Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Match: Elegance Slain 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.}
Ignore the text on this book cover. Does anyone know if Celerie is the designer?
Edouard Manet, The Dead Toreador

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Weekend!

Happy Halloween Weekend, Friends! I'm finally finished submitting grant applications, and am about to pop into the kitchen to taste my Love's OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD annual fall cake. This little one came in today smelling like cold Autumn air and crunchy red leaves. Sometimes life is just right, isn't it? I hope that you have a perfect October weekend!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

From the Studio

Friends, I'm sorry that I've been a bit MIA this week. The Fall is always busy with back-to-back commissions booked for the winter holiday gift season. Whenever I am working on a painting for someone, I invite the person who has commissioned it to stop by my studio anytime they like to see the work in progress. So I thought I would start sharing a few shots with you as well. (Please excuse the poor photography. It is becoming painfully clear that I should have taken a pass on one of those interesting courses in favor of that basic photography class in school. Sigh.)
Here's the beginning of a New York cityscape from a few commissions back. There is something kind of lonely in a Hopper-esque sense that I really love about this...
... but a little more hustle and bustle was more fitting for the purpose of the commission.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Art and Advertising

"Publicity images often use sculptures or paintings to lend allure or authority to their own messages" - John Berger
Acura Advertisement. Subtext translation: This is not a car. (It is an object of "elegant aggression.")

René Magritte. Text translation: "This is not a pipe."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Match: Child's Play 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.}
Doe anyone know the designer? image via Living etc.
Who oh who is this artist? I bought a book of his/her work, but it is written entirely in Chinese! Help!

 *F.Y.I. -- This  painting is actually much brighter than it appears here, and it whites are far crisper.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Everyone Loves Chocolate

  ( photo by Christina Bernales)
Friends, do you remember how I made this instillation for Fleurir Hand Grown Chocolates last March? Owners, Robert and Ashley, are the bees knees, and each piece of their beautiful chocolate is a like a perfect little present! So when my sister asked me to incorporate a piece of art into the design for their space, I knew it had to reflect the couples' fun energy, as well as the natural ingredients and fresh combinations of flavors in their chocolate. The resulting instillation is a marriage of gold and coral paint, bean cans, wax paper, tennis balls, laundry pins, tree branches and golf tees. Now the fabulous family behind Fleurir Chocolates is opening its doors on Saturday for their Grand Opening! Stop in from noon to six to sample some of their chocolates and cocoa and stock up on your hostess and thank you gifts!

Fleurir hand grown chocolates
3235 P Street NW
Washington DC 20007

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


 “Conditions for creativity are to be puzzled; to concentrate; to accept conflict and tension; to be born everyday; to feel a sense of self.” Erich Fromm

I have been thinking a lot about the overlapping of learning disabilities and creativity. There are a lot of behavioral and cognitive parallels between artists and people with Attention Deficit Disorder. Apparently the national guidelines for the diagnosis of this mental impairment have been amended to allow for treatment of children as young as four years old. Now, I am not a medical expert, nor am I dismissive of the existence of certain mental variations that cause trouble for individuals seeking to live a "normal" life. It does bother me though, that there are waves of potentially artistic little people being diagnosed and often medicated for "disabilities" just because their model for understanding the world is not the same linear model that our society has standardized.

I'm going to get personal here. As an older child I was diagnosed with A.D.D. by way of two measly testimonials (one from me, one from my mom). I was a straight-A student with a load of friends and the ability to concentrate for hours on end. Still, it took me so much time to complete tasks, and I often had trouble deciphering what homework and test questions were trying to ask. In light of my "diagnosis" I started a medication routine to alleviate the "problems." I continued to bring home perfect test scores, and I only had to study half the time to reach those goals! Fantastic, right?!

But here's what else happened. I COULD NOT THINK ABSTRACTLY. Like at all. The girl who at one point couldn't have enough paints and clay in her world, literally had zero desire to create anything. Thinking deep philosophical questions about life seemed like a waste of time. I did not care about the connections between things or the patterns they created. All that interested me were facts, data point, and timelines. I suppose that shouldn't have bothered me. After all, my lateral thinking was at an all time high, and it only cost my soul! Thankfully though, a small voice in the back of my head prevailed, and that medicated period was a brief one.

