I’ve posted a couple of times before about my appreciation for Wall Blank. Inexpensive high-quality limited edition original art? I’m in.

A firm time limit on the purchase? Fun.

Art with infertility themes (as interpreted by me, not the artists)? Jackpot!

I’ve already shown you Dreaming Makes Life Colourful and a line drawing of Don Quixote. The latter honored my then-upcoming trip to Spain and my impossible dream of Perfunctory IUI #7 — you know, the one that got me pregnant with twins. (Not that a drawing itself is enough to get a girl pregnant!)

Soon I’ll show you what these pieces of art, along with my other infertility-related art, actually look like in my house. I look at them every day — I can see them from the couch as I rack up my many hours of lounging — and they make me so happy.

In the meantime, for the next week you have an opportunity to buy some art for yourself (or someone else). Wall Blank is opening their vault and giving access to all of the past artwork. There are hopeful pieces; artsy pieces; whimsical pieces; serious pieces; all in every possible medium. They’re not paying me; I just like the concept, the company, and the products.

Go ahead. Treat yourself to some beauty. I don’t even mind if you copy me.

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Show and Tell: Quixotic

February 14, 2009

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I showed you a photo I bought from Wall Blank and I gave away a Wall Blank print of her choosing to Anita from Hope.Faith.Patience?

The past week has been particularly good at Wall Blank. Anita has chosen her prize: an artistic rendering of the Japanese symbol for water, mizu. If you happen to like it yourself, it’s still available for a few more days — and the profits go to the Australian Red Cross to help victims of the bushfires in Victoria.

mizu

Hope you enjoy it, Anita!

I myself was smitten with one of this week’s offerings, Don Quixote and Rocinante in pen and ink. Also available for a few more days if you want to copy me. If you do, just be prepared, if I ever walk into your house, for me to point and exclaim, “Copycat!” But, I always show up at people’s houses bearing gifts, so it’s not all finger-pointing and name-calling.

don_quixote
I like it aesthetically, but it’s the subject that particularly calls to me. First, I’m headed to Quixote’s homeland next month. Second, I quite enjoyed the book, though it’s been almost 20 years since I read it. Third, I’ve been feeling a bit quixotic lately as I embark on Perfunctory IUI #7 (BTW I started stims yesterday) in preparation for non-Perfunctory IVF #3. I hope it’s not an impossible dream, but it sure feels that way sometimes.

To bear with unbearable sorrow

To try when your arms are too weary [from all of the blood draws]

One [wo]man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with [her] last ounce of courage,
To reach the unreachable star.

Interestingly, both of DH’s parents have prints of Picasso’s Quixote in their respective homes. As I considered buying this new Quixote, I wondered if the appreciation for the character had trickled down to DH.

Me: What do you think of Don Quixote?
DH: He’s stupid.
Me: Huh?
DH: Tilting at windmills is stupid.
Me: You know he doesn’t think they’re windmills, right?
DH: Yeah. He’s delusional.
Me: Have you actually read the book?
DH: No, I don’t think so.
Me: I think you’d remember — it’s one of the greatest works of literature of all time. Have you seen Man of La Mancha?
DH: I know that one song.

And so, in a rare turn of events I am ignoring DH’s otherwise-infallible opinion. I have employed my own judgment in coming to the decision to make another Wall Blank purchase. I’m building quite the collection of infertility-themed art.

I will leave you with my favorite version of “that one song.”

More metaphoric, symbolic, and literal beauty at Show and Tell.

For this week’s Show and Tell, I will present some artwork that I recently bought. Then, I will announce the winner of this week’s Dirty Laundry contest and her prize, which is related to the artwork.

During the unpleasantness of the 2WW during IVF #2 earlier this month, I did a lot of web-surfing. One of the sites I came across was Wall Blank. I really like the idea of this website: every day, they post one piece of artwork. It is available for purchase for one week, unless it sells out first. Editions seem to run in the range of 50 to 200 prints — small enough that you won’t see the same print at someone else’s house. If by some chance you do, you will be delighted that you both share the same good taste and belong to such an exclusive club. Maybe you’ll then develop a secret handshake.

