Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Friday!

seen here
I hope that you have some fun winter adventures planned for this weekend. I will be doing my annual Jackie Battenfield inspired calendar for 2012. If you are an artist and have not checked out her book, The Artist's Guide, I highly recommend it for organizing your business. Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday (err...I mean, Thursday) Match

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in palette, composition or mood. I hope you enjoy!}
*OK, I admit it.  Today's match is a bit of a cheat. Not only was I too full of Christmas dinner to post on Monday, but also both the interior and the sculpture are the creative product of Alexander Calder. I came across a beautiful book on the artist's home, and couldn't believe how much it reminded me of his work! Do you think the art influenced the home or vise versa?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

From the Studio: Anatomy of a Commission

One half of a sweet couple commissioned this house portrait for her spouse as a Christmas gift. Here it is in its beginning stages.
Here it is very nearly complete. I liked the sparseness of the winter tree and bare clapboards, but for the commission I added flowers bordering the front of the house and leaves on the trees.
Friends, I hope that you had a beautiful holiday! My sister hosted our annual Christmas Eve Feast of the Seven Fishes in her gorgeous candle strewn house, and then our dear friends came over to make Christmas dinner with us. We are so full of prime rib, homemade raviolis and chocolate ganache that we couldn't eat much at all yesterday and spent most of the day laying in front of the fire reading...sigh. Lovely winter wishes to you all.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Merry!

Merry Christmas, Friends!
Sending You My Prayers for a Beautiful...

and Joyful Holiday!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It's Christmas Time in the City

Street artist, PosterChild, installed this tiny tree in an abandoned newspaper box in Williamsburg, NY.  
photo and project details from here.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Monday Match: Winter Blues Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood. I hope you enjoy!}

Virginia Woolf’s bedroom
(Annie Leibovitz,  Pilgrimage)

Pablo Picasso, Blue Room

Annie Leibovitz's photograph is of course a work of art in its own right, but I thought it was fascinating how she captured Woolf's painfully beautiful and melancholic spirit in the blue cast of her room. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Look who finally got around to making and hanging up her advent calender a few days before Christmas! I had the best intentions of concocting something fabulous for the job, but given my frantic dash to finish commissioned work before Christmas, the baby mittens and butcher twine won out. I will be in the studio for most of the weekend, but we do have plans to find our tree and make a few gingerbread houses! I hope that you have a great weekend, Friends!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Rebels in Paradise

Photograph by Charles Brittin/The Charles Brittin Archive — Getty Research Institute — J. Paul Getty Trust
Are you a country or a city person? If I had it my way, I would live in a big city. My husband would prefer to live smack dab in the middle of a Wendell Berry novel. So we have compromised on a place fifteen minutes outside of D.C., with a big backyard and a few old trees. There is a lot of good art being made in the Washington area, but sometimes it feels like the only place to be if you are an artist is New York. 

That is why I was thrilled to hear about the new book “Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s.” Author, Drohojowska-Philp, writes about artists like Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, Judy Chicago and John Baldessari, Andy Warhol feeding off of the creative freedom that a city removed from the artistic spotlight could provide. New York is an inspiring conglomeration of artistic activity, but it is interesting to consider that the validity of an artist need not come from his or her location on the globe.  I'm looking forward to reading the book!

P.S. -- My sculpture for Fleurir was shown today on design*sponge. Here's the link.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Food & Wine...and Art!

Remember how a few months ago I was doing this...
in an effort to convince these guys...
to let me make this...
designed by the one and only, Leah Moss?

Well they were mentioned in the January issue of this magazine...
and were kind enough to mention me!

Let's help them celebrate by buying some chocolate!

(*All photos credit of Christina Bernales except the super-flattering first shot by either Robert or Ashley.)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Art and Advertising

"Publicity images often use sculptures or paintings to lend allure or authority to their own messages" - John Berger
Advertisement for television show, The Office
Georges-Pierre Seurat, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte

Monday, December 12, 2011

Monday Match

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood. }

Martha Stewart
Giorgio Morandi
* Martha and Morandi share a love of pared-down form and evocative neutrals.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Aren't the skaters in this vintage photograph cute? I wish people still dressed this way.
It has finally stopped raining around here! I know that growing things need water and all, but it sure does cramp a girl's style. In celebration of the still cold but sunny days ahead, I am going ice skating on the National Mall this weekend! Some of my favorite childhood memories involves slipping all over the rink in the middle of the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden. I think it's high time to revisit the place. Happy Weekend, Friends!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Art and Advertising: Matrix Move Edition

{John Berger's book Ways of Seeing claims that publicity relies on historical artistic references to sell products, because advertisements would lack credibility if they used a strictly contemporary language. In honor of this idea, I post an ad each week which references a particular work of art.}

Henri Matisse

Two Dancers (Study for Rouge et Noir)
Wii Advertisement 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Remember when I wrote about A.D.D. and artistic talent? If you are interested in the topic, then you might enjoy this article from the Harvard News Office about possible ties between creativity and mental illness.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

From the Studio

Here are some pictures from a house portrait commission that I finished today. The house originally functioned as a carriage house for its neighbor. The homeowners are giving the painting to each other for Christmas. How sweet is that?
Here we go...



