Mar 31, 2010

Painting in Gray

As Josh and I think about painting our 3rd bedroom a beautiful, simple gray, we received a caution from some friends who tried the same thing.  They said they painted their room gray and in the end, it just looked like a light blue, lame.  To that end, we've been carefully considering what shade to choose for our room and I recently found this excellent post from a one of my new favorite blogs Colour Me Happy.  Definitely a blog that's right up my ally, but this post in particular is worth reading if you'd like to ever paint anything gray.  Read the article here.  
Now I know exactly which pantone to pick to get the walls to look exactly how I want!

Mar 26, 2010

Richard Serra - My Favorite, Part 2

So, as established before, I love Richard Serra.
Recently (in 2007) he had a 40 year retrospective of his work at MoMA which pretty impressive for someone to have while they're alive. MoMA produced a few videos to accompany this exhibition called Serra Sculpture: Forty Years.   This one is my favorite, it's him talking about the sculpture designed specifically for a space.  It really is fantastic.  It gives you a feeling for just how much work and innovation is put into his pieces, but also how well thought out things are.  One of the things I dislike most is when people think a piece of art isn't good becaues it looks simple or easy.  We can often fall into this with Serra's work because of its simplicity, but this video proves it is anything but. 
Here's Richard Serra in front of one of the same type of sculptures, if I had to guess I'd say it was at the Bilbao Guggenheim. For the opening of that museum he was commissioned to create sculptures to fill their largest gallery.

Here is an aerial view of the same gallery.  Beautiful.

Mar 22, 2010

Tara Donovan

[Tara Donovan, Untitled, made from paper plates]
The first time I experienced Tara Donovan's work, my jaw literally dropped.  You've probably inferred by now that I enjoy contemporary artwork that is surprising, affecting and unusual or new and innovative.  Donovan's work goes fits right into all those categories, and I would add a description of whimsical as well.  Donovan's work is usually made up of mundane, everyday objects like scotch tape, finish wire, styrofoam cups and drinking straws to name a few.  She transforms these objects (and I don't use the word transform lightly, trust me) into amazing sculptures and installations.
Its fun to interact with her artwork, especially those sculptures that you can walk under or inside.  Like this one which I've seen covering an entire gallery ceiling at Ace, as well as the entrance ceiling to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.
I love her process which usually involves the help of a large amount of people working together.  This one is made out of fishing wire, it always baffles me as to how it looks so blue.  I suppose that fishing wire has the tiniest tint of blue and when multiplied by thousands, will look very much that color?
 Also one of my favorites is this (close up image) of a sculpture made of scotch tape.  Knowing how frequently I get frustrated just dealing with small pieces of tape, I can appreciate the amount of work and patience this must have taken.  Love her work!

Mar 19, 2010

Kaleidoscope Video

Ok the music is a little creepy, but I love these colors and fractals it creates. 

Mar 17, 2010

Liberty of London, for Target

This week is really exciting!  It is the week that Liberty of London launched their line of products especially designed for Target.  How wonderful is it when a designer you love but can't afford, creates a line that incorporates their lovely aesthetic, but at prices you can afford!
*[As a side note, I really love that target does this!  They often take high end designers (Orla Keily, DwellStudio, Rachel Ashwell, and not to mention the clothes designers they've partnered with) and create a line available to regular people.  Well done Target.]*
Here's some of the promotion I've seen at Target stores, leading up to this week's launch.  Really intriguing and great use of their design style incorporated throughout the store.  They obviously wanted to make a splash with this launch. 

What a way to bring in the spring season!  Here are some of the products I love best that have just released.  The patters Liberty of London uses are all the things I love; colorful, bright, whimsical shapes, all on fun products.  Beautiful!

Mar 12, 2010

Letters, letters & more letters!

I enjoy letters, I think this comes out of a typography class I took in college.  Studying type, fonts, letters and how the fonts differ but each letter carries the same things is pretty interesting.  And even looking at how one font differs ever so slightly from the next, but gives it an entirely new look makes me always look very closely at type. 
So speaking of letters, lately, a design trend I've seen more and more of, is letters.  Prints of letters, vintage letters from old buildings hung on walls, photos of letters in various places, objects that look like letters spelling out words,even in my simple office I've got the letter H covered in some patterned paper leaning up against my bulletin board.
 There are thousands out there, but here are few of my favorites I've come across:

J is for Jackrabbit by JHill Design.  I love the colors and the silhouette of the animal, perfect for a kids' room or really anywhere.  I'm also not usually a fan of really light colored wood, but I think the frame in the photo on the left is suited perfectly.

From VivaTerra a lovely addition to any kitchen if you have the wall space (alas I do not, sigh). 
A beautiful print on Etsy, from the shop font supply.  I pretty much love all their prints, but this letter stood out to me.
 There are some vintage sign letters that can be found on Etsy, this is by far my favorite.

A local store in Geneva, IL called Cocoon had this display on their wall, each letter for sale.  Loved the jumbled letter display (however, slightly impractical for a home.)
I've been thinking a lot about where I could another letter up in my house, (I have one in the house acting as a bookend in the living room) and I think there's such a thing as overdoing it on letters.  I don't want suddenly there to be a jumble of letters around, I think it detracts from the meaning/uniqueness of them.  If I think of another place to showcase one, I'll let you know.

Mar 4, 2010

Color Scheme Designer

One of the things I find hardest to do, is produce a color palette for a designed piece.  I can usually think of 1 color I want to use, but the trick is finding a range of hues plus another complimentary color, it becomes too much for me to just pull out of my brain on that color picking wheel.  A lot of times I end up using the blah colors that are in my design program by default: boring!
To help with this problem, someone at work showed me this amazing tool!  It has some flaws, (can't get the color gray in the mix, you're limited as to how many colors and variations you can get) but all in all, its an excellent jumping off point!  Plus you can export your color selections into a Photoshop palette, genius and saves so much transcribing of RGB values!  I'm really enjoying it. 

Check out how it works here.

Mar 2, 2010

Laser Cut Jewelry

One thing I've been seeing a lot of lately is laser cut jewelry.  I'm not sure if its because the technology has recently become more affordable for the masses, or having it done for you is cheaper...but I'm excited about it!  I am usually drawn to things that are cut with lasers since I pretty much love most pattern and precise lines. When I first got into scrapbooking you could buy the most precise paper die cuts done by lasers, they were always the most beautiful.  Think of the eiffel tower or something so perfectly cut out of paper, amazing.
Anyway, the neatest thing I've seen recently has been jewelry laser cut out of wood.  Check out these earrings by Molly M Designs.
This set of earrings is laser cut from birch, then layered on top of black suede, what a dynamic combo!  Check them out here.
Some of my other favorites, and what an eye for the layering off different textures and colors.  Really love this work.
She also does larger laser cuts of wood like this one, cut from bamboo.  

There's also plenty of sellers on Etsy that sell jewelry like this, check out Henderson Dry GoodsNylon Sky, and Little Red Lantern.