Art that looks like interiors...

Friday, June 29, 2012

1. Interior by Lauren Stern Design
2. Living Room by Sheila Bridges
3. Kitchen by Cynthia Rowley


Jess's Fetes: A Pinwheel Party

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jess Houlemard is back again to share some shots for her most recent fete. She created an air and wind, pinwheel themed 7th Birthday party for an energetic little girl. The decor included Giant Pinwheels from Etsy, giant 36” round balloons, bright cheerful colors including ruffled dessert table skirt, ribbons, festive streamers and a personalized lemonade stand.

Food: catered by Heirloom  finger foods for kids and adults
Entertainment: Balloon artist and an arts and crafts station where kids made ribbon wands and mustache props
Photography: Kerem Hanci Photography 
Candy: Candy Warehouse 
Cupcake and Cake Desserts: Sandwich Cookies and Cakes 

New Series Stylin' Mammas: "Casual Summer" at the office

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jaime from Less on the Floor is back with another fashion post for those casual summers at the office.  She will be contributing regularly every other Wednesday with Stylin' Mamma's fashion post .... Now, before I let Jaime take over, here's a little intro.
Jaime and I went to college together and were part of the same a cappella group - yes we are singing nerds.  We were also part of the same general group of trouble making gals, spending the summer as roommates in New York City and attending various fraternity formals together.  Fast forward to the present day.  Jaime is the mom of two lovely children who provide fodder for the adventures she blogs about.  She is also one of those people who makes being a mom and being fashionable look so easy.  So it seemed natural that she would contribute to this series.  I look forward to seeing all the great ensembles she comes up with.  Take it away Jaime!
I work in a company with a "casual summer" dress code, but even so it's important to be a little bit polished.  (Even when dropping the kids off at school and risking bottle scum on the clothes.  Even then.)

I just bought some green pants and I'm obsessed!  They're the new neutral in my wardrobe.  My poor husband is like "Really?  The green pants again?" Yes and yes.  These from Madewell are so flattering and I love the length.  Perfect for summer. 

I love a not-quite-basic button down.  No fuss.  

For running around with kidlets, it's flats all the way.  I could certainly get away with these deck shoes at the office this time of year but would probably opt for a dressier sandal.  But man, for weekends/mornings/afternoons these are the BEST.  I bought the snakeskin, tried them on once, and immediately ran to the computer to buy the rose gold.  They are that comfortable.  

For a dressier vibe, I'd wear these.  Vacation date-night, anyone?  

And of course, summer demands new shades

For work and kids, you cannot go wrong with a Longchamp bag.  They hold everything.  Even other Longchamp bags.  

And of course a little Tiffany bauble at the neck doesn't hurt either.

Artist Profile: Hyeseung Marriage-Song

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today we have the third interview in my artist profile series.  It's funny how I didn't think I knew many artists. Then I started thinking about this series and really making a list of people I know who are practicing artists, and actually it turns out I know quite a few.  Try it sometime.  You might find that you're actually surrounded by creative people.  In any case, today I'm visiting with Hyeseung Marriage-Song. We went to undergrad together and crossed paths by way of dorms / RA groups and the like, although I didn't realize she was such a talented artist until our paths crossed again after college (and after she had started painting).  What amazing work!  Here we go.

"Across the Table", oil on linen, 2010, "Modern Beauty" oil on linen, 2010 

How did you get into studio art and specifically painting?

I didn’t start painting until I was about 26, which is considered pretty late for a representational painter.  When I was very young, starting around when I was 3, I would draw and do crafts on my own.  I am a first-generation immigrant and my mother and father were not helicopter parents and they left me and my brother alone to do our own thing.  I really wanted to be an artist or an interior designer, but my family ended up moving to a competitive school district that didn’t really have any visual arts programs (music was their focus), and I got tracked into doing other stuff.  I was in my mid-twenties and doing two degrees at Harvard in disciplines apparently unrelated to the arts, before I realized that what I truly wanted was to live a creative and more independent life.  I dropped out of grad school and with the support and encouragement of my then-fiance, now-husband, I started painting on my own and ultimately moved to New York to attend school.  The first time I used oil paints, it was like reliving the best part of my childhood, except that I’d never painted as a kid. 

