Monday, December 31, 2012

happy new year!

Limon tassel garland

These swishy, festive garlands are turning up all over the lady blogs, on Pinterest—even in the shop windows of this mini boutique chain.* They're a little spendy for a kid's bash, but they'd be great as a permanent accent a playroom or girl's bedroom. For now, I'll use them to say happy, peaceful, artful 2013.

*You know you're a design blogger when you use the adjectives "swishy" and "festive" without irony.

Friday, December 28, 2012

me elsewhere: civetta questionnaire

Yes, I'm actually posting a photo of myself.
(PS: My kids were totally bored at the Liberty Bell.)

I recently filled out a questionnaire for the amazing Jessica, whose blog, Civetta, I admire wholeheartedly. She's a great writer and observer of beautiful things; she always features the loveliest art, objects, or quotations—and she makes me want to move to Seattle. I can't wait to read more in her new series. Here are my answers to her thoughtful questions.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

thursday thoughts: the barnes foundation

Matisse, Still Life With Lemon

Last weekend, we had a little family getaway and visited the Barnes Foundation. A.C. Barnes was a self-made gajillionaire with fantastic, eclectic taste in art—and total OCD about how it was displayed in his museum. Picture rooms filled with varying media and periods, three or four works high. His point (a good one) was that all art is cross-referential, its themes universal.

The collection recently moved to a sleek, beautiful building in downtown Philadelphia—and it is totally worth a visit if you're anywhere nearby—even with kids, even though the mood is hushed and reverential even by art-museum standards, even though the guards in here are hard-core about staying a good distance from the artwork. (In addition to what's in the galleries, family events—paper making, art-themed story time—occur almost weekly.) The artwork itself is a crazy hodgepodge, lots of great artists' second- or third-level works mixed in with absolutely gorgeous pieces. It's worth a visit for the Matisses alone. 

Matisse, Interior, Nice
Henri Rousseau, Woman Walking in an Exotic Forest
Toulouse-Lautrec, A Montrouge
Modigliani, Cypresses and Houses at Cagnes

Full disclosure: My kids weren't all that into it.  I tried giving them challenges like "find something tiny and red" or "find all the animals in the room" (and I may have asked them to count the boobs in one gallery when they got really antsy).

Thursday, December 20, 2012

hollie martin

Deconstruction #1

Here I was going to post about taking a little holiday break today. Go on a family road trip, hit some holiday parties, move over my latest blog posts to the Wordpress site, you know what I mean. And then Australian artist Hollie Martin turns up in my Pinterest queue (do you call it a queue?), with some beautiful paintings—a series called "Deconstruction"—on Buy Some Damn Art. Martin's cool colors and pretty geometrics are just my thing, but they'd look good anywhere.

I'd been meaning to talk about Buy Some Damn Art anyway; it's yet another (!) great art commerce site, with its own look and style and stable of talented artists. There's so much great art online these days—somebody should, like, help people find it. Or something like that.

Deconstruction #3
Deconstruction #5

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

the beholder

Arielle Sandler

I've found yet another great online art marketplace. The Beholder, in founder Suzanne Shade's words, is "devoted to showing and promoting emerging and mid-career contemporary artists." That means slightly more expensive, wonderfully polished artwork of varied styles and media. Beholder works as a representative (and takes commission on) some of the artists; in other cases, you buy directly from the artist. And because the price point is slightly higher than, say, Etsy, Beholder builds in a guaranteed seven-day trial period (like any high-end gallery would do); if your piece arrives and it isn't what you expected, or it doesn't work in your space—no worries. But something tells me you wouldn't be returning any of these.

Anna Ura
Timothy Buckwalter
Cody Pickens
Aya Brackett
Tim Wirth
Lisa Solomon
PS: Here's a sneak peek of the new website. It's not official, though! I have to finish moving all the blog posts. But get ready for a complete change of address.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

jen garrido

I've been seeing her name around, and today I finally took a good look at Jen Garrido's work. And I love it. It's expressive and expressionist, with beautiful colors and/or bold black-and-white figures. You can buy some of it here (more on that tomorrow). Also, inspired by her own wedding, she styles and designs colorful, exuberant wedding goods and textiles under the name Jenny Pennywood.

