Picture Hanging it’s an Art

Picture hanging it's an Art, Art piece by David Dozier

The Invaders by David Dozier. 

My teen and I hung pictures this past weekend. He was excited to use his new level and measuring tape, and I was excited to add some new artwork to our abode. One piece Cole selected and purchased from his art teachers web site (see above), and several were his own creations from his junior and senior years at Waldorf.

In the past I’ve hung pictures by eyeball—and if I do say so myself, I’m pretty good at it. As we’ve discussed, I don’t measure well, so perhaps I’ve learned to compensate over the years; sometimes it’s a matter of hole, error, repeat. Whatever. Cole comes to the process armed with his tools—which is fine by me—except he wants me to know where each picture should go before it’s hung. Impossible. I can guess which wall it will look best on and imagine how it will look there, but before it’s hung I don’t know how it will look in the spot I’ve chosen. Suffice to say a few pictures had to be moved, holes filled in and covered with semi-nuevo matching paint. I didn’t think Cole should mind my change of heart; since he had new tools, he didn’t think I should argue with his level. Hey, if he can argue with the GPS, I can argue with the level.

On one of the walls where I considered hanging a painting was a wall clock that had hung in that spot since God knows when. It’s pretty, and it chimes when we remember to wind it. I like it, but I felt it might be time for a change and so I took the clock down, Cole hung the picture and I instantly missed the clock. It just didn’t feel right. The clock belonged on that wall. Dearly departed Joe loved winding the clock, while I protected it from over enthusiastic boys and furniture that went up and down the stairs over the years. I even saved it from a hit-and-run suitcase full of clothes and books that darn near sent both the clock and me to our untimely demise.

The story starts with a visit from Aunt Jill and ends with her unique problem-solving abilities; click to read more about the Suitcase Hit and Run. It’s an oldie but goodie. 

My teen also complained about hanging a mirror at the right height, which unfortunately meant he could not see his whole self in the mirror. I have a pet peeve about paintings and decorative mirrors that are hung too high. It’s not my fault he grew too tall. Right? I told him if he stood back and squatted down, he could admire himself in his entirety. He countered by reminding me we have friends who have a decorative hallway mirror that he can admire himself in—his whole self. It’s always bugged me that such lovely people hung their mirror so high. Oh well.

We finished up with all pictures hung straight at the appropriate height and on walls that suited them. The clock was restored to its rightful place.  And despite the fact that my teen whined a bit and even made some reference to working with women (especially his mother), I know he was pleased with our efforts because he was whistling as he put his tools away.

Odd Loves Company,



6 thoughts on “Picture Hanging it’s an Art

  1. It’s next to impossible to hang a picture with a man. They act like you are asking them to build a space shuttle. Good for you and Cole for accomplishing the deed. I’ve had pictures for years that have sat on closet shelves and will more than likely remain there. You know, I should just grab a hammer and nail and hang them myself! I just might.

  2. When Domer went off to college, armed with a bucketload of posters, etc., I staunchly refrained from “helping” with the hanging process. And when I went up for a visit, I was surprised to see things looking amazingly nice. Some things, we just have to back away from. Of course, when it’s YOUR house, you get to set the parameters — but I admire both of you for working it all out! Having the right tools, I imagine, helps, but I’m more of the eyeballer-type like you. Think it’s a mom gene??

    • Eyeballing gets the job done with less fuss. I’m pretty sure Cole’s walls are going to be bare bone but I’ll try to turn away if he hangs everything at his 6 foot plus height. I’m not surprised Domer did a good job but did he level and measure or eye-ball?

  3. I’d rather do just about anything other than hang pictures with a women. it’s always a fight, it’s never right, and it is never just one.
    I’m pretty sure Cole wasn’t whistling because he was happy with the results. Poor kid. If his dad was alive he would have taught him to run at the first picture mention. It’s one of those things dads pass along to their sons. Kind of like what to say if a women asks “does this make look fat?”
    Well, I am sure he knows now, he’s a smart one.

    • Mike, I’m not sure you have the right picture hanging spirit. Would you really want to look at a picture that didn’t flatter your walls??!!

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