Monday, March 19, 2018

New Paintings

Hello dear readers! I'm very excited about the experiment in color I've been working on. I love color blocking and color psychology. And I'm very inspired by Mark Rothko. My last batch of paintings were all about pink. This batch I am seguing into aqua and turquoise. I am working on a color experience, it's slow going without the funds. Thinking of starting a GoFundMe page.
 Untitled, 24x24, acrylic on canvas

Untitled, 16x20, acrylic on canvas

 Untitled, 8x10, acrylic on canvas

Stay tuned for experiments in periwinkle, teal, turquoise, aqua, lavender and of course more pink. ❤

Friday, March 16, 2018

Mood Board Chartruese and My Virtual Reality Apartment

Dear readers, if you're like me - and I think you are, since you are reading this blog 😉 - you have design ADD. Here's a confession:  I move something in my apartment everyday. Yep, everyday. It's usually just a vase or throw pillow. Oftentimes, I see an object and want to redo my whole place around it. I know you feel me.

But few of us have the resources to redo our rooms everyday, nor do we want to be wasteful. The solution is not more money for things, more space nor more storage. The solution is to live in a virtual reality apartment. Just think, if you decorated digitally, you could create on a whim. You wouldn't have to dust or have storage. Think of dinner parties, for example. You wouldn't need to keep (nor dust) a table all year long, when it only gets used once. In a virtual reality apartment, you'd create the table to suit your needs, and when you want it. Maybe tonight you want a small romantic table, tomorrow you need something larger. You could create ala carte.  The possibilities are endless. It may sound like a pipe dream, but it's actually possible...

Sorry for the digression...So I'm at the grocery store and see a cute set. As I'm walking home, I start obsessing about this set on my focal wall.  I love the modern shapes, the small footprint, and, of course, the color.

Cute, isn't it? Part of the reason I find it attractive is it's short stature. Being only 5'2", it's seldom I find a comfortable chair. With these chairs, I can actually sit back AND put my feet on the floor - a rare and joyous experience. Another plug for VR: just imagine I take the picture, then put in my measurements, and then project the 3d image. When you tire of it, you just change the color or size with the push of a button. Or you send it back to the ether when you want something new.

So here's a wall in my virtual apartment today:

I love the color periwinkle with chartreuse, so would need a modern painting featuring periwinkle. Then a funky lamp. Painting by Artzaro. Lamp available at HaberdasheryGalore. I love that lamp, and guess what? It's 15% off!

So...I love contemplating these pieces, but don't want to spend money today, nor do I have a VR apartment, yet.  So I pulled a chartreuse vase out of my closet.

 Feels like Spring to me.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Mood Board Blush

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know I adore pink. Always have, always will. It thrills me that pink is such a popular color now, and I like to think I've had a part in that. I believe you can never have too much pink. Pink looks great on everyone, and it goes great with any color. And pink is not just a girly color, it can be used in modern decor.  Not ready to make the leap to hot pink? Can't convince hubby to paint the walls pink?  Try blush.

Blush is a very versatile color. It makes a fabulous and moody neutral with gray and violet. It also makes a great pop color with blue. Use a little, use a lot. You can't go wrong with blush.

Blush drapes add a bit of warmth and reflect the sunlight beautifully in this soft, yet thoroughly modern room.

The swan chair never looked better!

Violet and blush. Dreamy.

Simone Blush Chair at CB2. Drool. Need.

Refurbished table and lamp recently seen at Habitat for Humanity display at IX Center. Man dig that lamp. These would look great with the Blush Chair from CB2.  

A pop of blush with blue. Mysterious and sexy.

Have you seen the Project 62 collection at Target? It's a must for lovers of mid century mod.  I need several of those slipper chairs.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Good Things Happening in Cleveland: Introducing the Artist Known as Peso


We live in turbulent times, it's easy to lose faith in humanity. When this happens, it's important to get out and talk to young people. It's a mistake to underestimate them. A renaissance, similar to the one we saw in the 60s, is taking place. And it's welcome and needed. The youth today have seen the servitude their parents lived under. They've seen their parents work themselves to death, barely able to support their families only to lose their dreams, passions, pensions, health and often their lives.

