We’re right in the middle of launching new Euro Chic designs for our Casart Décor pillows. I haven’t had a lot of time to do much else — except to say that Art is Everywhere and on pillows as well. These designs by artist Edward Doyle are inspired by illustrations, signage and insignia that have an Old World, vintage charm with appeal for your modern living.
Archive for the ‘Functional Art’ Category
Everyone wants to do something different for the new year – start fresh, like a shiny new penny. If you’ve collected a lot of pennies over the years like I have, here’s a way. Try gluing to the floor to get that shiny new look.
Mel Angst, of the Artisan tattoo and coffee gallery in Garfield, Pennsylvania, decided to take on this task and glued nearly 250,000 pennies. I think it came out stunning.
Speaking of pennies, an interesting thing happened to me over the holidays. Carl Myers, the artist who created the Penny Portrait in my Panama post, contacted me. He had not taken pictures of the installation in the Trump Tower and wanted to know if he could use mine to update his website. Sure! I felt like they were his anyway. I had just had the pictures but didn’t create the art and the picture wouldn’t exist without his spectacular artwork.
Floor or face, it takes a lot pennies and saving them for a rainy day but what can be created is worth the wait and work. Carl was kind in the email exchange to give me a little insight into his work. I hope he doesn’t mind me posting here, for it’s quite a feat to think of how many pennies were needed and then used. Each has a hole drilled into the top and is fixed with a protruding nail.
The other coincidental discovery was that Carl attended the University of Virginia, where my oldest son went. Small world, indeed, to have so many newly discovered connections through blog posts. You know what they say about, “find a penny, pick it up; one day you’ll have good luck.” I guess the new year (and 2013, with unlucky 13 at that), is starting off right in finding that unexpected new penny.
Art is sometimes where you lease expect it but can come together when you need it.
I meant to take a picture of the 23 mini pumpkin bread loaves that I baked for my book group ladies but alas, in my rush to package with little time to spare, I missed taking the pic. Instead I’m including a picture of them all packaged — using my local butcher’s Butcher Block brown bags. You can tell how much we frequent this place right up the street and this is only a quarter of the bags that I’ve saved with the intention of returning them someday. Glad I hadn’t recycled them yet. I had just enough to use in the same size.
With no extra cost for these gifts, I used fresh pumpkin from the large Halloween one I had that surprisingly had not gone bad by this time. It all started because I wanted to show my son how to bake it since we had a conversation about pumpkin bread and he didn’t remember me making it this way back in the heyday of my motherhood. This 12 pound pumpkin supplied about 20 cups of fresh pumpkin to use. I only used the small container we filed with 4 cups for this effort. I was happy to have packaging on hand to use to as gift wrap and voila. Often times such serendipity cannot be planned.
I think they came out pretty nicely, considering both the pumpkin bread and the make-do-with-what-you-have-on-hand packaging were not planned as gifts until they happened — a little scrumptious artful surprise. Plus, I really like my new Butterfly Mirrored Trays that I found on sale by Three Hands. I was inspired to get them after my mother-in-law showed me the lovely one she had from her mother — authentic vintage and more interesting and even well made than these, however. I had to glue on the bottom mirror edge of the blue butterfly tray after it arrived unhinged. I looked on the back and it was made in China. Ugh. There was no way to know this while ordering online but they are pretty.
Now, the question is what to do with the other 16 cups of pumpkin?!
Jacques Barzun passed away over the weekend. He was 104 years old! He must have been doing something right. He most certainly did with his opus book, Dawn to Decadence. It breaks 500 years of the history of Western Civilization into four periods from 1500 to the present age, which is coming to an end (just around the timing of his death, coincidentally). Will the younger generation ever read or understand the importance of his work? He was considered the most scholarly historian and intellectual of our era. Although The Washington Post did a commendable write up, here’s his official obituary, an excerpt is below:
“From Dawn to Decadence,” summing up a lifetime of thinking, offered a rounded, leisurely and conservative tour of Western civilization, with numerous digressions printed in the margins. Barzun guided readers from the religious debates of the Reformation to the contemporary debates on beliefs of any kind.
