BOOKED (4)

BOOKED (4)

“The world is so full of a number of things,
I ’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” Robert Louis Stevenson

WEB3f“Only that which is truly old is forever young.” —Carl Larsson

About a week ago I serendipitously stumbled upon a sale at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) store.  What luck! Despite the fact that I had just reorganized our books to make room for them all, I found myself perusing the bins of books on sale, and choosing four at $5.00 each. It can take just but this kind of experience to make us feel rich. In this and my previous post, I share them with you…dear Readers and fellow Passionate Pursuers.

WEB3a Carl Larsson and Karin Bergoo Larsson were a Swedish husband and wife artist team who created an amazing home for themselves and their children, depicted in this book, Carl Larsson-garden, (Carl Larsson’s House”).  This book will light up anyone moved by color, decorative painting, art, interior, surface and  garden design, architecture, or just the concept and expression of “home”.

WEB3bEndpaper…depicting “the good life”…

WEB3cLooks like someone is drawing on the dining room table in this watercolor by Carl. Karin embroidered the family tree  depicted below it.

WEB3dA Day of Celebration“, watercolor by Carl Larsson. The Larsson family celebrated Names Days with gusto, and costuming to boot.

WEB3eKarin Larsson’s bedroom…Carl’s bed seen through the doorway. Carl painted the garland of flowers over the door, and the border around the ceiling as a name day present for Karin. Karin wove “Love’s Rose”, the drapery hanging between the two rooms.

WEB3gThe Reading Room…a watercolor of daughter Kersti …reading. Appropriate.

WEB4aWEB4cThis book, catalog  really, is copyrighted 1977.  That must have been when this show was mounted at LACMA. Intricate designs, whimsical figures of animals and people, and rows of heads with open mouths and earrings are some of the intriguing delights to be found within.  I wish I could have seen this exhibition curated by the late Mary Hunt Kahlenberg,  an authority on antique and ethnographic textiles and a former curator and head of the Department of Costume and Textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The images above are of/from the front cover, and depict “Palepai“, Sumatran ship cloth.

WEB4dWEB4eKain Panjang“, Skirt Cloth, Jogjakarta, Central Java. Wonderful images integrated into a coherent design in this piece.

WEB4gWEB4fTapis”, Skirt cloth. Lampong, South Sumatra.

WEB4hLau“, Woman’s Skirt, Pao, East Sumba, late 1940s. The “Katipa” above is a beaded band that here contains bird and snake motifs.

WEB4iKain Panjang“, Skirt Cloth, Atelier of E. Van Zuylen, Pekalongan, North Coast, Java. A Javanese take on “Little Red Riding Hood”, shows the European influence on Javanese batik. Dutch and other European studios created “batiks blending local and imported motifs….”Mary Hunt Kahlenberg

WEB4kWEB4lPua“, Borneo.  I love the seemingly screaming moths, repeated patterns and dangling earrings here…

Two extraordinary documents, and extraordinary in their diversity, yet also also extraordinary in their pursuit of a passion. How lucky we are that the Larssons, and Mary Hunt Kalenberg remained in passionate pursuit of  what moved and motivated them so deeply to the very end, leaving behind for us their legacies. We can continue to become richer in soul and spirit, through their gifts and efforts

 Gratitudes to LACMA for making these works accessible…bravo.

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BOOKED! (3)

BOOKED! (3)

WEB2a“The world is so full of a number of things,
I ’m sure we should all be as happy as kings.” Robert Louis Stevenson

About a week ago I serendipitously stumbled upon a sale at the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) store.  What luck! Despite the fact that I had just reorganized our books to make room for them all, I found myself perusing the bins of books on sale, and choosing four at $5.00 each. It can take just but this kind of experience to make us feel rich. In this and the next post, I share them with you…dear Readers and fellow passionate pursuers. My choices included discoveries and a “visit” from an old friend…

WEB2 I had not heard of art historian Alessandra Comini, but now that I have her book, I hope to passionately pursue her writing.  “Her lively revisionist work in the history of women artists was acknowledged in 1995 by the Women’s Caucus for Art with the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award. –http://www.alessandracomini.com/biography.asp#

WEB2bIn Passionate Pursuit, by Comini.

