Sunday, October 30, 2011

Color Peak

This weekend is the peak of our fall color. Driving around within a few miles of our home produced this collection of brilliant colors, all thanks to the sugar maples, oaks, Bradford pear, ash, gingko, sweetgum and sumac.

Oak alley


There are still flowers blooming, even after a our light frost. In our garden, the hydrangeas have a deep patina, roses are still coming on, the fall white anemone is still going strong, our jasmine is bursting for one last scent blast before we bring it indoors and in our neighbor's yard, the blue aconitum (monkshead) is simply a gorgeous shade of blue.

What is happening in your garden?

Thank you, Cindy, at My Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Wire Art

At first I thought they were sketches. You know- the first doodles coming out of your head to capture the essence of what you are trying to reveal. Then, another look. Wait- it's not a sketch. It's... what?

Artist Gavin Worth created a series of sculptures that amaze me. He manages to tell stories of human emotion by manipulating lengths of wire. The sculptures change as the environment changes, with the subtle movement of the wire in a breeze or a different perspective revealed through a change of light.

Worth, born in Zimbabwe, was raised in New Mexico. He graduated from college with a degree in acting, which he pursued for years. With a lifelong passion for drawing, painting, and sculpture, he is self taught.  He now teaches at the American International School in Cairo, Egypt. 

The artist's current interests are in paper cut works, a continuation of his wire series using a different medium.

"Hands Clasped"

"Corpus Callosum"

"Her Back"

Recently seen at the London Design Festival, designers Andrea Mancuso and Emilia Serra stretched imaginations by creating a 3D scene using just monofilament fishing line and strands of wool. Seriously.

After calculating the grid on the computer with 3D software and stretching the wire precisely to the fixed points from wall to wall and the floor to the ceiling, they applied Merino wool tufts to the wire.

In creating Analogia #001(from the Italian word for analogy), they felt like each wool affixing was akin to a brushstroke.

Amazing imaginations. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Moment's Glance

A few of my favorite moments during the past few weeks...

For sale in a gallery... and a bit more than we could handle

In front of Notre Dame in Paris

At the Louvre

Spanish attitude in Barcelona!

Life is good, eh?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Scene Stealer

Here's a quick peek at the arch that we created a week ago for a wedding ceremony.
With colors the essence of fall, it was dramatic against the color of the room.

Some of the flowers you see are various orchids and berries, pincushion flowers, eucalyptus, and bittersweet.

 The little balls are from the Kousa dogwood tree.

The trick was that Pieter and his staff had to move the arch to a totally different part of the room following the ceremony. Yikes!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Frame It!

More often than not, I am drawn to the frame on a mirror or painting before I even look at what it is holding. I'll oooh and aaah at the frame, noticing its gilding or painted finish and then proceed to look at the painting. 

I love the art of the frame.

The frame stands there as the painting's support. 
It lends importance and structure to a painting. 
It offers protection as well. 

Frames have mainly been used since the fifteenth century. Most often they are made of wood, often gilded with gold or silver leaf. Painted frames are also common.

Here a frame is in the process of being repaired. Compo ornaments (a pliable substance that includes chalk which has been pressed into a mold) has been added and will be later gilded.

Gilding the frame follows a lengthy process that has changed little since the seventeenth century.  After applying a coat of rabbit skin glue, many layers (usually 4-8) of gesso are applied to create the smooth bed for the gold or silver. Gesso consists of chalk (or marble dust), water and rabbit skin glue. It is warmed before applying and must be layered as the previous application turns "leathery". 

A bin of finely powdered chalk 

After the gesso has dried, several layers of bole (fine grained clay plus RSG) are brushed on. Several colors of clay are available, including red, yellow, black or brown; the bole determines the color effect that the gold leaf will have. The bole is then polished with a horsehair cloth, never sanded, as the marks would telegraph right through the gold leaf- not an attractive proposition.

The atelier of De Roo Lijstenmalers in Haarlem, the Netherlands

The gold leaf is then very carefully applied. I'll continue the story in Frame It! Part Deux

In the meantime,enjoy the art of the frame!

 Gold leaf has been applied and is awaiting the burnishing and patination.

Perfectly patinated

Silver leaf has been used here.

White-washed frames

Or, you can just paint the frame on the wall! 
Your choice of color.

** Update
Back on March 10, 2011, I posted a a review of Clara and Mr. Tiffany by Susan Vreeland, here.
For those of you who love Tiffany glass, you have an exciting opportunity to view over 45 of Tiffany's stained glass lamps at the Biltmore. The special exhibit runs from July 1, 2011 through January 31, 2012. Many of Clara Driscoll's creations can be seen there.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Past Perfect

Beauty comes in many shapes...
and today, it is antique.

This vignette belongs to Dutch antique dealer, Odette Welvaars, whose shop is on the Prinsengracht in Amsterdam.
I sure would love to visit!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Flamingo Pink

Yesterday we spent a few hours at the zoo. 
Seeing the flamingos was a highlight for me- 
their plumage was so gorgeous. 
And talk about quirky!

For those of you who are not exactly sure what flamingo pink is...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Swaying in the Breeze

It is sunny and cool and you will find me outdoors today, 

enjoying the fall with its colors and grasses.

source unknown

What are you doing today?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Statement Seating

Fun and funky- I would love any of these in my home:

 The Cotswold Bench Ottoman in Landscape fabric. Love! Does an ottoman have to be serious?

Olmo chairs, which come in various styles and seat pad colors. The artist, Serbian Draga Obradovic,has a studio in Como, Italy. She reupholsters vintage frames in a signature coated-cotton canvas fabric, then screenprints and hand-distresses them.

This pull-up chair, the Painted Bias chair, is based on a French flea market find. New Orleans artist, Kaki Foley, paints its gilded cross. 

And who would guess- they are all from Anthropologie!



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