hanging a picture

I never knew how much deliberation and care would go into hanging a picture.  My friend had given a lovely chalk and pencil sketch to me as a present for my birthday in November.  But for nearly two months, it stayed under a desk while I looked at it daily and wondered where I would put it up.  The thing was that his style of drawing was very different to mine and I couldn’t see a way to put it up without a stylistic conflict.  It was not a huge ethical dilemma, a world changing event, it wasn’t something of even local importance but it became something deeply important to me.  I wanted to hang the picture to acknowledge his very personal and beautiful gift to me but without a conflict.  I wanted artistic harmony.  After all, even though I paint, I have never been able to give any of my paintings away, even though I have been asked many times- I am too close to them, it’s like losing a baby for me.  Sometimes, I even wondered if people would take a painting of mine and then throw it away.  They would be throwing a bit of me away.  Anyway, I think this is my struggle.  But I was deeply appreciative of my friends’s generous gesture.  So finally a couple of weeks ago, I decided to put it up.  It meant I had to move several of my own works as wall space has become very precious.  As I debated and adjusted, lifted, nailed, then took off everything again to do it again, it became like a Zen meditation for me.  After the initial struggle to find the space, the exact location for it became a joyful adventure.  As soon as I started to smile, I knew I was winning.  How strange that hanging a picture should take that long but how satisfying the journey.  As for the result, you can judge yourself.  The chalk and pencil sketch on the right is from my friend, the rest of the pictures are mostly by myself except for the two of the calligraphy works- one by a teacher in Istanbul and the other one by William Morris.  The top and bottom left are my works.  IMG_3429

It is a strange mixture but it works.