Siting Santa Monica: Ocean to Beach

Siting Santa Monica: Ocean to Beach

There is a magical walkway between Street and Santa Monica Beach.

WEBaOn Ocean…beguiling architecture can be seen…

WEBbcomplete with detail of tile, brick and terracotta.

WEBdTo the side..wooden shutters and pattern upon pattern,

WEBcgiving new meaning to “white picket fence”.

WEBeAs one moves down the walkway from Ocean to beach….one sees more layers, of pattern and material, plants and metal. Santa Monica knows from gates…weathered, imposing, architectural, artsy.

WEBfAt the bottom of the walkway, is another magnificent building that manages to combine quaintness and stateliness.

WEBgMore texture.  This side faces the beach.

WEBiHeading back up the walkway, towards Ocean Street again, one passes more brick, banked with foliage and flowers.

WEBhPalms, succulents, flowering plants and a mix of materials soften the concrete.

WEBkThe walkway weaves its magic…feeling for all the world like a picturesque country lane…

WEBjAlbeit one with some interesting signs, which betray its origins in the world’s entertainment capitol.

WEBlMore gates, and a visual archway created.

WEBmThese could be the gates to an Tuscan Villa, if one didn’t see the Pacific Ocean to the right, directly West.

WEBnTrue to ever artful Santa Monica, brick pattern and mosaic design add just enough visual interest to a garden wall to arrest and entice.

WEBoIt is no accident that the mosaic design leads our eye to the gate, and what lays behind it.

WEBpI turn, to take in the Western view…from where I walked,WEBrthan back Eastward, to Ocean, where I am walking to.

For now.

Advertisements

Material World (2)

Material World (2)

One of the pleasures and deep satisfactions of bookmaking, is delving into the visual, visceral, and tactile pleasures of materials, and how to employ and combine them. The following shares one step of my journey exploring and investigating the qualities inherent in materials.   Though many artists do not make the kind of money that allows for indulgence in what might be termed, “material pleasures”, we may be seen as materialistic…for materials are the very warp and weft of our trade.  We find our way to the ineffable through the use and exploitation of the materials we choose.

WEBaFront view…closed and tied.

WEBbPeeking open, ribbons wafting

WEBcAn open book…

WEBdSeen from behind

Single signature binding with wrapped covers, collage, patterned paper from scrapbook pads, drawing paper, recycled shirt-weight cardboard covers, binding sewn with hemp cord, ribbon. Ribbon inserted through book, between cover board and wrapping and over spine.

Artists Books, The Book Arts, Bookbinding, Bookmaking, The Making of Books, however you want to put it, is fertile ground for this exploration/exploitation.  In this sense, we are turning even our language on its proverbial head. For what might be seen as negative, such as materialism (being “materialistic”) and exploitation (making use of and benefiting from resources) becomes an act of creativity, imagination and exploration through this transformative  process.  Which becomes ultimately, an act of expression.

Material World (1)

Material World (1)

One of the pleasures and deep satisfactions of bookmaking, is delving into the visual, visceral, and tactile pleasures of materials, and how to employ and combine them. The following shares one step of my journey exploring and investigating the qualities inherent in materials.   Though many artists do not make the kind of money that allows for indulgence in what might be termed, “material pleasures”, we may be seen as materialistic…for materials are the very warp and weft of our trade.  We find our way to the ineffable through the use and exploitation of the materials we choose.

WEB3Three Books in Bows…all dressed up and  ready to go. An exploration of textiles, papers, ribbons, beads, shells, repurposed materials,  collage, hemp cord, jute, nylon and bindings. Textures created with tissue and brown wrapping paper and adhesive, layering of transparent material over collaged two-color cover, and stitching. Detail added with recycled and found beads, a treasured shell, and gauzy, glittery, patterned and woven ribbon.

WEB1Two Friends…My own version of an “art pauvre”, …a simple structure of humble, repurposed materials existing quietly in the world. Single signature binding of recycled graph paper pages, using jute cord, covers and spine made of recycled cardboard, covered with scraps of recycled cloth. Repurposed ornament stitched to front cover with hemp cord. The pleasures and mysteries of the seemingly mundane and everyday.

WEB5Unzipped…so named because there is a zipper stitched to the front cover…(to be depicted at a future time if a good picture can be made of it.) Another example of my expression of “art pauvre”.  Single signature book with pages made from recycled paper,  covers and spine made of recycled cardboard, covered with repurposed cloth. Jute cord used for binding, and to attach exterior cloth to covers. Interior cloth strips/insets glued on.

WEBiWEBjZebra BookSingle signature binding with wrapped covers, patterned paper from scrapbook pads, recycled shirt-weigh cardboard covers, folded card stock weight spine, patterned gauze ribbon, embroidery thread used for sewing. Ribbon inserted through book, between cover board and wrapping.

WEBmWEBpLace 2… Single signature binding with wrapped covers, collage, patterned paper from scrapbook pads, drawing paper, recycled shirt-weight cardboard covers, binding sewn with hemp cord, ribbon. Ribbon inserted through book, between cover board and wrapping and over spine.

