Susan Dromey Heeter
By Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings
I muse joyfully this week on art galleries and bathrooms.
I read once that Liberace was not a fan of the toilet and that he wanted to design something where he could simply allow this unsightly but necessary piece of equipment to be utilized but not noted for its, well, function.
So, of course, he created a literal throne and outfitted it in velvet. This unique piece was ensconced in his guest room in Palm Springs and its image can be found on line at “Bob’s World of Liberace.”
I’m not sure who “Bob” is but he does have a veritable potpourri of images for Lib. And one is that toilet, er, I mean, throne.
My home does not boast a velveteen throne but I have outfitted our little bathroom into something of a gallery. Let’s face it: the bathroom can be a prime space to simply gaze. And in my many forays into venues of thrift, I’ve found beautiful, original art.
Last week, I found a wonderful clock framed and functioning, done all by hand in crewel by a woman named Nancy in 1979. Nancy signed it and, honestly, it’s so lovely and so well made, I’m simply in awe of the time and patience it must have taken to have completed this piece. And, marvelously, the clock works and provides accurate time. It’s both art AND function – akin to the velvet throne of Liberace. And for five bucks, it has brought a piece of joy to the small room of our casa.
Paintings line this gallery as well, more traditional art of landscapes and venues I’ve both seen and hope to see. One painting I found at Find It on The First Thrift Shop in Dover is by the artist E. Joseph Fontaine. This water color came beautifully framed and reflects a lovely spring image of tulips in Boston.
When I did some research on Mr. Fontaine, I learned he was not only a prolific painter but also a successful lawyer and father of five. When Mr. Fontaine was asked what made his art so serene, he responded, “An artist’s work reflects his soul and there is a part of my soul that would have been parched and barren were it not filled with love and pride for my family.” Wow.
And this painting in my little gallery provides lovely serenity, beautiful strokes and delightful tulips in Boston. Who knew a bathroom could provide such peace. And what did I pay for this lovely piece and touch of peace? Five bucks. Thank you, Find It On the First. You guys are the best.
As you know, Joyful Musers, I am a fan of the used, the re-used and the frugal. And at this moment, where the verb “downsize” is utilized as often as “to get a coffee” this is prime time to search out art – original, eclectic, lovely to you. Perhaps you can have your own gallery – if not your own velvet throne.
Enjoy your finds and celebrate the art of the deal and the love of beauty. And may you find your zen in the smallest room of your house.
Susan Dromey Heeter, a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white, debuts her new column “Joyful Musings” at InDepthNH.org. Dromey Heeter is a secondary Spanish Teacher at Dover High School and the mother of two teenage daughters. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards. She also writes about thrift shopping and all things frugal in a column called “Budget Vogue” for the New Hampshire Union Leader.