood carving. The other two pieces, one portraying Adam and Eve and the other with various biblical scenes are baking moulds.


Ebru is the almost forgotten art of paper marbling. It is an ancient art and saw its high point (imho) in Ottoman Turkey. These examples were made by Aysen Alcicek. She is a gifted artist and city council member in Almelo. I’d originally bought two of Aysen’s large oil paintings, but the women’s center wanted those, so I ceded to the greater good and chose the ebru instead.

My mother-in-law is one of the top quilters in Europe. We have several to use on our beds, but this one, made mostly of silk, is far too delicate for everyday use. It hangs on the wall above our bed. She calls it “Flowers in Twente”

By far one of my favorite pieces of art, although I haven’t had it framed yet (it’s been 7 years) is the Sea Hex, by Julius. This magnificent creature seems to be terrifying a Greek warship. I love her and enjoy looking at her every day.

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