WEBfWEBgWEBhLos Angeles, California, Single signature binding with wrapped covers, collage, maps printed on multipurpose paper, patterned paper from scrapbook pads, drawing paper, recycled shirt-weight cardboard covers, binding sewn with hemp cord, ribbon. Ribbon inserted through book, between cover board and wrapping and over spine.

Artists Books, The Book Arts, Bookbinding, Bookmaking, The Making of Books, however you want to put it, is fertile ground for this exploration/exploitation.  In this sense, we are turning even our language on its proverbial head. For what might be seen as negative, such as materialism (being “materialistic”) and exploitation (making use of and benefiting from resources) becomes an act of creativity, imagination and exploration through this transformative  process.  Which becomes ultimately, an act of expression.

Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

In the spirit of the process of the necessity of the…well…updating, overhauling, revamping, refurbishing, and just re-ing the online presence of ArtiFactory Studio, and Artissima ventures….and, about to add/subtract/move around work from my site, I thought I would share some of the work completed since my last site update (yikes, was it really three years ago?), and look at some of the media, processes, forms and approaches that are part of the wide world of decorative painting.

lum2d

lum3b

I created a line of hand-painted light switch plates which I call, “Artissima Lumens“, which though small, do take a lot of work and focus to complete! Sanding the plastic or wooden surface, as well as screws/hardware, priming it, base painting it, and then…the embellishment, adornment, decoration (hmm…not a good word in art school!), whatever you want to call it. This can include hand painting images, gradating color, stenciling  a design, pattern, image or scene, adding layers of semi-transparent glaze, and most often, a combination of some, many, or even all of these!

gbr2a

4b

Mid-Century design, style, decor and imagery can be rich fodder for decorative painting on the wall, as evidenced by these bedroom accent walls. The dawn of the atomic age, coupled with star-bursts, floral imagery, and geometric shapes and patterns can be inspirational. These treatments, based on a sketch (above with mirror), made by, and a re-imagined image, (immediately above), found by the Client constitute a creative collaboration that bore Mid-C fruit in both a guest and master bedroom.

c1

a1

There is nothing quite like custom,  hand painted imagery on a wall, or ceiling.  Above, the Fightin’Irish and Michigan State logos find a home in the room of a young boy, with an avid avian interest. Custom-designed stenciled and hand-painted birds fly across his ceiling and desk wall, and perch above the entrance to his bath.

B.

D.

Stenciling, and the art of repeated pattern is an effective and beautiful way to create a border. Especially effective in a room, such as this bath, with no crown molding.  The bright color ties the room together with the strong artwork displayed there, and connects to the vibrant colors seen throughout the rest of the house.

Fleur3

Exterior  decorative painting on the wall, any wall, can go a long way towards brightening up an area that is often dark, and shrouded in fog, as many decks, patios, yards and porches are in the vast and often overcast Sunset District neighborhood of San Francisco. The painting of a colorful wall mural on the rough textured shingled siding of this deck not only brightened the area, and extended the adjoining living space to the outdoors, it also gave the inhabitants a colorful “garden” to look at through their kitchen window.  Doing dishes is going to be a lot more fun now in that house!

1cath

“MINDS HEARTS HANDS VOICES” is the motto for  Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco. The painting of the motto so that is can be seen through the front windows communicated the basic approach and philosophy of the school. Samples of blue hues, and font styles were presented to the Headmaster and Development Director, who chose which to use. The intent was to keep the image and the message clean, clear and simple, albeit elegant, and let the words do the talking!

1hg

2hg

House numbers  for HGTV Curb Appeal, “It’s All in the Details” episode were created with customized, hand-cut stencils, based on a font chosen by the host, John Gidding. Gradated shading using highlight and shadow was added to give the illusion of depth.

ex1

ex5

The Flying Cranes project at The Briggs Residence (a historic residence in the West Adams District of Los Angeles) was the brainchild of architect Kaitlin Drisko, of Drisko Studio Architects, who wanted to transform the living room TV cabinet into a work of art . In conjunction with the Owner, and Owner’s rep Paul Davidson, designs and imagery for both the interior and exterior were developed collaboratively.  The exterior sides of the cabinet doors are gilded with composition gold leaf, or schlag metal, then painted with the cranes composition.

inb

The interior of the doors are stippled with  layers of gold, blue and red paint hues, then stenciled with a custom motif adapted especially for the project. When open, the articulated doors frame the TV screen.  The piece is designed to be a focal point in the room whether the doors are open or closed, the television on or off.

m1

It is fascinating to look back over a three year span of work, and contemplate all the uses of decorative painting.  It is a form that marries function and beauty, usefulness and aesthetics, craft, visual art, architecture and design.  Playing at once subtly and powerfully through our visual landscape, decorative painting makes its mark!

E-Lumen-8 Part 1 Take 2

E-Lumen-8 Part 1 Take 2

Nov102012_7141

E-LUMEN-8 Your Life! 

The story of “Artissima Lumens”…painted light switch plates for your e-lumen-8-ed pleasure!