Monday, December 5, 2011

Monday Match: Surreal Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood.}

Elena Colombo's home via Martha Stewart
Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory 
*Dali's title is especially appropriate to for this match: In my memory the painting's palette is much cleaner and brighter, and the forms even more simplified. Still, the interior has an almost surreal atmosphere that seems to come from its unexpected juxtapositions and hyper-stylised references to nature. It is an intriguing room: Odd and compelling at the same time, with a timeless quality because it does not follow any particular design logic.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy Friday!

image via murraymitchell
The weekend is here! I am not normally much of a homebody. I'd rather be out on an adventure, but every year about this time, I start daydreaming about wrapping up in a soft blanket next to a crackling fire with a stack of good books, and no 'TO DO' list. The reality is that the months leading up to the winter holidays are my busiest work-wise. If I find a few hours though, I plan to get back to Wallace Stegner's All the Little Live Things. I imagine that one of the main characters lives in a little house just like the one in this photo. 
I hope that you have a lovely first December weekend, Friends!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Check out this project, which calls for remakes of some of history's greatest masterpieces.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Location, Location, Location

image via the pink line project
Did you know that there are series of abandoned tunnels under Dupont Circle? D.C.'s original streetcar system was  put to rest in the early 1960's when buses became the newest form of public transportation. A couple of businesses have attempted to set up shop in the tunnels, including a food court called Dupont Down Under and a health club chain, but financial complications and city bureaucracy ultimately thwarted development. 
Now the Arts Coalition for the Dupont Underground has secured exclusive rights to a development plan, which will include gallery and performance spaces, along with a few boutique cafes slated to open as early as next spring! Although the plan will require formal letters of commitment and an estimated 15 million dollars in funding, the development board recently swore in Lionel Lynch, one of the key development consultants behind New York's wildly successful High Line.
New York's High Line transformation from abandoned trolley track to public park

I think that there is an allure to transformed spaces. They are nostalgic without being precious or stale, because they mix old memories with new life. (Think Glen Echo or the old Walter Reed Hospital that used to be a girls boarding school.) I can't wait for this new space!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

If I hadn't become an artist, I think I might have studied cognitive science or neurobiology. As someone operating with a heavy right-brain lean in a left-brain dominant world, I am particularly interested in the interaction between the brain hemispheres. I love the fact that someone who is not musically inclined can listen to a piece of music with his right brain, while an expert musician switches seamlessly between his experiential right-brain and his analytical left-brain in hearing and categorizing particular notes. 
I spend a lot of my time in the studio listening to public radio as I paint. That way I can catch up on the news and hear interesting interviews as I work. (This post was inspired by one on Michael Gazzaniga’s new book, Who’s in Charge?, which addresses questions about the relationship between freewill and the mechanics of the human brain.) Anyway, I've noticed my style becoming a little tighter and cleaner in recent years, and I'm starting to wonder if what I'm listening to has any effect on how I'm painting. Namely, is listening to language arranged in logical constructs encouraging a more representational/ less abstract, inventive style? 
What do you think? Do you find that what you listen to affects the type of work that you do? I'm planning to bring my ipod to the studio tomorrow. I'll keep you posted on the results.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday Match: Collectors' Edition

{Every week I post an image of an interior that reminds me of a work of art either in its palette, composition or mood.}
The home of Hollister and Porter Hovey via Design Sponge
William Merritt Chase, The Studio Corner

* The Thanksgiving holiday is over and my neighbors are hanging up their Christmas lights. Every year I make grand plans for decluttering before I start flinging my tinsel. Then I see spaces like the Hovey home, or paintings like the one above and decide that there is something comforting about living amid piles of interesting things.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Art and Advertising

{"Publicity images often use sculptures or paintings to lend allure or authority to their own messages" - John Berger}

Whether your family looks like this
Norman Rockwell
or more like this
Modern Family
I hope that you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!

*Clearly this was intended to post yesterday. I hope that you had as much fun as we did here!
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