To Build a World…Inspired by Louise Nevelson

To Build a World…Inspired by Louise Nevelson

WEB1What a wonderful experience to introduce young artists to the wondrous wood work of the artist Louise Nevelson…and what better way than for them to create their own (mini) wood sculptures!

WEBaWorking on simple cardboard bases, students worked with an assortment of new and repurposed wood objects, in a variety of shapes, thicknesses and sizes.

WEBbPlaying with shape, space, form, pattern, dimension and design, they arranged their chosen pieces into sculptures (“built environments”), and secured them  using “tacky glue“.

WEBcSome used aspects of symmetry to create harmony and balance.

WEBddSome built their pieces up,

WEBfinto elegant and contained structures,

WEBhsome out, into strong, repeating patterns,

WEBeand some built up and out producing a magical sense of movement that is a joy to behold.

WEBgThey used the color, texture and utility of the materials to establish strong compositions, sustain visual interest

WEbiand just plain have fun!

It was beautiful to see them build….their worlds.

Gratis Louise Nevelson.

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Straight is the Gate: NOT!

Straight is the Gate: NOT!

The Venice Canals are a fantasy-land of visual whimsey.  Art and architecture, design and details, color, form, texture and landscaping intersect with the natural world of earth and water, mingling in a magical way.  Here, the lines between privacy and the public are both diffused and defined.  Visitors stroll past homes that buttress right up to the sidewalk, but often are shaded by trees, and hidden behind hedges, walls and gates, or a combination of all three.

Metal, wood, and foliage flow together  to create both art and utility.  We are are so caught up in observing the material mix, we forget to peer beyond the gate.  Mission accomplished.

Creative cutouts provide contrast to the wood and metal geometry below, and make of this gate a work of art, both two and three dimensional.

No-one is getting past this gate, unless the owner wants you to.  So arrested by its beauty, we forget how formidable it is. Flanked by bamboo, the strength of its materials, shape and detailing stops us in our tracks.

The simplicity of repeated squares which form a pattern is further softened by curving grasses, and enlivened by the use of stones on the ground in front.

A similar repeated shape creates a grid, reflecting the larger tile-like stones before it, creating a starker, and more stream-lined feeling.

What magnificent and magical gates have been in YOUR purview lately?

If you feel so inclined, please share about them with us here.

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all traversing this thing we call Life, together.

Cheers!

Santa Monica’s Magical Style: Convex, Concave and Curvilinear

Santa Monica’s Magical Style: Convex, Concave and Curvilinear

By turns magical, moving, and magnificent, Santa Monica exemplifies the outsized and over the top sensibility Los Angeles is known for. However, this beach town also holds quiet gems often discovered by happenstance.  Join me for a magical, mufti-faceted look at the ebb and flow of this “home of the California beach lifestyle”.

Organic meets geometric, creating magic in concrete forms.

A magical curvilinear wall of stones stands in front of Santa Monica’s Yahoo Center.

An over-sized exterior sculpture bubbles out from the side of a building, adding a bit of magic to the urban landscape.

A flowing window grate creates artful protection, as well as magical  beauty.

The Zebra car plugs in…stay tuned for another post devoted to this magical car.

Madame Chou Chou  bistro and patisserie on Main Street, offers spiral magic with its cutlery, as if the delightful patisseries weren’t enough!

What magical convex, concave and curvilinear sights have You seen lately?

If You feel so inclined, please share them with us here.

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all in the ebb and flow of this magical thing called Life, together.

Wishing You a magical holiday filled with a heightened awareness of the extraordinary all around us.

Cheers!

Featured Work: “Mid-Century Retro”: Starburst, Atom or Tinker Toy?

Featured Work: “Mid-Century Retro”:   Starburst, Atom, or Tinkertoy?

When my Clients Ted and Mark expressed interest in a wall treatment for their guest room, they knew that whatever was done had to fit into the eclectic brand of “Mid-Century Retro” style they had developed throughout the rest of their home.

From their TV tables, to the artwork on the walls, to their shower curtain pattern, the colors, patterns, feel and sensibility of the interior design and objects recall the visual aesthetic of the 1950’s.

TV tabletop pattern

Touring their home, I observed earth colors re-imagined in plastic, textiles, dishware and furniture. Browns, yellows, beiges and ivorys were applied to patterns created by combining  repeated elements of line, shape and form.

Unadorned wall, a bit empty

Their sunny guest room needed adornment on the headboard wall , which captures attention upon entering the room. The wall color was already reflected in the pillows and bedding, and enhanced by the use of natural wood, pussywillow branches, and carefully selected artwork. Yet the wall felt bare.

Given the scale and function of the room, Ted and Mark were concerned about overwhelming it visually.  They wanted a treatment that would complement what existed, and add a sense of whimsy, depth, and dimension, without cluttering the space.

Ted, who had worked in graphic design, sketched out an image of  a “starburst”  which brought to mind molecular structure, resonating with their mid-century design sensibility.

TInkertoys? No, Molecular Structure

Or, to get more complicated, Tetrahedral Molecular Geometry.

Jack? No, Tetrahedral Molecular Geometry

I created a modular (molecular?) stencil based on his design, and cut the “line” and “circle” elements in a variety of sizes to mix and match, and create the visual impact we sought.

Ethereal Molecular

Assemblages of repeated parts, (lines and circles), were given depth and form through the addition of highlights and shadows, created with tints (white added) and shades (black added) of the wall color.

Line and circles were “built” into larger shapes and designs, just like some of us once built with tinker toys

The resulting treatment is reminiscent of designs and patterns that emerged with advent of the “Atomic Age”, and became integral to “Mid-Century” style. A nexus of science and design, perhaps so familiar to us now, that we may be barely cognizant of its origins.

Mirror Image Module Multiplies

Mirrors expand the space and subtle visual impact of the treatment. Values of light and dark add dimensionality and a soft “pop” to the shapes, which seem to do an dream-like, molecular dance across the wall.  Although it was not easy to articulate, this is the effect and feeling the Clients were looking for.

“The subtle starburst pattern enlivens our mid-century look. Our houseguests love the playfulness it contributes to the room.” – Ted and Mark, San Francisco, Ca.   August 2010

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