Nov072012_7170 The adventure begins  with prepping: sanding and priming the front surface of the nascent “Lumens”…making a tiny white canvass to frame the light switch aperture.

Nov072012_7157The “Lumen” prepared “canvasses” begin to stack up. Their tiny screws get the same treatment. Each is sanded, primed with a white-tinted primer, painted, and treated in the same manner as the rest of the piece. The entire surface is treated as one composition.

Nov072012_7169

  It is fun to play with the aperture, and use it as part of the composition.

Nov072012_7160Pattern rules. Words can express dreams, hopes, even prayers.

The possibilities are endless…the size restrictions a creative stimulant….as opposed to a limitation.

Nov102012_7143

Nov102012_7145  The interplay of textures, (built up through the application of  layer upon layer of stippled paint), and pattern, color and image, only become more fascinating to manipulate and explore.

Nov152012_7228Metallic paints provide glow and glimmer, sheen and shimmer, adding luster and elegance, or perhaps a celestial quality.

Nov102012_7140

Nov152012_7225The addition of paint, texture and color add depth…while sanding between the layers with wet-dry sandpaper makes the pieces smooth and sleek, creating a tactile experience to match the visual. Layering imagery over texture, then softening, or slightly obscuring it, can suggest an air of mystery, softness, and complexity.

Nov152012_7229The elements are engaging to play with, mix, and and match.

I hope that the addition of “Artissima Lumens” will add an element of detail, joy or  artistry to a room and make turning on the light not only an illuminating, but fun!

E-LUMEN-8 Your Life!

Turn it On!

May Your Holidays be filled with light, joy, and FUN!

E-LUMEN-8 your life

E-LUMEN-8

Your Life…

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.

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 , contemporary or celebratory.

The necessary 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 eLUMENate 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

Ceilings: No Limits for 2011!

Ceilings:  No Limits for 2011!

As we  enter the new year, let’s take a minute to consider not limitations, but possibilities!

The ceiling, or  “fifth wall”,  imposes limitations of height, size and shape upon the room it covers.  A defining factor of any interior space, the color and treatment of a room’s ceiling can profoundly affect its ambiance.

Whether you wish to warm up or cool down your interior spaces this year, create more spaciousness or intimacy, or add formality or whimsy, try taking a  fresh look at your ceilings, and pondering their creative  potential.   Consider the ceiling a blank canvass with unlimited possibilities.  After all, the ceiling is our interior sky…and you know the old adage…”the sky’s the limit!”

Here are a few ideas to get you going…

Some folks like it hot…hot color, that is.  Like washes of strong hues on all the walls , and gradated color glazed on the stairway ceiling to express the warmth of a luminous sunset!

The gradated sunset colors overhead flow from yellow to orange to red to violet, as we climb the stairs and turn left into the second floor hallway.  Adjacent is a yellow and black deco bathroom, with a  glazed ceiling that matches the walls.

The theme of sunset also inspired this ceiling treatment.  The young girl who lives here requested a purple sunset cloud and sky treatment.   Five glazes in hues of blue, purple, plum, pink and fuchsia are blended in several layers over a ceiling surface  that curves down to meet the wall’s crown molding.

This kitchen tray ceiling seems made for a multi-color glaze treatment that enhances and accentuates it, adds warmth, depth and interest, and reflects the copper accents throughout the room. The folks  who cook here also appreciate the appetite-stimulating effect of the treatment’s tones of coppery-orange.

Baths and powder rooms are ideal for imaginative, mood-setting ceiling treatments.  The only rules: prepare the surface to be treated properly, and protect it with the appropriate varnish upon completion.  On the recessed ceiling of this bath, blue and pearl glazes are blended together to create a dreamy evening sky punctuated by stenciled silver stars.

The light fixture was the inspiration for the ceiling design in this colorful entry.  The stencil  based on it is set off by sponged and stippled glazes which wrap the entire room.  Mysterious decorative shadows are cast by the light shining through the ornate fixture, adding to the effect!

How about a little gleam and glimmer?  Three successive applications of gold and silver glazes lend depth, shimmer and texture to the entry ceiling of this designer showcase home.  The treatment adds elegance and glamor, and doesn’t compete with the light fixture.

This octagonal domed breakfast room is treated to successive applications of custom metallic gold and silver glazes which  create an effect of both subtlety and richness. If metallic finishes are  applied with a light touch in the right room, they add a bit of magic, and don’t overwhelm the space.

In another domed breakfast room,  the ceiling’s architectural details  are brought out by the application of three soft-colored glazes, applied and blended with sea sponges.  The treatment also warms up this fanciful room, one of many jewels in a magnificent Spanish Revival home.

Two young brothers inhabit this room where rockets zoom, and stars and planets glow from the ceiling above.  Two glaze colors are color washed over the ceiling’s surface, and custom stencils based on the boy’s bedding design are used create a fantasy tableau of outer space.

Have you been moved to create a fun and fabulous ceiling treatment, color choice, texture or application? If you feel so inspired, share it with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all in this thing called Life, together.

All the best for 2011!