Saturday, February 12, 2011


I can be very indecisive about a lot of things for our home.
But when it comes to art, I am not -- it is an immediate, emotional reaction.
I know right away if I really like something or I don't.
It only takes a second for me to fall head over heels.
Art to me is the most personal "accessory" in a home.
And while I have nothing against mass produced pieces, what endures for me,
what I grow fonder of with each passing year, are the original ones.
When we lived in Boston I would often stop in at the
Museum of Fine Art because it was so close to the hospital where I was interning.
I would spend forever in just one exhibit. Completely mesmerized.
The Impressionists were and still are my favorite.
While we only have a small collection of original art, we do try to add to it every year.
I gravitate to antique impressionist style oils by European painters of landscapes, sea, and farm animals.
We have both antique and current works on our walls.
Some bought at flea markets, some directly from the artists, some from favorite dealers.
All of them tell a story....
Of an anniversary, birthday, vacation, Christmas....
Some have been gifts from my parents, others from Jimmy, and some bought together.
This past Thursday a family friend in Europe bid on a sketch
for me that came up at auction in Belgium.
It was by a more well known artist, Jakob Smits (1855-1928)
I adored this little sketch.  I didn't really care if he was famous or not.
Though I heard my chances were slim because his work seems to be in higher demand lately,
but thanks to a generous mother, the piece will soon by traveling over seas
and finding a new home on my mantle.
I cannot wait.
The work has special meaning too.
Painted by a Belgian artist.
Though I have lived most of my life in the US, I am still Belgian myself.
I was born there to a Belgian mother and Danish father.
We moved to the US when I was in 2nd grade for my father's work.
Shocker, I know, given my very American looking blond hair, green eyes,
 & the big flag flying outside our home.
And no, I do not speak with an accent.  Though both my parents still do.
My love of art is likely inherited too.
My Danish Aunt is an well known artist in Copenhagen, though her work is VERY contemporary, I still like it and need (yes NEED) to get at least one of her paintings in our home.  Inge are you reading?? 
I cannot afford your work, but I would give it a very good home, I promise!! :) 
My Belgian grandfather was a banker but drew as a hobby.
I have several of his sketches hanging in our home too. They are beautiful!
All the pictures in this post are by Jakob Smits, most hanging in museums.
The last one, below, now proudly belongs to me.


  1. We love original artwork too and someday hope to have some meaningful pieces in our home as well. That is so wonderful that you have already started your collection.

  2. So happy for your new addition! I am a lifelong art lover, too, and I think original works (no matter the style or price point) transform a house, revealing the owner's taste and experiences. We have collected primitives, a few impressionist style oils, and black and white sketches, lithographs, and etchings. We also have a few contemporary pieces, and I love how they contrast with old furniture.

  3. I love this post! So refreshing to see something so different and to read of your appreciation for art. God is such an incredible artist, so it's no wonder that we, His creation, would have a love for art and beauty!

    Also fun to know more about your background. Thanks for sharing.


  4. I love this post. I am so glad that you got the piece of art that you wanted.
    It was really fun to read about your upbringing too!!
    have a great rest of your weekend

  5. What a rich history! Love your new drawing!

  6. What an amazing gift (and friend!) It will no doubt follow the theme of having meaning. Love all the sketches - they're just beautiful!


  7. oh my! I couldn't agree more... I believe original art is a hugely important part of a home- it gives it a soul! I love all of your pieces!

    so happy to meet you, and thank you for your wonderful comment!

    p.s. I adore Ina too!