Sunday, November 23, 2008

Paintings with Digital Enhancements

New painting with soft focus. Cool. Looks like encaustic.

New painting with heavy saturation. Kinda cool, looks like crayon. Hmm. Maybe I'll experiment with crayon.

The Poet and the Painter

This painting is dedicated to Bob Dylan, another artist who does what he does because he has to. Bob's poetry is sheer magic, and a gift from spirit. As I lovingly danced with this canvas, I listened to Chimes of Freedom Flashing - over and over. I read somewhere that President-Elect Obama is a Bob Dylan fan. These words make me feel hopeful that a change is coming. Wish I'd written them.

Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An' the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An' we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing.

New Painting

One of the themes here at Creative Influences is creativity influencing creativity. I don't know why I do what I do, I just know that I have to. A new painting always has many influences.

There's the music. Music is a very important part of what I do. This time it was Anthony Hamilton.

Then there's usually a painting by another artist that I am intrigued by. This time it was this painting in the "House that Hollywood Built" at PointClickHome.

Even though the theme for this room is macabre, I love the painting. I've always wanted to do a painting with a cutout.

I'd Like to Meet

Anthony Hamilton. Image from Amazon.

I've been watching Anthony's live concert video from Netflix. I got one word. Damn. Just damn. Anthony's soulful voice does it for me. And the way he moves his body. Damn. He's got the spirit. He's surrendered - you can see God in him. He's doing what he does because he has to. He even says, "It's not about me," when he explains that he's doing God's will. Watching Anthony will make you believe in God.

He was in Cleveland last week. I can't believe I missed it. I'd love to have Anthony over for tea to discuss surrender and the creative process.

A New Outfit for My Place (for under $100.00)

I read a boring article in a decorating magazine the other day about the virtues of decorating a place and not changing it. Boring. I love changing my apartment. It's like buying a new dress. And, of course, with a new dress you must have earrings and shoes - accessories make the outfit. After the awful renovation project I went through, I wanted a change. I decided I wanted hot pink, with blue.

My influence is this beautiful room from Marie Claire Maison, see previous post here.

And, of course, Anthony Hamilton had a hand in my decorating, as I described below. I was grooving to him as I painted the bookcase hot pink.

For my apartment's new outfit, I bought high gloss Behr fuchsia paint at Home Depot - $8.99. The lamp $19.99, sheets $14.99, comforter $29.99 all came from Target. The bottle came from a vintage store and was $10.00. Total cost $83.96 plus tax. Not bad for a new outfit.

So here's how the apartment looks today.

I moved the computer to the living room. I often watch movies on my computer, so now I have a comfy place to sit to watch movies. Thinking of getting rid of my TV. I hid the bed behind the bookcase. It's cozy and more private.

I think Andrea Heimer's new painting entitled "Roost" would look great in my place.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Reluctant Renovator - The Good

I was so grateful to be able to put my apartment back in order this weekend. So I took the opportunity to rearrange and organize. When I got home Friday, I grooved to Anthony Hamilton. I flowed around the apartment soaking in his voice, feeling full of love. I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks thinking about color. Purple? Gray? Nah. Listening to Anthony it became clear. Pink. And not just any pink. Passionate, hot pink.

While listening to Anthony, I lovingly applied hot pink to my little bookcase. And painted a canvas to match.

Sexy. Still grooving to Anthony, waiting for the paint to dry, I organized the closet.

And rearranged the furniture. Organizing is always difficult, because some of my favorite pieces get put away. I don't want clutter.

Stuff can be such a burden. I have too much, even though I try to continually pare down. I have a rule, nothing new comes in, unless something old goes out. And I never put things in storage. If you are putting stuff in storage, you don't need it and should get rid of it. Here's some of the stuff I got rid of. As I put it on the curb, I thank it for serving me. And I trust someone who can use it will take it. Stuff should not be hoarded, it's meant to be dynamic and flowing.

I picked up the lamp I had been thinking about at Target. I was uncertain of this purchase. I worried that I wouldn't like it when I got home. Now I adore it. Has several light settings and casts a beautiful glow.

I got rid of my Noguchi-rip off, rice paper lamp. The dust from the renovation project ruined it.

Saturday I went to the vintage store intending to buy this lamp.

I adore it's organic nature. It's from Norway and I believe made of teak. When I got to the store, I found there was actually a pair of lamps and the owner wanted $129.00 for the set. I hemmed and hawed. I didn't want to spend that kind of money and I only needed one. After much consternation, I put the lamps in lay-away. My readers know I do everything on the cheap, so this is one of the most expensive purchases I have ever made. However, I really look forward to picking them up.

