Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Art in the Valley

Last Saturday I was honored to have some of my art shown at Art in the Valley.  Art in the Valley is a pop up gallery in Fairlawn, Ohio.  It was held in a club house at the Cedarwood Village Apartments, near the Saffron Patch.  The Saffron Patch offers the best Indian food I've ever experienced, and provided free appetizers.
This is Jenna and her boyfriend.  Such a cute and warm couple!  Art in the Valley is Jenna's brainchild.  This is the second pop up she's done and judging from its success, there will be many more!  Her boyfriend served as the bartender and made everyone feel welcome.
This divine beauty is my good friend and artist extraordinaire, Haley.  Thank you so much to Haley who acted as my agent for this show.  She chose the work, and together she and I came up with the theme.
This is the DJ.  Sorry, I don't remember his name.  He also had a warm and welcoming vibe.  He is posing next to my photos.
Music was provided by the fabulous Leah Lou!  Leah is adorable and so talented.  Leah's band is entitled Leah Lou & the 2 Left Shoes.  She was solo this night and is a multi-talented one woman band.  She sings, plays guitar and plays the drum and cymbals with her feet!  You can listen to her album for free on her website, once you do, you'll want to buy it!  I have no doubt we will be seeing big things from her in the future.
There were tons of hipsters!  Best dressed was this lovely creature in a flapper dress and cute beehive!  Wish I had that kind of courage.  Here's a couple of my pieces that were shown.  Thank you to crowd for the reception I received.  It was a thrill!
The theme of the show was Alien/Alienation.  One of my favorite pieces is entitled "Six Hours" and comes from a dream I had of being on another planet.  For the story of how this painting came about, see previous post here.
This painting is entitled "The Universal Language."  It shows a Vietnamese farmer and an alien discussing Einstein's famous equation.  It seemed appropriate to feature this painting at this time, since CERN recently discovered the Higgs boson, probably the most significant discovery of our time, but I digress.  
Four of my paintings were shown and four of my photographs were shown.  Among the photographs was this  photo of a temple in Tremont.  This speaks to me of alienation, as I have long been alienated from the church having attended a fire-and-brimstone-girls-are-born-of-original-sin-and-therefore-not-worthy kind of church as a child.  I consider myself to be spiritual, but not religious.  I adhere to no group-think, no labels and am fiercely independent.  Again, I digress, but art, politics, spirituality and science all lead to the same path.  We are all one, we are all part of something great.  Alienation is merely an illusion.

Also included in the show were three of my photos from my trip to Seattle last year (see previous posts on Seattle here).  The tree is included based on our alienation of these magnificent beings.  I have always adored trees and feel devastated that they are cut down so recklessly.  When it comes time to buy a house, the house will actually be secondary to the land.  I'd rather have a crappy house with a lot of trees, than a McMansion with no trees.

There are so many benefits I have enjoyed since moving to Akron, such as the love and proximity to my family.  The downside has definitely been the lack of trees.  I lived in an area in Cleveland that was lush with trees.  I am now living in a mainly concrete jungle, which makes this hot summer excruciating.  Thank goodness one of the few trees in the area is right outside my window.  I am so grateful for this tree.  I can think of no greater blessing.  I start each day giving gratitude to the cosmos for my apartment and the tree outside my window.

The pop up gallery was a wonderful experience, I had a great time.  Thank you to Genna and to Haley.  And thank you to my friends and family who attended the event. xo

To see all works exhibited, click here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What I've been working on

I have an exciting announcement.  I will be taking part in a pop up gallery tonight! My good friend Haley selected the works that will be shown.  They will be showing four of my paintings and four of my photos, based on a theme.  Stay tuned for more details.  In the meantime, I'd like to show you what I've been working on.  Even though I've faced several limitations recently (allergies and no studio space), I must create.  In my never ending quest to find a clean medium, I've been doing more digital work lately.  Here are a few of my paintings which I have enhanced with digital processes.

This is actually a digital enhancement of my blotter pad.  I'm always fascinated by the random patterns on my blotter.

I am having these printed on large canvases.  I've always been fascinated by multi-media, multi-processing and meta-communication.  Remember my post about photographing toys?  A 2D image is rendered 3D by the miracle of plastic, then photographing it renders it back to 2D (see previous post here).  It's the same sort of thing here.  A canvas is processed digitally and then reprinted again.  Meta art.  I plan to push the boundaries of this art form.  I like to experiment digitally to help me decide what art to hang over my sofa.  I am also having some of my photos printed on large canvases.

This is one of my photos.  I'd love to have it enlarged.  I don't even mind if it loses resolution, in fact I think that would be kind of cool.  I'm into imperfection and low tech.