“Distrust (was) attached to anything that retained a shadow of authoritativeness – old people, old ideas, old conceptions of what a leader or a teacher might do,” he wrote of the late 20th century.
Barzun told the AP in 2003 that he remembered coming to the United States after World War I and finding a country that lived up to its own happy, informal reputation. “It was openhearted, amiable and courteous in manner, ready to try anything new,” he said. “But many of those things have gone to pieces, for understandable reasons.”
With recognition to him and his appreciation of culture and the arts, here’s a lovely piece of book art, from my archives of posts that never got written. This piece was in the Counterbalance exhibition @ March, 2010 at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, which details the creative/ healing process of the patient/ client guided by the combined efforts of clinical experience with the studio art training of their psychologist/ therapist.
Like Barzun’s words, art and literature can be combined for a powerful therapeutic experience, similar to “when you experience something that’s beyond words, and you can deal with it through art, there’s something cathartic about that,” stated by Deborah Farber, the Chair of the Art Therapy Department. Knowledge and creativity can work in tandem to bring understanding and healing to individuals and this often crazy world in which we live….Speaking of a kind of crazy tradition, it’s Halloween, now go dress up and scare someone and hopefully you’ll be rewarded with treats not tricks.
This is just a quick follow up to my previous post re Steve Jobs. There was a very informational exhibit at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s exhibit, The Patents & Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Temporary Exhibit Examines the Design History of the Apple Co-Founder. If you’re like me and you missed it to, you can go to this dexigner link to get a visual overview (some are seen below) and learn more information regarding. Some of these devices are permanently on view at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.
Now if you have a iPhone, you may want to look into this fairly new app Flixel that adds movement to your pictures. It’s pretty cool to see in action. Instagram is such a hit that this app may be too. It reminds me of flipbooks that I loved as a kid.
Here are some examples of still shots that create the action…
And the same picture of where the action has been put together.
This can be achieved with everyday images. Take a shot, hold it for 2 seconds, paint the area you want to move and voila!
Another interesting step-by-step that I’ll mention is for Casart coverings and our mission — to get 250 votes for Mission Small Business, in order to qualify for a $250,000 grant to 12 recipients by Chase and Living Social. We are almost there but could use a few more votes. Please consider doing so to help us out. It is most appreciated!! Here are the 5 second, easy steps: 1) Go to the link 2) Click Support on the right 3) Login with your Facebook account (no registration required) 4) Search Casart (no city or state needed) 5)When we popup please vote and finally, please share on your FB wall and ask your friends to please vote. This would be an incredible opportunity for my business to expand our work with our local community. Thank you!
When too many different things mention a topic within a coincidental time frame, then that is a sign to me write about it.
I attended a presentation recently by Walter Isaacson, the author of the Steve Jobs Biography. He relayed insightful stories about our late, modern day genius. The most telling to me was how Steve Jobs equated science and technology merging with design as art. Like any artist, he was concerned in getting his vision correct with all the minor details making a difference. He was constantly simplifying – distilling the purity of his design. He reorganized the motherboard that most people wouldn’t even see so it would be aesthetically beautiful. Once completed, he had all the original creators sign their names, just as artists would. This is on the inside of his computers where you will never see but they know it’s there. Like some artists, he was egocentric and difficult to work with – his vision or the highway. OK, I admit that I can relate — with my artwork and business — but I can certainly collaborate with clients on their vision or help them obtain one. In fact, that is my favorite part of the creative process. It was a very inspirational speech and particularly to learn that Steve Jobs said, there is a shift that occurs in business when you’re more concerned about profit and it can bring a business down. With all those folks working away in China to create his products, this seemed a little contradictory. Above it all however, he was a scientific artist who has great designs for Apple products that have completely changed today’s technological landscape with their everyday use. Therein, they happen to be making a big profit because the design of their product comes first and drives sales.
Then, I got notice of a new book by Jonah Leher entitiled, Imagine How Creativity Works. He describes how great inspirations come from the friction that occurs with different types of people “mixing.” Here’s an excerpt:
He cites the example of Pixar Studios: Steve Jobs “wanted there to be mixing. He knew that the human friction makes the sparks, and that when you’re talking about a creative endeavor that requires people from different cultures to come together, you have to force them to mix; that our natural tendency is to stay isolated, to talk to people who are just like us, who speak our private languages, who understand our problems. But that’s a big mistake.”
