Hanging up my artwork

betty ming liu Art, Inspiration, Money 18 Comments

I finally hung up my paintings in the house. Just looking at them makes me happy. Isn’t that why we hang things up in the first place, to remind ourselves of what we love?

If you recall, we repainted the house just before leaving for our April in Paris

The first floor, an open space that encompasses our living area and kitchen was getting on my nerves. All the walls were a cheery, chick-a-dee yellow wall. Now they’re a rich, restful mustardy-gold.

The space also looks great because my daughter and I took down the traditional Chinatown-y art that came from my parents’ apartment. Starting over with bare walls is a challenge because it feels unfinished. But this is a good lesson in sitting with life’s open, undone spaces — until something speaks to us.

And something just did, in the kitchen. As a machine quilter, I enjoy piecing together similar types of objects.  Life is a patchwork, after all. So our kitchen has groupings of bowls, books, baskets, refrigerator magnets. Check out my fruit paintings, which have found a new home above the pantry doors.

We like having six of my fruit paintings smiling down on all the coziness: kiwi, cantaloupe, lemon, lemon, orange, apple.


Upstairs, my bedroom has gone from neutral khaki walls to a deep, inviting red. Since I never had the budget for good bedroom furniture, you’re looking at my dumpster diving collection, all repainted: the bookshelf, the coffee table and the little stacking tables under my desk area.

My chair paintings are in the upper right corner of the shelf. While I had them displayed there before, I’m surprised by how well they respond to the new background color. They look brighter and stronger, just like me.

Looking at my work makes me want to paint more. Even though I’ve been drawing a bit, it’s been HALF A YEAR since I’ve put a brush to canvas. “Too busy” is not an acceptable excuse anymore. But….how do I get back to the doing my heart of hearts?

If any of you have ideas and tips from your own experiences on this topic, hit me, baby! I could use the help. And if you’d like to get a closer look at some of my work, please click here.   :)

Comments 18

  1. Betty,
    Looks great! My bedroom looks has the same color scheme as your kitchen! (Thats eire)
    I am going to have to push away my walls, my house is such a mess coming home from vacation! There is camping equipment and clean clothes and junk EVERYWHERE!
    Before I left we remodled Jasmines Room. She turned 13 so she needed a “teanagers room”. She picked out a sea foam blue paint for the walls, new white carpet (which we found in my sisters attic) The rest came from IKEA.
    She wanted to build a nook but her bedroom was already so small so we came up with a day bed with three drawers(http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/30080316/). We also found a desk and a dressing table. Then we added three shelves. I have yet to mount the 19″ LCD TV from my bedroom on hew wall.

    By giving her my TV I moved my 42″ from my office to my bedroom. In fact I am in bed writing on it now!
    You inspired me to finally clean my house up!

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    Thanks, Brian! We like Ikea too. I’ll bet Jasmine’s room is really sweet. Our house was a mess after our April vacation too. I mean, it’s taken me more than two months since our return to hang a few pictures! But tidying up feels really good.

  3. Thank you so much for the peek into your home – your work looks great! I like how you hung the paintings. I especially have to thank you for the photo of yourself painting. It is exactly how I pictured you painting – with one hand on your hip and looking glamorous.

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  5. Betty: your paintings are delightful. They make the onlooker feel happy for reasons that are not tangible but simply ARE. This of course burdens you with a moral obligation to paint more of them, since clearly the world needs more happiness.

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    Toby, this is high praise. Thank you so much. Yes, yes, I am DYING to paint more. I have a hunch that I will be approaching the canvas a little differently because work has changed me. Can’t wait to see what that means in terms of handling color and a brush. Soooon. Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  7. Betty – you are so fortunate to be a participant in the creative process – its is like getting high on the best drug in the universe. The closest way I know to feel God-like and experience ecstasy.

    However, wanted to comment on your: “gluten-free, wheat-free, sugar-free….sigh” .

    Try this recipe for soft-serve ice-cream: Freeze a container of rice/almond/coconut milk by pouring into ice-cube tray and leaving in freezer overnight. Put cubes and 2-3 ripe bananas into blender or Cuisinart. Add flavorings like vanilla, hazlenut – or, my fave – Carob.

    If you don’t eat and/or share the whole batch at one sitting, pour what’s left into paper cups and put back into freezer for next day.

    Its my summer treat – no sugar – delish..

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    All right! I will do it, Jenni. I’m on hemp milk and almond milk. And I don’t do bananas/tropical fruit….wonder if apples or pears will work. Then again, hemp milk is pretty rich. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

    And I appreciate your gentle reminder to go forth from a place of plenty instead of deprivation. I need to see the richness in special diet eating (although, this kind of optimism is sometimes a stretch, even for me).

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    Charlotte, I LOVE my house. It’s a good nest. :)

    Thanks, Katherine, I’m trying to post more photos now. Picture’s worth a thousand words — haha.

    And Viv, being called ecletic and eclectic by you — what a compliment from the original Ms. Funkmistress. xo

  10. Betty, I love where you have hung your paintings!!! They brighten your kitchen and bedroom with not only color but pure joy. I admire your work, as you know, and loved watching you paint those paintings. You were in the zone. I hope looking at your paintings reminds you of that. It is time you get back to the studio. Six months without a paint brush in your hand is way too long, my dear. Here are a couple of suggestions: 1) sign up for a night class, pay your fee, start painting; 2) take advantage of free, one shot opportunities to participate in art. Case in point: Here is a link to the Nyack Sketch Mob event that took place June 16th. The contact info is at the bottom of the article in case you want to follow up.
    http://www.nyacknewsandviews.com/2012/06/bb_flashsketchgallery/. The Hopper House Art Center also has opportunities to mingle with art http://www.edwardhopperhouse.org/ for inspiration.

    I participated in the Nyack Sketch mob (registered the night before) and loved the experience. It allowed me to paint for 2 hours without paying for a class (I don’t paint at home), meet other artists and stretch myself. It took me out of my comfort zone to be assigned to a particular view to paint (I didn’t have a choice), set up shop on the side walk, figure out how to paint the boring view I was assigned and chat with passers-by. Being part of this event helped me appreciate the possibilities of other people’s creativity. The next time I hear of a cool painting opportunity, I will let you know! BTW, my painting can be seen by viewing the gallery in that link or by watching the slide show. My painting is at minute 12:08. – CS

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      Oh, Carrie, these are great, great ideas. And I love your painting — what dreamy greens. Wonderful! Yeah, these past six months have been rough. I’ve GOT to figure this out. Thank you for reminding me of who I am and how much fun it was to be in the studio with you. The idea of a night class has crossed my mind but I didn’t dare say it out loud because it seems kind of impossible. But now you’re giving the idea some light and I will be more open to it. And the idea of a sketch mob is fabulous. xoxoxo

  11. I find that vodka or rum help with getting back to painting again. Just make a cocktail to loosen you up, then go stare at your art supplies ;) Something is bound to happen!

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