Friday, April 17, 2015

The sconce saga

As we continue to prepare the house for sale, we face decisions about how to tackle items that should be replaced.
Consider the sconce at the landing on out back staircase. It reminded me of a bra cup and Mr. Designdumonde hated that you could see into it as you descended the stairs.
Down it came for the continuation of SW Repose Gray on the walls. 
Mr. D asked what to do with it. I said throw it away. So he did and I promptly went looking for a replacement.
I found this.

We are trying to keep the budget low while not using obvious ugly, builder-grade fixtures. Oh yeah but nothing too crazy stylish that your average Joe and Jane would not understand. So, vanilla with a cherry but no sprinkles. Sigh.
So Mr. makes the fatal mistake of asking if I could find something for less $$.
Grr. I find this and order it.

Stop laughing. 
It was too big and sucked so it went back. Just get the other one Kerry. Nope it was out of stock by then so the search continued.

I wanted this Arteriors Pruitt sconce.

 Or the Arteriors Voughn sconce but both came in around $400 and since I am leaving that ain't happening.

Yesterday I peeked at Home Depot and found my original choice was back in stock and ordered it. Whew! Please keep your fingers crossed that it does not suck.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Alternatives to the ubiquitous

Someone once asked me the question with puzzled disgust, "Why do you always have to be different?" I do have a contrarian streak that compels me to zag when zigging seems to be the thing to do.
I came up with a few trendy items that have been around for a bit and an alternative for us zag types.

Cute but everywhere. Instead of this...

Not another Beni!

I like this neutral alternative with a geometric pattern from Stark.

Truth be told, I almost bought one of these last week and I don't hate them.

Here is my alternative gold metal accent piece, also from Target.

What have I left out? Many things I am sure but I have canvases calling me.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Like Switzerland

"10 cent phone booth" mixed media on paper ©2015 Kerry Steele
Neutrals have dominated my palette lately. I really have no explanation. I still like color but I like using neutrals to "whisper" in my non-verbal voice.
Here are a few that I have completed recently.

"Filthy Lucre" ©2015 Kerry Steele

"Nocturne II" ©2015 Kerry Steele

"Through the window" ©2015 Kerry Steele
The subtle differences in grays either from the tube or mixed, fascinates me. I had a mostly gray and green painting and on a whim added beige to the edges and it made the grays "bloom" and separate themselves from one and other.

"Mirror's a lonely place" ©2015 Kerry Steele

Monday, April 6, 2015

Artist Dorothy Shain

We are on "Spring break" here which means, for me, working from home is extra hard. I think I will devote the blog posts this week entirely to art. So be sure to check back after getting to know the lovely, Dorothy Shain.

I visited Redux studios in Charleston just over a month ago and it was a late Saturday afternoon. Only a few artists were there working. Dorothy Shain stuck out in my mind because of her charming, welcoming demeanor. Did I mention her wonderful artwork?!?
I looked at her website as soon as I got back to my hotel and discovered a Virginia connection. The girl sailed around the world with UVA's sailing program! I emailed her as soon as I was back in Virginia and began to get to know her work a bit.

Photos courtesy of Brooke Kiernan

Get a load of that figure! It is one of the pieces that really moves me.

Photos courtesy of Brooke Kiernan
I asked Dorothy to tell me a bit more.
Here are a few of the things that Dorothy had to say in her own words:
"My current work is extremely explorative. My paintings aim to channel my inner William de Kooning with bright colors, mixed media, and gestural drawings. I often feel like my painting is not finished unless I leave the studio with paint in my hair, ears & on my phone. These works are my fun/ wild works. I get very lost in them, don't focus on detail, and let completely loose. 

My pen & ink drawings are opposite. They are very tightly wound & require a great deal of attention to detail."

"Inspiration: Talking to other creatives around town, collaborating & traveling. Meeting new people really fuels my process and causes my wheels to spin. Current artist/ designer obsession:  - She is fueling my play with paper cut outs. 


On the horizon: A collaboration with Tink + Tiger

     An art show on

     An art + interior designer dinner with & "
I encourage you to look at her website. I think it is a fresh take on an artist's website that is well executed.
Also, visit Redux studios in person, if you can, but certainly the artists that use the studio space warrant a web visit.

This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own and unsolicited.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Rethinking lavender

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a strong aversion to purple. It's a joke in my family that when there is a choice of colors someone invariably jokingly asks if I would like the purple one.
 No, I would not.
 Lavender gets a suspicious side-eye from me for associating so closely with the purple but I recently found a color that has me rethink the whole lavender thing.

It's called Provence blue but it more closely resembles lavender. Not just any lavender but a divine grayish, pale blue lavender. Nevertheless it is very lavender and in possession of some kind of pixie magic that makes me like it and also hard to photograph.  I tried to find a Ben Moore or Sherwin-Williams color that matched but nothing was close. If I had to choose SW 6815 Awesome Violet is the closest but its still far too muddy and gray. It was not big deal deal to me until I began to notice that it looked great no matter what I put it next to, in fact other colors improved it every time according to my eye at first. The more I used it the more I noticed that the adjacent color not only improved the lavender but the lavender improved all of the other colors. I tried it with a different lavender of my own creation and the effect was not the same.

This got me thinking that this particular shade could find a spot in my house after some deep breathing exercises and plenty of reassurance that it isn't purple. Purple is still right out (I am talking to you, Mom) so don't get any ideas.

Friday, March 27, 2015

New paper pieces for Spring

I took most of the paper pieces out of my Etsy shop last week for the trunk show at The Blue Octagon and needed some new things to replace them. I have 11 new paintings on paper listed and will add more but not one by one, rather in groupings.

Most of the pieces I painted in pairs but they can be bought singly.

Swing by and see them all HERE

Sunday, March 22, 2015

To paint or not to paint

The entryhall , with it's 18 foot ceiling, is now painted. Thanks to Mr. Designdumonde and his ladder bravery. As I put it back together I see flaws.

Those orange floors will just have to have another Oriental rug on them so that they are less, well, there and that fugly orange banister has a date with some white paint but it is my little desk that I wonder about.

I like painted furniture in small doses. I feel like they are fun accents but plan for the look to become dated so my favorite things likely won't ever be painted. I like this desk but its not a family heirloom.I am leaning towards painting it a glossy color. My first go-to is black but I have a bamboo chest painted black just steps away from this. There is always gray but I don't want to max out the gray in my house, if that is even possible. I really would only consider those two colors. Yes, me the color lover doesn't want a color on this. I just don't want to hate a year from now and I don't want it to be a problem in the new house.

So, help! What color do I paint it? Or do I paint it at all?
Those bits that look like inlay are what drew me to the piece but they are just applied either paint or stain.

P.S. We painted the walls SW Repose Gray at 50% and love it! The hallway, family room and kitchen are all getting painted the same color too.