Flowers, Sneakers and Candy

Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of really nice, soft colors in fashion that are very attractive without being flat and boring.

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

Annabella Barber by Jaclyn Adams for Plaza Kvinna (via Haute Design)

The colors in this photo-shoot are very soft and warm, like a summer morning. The deep rich colors of the plants and tree trunks in the background keep the bright floral colors of these outfits grounded. I really like the subject matter here, especially the pink blossoms. The models seem to give off a natural sort of beauty, with minimal makeup and subtle accessories. This trend is something I’ve been trying to incorporate in my own makeup routine by leaving out the eyeliner and taking it easy on the bold looks. I feel much better in the warm weather with less makeup on, and besides, I’d rather be outside in the sun than inside, slaving over eyeliner that will likely smear off in the heat.

"schlachthofbronx" (via Print & Pattern)

“schlachthofbronx” (via Print & Pattern)

"schlachthofbronx" (via Print & Pattern)

“schlachthofbronx” (via Print & Pattern)

Here we have a cotton candy-colored palette accented with bold hair styles and sullen models. I’m not sure if I dig that contrast or not, to be honest. It lessens the carefree nature of the look, which otherwise, I like. The platform sneakers are very appreciated, since I can use all the extra height I can find (5″1), and heels aren’t always the most comfortable alternative. The leather jacket with the frilly dress is a really fun mix of edgy and cute. The cut of the dress in the second image is very flattering as well, following the peplum trend of this season. I’m not sure if the puffy shoulders and gold sneakers really go together, but I could totally see myself wearing them separately.

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 campaign (via Elle Decoration)

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2012 campaign (via Elle Decoration)

I’m loving these candy bubblegum colors! They really show that colors found on younger clothes can work in more mature, sexy outfits. I may be drawn to these colors since they go nicely on a variety of skin-tones, even someone with really fair skin (which is my situation). Looking more closely at the white floral fabric on the dresses in the second half of the image above, I could swear it was almost the exact same fabric from another shoot in Tokyo which I covered in an earlier post. Looks like this may be a trend!

It seems that pattern has a huge role to play in keeping soft colors interesting. I would gravitate towards something with an intricate pattern on it (embroidery, layering, etc), even if it’s in a softer pale color, instead of a bold colored plain article of clothing. Softer colors also have the benefit of working together much more easily than brighter, bolder colors, so choosing outfits can happen more quickly and effortlessly.

Sitting Down & Stretching Out

I hope everyone has enjoyed (or is still enjoying) the long weekend! In celebration of eating well and relaxing, here are some chairs that will help you do just that in style.

Chair for stretching out on (via Marcus Design)

Chair for stretching out on (via Marcus Design)

I like this chair because of the blue and pink floral pattern, but also because of it’s irregular shape that would allow you to stretch your legs out. Additionally, there is room to sit several people sideways, so it works well in a living room setting. The antique claw-feet are a nice touch.

re-upholstered benches (via The Peak of Tres Chic)

re-upholstered benches (via The Peak of Tres Chic)

These small benches would work great in an entryway; I can’t count the number of times I’ve come inside during the winter and stumbled around trying to unlace my boots with nowhere to go. It would be so much nicer to grab a seat for this; it would also be nice to have somewhere to set down purses or bags temporarily while I remove my jacket, scarf, hat, etc. Originally these benches were simple black leather but the author of this post stapled some new fabric over them and re-painted the legs herself. Click on the photo to see the full tutorial! This is something I could definitely handle…

Envelope Sofa (via Apartment Therapy)

Envelope Sofa (via Apartment Therapy)

This versatile sofa, dubbed the Envelope Sofa, immediately caught my eye. It’s a nice soft and neutral gray, so it’d work in almost any space. Whether you like to sprawl out or curl up, there’s room for pretty much everything here. Because of it’s reasonable size it would look good even in a small living room.

