Tuesday, February 26, 2008

SCHUMACHER - THE STORY CONTINUES


Frederic Schumacher
The guy who started it all.....


Recently, Andrew at Schumacher and Co. wrote to tell me about their new website. Not being an interior designer, I wasn't as familiar with their extensive fabric, wallcovering and furniture lines as some of my more versed designer blogging colleagues. I knew they were a name synonymous with high quality American textiles, but I quickly became intrigued with their rich history (5th generation family-owned!) and all of the "eye candy" available for perusal on their new site.
Fabrics and patterns are a huge source of inspiration for me, and I came across a very familiar pattern, Kelly Wearstler's "Imperial Trellis". It's the fabric that is featured on my Courtney Barnes Chair and even though I reproduced the pattern in my painting, I hadn't realized that Schumacher made it! The site is nothing short of inspirational for anyone, whether you're a designer, artist or design addict looking to update your surroundings with something hip, classic and of the highest quality. Whatever you're looking for, there's a good chance you'll find it on their brand-new, easy-to-use site. Stay tuned, because they will be adding more features, such as a designer log-in, very soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

ARTIST'S PORTRAIT * LIZA HIRST


Liza Hirst


Liza's Studio

A selection of Liza's paintings
















I know it's been a while since I featured one of my artist interviews, but I am very happy to introduce you now to a very gifted artist, Liza Hirst, from the South of France. As an artist myself, I know how difficult it can be to set time aside to do the "extra" things, such as answering a million questions about yourself submitted to you from a nosy artist/blogger across the ocean!! Liza is a prolific painter and stays very busy, so I am grateful that she made time to oblige me with an interview.

I first spotted Liza's work on her painting-a-day website. I was drawn to the way she portrays everything with such a lifelike, realistic quality and infuses so much color into her work. She is a gracious and beautiful lady with an interesting background and broad range of subjects. The scope and volume of her artistic output amazes me. There are so many of her paintings I'd love to get my hands on - I could fill an entire wall or room with all of my favorites. She sells her work on her website and is also available for commissions. I just wished I lived closer - I'd love to drop by her studio to meet her in person and enjoy a chat and a cup of tea. Maybe someday!

Where were you born?
In Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
What is your artistic background schooling?
Studies of Graphic Design and Painting at the HDK ( Hochschule der K√ľnste / School of Art) in Berlin, Germany with a Masters Degree in Painting.
What are your earliest memories of being involved making art or wanting to be an artist?
Several members of my family have been, or are, architects , painters, graphic designers or draftsmen, so that I have been exposed to art since an early age, but it was a school homework for art that really triggered the wish to become an artist myself. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it and got a very good mark, thus becoming aware of my own capabilities in this field.
What inspired you most as your subject matter? Does living in France influence your work a lot?
Without consciously choosing it as a a subject, I seem to have been drawn mainly to portraiture. But living in rural France has also evoked an interest in landscape painting in me. The French art scene is dominated by so called "avantgarde" art, which I have nearly come to detest (at least here) due to the impression I get of "a lot of to do about nothing", trying hard to be original without substance and lots of bla bla interpretations. So I only feel influenced in the sense of being reassured to stick to "traditional" painting, which is hardly existent in France at the time being. At least it is not supported and acknowledged sufficiently.
Tell us a bit about your family and where you live.
My husband is German and we have two sons, 21 and 16 years old. They benefit from having grown up in France in a German-English family by being trilingual now. We live in South West France, an area known as the "Dordogne" or older fashioned the "Perigord". The landscape is not spectacular but nevertheless very beautiful. There are castles around every corner, vineyards of world famous wines such as St. Emilion wines, the Bergerac's, the Bordeaux's and so on. You name it. This is really "La France profonde" as they say, translated as "deep France", meaning very rural, traditional, authentic.
What are some of your favorite things or things that are essential to your success/well-being as a person and artist?
Oh, so many things(!), such as good films, music, books, food, clothes, .... And yet I am actually very easily pleased with very little - a cup of strong tea, Jazz or classical music and a good book make me happy. My luxury is having time to paint whenever and as much as I want. Most important for being able to concentrate on my work is not having to worry about my family, knowing that they are well.
Where would you live if you could live anywhere?
Good question! The world has sooo much to offer - I find it very difficult to choose a place but we are thinking of moving to a big city within the next three years, maybe Paris, maybe London, maybe Toronto, maybe .....??? Having lived in the middle of nowhere for more than twelve years, we do long for the urban buzz again.
What are the most challenging things for you about being an artist?
Trying to make a living with it!!!! Artistically speaking, it is the constant effort of trying to break away from a mere realistic representation of a subject - for me very, very hard! I am slowly but reluctantly beginning to accept that I simply AM a realistic painter and might never be able to paint as free as Richard Diebenkorn or Willem de Kooning for example.