Booklist: “This erudite, mostly engaging self-portrait charts the making of an art historian and
professional “seer,” whose passion and wit enabled her to become a noted teacher and scholar at Southern Methodist University. Comini helped unearth centuries of overlooked women in art and wrote landmark studies of the Austrian painter Egon Schiele and of musical iconography. For someone engaged in a life of the mind, she has lived much of it in motion, and the art of travel and close consideration of cultural context have been her keys to learning and teaching. She is at her riveting best when she reveals her discoveries about Schiele in his Vienna prison cell, Winckelmann in Rome and Trieste, the composer Edvard Grieg in Norway, and the painter Akseli Gallen-Kalella in Finland. Her short essays dazzle the most when they reveal her keen eye, such as when she discerns how the German artist Kathe Kollwitz, in a bust of herself, “used the resolute features of her own aging face as a spiritual topography for courage and resignation.”

WEB1I gave away an over-sized  book on Georgia O’Keeffe that I had for years before moving, in an effort to downsize. This little gem on Georgia will be easy to have, hold, and refer to. Written for children(?), it is easy to read, and packed with word and image.

WEB1aPerhaps everyone’s (artist-identified or not) “old friend”,  O’Keeffe never ceases to be magical and inspirational.

WEB1bAs well as mysterious…

WEB1cHer environment.

WEB1dHer work.

Written in simple language, punctuated by photographs and images of O’Keeffe’s wide and  wondrous  work through the years, this find by Susan Goldman Rubin will ensure that wideness and wonder stay close at hand.

WEB3a  Carl Larsson and Karin Bergoo Larsson were a Swedish husband and wife artist team who created an amazing home for themselves and their children, depicted in this book, Carl Larsson-garden.  This book will light up anyone moved by color, decorative painting, art, interior, surface and  garden design, architecture, or just the concept and expression of “home”.

I will explore this book, and the one below, in greater depth in my next post.

WEB4Intricate designs, whimsical figures of animals and people, and rows of heads with open mouths and earrings are some of the intriguing delights to be found in this LACMA publication from 1977!   I wish I could have seen this exhibition….

These are just a few of the rich treasures these books offer up.  They are the gifts that keep on giving…revealing more and more as they are perused, and revisited. I am looking forward to sharing further in the next post, though there is never enough time. Perhaps that is why many of us remain in “passionate pursuit”…

The Objects of Our Affection: Vignettes 3

The Objects of Our Affection: Vignettes 3

Mystery

Familiarity

Artistry

Wearability

Functionality

Are our objects expressions of our love?

Our drama?

Our hopes, dreams, wishes, needs and desires?

Do our vignettes express that which we are, or that which we aspire to?

Or, are they the place where these meet?

Have a little fun…express yourself, and play…mix and match, or don’t match.

Live a little.

Juxtapose, and strike a pose, then tear it all down, and start again.

Refresh.

Fresh.

Object Lessons: Vignettes 2

Object Lessons: Vignettes 2

What makes a place your own…that goes beyond style, decoration and decor, becoming a personal expression that spells H-O-M-E, even  if the space involved is your place of business, work or office?  The way we put our objects of meaning together is a form of creative expression that is unique to each of our beings… in ways we don’t even seem to be conscious of.

Birds of a feather…flock together, or, do they?  There seems to be a common human urge to organize our aesthetic views by placing objects that have commonality together.  It might be common physical characteristics such as  color, shape, pattern or size, a common function, such as things to read, things to drink from, things to put plants in, or  a common material: ceramics, metal or  glass.

Or…the assembled objects may have a commonality known, and felt, only by the assemblers, and those they know, love and live with.  The “collection”, however spare, may be composed of objects which resonate with shared memory, joy, triumph, or transcendence, and which have an ineffable but profound effect on those in the know who gaze on them.

Other groupings may combine a number of these attributes, and create whimsy, humor, an inside joke, or, an outside joke.  The choice to display objects from different cultures which inter-relate on the basis of color, pattern, size and scale add other layers of meaning, and their juxtaposition may create new associations, or uncover existing ones.

The associations of “new”, and “old”, vintage, or contemporary, “My mother bought me that TV” or “My sister brought those slippers home from India” , speak to our memories, where we are now,  and even where we want to be- our longings, desires, dreams, hopes and wishes.  They are all there, impelling our choices, informing our decisions, coloring our moods, our plans,  our moments and our minds.

Reflected or unknowingly  expressed in the way we place our “stuff”…whether seemingly thrown together, or carefully designed and thought out on a conscious level, may be the design and drama of our whole lives, and an expression of the highs and lows, the needs and aspirations, the joys and sorrows therein.