Some of the art is photography; some are prints of paintings, drawings, mixed media, etc. Prices are extremely affordable for limited edition artwork. Really, extremely affordable — I have paid more than twice as much for photo prints that were 1/4 the size.

Offering a new piece every day brings a fun sense of anticipation and variety; one of my favorite Google Reader clicks every day is the new Wall Blank print. The one-week deadline creates an interesting sense of urgency. One day between IVF #2 transfer and beta day, I was smitten with a photograph. Each day, I would consider whether to buy it. During moments of optimism: art for the baby’s room! During moments of pessimism: art that will remind me of the failed cycle. During moments of realism: art that will simultaneously connect me to the past and the future. Finally, I decided to make the purchase a couple of days before the one-week window closed. Not knowing the outcome of the 2WW, I didn’t know whether optimism, pessimism, or realism would turn out to be correct. I did know that if I failed to seize the opportunity, I would regret it later.

Here is the photo that I purchased (the image is from the Wall Blank website; the print looks even better in person, but I haven’t framed it yet so I can’t show you what it looks like on my wall). The visuals are striking, but the title and description sealed the deal.
dreaming
Dreaming Makes Life Colourful. Description from Wall Blank:

This photo was taken in Seoul during the Buddha’s birthday celebrations. This was taken at Jogyesa, which is one of the temples in central Seoul.

In the Buddhist religion Buddha’s birthday is the equivalent of Christmas for Christians. At this time of year Buddhists can make a wish in the form of a message attached to a lantern. Those wishes are often peoples’ dreams and can include desires for world peace, good health for a loved one, or success in something they’re doing that year. I feel those who are striving to achieve dreams are living life to the full, and as such lead a life full of colour and joy. Every dream has it’s own colour and uniqueness, so hold onto your dreams.

By Simon Bond. An archival pigment print. Includes a signed & numbered certificate of authenticity.

As someone who is in the midst of trying very hard to achieve a long-time dream, this description spoke to me. The British spelling of colourful was icing on the cake.

The one-week deadline has long since expired, so none of you can buy this particular print (sorry!) unless it makes a surprise reappearance someday, but something new appears each weekday. I’ve seen several other offerings that would make nice metaphors for infertility, and many that were aesthetically wonderful.

This brings us to the Dirty Laundry contest winner. Earlier this week I posted ten items of dirty laundry, anonymous bits of honesty about people in my life. I asked readers to guess how many my husband would correctly identify.

He correctly identified most of them instantly. Amusingly, the one that I said would be pretty easy for him actually required extra thought. The one that stumped him the most was ironic: it’s about one of his relatives, and it’s more his complaint than mine — which says something about his attunement to my emotions as well as his own ability to move quickly past things that bother him (an ability that I don’t share). But, after some thought, he got all ten of them correct.

This means that Anita from Hope.Faith.Patience is the winner, since she was the first to guess 100%. Honorable mention (but no prize) to Danielle and Shinejil, who subsequently guessed 10 out of 10.

Anita’s prize is any artwork of her choice from Wall Blank. She can choose something that’s currently for sale, or she can wait until something catches her fancy.

I was all set to pay for the artwork myself, as I have done with my other contests, but in the course of emailing customer service to ask a logistic question about the gift certificate, Wall Blank’s founder Shawn generously offered to provide the print for the contest. Thanks very much, Shawn!

Anita’s IVF cycle was canceled yesterday. I hope that winning this contest will be a pleasant distraction for her, and that she’ll be able to pick a piece of artwork that helps her look to the future, as mine does for me. Congratulations, Anita; I wish you the best with your surgery and the next cycle.

More optimism, pessimism, and realism at Show and Tell.