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Stylin’ and Profilin’

15 Sep

Many artists see their wardrobe as an extension of their creative personalities.  So for artsyF A S H I O NWeek, I thought it would be fun to feature a few of my favorite stylish artists side-by-side with their work.  You’ll see that often their style carries over from canvas to clothes.

THE URBAN GENTLEMAN:  STEVE WILLIAMS

Passion Of The World ( cropped ) with Pioneer Chaser with artist Steve Williams

THE HIP RUSTIC:  DOLAN GEIMAN

Artist Dolan Geiman with Made In The Shade Guitar Collection ( Large )

THE ECLECTIC ECCENTRIC:  SHARLA VALESKI

Liberated with artist, Sharla Valeski

There are hints about who we are in what we choose to wear.  What are your clothes saying about you?

To see more of these artists’ work, please visit their websites, listed below.

Steve Williams 

Dolan Geiman

Sharla Valeski

Art Inspired Design: Modern Reflections

11 Jul

I love art.  I love design.  Why not put the two together on the blog?  There was a time in my life when I thought my career path lay ( Thank you, Suzanne Decuir for the grammatical help ) in Interior Design.  I took courses, devoured design and shelter magazines.   As often happens in life,  circumstances got in the way and the path detoured.  But that’s a story for another time.  Let’s focus on the fun stuff today!

One of my absolute favorite things while designing ( OK, it was THE absolute favorite thing ), was creating moodboards.  To begin with an inspiration and build a room or facility around it was thrilling to my color, texture and pattern lovin’ soul.  And for me, it always began with the artwork.  While doing project management/art consulting, I worked with a lot of designers and many ( but by no means all! ) viewed the artwork for a design as an after-thought.  Like adding sprinkles to a cake.  Still a cake without the sprinkles, but oh, if we add them, won’t that be pretty!  But if we don’t have sprinkles, it’s OK.  It’s still a nice cake.  Instead, I think of the artwork as the frosting– not just smoothed across the top, but spread between the layers and all over.  It is what holds the cake together and gives it the extra texture and sweetness that keeps us going back for more.

( Wow, anyone else craving cake now? )

So you’ve purchased this beautiful painting by Christina Foard.  You love it, it speaks to your heart and reflects your style and everything you love about life.  But maybe you live at the beach and are unsure how to design a room around it.  Aren’t all beach houses supposed to be full of palm trees & seashells?

Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard, oil on canvas, 60x48

This piece to speak more to the feeling of being on the beach just after a storm, while the skies are still a bit gray but the sun is beginning to peek through, warming up the sand to both the eye and the touch.  So let’s take our cue from that and begin with soft, grayish tones, layering on the warmth of the sun in our accent chair, rug and window coverings.  An important component in Christina’s work is texture, so we’ll make sure there are plenty of interesting surfaces to draw our eyes in, just as Christina’s painterly build up does in her work.

Modern Reflections, a beachside home for a contemporary art lover

Have you ever designed a room around a piece of artwork?  Or bought a piece of artwork not knowing where exactly to hang it in your home but you couldn’t live without it?  Have a beloved piece of art sitting in a closet somewhere because you don’t think it “goes” or can’t figure out how to incorporate it with your current furnishings?  Um, yeah, me too. 🙂

Sources:  Painting:  Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard; Paint color ( board background color ): Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball; Sofa: Charlotte Collection by Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; Chair & Ottoman:  Rhys Chair & Ottoman by Anthropologie; Rug:  Festival by Anthropologie; Coffee table:  Monarch Coffee Table by Anthropologie; Lamp:  Malaya Large Coral & Zinc Lamp by Arteriors Home; Round side table: Riveria Side Table by Ralph Lauren Home; Mirror:  Venus Mirror by Anthropologie; Square side table: Duotone Side Door Table by The Painted Cow Furniture Co. on Etsy; Window covering:  Coqo Floral Curtain by Anthropologie;  Bowls:  Tatara Zukuri Bowls by Ashes & Milk      

Gallery Hopping PDX-style

30 Jun

PDX is slang for Portland, apparently.  I kept seeing it everywhere in Portland this weekend and being from Florida, of course had no idea what it meant.  Was it some sort of secret code?  Some inside joke only super-hip Portlandians knew about?  Nope, just Portland’s airport code, which has become short for Portland, just like JAX is short for my hometown of Jacksonville.  I must admit, I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t some sort of subversive meaning to PDX, at least not one I could find on Google.

After a month in the Northwest, George & I finally made the 2 1/2 hour drive from Aberdeen, WA to Portland last Saturday.  We’ve already hit a couple of smaller artsy destinations nearby ( Olympia, WA & Astoria, OR ), but finally worked our way up to the mac-daddy of them all, Portland.  The home of hip.  We were only in Portland for the day, so decided it would be best to limit ourselves to one section of the city.  So we chose The Pearl District, for its galleries for me and its proximity to Powell’s Books, Stumptown Coffee & Rogue Brewery for George.  I try to make sure that when I drag him gallery-hopping, there is always the promise of beer.  This makes for a much happier husband.

