This time last year I identified three big domestic objectives to be targeted in 2021. One was to have the whole of the interior of the house redecorated. This was achieved in October. Don’t ask me about the other two objectives, though one of them is top of the list to be done in 2022.
The redecoration involved making good a lot of nasty little holes in the walls where I had fixed picture hooks. They allowed us to have the little exhibitions in our main rooms which I have discussed and illustrated in previous years. But the finished effect of the redecoration, with smooth off-white surfaces on all walls, made me reluctant to create a new set of damaged areas on them, so for three months no art was displayed while I considered the options – and became accustomed to living in a house with no paintings on the walls. It seemed strange at first but then not unacceptable.
Somebody then asked if it would be possible to display some paintings on spare easels; so I brought two over from the studio to experiment, acknowledging that it seemed a pity not to display some at least of the very good works of art I have assembled (almost entirely not by me). I have tried several different combinations but the illustrations show the current position. The room is just big enough not to be dominated by the strange structures, particularly the larger easel which allows me to display a heavy work, framed and glazed, without damaging the wall at all. I like the arrangement.
The two works in this initial step are two of my favourites. The larger (lower) is ‘Loose threads’ by Ross Loveday, drypoint carburundum on paper, undated but bought as new in 2019. The smaller (upper) is ‘Winter fields’ by Chris Dodderidge, oil on board, c 2019.
Since publishing this note a reader has drawn my attention to a helpful piece published on line by the Bankside Gallery, London, on precisely this subject. One of its solutions is to do exactly what I have done.