The Fourth Wall (of my bedroom)

13 months after moving into my LA apartment, my room is FINALLY at the point where I’d be happy to invite guests over to check out what I’ve done with it.

Recall how the highly idealized Moroccan motif  for my bedroom was replaced simply with the color orange, though I regret to report that for most of last year this bright splash of paint was the extent of my interior decorating.

Then there’s that Tara McPherson poster I ordered at the beginning of the summer, of which I sat on the task of getting framed for months.

But now, in the last week of September (which marks the first week of my second year of grad school!), I can state with confidence that my room is show-off ready. One wall in particular is my favorite:

Voila! Art, all framed and hung… just like grownups do!

The featured piece is a project I had stewing in my mind all summer long but only got around to completing last week. I call it “The Four Oceans” (even though technically  there are only two–three views of the Pacific Ocean, one of the East China Sea… but you get the gist). I wanted to pay homage to the four places I have called “home” in my life thus far–Hawaii, San Francisco, LA, and Okinawa–and to be reminded of the beauty of any one of them whenever I feel the need… like during those long nights I’m working on a paper at 4am and feeling like life really sucks. Also, the window of my bedroom looks out on to an ugly apartment building and alley, so I desperately needed something prettier to look at.

The initial idea to frame four ocean-y photos of the places I’ve lived and arrange them evenly above my bed came easily. What was a lot harder was 1) settling on just the right images to use (i.e., hours and hours of Google searches) and 2) obtaining high-quality, FREE images that could be legally printed, without compromising the integrity of the photos (meaning pretty much all of the photos I wanted at first I could not get in this free, legal way). I guess this is partly why it took me so long to finish the project. Finally though, I was able to narrow down four eligible photos that I ended up really loving, especially placed side by side:

The Four Oceans  (forgive the unforgiving reflections… it was that at 4:30pm, or crappy lighting later in the day)

I tried to go for a range of color schemes, scenery that captured each location’s unique character, and wanted to roughly be able to arrange them from sunrise to sunset (which ended up working out, roughly!). I wasn’t anticipating that three out of four would not be perfectly crop-able to an 8×10 size print, but I’m ok with the white horizontal borders (if I were to do it again, and perhaps I will eventually, maybe I’d crop the Hawaii photo so that it would also need similar-sized borders… what do you think?). All in all, I love the way it turned out. I must give thanks to my friend Dave, the one behind the lens to capture the beautiful white-sand/ blueblue-ocean Okinawan beach (top right) and who kindly allowed me to hang his work on my wall; Digital Imaging Center who did an A-OK job printing the photos on the cheap; Ross for selling me the frames at $5.99 each; and my amazing partner, who sweltered in the SoCal heat this weekend to meticulously measure the placement for the frames and hung them for me in a labor of love.

Clockwise from top left: Santa Monica Beach and Pier (Los Angeles), dawn (photo from a stock photo website, can’t remember which one); boat at Furuzamami Beach, Zamami  Island (Okinawa), day (photo taken by my awesome photographer friend and former fellow JET, David Clumpner); Bay Bridge and San Francisco downtown skyline, dusk (another free stock photo from random stock photo site); Hanauma Bay (Honolulu), day (photo taken by moi, courtesy of iPhone 4s)

The second cluster of artwork showcases a screen print of the San Francisco installment by Ork Posters–the only piece that’s been hanging on my wall for the past year, albeit crookedly over my bed and has since been replaced by abovementioned ocean photos–and a Kate Nash concert poster from the 2008 show of hers I saw at the Fillmore. While the San Francisco map is self-explanatory, Kate Nash may need a little justification. A few years ago, I used to attend more concerts than the near-zero I attend these days–Death Cab for Cutie, Atmosphere, M.I.A., etc. and I still have all the concert posters. However, my dedicated followers know that Kate Nash has a special place in my heart, both for the album she was touring when I saw her and her awesome, awesome name. In addition to the meaning the record has to me, I liked the happy colors of the poster. Also the fact that my name is on it. Also the fact that there’s ice cream on it. I can’t really claim to be a concert junkie anymore, so it wouldn’t make sense to hang ALL of my concert posters up. For these reasons, Kate Nash seemed the most frame-worthy.

SF & KN… I like how the two go together!

And we all know about my favorite TN piece, Love BlowsOut of all the art on my wall, it definitely matches the paint the LEAST. But I still love it. And it’s signed.

Love Blows by Tara McPherson, finally framed

So now that my room is all pretty, come over and hang out with me!

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2 thoughts on “The Fourth Wall (of my bedroom)

  1. Love it! Your room looks so colorful and cozy now. Haha, Gary hates when I ask him to measure and hang things. I still have pictures waiting to go up. So nice of Mike to do all of those in one weekend!

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