The Gray Ghost and the Guitar

June 26, 2012

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Befores, afters, mood boards, plans, failures, wins. We’ve done a lot of projects, and they’re all here. 

We have a long-standing relationship with DIY, and love rolling our sleeves up and making it happen. 

Even when you don’t want to rip down a wall, you can make that space in your home better. Right now.

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Can you believe we still haven’t wrapped up the family room?  Yeesh.  It’s like we got a couch and everything else went kaput.  In reality, we got a couch and have been spending lots of night snuggled up on it making up for lost veg time.  We have caught the fire again and are anxious to finish this room up once and for all–really there are just a few spaces that need attention.  For instance, this wall has been blank for quite some time:

And today, I finally hung up two things that fill the space, but more importantly add more character to the room.

This painting on the right is actually done by my uncle, Jim.  It is a silk-screen of (I believe) the “Gray Ghost” also known as John S. Mosby, a confederate cavalry in the Civil War.  Now, I admit, I am no history buff, and if it wasn’t for Wikipedia–I probably wouldn’t know that the Gray Ghost’s name was actually John Mosby, but I absolutely love having a piece of my family’s art history hung on the walls of my home.

The painting was done back in ’74 and the whole thing was custom framed by my PapPap–who has practiced that art for decades.  So you see, it is pretty special to me and I am thrilled my mom let me have it for awhile (we believe in traveling galleries around here).

The guitar on the left is Chris’s.  He does like to play it now and again (although he most often sticks to his djembe currently hanging out in the living room) so the guitar doubles as art when it’s not in use.

Though I am thrilled that both pieces mean something to us, I feel like the guitar coloring could be improved upon to tie into the rest of the room.  Luckily, with Chris’s blessing, I am giving the body and headstock a little makeover.

Using Photoshop, I mocked up a light gray guitar that would go well with the couch:

And a white one to tie into the bookcases:

Both are promising and I am excited about the potential outcome.  Which do you like better, or would you keep it as is?  Do you have a favorite in-the-family piece of art?

What do you think?

  1. Ok – I don’t know which one I like more. I love the natural wood, and would hate to have to paint a guitar, BUT they are hunky dory next to each other. White is cool, but it’s like BAM! I just don’t know.

  2. That was my initial thought as well! But considering my PapPap did the framing so long ago out of really quality wood, I’d hate to mess with it. Basically the artwork and frame mean a lot more to us than the guitar.

  3. Leilanifreitas4 says:

    I would paint the picture frame of the gray ghost painting instead of the guitar! Just a suggestion!

  4. I like the guitar as is! And the artwork is definitely very cool and totally unique. I totally am a history buff and know who John Mosby is, haha! Love it!

  5. I like the guitar as is! And the artwork is definitely very cool and totally unique. I totally am a history buff and know who John Mosby is, haha! Love it!

  6. I like the guitar as is! And the artwork is definitely very cool and totally unique. I totally am a history buff and know who John Mosby is, haha! Love it!

  7. I get The Gray Ghost next. I totally thought I called dibs on that.

  8. Allison says:

    I’d buy a new black guitar before I painted one… maybe trade/sell it on CL?? Unless you’re OK with it possibly not being functional.

  9. Brittani says:

    I love the wood of the guitar yet painting it does make it have more of a modern feel. I am excited to see what you choose because in the end our opinions don’t over rule yours! Good luck!

  10. Rebecca says:

    I want to add that I think the idea of traveling family art is so cool!

  11. Rebecca says:

    I vote to keep the guitar as is! I think it highlights the warm tones in the painting better than the other options.

  12. Ashley W says:

    I wouldn’t paint the guitar…

  13. Heather G. says:

    While a part of me is screaming DONT PAINT THE GUITAR, another part of me is in love with the grey and black version you created. It looks great on your wall color. I feel like the white pops out too much.

  14. Glasska says:

    I’m sorry – awful was a mean word! Definitely should have said something nicer than that!! It wouldn’t be awful, I just never though of painting a guitar as an option before. I am all up for painting furniture and walls and lamps and whatnot but I think I draw my line at musical instruments :)

    I do love pretty much everything else you’ve ever done to your home so there is a good chance whatever you choose will be the opposite of awful!

  15. Gpbbraelin says:

    Any chance you could stain the guitar (darker) instead of painting? Not sure how you’d get rid of the existing varnish, but stain somehow seems like it would retain the classic wood guitar feel/look/sound (?), while helping the ascetics. If that’s not possible my vote is no on the paint.

  16. Kathywestwood says:

    DON’T paint the guitar. That will mess with it’s sound, and if Chris really likes to play it, it will be toast-so will you!

  17. beth riley says:

    I like the grey, or you could do it even closer to black. I think a dark guitar would look more like it was originally that way.

  18. Laura Priest says:

    I say nay to painting the guitar. The yellow in the wood could draw out the yellow on the bookshelves, no? I guess I would need to see it. Being a cellist though, I’m going to have to lean towards keeping the wood natural looking.

  19. I am going to vote for white on the body, I love the contrast! I think the grey body is too matchy-matchy with the walls and the greys in the painting. And that’s a hard statement for a grey-o-holic!

  20. Nicole says:

    oooh, traveling family art. I like that idea. So cool. As for the guitar, I like the natural look…it adds character to the space without being too matchy (to the couch or the soldier). If you’re really set on painting it, though, grey has my vote. :) Good luck. I love all of these finishing touches you’re adding!

  21. Hmm… I’d try making the wood darker to go with the picture frame!

  22. I feel like the pair (the painting and the guitar) look a little too….hunky dory next to each other. Something needs to lighten up!

  23. meaganbriggs3 says:

    I love the natural wood. But oooooooo baby, the white is dreamy!!!!

  24. Glasska says:

    Aghhh the guitar is perfect how it is. Painting it would be awful.

  25. Meagan says:

    I’m voting to not paint the guitar. Keep it natural. I think it goes with the room just fine as it currently is.

  26. Elaine says:

    I like the gray version the best :)

  27. Erin says:

    Oh man, that’s a tough call. I love the look of the gray, but could painting change the guitar’s sound? If so, does Chris care? (It sounds like he’s pretty casual about it.) Personally I’d worry about doing a good enough paint job so the guitar didn’t scream DIY. But I think you’re much more adept than me. Hmm, maybe it’s worth living with for a while as is. Or maybe–and this sounds a little crazy–try some sort of non-permanent makeover (maybe contact paper or wall paper) and live with that for a little while to see if the change is worth it.

  28. I love the guitar as decor! I kind of did that in my husband’s man-cave, but he would KILL me if I ever even suggested painting one of his “babies”!

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