"View from Hell's Kitchen Studio," oil on linen, 2010, "View from Kungsholmen Balcony" , oil on linen on panel, 2008 

You are one of the few artists out there working in a traditional figurative tradition. What draws you to this type of expression and your subject matter?

I’ve always been more drawn to representational expression, in both visual art and literature. When I started painting, I had a more loose or “painterly” style.  My subsequent training in the French Beaux Arts tradition influenced me a great deal and I became more specific and naturalistic in my style, though I don’t think of my work as being “tight” or “photographic” as some people might describe it.  I’ve always been most captivated by the challenges and rewards of capturing people.  I don’t think artists necessarily choose how they are going to work or the subjects that draw them in: it is sort of imprinted on them.  I did, for a while early on, experiment with abstraction and enjoyed it immensely, but ultimately didn’t feel “called” by this particular mode of expression and the attendant emotional experience, and came back to representation. Interestingly, the truism that representational figure painters are scarce is losing validity: more and more artists are returning to this type of training and the craft associated with capturing the human figure.

"Girl in a Feathered Hat," oil on linen, 2010, "Inspiration Lies on Top," oil on linen, 2009, "Italian Girl," or "Dancing Girl," oil on linen on panel, 2008

Who would you say holds the greatest influence on your work?

The list changes all the time, and probably a couple of years ago I would have interpreted this question as an opportunity to list my all-time favorite oil painters.  These days, however, what influences my work are more the ideas that I have always thought about, even when I wasn’t a painter yet and in college and grad school: the essential nature of humanity; the possibility of freedom in living and creating in the face of environmental and genetic determinants; the nature and scope of creativity; and the responsibilities and role an artist must fulfill.  Visually I think the artists who help me most in thinking about these issues are Whistler, Caravaggio, Velazquez, Hopper and Freud.  Conceptually, I look to philosophers such as Plato, Kant, Hegel and Habermas, writers such as Dosteovsky and Tolstoy, and contemporary intellectuals such as the biologist E.O. Wilson and the theologian Elaine Pagels.

Thanks Hyeseung!  Can't wait to see more of your work.  And I think I see a commissioned portrait in the future... just need to sell me some hardware.

Weekend Instagram

Monday, June 25, 2012

Illustrated Etymology: Espalier

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Here we go with the second post in my Illustrated Etymology series.  In the last post I discussed the origins of the word "Enfilade".  Today's word is "Espalier".
Espalier refers to the gardening and agricultural practice of training a tree or bush to grow in a flat plane by pruning and tying branches to a frame.  I remembered the first time I encountered the term, not in a gardening book or dictionary but actually when I moved to Boston and came to know about the award winning restaurant L'Espalier.  I figured it was a culinary term, and while it's more of a gardening word, the moniker befits the restaurant since espalier is a practice that is used to make fruit easily accessible.  Espaliering is often used in formal gardens and done in formal patterns, such as diamond, square or chandelier type arrangements.  Usually it is done against a structure such as a wall, fence, or trellis and is very useful when a narrow bed restricts the depth of planting.  Interestingly, in researching the term further for this post, I found out that there are a few more benefits to espalier than just the spatial and the aesthetic.  If planted next to a wall, the wall can serve to reflect more sunlight and retain heat overnight or if trained to be parallel to the equator the tree or shrub can receive maximum sunlight exposure. These two facts allow the growing and maturing period of the fruit to be extended.  Here is an example of a formal espaliered fruit tree against a whitewashed wall (courtesy of Wikipedia):

I'm eager to try this in our New Jersey garden, although it seems like it could be a lengthy and arduous process.  Any requests for the next term for Illustrated Etymology?

New York in Instagrams

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I apologize for the blog post dry spell.  With the last week of work and then a week and a half in New York, there just wasn't time to get posts scheduled for each day I was away - and I didn't want to attempt to do any posting from my iphone - scary.  I'm hoping to do better when we make the actual move now that I have a little more time on my hands to get stuff done in advance.