What have YOU expressed through Your H=O=M=E arrangements, assemblages, collages, collections, compositions, and displays?

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

We love to hear from You.

Remember, we are all designing, assembling, collecting, gathering and displaying our way through this thing called Life, together.

The Art of Home

The Art of Home: Vignettes I

Home is where the heart is…and home is where the art is, too.  For so many of us, they way we arrange our “stuff”, has as much to do with our heart and soul, our needs, and desires, and the core of our personality, as do our color loves and hates, what we choose and don’t choose to wear, how we eat,  and the company we keep.

What do we keep out, and around, and why do we do so?  Well, maybe the why doesn’t matter as much as the rush of love, appreciation, gratification or comfort that we feel when we see our “stuff” arranged in “vignettes” or groupings,  that may or may not communicate to other people.  What matters is how these compositions of objects resonate with us, what scenes they set, and the meaning that a particular grouping of collected objects has for us.  Vignettes are creations.

Sometimes the actual objects we choose to arrange in a particular way hold a conscious meaning for us…other times, we may not know why we are drawn to something, and why it seems to go with, to fit with, even to seem to need to be with, something else.

But this is part of the mystery, part of the fun.  New connections may be made between objects, and within ourselves, and old ones reinforced or recreated, through our following a seeming whim.

Sometimes we place together objects that have been given to us, or created for us by loved ones, or those we once knew and loved, and these placements can create a presence in our homes, place of business, or creative spaces, that stirs memories, offers reassurance,  or honors the past or present.

Objects speak, and their juxtaposition may inspire, encourage, calm, or just  seem (IE- feel) “right”.  The artist Richard Diebenkorn said, “Now, the idea is to get everything right-it’s not just color or form or space or line-it’s everything all at once.”  The amazing exhibition of his stunning Ocean Park Series, at the Orange County Museum of Art  (through May 27, 2012), is a testament to this quest.

The visual elements of form, color, texture, pattern, imagery, shape and space, of course, play into how we are moved, and  compelled  to put things together.  The combination of these elements can animate a space, and thus ourselves,  as we look at and live in it.  As we are in it.  Thus affecting the way we are.

When I placed the bird in a position where it looked like it was about to drink from the plate, something clicked.  I knew the vignette, the arrangement, the visual story, was, well, right.  I hope it looks and feels that way to other people, but the feeling of rightness, that “click”, was so strong that other people’s opinions (save that of  my beloved husband and sharer of our space) just really don’t matter!  The vignette is right for us, in the space we call home.

What vignettes have you created that click for you in your home, office, studio, or other environment?

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

We love to hear from you.

Remember, we are all trying to get things “right” in this thing called Life, together.

E-LUMEN-Eight

E-LUMEN-Eight

In an increasingly technological world, there is a corresponding need for work created by hand.  As humans, we respond to useful objects of wonder and beauty.

“Artissima Lumens”  are hand-adorned light switch plates created custom, one at a time  as art, celebration and decor. They are created of water-borne primers, paints, semi-transparent glazes, stencils, metallic media, and varnish.

Typically, the plain plastic, or wooden plate is sanded to create texture or “tooth”, readying the surface to receive the primer which creates a bondable surface for the painted base coat.  The surface is thus  prepared for more intricate layers of adornment.

Paints, semi-sheer glaze or other media are manipulated across the surface to create visual interest and an interplay of color and texture.

Gold, silver, copper and bronze metallic media add luminescence, glow, and glimmer which  catch the light and animate the surface.

Stenciled or hand-painted pattern and imagery establish a composition which can become playful, elegant, whimsical, retro,  nostalgic or contemporary.

The obligatory hardware or screws are treated as part of the whole, and treated to each successive application.  They become part of the visual composition, as does the aperture for the switch itself.

When at last complete, the work is sealed and protected with  water-borne varnish. The “Lumen” is now is ready to iLUMENate its chosen light switch, and give the user a jolt of light energy.

Experience shows that we can become more calm, energetic, stimulated, peaceful and alive through interaction with our visual surroundings.  Color, texture, pattern and imagery can enhance, beautify, communicate, and  transform our feelings and surroundings, and thus both our interior and exterior landscape.

If YOU are interested in ordering or commissioning an “Artissima Lumen” please email: debra@artifactorystudio.com

Believe

Create Success

Have Gratitude