Dec 28, 2008

Action Abstraction

I am loving the holidays and time spent with my family. My daughter Audrey (20 yr) is home from college. My son Alex (17 yr)has planned many of our family activities including a wonderful visit to the St. Louis Art Museum to see the special exhibit Action Abstraction. If you live in St. Louis you have until January 11 to see it. It's traveling around the country, so look for it in a city near you.

I love studies in color...and especially abstract art. I can't put in words what it means to me, but it elicits reactions in my soul like when I listen to inspiring music.

I was most moved by Grace Hartigan's work, her story and her art.

Like most women and blacks in the 50s, she had to fight hard for recognition of her work. Hartigan ran in circles of those better known Abstract Expressionists like Pollock and de Kooning. She broke through a glass ceiling in the art world as the only woman represented among 17 artists in the prestigious exhibit "New American Painting" sent by MOMA to Europe to communicate that New York had trumped Paris as the capital of modern art.

I am drawn to Hartigan's use of bold brush strokes and saturated splashes of color.

Bold, abstract, vivid and color infused...I can't get enough of it!

My favorite Hartigan painting is Summer Street (above). Can you make out the woman from the 50s shopping in the street? It took me a bit, but I found her. And do you see the watermelon? What else do you see in the busy summer street? What color and light of summer do you recognize? What time of day does it look like? Are there buildings around and if so, how are they recognized in the painting? Do you see yourself in a street like this?

I wish I could pluck Summer Street off the exhibit wall and place it in Heather's home! Perfect for her piano room (you'll see the reveal of Heather's piano room later on my blog). It would also look great in the 10th Street Lobby (also stay tuned for that reveal.)

I also loved New England in October (below).

Grace Hartigan quietly passed away in November this year. Though she faded from prominence years ago, I am grateful her work lives on in this exhibit.

Dec 6, 2008

Heather's Dreaming of a Modern Christmas

Modern Christmas tree tea light holder. To view: click here.

Heather, friend and client, is remodling her home, the whole downstairs including entry way, dining room, living room, family room and kitchen. She and her family are embracing contemporary design after many years of living in a traditional space.

Decorating for Christmas this year and coming years may mean revamping or remaking Christmas decorations to complement her new furnishings. So Heather and I have been on the hunt for inspiration in modern holiday design. I came across a variety of things.

For starters, design*sponge has this terrific DIY project to create mod paper ornaments (below). Learn how: click here. These colors might be a bit subdued for Heather's tastes that tend towards bright saturated hues, but she can use any colors to create these. And she can whip out several of these paper gems with the help of her five kids and husband Tom. A great family night project for sure! Best thing, it's not a budget buster.

Make a few for me, please!

How about this glass spiral goodie (below) for a tree topper! Found on Ebay - click here - comes in several colors.

Check out the fun stockings at Bunnie Maxwell (below) and click here. These are Heather's colors!

Found it at the Big Box, yesssss! Target has these trees (below) in red and white -- click here.

A search on Etsy uncovered tons of fun items to inspire.

Like these (below) acrylic ornaments. Click here to see more.

I am loving these felt bobbles found on Etsy -- click here

Heather must have an abominable snowman (below)! What could be more contemporary and contrarian! Also brought to you by Etsy -- click here.

This just may be my personal favorite from Bunny with a Toolbelt - click here. A very contemporary and fun nativity (below). Check out the link for more Christmas designs including ethnic Santas and wisemen in assorted colors and designs.

Heather needs this pillow (below) for her piano room that is done in black, turquoise and green. Found on Etsy - click here.

This ornament (below) reminds me of the complex graphic designs Heather loves. Found on Etsy - click here.

Heather wants to inject more turquoise color in her holiday decor. Here are some I found on Etsy doing a search by color with key words like "ornament" and "Christmas decorations". You can find handmade items in any color by searching the thousands of crafters on Etsy.
Beautiful polymer clay filigree ornament(below) - click here.

Fused glass star ornament (below) - click here.

Trio of trees below - click here.

Turquoise Glass Icicle ornaments (below) and in a variety of colors - click here.

And last, this just looks like something Heather would tuck away some place, even an area of sophisticated decor just to throw you off. Heather is always good for the unexpected startling surprise. Carmen might become part of the family tree, Christmas or otherwise, a new family member. If Carmen paints her nails, she's in! (side note: Heather always paints her nails). See more of Carmen - click here.

Dec 1, 2008

Rebecca's room

I work part-time at Ashley Furniture in Kirkwood Missouri. The most fun part of my job is to learn how customers plan to decorate their rooms. I ask them to send photos of their completed rooms and some take me up on it.

Rebecca and her parents bought the Cottage Retreat bedroom set and designed the room around a Hershey chocolate and bright pink color scheme.

I love the strong colors and dynamic prints in the bedding.

Terrific job...way to go Rebecca!