Whew.  New York still lives up to its reputation.  I am beat.  Some whirlwind house hunting in Jersey.  Lunches with friends in the city.  Lugging a 20 lb porker and his accompanying gear and stroller up and down subway stairs.  Braving the rain without one of those stroller covers (what's that? we don't use those in socal - plastic bag to the rescue!).  Coming down with the stomach flu at my first visit to Scott's new office.  Needless to say, I'm happy to be home and hoping to get a little rest in before I start all the packing and moving craziness.  In the meantime here are some pics from our time in New York.  Admittedly, I didn't really find much time to take photographs except for of Bryan.  But you can see the amazing view of Manhattan from our summer sublet balcony (lucky for you, you can't smell the recycling facility just down the hill).  Hope everyone is having a great week so far!

Baby Shower Brights

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My friend Jaime from Less on the Floor is back helping me out during our crazy moving bonanza with a fun fashion post.  In fact, she will be contributing more regularly with fun fashion finds for the working mom. Today she's giving us some ideas for the onslaught of spring baby showers. Take it away Jaime:

Apparently it's a season for babies because this month sees me attending not one but THREE baby showers in the span of 10 days.  Thus I am looking at a "shower uniform" which is appropriate for lunch or high tea, and hopefully I can get some general summer use out of it as well.

Love this dress.  In person, it looks and fills a lot more expensive than the price (or retailer!) would suggest.  Mommy loves a bargain.   

Dress will require a belt upgrade, however.  A wise woman once told me that belts that "come with" are generally cheap and poorly made.  This is true.  

These shoes are on my lust list.  Do I need gold platform t-straps?  OBVIOUSLY not.  Will that stop me from jonesing for them?  Nope.  

San Francisco is prone to cold fog in summertime.  I love vintage sweaters for something dressy.

As for a bag, this one is an investment, but can go from party (clutch) to work (satchel) which helps.  

Artist Profile: Jerry Kung

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The second artist interview in my artist profile series explores the amazing glass blowing of Jerry Kung, brother of one of my good friends and Artist in Residence at the Tacoma Museum of Glass.
How did you get into glass blowing?

I got into glass making at art school. After a short stint of Latin American Literature and Animal Behaviorism, I entered Rhode Island School of Design as a ceramicist. These two mediums have a lot in common particularly between thrown ceramics and off hand glass blowing. They both rely on gravity and centrifugal force, except, they work from different axes. Clay revolves around the y-axis and glass, the x-axis.
I remember liking the idea of starting and finishing something in one sitting. Instant gratification, or so it seemed. The basic idea is you start with a little bit of material and add more as you go. Once everything is blown, manipulated, and completed you put it into a oven and take it out a day later. Simple right?  16 years later and I'm still discovering details within details within details.  In retrospect, I’ve spent a lot of time blowing bubbles in my life. I wonder if I should consider this as a personal developmental concern. After all, most kids stop blowing bubbles much earlier in life. 

What inspires your work?

There are a lot of things I find inspirational. Most of them are mentally framed around an idea I read a while back. I've interpreted the excerpt as such: artists are litmus tests and filters for/of their surroundings. They breathe in their surroundings and breathe out something a little different. The artist as a filter. With that in mind I guess I’m inspired by process.

Aside from the process, in short, I’m inspired by outdated machines and technology, heady philosophical quotes from the 18th century enlightenment period, animals and how they figure out hierarchy and pecking order, and the negligible daily remnants of what was there before nothing was there…
How did you come up with the "creatures"?

Those Creatures...  The Creatures were born from making things and working with people. Glassblowing is rarely a one person operation. The process hasn’t changed very much for a long time, arguably centuries.  Although new technology for heating and melting things has developed, how blown glass is made is limited by what it is, and what it is dictates what one can do with it.

