Fashion!

There’s been a lot going on in the fashion world lately, between all the award shows, and especially since we just finished New York Fashion Week (possibly London as well). Cutting-edge designs have been floating around the internet fresh off the runways and have woven their way into my heart. I love that my inspiration isn’t limited to art or interior but includes textiles and fabrics as well. I’m a beginner to the world of fashion but I’m excited to learn more about it! I’ve even toyed with the idea of grabbing a sewing machine and getting right on into it.

I have become familiar with one name recently: Alexander McQueen. His fantastic designs are captivating and so lovely, straight out of another world. The thin black fabric in the dress below drifts over the model exquisitely and sets of the details of the rose corset beautifully. One thing I find consistent in McQueen’s work is that it’s striking. There are no pale palettes or half-hearted attempts with him. His inspirations are bold and brilliant.

pre-fall 2012, via Haute Design

pre-fall 2012, via Haute Design

Here’s another look I love from McQueen, a goth/schoolgirl/rockstar combo. I immediately thought of Ai Yazawa with this piece. Perhaps this designer is an inspiration for her kick-ass girl manga characters? I would wear a lot of this myself, though I’d skip the black lipstick (my lips are huge anyway) and maybe the skirt since it’s humungous, but I am totally on board with those boots! The hair is lovely as well since I’ve got essentially the same cut as the model. That being said, I love fashion that I wouldn’t necessarily wear myself. It can be an art form all its own.

McQueen's Look 22 (via TookLookBook)

McQueen's Look 22 (via TookLookBook)

I couldn’t find the source for this next outfit but liked it enough to include it anyway. There are a lot of different patterns going on here: cheetah, chevron and stripes. Normally I think these would clash but she’s worn them in small amounts and tastefully, with a clean black palette in the middle to tie it all together. I love the matching shoe/bag combo with studs, very rock star.

(via WeHeartIt)

(via WeHeartIt)

Versace is a name I hear a lot but hasn’t really had much meaning until recently. I’m starting to see why so many women pine over this brand. The pattern is nice, but the cut is really the best feature of this dress. A conservative style with this pattern would’ve fallen flat, but because it bears a little skin and adds small appreciated touches (the bordering, the x’s around the center) it feels very fresh and chic. Rather than go for the in-your-face style of McQueen, Versace takes something laid back and spices it up.

2012 Spring Ready-To-Wear (via Style.com)

2012 Spring Ready-To-Wear (via Style.com)

This one is straight out of NYFW. The leather and fur combination really works for me; it feels very warm and organic, very suitable for fall. I also really dig fashion I feel I can pull off and this looks great and practical. I just want to curl up on that collar and read.

Norisol Ferrari Fall 2012 (via The Looks For Less)

Norisol Ferrari Fall 2012 (via The Looks For Less)

 

I’ve been doing a lot of online window shopping (the kind where you don’t buy anything, SIGH) lately so expect to see more of this! As I re-discover what fashion means to me I want to look into all sorts of styles, cuts and colors, and decide what works for me, what doesn’t, and why. Hopefully this’ll be inspiration for me outside of the closet as well!

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For My Home 11-01-12

The blogs I visit regularly help inspire not only my art but my sense of style, the things I eat, they way I live and the way I decorate. When I first furnished our space I would choose things based on reaction and instinct or comfort, not really paying much attention to what everything would look like together in one room or how I could achieve harmony with it. I’m not about looking into the past and dwelling on things, but if I had another crack at it now there’s a lot I’d do differently. (Is there anything like What Not To Wear, but for interior decorating?) For example, I love my big leather sofa but it’s too big for the room and two smaller pieces might’ve been a better choice.

In this column I’ll discuss what I’d like to furnish my space with, current and future, and why I’d pick them, ranging from specific items on pinterest and etsy to more conceptual items or ideas from other bloggers and retailers. Buying for the home as spur-of-the-moment thing can lead to clutter which I’ve been guilty of in the past, and since I’ve vowed to purge the junk from my home this year, I will do my best to justify each item I post as well as describe what kind of space I think it’d be most successful in.

Hand Painted Ceramic Tea Set

Hand Painted Ceramic Tea Set (via etsy)

This tea set is beautiful! I’d like to start incorporating more and more hand-made goods into my life and this would be a great start since I’m an avid tea drinker. To be honest, I’m not really attached to the design here and would like something a bit more colorful, perhaps some cherry blossoms or roses, but the idea is there. Maybe the answer to this is to look for a simple tea set that I could paint myself? This design is simple and would go well in almost any kitchen or living room. If I was to set a table particularly for this set I would use some cream-colored place mats and light cool brown napkins, maybe with chocolate biscuits to complement the tea. There is a lot that could be done with this set since it’s fairly neutral.

