Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Carpe Diem: Rockport, Mass.

I felt like I needed a day to clear my head so I cleared my schedule and decided to head up to Rockport and Essex, Massachusetts today.  Two days of rain yielded to a sunny morning on land but the stubborn fog held on to the harbor.

Rockport is an old fishing village and artist community.  This old red fishing shack, purported to be the most painted building in America, has become affectionately known as Motif #1.

Paintings and photographs bearing the "Motif #1" title can be found all over town and probably in galleries all over the world.  I see them on ebay all the time. 

This Anthony Thieme oil painting dates to 1938.

Although I'm sure locals will roll their eyes, its position at the end of a pier makes it charming from almost every angle.

The tall ship "Formidable" was docked at the end of Tuna Wharf and the sun was illuminating the water from behind.  The color was amazing.

Study in Blue.  Does anyone know the shrub?  I don't.

Steps down to the water.

Roy Moore Lobster Co. on Bearskin Neck.

I asked the shop if I could take a photo of the inside and they yanked this big boy out for me.

Eight pounds!


(Sorry little guy.)

Bearskin Neck cottages.

Cottage detail.  Can you see the carved face in the beam in the upper left?

More cottages.

A little afternoon fog bank moving in off the back harbor.

A sweet little quiet spot.

And a freshly planted window box announces the arrival of our planting season.

I have more to show you of Rockport and Essex, Massachusetts but it was a wonderful long day and that's all I got for now.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Acme Fine Art

A great art exhibit opened today at Acme Fine Art at 38 Newbury Street in Boston.  If you're not familiar with the gallery, it focuses on artists connected to Provincetown.  Owners David Cowan and Jim Bennett have a great eye and their shows are always first rate.

Painting above is by Michael Mazur.

This "Provincetown Views" show captures views of P'town through the eyes of
the various artists that have spent time there over the past century.

This large show, hung salon style on several walls, includes a
nice cross section of periods, styles and media.

Here are a few highlights:

One of the earliest pieces is this wonderful 1916 high-key impressionistic
"Provincetown Garden" by E. Ambrose Webster.

"Fisherman's Family," an early Jack Tworkov from 1931, captures a moment in
time of this old fishing village.  I love how the interior
dissolves into a view to the lighthouse on Long Point.

Although lighthouses and water views aren't a specific theme, it would be hard
for any Provincetown Views show to omit them.

This is an early Hans Hofmann entitled "Lighthouse" from 1936.  It's electric.

"Toward Long Point" by Ron Shuebrook, 1969.

Ferol Warthen's Lighthouse, Provincetown white-line woodblock print from 1971.

Richard Baker's painting of the Provincetown Painters book not only
includes its own view out to Long Point but humorously includes the tape on the cover.

Anyone who owns this book knows the binding was very weak and
it's rarely seen without tape holding it together.

Even these two Giorgio Cavallon abstracts (right) paired beautifully
with a Helen Frankenthaler (left), evoke that view to the water.

A few paintings also represent Provincetown's interiors.

Mary Hackett's "Interior," 1971 depicts an old-school Cape Cod
cottage interior in her own sweet, folksy style. 

And Susan Baker's "Blessing of the Foc'sle" captures a delightful and fun
moment at the legendary Provincetown bar.  

Provincetown Views is a wonderful, diverse show and shouldn't be missed.
It is open through June 23, 2012.

38 Newbury Street, 4th Floor
Boston, MA  02116

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Cleaning Out, Paring Down

I was making good progress on the bedroom but I've hit a few road blocks.  I decided to use the drapes and rods from the living room but the rods are too big for one of the windows.  I'm missing some hardware for the bed and West Elm says they're not selling the bed anymore so they don't have it.  (Maybe it's because it was all missing the hardware?)  I also decided to move the chairs from the dining room so the possibility of an accident with red wine or tomato sauce is eliminated.

But when I started to remove these things from the living room and dining room, I came to a realization.  I like them better.  Less is more.  

I like this cleaner look.

So I've been on a major cleaning and paring down binge.  Closets are being cleared out.  Dresser drawers are being emptied.  I bought 14 plastic bins and I'm sorting through every last thing in the house and basement.  Sell.  Donate.  Discard.

In the front bedroom, the bamboo blinds are down.  The bedskirt is gone.

Nothing left but the bed, the dresser, a chair.  

I need a better bedside table but I might only add
a wall sconce and a reading lamp in the corner.

I think it's perfect for summer at least.

I'm not sure where this new desire to scale everything down is coming from
but it's liberating and I'm going with it.

The rest of the house is a disaster.  Sorting through everything is a big job.
The basement is packed full of things left over from projects and renovations.
So I'll be around but probably won't be posting for a little while.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms!

I'm also linking to Nita's Mod Mix Monday.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Oh, Suzani

Ever since I saw local designer Katie Rosenfeld's post on her mother's pillows, I realized I need to step up my game.  In my house, throw pillows usally become cat hair magnets.  But not wanting to be shown up by anyone's mom, my competitive juices kicked in and I set out in search of some pillow magic.

I've never been a big fan of suzanis but butchered up, I found myself lingering on some of the bold graphic ones. 

I'm not really into the boho thing, but these patchwork pillow covers are kind of fun too. 

Some of them even remind me of the work of famous artists.

This one reminds me of Mattise's work.

Matisse collage
Doesn't it?

This pillow uses a bird shape cut from a suzani and appliqued to linen. 

Which made me immediately think of George Braque's birds.

All of these pillows can be found on etsy by searching "suzani pillow."

What do you think?  Love 'em or leave 'em?

Be sure to check out Katie's mom's place.  I think she's really talented.