Work by David Slader at Gallery 903

Gallery 903 was filled with contemporary painting, sculpture and mixed-media work.  I can usually tell the minute I walk into a gallery whether or not I’m going to enjoy my visit and find artists to blog about.  As soon as I saw wonderfully textured abstracts and thoughtfully placed sculpture, I knew Gallery 903 was a good stop.  The work of the artist above, David Slader, got George’s attention before than mine.  Slader is a former high-powered attorney turned artist and after reading his tongue-in-cheek artist statement, I had a better appreciation for him.  His work has deep texture , a powerful palette and expression.  Here’s an even better shot of “You Want to Dance”, that gallerist Herschel was nice enough to email me..

You Want to Dance, Oil on canvas, 24x24

This was just the first of the delights to be found at 903.  While George continued to admire the Sladers, I rounded the corner and happily came across a little niche and what was to be found there?  Some thrilling little Salvador Dali prints!

Salvador Dali prints at Gallery 903

Complimenting the Dalis in the same little space were two epoxy-resing pieces by Alan Fulle.  One of my favorite things about working in a gallery was designing & creating tableaus of artwork that coordinate together in unexpected ways.  Virtual congrats to whomever hung the work in this gallery.

Artist: Alan Fulle, Gallery 903

Here are some more treats from 903:

Artist: Chuck Gumpert, Gallery 903

Artist: Natalia Petrova, Gallery 903

Artist: Georgia Gerber, Gallery 903

I absolutely loved this bronze geese sculpture!  George wasn’t quite as enamored.  What’s not to love about lovey-dovey, fat bronze geese?  I mean, really, how could you not love them?!  Oh well, moving on..

Augen Gallery had two interesting exhibitions showing, the first, work by Wendy Franklund Miller– I am a sucker for encaustics.  There is just something about that waxy texture that I adore.

Artist: Wendy Franklund Miller, Augen Gallery

The kind-of cosmic feel to Franklund Miller’s work was a great complement to their other exhibition, Light Drawings by James Minden.

Artist: James Minden, Augen Gallery

These “light drawings” are scratched/etched PETG ( plastic ) reflecting light.  They are totally trippy in the best sense.  We had so much fun looking at these from all different angles.  Check out this slide show to see better photos than I could have taken:  James Minden on Vimeo.

Continuing the equestrian kick I seem to be on lately, Froelick Gallery happened to be showing Equine, a juried group exhibition showcasing the horse.  A diverse showing of work centered around our four-legged friends, it was fun to see the variety of interpretations, including a plate from the famous Muybridge Animal Locomotion series.  George was drawn to the work of Miles Cleveland Goodwin, which while beautifully rendered, was a bit on the dark side for my tastes.  I love how the differences in our tastes spark lively discussion!

Artist: Miles Cleveland Goodwin, Froelick Gallery

I, on the other hand, fell in love with the giant below. White Shadow by Rick Barstow is pastel on paper, 74″ long and it is fabulous.  I’m not sure what I love more, the lovely layering of the pastel, the unfinished, sketchy-quality or the scribbled “HORSES” at the bottom.  It’s all workin’ for me.  Or maybe it is that the straight-on gaze of the horse reminds me of an illustration of a story my grandmother used to read me as a little girl, The Goose Girl.

Artist: Rick Barstow, Froelick Gallery

Our next stop, Bullseye Gallery has a kick-a$$ space.  Two levels, full of exposed brick and metal work, rustic wood and these amazing little installation rooms.  I got so caught up in admiring my surroundings that I failed to take many pictures.  I know, bad little blogger.  The gallery is part of Bullseye Glass Company, maker of colored glass for art & architecture.  Oh, that explains why there was so much incredible art glass!

Artist: Dante Marioni, Bullseye Gallery

Artist: Silvia Levenson, Bullseye Gallery

Our final destination was Butters Gallery.  Are ya’ll tired yet?  Because I sure was by this point in the day. ( We’d also hit the Saturday Market, Stumptown Coffee, Powell’s Books and Rogue, in addition to all the galleries. )  Butters reminded me of some of the Chelsea galleries in NYC, as it was kind of hidden away, on the 2nd floor of a walk-up building.

Butters Gallery

Artist: Susan Hall, Butters Gallery

Butters had some really interesting work on display, I hope to bring you more on those artists very soon, especially the one whose work is pictured above, Susan Hall.  I fell head over heads for her work– my crappy picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  I’ll feature her more in depth in a separate post in the next few weeks.