Large Aqua Stoneware Bowl

Large Aqua Stoneware Bowl (via Etsy)

This is an item I’d have a hard time placing. It’s gorgeous; I love the blue-aqua-cream inside of the bowl but I’m at a bit of a loss as to where I’d put it and what I’d do with it. I suppose it could be placed by the front door to collect keys but I’d be a little weary of scratching the inside. It could also be used to serve some food (appetizers or fruit perhaps?) or maybe house some potpourri. It would really pop in a room of muted greys or blues but would also work with whites and creams.

Greek Key Pillows

Greek Key Pillows (via Decorista)

I’d love to have some more throw pillows for the living room and bedroom. They’re great for curling up against or for creating make-shift seats with and they’re a great way to spice up any space! These in particular would work well with the greek color theme in my living room. I’ve got large golden curtains over a deep red wall (coupled with two cream-colored walls) to give a warmth to our space and elongate the room a bit. On our rich red-brown leather couch these would be eye-catching for sure.

Union Jack Dresser

Union Jack Dresser (via Apartment Therapy)

I won’t lie; this awesome union jack dresser doesn’t go with anything in my bedroom right now… but I love it enough that I’d change my bedroom around to accommodate it! Our current bedroom is a little blah as we got stuck with some large furniture that I’m not to fond of, but I’m looking to get rid of the biggest piece (a huge armoire) in the coming months and this could set right where that is. For a piece like this, rather than paint the walls and go with a bold color scheme I’d step things down and keep the walls neutral. I picture a bedroom that by itself is very simple but highlights art on the walls and accessories, mementos and photos. I could definitely see cashing in on some “keep calm” merchandise here as well.

Happy hump day and I’ll catch you at the end of the week!

Technicolor by Cliff Turner

Despite suffering a nasty sinus infection this weekend, I pushed myself to go out and see Cliff Turner’s exhibit at Gallery 78 before it closed. I’d never been to Gallery 78 before, so seeing my old high school art teacher’s work was as good an excuse as any to finally check out this gallery hidden in downtown Fredericton. I have happy memories of class with him. I was a shy introverted artist in high school and after meeting him for the first time I became known as “cat”, since when I first tried to say hi he asked me to speak up, saying I looked like a cat meowing through a screen door. He was animated and always kept us on our toes with various fun art projects.

Gallery 78 is a lovely house that was built in 1976. The rich wooden window sills and doors and colorful stained glass provide a beautiful home for the art inside. I browsed through the other exhibitions that were on display and found many beautiful works of art. What I’m going to focus on in this entry, though, is Cliff Turner’s work.

SATURDAY MORNING 1980

Saturday Morning 1980, Cliff Turner, 36"x36" oils on canvas (via Gallery 78 website)

The “Technicolor” collection is composed of two parts; a collage of hyper-realistic still life and popular imagery from the 60s onwards. He describes the nostalgic works as having a dream-like quality, memories represented as slivers in the paintings. They’re watching your favorite saturday morning shows over breakfast when I was little, eating my favorite candy and playing video games. Crisp bright colors suggest pleasant memories, how everything was new and exciting. My favorite piece from the memories/popular art portion of the exhibit is this one:

SONIC LOVE HEARTS by Cliff Turner

Sonic Love Hearts by Cliff Turner, 36" x 24" oil on canvas (via Gallery 78 website)

Sonic Love Hearts detail

Sonic Love Hearts detail, Cliff Turner (via Gallery 78 website)

This piece was the one that convinced me to go to his showing. I’m completely blown away by the realism and attention to detail: the distortion on the lid of the jar, the crumpled candy wrapper, the plastic-wrapped lollipop. Everything is in such bright vivid delicious color! It brings to pleasant memories from my childhood, playing videogames with my bro & friends, eating sugary candy before I was worried about calories and chemicals. Sonic in particular has a special place in my heart since the Sega Genesis was a beloved christmas present to my younger brother and I from Mom & Dad that completely surprised us. Many, many hours were spent with it cheering and yelling and fighting and laughing. This piece caters to my love of bright colors, happy nostalgia and exquisite detail. I absolutely love every aspect of this painting.

