|Family art: Grandpa's horses (left), |
sister's Flower Power (right).
My sister Anne, an actress, discovered a love for painting in her 30s. She started with small, manageable-size canvases, but once her creativity was ignited and her confidence built, she moved to giant canvases, portraying wild, whimsical, colorful scenes -- sometimes of her dreams, sometimes self-portraits.
One of her self-portraits, titled "Sky Diver," showing my sister jumping out of a plane, arms spread wide with the curved earth beckoning below, hangs in my living room. It may not be deemed worthy of a Southeby's auction but the energy and boldness this painting emits makes it priceless to me.
|Does this make you want to jump out of a plane, or what!|
I hit the original art jackpot when I made friends with Molly Moser, the young woman who runs the American Gothic House Center next door. I’m no art critic, I’ve never studied art, never painted (though I want to learn!), and while taste in art is very subjective, I do know this: Molly is a talented and gifted artist. I first saw her work on her website, cataloging her impressive oil-on-canvas collection—an overstuffed chair in bold black and white pattern, an empty bird cage with its door open, an elegant living room with a spiral staircase, an unmade bed with an elaborate patchwork quilt—and fell in love at first sight. “Where are all those paintings hanging?” I asked her. “If you need somewhere to put them, I’ll hang them in my house.” My argument was persuasive: “I get a lot of visitors who will see your art. You can put little price tags next to each, like in an art gallery. And besides, this house is famous for being in a painting, so just think, you can say your work is exhibited inside.”
|Molly Moser's brilliance on display in my living room.|
|Molly's Unmade Bed (left) hangs next to my Grandpa Lyle's seascapes in my|
upstairs bedroom, right behind the famous Gothic window.
Not only did I get some of Molly’s existing pieces on loan, she has since created two new ones, made specifically for me. One is a flattering portrait of my bathtub, an odd square-shaped, half-length iron tub. I say flattering, because in the painting she added claw feet, a gilded-frame mirror, and the water is not coming out of a shower head but instead from a chandelier. I had to buy it!
|I only wish my bathroom was this magical! In some ways, it is. |
And even more so now with Molly's painting in it.
|My newest and most treasured addition, Molly's Pie.|
For as much as I'd also like to have Grant Wood represented in my house—after all, this was the house that inspired America's most famous painting—and for as many times as I’ve flirted with the temptation of buying one of the posters for sale at the visitor center, the attitude of my old boyfriend is just too ingrained in me now. I can't do it. So if anyone out there has a Grant Wood original, I’d be happy to take it on loan.