I think we started exploring these objects at the beginning of 2008 and maybe as early as late 2007. Alex Abajian, whom  I collaborate with on this body of ideas, and I had a bustling design/build company, at that time. We made lots of glass for architects, designers, and artists. Lots of work equals lots of repetition. With lots of repetition little details start making themselves visible. We were fixated on those details. The most notable ones governed our movements as well as our work flow. Although our personal interests were very different our collective interests started to manifest with the exploration of these forms.
Heat, gravity, and breath are the fundamental elements of glassblowing. 

Heat: you either have it and glass moves or you don’t and it doesn’t. 
Gravity: well that’s inescapable. things fall down.
Breath: is the momentary skeletal structure setting things in place. 

I've lost count of how many bubbles have caught my breath. It's got to be in or near the hundred thousand range, if not more. I’ve noticed some things about one’s breath, a little breath can do as much as a big one, it only requires a little forethought.

We wanted to take a snapshot of breath and movement, frozen in time and governed by limiting process.

You were an artist in residence at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. That is huge, considering the prevalence of glass artists in the Northwest.

I'm really happy for the residency at the Tacoma Museum of Glass. The residency came through a juried donation piece for the annual MOG auction. Our donation was a small grouping of five mirrored Creatures. We won our residency by way of the People’s Choice Award. I think this was the most fitting way to win. People got to experience the light and reflection of the space. People got to engage with the movements that we captured and brought from hundreds of miles away. People got to lend the images of themselves into the surfaces of the forms. 

The forms we made at the MOG, all hundred and uh… lot of them are going to be unveiled at Vessel Gallery in Oakland, California on August 1st. This show lasts the entire month. We are planning to assemble a massive array of these forms to consume the interior of the gallery as well as the viewing audience. The final layout is still under wraps and i wouldn’t want to let the cat out of the bag before the show.

What next?

After the show at the Vessel Gallery, I plan to do something with environment… installation… What’s a word for a lot of breathing? Hyperventilate.

Jess's Nautical Moving Day

Monday, June 11, 2012

Well, we are now officially in the midst of moving logistics hell.  So the more guest posts, the better.  My Friend Erline put together this stylish outfit for my moving day. If only... .I think I'll be wearing sweats.  But I'd love this outfit nonetheless.

Oliver Peoples Sacha Sunglasses
Madewell St. James Meridien Tee 
Banana Republic Rimmed Hoop Earring
Ralph Lauren large leather woven hobo
Banana Republic BraceletsJ Crew Matchstick Jean in Selvedge
Alice and Olivica Daphne Flats

Art that looks like interiors...

Friday, June 8, 2012

1. Bedroom by Unknown
2. & 3.  Interiors by Sheila Bridges
- Lauren

Farewell LA Fete

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Since our house was in tip top shape, we figured what better time that to make a toast to all the great friends we've made in LA and have a little Bon Voyage get-together. I know I posted a preview on Monday's Instagram, but here is a more comprehensive view of the travel themed affair (no Adam, those suitcases were not there just because I'm "artsy"...).
Party theme and creation by Jessica HoulemardPhotos care of Daniel Persitz.

My Home As Art

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I know, you're probably thinking, enough about the house already...  We get it.  It's for sale. Someone should buy it.

Well, I swear I'm nearing the end of my little house rampage.  Then we will be on to fun new projects a la Jersey Shore.  But just a few more posts regarding Chez Davis Eagle Rock.  Yesterday Deasy Penner's My Home as Art Blog featured a great little writeup about our wonderful abode.  We had a fun photo shoot with their resident photographer Ralph Starkweather on Friday.  He was even kind enough to do a few fun headshots of me (Something that I was in dire need of now that I'm venturing into the world of sole proprietorship).  Thanks to the Deasy Penner Team, especially Jillian Lustig for such a wonderful feature.

Glen Arbor - the final product - part two

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Well, here it is. Part Two....The rest of the house.  There are definitely things I would have liked to have added like some artwork on the wall in the family room and a couple of x benches at the foot of the bed in the master, and maybe a hood and window seat in the kitchen but those will have to wait until the next house / project. We will definitely miss our little urban chalet but can't wait to see where this new adventure takes us.