This week I painted a little table that belonged to my grandmother. It had been serving as a neglected yet useful platform for the dog food container in the basement, until it dawned on me that I should paint it. I would guess it’s a 1940’s era piece – drop leaved, long legged and compact. One small drawer put together with a dovetail joint. I painted it an earthy barn red, not wanting to strip and re-varnish it.
This attention to furniture led me to dust the rest of the surfaces in the house – a task that I have always enjoyed. I’m still inching through the book, The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, I found this poetic (yet very dated) passage:
“Objects that are cherished in this way really are born of an intimate light, and they attain to a higher degree of reality than indifferent objects, or those that are defined by geometric reality … The housewife awakens furniture that was asleep.” And, “A house that shines from the care it receives appears to have been rebuilt from the inside; it is as though it were new inside. In the intimate harmony of walls and furniture, it may be said that we become conscious of a house that is built by women, since men only know how to build a house from the outside, and they know little or nothing of the “wax” of civilization.”
I spent the afternoon completing a stencil that I’ll be using in a wall piece (a variation on a previous piece) about my sister’s house, which interprets a view from the woods above the house. I’ve designed this stencil a repeat on the horizontal dimension.