By Kristin Hoerth
I’ve been thinking a lot about uniqueness and originality lately. My husband and I have spent the past few months house-hunting in the Denver area, and we’ve discovered that the amount of “character” in a house—or lack thereof—is an important factor for both of us. The houses we looked at in neighborhoods from the 1920s and ’30s had it in spades; each brick bungalow had a sense of individuality that made it distinct from the other homes on the street. When our search moved to the suburbs, of course, some of that individuality disappeared.
But buying a home is an excellent exercise in compromise, and after much debate and discussion, we decided that other important benefits found in the suburbs (including better value, twice as much space, and a significantly shorter commute to our respective workplaces) trumped the uniqueness of an older neighborhood. And so I’ve come to believe that the challenge, now, is to fill our home with character of our own making. While we can’t turn a 1980s two-story into a 1930s bungalow, we can put our own personalities into things like wall colors, rugs, furniture, a garden, and perhaps most importantly, the original art that we hang on the walls. I’ve always believed that the artwork we collect speaks volumes about us; like the books we read or the music we listen to, it’s a microcosm of our own particular tastes and interests. And it doesn’t matter whether our collection is carefully focused or wildly eclectic; what’s important is that we love each piece.
Speaking of eclectic, one of my favorite features in this issue is the collection of 10 figurative paintings that you’ll find in “The Feminine Form.” The works run the stylistic gamut from realism to impressionism to modernism, but all of them depict women and girls with great sensitivity. It’s a collection I’d be happy to hang on my walls, and I hope that you, too, will find more than one piece in the group to admire. -January 2010
We Have a Winner!
Congratulations to Carole Halladay of Colorado, who recently completed our reader survey and was selected in a random drawing as the winner of our prize. Carole will receive a $100 Amazon gift card and a copy of the new book Art Journey New Mexico. Thank you to everyone who participated in this important research—your opinions matter to us.