* In the wake of what happened in Connecticut, I couldn't bring myself to write yesterday. It seemed wrong. Let's send out love and hope for the future. And work toward better gun-control laws.

Friday, December 14, 2012

oelwein on etsy

Buffalo skull print

I'm really into these geometric animal prints by Severine Monsonego, a Parisian artist who calls her atelier "Oelwein." She uses sustainable techniques in her nature-inspired prints. She's also got some covetable home goods in the mix:

Robin print

Triangles tray
Triangle print
Deer antlers tote bag

Thursday, December 13, 2012

ampersand design studio

Gold and turquoise print

In the name of mixing things up, these prints from Ampersand Design Studio are way bolder and brighter than my usual picks. I like the "and" symbolism—and of course I like the modern, simple look. Yes, I had to lead with the cool blue and metallic version. But look at the neon renditions, and tell me I can get out of my wheelhouse every now and then.

Pink print
Green print
"C'est nous" print
(great, clean design; this would make a sweet gift)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

wednesday thoughts: trying new things

Ann Hamilton's "event of a thread"
at the Park Avenue Armory

I rode a horse this morning. OK, it was basically a pony (named Doodles, no less), and we stayed inside a ring, and an instructor walked beside me for most of the time. But we did trot for a few minutes (so fun), and I hadn't ridden a horse in more than ten years, and I'd wanted to do it for ages. Most important, it was just me. I have plenty of new experiences, but they're usually shared with my family—and as great as that is, this time the experience wasn't filtered through my children.

It's the same with art: Once in a while, you should get out of your comfort zone. I don't know if I'll make it to New York to see this show, in which viewers become participants by swinging. I love that it makes you question what art is, and what your role as a viewer is—or you could just swing and not worry about any of it. Closer to home, it's all good for me to scout and recommend pretty, sweet, accessible art prints like I do here most days. But in the spirit of trying new things, today I'm sending out a few stranger, maybe not-so-sweet images that I love just as much. (All images from Pinterest. Or just Google the artists and have a look.)

Ryan McGinley
Ai Weiwei
Chris Ware
(honestly, he gives me a headache)
Helen Levitt

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

jurianne matter paper design

I love garlands.

Jurianne Matter is a Dutch designer of sweet paper goods. Her posters have a very cool DIY pop-up element; her flowers ("Blom") make for perfect little cupcake toppers (cupcake toppers!) and garlands. And her styling (see the next photo) is airy and clean and peaceful. 

Monday, December 10, 2012

minted (again)

Here's our 2013 holiday card. I've been licking envelopes all weekend—now I just have to buy some stamps. The cards came from Minted, which I've used for three years running. I've praised the company before for its stationery and business cards, and they've got a really approachable, appealing art collection as well. If you're still in the market (and you're the card-sending kind), here are a few of the other designs I was considering. Oh, and happy holidays, whatever (and if) you celebrate.

Minted gets me with their clean typefaces
and that greeny light blue.
I like the big numbers.
Simple, clear. Wear a fedora if you absolutely must.
(I think we did a version of this last year. No fedora)
We did this one two years ago.
Obviously those are not my kids.

Friday, December 7, 2012

scott schuman prints

I guess it's photography week here at Blue Locket. Scott Schuman is much admired (and rightly so) for his street fashion photography on The Sartorialist. (His girlfriend, Garance Dore, is also much admired as a photographer, blogger, and all-around cool girl.) Did you know that Net-a-Porter (I don't usually roll so high) offers several of Schuman's prints, at an extremely accessible $40? His subjects are elegant, interesting, and gorgeous—and oh so beautifully composed. He's definitely got an eye. One of these would look great, on its own, on an otherwise blank wall. Or mix one with contrasting styles. Find all the prints here.