Friday, October 30, 2009

Two Favorites.

I love my family, even if they are un-official.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Francine Turk with Elizabeth.

One of our many stops Friday was at Chicago Art Source. I was curious to see the work (and price points) of the wonderful local artist, Francine Turk. I had an unrealizable pipe dream of maybe joining my brother in surprising our mother with one of her stunning horse drawings for Christmas.

Alas, none of these items will fall under the Christmas tree this year, unless our Dad gets on board, which is highly unlikely. Regardless, I loved seeing them in person. I also loved watching my friend see them for the first time, and have her own (thankfully) positive reaction.

Art is such a funny thing. And when, why and what we love about what we see, is fascinating. I got an immense pleasure/satisfaction watching Elizabeth's face on entering this gallery. She looked so happy, and I was so grateful that she was obviously moved.

It's funny to me too, to think of how once I feel confident going into these places, how much my experience will change. It's still a very self-conscious activity for me, and I think the more familiar I make it, the more I will ultimately get out of it, once I can on-the-spot ask the questions I have, and get answers I can only wonder about, hopefully from people who want to talk. For now, I am just happy I'm pursuing these interests of mine, and get to witness the beauty first hand, no matter how awkward it makes me feel in the process.

All images from Chicago Art Source website, a minimal selection. I enjoyed some of the others we saw much more, so stop in for a look. The exhibit ends October 31.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy Sunny Sunday.

Pretty autumn day putzing around the house. The sun finally came out and the colors are looking really pretty, even though everything is dying. Now it's raining again.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Gruen Galleries.

A couple weeks ago, Rita, Bruce and I (plus Jacki for a little while), tried to take in a couple First Thursdays gallery visits after work. Maybe it was the pouring down rain, or the general lack of interest due to the economy, but a couple places I'd wanted to look weren't even open. So we basically just wandered into a few others, and saw some neat things.

I enjoyed the paintings by Amy Casey at Zg Gallery. What was really special was each of these houses looked like they were based on actual homes. The attention to detail was fantastic, and there were a lot of them. Paintings, and houses. I like when you can see the time that goes into the creation.

I also liked the work of Gary Weidner at Gruen Galleries.

And these waxy, unfocused trees, branches and landscapes by Tom Brydelsky, also at Gruen Galleries.

But it was the space of the Gruen Galleries that continues to pop into my head. Along with the art, they had all these potted succulents everywhere. Huge ones. And this really large, metal, bird cage with tiny blue finches fluttering about in them. I loved the old floors, beams, columns. The tin ceilings and in some places, walls. The overall exposure of everything. I want to throw a party there.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Van Gogh.

I can't wait to sit back, relax, and soak in this whole post on BibliOdyssey. A million years ago, Lindsey gave me the book Johanna (his sister-in-law), a fictional account through correspondence and journal entries about Vincent Van Gogh. Back then, I thought it was excellent and believed a lot of it had to be true. I lent it to someone and never got it back. I'd love to see it again, so if you have it, please return.

These sketches are so powerful and moving. Van Gogh's style is truly unique and recognizable in the popular, well-known works, but see this? He mastered the art of drawing and painting in a traditional manner, too. The history behind the phenomenon that was to be is so remarkable. Johanna was no slouch either.

Tons more letters, drawings and paintings can be seen on Amsterdam's Vincent Van Gogh Museum website under The Letters. But start at BibliOdyssey if you'd like to get an idea – it's really well done.

Via 2 or 3 Things comments from Monday, October 19, 2009.

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Chair.

A lot of people are going to think this chair doesn't match my living room, but I disagree. I think the ice blue of it pulls the blue out of the rug, as well as backgrounds of two paintings in the room, and is an interesting and surprising accent color. I love it with the rust.

What's even more fabulous? On a break from work today, I browsed the Floor Sample Sale at Luminaire. Their version was $430 (on SALE!) compared to the one I bought from Room & Board at $39 (also a floor sample). I know one's a designer, and one's not, but I swear the only notable difference is the rubber stoppers on the bottom of the legs!

Monday, October 12, 2009

For my Mom.

They are beautiful, powerful and you love them. Speedy recovery and I love you!

UPDATE: Helen went to her hair stylist today, got a wash and a cut that layers over the bald spot, and plans to celebrate with a bottle of wine, a box of chocolates (she's been known to eat an entire top layer in one sitting), and a box of Cheez-its. Again I will say, I love you, Mom.

Image via Habitually Chic ala Kelly Klein's "Horse" – photographer unknown.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Wood-burning Stoves.

Now that it's officially winter season again in good old Chicago, and I feel totally gypped out of the kind of summer I needed to help survive the next 7 months – ah? and where's the anticipated 80ยบ Indian Summer to soften the blow? – I'm trying to focus some positive energy towards things that will make the freezing cold bearable. Like scheduling manicures and getting some new clothes, I think I need a stove.

I have to say one big draw back to ending my loving relationship with my rental apartment of 8 years for the house I have now, is the loss of the fireplace. A crackling fire (even the fake kind with the Duraflame log) would be such a nice reprieve from the cold, windy, snowy, dark nights that seem to be stretching out endlessly ahead of me.

Last year, Katy and Steve installed a free-standing wood-burning stove in their living room, in lieu of a full-blown fireplace, and it's proven itself as a fantastic addition to their home. I'm trying to figure out how this could work in my place. Where? When? How much? I have no answers to these questions, and realistically can't do anything about it for this winter season. But I can supplement my need for a while by figuring it all out, and daydreaming about what could be. So here are three of my favorites I found browsing the worldwide internets. If you have any idea where to actually BUY anything like any of these, please send tips my way. I really prefer these design styles to any of the more modern examples I've been able to find in my browsing. The top one is my favorite.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Andrew Qzmn.

I really love looking at these so much. I can't get over the detail and the amount of effort that had to go into their creation – only to wind up empty and alone, rotting and falling apart in the snow. Photographed by Andrew Qzmn, where they sit in remote forested land in Northern Russia (this is a map – crazy).

I love the peeling paint and wallpaper, the sparse furniture, ceilings, and the blue color on the walls in this bedroom. And the woodwork, inside and out, is outrageous.

* click to enlarge *

Reminds me of the abandoned homes I also love in Detroit, photographed by Kevin Bauman.

View more images here. These show even more of the destruction and decay, unfortunately, but still worth a look. You may have to scroll down a bit. I just love imagining what they used to look like, who lived here, and what caused them to leave.

Via Beach Bungalow 8.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Samantha French.

Shocker. I love these. I love the subject, I love the technique. I love the colors. And the brush strokes. I love the result. Seriously, Love. I love flipping off a dock like this... and how this next one reminds me of my Gram.

These are paintings by Samantha French. You can view more on her website.

Via The Jealous Curator (how fun is this?) ala SF Girl By Bay.