Friday, April 25, 2014

Design on a dime event

The Design on a Dime event to benefit Housingworks kicked off last night in NYC.
My painting was a part of co-chair George Oliphant's vignette.
Lots of design bloggers and top-designers attended and Instagram has had plenty of sneak peeks.

I am excited to see photos of all of the rooms.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

ORC-week four-Etsy score!

Linda at Calling it Home has created this fabulous One Room Challenge on Wednesdays and its crazy lil' sister the ORC linking event on Thursdays. Check 'em out!

This is week 4, aka "holy shit!" week. The week where participants say to their significant other in a shrill tone, "You HAVE TO help me_________ NOW!"  The week of no dinners and perhaps a bit more wine than is good.
If you missed them here are my  week one, week two and week three.
Actually, I learned from the last time to tell ask Mr. Designdumonde to attend to a few things early on and they have been accomplished. So no screaming over here.
 But! Shipping folks don't care about my ORC problems, therefore, the DIY
I was going to show you ain't happening right now because FedEX and a certain store have delayed and delayed the ship date of the item to be DIYed. 
Drat! (I actually said something much worse)
So here is the plan once again.

So I will show you my how my Etsy cart and a local store helped me in this room refresh.
 She already has the yellow chevron curtains and some blue and white porcelain that I scored at a local consignment store so my job was to find more blue and yellow items to complete the look.

I saw these darlings on Etsy and it took me about a tenth of a second to start checkout. Yay team yellow!

This pillow in John Robshaw fabric came from the Etsy shop Sierra Pillows

This one is from Festive Home Decor on Etsy. 2 points for team blue!
Blue is kind of winning because I bought 2 of these also but who cares because its blue, right?

Pillow from Royal Furnish

My favorite piece was not found on Etsy at all but in another local consignment store. I just couldn't wait any longer to show you.

 Could you die!!? Well, this dummy looked at it and walked out of the store thinking, "I don't need a mirror" and didn't go back for like 5 days! One night lying in bed I started to think about the mirror, which was only $50 BTW, and thought to myself, "You are crazy stupid, Kerry. You can't get a good mirror at a big box store for that price!" The next day I crossed fingers and headed back, sure it was gone. In a matter of minutes it was mine. Yay!!
The idea was to mix preppy, boho, and modern while accommodating her fickle ways and and budding art business and I think I am getting there with the mix of accessories I have so far.

 I would not spill all of my secrets on week 4 so stop by next week to see more of my plan unfold.

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Monday, April 21, 2014

Spring Break

"Love's alchemy" 36 x 48 oil on canvas by Kerry Steele
Pardon the brief radio silence. 
The kids are on Spring break but painting, college visits and the ORC are not. Today I will be touring several lovely Virginia colleges but I will be back here on Thursday for the ORC.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ORC- Gallery wall and a curtain trick

This is such a fun party, Linda! If you aren't sure what I mean check out Calling it Home to see the past two week's One Room Challenge on Wednesday and the linking party on Thursdays.
You can also recap my week one and week two.
Be sure to check out all of the great work going on in other people's houses.
I am trying to visit them all!

First I have to show you the curtain trick. I think I have a sign on my back that only drapery workrooms can see and it says "Make the rod pocket whatever $#%%^& size you want. She won't send it back"
Mr. Designdumonde came up with this trick after I spent $1000 on curtains in the family room and the rod pockets were too big. You'd think I would stop using an out of state workroom. Nope, it happened in my daughter's room too. Here is the fix.

 Start with a zip tie.

Loop it around the rod. Slide the curtain back to the position you want the panel and tighten the zip tie. Cut off all but 1/2 inch.

You absolutely can't see this when its done and your curtains don't flop down the rod.
That man is a genius.

My daughter had several strings hung on her wall like clothes line and she use clothes pins to hang her artwork. This was over about five nail holes from things I had hung and she removed. I was really sick of the weekly change on the walls so I bought something designed to change often.