So ends our little jaunt through Portland’s Pearl District galleries.  I can’t wait to go back to PDX and explore the other art districts.  This weekend we’re headed North!

Art in Astoria

14 Jun

Last night, as my hubby was catching up on my blog posts ( he reads them all, even if he has to sit and catch up on a week’s worth at a time, such a good hubby! ), over his shoulder I re-read my In Search Of post from last week and man, what a whiney little whiner!  To save you all from more self-pity-filled posts from me, sweet George took me on a day trip to Astoria, OR on Saturday, in the hopes of helping me feel a bit more connected to the 3-dimensional art world.  You know, the one that doesn’t live inside my laptop.

Astoria, Oregon

Despite the gray day, my spirits were sunny.  Astoria’s main claim to fame is the movie, The Goonies, which was filmed here way back in 1985 ( yes, we made a children of the 80’s pilgrimage to The Goonies House ).  But movie history isn’t the only draw to Astoria.  Its downtown area is super charming, filled with a mix of restaurants, coffee houses, shops and YES, some very interesting and diverse galleries.

Our first stop was Lightbox Photographic, a wonderful little gallery dedicated to the photographic arts.  Their current show, Plastic Fantastic II, features images created using plastic toy cameras.  Absolutely beautiful, emotion-filled images.  Be sure to check out their website to see images created their member photographers.

Inside Lightbox Photographic

Astoria was definitely starting out with a bang!  We continued our walking tour of downtown, stopping for coffee and treats along the way.  Right across from the Astoria Coffeehouse, was Lunar Boy Gallery, whose quirky-look caught my eye.  And LunarBoy definitely brought the quirk.  June 7th was Astoria’s Official Goonies Day, so Lunar Boy was exhibiting a special show of Goonies-related work.  Fun!

This Is Our Time Now! Goonies Show at Lunar Boy

Landscapes by Nicholas Knapton at Lunar Boy

After lots of cool art & laughs at Lunar Boy, we perused a few bookstores & other shops ( it can’t be ALL about me ) before finding RiverSea Gallery.  This contemporary gallery features a wide variety of work by artists from the Northwest and beyond.  I was thrilled to find that their current show, The Fabled Landscape, featured the work of Marla Baggetta.

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Since my days of specifying art for the corporate & healthcare industries, I’ve been a fan of Baggetta, her landscapes bring that perfect combination of happy color and peace, perfect especially for healthcare.   Her work is even more lush and gorgeous in it’s original state than her reproductions even begin to show.  I was in awe.

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Though seeing Baggetta’s original work was a highlight for me, RiverSea had many other artists whose work caught my eye.  Like…

Maple wood sculpture by Michael Hampel

Encaustics by Paula Blackwell

Figurative work by Shannon Richardson

Wonderful urban landscapes by Brin Levinson

George had his favorites, too– like the work of abstract mixed-media artist, Charles Schweigert ( told you he was loving abstracts now! ) and kooky sculptures by Pamela Mummy.

Namikaze by Charles Schweigert

A Lot on His Mind by Pamela Mummy

Our little day trip to Astoria was just what the art doctor ordered.  I was able to peruse some lovely, unique galleries and found some really interesting artists to share with you.  We even spotted a couple of empty storefronts that would make great galleries.. you know, just in case.

In Search Of.. Art or Something Like It

9 Jun

Do you remember the old TV show In Search Of?  You know, the one with Leonard Nimoy aka Dr. Spock, and he was always looking for the Loch Ness Monster or some such?  Didn’t it seem like they were always searching but never quite finding exactly what they were looking for?  Well, today my friends, I’m going on a little In Search Of mission of my own.  But this time, instead of Sasquatch ( who is rumored to have been seen ’round these parts ), I am on a quest for art.  Real, live, see-it-in-person and maybe touch it art.  Yes, I can sit on the interweb 24/7 and never run out of fantastic art to see online.  But, seeing it in person is a completely different experience.  Plus, I really need to get out of the house.

You may be thinking, Lesley, come on, you’re living near some of the best art centers in America, yet you have to go out searching for it?  Um, yeah.  See, though we are living within a 2 hour drive from Seattle, Portland, etc., the little town we are actually living in, Aberdeen, WA is a bit lacking in the culture department.  Don’t get me wrong, the surrounding area is gorgeous and there are tons of wonderful old homes to see when we take our nightly walks around the neighborhood, which continually delight me.  But despite being the birthplace of visionaries like Robert Motherwell and Kurt Cobain, Aberdeen is seriously deficient art-wise.  At least, I haven’t found it yet.  Who knows, this may be my lucky day.

PS– Just for fun, here’s a little In Search Of.. Big Foot for you.  Enjoy!

In Search of.. Big Foot on You Tube

PPS– Did you know Dr. Spock was also an accomplished photographer?