Technicolour Tub Chair Designed by Ray Clarke (via Etsy)

Technicolour Tub Chair Designed by Ray Clarke (via Etsy)

So much color! The quantity of different fabrics could be overwhelming to some, but when I saw this all I could think of is how I would customize it. You could put swatches of lots of different things in there; old band shirts, leftovers from other sewing projects… the possibilities are endless. If you wanted to tone it down you could easily do so with a solid-colored throw, or a few solid-colored pillows as well. This particular chair would probably work best in a neutral-colored room but since there are so many different colors happening on it, it’s fairly versatile.

 

Porcelain Mask

For the first time in quite awhile, I had a productive weekend!

Mask

Mask Illustration by Jess Lingley

I wanted to do another still life involving more detail. Originally I’d intended to pick out something mechanical, something I could take apart to be able to draw the individual pieces. Unfortunately I was unable to find anything like that around my apartment. I was about to try and draw my house keys when I spotted this mask in the corner of my room and had a “eureka!” moment.

I was very meticulous with this piece right from the get-go. I wanted the details to be as exact as possible so I made sure to get an accurate sketch down before starting in with the colors. In total, the piece took around 10 1/2 hours to complete. I worked on it for a bit each day of the weekend. My goal for this work was to feel like, at the end of it, there wasn’t anything more I could add to it. Frequently when I’m working on something I get thoughts like “oh, I should have put more detail here” or “what if I painted that a different way” but push through to not lag behind. With this drawing I put as much detail into is as possible so I wouldn’t have any second thoughts.

This lead to doing pointilsm in the background to blend colors and using gold paint and a needle at the end to try and capture some of the intricate gold weavings in the fabric and on the face.

mask detail

mask detail

It was around this time that I learned why people use brushes instead of needle-point. I was almost cross-eyed by the end of it but I’m pleased with the result! Another reason I was able to put so much time and effort into this piece was that I really liked the subject. Often about halfway through a larger painting I have to go away for awhile, sometimes for a few weeks, because I’m simply tired of looking at it. With this I didn’t really experience that.

This took most of my weekend but I did manage to get a few coats of krylon acrylic coating on the end tables. Now I’m looking into an acrylic varnish to finish them off, something non-toxic/stinky and something I can brush on (and do out back on our deck).

Better quality photos will follow one I pry the DSLR away from Tim, or persuade him to help me. 🙂

Art-Spotting w/Paula Keppie, Alex & Nancy Schofield

Last Friday instead of the usual post-work-week-drinks at the campus pub, I headed over to the UNB Art Centre (also known as Memorial Hall) for an exhibit opening featuring Paula Keppie. I’d seen posters around campus advertising the opening but hadn’t intended on going at first, since I like to explore art in my own time and take a long time to absorb paintings. A colleague convinced me to go and I’m really glad I did.

Paula’s work is very rich and organic. She uses nature a lot in her paintings and fabrics, both as a subject and as a media. There was even a piece of the exhibit dedicated to her materials, a box with bones, feathers, branches and rocks she used to paint with.

Unfortunately I can’t find much of her work online, so I’ll post a few photos from the catalogue I picked up at her gallery opening.

Paula Keppie Catalogue

Paula Keppie Catalogue

Paula Keppie "I Will Speak To You In Stone Language"

Paula Keppie "I Will Speak To You In Stone Language"

During her artist talk she discussed some of the methods used to create these pieces. The one above, “I Will Speak To You In Stone” is a digital print on fabric. To get the design for the print, she used different combinations of paint on fabric and staining fabric with rust from a metal bucket. This piece was hung near the middle of the room and radiated so much warmth. I’m sure it would look lovely in the sun. Rust, while being so destructive can provide so much beauty.

Paula Keppie "Answer With a Syllabus of Wind"

Paula Keppie "Answer With a Syllabus of Wind"

These are more fabric-printed pieces but these also have stitching. The stitching is hard to see here but while it is straight, the lines are uneven and not spaced uniformly. Based on the patterns that staining and painting have given the fabric, I think uniform stitching would seem out of place.