This hanging system from Stas was only $65 for all of the components. Its ala carte so you can really customize it for your needs. I chose the lightweight clear cords because that was all that was needed. There are heavy duty cords and hooks available too.

The idea was to hang framed items that she wants to keep ( I use the term "keep" loosely because it could disappear at her whim) coupled with her Etsy shop artwork hung with bulldog clips.

This isn't the final gallery wall setup. Its going to require a bit of trial and error to get everything how I  how she wants it.

Make sure to stop by next Thursday. I hope to have a cool DIY for week four, plus its Spring break so I am pretty sure week five is going to be tricky pull something out of my hat to show you.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Room of the week

 I have no opinion, just envy this week. I envy weather so warm that one must dine under cover during the day.
Its really freakin' cold here in Virginia today. 
How's the weather where you are?

Monday, April 14, 2014

New art series

"Moonlit reverie"20 x 24
I began a new series of paintings last week.  maybe you saw a few on Instagram or Facebook. I usually work on 3 to 5 at a time so they come together quickly. I work a bit on one and then sideline it to work on another, all the while keeping each in view so that I can see "what it needs next".
The series is titled "My side of the arbor" mainly as a tool to help me keep my focus but also as a theme.
I am introducing the series here because it is the direction I want my art to take. I have painted many different types of abstracts and never really developed my "look". Painting authentically and for myself looks like this and I plan to continue exploring this style and theme.

"Folly" 18 x 24 oil on canvas by Kerry Steele
"Lysie's wisteria" 30 x 48 oil on canvas

"Kissing Puck"

"Crocus" 20 x 24

"Sylphid" 20 x 20 oil on canvas
I plan to continue painting figures also while limiting my abstract work to this theme.
Keep an eye on my "abstracts"  and "new work" pages to see the latest.

Friday, April 11, 2014

New Christina Baker paintings at my house

I am so excited to finally show off my new Christina Baker paintings.

They are next to a window in my bedroom and really cheer up the space.

My walls are SW Wondrous blue that is really changeable with the light. Sometimes it looks lavender, periwinkle or gray and each change brings out a different quality in Christina's gorgeous work.

You can win a Christina Baker original by following her on Instagram (@Christinabaker1) and leaving a comment on her forthcoming giveaway post. Hint: keep an eye on Instagram this afternoon and good luck!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

ORC- The plan and color scheme

I am a linking participant in Calling it Home's One room Challenge and it is week 2!
I left out my inspiration board last week because I just had not wrapped my head around what I was going to do. 
Things may still change but we are keeping the bed, curtains and loveseat.
The desk situation is still up in the air with no chair in sight. Why is it that when you don't need a chair you see 50 really cool chairs for around 50 cents or something and when you need one there is nothing?

So far I am on budget with lots of goodies and surprises for my daughter (and you).
Her walls and much of her furniture is white and we already have the yellow and white chevron curtains. You may remember from last week the goofy color scheme that was all over the place.
Since I am also keeping the bed that is a warm gray/linen color, I have to factor that in.
The colors will look like this:

 As I said, I will be keeping the linen and yellow in the room but I will brighten the look with a healthy dose of blue and white fabrics, art and accessories. I am also going to add a smattering of gold/ brass too.

 I have made some major thrifting scores like the blue and white porcelain I featured on Monday.

 I still have work to do but at least I know where its all going.
  • Desk and chair situation resolved
  • Implement new color scheme
  • Find storage for records
  • Find storage for cosmetics
  • Create gallery wall
  • Accessorize within new color scheme
Head on back to Calling it Home to see all of the cool stuff going on in the other linking participant's rooms.

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Room of the week

To me this looks like a villain's lair. The hooded chair looks rife for plotting. Aside from that, it has a groovy lamp and a table that I would enjoy having but notice the trompe l'oeil walls. One corner has a classic Greco-Roman figure and the other seem to have a portrait in a later style.
What do you think?

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blue and white bash-Scored!!