Young creatives want no part of this out dated, imbalanced way of living. They have refused to play the game. They are not fearful, and are taking the lead building a brighter future. As such, it is up to the older generations to nurture them.

Photo by LhuD

Last week, I had the honor of meeting one such young Renaissance Man. He goes by the name of Peso. At a mere 21 years of age he is possessed of a deep wisdom and intellect.

Cleveland is host to many undiscovered fine artists. It's part of my mission to provide needed exposure for some of these artists. I am grateful Peso, generously and patiently, took the time to sit down with me and discuss his inspirations and philosophy, as well as the journey he is taking with his art.

Peso's art is not constrained by the over-intellectualizing of scholarship. It's visionary, unspoiled and emotional.   Incredibly prolific, it's hard to believe Peso began painting only a year ago.

As he tells it, one day he was sitting on the sofa with his girlfriend and he knew he needed to paint. He never looked back, he painted on everything he could get his hands on, including tables and doors.

It is rare that a fully-formed aesthetic appears in the first work of an artist, but that is exactly what happened with Peso.

The devil is a charmer in his first piece. It is evident from the get-go that Peso is incredibly self aware for his young years.

His themes may appear dark at first glance, but upon closer examination, you see that the work is all about balance, harmony and love. Dark themes are juxtaposed with bright colors. Seemingly contradictory constructs of good and evil coexist peacefully - even blissfully - in a swirl of bright color. Peso's form of dreamy surrealism reminds us there is nothing to fear. Indeed, the erotic movement of his protagonists/ antagonists demonstrate that a constructive way to channel pent-up passion and rage exists.

Peso bravely confronts issues of mental illness.  Indeed, like many of the great tragic, brooding artists, Peso readily admits that sometimes his art emerges from a place of suffering. As such, Peso allows the images to reveal themselves, he never sets out with expectation and doesn't know what a painting will look like in the end. Even though his journey sometimes takes him through a brave confrontation with suffering, he points out - like a Zen master - that suffering is not to be avoided. Rather, it is a tool to be used to arrive at the joyous freedom one achieves when not constrained by rules.

Peso is to be admired for living an authentic life, and is in tune with the consciousness of youth.  If he had one wish for young people, it would be that they find themselves in creative careers without fear, and without succumbing to the lies and servitude of previous generations.

I believe it is the responsibility of artists to take part in the political process in whatever way they feel comfortable doing. Artists are deep thinkers and are capable of helping raise the consciousness of the nation. Indeed, art is politics and politics is art. This is a sentiment that Peso echoes in his philanthropic work.

He and his partner formed a collective called Feed the People Music. At events where they rock the mic, admission is the cost of canned food or maybe a toy for the kids.

Peso has a love of psychology and pays attention closely to his dreams. He loves both the lovers and haters of his art, believing it is important for art to provoke a response.

Among his many influences are: artists Frida Kahlo, Max Beckmann, George Baselitz, Ralph Steadman and Graham Hancock.  Other influences are Roger Waters and Pink Floyd, Jim Morrison, Stanley Kubrick and Hunter S. Thompson. He is also influenced by African, Native American and Mexican Shamanism. He refers to his belief system as panpsychism, noting that everything is connected.  I told you, dude is deep.

Without further adieu, I present the work of Cleveland fine artist, Peso:

I'd like to thank Peso for being an inspiration and for sharing his world with me. Stay tuned for subsequent posts about Peso where I hope to share more of his philanthropic work, his music and a film project he will be working on this Spring.

Remember to support emerging and local artists. Peso can be contacted at Instagram, here.

All photos by Peggy for Creative Influences, except where noted.

Friday, January 26, 2018

My Apartment - For Today

It's taken some time, but my apartment and I are having a love affair. My personal space is very important to me. Here's a quick peek at how she looks today.

I love color, especially pink.

I'm a big proponent of color psychology. I got the knock off Middle Kingdom vase at a thrift store for $4.00. If you need cheering up, try a pop of yellow.

The chandelier is a work in progress.