I like this cover too — very creative and colorful and reminds me of quilling.
Be on the lookout, btw for Steve Jobs, the movie, coming to theaters soon. It’s in the works now. In the meantime, Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview is out in select theaters now. It was originally part of the PBS documentary series, Triumph of the Nerds, in 1995 and presumed lost. How he describes his product as having “feeling” and “taste” are instrumental to his vision that Apple has become.
Earlier that same day that I attended the Isaacson presentation, I listened to Luca Missoni, artistic director for Missoni, the fashion family and now home accessory and hotel empire, give his insights on design at the DC Design Center. Luca is far left in this family photo.
Luca relayed stories about the start of Missoni and how the origin was from his father’s sportswear business, from which knits spun (no pun intended). They were comfortable, easy wearing on the body, flexible yet practical. He showed us a wonderful video, sublime in it’s approach, with no voice overs to show the production of the designs: inside the plant facility, the machines working, dyeing the yarn, assembly, cutting, shaping and sewing, and finally, to the models getting ready to wear for a fashion show and then back to the machines again. Beautifully done. They weren’t looking to start their Home Collection but it was a natural progression from his mother’s family textile business producing bed linens. The fashion of home furnishings just mixed with Missoni. He said that they didn’t realize what a big deal the Target launch was — when all of their products sold out in a single day. They are getting ready to launch a line of fabrics and textiles with Stark.
Hmmm, I wonder if they have wallpaper? He was so down to earth and approachable but I just did not get the chance to speak with him with other conversations taking place. His inspiration, as he explained, comes from the artistic way of looking at something. For instance instead of saying how would this design look, he asks If I was a textile, how would I feel? In fact, his exhibition, The Art of the Moving Textile that chronicles the 60 years of family fashion and design, will be touring Slovenia, from where his father hails. Like Steve Jobs, Luca cited always coming “back to the essence of design” to distill the essential quality of their work, preserve it and start again with a fresh take. I was also moved by the biggest lesson he has learned from his father is to have joyful passion for your work and the work will come to you. They never go seeking it – it finds them.
How fascinating. I was already bubbly from the artistic discussion and the to have the author of Steve Job’s Biography, who is also from New Orleans and his uncle was Walker Percy, speak later that evening was a bit mind-boggling.
Finally I got this study from Houzz on what homeowners want and was hopeful to learn that 86% are looking to improve their space rather than remodel for profit. They want to enjoy what they have and make it better for their own lives. This shift is economic but also goes back to the importance of what is quality? The answer returns to functional, beautifully pleasing design that we thoughtfully fill our lives with and notice around us daily as living art — and what all three of these have in common….Art is Everywhere.
I found this blog post that I really like and then I realized that it was all based on the opposite premise of blown up “wall murals.” The post suggested that “most wall murals and decals are pretty cheesy.” Actually, as an artist, decorative painter, muralist and general consumer, I agree; primarily because they are all mostly mass-produced enlarged photo murals, large scale graphics or solid circles stickers, etc. . Most of us don’t want to see these on our walls, especially long term. The DIY Wall Murals post from PW Style displays some pretty cool wall murals as examples, like these.
I love wish flowers and this next one reminds me of Rousseau. These both require considerable effort to create — all hand-painted.
The author may not have realized that there is wallpaper out there that is removable and reusable, can be temporary or long lasting and mimics the hand-painted look, because they are originally hand-painted or illustrated.
Casart coverings can give an impression of a mural or art for your walls = Casa + art, which is Casart. If you want a more geometric look, we also have stripes now on the One Kings Lane sale as part of Domino magazine’s Enliven Your Walls event. If you head over to my other Slipcovers for Your Walls blog you can see the demonstration we did at High Point, using stripes in unconventional ways.
I like the illustrated style of this birch mural featured on PW Style.
It reminds me of our Birds & Birch design that comes in 16 different color combinations.
Another post is forthcoming this Wednesday.
