gone for the summer.

We have a stone fireplace, which makes for a nice spot to hang some art (not in the fireplace, but on the stone, which extends all the way up to the ceiling). Occupying that spot for a while now is a print of a painting of an old house in an overgrown field, called "Gone for the Summer."

I got it at a yard sale for five bucks. Five bucks! For a cool painting in an incredibly nice frame. That was the price the guy was asking, and I was happy to pay it. After I handed over the Lincoln, my mom told the guy that he was lucky I didn't try to negotiate him down.

Mothers: embarrassing their adult children since the beginning of time.

While I like this painting, I am ready to replace it. It's nice, and rundown houses in the country do hold a special place in my heart, but I would like to upgrade to something a little more...inspired. That's vague, I know, but I'll know it when I see it. We have tried to replace it with various pieces that hang elsewhere in the house, but the space requires something large.

A couple of weeks ago, Josh and I were at a Goodwill when he picked out a painting. Josh has been all about paintings lately, buying four or so in the last month. He likes real paintings, pieces of work where an actual person put an actual brush on the canvas. He hangs them in an upstairs nook where he's arranged a mini recording studio. The painting he bought that day was of a mountain scene. Great big mountains in the back, with some trees and a lake and a little cabin in the foreground. Six bucks.

When we got home, he said it was probably big enough to go up on the fireplace. And I hedged. Remember, I was ready to get rid of the old house picture. But this mountain one was not the replacement. It was fine. But it was even less inspired. The mountains especially showed some real skill with the brush, but the scene itself looked like something Bob Ross might paint. However, I took the high road and said he ought to run it up and see it how she flies.

So he did. It did not change my feelings. In fact, I thought it was even worse, because the blues and grays of the painting just sort of blended in with the blues and grays of the stone. But I said leave it up, maybe it'll grow on me. Then I went on about my day. Josh apparently continued with his admiring, because about ten minutes later, he announced, "I've decided that I like the new painting."

Isn't that cute? He decided that he liked the painting that he'd already decided he'd liked.

The other night, after more than a week of life with the mountain painting, Josh told me that he thinks the old one was better in that spot. Maybe that was hard for him to do. I like to think it was made easier by my total coolness and willingness to give the new painting a shot. I wasted no time in putting the house picture back up. We'll just keep looking.

Slightly related: When looking for a picture of the house painting, I came across a version that someone had embellished. Now that is inspired.
Credit: Lukey Arts

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