Monday, February 1, 2016

Choosing art to add to a collection

The simplest rule for choosing art is to find pieces that speak to you and that you love but they can also make sense with your decor and other art.
Paying attention to a theme, color palette and /or mood can help you pin down something that you will love for many years.

In my son's room I wanted to create a gallery wall with a theme. I had inherited block prints and a portrait by my grandmother and another antique portrait. It did not quite fill the wall so I created a few abstract portraits and commissioned another of my son, from a favorite baby picture.

I purchased several paintings through Etsy shortly after buying my current house.
One of my favorites is this abstract by Linda Montfort.

It was the start of my art collection by choice. The colors and exuberance spoke to me and made sense with some of the still life paintings that are by my grandmother.

I think it can be helpful to allow your thinking to go beyond theme and color. For instance, abstracts don't have to be hung alongside abstracts and warm tones need not be in the company of only more warm.
I purposefully choose items that are decidedly feminine in mood for my formal living room. The blush walls and ladylike ivory fabrics were the base decor and art (as well as accessories) must fit within the same feel but without necessarily conforming to a set of colors.
I also bought this little painting on Etsy.

Conversely, my adjacent dining room is very masculine and I combined family silhouettes with my collections of antique fox hunt prints and gentlemen.

The choices for my daughter's room were definitely color and mood driven.

Ellen Levine Dodd

Sally Kelly landscape
It tells an interesting story of the owner, when inherited or vintage pieces are combined with the new, as layer of decor with meaning.

Friday, January 8, 2016

My art in 2016

I don't really make new year resolutions but, going forward, I want a renewed commitment to a clear artistic "voice". A continuity in style and feel to my work.

I have not abandoned the neutral palette or color. Lately color has been seeing use in my studio though. I feel like this "voice" is clearer than in the past.

In other news...We had hoped to move to Charleston last Fall but the renovations to our house took so much more time than we thought. We have scaled back the plans. The new plan is for us to do the master bath reno and the kitchen floor and leave. In fact I may leave as early as March leaving my husband behind to finish up. I had a very exciting opportunity pop up and I can't let it pass but I will share details when things are more concrete.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

A budget bath makeover-before and after

Between the multiple visitors coming this Fall and selling our house, we decided it was time to give the ugly second bath a facelift.
You will see no marble or high-end finishes here this is a budget makeover. I'll let you in on the jaw dropping cost at the end.
First some before shots that were taken before we moved in.

This view is from the hallway

This is standing in the door from my daughter's room
 This small bath is separated into two rooms and is accessed from both the hall and my daughter's room. I would have liked  to change that but the time involved is just not worth it unless we stay here.

The view from what is now my daughter's room. Check out that awful floor.

The junky medicine cabinet was replaced with a towel ring and new towel bars were added.

All of the doors in our house have been painted black. The walls are SW Repose gray at 75%.
A new shower curtain  and curved rod helped freshen the look too.

We re-grouted and caulked the tub and replaced the hideous vinyl floor with a wood look vinyl. A light fixture next to the shower was also changed because the old one had corroded as did the previous shower curtain rod.
We did not replace the vanity, faucets or light above the vanity. I think the faucets might be switched out in the future but this was enough of an upgrade for the moment.
The cost was $350 for the new hardware, flooring, paint and shower curtain!

Friday, December 4, 2015

A few posies to brighten the day

My favorite time of year to buy flowers is when the days begin to get chilly. The bright colors and greenery erase the gloom in the air.

 I buy my flowers at various grocery stores. Years ago, I worked for a florist that owned the distribution center for the area and the grocery stores got the best flowers first.

I often buy fresh flowers and photograph them for some inspiration for paintings. I find that they are more often than not a primary inspiration.

Last year I used roses for my Christmas eve dinner centerpiece.

I also used roses in several places around the house this year for Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Let's catch up

Bless me readers for it has been 6 weeks since my last blog. 
I went to Catholic mass for the first time in years this Sunday so that is my joke for the week.
To say I have been busy is an understatement. Lots of wonderful things that I must keep under wraps for the moment have been in the works. 
 Oh and painting.. I have done a bit, though not as much as I would like. I have been striving to make my nudes more like my abstracts. 

We have also been working on the house.
I will have a guest bath update soon.
This week we hosted two big dinners. They involved cleaning like crazy, having not exactly enough beds, ironing tablecloths and napkins, washing china, and cooking way way way too much food.

I went with the chargers and real silver for Thanksgiving but two nights earlier my husband's family descended as did our college kids. It was a flurry of happy activity and massive amounts of food (and wine) that called for a more casual table.

All in all, it has been a rather productive 6 weeks for me and I hope someone is reading this after all this time.

Check back soon for that bath update on a budget.
Also subscribers to my newsletter (see link at top right) will be receiving notice of a private sale for subscribers only before my January price increase. Sign up!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

High Point Highlights

I spent two days in High Point NC last weekend for the bi-annual market. I was so fortunate to partner with CR Laine, a high-end furniture manufacturer, whose huge showroom was host to some of my artwork. CR Laine has a line of upholstered furniture designed by Tobi Fairley as well as other offerings and partners with Woodbridge furniture, Fromental and Currey and Co. lighting to name a few.

I spent several hours in the CR Laine space on Saturday and then attempted to navigate the the shuttle and Market Square showroom across town. I met with artist Alexis Walter and Linda Donohue as well as the girls behind the brand the Blush Label. It all took far longer than I estimated so it was a scramble to get back across town to the book signing for Jullianne Ellerbe Taylor's book DesignHer at the Wesley Hall showroom.

Vignette at the Wesley Hall showroom

Selfie with me and Julianne Taylor

It was great fun having some of the people in the book there to chat with and sign my copy.

Me and Lance Jackson

Lance Jackson and David Ecton of Parker Kennedy Living wrote the foreword.

I chatted with Dana Gibson (no photo) and Kelli Ellis, both featured.

Kelli Ellis and me

I had a "moment" with Meg Braff and Amal Kapen.

Amal Kapen, me, Meg Braff

It was so much fun! 
With Leslie Moore

Me, Traci Zeller, Lisa Mende

Sunday afternoon CR Laine hosted there party and it was non-stop chatting with old friends and new contacts in the design industry.

One thing I learned is that the lighting in showrooms is meant to flatter the products not especially people. There were many photos that did not make the selfie cut and some that should not have.
It was a very long, lovely day that ended with me driving home and arriving after midnight.
Monday morning was a slow start and I decided to get a better look at the DesignHer book.

Imagine my delight upon seeing my artwork in the feature about the founder of Cotton and Quill, Mary Catherine Folmar whose fabric and trim was used by Lisa Mende in her Shophouse kitchen and breakfast room last April.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Oh hey, it's a SALE on

Still life with pears 48 x 36

Tell your friends! I am having a 30% off sale.
I don't do this often but I hope to be moving soon and I just need to lighten the load. 

Coquette 48 x 38 oil on canvas

Here is everything you need to know
just go to  ( or click available work on my homepage) and use code OCT30 to receive the discount.
It is not just small stuff. There is one 48 x 60 and several 36 x 48 sized paintings.

I will be adding more in the next few days too.
Questions? Email me at and ask away.
Don't forget to tell your friends!