I was old enough to take account of my strengths, weaknesses and what kind of person the medication was making me. The trouble is that a seventeen year old who has been medicated since he was four is not going to remember that he was an artist once, and a nation that encourages the extinction of its creative citizens has no future.
The images above are of three famous individuals believed to have had ADD: Thomas Edison, Michael Phelps, and Leonardo da Vinci. While medication arguably has a place in aiding certain individuals with ADD, we do not know how it would have affected the life and achievements of some of these people had they been medicated from age four.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Highs and Lows

Tonight I had the privilege of seeing my sister, Leah Moss, doing what she does best. She spoke on a panel of experts discussing the art of mixing high and low in design. She was brilliant! Not only does she have a fantastic eye and a way with words, but she also has a gift for making design accessible. Way to be, Leah!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Match

{Every week I post an image of a room that reminds me of a painting either in its palette, composition or mood.}
"Case di Pellestrina" by Guido Cadorin
Martha Stewart's Maine guest house

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I am so lucky to have seen one of this artist's kinetic sculptures at ARTPRIZE's first annual exhibition competition. Here is a clip of one of his incredible "creatures" at work:

Movement is such an attractive force. We are drawn to rooms with whirling fans, flickering fireplace flames or swinging clock pendulums. There is something undeniably exciting about living in a city that never sleeps (even when we do). And when an artist takes something beautiful in its own right and endows it with movement, we can't help wanting to be near it.
Well done,Theo Jansen!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lessons From People In Diapers

I took a morning out of my studio practice yesterday to teach a neighboring Montessori school about abstract expressionist, Jackson Pollock. I had no idea that I would be the one getting the education. Here are some of the lessons they taught me:

1. THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, ONLY HAPPY ACCIDENTS. Toddlers are rock stars when it comes to "action painting." They drip, splatter, pour and fling paint without questioning themselves for a second!

2. INFORMATION IS GOOD. BREVITY IS BETTER. I was prepared to present an absurd number of facts on the artist. It took under thirty seconds of excited squeals and overturned paint tubs to realize that concise was the only way to go! Let's just say that I may be reading my next artistic proposal to this group to see if it passes their attention test.

3. ART SHOULD BE SERIOUS FUN. Some of the kids pursed their lips and made tight little circles with paint brushes. Others dunked leafy branches in buckets of green and gold and danced around the canvas dragging and slapping it with total abandon. But everyone was sporting a grin and paint in their hair by lunchtime!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Art and Advertising

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

The Last Supper  by Leonardo da Vinci

Advertisement for the show, House

Monday Match

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

Sabrina Cabada

Friday, October 7, 2011

Happy Weekend!

image by Murray Mitchell
Friends, what are your plans for the weekend? I am heading to New York for a wedding and a quick visit with two of my very favorite people! 
Every time I visit I'm struck by how different the light is in the city -- those unexpected vertical planes of brightness slipped between vast cool stretches of building. Breathtaking! I plan to take a few mental snapshots of the light this time, since I am about ready to put the finishing touches on a New York cityscape commission. 
Which reminds me: I have just had one spot open up in my fall commission schedule. If you are interested in giving the gift of a portrait, house portrait or our painting to a loved one this upcoming holiday season, it is yours! Just send me a note at

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Art and Advertising

"Publicity images often use sculptures or paintings to lend allure or authority to their own messages" - John Berger
'Le déjeuner sur l'herbe' by Édouard Manet
Yves Saint Laurent advertisement

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Artists, heads up on this scam from a notorious New York vanity gallery:

Dear Nicole Bourgea,
I came across your website while I was doing research online. I wanted to take a minute to introduce you to our gallery.
Agora Gallery has been in business since 1984 and is located in the heart of New York’s famous art district, Chelsea. A well-established gallery, we provide promotional services to talented artists such as yourself, for which we charge an annual promotional fee.

For more information about gallery representation and our services, or to submit your portfolio for review, please visit .
I would be happy to answer any questions. You can reach me at 212-226-4151 or
I look forward to hearing from you,
Kind regards,

Alexandra Cespedes
Gallery Assistant / Agora Gallery
Phone: 212.226.4151
Fax: 212.966.4380

 I received this email today, and while it may go without saying, this is clearly NOT a legitimate path to success. There is no reason to sell your work through galleries charging thousands of dollars on top of commission just to exhibit.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

This is what my weekend looked liked. My dear friend was kind enough to help me photograph and critique one of my recent projects for a couple of upcoming opportunities. Thank you, Marcie!!!

Monday, October 3, 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.}
Wassily Kandinsky, In the Blue

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