How to Convince Your Spouse That You Need an Osborn or Rugh Painting

Tongue-in-Cheek Series

Oil Painting by Doug Rugh

Talking Points

by Doug Rugh

It should be obvious that you deserve that painting you’ve picked out but prioritizing for your happiness may not be one of your spouse’s strengths. This lapse, of course, is surely a fleeting oversight because if hanging the right painting in your home is all that it takes to give you a little joy why wouldn’t your significant other jump at the opportunity. This is a classic win-win situation: you become happy and by extension so does your other half. A simple prodding: “Honey, I just need it. I can’t explain why,” should be enough (goodness knows that you’ve earned it after all these years) but if it’s not, I humbly offer these talking points to help maintain your matrimonial bliss (while you simultaneously have your needs met):

“I was at the gallery today and I was thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to be surrounded by art like this' and then I realized that I can be. That we can be. And that you and I can live a life in art together.”

Stand in front of the painting that you want in the gallery and without looking away from it say, “I always pick things for the house. Why don’t you pick this time?”

“They say real connoisseurs build houses around art. We’re real connoisseurs aren’t we sweetheart?”

“We have to get rid of those prints and get some original paintings. What is this, a motel?”

“At this point what else could Hillary and Doug do? They’ll either have long (and I mean long) careers or they’ll die early from hard living. Either way, prices are only going up-up-up and we need to get in now!”

“How often do you see something that just strikes you as beautiful? Never? Well I just did and I have the perfect place for it.”

“What do I want for my birthday (anniversary/Christmas/mother’s day/father’s day/birthday)? Oh, I don’t know.” - Look up at an empty area on the wall and gently touch the wall. - “I was at the gallery again today.” Make sure you mention the title and size but don’t say any more: just plant a seed of desire. If it doesn’t take root, send an email to the gallery asking about the painting and “accidently” copy the reply to your significant other. He/she will see that you have written, “I love it, but I just couldn’t ask for it.”

“You are a powerful and important man (woman) but our art doesn’t reflect that.”

“The house and everything in it is almost perfect, just what we always dreamed of and yet I can’t help thinking that we’ve left the walls undressed; naked almost. Imagine how those paintings would make the room sing. The only little pang of emptiness I feel is when I look at our sad, bare walls. Come to think of it, it’s like living in a jail cell.”

“They say that paintings are like windows on to a world of one’s own choosing. Now, this is what we’re going to do: either buy that house overlooking __________________ [Pick your favorite spot in the world and don’t hold back.] or we’re going to get a painting of it. You decide.”

“Remember that painting that I loved where you said ‘we should think about it’ and then it was gone when I went back to get it? I’ll never find anything like that again: it was a one-of-a-kind. I found another one I like. What do you think I should do about this one?”

Wait until your spouse has wronged you. Utilize the silent treatment for a few days and when he/she is sufficiently receptive, and without making eye contact, declare, “I want a painting.” Just let it hang in the air until he/she says, “Which painting?” Turn and gently place your hand on their arm and then give them specifics.

“Years from now we’ll be out to dinner and reminiscing: ‘We got that painting for what this meal costs and now we could sell it and buy the restaurant.’”

“We’ll have the Hendersons over and they’ll see that beautiful painting over the mantle. They’re so competitive; always trying to one-up us but for just this once we can be the ones pitying them.”

“In Fifteen years their work has appreciated more than 850%. Imagine what the value of their work will be 20 or so years from now when they’re not able to lift a brush. It’s a demand and supply thing and I demand you supply me a painting now!”

“We always said we would grow old together. They say that oil paintings get better with age too. Just like us! Let’s you and I grow old together with this painting and then leave this token for others to remember us by.”

“Life is short, do we really want all our dollars tied up in risky investments? We should have our investments in hard assets and on display for all to enjoy.”

Glaring: “You meant well honey but when I said I hoped to have more beauty and culture in my life I did not mean to get a larger flat screen TV. Next time pay attention. Please.”

“I’ve been looking for a hobby that’s a good fit for me and I was reading about art patrons in the olden days and how they surrounded themselves with art and knew all the artists of the day and as I was reading I realized that that’s it! That’s me! That is who I am and could be. It just feels right: like it’s my purpose in life. I just wanted to give you a head’s up.”

“Wouldn’t it be nice to leave our (grand) children artwork to remember us by. They could use a little sophistication, that’s for sure.”

Or don’t beat around the bush: Wait until your spouse has caused some undue trouble, tear up these feeble recommendations and use the credit card freely. You deserve it!