Something New for a Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

This just may be the year to try something new.

For instance, if cleaning clutter and starting with fresh palette in your home is an objective, then find ways to use old things, like using old catalogs to make decorative Christmas trees that you can give as gifts for next year. Check off list early — Christmas gifts for next year are already done and catalogs gone. Cheers!

Christmas catalog tree on Art Is EverywhereYou can also recycle using Freecycle, where one man’s trash is another’s treasure. Post what you don’t want, leave it outside your house and chances are, someone will answer the call and pick up as theirs to claim.

Combat Art

Thinking this fitting of Veteran’s Day, I found two recent mentions to describe the art of war as combat art.

This mural was painted by “The detainees [near the province of Umm Qasr in Iraq] painted all of the murals in the compounds and a significant majority of the murals outside,” said Lt. Col. Kenneth King, commander of the 306th Military Police Battalion.

Sgt. Rob Bingham, “D” Company, 132nd Brigade Support Battalion, sits in front of his favorite piece at the Theatre Interment Facility at Camp Bucca [before the facility is dismantled].

detainee mural on from homepage of United States Army, on Art Is Everywhere

Detainee mural on from homepage of United States Army

Another inspiration was this article about Sgt. Kristopher Battles (no pun in his name intended but very coincidental), a Marine combat artist in the New York Times.

18maines-span-articleLarge via NY Times, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Marine Sgt. Battles Sketches during training. Photo by Jim Wilson, NY Times

The objective of his mission is this, “We’re not here to do poster art or recruiting posters,” Sergeant Battles, 42, said. “What we are sent to do is to go to the experience, see what is really there and document it — as artists.”

This is an interesting story to show that the grim nature and essence of the feeling of war is best captured in sketches. Note too that there is multi-media going on here. As Sgt. Battles sketches the scene above, he’s being photographed by another artistic eye to capture the moment. Sketches tend to embody movement and immediacy, whereas photos stop the motion and capture that particular moment in time without often a before and after context. Sketches can show multiple scenes on one page that flow from one another and sense of place, time and light can all be artistically interpreted and enhanced. In photography, this can only be done after the fact in Photoshop perhaps. It’s just interesting to me to see the same scenario captured differently just by virtue of different artistic media as well as individual artistic portrayals.

IronSgt1 by Kristopher Battles via his Sketchpad Warrior blog, seen on Art Is Everywhere

Iron Sgt1 by Kristopher Battles via his Sketchpad Warrior blog

Iron+Sgt+Storyboard by Kristopher Battles via his Sketchpad Warrior blog, on ArtIsEverywhere

Iron+Sgt+Storyboard by Kristopher Battles via his Sketchpad Warrior blog

The article describes “The program is not the only one of its kind in the United States military, but many regard it as the one most deeply committed to its artistic mission. Like those in the other services, it began after the attack on Pearl Harbor and scaled back after Vietnam. Somewhat unusually, however, it has kept at least one artist in the reserves ready to deploy. And while most of the services have reactivated their art programs since the start of the Bush administration’s “global war on terror,” the Marine Corps’s has been the only one to cover most of the major conflicts.”

I remember when the stepfather of the wife of our good friend passed away, my husband, Peter, was asked to peruse many of his books. Peter Braestrup was a well known journalist who was a military correspondent during the Vietnam War and upon returning he founded The Wilson Quarterly. My Peter found this provocative sketchbook of war scenes done during the Vietnam War and often at the scenes of battles and imprisonment. The sketches were hauntingly real. I referred to this book when I did military sketches for The Military Order of the World Wars Officer Review Magazine back in 1999. I’m glad to see the magazine and the organization is still going strong; although my editor is no longer in charge. I enjoyed that gig because of the research and learning involved. I spent hours going through old 1960’s Time Magazines for photo references. It was my job to put illustrations to submitted stories by military war veterans. Not an easy task but I enjoy a challenge, sometimes.

All this makes me think of the incredible sacrifices that our military makes and not only them but their wives and their children and families. Veterans Day is worth keeping them in your thoughts and prayers with gratitude, good wishes and godspeed.

As we’re going to Sewanee today to see our son and experience another class’ reunion for Homecoming, I can’t help but think of The Smith’s to bridge the gap of wartime thoughts and good 80’s music to Kick Start the Weekend, definitely starting early for us. Since I cannot embed this video for How Soon is Now, one of my favorites by the Smiths, click the link. Interestingly, as I was searching for this, I ran across Radiohead’s cover of The Smith’s The Headmaster Ritual.

I also think of U2’s Sunday Bloody Sunday.

Atelier Oi’s Art Forms

After all of my interior design oriented posts last week, I thought I’d feature this picture on the cover of Interior Design Magazine. They describe it as “art forms,” which I agree but it also looks to me like a three-dimensional, hanging-from-the-ceiling mural that is fully integrated and actually “makes” the entire fantasy space. I find this enchanting. There’s more to the story here. This looks like such a happy place that I’m fully expecting fairies to go filtering across. I love the play with proportion.

