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Beauty in the Eye of the Beholder

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:24am

I watched a lot of home improvement and home makeover shows on HGTV this weekend. I got many wonderful ideas about what I could do to my home, but unfortunately, I didn’t win the lottery Friday night to provide the funds for those renovations and decorating. But one thing I kept hearing repeated on most of the shows and which surprised me was that personal pictures, for example pictures of one’s family, are usually not displayed in the living room. Rather, they should be relegated to the bedrooms and sometimes to the family room or den. The more formal areas of one’s home should contain ‘art’, not personal photos (unless of course the ‘art’ was an oil painting of a family member, hung usually over a beautiful fireplace). Sorry, but I don’t agree with that.

The photographs I have of my children are ‘art’ – much more beautiful to my eye than traditional art such as paintings of landscapes, seascapes or more modern abstract art. In my living room is a large photograph of Ashley. The photograph is in a lovely gilt frame and shows Ashley soon after I adopted her and in a kneeling, prayerful position. Hung next to it are two pictures – a collage of my oldest son as an infant, and a collage of Ashley and my oldest son engaged in play. On another wall in my living room is a beautiful black and white composition of Ashley, Chip and Jessica, and on the antique sideboard positioned under the picture are more black and white photos of my children. Across the room, on my mother’s antique drop leaf table, are more groupings of photos, this time with Corey included.

In the room leading into our family room is a piano on which sits more nicely framed photos of my children engaged in the things they enjoy most – Chip, rock climbing; Ashley at the beach; Corey in his JROTC uniform; and Jessica mugging for the camera. Their pictures continue down the hallway and into my bedroom. In our family room are framed works of their own art – art projects completed in school, matted and framed to perfection. And then scattered throughout all the rooms are photographs of beach scenes taken by my brother, a professional photographer.

My home is full of art – maybe not what decorators would consider appropriate – but to me it is art in the truest sense of the word. According to dictionary.com, ‘art’ is defined as “the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.” My children and the rest of my family are indeed beautiful, appealing and of more than ordinary significance. They are each and every one works of art!
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