I just recently returned from a trip to Panama. We’ve been trying to get there for years and it was well worth it. While there, I thought about how nice it would be to live in the tropics. I received this post from Archello, a great site for everything architectural (see sidebar) and low and behold the topic was tropical residences. How timely. I particularly like Casa de La Flora, a new design hotel in Thailand. It is designed like a private residence.
This infinity pool reminded me of the one we saw at the Trump Tower in Panama. It has some of the most unusual architecture in the city.
What a gorgeous place for cocktails and a wonderful view of the city at sunset. It’s his most prize hotel in Latin America. This view from about 16 floors up. It’s pretty cool (literally) to have drinks while dangling your feet in a pool.
On the way down we saw many artistic things, like the clever concept of portraits made of pennies and a mezzanine area that had a sculpture slatted chair that I thought could have been by David Trubridge.
There were two larges scale Botero sculptures – one at the entrance of the hotel and one in the lobby. Never mind he’s a Columbian artist and the Panamanians don’t really like the Columbians.
These are condo units as well and downstairs there are wings on either side of the lobby with shops, mini-bars and restaurants. It was the first time I had seen a wine-on-tap bar. What great idea. You can pour a taste, shot or glass from a spigot. What a great design concept.
This was just one day of our trip and not including the jungle adventure that came before. If you’d like to see more, head on over to Slipcovers for Your Walls, casartblog for Casart coverings, where I posted more pictures and an interesting video of worker ants that we stumbled upon while hiking in the jungle.
More to follow…..
This was a very Merry Christmas story to learn about a few different ways that technology has grown to help encourage the appeal for art and give artists extra exposure. Since I’m in a similar start up business of artistic innovation, I was happy to read about these concepts gaining ground.
I first read about the start up Artaic in the Boston Globe, where artwork can be turned into mosaic tile through software and robotics in half the time to create manually. Anyone can have a custom mosaic tile mural where ever they want. How fantastic!
This is a similar idea to Home Depot’s own Mosaic Loft, which I didn’t even know existed. They have partnered with Artaic to offer both concepts of stock designs as well as custom capability. With a large, well known company backing the idea of turning mostly photographs into mosaic tiles, you would think they would do more to promote, but according to this story it hasn’t quite taken off yet. Somehow the photo loses its affect once turned into a mosaic, whereas if it was more a fluid artistic or abstract / graphic design piece, it may have more appeal — as in Artaic’s work. Custom tile of course, is three times more expensive but than typical, plain tile sold at the home improvement store. Mosaic Loft shows their creative process using robotic technology in the pictures below.
Either way, I like the innovative idea of using mosaic tile for more than your typical backsplash. You can see our Casart Faux Glass Mosaic Tile here and on our Gallery page. I also like the idea of co-creating a product and making it more custom. The only problem with tile in general is that it is permanent; whereas Casart wallcoverings can be temporary or the option of being long term and remain removable and reusable. My theory is that there is so much homogeneity that pretty soon everything will have custom capability. Artaic’s owner, Ted Acworth states, “We believe that there is a $10 billion or $15 billion market of people who would want something other than plain tile on a bathroom wall, or a basic pattern.”
There are other innovative ways some other startups are bringing solutions with the artist and art in mind.
ArtVenue allows businesses to select artwork that is submitted by artists on their website and have that artwork be available for sale at their venue through a QR code that is displayed with a placard for the artwork. This is particularly appealing for restaurants and commercial properties looking to fill their walls and change out their venue’s artwork regularly while the artists get paid and exposure for the placement. 70% of the proceeds go to the artists, the venue gets 20% and ArtVenue gets 10% for the facilitation. Too bad this is only located in Boston. I can see this win-win concept spreading nation wide.
TurningArt allows you to rent or buy artwork for your home or office. Their objective is to get more art on walls. They may become the next Netflix of the Art Generation. For a $10 monthly subscription, you can rotate your art by rolling up your piece and sending it back in exchange for a new piece which fits within a standard frame that the company provides. Your subscription gives you credits that can in turn help when you want to actually purchase a painting. So far they are representing “the best new emerging artists” in these regions: Boston, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portand, Chicago, Seattle, & Philadelphia. Look for them soon in your neighboring town but you don’t have to reside there to get a subscription.
