Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Linen Lovelies from South St.Linen

I recently discovered the Portland based South Street Linen and instantly fell for their bold and playful scarves. I'm a sucker for anything linen and never thought of it as material for a scarf, but it makes sense. It feels nice against your skin, softens with age and any color sings on it.  These three mid career artists, painters and print makers Mary Ruth Hedstrom, Jane Ryan and Lynn Krauss find their inspiration from some of my favorites- all things Japanese and Scandinavian. And you know how I feel about anything from Maine.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A Gift for the Gourmand and Gardener

I've posted about my friend Roanne's magic in the garden before. If you're looking for a beautiful, inspiring and informative book on seasonal container gardens, her book Continuous Container Gardens, is the one to pick up. The book is full of projects that are manageable for the weekend gardener, using and reusing your favorite vessels through each season.
But this winter Roanne has focussed her impeccable eye and palette on her kitchen. Using the organic harvest from her newly established HoneyField Flowers based in Harvard Mass, she's put together a gift box of treats that will make you very popular with both your gardening and gourmand friends.
She dropped off a little sample box for me and well, it was very hard to share.  But I am now and this is the gift a few of my lucky friends are finding under their tree. You can purchase the HoneyField Box of garden/kitchen treats on etsy, here. Continuous Container Gardens here. Be warned, I may have to start a support group just to stay away from her lavender brittle.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Finding comfort in making OCD Art

As you can guess with all the directions I go in, arranging my stuff in a linear fashion isn't a high priority for me. Especially when I'm finishing up a long term project like the catalogue I send to the printer Monday. But I love with a virgo's passion when I stop to do it. Why is there so much comfort in looking around at everything in it's place? Haven't I discovered that to make art we must make a mess? I was recently raving about the neat and tidy home envy I have for an artist I admire. My friend Jim responded with "Have you seen the blog Things Organized Neatly?" Looking at it confirms for me how obsessed we are with repetition, grids, patterns... we see it emerging in art constantly. I'm drawn to it in my own work too. All the little water color bubbles I can paint for hours?
Here's my theory. As artists we have to be a little OCD to make art right? And we can all admit there is way too much information at our fingertips. Exhausting. So how do we deal and react as artists? Grouping, collecting, making colors in rainbow order, repeating dots, zentangles, charts and graphs, making patterns. I'm attracted to it but it can wear me down. Tired. The answer for me? Making art and designing in a no-tech zone, free of seductive information portals. Walking, smelling, listening, tasting, turning pages in a book, far from all the devices helps a lot. I'm walking away from this computer now to go do some cleaning then I'll make a mess in my studio, which I won't clean up. But do check out the blog below. A lot of fun. Just maybe you shouldn't let it influence your art too much?
To see some of my own obsession with repeat in nature you can go here.
To check out Things Organized Neatly go here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Guggenheim Perfect Paints

Ever wish you could get your hands on some of those beautiful shades you see on museum walls? Or just borrow that lovely palette Modigliani used for his nudes?  The Guggenheim figured you did and now offers a selection of interior paints they've used for exhibit walls and colors found in their modern masterpiece collection. Offered by Fine Paints of Europe, you can order the fandecks here. Wouldn't it be great when someone falls in love with your living room wall hue to say that Frank Lloyd Wright picked it out for you?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Nigel Peake In The Wilds

As the leaves fall away I've been seeing more and more of the skeleton of the earth. I love the relief we finally get from masses of green. Tiny details are emerging. Blades of broken dried grass, twigs, the feathers around the coop. Nigel Peake the Irish illustrator and maker finds the same joy in nature's details and paints about it. More of his work can be found at Needles and Pins Gallery in San Francisco, here. He also has a blog which is