Today I am linking up with the Pink Pagoda's Blue and White Bash. Head on over to see loads of inspiration.

I love to score great goodies in thrift stores but my local pickings are slim. I browse, get discouraged, and quit for a while. Then I have some sort of mission, like the ORC, and I hop right back in the saddle.

I found the vase and shallow bowl above several weeks ago and bought them for my TV room.
A pair of beaker vases from The Pink Pagoda was on my mantel but their way back to the table by the front door.

 I needed some blue and white for the ORC and I am keeping the budget small because I never know when she will just stash everything in a closet. I went to every thrift and consignment store in my area at least twice a week.
Nuthin! I mean nuthin!
Just as I was about to throw in the towel when a bridge closure and detour took me past a consignment store that I had forgotten about.

They had oodles. Some was unmarked and I asked for a price. Mind you, I was trying to contain my excitement so as not hear an inflated price. Instead she cut the price in half on the marked ones and gave me the ginger jar for $10. I loved saying, "I'll take them all."

Some of these I am keeping for myself and some will be a part of the ORC for a certain budding watercolor artist.

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Thursday, April 3, 2014

ORC linking party-Teen room refresh

I am sure you know this event well, but if not it is hosted by the lovely Linda from Calling it Home.

Yesterday the official One Room Challenge began and today the rest of us get to throw our hats in.
I will be doing my 16 year-old daughter's room, although she will turn 17 before its over provided she relinquishes control to me.
I hemmed and hawed about doing her room because a.) she has opinions b.) she did not get the design gene and c.) she is fickle. So fickle that sunburst mirrors hung at the right height have been replaced by paintings dangling far too high from the floor among other bizarre changes.
It goes like this, I find a solution for her room, she approves, I purchase and a week later it is in the closet in favor some goofy mock-up. All of this does not sit so well with me, so call me mean but, going forward she will be consulted minorly and forbidden to change things.

We need a desk and chair situation here and for goodness sakes less crap everywhere!

These desks are my inspiration.

I need a storage solution here. Ugh!

I am not entirely awful as I am planning a gallery wall that includes some framed "permanent" pieces and and some that are easy to change out on a whim.

Right now she hangs her own watercolors from her Etsy shop along with sweet little pictures made by her little sister in this spot.
Her color scheme so far has been gray, yellow black, greige and red. Yup, I said red so you can see why an intervention of the strongest sort is in order.
Here is the plan:
  • Desk and chair situation resolved
  • Implement new color scheme
  • Find storage for records
  • Find storage for cosmetics
  • Create gallery wall
  • Accessorize within new color scheme
Head on over to Calling it Home to see what the other participants are up to and come back next week to see my progress.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More girls in the studio

"Figure 6"
I am playing hooky from my normal "Room of the week" post today but I will be back with it next week.

A month or so ago, I painted "Figure 6", a 30 x 40 oil and charcoal on linen. It was really popular and is on consignment in a penthouse staged for sale at the Ritz in Baltimore. Ever since I have been really hooked on figural paintings.

"Figure 9"

I had fun with "Figure 9" last weekend. My sketching was much looser than normal and I let that show by adding less paint too.

"Figure 8"
I have never claimed to be a patient girl and I posted this one as finished when it was incomplete and flawed. I finally satisfied myself yesterday and posted it with confidence.
I worked on "Figure 8" alongside a commissioned nude over the weekend and had an "Aha" moment when working on the commission. I discovered that I love the short, squarish strokes gave the figure the edgy quality I was looking for without looking like an outline or sacrificing curves.
That said, I still love flowy brushstrokes.

Small series figural nudes on linen
My small series are built around flowy brushstrokes and those lines are necessary to portray the human figure but I am liking a balance between the two.
This is a classic subject in Western art but not everyone likes it as a subject. I grew up with nudes in my house that were painted by grandmother, like the one below. We are very comfortable with them and I find them very beautiful.

Nude by Elisabeth B. Iddings (my grandmother)
Are you drawn to figural art or other subjects?