TourSphere just launched this past October and has already made strides to offer museums and other venues software to “build digital guides” that optimize viewing for their collections on mobile devices. About 20 museums are already building their collections with TourShere’s software any artistic venue can do the same at $399 a month to create and launch a web app instantly. A free app will soon be available to all of us to view them.
What I find fascinating about all of these startup companies is that they have found a way to use technology to make art more available and bridge the divide with lack of accessibility or just inability. They make all forms of creativity a reality and that’s pretty inspirational at Christmastime to know that magical dreams like these capabilities can really come true.
Although Thanksgiving is over, I’m still thankful and forgot to publish this post.
I’m a fan of Steve Jobs and a Mac user, like so many other people, but what was striking to me was that there appeared that something was missing in his bio tributes after his untimely and sad death — until I read this one by Steve Rosenbaum, for the Huffington Post. He attributes Steve Job’s brilliance to his creativity not so much his technological ability. In this, he was more of an artist than a techno geek. Here are excerpts below from the article.
The easy characterization of Jobs is as an inventor, the Albert Einstein of our time. But that’s not quite right. Jobs wasn’t a technologist, or even a scientist, though the result of his genius will impact both technology and science for decades to come.
Jobs was a sculptor, an artist. A difficult, driven, passionate artist who stood at the crossroads of technology and liberal arts….
As he explained to biographer Walter Isaacson:
“When I went to Pixar, I became aware of a great divide. Tech companies don’t understand creativity. They don’t appreciate intuitive thinking, like the ability for an A&R guy at a music label to listen to a hundred artists and have a feeling for which five might be successful. They think that creative people just sit around on couches all day and are undisciplined, because they’ve not seen how driven and disciplined the creative folks at places like Pixar are.”
“On the other hand, music companies are completely clueless about technology. They think they can just go out and hire a few tech folks, but that would be like Apple trying to hire people to produce music.”
“I’m one of the few people who understands how producing technology requires initiation and creativity, and how producing something artistic takes real discipline….The older I get, the more I see how much motivation matters.“…
“The reason Apple can create products like the iPad is that we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and liberal arts.”
“In my perspective…science and computer science is a liberal art, it’s something everyone should know how to use, at least, and harness in their life. It’s not something that should be relegated to 5 percent of the population over in the corner. It’s something that everybody should be exposed to and everyone should have mastery of to some extent, and that’s how we viewed computation and these computation devices.”
What Jobs had was a love of the spirit and practice of creation, but not any of the conventional artistic outlets. Instead, he turned what had been simply tools into tools that were themselves object of beauty and art. The reason why creators love apple is because Apple created a bridge between art and science, and that is the bridge to the future.
I agree with the author and with Steve Jobs. Technology can be art and Art Is Everywhere. Thank goodness we have had wise people to guide us in this creative path and give us tools as he did to impact our daily lives — long after they are gone.
Happy Belated Thanksgiving!! — Let the holiday spirit begin…..
PS: On a coincidental note, I was encouraged to update my iPhone’s software during the Thanksgiving break while I was traveling. In doing so, my phone froze. It was my only access to the Internet as I was using it as a hotspot and we were conducting some major new Casart initiatives. I got the only appointment at the Apple store the Saturday before Thanksgiving. There were no parking spots in the gigantic mall parking lot. I had to wait for a lady with two kids but then luckily got another spot. The reason it was so crowded was because this was the first day of Santa at the mall. Huh, is this a New Orleans thing? What about Turkey Day? Fortunately my phone and all my apps were restored. I was wise enough to bring my laptop to get the “genious” to do this. Now everything is backed-up and stored on Apple’s iCloud so it can be restored remotely and from my phone next time. Fantastic, even though the technology failed me temporarily.
Meanwhile, we convinced my mother and business partner to get an iPhone. She’s still not sold on it but all her phone calls to me will be free (iPhone to iPhone with same carrier) but I just ordered her a huge pencil stylus so she doesn’t have to cut her fingernails to use the thing. I think she may like this retro feature. Click on this Houzz ideabook link to see other funny but functional retro fittings for your iPhone. Say that really fast 20 times!!