I couldn't wait until next month for something pretty, though, so I bought this really cute blue bottle (the one to the right, had the other two). Not sure why, but I gotta thing for blue bottles.

I'll show you what my apartment currently looks like in my next post. Wish I could have Anthony Hamilton over for tea. And wouldn't you know it? He was in Cleveland Friday! Damn.

The Reluctant Renovator - The Bad and the Ugly

Over the past few weeks I've learned why renovation projects can ruin a marriage. My bathroom flooded and needed to be completely redone. Fortunately, I live in a rental and didn't have to pay for it. I've learned a very important lesson, you should always have enough money in your savings account to pick up and move on a moment's notice. It's been a horrible experience. My walls started out looking like this. Every day they seemed to get worse. I had been asking my landlord to fix my bathroom for a long time. When the bubble developed, I told them it was now an emergency.

Still no response from the landlord.

When the wall caved in, I banged on the door of the custodian and demanded he come look at the wall that very minute. He came reluctantly. When he saw the wall he shit. He put his hand in the hole. The wall came down instantly and water poured from it. Now that I was his biggest fire. That's how it is in an old building. Within minutes it looked like this.

It just kept crumbling. The custodian said it all had to come down. Within about 10 minutes, it looked like this. And it stunk, badly.

He told me he would have to trace the source of the leak, fix the leak, treat the mold....all before new walls could go up.

The first day of the renovation, the ceiling came down. Well, disintegrated actually. There were layers of cardboard under the plaster, and grimy, dusty cardboard particles got all over everything. I was furious when I got home from work because they had not used a tarp to cover the bathroom door. Nor had they left the window open for the fumes. I live in a tiny apartment, there was no escaping the smells. And the grimy, dusty gunk ruined most of the things in my walk-in closet. Clothes, shoes, makeup all had to be thrown away.

And, oh yeah, my tub got ruined in the process.

The custodian assured me the repair would take four days. And in four days I would have a new bathroom. But it was a Pandora's box. The repair just kept getting bigger bigger bigger. Pipes had to be replaced from the fourth floor to the first. Three weeks later, work is almost complete. What a horrible three weeks it's been. It's awful coming home to chaos after a long stressful day. The smells make me want to puke. And, I've had to shower in an empty apartment down the hall. Each day before leaving for work, I've had to part tarps all over everything. Each day when I returned, I had to clean up mud from the worker's boots. And dust and more dust and more dust....

I vowed I would never again go through a renovation project. No wonder it destroys relationships. I'm going to have to design a house, so it is perfect when I move in. No renovations for me.

Like I said, this was Pandora's box. The custodian traced the leak to a hairline fracture in an old pipe. He said it had probably been leaking for years. The pipe had to be replaced from the fourth floor to the first floor. And to get to the pipe he had to put a hole in the wall. Apparently when these old buildings were built, they must have thought the plumbing would last forever. There is often no way to get to the pipes.

Every day they kept promising me it would be done. Every day at work, I hoped this evening would be the last time I had to clean up dust and that I could take a bubble bath. Each day, I breathlessly checked the progress and was disappointed.

I had to move everything out of my walk in closet because of the dust. This is what my dining room looked like. I decided to take the opportunity to organize and get rid of stuff. Even though I try really hard to keep clutter down, I somehow always have too much stuff. I spent as much time as I could away from home, and fantasized about rearranging the furniture, and redecorating.

Saw this Herman Miller sofa and this hanging light at the vintage store. Hmm. Maybe I should add purple to my decor. Love the sofa, but $750.00. Not in the budget. Love the light, only $14.00. Almost bought it, but it was too dusty. I just couldn't bear to clean more dust.

Saw this pouf and standing lamp at trusty Target. Can never go have too much pink. The pouf is actually for a kid's room, but I don't care. And the lamp kinda screams college dorm room to me, but I don't care. It does have sort of a mid-century appeal. The shades are plastic, wouldn't it be cool if they were frosted glass?

The custodian assured me the bathroom would be done Friday. I couldn't concentrate at work, I couldn't wait to get home and clean and organize the apartment. Here's how the bathroom looked Friday when I got home. The walls are perfect.

And there's a beautiful new light fixture.

