Art for the Bathroom

Nov. 3, 2010

Growing up, it never would have occurred to me that someone might hang a painting in the bathroom.  Bathrooms were strictly utilitarian back then.  When raising our children the two bathrooms were so small there wouldn’t have been room for any sort of decoration.  But through the years houses have changed.  Bathroom decor now requires similar thought and planning as do other rooms.

We have recently had two bathrooms redone for the first time in 22 years.  And there were a lot of artistic decisions to make.  What sort of tile for the floors?  What material and what color for the shower walls and counter tops?  There were wall paint samples to study and lighting fixtures to choose.  And when the contracted work was done, it was time to choose accessories: towels and washcloths, shower curtain, wastebaskets, soap dispensers and matching glass.

The finishing touch was, what else, a painting (mine, of course) for each bathroom.  I already had a small dyed silk with acrylic paint that looks vaguely flowerlike in a simple frame for the main floor bathroom.  For the basement bathroom I bought a dark brown 11″ x 14″ frame that seemed the perfect size and decided to paint a bouquet of mums in autumn colors from my back yard.  And I really tried, but as any artist knows, sometimes it just doesn’t work.  I couldn’t come up with a painting of those mums that I wanted to look at hanging on my wall.  But this afternoon while working in the basement where the walls are covered with my paintings I noticed a plein air painting I had done in autumn in the country a couple years ago.  The painting was a bit larger than I had planned but the colors looked as if it had been painted especially for that room.  Even the frame was the right color.  Those bathrooms have been under construction since July.  But now after hanging that painting, they are finally finished.

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