Hmm.  I always like the more minimal, simple paintings in my decor.  They may be simple, but are not easy to execute.  Here is one of my paintings from Sans Electric Chair series (see previous post here).  It has been sold, but this photo makes me want to do another version of it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

from drab to fab

Dear readers, as you know, I am addicted to pottery.  I love simple forms and I love experimenting with placing it like sculpture in my home.  Below I wrote about my love of painting and upcycling vases.  I'm obsessed.  I go to the Goodwill and I want to buy all the ugly, orphaned and unloved vessels.  I have a limitation though.  I'm not very good at spray painting, although I love it (see previous post here).  And I don't have a studio space right now so have no where I can make a mess.  So I am limited to vases that are porous in texture because they can be brush painted.  This is the story of how one orphaned vase became two new fresh pieces of art.

I found this vase for $.99!  Perfect shape, perfect texture.  Horrible color, horrible press on flowers.  This little vase is in need of a face lift.  I sandpapered the flowers.  Then lovingly applied neon pink paint.

Here is the after.  Much better!  The vase is fresh and new.  I love it.  I also created a digital art piece from the photographed flowers.

Here is the little vase taking a place of prominence in my apartment, along with other vases I painted.  I love it.  I'm hooked.  Now I am on the hunt for other vases I can paint.

Here's a little experiment with the digital art over my sofa.  Hmm.  Maybe I'll have it printed on a canvas.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Upcycled Vases

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you already know that I am obsessed with vases and vessels.  I've always loved the look of upcycled furniture, nothing gives new life to a tired old piece like a coat of paint.  The same is true for vases!  I am seeing tons of exciting vases given new life.

If you love thrifting, you already know that milk glass vases are everywhere.  I find them a little boring, maybe because they are so common.  But give them a coat of paint in an exciting color and they are fresh again!  There are a lot of great selections of upcycled vases at Etsy, these ones are from Eiffel Studio.  Love that orange vase!

These hobnail vases actually look modern in this lovely aqua shade.  From Rustic Prairie Cottage.
Love these teal pieces!  A simple wood bowl and a candlestick become sculpture.  And how fabulous is that teal pineapple?  Available at RetroPops.

More funky painted milk glass.  From Nashpop.

Here's a simple but impactful idea.  If you are a fan of mosaic, but want something a little easier, how about a paper mosaic?  Love it.  From Badcandy.

Here's a great idea for all those little, orphan plates you see at the thrift shop.  Tape them off.  Spray paint.  And instant freshness!

I need these vases.  Above two images from My Attic.  Have you seen this blog?  It's awesome.  The author is extremely talented and creative.  And she is amazing at upcycling!  I adore her use of neon, and she is working on a project that I dearly love called "Neon vs. Pastel"  (see previous post here).  As you know, spray painting vases is difficult and she does it with ease!

Need something quick and easy for your summer table?  Here's a simple idea.  Just add tape!  Duct tape comes in all kinds of fun colors.  The tape can be changed on a whim, so your vase always matches the mood of your table.  Sorry, I don't remember where I got this image.  My bad.  Please contact me if you know the source.

Love the simplicity of these form juxtaposed with the pop of bright color.  Image via The Cool Hunter.  Excuse me, I have some vases to paint.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

New CB2 Catalog!

I just saw the new CB2 catalog for Fall and I am swooning!  They have really outdone themselves.  I am feeling a little guilty about my greedy obsession, but I wish I could afford the following pieces.  They would look fab in my home!

Of course whenever a new catalog comes out, the first thing I look at is the vases.  I love the chartreuse nucha vase.  And I am loving vases that look like stones.  All in keeping with my desire to add more organic touches to my home.

Ya'll know I am a sucker for hot pink.  I need this hot pink side table.  And.  This yellow atomic lamp.  Too fab.

Here is a gorgeously styled room from the catalog utilizing the hot pink side tables.  I adore this color scheme of hot pink, orange and gray.  The gray and hot pink work wonderfully together.  The gray tones down the hot pink, the hot pink livens the gray providing a perfect balance.  I adore that rug.  Aptly named Pegs rug.  Little pun there.
Here is another gorgeous room from the catalog utilizing the pink side table.  I love pops of hot pink in an otherwise mostly neutral scheme.  And the ombre rug is to die for!  Ah, I should have been born rich instead of beautiful.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Quick Little Changes

It's been hot in Ohio.  Hot.  So hot I've had to stay in my air conditioned apartment the last couple of days.  So I did what I usually do when I get bored.  I moved stuff around.  I love to make quick little changes in my apartment that cost no money.  I wrote about my obsession with Design Star below.  Two designers influenced me as I was arranging the apartment.


I love the studded cuffs Hilari added to her PVC pipe room divider.  And I love this room designed by Mikel (see post below for links).  I know what I want, bling and hot pink.


I have a cute collection of resin and acrylic bracelets.  I put them on a vase for instant bling.  Then I changed the rug and slip cover in my living room.  That cranberry rug is not as fab as the fuchsia rug in Mikel's room, and I definitely need a fab coffee table and a couple silver poufs.  Oh well, having no money to spend doesn't keep me from being creative.  My home is humble, but I love it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Update: HGTV Design Star, Season 7

Design Star is my favorite show.  I am amazed at what the designers come up with given the constraints they have on materials and time.  The show is on Tuesday at 9:00.  I don't have a TV, so it takes supreme control not to get on any of the Twitter feeds.  I don't want any spoilers.  Fortunately, HGTV is great about uploading the program to their website so I can watch it first thing Wednesday morning.  Tonight is the kitchen challenge, my least favorite challenge.  Everyone knows the kitchen is the hardest room to design and it seems impossible given their time constraints.

