The Gallery in My Mind

Posted by Brette in Collecting | Travel Shopping

My mom and I each have a gallery in our minds. The galleries are beautiful, with perfect lighting, neutral walls, and welcoming spaces. And they are completely filled with things we didn’t buy on our trips, but we wish we had.  (If you were wondering where I got the travel shopping bug from, it’s definitely from my mom).

My mom’s gallery includes a carved leather coat from Calgary and an Inuit bear from Calgary. There is also a sculpture from New Orleans.

My own gallery is becoming quite large. I may need to expand to a larger space and hire a curator. The gallery includes a stunning stone mosaic (called intarsia: see Wiki page here with some images of this beautiful craft) I saw in Florence (I just couldn’t spend $500 on it!) and a seascape and dunes painting I just saw in Florida (the artist’s web site is here, with one similar painting – again, it was lovely but just more than I could spend). There were beautiful, crazy-expensive quilts made by the Amish in Sarasota, FL and also in Chautauqua County, NY that I would have loved to own (I get a little crazy over quilts. My grandmother had several made by her mother. There was one made up of pieces of dresses my grandmother used to wear as a child and she used to point to the pieces and tell me about the clothes. I guess quilts take me back to that moment).

I still remember a vase covered in turquoise I saw in a shop in Santa Fe. It was stunning, but it was ungodly expensive and the inside was black, which didn’t excite me. That doesn’t stop me from wishing I had bought it.

A watermelon

Very similar to the turquoise vase I didn't buy

Very similar to the turquoise vase I didn’t buy

tourmaline necklace from Maine and a vase painted with the New Mexico sky were on the list until my husband bought them for me as Christmas gifts after our trips. I have longed for larimar jewelry after seeing a piece on a trip to Colorado (of all places, since larimar is from the Dominican Republic: I actually just took this one out of the gallery when I bought a necklace in St. Martin — details in an upcoming post about that trip!).

capri watchThen there is the Capri watch. I saw this in a free magazine we got on the train in Italy then I saw it in a jewelry store on Capri. I fell in love when I first saw it in the magazine (the woman across the aisle from me did too – she held it up to show her husband). I had trouble in the store finding one that was right. I don’t think they had the one pictured here – it might be the perfect one. Note to family: hint, hint.

Then there was the small table, which was almost a step stool but not quite, that was made of inlaid wood showing a mangrove tree. We saw this in a gallery in Matlacha, Pine Island, Florida. I literally went back to that store 3 times to look at it. The kids gave up and sat in the car. We moved it into the light, out of the light, next to chairs and all around the shop. In the end, we didn’t buy it because I just couldn’t picture where I would put it.

In Jerome, Arizona, I saw an amazing puzzle box of a chicken I should have bought for my mother, who collects chickens. That one haunts me. Lesson to self: do not allow husband to talk you out of things you are certain of!

At the SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) shop in Savannah, GA I saw a huge, beautiful multi-media painting. It had pieces of music glued into the painting along with things like buttons and other items I can’t remember anymore. It was stunning but where on earth would I put something so huge? There was a mosaic mirror frame made of broken pottery and with Scrabble letters used to spell out words in it that I saw on Captiva Island, Florida. At the time, I couldn’t picture where I would put it (my solution to this was I made my own mosaic frame for a bathroom mirror, but I didn’t include the Scrabble letters).

It actually gives me great satisfaction to write about the gallery in mind. Actually recording the items here somehow makes them more real for me!

Do you have a gallery in your mind? What’s in it?

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