Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pretty Pink Vase No. 2...or...Ask and You Shall Receive

Dear readers, I've been listening to the book The Secret (it's available on Netflix). I've read it many times, but I am finding it particularly profound of late. The law of universal attraction is something that I've been considering more and more. I've been following quantum physics, simulation theory and Elon Musk.

BTW, have you seen Cover Girl's model Maye Musk (Elon's mother)?

She is a stunner! I have a major girl crush on her. This family definitely knows The Secret. Sorry, I digress. But y'all know how my mind works. Creativity influences creativity.

So... pretty much the law of attraction is very simple. You receive what you focus on. So one day last week I'm sitting on my sofa and I'm thinking I really want a pretty pink vase for my dining room table. I take to my drawing pad and I'm drawing the vase that I want. I start searching Etsy.

I've got a specific image in mind. I want a fully committed and unapologetic pink. Not blush, not mauve but a fearless, real pink. I want a modern simple shape and I want it to be about 11 inches tall.

I can't find it on Etsy, I find a couple of maybes, but not exactly what I want. And not in my budget.

After spending a little time contemplating the vase, I decide to go grocery shopping. As I walked into the grocery store, what was in my eyeline? A wine bottle. The perfect pink, the perfect height and the perfect (cheap) price. I snatched it without a second thought. Thank you universe, I said. That night I celebrated with a rare glass of wine, as I admired my good fortune. I sent love and gratitude to the manufacturer of this wine for having the fortitude to use labels that peeled off easily.

Isn't it gorgeous! It proves you can decorate on a budget. You will notice there are no dining room chairs around my table. There's a reason for that. Here's another secret: when I want something in my apartment, I create a vacuum for the universe to fill. I want two square ottomans to use as seating for this small space. I have no doubt I will find the perfect ones.

But why stop there? If the law of attraction works on something small, it can work for something big. Sound too simple? All truth is simple. I'll have more to say about that in asubsequent post.

I am taking part in a thought experiment with focus, I'll be sure to let you know how it goes. In the meantime I'm totally in love with my perfect pink vase.

Pretty Pink Vase

Dear readers, as you know, two of my favorite things are vases and the color pink. I have a clearly defined aesthetic when it comes to vases. I love a simple, modern form, and I love a matte finish. I'm aways on the hunt for the perfect vase.

Finding pink vases in a modern form is difficult. Most pink vases tend to be too frou frou. Finding the right color and finish is also difficult. I love a lot of the modern shapes of Haeger, but I don't like their glossy finishes, which make their vases look mass produced. Nor do I like their pink, which is usually too mauvey or fleshy.  I love the simple form and matte finish of McCoy Floraline, but unfortunately, they don't do a pink. (They do a lovely sage green, though.)

What's the solution? Painting your vase. Spray painting is best if you have a space to do it. And remember spray paint takes a lot of patience. I don't have the space right now, so brush painting it is.

So, I hunt for a vase with a modern shape. I try to find one with a porous surface so I don't have to use primer. If the base you're painting is glossy, you will need to use primer.

I had a cute vase by West Elm in my closet. I forgot to take a before picture of it. But here's a picture of it from their website.

Dig that shape. I'm a sucker for anything resembling a genie bottle. However, as is often the case when I order a vase online, I was disappointed with the color and the texture. So I decided to paint it.

I used this fabulous chalk paint from Pat Catan's. I'm totally hooked. Because the paint was chalky, it needed no primer. Yay! And how cool is it that the name of the paint is innocence?

Voila! I love it. It's the perfect pink and the perfect shape. I got so hooked on this paint, I used it on my new painting in the post below. I also used it on the back of my shelf in my kitchen.

I can't wait to go back to Pat Catan's to get more of this paint. And I'm on the hunt for more vases to paint.

You know my mantra: you can never have too much pink, pink can be used in a thoroughly modern environment, it looks great on everyone, and it is not just a girly color.

BTW OMG have you seen Mr. Kate on YouTube?  If not, you must!  They are too fabulous.  If you run into them, tell them I need them to come decorate my place!  ❤ 💋

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


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