The other “half” of this exhibit is comprised of still lifes. In this article where he discusses his exhibit, he says that the focus isn’t so much on the subject as it is the narrative these objects create. The stunning detail in the fruit on the painting below is captivating. All of the fruit and bread looks delicious but the birds aren’t eating it.

LOOKING FOR ZEUXIS by Cliff Turner

Looking for Zeuxis by Cliff Turner, 40" x 60" oil on canvas (via Gallery 78 website)

The painting below positively glows in person. Many times it’s difficult to fully capture with a camera the colors in a painting with contrasting colors, like the one below. The bright sky and feathers on the birds really bring this image to life. Perhaps there is something to bird watching after all…

YOU'RE NOT WELCOME by Cliff Turner

You're Not Welcome by Cliff Turner, 36" x 36" oil on canvas (via Gallery 78 website)

Seeing these works up close was a truly inspirational experience. Digital images tend to flatten colors a little bit and can make the works look more like photographs than paintings. Examining them in the gallery revealed the beautiful gradients and brush strokes in the background to make such a smooth transition in the bird still lives, for example. This work isn’t on exhibit at Gallery 78 any more but since he’s a Saint John resident, you may be able to find it with his other works at Handworks Gallery.

My love of painting stems from a fairly simple pleasure of putting color on a blank white canvas. I’ve been painting a lot of still lives over the past few months and was starting to feel it getting a bit stale. Cliff Turner’s work is an example of how it can be exciting and amazing to look upon. Time for me to splash down some colors and get cracking!

My other love: interior design!

Though I have little experience with it, I love interior design. As a child I frequently switched around and redecorated my hand-made doll house to keep my dolls happy. There are many artistic elements to interior design: wall colors, furniture, accent pieces, rugs, etc. I find myself drawn to watching shows (HGTV, Slice and occasionally W network) of all manners of design, from demos and reconstruction all the way through to the vase of flowers that finishes off a newly renovated room.

I dream of owning a house one day, though I have quite a while to go before I can afford it. My ultimate goal would be to construct a new home from the ground up but I wouldn’t be opposed to buying a home that needed to be completely gutted and reshaping it to my liking. Some of my wishes include:
– open concept living room and kitchen
– rich granite counter tops
– windows in every room
– master w/ensuite bath and jacuzzi (hey, a girl can dream)
– nice sized deck for bbqing
– sun room with nice big window in the ceiling

For studio space I’m a bit torn on what I’d prefer… I’ve worked on my own for quite awhile and would like to share a space with other artists. All of the art classes I’ve done so far have allowed me to network with other creative types and it’s a constant inspiration to see what others are working on, to see how other people interpret ideas.

I follow many design blogs in an effort to, one day, have some solid fabulous ideas on how to decorate my dream space. Here are a few studios/workspaces in particular that I love:

There’s a lot of bold striping going on here but it totally works! I love the art on the magazine shelfs and the rolling wardrobe in the corner. I’ll admit that I’m a bit of a sucker as far as other artist’s spaces are concerned. Entering their space allows me to get into their headspace, very invigorating.

studio makeover

studio makeover

Here’s a workspace on the other side of the color spectrum. After living in apartments with white walls I was all set to paint my dream space in a crazy array of colors, but seeing spaces like this makes me reconsider. Large windows allow tons of beautiful natural light in to highlight what little color there is in this space. Any art would shine here. It reminds me of a big empty canvas, full of possibilities.

Line Jule Hansen

Line Jule Hansen

There is so much more to interior design then I could describe in this post. I haven’t even touched on the world of fabrics or sewing, or building furniture from scratch! I’d like to take some classes on interior design but I have too many other things on the go right now. In order for me to really improve as an artist, I have to focus on some things and let others go, at least for now. Interior design is something for me to peak at while waiting for canvases to dry or taking a break from hunching over a desk and I’m okay with that. In the future, it may be more.

Beginnings

Ever since I can remember, I have been artistic, felt expressive. My mother claims that I was singing before I could talk and I do not remember a time where I wasn’t drawing on something in some way.

The past few years have been different, though. I have become caught up in the routine of everyday life; art and music have taken a back seat while I have ploughed through school and worked my way into a position that would allow me to be comfortable, hopefully comfortable enough to continue to support my hobbies. Unfortunately, I feel I have put too much focus into the “work” part, leaving my creativity to wither.

I have started this blog in an attempt to cure this dry spell. This site will be a hub to all of my art, musical experimentations and other doings. With any luck, it will inspire me to keep working at the things that I love and to be able to combine them with my work in IT.

Thus ends my first post. Will I be able to follow through with this? I hope so. I miss art.