The workmanship on the tub is a little disappointing, but it is much improved. Most disappointing was that my water was turned off! The landlord left a note saying that the tub could not be used for 24 hours. Okay. But it still would have been nice to have use of the sink. I still had to go down the hall to use the bathroom. And I haven't been able to get a hold of my landlord to turn the water back on. Ahhhhhh. Needless to say I am no longer enamored with old buildings.

Although I will miss the shower head from the apartment down the hall. The best water pressure I've ever encountered. When I design my home, I hope I can find a reproduction of this.

No more old buildings for me. I want clean, modern, simple and new. And oh yeah, I am dying for a bubble bath.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mood Board or Dreaming of Darkly Romantic Home

Below I wrote about how a kitchen remodel has started me thinking about a gray floor. As you know, creativity influences creativity. From there my thoughts turned to decorating a room in dark colors, rather than my typical white. All day long while preparing boring legal documents, my head was filled with ideas for creating a sultry, darkly romantic, brooding space. A place where my lover and I would lounge and listen to the sounds of Leonard Cohen while sipping Colombian coffee.

The place would have to have lots of cozy places to lounge, lots of ottomans, and lots of covers and texture for the cold.

I adore the warmth, simplicity and coziness of Kat Heyes' place as seen on Design Sponge. I wonder how this room wood look if the walls were a light gray, and the floor a medium gray. Wish I knew how to do Photoshop.

After a stressful day, I decided to cheer myself by perusing favorite vintage store. I was still thinking of this romantic, brooding room. When I think of decorating a room, I always think of accessories. That is, the three Ps. Pottery, Pillows and Paintings. Here are some possibilities.

I never buy black pottery, but isn't that mid-century pitcher gorgeous?

Of course, I would need a shot of pink. This pillow would do the trick.

I've been writing a lot about creepy-cute lately. So, of course the paintings would have to be creepy-cute. I love this one of a ghostly cat looking at a little bird.

Images by Peggy.

Below I wrote about an artist I adore, named Belle. Her work is absolutely fascinating. Her new triptych would fit in this place perfectly. Isn't this gorgeous?

Now, of course, any room needs a totally groovy and unexpected lamp. This one from the vintage store may work. And I'd use very low watt bulbs to make the light ambient.

I love virtual decorating! I can have whatever I want. It's a whole lot cheaper, and takes up a lot less room. You never have to dust, nor worry about putting stuff in storage.

The Sultry Influence of a Kitchen Reno

I'm late getting to this post. By now I am sure all my bloggy friends know that Kim of Desire to Inspire is renovating her kitchen. It's very exciting because the cabinets were provided to her free by Greentea Design if she agreed to blog about it. Sweet. Congratulations, Kim. It's great fun watching the renovation, Kim set up a blog where she gives all the details (link). Way more fun than any reality show. What's more, it's interactive. She asks for, and gets advice from her readers. And she is downright hilarious when she describes six pissed off cats being confined to a bedroom. Check it out.

Here at Creative Influences we try to show how creativity influences creativity. Now this kitchen reno has me rethinking color, in a way that I never thought possible. My readers know that I adore all white interiors, and especially love white floors. I have been wanting to paint mine forever, but I am in a rental. Kim and I have this love of white floors in common. See the floors in her office here. I was incredibly envious when she painted these floors!

So imagine my surprise, when trying to catch up on my favorite blogs, I discovered Kim was now considering painting her floors gray!

Image from Kim's flickr set. I can be so opinionated when it comes to design and decor, so I left Kim long comments. She's such a good sport!

And wouldn't you know it, I think I'm a convert! Kim pointed me to Abigail Ahren's home on Design Sponge. And omigosh, I am smitten! What a beautiful home.

Dig that lamp! I have been looking everywhere for a tall shade, and cannot find one.

I am so loving this home. All of a sudden, I'm thinking in a different way. I've always decorated with predominately white, and used light colors. What if home became more cave like? That could be very restful and romantic. After all, I love the gray skies of Cleveland.

I've written about gray before. And I've written a number of times about silver, which is a close relative to gray.

One of my favorite rooms has a pale gray floor. See previous posts here and here.

There is an earthy romance to gray. And perhaps makes perfect sense with the mural Kim has in in her living room.

Her walls are a heavenly shade of gray. But the cow hide rug must go. My readers (and Kim) already know how I feel about animal rugs. Now I'm only saying that because Kim is such a good sport and she knows that I love her.

More in my next post about colors I am thinking of due to Kim's inspiration.


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