Paula Keppie "Letters Home (detail)"

Paula Keppie "Letters Home (detail)"

This one is a painting done on a black canvas, using some of the natural materials I mentioned earlier. I love her use of repeating patterns and symmetry. The textures created through many many layers of paint and use of interesting brushes are lush and blend her warm palette beautifully.

Listening to her speak about her work was one of the highlights of the opening. It became immediately obvious that she feels a deep connection to her work and has much love for it. She talked about the people involved in her work and those who inspired it, read some poetry that she’d written about it and her words filled the room with her inspiration and depth. I got to talk to her briefly and she was extremely friendly and not shy at all talking about her methods of working. I really appreciate this from artists.

If you’re near UNBF campus any time soon you should check out this exhibit. I may give it a second visit, myself. Paula Keppie’s Code Exhibit runs until Nov.29th.

Earlier last week I had some time to kill before my first figure drawing studio so I stopped by Ingrid Mueller. They were getting ready to open up “Royals Rhymes and Ruminations”, a collection of works by Nancy and Alex Schofield. The works in this exhibit are similiar, in a way, to Paula Keppie’s work in that they’re both comprised of many layers. The difference with this exhibit, though, is the inclusion of surreal and life-like objects.

Elizabeth by Nancy King Schofield

Elizabeth by Nancy King Schofield (via PeterBucklandGallery.ca)

Again, I was unable to find much of Alex’s work online but I did stumble across some of Nancy’s. Her pieces in this exhibit lean more towards the “Royal” side of things. Images of queens, nature scenes and beautiful fonts dance throughout her work. She uses a lot of print-making to achieve her layers through carving into wood, using chemicals w/zinc plates and mixing it with with other various media. Her works are colorful and reminiscent of fairy tales, complex pieces with intricate layers that demand more than a second glance.

Ewe Shearing I by Nancy King Schofield

Ewe Shearing I by Nancy King Schofield (via PeterBucklandGallery.ca)

I can’t find any of Alex’s art but I encourage you to visit Ingrid Mueller to check it out in person! The exhibit runs until November 15th. His works are very similar to Nancy’s, leading me to believe they worked together, or were at least inspired by each other. They’re a bit more surreal and less life-like. Washes of colors bring together seemingly unrelated subjects. I enjoyed his pieces quite a bit, as there are snippets of old children’s books peaking out in corners of various paintings.

I enjoyed this exhibit most because there is more to it than what’s on the surface. The colors, subjects and symbolism are beautiful to look at but entice you to look longer, to figure out what brings them together.

EDIT: Ingrid Mueller has starting posting some of Nancy & Alex’s work online!

Alex Schofield - What Am I 1

Alex Schofield - What Am I 1, via Ingrid Mueller

Alex Schofield - What Am I 2

Alex Schofield - What Am I 2 via Ingrid Mueller

Nancy King Schofield - Anne with Pears

Nancy King Schofield - Anne with Pears via Ingrid Mueller

slow summer, another inspiration post

A few artists that have caught my eye this week:

Daniel Kornrumpf: realism & embroidery. It brings back memories of when I used to embroider when I was a kid. There’s something very satisfying about creating this amount of detail in a project using your hands and doing things slowly rather than using a newer, more automated process.
(daniel kornrumpf)

Maia Flore: “Sleep Elevations”. A series of digital (?) illustrations of figures lifted up while asleep by various objects. This work caught me as very striking, something I want to study and take in slowly.
(Maia Flore: Sleep Elevations)

Samantha Hahn. My lust for watercolor works continues. Samantha works in several additional media including inks and digital media. She not only illustrates people but creates patterns, how-to images and hand-lettered art. Unlike a lot of the other watercolor work I’ve posted, hers contain more subtle colors and washes.
(samantha hahn)
(samantha hahn)