What the Heck is an Antimacassar?

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Art for My Parents Living Room

Welcome to my Art Thursdays second B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blog post. Last week, I shared my very first pieces of art I created when I was 12 years old. Fast forward 12 more years, I created two 16×22 watercolor flower pieces for my parents living room. They just redecorated their home with new carpet, couches, drapes, and lamps, but they didn’t have any art on the walls that would match. I offered to paint something and asked for some fabric from the floral couches to bring home to use as an example of the colors and patterns. My mom handed me this piece of cloth from the headrest of the sofa and said, “here’s an antimacassar.” (Pic below is the piece of fabric that I used)

My First Watercolor Art 2 Piece Set, “Antimacassar Flowers” 

As you can see in the antimacassar picture above, there are two types of flowers in different positions, perhaps some pink/burgundy bleeding hearts, blue rose or chiffon plants, and some sage green leaves (maybe my flower expert friends can comment). I picked the bottom blue flower facing backwards and zoomed in on part of the pink flower to the left of the blue one to paint in two different pieces. I don’t think I ever saw a painting of a backwards flower, so I thought that was a pretty neat idea for my blue antimacassar. I was also inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe’s artistic expression of zooming in on the flowers. The materials I used to create the art were: 16×22 watercolor paper, tube watercolor paint, and pencil to draw (I do not recall the brands). Below are the two pieces and a picture of them hanging in my parent’s living room.

“Blue Antimacassar” by Jaime Brainerd, 2003

“Pink Antimacassar” by Jaime Brainerd, 2003

“Antimacassar Flowers”

Thank you for reading and viewing,

Dr. Jaime Brainerd, Ed.D.

P.S. My mom actually called the fabric a “doily.” However, when I looked up the definition of doily, it said it was an ornamental lace. Next, I Googled “what is the piece of fabric on the back of a couch” and found, antimacassar /an(t)ēməˈkasər/. Honestly, I didn’t even know how to pronounce that word, so I pushed the speaker button to listen. It sounds just like it is spelled. Cheers to learning something new today!

About the Author

Dr. Brainerd

Hello, I am Dr. Jaime Brainerd Ed.D., a lifelong learner, beauty consultant, author, financial specialist, artist, traveler, health enthusiast, and self care advocate. Please follow my website for my B.R.E.A.T.H.S. blogs.

5 thoughts on “What the Heck is an Antimacassar?

  1. The paintings are lovely! I feel like my parents had a couch like that years ago. I didn’t know there was a name for the design. Thanks for sharing.

  2. WOW! That’s very creative. I’ve been doing watercolor painting for about 6 years now and love how the water moves the paint. What a beautiful gift you gave your mom.
    And thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary. 🙂

  3. OMG your paintings are exquisite! So much detail and what a finishing touch to your mom’s room! BTW, I knew this word! I remember my grandmother always making these for my grandfather’s chair to keep it clean because of the oil on his head.

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