InteriorDesignMag-cover as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Here are more designs by the Switzerland firm Atelier Oi and their new headquarters in La Neuveville.

v301070_958_480_319-23_Stylepark, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Moitel, Atelier Oi's headquarters. Photos courtesy Stylepark

Atelier Oi team_Stylepark, as seen on Art is Everywhere

Atelier Oi team via Stylepark

Dress your body building in Cormondrèche; on Art Is Everywhere

Dress your body building in Cormondrèche; photo by Yves André via Stylepark

Look how different this building can look depending on the lighting and the angle.

Dress your body building at night via Stylepark, as seen on ArtIsEverywhere

Dress your body building at night via Stylepark

More fabulous lighting fixtures.

Les Danseuses on Stylepark, as seen on ArtIsEverywhere

Les Danseuses on Stylepark

And when winter is upon us, just think of this shade umbrella.

atelier-oi-pavallion_via, as seen on Art Is Everywhere

Atelier Oi Pavallion via

Before I get blown away by more of their designs, let’s get back to murals. There is a hanging mural contest going on by Condé Systems.  Click here for the details with chances to win an iPad and $200 – $100 in Condé Systems account credit.

Rainbow Wood

When I saw this picture of striped, rainbow-colored, wooden bowls in my April issue of House Beautiful magazine, I was immediately reminded that I have a similarly designed coffee spoon that I use everyday, thanks to Aunt Sue. I never really thought of it artistically but its design is just that and a woodcraft artisan must have made it. Again, art and design, in this case functional art, combined. That’s my philosophy and I’m sticking with it. How lovely these rainbow-wood designs are. Now I’d like to get the bowls. They are found at ($6 for a 3″ bowl). It’s rather interesting to discover that there is a Williamsburg connection to this store. My older son, Piers, goes to UVA, a rival school to William & Mary in Williamsburg. Recalling the family trip we took there, I’ve always thought this town was charming; however, Piers just couldn’t get the Colonial reenactors out of his mind when applying there. For all you foodies out there, I just clicked on this link to learn they have a Julia Child scented candle. I can help but find this funny. Hmmm, might be better to say, Julia Child inspired candle, don’t you think? OK that reminds me, I need to see the movie, Julia & Julia. Even my husband has seen it before me. Well, I might add he was on a flight to Copenhagen, so what else was there to do?

Rainbow Wooden Bowls_ House Beautiful_ArtIsEverywhere blog.jpg

rainbow-spoon_artiseverywhere_blog1. photo by C. Ashley Spencer

rainbow-spoon_artiseverywhere_blog2. photo by c. ashley spencer

Citronelle & Food Art

Did I mention that my husband and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary once at Citronelle? Yes, but I never posted this when we had our special Leap Year celebration, which happens every four years in addition to our regular anniversary. We were married the French way — civil service (on Leap Year) with a Church Blessing* later (in April). As it just so happens, Citronelle, with all its glorious food-art was featured in my March issue of Veranda magazine. Here are Michael Richard’s exquisite culinary compositions below. That meal and City Zen, recently, both rank high on our list of memorable, albeit expensive, occasions. If I had only known that Jackson Pollock soup was on the menu at Citronelle, that would have been even more perfect.

Michael Richard Culinary Arts1_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

Michael Richard Culinary Arts2_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

Michael Richard Culinary Arts3_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

Michael Richard Culinary Arts4_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

Michael Richard Culinary Arts5_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

Michael Richard Culinary Arts6_Veranda_ArtIsEveywhere_blog.jpg

As I’m writing this post, I ran across another blog called Eat Me Daily. (No, not what you may be thinking.) It’s a blog on food and culture with a bit of tongue and cheek twist. I so enjoyed it and these Old King Cole Murals by Guido d’Aquili below, that I’ve added it to my Blogroll. Love the humor, wit and data. For instance, if you’re looking for a bacon-caramel filled, chocolate Easter egg, they will tell you where to find it.

Here are all of their posts on Food Art, if you want to quench your desire for more.

Old King Cole Mural by Guido d\'Aquili via Eat Me Daily

* Finally, I just finished the book Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert for my book group. I’m just bringing this up because marriage is important to me and I’ve just mentioned my wedding anniversary. I’d recommend the book because of her thought provoking approach and the research she did in order to understand why people wed and the importance of marriage. Also, I think her style of writing is wonderful, just as she is a dynamic speaker (previous post). Although, I’ll be the first to say, I don’t like her “me”ism and proselytizing political rants. Therein, I give it a “C” for it’s self-directed nature and conveniently omitted factual information regarding marriage (there is no bibliography by the way). However, I appreciate the fact that she wanted to learn more about marriage because she was “forced” into it for the sake of maintaining her relationship with Felipe, her Brazilian love interest whom she met at the end of Eat, Pray, Love (be on the look out for the movie with Julia Roberts). And, I liked Committed better than her previous best seller. I’ll give it an “A” for her quest for discovery, as this is what the artist inherently does — delve into their subject — and I appreciate her effort, most of her delivery and the fact that her book was insightful on an informational level.

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