Thank you so much, Liza, for taking the time to answer my questions and share your beautiful work with us. It was most certainly worth the wait! I am honored to show your work here on Annechovie and have been looking forward to it. Stopping by your blog is always an inspiration and bright spot in my day!
Check out Liza's paintings here. She sells through her blog, Ebay and several other links on her blog. I guarantee you will be tempted to import one of her gorgeous paintings into your own living environment to savor and enjoy.

Friday, February 22, 2008

G'DAY, MATE!


One of the best things about not only being a blogger, but an artist, is all the great people I get to "meet". Be they in person or on the web, this is definitely a huge benefit that I really wasn't expecting. I'm seeing more than ever that there's a reason they call it "the world-wide web"as it unites people with common interests from all over the world and provides such a rich opportunity to exchange ideas and information. I wish to thank Belinda Graham, an Australian writer, who writes for Real Living Magazine and is also their web editor. I ran across her blog, Renovate and Decorate, for the first time this week and was intrigued by her home and her adorable little baby. Thanks for the mention on your blog today, Belinda. Pop on over to Renovate and Decorate and check it out!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

LILIBET IN LILAC


Blame it on my English ancestry, but there's just something I find so appealing about this monarch's profile! This handcut silhouette collage features the British regent in all her regal splendor on a luscious lilac colored background. This is a limited edition, completely hand-cut and assembled collage - 6x6 on gessoboard. Numbered and signed by artist on back.


Monday, February 18, 2008

A BLAST FROM THE PAST

OK, this is President's Day and, honestly, what does that mean to most people?? Unless you're a postal worker, in banking or a kid in school and get the day off, it doesn't really affect the majority of us or create a cause to celebrate. (BTW, I am beginning to feel like a postal employee - I spend a lot of time at the local USPS kiosk and without trying, have become an unpaid guide to many of the elderly people who struggle with the machine.....)
So, I know there aren't a lot of people who are at their desks reading me today, so I can get away with a bit of a side eddy from my regular content. Because I am, at heart, a cheesy sap, I am posting a Herb Alpert vintage music video. I didn't even know they had "music videos" from as far back as 1968!! Yes, I do like Herb Alpert. There. I said it. He's almost so outdated that he's kind of hip in a classic, American retro way. And this isn't entirely unrelated to the main subject of this blog - art. Herb is actually a painter as well, along with many other musicians, such as Tony Bennett, another amazingly talented guy. So, without further ado, here he is. While you're at it, check out the lashes on the girl in the video.....tell me what you think, but they've gotta be fake, because I haven't seen lashes that thick since the Muppet Show or Sesame Street.

Herb Alpert - This Guy's In Love With You (1968)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

SATURDAY NIGHT * THE SIMPLE LIFE













You know, happiness is where you find it. Contrary to what a lot of people think, it has very little to do with money, prestige, status, fame, power or security. Sometimes it's just the simple things in life that are most priceless and pleasurable. Peace, the warmth of the sun, a salty perfumed breeze, the beauty of the snow white sand and turquoise water. Being with people who love you, treat you with kindness and accept you for who you are. An authentic, made-from-scratch burrito with some killer queso. All of it combined with watching the sun sink into the water. Those are MY kind of cheap thrills......so happy I live where I do!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

THANKS DECOR 8!


