Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A New Painting



Once it was decided that we would be moving east, we began to review our possessions and started the process of deciding what to keep, and what to sell or give away.

This can be a complicated process but in the end, we adhered to two values. Was the item something we truly loved, or was it useful? Or better yet, did is possess both qualities?

I did this with just about everything - furniture, clothes, linens, and even our art work. I had a regional painting of the Three Sisters in Oregon. Although I thought it was a beautiful painting, it was not something I truly loved. So I took it to our local antique art gallery and sold it.

In its place (although there wasn't supposed to be an acquisition in exchange), I purchased this landscape painting. It absolutely grabbed a hold of me. So I put the value of the Three Sisters towards it, and paid the rest through the gallery's lay-a-way program.

Last week, I finally received the painting. I had forgotten what it looked like actually. I even wondered, especially in the midst of our long move, what on earth I was thinking to purchase something at a time where most of our belongings were in storage.

But when I opened it, I understood once again.

I love the ornate and intricate detail of the gilded frame and the contrasting simpleness and complete calm of the subject matter, which is thought to be Greenwood Lake in New Jersey (from markings on the back of the frame).

Unfortunately, the frame did not withstand shipment across the country and arrived with a few broken pieces. They were clean breaks and likely easily glued. But nonetheless, I took it to a local antique frame restorationist and he mended the pieces back in their place.

In addition to repairing the frame, he also was able to give me some wonderful information on the piece. He believes it to be a painting by the 19th century American landscape painter, Thomas B. Griffin.

I haven't had a chance to further research the piece, but I am excited to learn more.

33 comments :

  1. Erinn,
    We moved to New England last July.
    Best, Catherine

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  2. That's not Greenwood Lake, its Budd Lake.

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  3. Hi there, Being in the process of packing to move to our new home in June, I totally understand all that you have gone through. I haven't been following you long enough to know about your move-where you are leaving and where you are headed. I will say that five years ago when we moved into our current home, which was just across the street from where we were, some of our picture frames were damaged....I couldn't believe it. I have purged as I've started packing, made several trips to the thrift store but know there is so much more to get rid of once we are moved. Of course, I do have almost 4 sets of china-which I can't part with because they were family heirlooms.
    Thanks for sharing today; love your new painting!
    Noreen

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  4. I love this painting Catherine. Omgosh So lovely, so perfect. Where did you put it?
    Lisa

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  5. It's a lovely piece and the frame is well suited.
    The artist is American, born in 1858. The site www.invaluable.com has details on his work {all beautiful landscapes}.

    Enjoy.

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  6. I LOVE that you are posting regularly again. I can't to see what yall decided to get rid or and what yall kept. This new painting is a beaut for sure.

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  7. I once saw a painting at an antique store that was so moving to me, but also so expensive. I tried bartering, but the seller wouldn't budge. I mourned over that painting for a year, and when I visited that shop again....it was still there, in a different place, but I recognized it instantly. Needless to say, it came home with me that day!! ~Kim

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  8. I had a feeling you moved to New England based on the architecture of the house you are living in!
    For the past year I have been gathering landscape paintings and old French street art that I find in thrift stores. I compiled them all into a gallery wall and it is now one of my favorite things in the house.

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  9. This is such a lovely piece! I love the juxtaposition of the simple painting and the ornate frame. I enjoy antique frames. I have one that I put one of my drawings in it, and the contrast of the simple drawing and the ornate frame really makes it. Thank you for sharing, Catherine. You have such a beautiful style :)

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  10. A beautiful landscape painting...You traded something you like ( Three Sisters) for something you love....It is a nice trade -off.
    Velva

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  11. I love a woman who loves art! I'm an artist and I have an exhibition this weekend actually. My art is very different to the lovely painting above but some of your readers may like to pop on over and see my art too x

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  12. Thank you for valuing and sharing your appreciation of beautiful, traditional, original art. As an artist, it is a great encouragement that a painting can move a person so powerfully. I hope you enjoy this one for many years!

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  13. Dear Kim, I have such a painting in my history, although I wasn't as lucky to have purchased it in the end.

    Dear Lee : )
    Over the mantle in the living room. I'll post on it when I finish my project in there (which has nothing to do with the living room!).

    Dear Kellie, Good to know, thank you!

    Best,
    Catherine

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  14. again, beautiful. when you moved and started posting new pieces i often wondered what you did with your other stuff.
    i have always loved the antique coffee table that you had in your old home, and your grandmothers red rug that you put in your bedroom.

    thank you again for sharing.

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  15. Catherine, I just started following and realized the bathroom post is from the current residence. My husband and I bought a farmhouse in April and he was working alone trying to do all the work. Luckily we just hired a few people to help finish so we can move in April. I am due with our first baby girl in May. Your story is very inspiring and all too familiar. I loved the simplicity of your farmhouse. Do you plan on dong more renovations? Just curious. We live 20 minutes east of Pittsburgh. I'm so happy to have found your blog. Was it difficult to move?
    Erinn

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  16. Dear Erinn,
    Congratulations on your May baby! We hope that we won't have to do a major renovation again. But I suppose you never know until the right house comes along. It was hard to move as a family but so worth it.
    Best,
    Catherine

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  17. the picture and the frame are stunning - love them. i'm also noticing a pattern of you going into stores and coming out with unintended things! (the painting, mirror, sconce, flowers....) i may have noticed this b/c i may be guilty of the same behavior. (glad i'm not the only one.) linda r (phila burbs)

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  18. What a beautiful painting and frame so glad you were able to have it repaired - know it will be perfect in your new home!

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  19. Well if you do we will all be watching the process. You did s wonderful job. I understand though. Somedays my husband comes home looking like he was beat up. :) it's very stressful.

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  20. Love the painting and the frame is beautiful. I would be interested to know your impressions of living in New England versus the Northwest.

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  21. Here is a picture of Budd lake, NJ
    http://natureintheburbs.wordpress.com/tag/budd-lake/

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  22. Stopped counting our moves at 30 due to being career military and an expat in Asia for over a decade. Getting all those broken items fixed is a good idea. If it is important enough to keep then it should be well maintained. Like the painting. It is hard to make those tough decisions especially when kids are involved. This last overseas move we let the girls keep and ship quite a lot. We had free shipping available. We still would have put those items as priority but maybe not so many. It was emotionally important for them with tough goodbyes and transitions.

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  24. Dear Catherine,
    Are you referring to something in this post? I couldn't find it!
    Best,
    Catherine

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  25. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  26. I'm sorry to hear the frame was broken a bit during shipping, but if that hadn't happened, you might not have met this framer and heard more about its history. That's a really lovely philosophy about what to keep.

    Take care, Em

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  27. I love your beautiful new painting! Isn't it wonderful to have a piece speak to you? I find that often people buy just to buy instead of letting the art find them.

    Sorry to hear a few pieces were broken but happy to know they were easily repaired.

    I hope that you have a wonderful weekend, stay safe and warm from the snow.

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  28. Lové the painting, best because of its European feel to it.
    A move can open doors to new and exciting emotions. I am sure you will find grace and beauty in what you embrace from a move like this.
    Looking forward the the beauty in your move that you will be inspiring.
    Your new follower.

    Xx
    Doré

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  29. Very pretty painting! Can't wait to see its new home!

    Eddie

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  30. Kudos to you for managing the daunting process of thinning out your possessions. I live in fear of having to do the same after gathering things and more children in my current home of 7 years. There must be some peace that comes with the simplicity of living with only the few most needed of your possessions. And there is the bonus of being able to find new treasures like your painting. What a nice surprise it must have been to receive it!

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Thank you for leaving your thoughts. Best, Catherine

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