Category Archives: white walls make me sad

Mod Walls

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If you’re interested in fashion history, you might know that the 1960’s produced a legion of paper dresses. I stumbled upon these gorgeous 1968 examples up for sale on 1stdibs while I was browsing vintage eye-candy indoors, doing my best to stay cool on this oh-so-sweltering hot day.

Oh course, these made my heart beat a little faster.

Designer Harry Gordon created these Poster Dresses out of 75% rayon and 25% nylon and though not truly paper, it was recommended that you not was wash them. Clearly a man after my own heart, the packages to these stunners advised:

“Toughness is woven into the non-woven fabric for long, l-o-n-g wear, and should you tire (which is doubtful), just cut open all the seams and hang it on your wall as a poster, or cover pillows.”

Now, I’ve long been a fan of hanging my dresses – especially vintage ones – up on my walls or in my windows. They certainly qualify as art, in my humble opinion, in addition to a piece of fashion and cultural history; and so, my closet, dress rack and drawers tend to overflow with vintage pieces I don’t frequently wear and yet can’t bear to give up. I consider them my small but growing “costume history collection”. It’s a totally valid method to my vintage hoarding madness, of course. So, yes, when I spotted these lovelies online for sale I agreed  wholeheartedly with the seller that, decked out in frames, they’d make killer pieces for your walls. Kind of like these vintage swimsuits showcased by DeCesare Design.

Though the Poster Dresses were originally sold in 1968 for $2.98 by the USA importer “Madison House”, today they cost a wholllleeeee lot more, so I’m betting that this complete addition is very, very, very out of my budget. Sigh. Nonetheless, they’re amazing and hanging them up on your walls is a perfect homage to these pieces.  I suspect, however, that if someone redid these in something like a lovely silk, they’d make quite a killing on the fashion front even today.

Get on it, fashion industry.

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Here, there, everywhere

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I always find it kind of funny when two reasonably unrelated things attract me, and then eventually it clicks that oh these two things might look mighty fine together.

Just today, about 20 minutes ago as it happens, I stumbled upon Mona Simon‘s photographs of Transylvania’s traditional Roma (aka gypsy) population and was immediately struck by the vibrant colors and patterns of the community.

Then I remembered seeing Pamela Bennett Ader‘s paintings:

The flowers on their own are, of course, beautiful, but I’m certainly delighted and intrigued by the integration of the little color swatches within the painting. We’ve all become accustomed to seeing color swatches attached to artwork, pulling out their colors and giving them special attention. It’s interesting to see them incorporated into a fine art status and I find that it brings a sense of modernity to the work in addition to bringing attention to the beautiful colors themselves and drawing the viewers into the artistic process.

And then I found myself grouping them together in my mind. I think it has something to do with both the nature of the colors in both selections of work and perhaps the combined/collage-y elements.

I don’t know, but it works, doesn’t it? Click on the links above to see more :).

A paint-chip-y landscape

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Spotted this purchase-able piece of wall art – Sun 736 by Cocktail Designers and just had to share. It’s all lovely pixelated, and when you look close, made up of paint-swatch type forms:

Formerly covered paint chip related art goodness:
Paint Chip Evolution, and my own paint chip landscape wall attempt (though way more abstract).

Eye love: Saturated Surreality

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I love magazines. I used to buy them all gleefully wily-nily, devour them, display their awesomeness on the coffee table, and then eventually they’d slowly start to form a mountain in my room/living room/somewhere. Yeah, I’m not so good at throwing them away. So. I hang out at the bookstore, and I devour them there. It saves me money and space, except for the fact that so many times I wind up taking pictures of the pages with my iPhone, and that doesn’t necessarily capture the color correctly. What I really need is a magic portable scanner. Something like if the iPad were capable of being able to scan something by placing it over the screen would be ideal. Luckily, these pictures are from New York Magazine, and those dolls put just about the whole thing online. *Warm fuzzies for them*. So, when I saw these pics this afternoon, huddled in a new spot because some people stole my usual nook(s) (grr), and felt all fluttery happy because of the magnificent colors of artist Hunt Slonem‘s amazingly huge Hell’s kitchen habitat (the Lincoln’s and bunnies are some of his signature works)((aren’t those bunnies freakin’ adorable?)) and wanted to share it’s technicolor wonderlandness I knew I could. I just love how bold and bright and saturated all of the colors are, and how the light creates variations of them. I love the collection of bunnies, how they don’t take themselves too seriously, but in their nice frames, and all of their lovely colors that all go so nicely together they just create such a nice.. look…visual texture…something.

(An aside: So. Yesterday, when I was writing about Mary Temple’s work I had an idea. And it occurred to me again when I was looking at all of Mr. Slonem’s framed art covered walls. What if someone framed their windows! Assuming you had a killer view, wouldn’t it be beautiful? Whether it was subtle and the same color as the walls, just with some particularly frame-y details, or whether it was, well, anything a real frame comes in, golden, antiqued, whathaveyou. It could be a wonderful way to draw focus to a really lovely view, or particularly awesome curtains/screens/window decorations. Yeah? Anyone? In theory at least?)

Ahem. Mr. Slonem, as it turns out, loves stuff. The title of the NY Mag article being “Living with a Thousand Best Friends,” in reference to his preferred state of clutter and all. He seems to love animal and quirk, and so I’m thinking he may like French artist Martine Roch‘s work. I’ve had her flickr stream hanging out in a browser tab coincidentally right next to the NY Mag article, and it kind of feels like I should show them together:

Martine loves animals, always had. She says that she’s been making them “talk” since childhood and onwards.

For her images she uses antique photos she’s culled from scouring flea markets and photographs she’s taken of animals herself.