Yep. I've got vase addiction.

My Humble Abode: Loving Pillows

Happy Friday dear readers!  I hope you are enjoying your day. I am working on an exciting writing project. The coffee is brewing and during my stretch breaks I putter around the apartment - my favorite procrastination tool!

I enjoy moving things around to get a different look in my place. That's why I like vases and pillows. They can be moved on a whim. And they don't have to be expensive. The Goodwill and Salvation Army have plenty of lovely vases. When you're done with a vase, you can redonate.  Throw pillows are a great way to experiment with color.

Wanna add pink, but hubby doesn't like pink? Try a pillow.  Need a little sophistication for a dinner party? Add black pillows.  Reasonably priced pillows can be obtained at Marcs, Burlington Coat Factory, TJ Maxx and Amazon. Careful with Amazon, though. It's addicting. When you tire of a pillow, Etsy is a great place to buy artisan pillows covers.  Many are even washable.

Here's a couple of ways I have used pillows in my place.  I don't care that I am breaking the rules by using too many pillows. I love the cozy bohemian feel of pillows thrown all over, even on the floor. A contradiction for a striving minimalist, I know.

Do you have home improvement projects scheduled this weekend? I'd love to hear about them.  xo

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Pink City

Pink City I, digital photography and editing.

Pink City is a series I've been working on for a long time. It is influenced by my love of Cleveland and the Lake Erie sunsets.

As a child, I was thrilled when my dad drove us to Cleveland. This was in the hey day of Cleveland's steel production. The sky was literally pink. I didn't realize it was toxic, I just thought it was beautiful. Little did I realize that years later the dilapidation created during this time period, would also become an influence in my art.

I hope to put together a retrospective showing of this work soon, which will incorporate photography, paintings, slideshows and music from local artists.

See more of my Pink City series on my urban photojournal, here.

Pink City: Evolution of a Painting

Pink City II

Pink City IIa

Pink City IIb, 16x20", acrylic, marker and pencil on canvas

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

I wasn't supposed to be shopping...

Restraint. It can be difficult. Balancing the love of beautiful objects with the desire for an uncluttered home. This time of year is difficult for me when it comes to restraint. The cold weather creates a desire to create a cosy nest. Coupled with the after holiday sales and the ease of internet shopping... Well, you know how it is.

So...I had been watching this beautiful vase on Etsy. When it went on sale, it was time to take the plunge, and welcome this divine vase into my home.

This vintage glass vase was designed by Diane Love for Mikassa. It fits perfectly with the retro mod vibe I'm going for in my apartment. It's made of frosted glass, and it's remarkable how it glows in the light. It's also fascinating to watch how it changes color with the changing light of the day.

I purchased the vase from Modern Specific. I can't stop moving it and photographing it! Humans sure make beautiful things don't they?

Design ADD: The Story of a Little Bookcase

Here's a little secret:  I love puttering in my apartment so much that I move something almost everyday.  Even if it's just a vase or a pillow.  It's taken a while for this place to evolve. I've been really lucky, all my furniture was donated by friends and family.

My talented brother made me this sweet little bookcase.  I intended to paint it gloss white, but my bro told me to check out the mistake section of the paint department. A happy discovery indeed!  I bought a pint of satin enamel by Clark + Kensington for $1.00!  Yep, no shit. $1.00.  After sanding (which I hate) the paint went on smooth.

Bam.  I love it.  I placed the little bookcase on my focal wall.

The chair is a gift from my mom.  It's a little chunky for my taste, and I wasn't sure I liked the sage green.  It sure is comfy, though and did I mention it was free?

After studying this wall for a couple of weeks, I began to go through a familiar stage in my decorating. Panic. I love beautiful things, but I panic when I have too many.  Maybe it comes from growing up in a hoarder home (the subject of a subsequent post).  I decided the focal wall needed to be cleaner.

Yep. That feels good. It's hard to photograph my place, it doesn't get much light. But I kinda dig its cave like feel.  So where did the little bookcase end up?

In the bedroom, where it is the perfect nightstand.  Now that's what I call form AND function.  BTW, I hate making my bed.


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