Last week was episode 5, and it was my favorite episode this season.  I love the individual challenges more than the team challenges.  They don't have to compromise their styles and there is no bickering.  It's really the ladies who are dominating this season.  My first prediction was that the final three would be Danielle, Britany and Rachel.   Unfortunately, Rachel has really fallen apart in the last couple of episodes, I fear the stress is too much for her.  I think Rachel may get eliminated tonight if her performance is again lackluster.  Hilari has really stepped it up and her quirky personality is growing on me.  I am still routing for Danielle to win, but I believe the final three will be Danielle, Britany and Hilari.

If you haven't seen episode 5, you must.  The challenge was to create Hollywood lounges based on different time periods.  The designers really stepped it up.  Danielle created a Parisian Art Deco lounge.  Not an easy style.  Not one of my favorite styles, but it was incredible nonetheless (although I'm not sure I get the panther, which the judges gushed about.  I know I would stub my toe on that.)  She took the win, and I was really happy for her.  Britany designed a gorgeous Hollywood Regency lounge.  Love, love, love the bookcase.  Again, not my style, but it was gorgeous.  Britany is the only designer who has not made a single misstep this season, except in her camera challenges.  I was disappointed what a bad sport she was when she didn't win.  But her camera challenge was really bad.  She frowns and stutters, she seems really shy and I'm not sure why.  Not only is she incredibly talented, she's beautiful.

Hilari got on my nerves at first, but she's growing on me.  She is really blossoming.  I adored the 80s inspired lounge she designed.  It doesn't scream 80s to me, maybe that's because I was stuck in my dusty rose shabby chic style at that time.  But I adore the room and could live in it!  You've already seen the PVC pipe dividers, in the post below.

Beautiful!  Love the sofas, the Mondrian-inspired floor, the hanging lights, the mirrored table.  Mikel has been in the middle throughout the competition.  I feel like there is a lot more to him, and that he's been kind of playing it safe.  He designed a Mid Century inspired lounge, and the judges found it a little sparse and incomplete.  Actually, I adore it.  It fits my aesthetic very well.

I adore the Rothko-inspired painting.  Looking at this picture makes me want to do a room with a red rug, red pillows and all white furniture.  I adore the large amount of white with the pops of color, and the minimalism of this room.  It's so easy to critique from my armchair, I realize how difficult it is for these designers.  That said, here I go:  I wish he had placed that bench under the painting and used a Noguchi table for his coffee table, to add an organic pop.  Of course, the room is lacking in vases.  Mid century style has a multitude of fab vases to choose from.  He could have put some lovely German op art or some Holmegaard vases on the Noguchi.  Also, I wish there were a few more of the Saarinen end tables.  After all, it is a lounge, and there is no where for people to set drinks.  Still, I am digging this color scheme and the pops of silver from the sculpture and the chairs in the corners.  Mikel is a prop stylist, so I am a little shocked he hasn't stepped up his game a bit.  I hope he surprises me.

I had to show you this set he designed from his portfolio.  Man, I could live there!  Love the white, the pops of hot pink and the ottoman covered in black fabric.  Love silver poofs.  Can't wait to watch Episode 6 in the morning!  Thank you to all these brave designers who put themselves out there!  I totally understand your passion.

A New Obsession - PVC Pipe

Like many design bloggers, I am addicted to HGTV.  My new obsession for PVC pipe came from HGTV.  I upcycled materials, and materials used for an unexpected purpose.  The first time I noticed PVC pipe was while watching Antonio Ballatore's show (I love Antonio.  See previous posts about Antonio here).  I really dig this coffee table he made.  PVC pipe cut at various heights and a piece of glass on top.  Simple but very impactful.

I am itching to experiment with PVC pipe.  I think I'm going to take a power tool class.

Bex Hale from Design Star, Season 7 used PVC pipe in her white box challenge.  I think it would be awesome to make a room separator using PVC pipe.

For an 80s inspired Hollywood lounge, Hilari Younger used PVC pipe to create the illusion of separation while keeping the space open.  Groovy.

Do you read the fabulous blog Vintage Revivals?  If not, you must!  Mandi, the author, does the most amazing renovations of vintage pieces.  She gives great instructions on how you can do the same.  I love this dresser she embellished with pieces cut from PVC pipe.  I will be adding Vintage Revivals to my link list.
Ya'll know I love me some vases.  These spray painted PVC pipes used as vases are too fun!  I think I will steal this idea.  Sorry, I don't remember where I got this image.  Please contact me if you know the source.

I found a shop close to my home that sells PVC pipes and connectors.  I think it would be totally cool to use these as vases in a garden.
They even had pipes in a beautiful turquoise color!   Slap a piece of glass on there and you have a cute end table!  Perhaps I have found the table for my balcony.


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