I love the quirky way in which the animals are given life. It creates a sort of technicolor surreal world where anything is possible.

Kind of like the way you imagined life was when you were a kid. Animals could talk and think and behave like humans, you could be transported to other worlds through closets and secret passageways. There was so much about life you didn’t understand that it was easy to mash things together in your imagination to fill in the blanks. That feeling, that facet of curious thought seems to fade in many as you get older and become aware of the realities of the “real” world. I like that these two artists maintain that curiosity and enthusiasm. Whether creating it in art, or creating your living space to maintain and express that feeling of possibility, dreaminess, and whimsy is a place, a feeling I think we all seek to get back to every now and then.

Sometimes bizarre can be awesome.

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A little bit softer now

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Dumpling dears, would any of you care to hazard a guess as to what those little off-white rectangles are? (this is my college apartment, affectionately dubbed The Pomegranate Estate)((and if you know what belongs between those little thumbtacks, consider yourself really special)). Not sure? Think we were crazy? Here’s a little hint:

Now a little story (don’t worry, I am going somewhere with all of this): One day my roommate Bunny and I were eating breakfast, absentminded-ly switching between our barstools which looked out onto this window (it used to have panes)((that was another hint)), and the futon couch that sat directly below these windows and looked onto the kitchen, which is just to the left of the first picture, while we ate and chatted away. It was a lovely weekend day, and the sun was shining through the windows onto the wall. It made a very pretty little pattern. And one of us though aloud, “Wouldn’t it be neat to paint the shadows on the wall?” And of course, the other piped up something along the lines of a gleeful, “I was JUST thinking that same thing!” (did any one you guess it?!). Since we were both so clearly on the same page, we jumped right up, grabbed some paint and a paintbrush from our brush cup on counter and both went at capturing the sun before it went away. (This sort of little agreement is how we got into most of our shenaniganry.) We then signed it and marked it with the date. Most people could usually make the connection about what those marks were back when we had the multiple windowpanes. They’d look at the marks weirdly, then at us like we were crazy, then at the windows and back again to the wall. Oh. Ohh! And it dawned on them. I was reminded of this when I saw:

You look at this and think, oh what a pretty shadow!

Goodness, whatever is outside must be very pretty.

And maybe if you got real close to it you’d realize: it’s paint! Oui, these are all paintings by artist Mary Temple, who I spotted on The Jealous Curator last week (or so). I just love the hint of outside. The softness of the paint. It’s beautiful and quiet. And yet, fuels your imagination and creates “light” even if there are no windows.

Quiet, you see, is important. Because this morning my building’s superintendent woke my roommate and I up bright and early banging on our door and yelling about how there was too much noise last night. Which would be pretty much impossible, as it happens that the only thing that was moved around was paper. I could go on for a long (long long long) time about a lack of quiet that is not produced by any one in this apartment but you don’t want to hear me rattle on about that, and neither does my super, because he walked away. And we just stood there in silence, baffled, and nowhere near awake enough to fully comprehend what had just happened. I stumbled back into my room but could not fall asleep so busy was my mind thinking about the intricacies of quiet. Of maybe having to walk around on fluffy little cumulus clouds. Oh heavens and oh hell.

And then! Oh and then! Right when I was feeling grumpy and distraught, I realized I’d wound up on the front page of wordpress. And very suddenly my door was being banged on again (metaphorically, that is), but instead of a grouchy super (who really is usually very helpful and nice) it was all of you! Goodness, you cats and kittens just rained on in on me. And I was in my pajamas and had my hair in pigtails and kept finding myself very startled to find myself being paid so much attention. I mean, you always want attention and all, but it tends to happen when you’re not expecting it. Like when you’re donning pig-tails, like a 5-year old. Oh my. You start to feel, for a second, that maybe people can actually see through the computer into your room. It’s cool though, I like you all, you can stick around. You’re sunshine. You’re reverse (or environmental) graffiti:

Have you heard of it?

It’s “graffiti” made from cleaning.

These three pictures are from an installation done by Paul “Moose” Curtis, who originated reverse graffiti, on an overpass in San Francisco.

Beautiful isn’t it? And it kind of reminds me of Mary Temple’s work in it’s softness. I had actually never consciously noticed it before yesterday when I was perusing around for the paint chip post. Connecting these two, made me think about white tattoos on pale skin. How it can look barely there and delicate. But I have yet to find any pictures of ones I really like to show, and I hear they’re kind of risky.

So, yes, after yesterdays Bright and Colorful post, and my busy kooky what-the day, I’ve opted for a moment of hush hush prettyness. But, you know, I think this look could be done nicely with color, too, when you use two colors that are fairly close together only a few shades lighter or darker. Create a subtle design. Hmm. Or an “intricate subtle” using a few colors that are close enough together to be subtle but can be differentiated enough to render a little pattern. Maybe possibly. I’d experiment and show, but I’m tired. Some other time perhaps, we’ll play.

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Paint chips: the art supply that comes free evolves

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I love paint chips. A lot. Really. In case you hadn’t noticed. I’ve been using them to decorate in a number a different ways since 2005 or so, but I had not thought of using them like this:


Veronica Diago, (via)


John “Eric” McGrew of Amidst Blog, (via)


Peter Combe


Peter Combe


The “blop” lamp created by emocja studios.

Definitely interesting to see paint chips used in a different but still recognizable form. With all of the recent love of both paper as a medium and paint chips used as decoration ( you’ve seen the rampant posting of paint chip walls and pixelated-esque murals on the web, no doubt) and not just for their intended decision-making function, it makes sense that the two would eventually merge into a hybrid. The idea makes me excited. And it’d certainly be fun if it caught on. Especially since paint chips are free. 0:)

DIY craft evolving into art = yay

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