Thank you all so much for the generous comments and opinions about my painting/living room wall conundrum. I can see both sides of the issue; the creepy painting in a castle factor and the sweet great-grandmother heirloom aspect. And while I know some people would find it a bit unnerving, that wasn't the deciding factor. It just didn't seem to be the right size for the room. I'll save it for a hallway someday, or maybe a bigger office/library. But, the fact remained that the big wall behind my couch was needing something.
So, I began thinking of ways to remedy the bare wall behind the sofa. I didn't particularly want to move the paintings that were there (also my mom's work), but they were the wrong size for the wall. Mom gave me these paintings as house-warming present, and if the whole joint catches fire, these will be the two things I come running out with. Mom took pictures of the houses in Galveston, and then painted them and my two sisters and me riding our bicycles in front. To say they are sentimental would be the understatement of the century, so the idea of moving them to a lesser-seen wall wasn't appealing.
I moved the Galveston paintings above the bookshelves, which turns out to be much more fitting for their size and scale.
In the end, this is what I came up with. The factors that preceded this night of reorganizing were twofold. One; I had an abnormal amount of energy for a Friday night. A bizarre amount. Usually I come home, don the ever-attractive pajama pants and bury myself in Cherry Garcia. And two; Matt was gone. Being alone in the house is imperative to a big rearrange. No one is around to see my hair-brained schemes, or the thousands of swiss cheese holes I put in the walls. You have no idea the sweating and nail biting that went on, I hate hanging things on the wall. But this time, things worked out. Whew. I need another weekend to recover.
*** Now that I've stolen artwork from other rooms to do this, there are two very bare walls in the breakfast nook and guest bedroom. I smell a shopping trip...