Friday, May 31, 2013

amelie mancini

Left Field Cards would be a great Father's Day gift....

I meant to write about Amelie Mancini a while back. The Brooklyn artist, originally from Lyon, makes baseball cards and lovely linocut prints, all with an offbeat yet pretty sensibility. Her bizarre injuries series has been on the magnet board above this very screen for months now. But somehow she slipped through the cracks. Mancini just turned up on The Makers, and the studio photos and her sweet comments about creativity, New York City, and baseball reminded me of why I liked her so much in the first place. Also, she encloses a sweet little handwritten note with every shipment.

Jades print
Baseball Uniforms print

Thursday, May 30, 2013

etsy roundup: business card holders

Juls Sweet Designs

I just decided that I cannot live without a business card holder. Somehow I've made it just fine this far, but I have to rectify the situation right now, with something punchy and cute and kind of girly, so it's easy to spot inside my purse. Isn't it great that Etsy lets me find really affordable versions? Plus I don't have to go to the mall.

Jaden Design
Brooklyn Love Designs
Zen Nature

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

stuff, lately

Humid weather, weekend BBQ, a pretty hike, a good book, crazy peonies and roses in the garden. A basement filled with cardboard boxes from a new grill, which made my kids very happy. Permission to make a mud pit in the backyard, which made them even happier. (Oh, and these guys' new album. So good.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

monday thoughts (on a tuesday): art and memory

I was recently asked about art and inspiration by Elyse Harrison of Studio Neptune. For her series, Elyse asks artists and creative businesspeople this question:

Think back to your childhood, somewhere between the ages of 5-10 years old. Is there a memory you would describe as an early creative spark?

Here's my answer:
I was seven years old. My father, an art historian, had taken my second-grade class on a field trip to the Albright-Knox, a small, great Buffalo art museum with an excellent collection of abstract expressionism. We all stood in front of Jackson Pollock's Convergence, and my dad told us a secret: There's a match, an actual matchstick, somewhere in the lower right, half covered in Pollock's drips of paint. I'd been to the Albright-Knox many times before, and I'd looked at that painting before, but on this day I was so proud to be there with my father leading my class; he was in his professor mode, more extroverted than usual, and he seemed fun and cool and a little unfamiliar. I loved his message, or at least what I think his message was: Anything can be art; it's art if you say it is. (That was a big lesson at the Albright-Knox; Warhol's Soup Cans were in the next room.) Also, anyone can make art, or at least be creative, or know about creative things. This was my dad talking, after all; my semi-embarrassing circa-1980 dad, who used a push lawn mower and grilled in the backyard and rode a bike around town. Yet he knew secrets about paintings and could charm the wild second-grade boys.

Most of all, I loved knowing about that tiny hidden matchstick. Did Pollock put it there on purpose? Did he drop it in the throes of an action-painting frenzy? I still look for it every time I go back to visit.

Friday, May 24, 2013

lumiere art + co.

This Australian design firm is the work of Emma Cleine. Her prints and home goods are delicate and bold at the same time, with a definite Asian Slant (lilypads and mandalas).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

swell papel on etsy

Crystal Study No. 2

Some more thoughtful (or at least wordy) posts are coming up next week. (Also, I just realized that's two Etsy posts in a few days. Well, I do love Etsy.) For today, let's just enjoy the simple prettiness of these prints from Swell Papel. (More geometry, and even a little bit more pink.) Michigan artist Mariana treasures "family, home, warmth, love, friendship." OK, that's pretty thoughtful too.

Chevron No. 3
Precious Map No. 2
Mountain Range No. 1

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

the blue locket quiz: heather frazier of frazier & wing

Frazier & Wing's mobiles far surpass standard nursery baubles. They're exquisite works of art. Heather Frazier, their Portland-based designer, took the Blue Locket quiz this week. Her favorite artwork and artists are interesting and surprising; the dark intrigue of some of her influences makes her sweet designs all the more remarkable. Plus it's hard to argue with anyone who cites Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus." (Check out her beautifully photographed and styled shop and blog as well.) Heather, thank you so much! 

1. What inspires you? Color, gems, flowers, jewelry, fashion, art, small details and sunshine.

2. Who are your favorite artists? Masao Yamamoto, Egon Schiele, Kiki Smith, Yoshitomo Nara, Hayley Barker.

3. Can you name some favorite works of art? 
Chris Bucklow, Guests 

The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli
Masao Yamamoto

Xavier Veilhan

Yoshitomo Nara

4. Where do you do your best work? Place does not matter. It all comes from within and from inspiration found in the world around me—so that can happen anywhere. The actually physical work of making happens in my studio. 

5. What scares you? Public speaking and the thought of having to get a job.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

geometricink on etsy

Love the juxtaposition of stark black and white, rendered in soft watercolor. GeometricInk is the Etsy shop—offering original paintings as well as prints—of Kara of Cabot, Arkansas, whose careful geometrics echo what I've been noticing a lot of lately. Is this a thing? I'm in.

Monday, May 20, 2013

monday thoughts: richard diebenkorn

Saying too much about Richard Diebenkorn would be wrong. His paintings are so peaceful, so cool, so California. They're controlled but emotional. They remind me of a brief time in my life when I lived there. How the air smells. How you always sense the ocean even when it's not nearby. How the neighborhood plants are so different from the east coast. How the sky is bigger. I see it here.