Friday, October 21, 2011

New Pretties from Beehive Kitchenware

My friends at Beehive Kitchenware have been creating some lovely new things just in time for the holidays. I'm lucky to have Sandy and Jim as clients and friend/neighbors. My painting studio is just down the hall from their sweet little kitchen gadget factory. Gadget Factory is said with a smile because there isn't anything factory made about their heirloom kitchenware. All thoughtfully designed for aesthetics and function, these metal, wooden and now ceramic objects look beautiful on your table and feel great in your hands. If you're unfamiliar with the treasures they create or want to see the latest stop by their site here
I recently asked Sandy the questions I like to ask artists and here are her responses- 
Can you tell me about your latest body of work? For me, I designed a lot of work this season! I made a few little things that were just side projects, but seemed like good ideas, so we just made them instead of leaving them on the drawing board. The main collection were pieces in metal, ceramic, and wood, Not only was it very exciting to branch out into working with wood, I also love the warmth in brings to the collection as a whole. I designed and sculpted cheese knives and spreaders, coordinating cheese boards and coasters, as well as a honey pot and occasional plate. There is a lot of folk/nature imagery, as well as a serious nod to Charlie Harper. And for the first time, I included bee motifs into our line. I ended up falling in love with this bee pattern and had to hold myself back from using it everywhere.

What inspires you the most lately? Well, I guess I continue to be inspired by the idea of mixing traditional functional objects with contemporary design motifs. Also, I have always found it interesting that so many traditional patterns from all over the world, have so much in common. I like to reference folk motifs and try to have them look like they could be from both India and Sweden at the same time, for example. I usually gravitate towards nature imagery – birds, leaves, and trees just make me feel happy. It’s like as long as we have those things, the world can’t be that bad a place.

What was your first memory?  Walking with my mother and her telling me not to run, so I did of course and fell on the sidewalk. We went home to clean the gravel out of my hands, but my skin healed up so fast that I still have a tiny pebble in my palm.

Can you describe the best thing you saw on your last walk? The sun sparkling on the water. Think it’s the best thing every time.

What are five things that would happen in the perfect day of work for you? 1) Have a design break-through  2) See one of my a newly developed products for the first time and love it 3) Get a big check 4) Get a big order 5) Enjoy the community of artists in my work space.

Can you describe the best pair of shoes you've ever owned? Yes, I can. I would have to choose a pair of black Maraolo wing tips I bought in Florence, Italy in 1990. I bought a lot of shoes that year in Florence, but those were the best!

What are you doing this weekend? Teaching my Jewelry and Metals class at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and learning how to silk screen at the AS220 print shop!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

He's going to be a dad.

When photographer, Tom Robinson told family and friends that he and his wife were expecting their first baby, he had a camera in hand to quickly record their reactions. He promises none of these are staged. To read the entire interview and see more pics go here. I have to say his wife's video playing brothers have to be my favorite.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Sparkle

The new fall catalogue for Swarovski Touchstone Crystal is out. We shot at my friend, Rip Irving's beautiful home in Newport with styling by Joji Goto and photos by Sandy and Rick of Hornick RivlinSome of the stones in the new line are montana blue, aquamarine, smoked topaz and olivine.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Jo Metson Scott and her woodland mysteries

For the last few days my backyard has been filled with the most magical mist. All of summer's last blooms have been tiny zings of color emerging from gray transparent overlays. It seems we only get to see this get this kind of beauty when the weather shifts happen. The collision of warm and cool. I recently came across Jo Metson Scott's series of photos that take advantage of these fragile moments in nature. To fall in love with more of her work you can got here. And don't miss her cover for the NY Times here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Artist Christopher Astley Concretes Beauty

Christopher Astley's work is a new discovery for me. I'm smitten with his sculptures and painted drawings. Working with wet bags of cement, bursting at the seams and an unusual matte palette, Christopher finds a way to create sculptures that are delicately sturdy. His color combinations of industrial basic and soft muted hues are beautiful and a little unsettling in just the way I love.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Going for a Double Wide Studio

I've loved the painting studio I've been in at the Fall River mill on the Swansea River with my pals at Roseberry-Winn Pottery and Beehive Kitchenware. But a space 2x's the size has opened up and Paul and I are setting up a large, shared studio to make our art in. Here are some pictures Paul shot of my latest work and space. So excited about our next adventure together and I'll keep you posted on the progress.