Thanks to Holly Becker of superblog Decor 8 for her post on my Etsy site and my new quote prints. Holly has been an important part of supporting me from the beginning and introducing me to the blogosphere. She is a great, warm person who happens to have a ton of talent! She is known for her keen eye and design prowess and has done so much to support and promote Indie artists and craftspeople. You can check out her post here.


Happy Valentine's Day to all of my readers! Thanks so much for your readership and support - I love blogging and sharing my art with you and being a part of your lives! You have added so much to my life and I am grateful for all of the special people I have come to know through my involvement with Etsy and this blog.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

ANOTHER NEW QUOTE PRINT


CLICK HERE TO BUY!
This is the second in a series of brightly hued quote prints I have designed. This one features a vibrant green background with white lettering reading "It is better to be kind than right". This is a favorite adage my 90 year old grandfather taught me! This is larger than my usual prints at 11x16 and is printed with archival, high quality ink on archival paper. It's available on my Etsy site.

Monday, February 11, 2008

IMAGEKIND


One of my own paintings, reproduced and framed for me by ImageKind

Recently, I was contacted by Jennifer at Seattle-based Imagekind and asked to check out their products, one being their brand-new "Storyframes" option. Imagekind is the world's fastest-growing online community for creating, buying and selling custom framed artwork and photography.

Story Frames from Imagekind are the world’s first “build it yourself” framing option that allows everyone from the casual photographer to established artists to create personal narratives from digital files – including photography, art and children’s drawings. In just five easy clicks, visitors upload multiple images, which can be enhanced online, and then choose from an array of museum-grade mat, frame and finishing options for a personal masterpiece that will be delivered within days. With Story Frames, images are laid out horizontally or vertically, so that each framed work of art tells a “story” loved-ones will cherish forever.

Perfect for capturing all kinds of memories – from family adventures to romantic vacations and special holidays – Story Frames are one-of-a-kind gifts to surprise and delight a coach, teacher, grandparent or best friend.

Imagekind offers a variety of custom art products that include the signature Canvas Gallery Wrap and Canvas Museum Wrap. These techniques allow any digital file to be printed and stretched on canvas using state-of-the-art processing methods for a sophisticated and timeless effect.

Those who don’t have their own images to frame can search special interests such as ‘botanicals’ or ‘architecture’ and discover a gallery that rivals any world class museum. Imagekind lets customers browse and purchase photography and paintings, as well as modern and folk art, from more than 20,000 global artists. For more classical tastes, select from the Masters Collection featuring Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Warhol and others. Other special features in the Imagekind gallery include: Cityscapes, a collection of breathtaking views of the world’s most romantic cities; the Portraits and Famous Faces gallery that celebrates iconic works from every era by renowned photographers and artists. And if architecture or nature inspire, enjoy a browse through Imagekind’s endless Interiors and Exteriors and Nature galleries.

Imagekind is the world’s first community to serve as a hybrid art gallery, photo-sharing service and a print-on-demand service. At the top is an example of my own work, framed, that they sent to me in just days. They couldn't have been nicer or more efficient and I think that you may want to consider them as a viable and convenient option when looking for a special gift or to preserve your own priceless memories in a beautiful way.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Thursday, February 7, 2008

RECYCLED CARDBOARD FURNITURE OR ART?


A window from Hermes - Boston
This is a photo I snapped (sorry for the glare) of a street-facing window at Hermes in Boston. I thought the night table and tall lamp were ingenious! Besides being that wonderful trademark shade of Hermes orange, they are so cleverly constructed, entirely of Hermes boxes! Talk about resourceful! While these pieces might not stand up to a lot of wear and tear, they make wonderful pieces of art. I would've loved to have been there to take them home when they switched out the windows. Next time I may just consider cardboard when I look to create something......

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

THANK YOU, ANNIE!


BLUEBIRD OF HAPPINESS
It's amazing that, somehow, for every evil, caustic, toxic person in your life, God seems to bring you 10 loving, affirming, great people to come around you and be a support and bright spot. One such person has been Anne Bolles Galeone of Firefly Hill Designs. She has posted on my work today and I just wanted to say thank you! Thanks for your support, kindness and "web-friendship."
 
http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/click?lid=41000000028477615