Sunday, May 27, 2012

Connecting with the World.....

Before there were blogs and internet websites, we connected to the world through hand delivered mail.

Leave it to the Europeans to inject beauty into a mundane object like a mailbox!

I took these pictures in March when I was in Venice....I am always fascinated with artistic beauty seen even in a mail slot.

Oh yes, there are beautiful door handles as well....but this time I really found some treasures!

My heart nearly skipped a beat when I walked by these name plates!!! I stopped so abruptly, I was almost trampled by the people walking behind me.

These beat any profile picture I could post on line!......
I saved the best photo for last!

This was an unexpected surprise  found in a narrow calle behind the Ca Rezzonico. The first impression someone has of your home is usually your door...make it fabulous with a wonderful vintage door handle or mail slot. It is always in the details that you find the most delightful inspiration!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Carolina d'Ayala Valva-Artist of Grottesca

I recently had the pleasure of spending a week with Carolina d'Ayala Valva in Orlando learning the techniques of true Italian grottesca.

Jeff Huckaby hosted a class with Carolina at his Orlando studio. We began with transferring the design by rubbing pigment onto the back. Working with egg tempera, we then painted the design with a monochrome of raw umber.

Each step is precise and could be a finished work in itself. All shadows are put in to guide when the color is added.

Layers and layers of thin washes of color are what make the egg tempera have depth and fusion of color.
The palette is chosen and colors begin to replace the monochrome.

Carolina works hard to demonstrate each step and checks constantly on each student on their progress.
After the color fusion, the magic begins with the detail strokes. These small. controlled strokes make it all come alive in the glint of a jewel or the curl of a leaf.

This is what made me seek out Carolina for the second time, to take another class with her. Her detail work is achieved only through discipline and consistant brush stroke.

If one step was left out, this beauty would not exist. Her panels are studies of the relation of color and the play of light.
Each student went home with a beautiful panel (produced by several 11 hour marathon days) that only a room full of "type A's" could create! (thanks Li for that quote)

Special thanks to Jeff Huckaby for thinking big enough to bring Carolina from Rome to teach this wonderful class. I think I have it figured out now!

For more information on Carolina and grottesca, click here and here.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not What It Seems....

I saw this picture circulating on Pinterest the other is the work of Dominic Wilcox who uses plastic soldiers and other objects fused together with heat to make these incredible bowls.

Theresa Cheek photo
I took this picture a few years ago at Maison et Objet in Paris where I was able to see "War Bowl" in person.

Theresa Cheek photo
From a distance, the bowl looked like red coral or something else amorphic, but looking closer the melted soldiers and weapons are obvious.

Theresa Cheek photo

The whole exhibit was a play on what is expected with a little twist.....

Theresa Cheek photo
Sometimes we think we know what we are going to see in an image...but upon closer examination, we see something different.

Check out the work of Dominic Wilcox and see the world through a different perspective!
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