Sunday, December 15, 2013

Story of a Gallery Wall, Part Deux

Before, before.

from June 2012

Pretty but vapid.

After the Tchotchke Challenge in June, I rearranged the living room and "floated" the couch.

That left the gallery wall looking like this:

I didn't do anything right away, because I wasn't sure if things were going to stay this way or not.

One of the things I realised during the Tchotchke challenge is that I wanted more meaning in my home. I have long tried to live according to the strict interpretation of Morris's maxim; that is, I like my things not merely beautiful, but useful, too. Wanting both beauty and now, meaning, seemed a natural evolution.

In July, it seemed, the stars aligned.

Both IKEA and my photo developer had a sale in the same week. Frames were 50% off and 8x10's were going for 40% off. I decided that I would take down the pretty crap, make the wall more meaningful and get vacation photos that I'd taken up onto the wall.

I bought the frames (VIRSERUM (black) and RIBBA (black and brown))  and worked on the photos feverishly for two evenings. On the third, I went to upload them for developing-- and discovered the sale was over.

I'd already started mucking with the wall, though.

I moved the couch back against this wall when I put down the newly cleaned carpet.
July to December 2013

I have been checking every week ever since.

Last week, I found out that the 8x10's were on sale again and so I started to play. I found some photos I'd thought I'd lost from a trip we took out east five years ago. That was good.

I decided I would mix my photos with paintings I found at Value Village (and other places). I traced each frame onto stiff paper and arranged them on the wall.

Many times.

This is only a small sample. If I counted right, I made eleven discrete arrangements.  Moving paper is easy.

Here's where I started:

 I quickly decided I wanted to make it bigger and go from one lamp to the other.

I experimented with making a straight horizontal line through the composition.

I decided I wanted it as random and as jagged as possible.

It occurred to me, as I studied the pictures I took of each arrangement, that, really, a good number of them "would do." I almost lost my way completely and scurried over to my Pinterest board to get back on track. Even after I looked at many arrangements I liked, it was clear to me there was no "one" right way to do it. I did have one or two doosies along the way, though.

Those coloured bits on the brown paper are small copies of the photos I sent for developing. The squares without pictures represent paintings.

 But, fortunately, balance can be achieved in many ways.

It took me more than a couple of days, working here and there. Finally, on Sunday, with my daughter's input, I got it done.

It changed again, of course.

That's my helper there on the sofa. She made an excellent argument for leaving off the plates (the round bits in the pictures above.)
The before and after:
(I did not move the wall hanging.)


One more:

I love the strength of it.

Linking to Work It Wednesday at Happy Housie.


onshore said...

I too love it's strenght. It's not shy like the previous arrangement.
But I would prefer the sides to be symmetrical somehow. Maybe it's just me, and in real life it might not work.

Alana in Canada said...

Thank you. What do you mean "the sides to be symmetrical? Do you mean the way they both end at lamps--but the lamps are at different heights--do you mean you'd like to see them at the same height?

onshore said...

Yes, I meant the height. I noticed the lamps too and I see why they are not on the same level, so I get that the frames are on different height too.
Don't worry about it, you see better what works.
BTW just noticed the blue/violet table leg, really cool!

Alana in Canada said...

Thanks for clearing that up for me! I'm glad you like the table leg. I keep thinking I should paint it boring white.

the cape on the corner said...

looks great! super idea to put the smaller pics on the wall as holders so you could see what looked best and what to order.

HappinessSavouredHot said...

That's pretty nice!

You're a wise woman to try with paper first.

I've been wanting to create such a wall. Maybe I'll let your examples inspire me! :-)

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