ON THE HOMEFRONT: Photography makes easy art for your home

By Stephen Thompson

I can’t take credit for the black and white photo in this article; a new friend of mine, Wendy E. Wrzos – an interior redesign specialist and freelance writer – took the picture while she was traveling abroad.
Wendy writes an online blog at www.thebluegiraffe.com. What you’ll love about Wendy is how she combines her personal life and design knowledge and serves up decorating inspiration through her honest writing. Her words inspire fearless decorating: “Have the confidence to love the space you’re in, to make it your own and to know it’s OK to make mistakes.”
If you are like Wendy and me, your cell phone is your camera. If that’s so, read over my shoulder – see what Wendy has to say about taking personal photos and turning them into easy art for your home.
Says Wendy, “I couldn’t even tell you what I like to photograph, it is so random, but I guess it is really about whatever provokes a reaction inside me at the time. Gradually, I am learning to look at my photographs as memories that become art, but it is definitely a work in progress.
“When I visited Tahiti, I had lots of crazy photographic moments. One in particular was when I went to see the Paul Gauguin Museum. I booked a tour, and was beyond excited to see his work in the actual place where he had lived. To this day, the entrance to that museum still makes me catch my breath with surprise.
“As we turned off the main road, the bus hit a pothole, and the dirt made me wonder if the driver really knew where he was going. A moment later, I grabbed my camera at the first glimpse of the Gauguin name; a rickety wooden sign, written by hand, in front of a weed-covered wall of concrete. The road quickly opened up into beautiful Tiki gardens, and the museum sat in the center. It was quite modern, with simple lines, thick walls, and no doors; lizards ran up and down the sculptures, exotic birds flew in front of the colorful murals, but I really didn’t care, because I loved that rickety sign the most …
“I know when I first started using photographs as art, the whole concept seemed wrong, and I didn’t even like cropping them, never mind altering them. I worried that I would lose the integrity of what it was supposed to be, that I was cheating, and creating my own reality. But then I realized that it was in fact the opposite – I wasn’t losing the original image, I was creating pictures for my home that were far more meaningful than something I could buy in the store.
“Sometimes, we put off buying art, in the quest for something expensive and rare, and while fine art has its place, there is a lot to be said for redefining our own belief in what we want to look at. Because really, that is all that it is about, what do we like to see on our walls, and in our space? Photographs and memories are often the answer.
“So, next time you’re wondering what to hang on that wall, take a look inside your camera instead …”
Live in beauty!

Stephen Thompson, Allied ASID has been creating coordinated, beautiful, tasteful interiors since 1975. For questions, comments, or consultations contact Designer Connection, P.O. Box 361, Tupelo, MS 38802 or stephen2816@mac.com