Saturday, August 27, 2011

Maestro d'Arte... Carlo Marchiori...

 Color! Venetian born artist Carlo Marchiori sees the world through the language of color and reinterprets it in his eclectic pieces of art.

Located at the northern end of the Napa Valley in Calistoga, California- Carlo has his studio open to the public Thurs-Mon.

Carlo creates in both one and three dimensional mediums-paintings, ceramics, sculptures, furniture and watercolors. Don't worry, if you see something you like, you can order on line

In 1999, I was in the Venice train station and this magazine cover caught my eye...this was my first exposure to Carlo Marchiori.

Opening the pages, I found an incredible article on the artist along with pictures of his home.

Remember, this was 1999, we didn't even have a computer in our home Italian was not that good and I assumed this was an article on an Italian artist with his villa in Italy.

A few years later (computer installed in home now) I was on line searching some art references. I remembered the magazine and did a search on Carlo's name.

Bingo! There was a book! And he now lives in the U.S.!  I called the number listed on the web site and ordered the book. Carlo himself answered the phone when I placed the order.

When my daughter moved to San Francisco, I planned a visit to meet Carlo and take my daughter to see his incredible world.

Carlo has created a world reminiscent of Rome and Venice on his five acres in the Napa valley. The land has olive and eucalyptus trees, natural mineral springs and a climate similar to the Veneto area he grew up in. Marchiori designed his villa and gardens himself and is still adding to the illusion.

The interior walls are painted floor to ceiling in Italianate references.

Bacchus, Pompeii, Trojan horses,grottos, pulcinella-they are all here. When interviewed for California Style magazine, Carlo said- “I return home and enter my own dream world,” he says. “It’s a fantasy, and it’s my reality. I wake up, and I can be in 16th-century Vicenza. My spirit is uplifted. It’s the best way to start the day. It’s like living inside a painting.” •

On the way out of town, we rounded out the trip with a visit to the Del Dotto winery.

Del Dotto is an opulent winery with marble columns, mosaic floors and fantastic murals painted by Carlo!

You can view the winery's opulent tasting room in the video below.

The upper border Carlo painted features wine being aged in amphora clay vessels-Roman style.

The mantle wall is the focal point of the room with its floor to ceiling mural.

This fall, I look forward to the arrival of my 2009 clay vessel Zinfandel fermented as the Romans once practiced!

Also, here is a link to a great blog-Art and Alfalfa-Gina had her home built by the same architects that designed Ca'Toga!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Alameda Flea Market!

I finally made it to the Alameda Flea Market!! This market is held just outside San Francisco on the first Sunday of each month. I arrived fairly early to a foggy morning at northern California's largest flea market.

The Alameda Point Antiques Faire, as it is formally known, boasts over 800 dealer booths! Gates open at 6:00 am for the serious shoppers.

Influences from Chinatown and the ocean are some of the local items seen at the booths.

Starfish and beautiful corals can be bought. The specimens are large and numerous, not found in my land locked environment!

There are bins of small trinkets, locks, keys, typewriter keys, etc...

...and lace!  Filet and crocheted!

....oddity wine bottles......

....and FRENCH LINENS!! This is what I came to see!

European grain sacks...french ticking pillows and hemp sheets! There are several serious vendors with French linens on the grounds.

Lots of iron and garden pieces as well.
 I came away with a few trinkets(suitcases filled to the brim already)I found some great paint brushes and small iconography pieces to squeeze into my luggage. If you are into flea markets,put it on your list- this one will not disappoint! 

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Last week, I went to the SFMOMA to view the Gertrude and Leo Stein collection. (no photography allowed-boo!) While there though, I caught some of their permanent collection including the exhibit "Selected Histories"-Key Moments in 20th century art.


A "combine" painting is an artwork that incorporates various objects into a painted canvas surface, creating a sort of hybrid between painting and sculpture. Items attached to paintings might include photographic images, clothing, newspaper clippings, ephemera or any other number of three-dimensional objects.-wikipedia

Photography was allowed in this exhibit so, I merrily clicked away images of the 20th century artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Diego Rivera and other contemporaries.

Rauschenberg is best know for his "combines"...

Collages held together with dripping paint, string, newspaper clippings and found objects, but Rauschenberg was not the only one using "sculptural" objects on canvas.

In Unsatisfied Desires, Salador Dali uses micro sea shells and sand on cardboard along with a thick layering of oil paint.

Jasper Johns energetically built layers on his canvases as well..

George Braque used coarse sand mixed with oil on Le Gueridon.

When approaching a new project, don't limit yourself to just paint and canvas! Creativity can be found inside the frames on the walls of museums.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Snagging a sale....End of an Era for Bufe and Babin

One of my favorite design shops, Bufe and Babin is closing after 20 years. This was the best shop in my area for specialty  trim and fabric along with wonderful finds they would ship back from Europe each year....

I went in to catch their closing sale and came away with some wonderful pieces. They had many aubusson remnants and one that I had my eye on for months was still there! I grabbed it, a bag of trim remnants and some other small items.

The bag of trim was in the blue family and will go well with the aubusson piece. Going through the trim was a delight..there was enough for a pillow I will make using the aubusson piece plus other  projects.

Just look at the intricate trim included in my scrap bag! Every item carried in their shop was thought out and gave a custom look for their clients.

I will miss this shop, as they set the bar for design in my area, but will think of them  as I view the treasures I have purchased over the years. Support the small, locally owned shops in your area, these people work hard and have passion for what they do!
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