This weekend I drove up the beautiful California coast to San Simeon, in central Cali. It is always a pleasure to escape the city of Los Angeles and all of it’s hubbub. The Golden State is gorgeous, and although the weather forcast predicted rain, it was a rare, sunny weekend (lucky me!) It is easy to see why William Randolph Hearst purchased the land above San Simeon Bay to build his castle for himself and Marion… a more spectacular setting would be difficult to find. The castle is as awe inspiring as it must have been in it’s prime party days of the roaring ’20s.
I have always been fascinated by Marion Davies. According to Wikipedia, she was a much better actress/comedienne than history has claimed (due in a large part to a sad portrayal in Orson Welles movie “Citizen Kane”), but Hearst’s love, devotion and immense wealth did nothing at all to help Marion’s career. She was doomed to throwing lavish parites and drunken revelries, and never achieved the success as an actress that she so dearly wanted. In later life, she worked tirelessly for charities.
Still partially intact is Marion’s beach house in Santa Monica; I pass it often and think of her. It is now a private beach club. She is the ultimate story of someone who had it all, and at the same time, had nothing. Hearst’s wife would not divorce him so they never married, and her talent went unacknowledged. Though I rarely focus on this era for my art prints, the trip up north and the sad story of Marion inspired me to do a image of her. It is the Golden Age of Hollywood in the Golden State!
We have all come to the realization that Steve Jobs was a National Treasure and has changed our world. But I didn’t know that Steve himself considered Edwin Land, the creator of the Poloraid camera, as his hero. Of course, with my fondness for retro and nostalgia of times and styles of the past, I lament the demise of the Polaroid camera. Yes, it did not turn out the best of pictures, but they were often magically delicious, and the fake digital polaroid filters just aren’t, well… REAL! I also have to sadly admit I threw out THREE instant polaroid cameras, a Sun 600, a Spectra, and a more recent “Funkit” thinking they were useless since the film has been discontinued.
But there is the site “The Impossible Project” (http://shop.the-impossible-project.com) which has recreated these films. I’m estactic about their grand efforts to keep the polaroid alive, yet the film is quite expensive for 8 eight images, so it is probably best i don’t have my cameras, as I would undoubtedly buy the film.
And lastly below is one of my scanned favorite Polaroid’s, available as a re-print for your retro-loving pleasure!
I particularly like the Patchwork dresses I’ve been seeing.. they remind me of collage and layering in art forms. It is something tricky to achieve in both fashion and art. What clashes… and what is harmonious together?
I think the use of black and white makes it much easier to pattern clash. It is something I should try as I usually use a lot of color.
Below is one of my newer more “earthy” patchwork pieces. For now it is only available in my Etsy store (click on the image to visit my store!) as I have too many industrious activities going on and keeping up with them is exhausting (my life functions as a patchwork as well!) I think it is most beautiful as a canvas.
But please take your time to peruse my website, where I have many images not on etsy:
And as Autumn is near, of course I think of Paris, and this seems to represent a piece of a patchwork memory of Paris… It is time to go again. YAY!
Quoted from Wikipedia’s entry on Coco Chanel:
In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” Like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
In homage to the classic and iconic dress (like it’s creator!) I recently added a canvas art print of my own rendition of “Little Black Dresses.” You can buy it in my etsy shop now (I will soon be adding it to my website.) It is a lovely 8 X 10 X .75″ canvas print, ready to hang on the wall or place anywhere you want color (and black!) Of course, it is based on older fashion image and all gussied up. Click on the image to see more views.
Here are more images, just food for thought on the classic and immortal “Little Black Dress.” I actually own the last image, the book based entirely on the theme. Available on Amazon.com, of course!
If you have ever studied another language, one of the first things you need to grasp completely is that you CANNOT translate phrases word for word from your language. That is not learning the language! Which is why the phrase “I miss Paris” never rolls off my tongue quickly enough. To miss Paris, or anyone, they must be “missed to you.” Last night I saw a House Hunters International on apartment hunting in Paris (a daunting task, of course) and today I saw a wonderful article about a new exhibition of Gertrude and The Brother’s Stein’s art collection. (If you saw “Midnight in Paris” you were probably amused by Kathy Bates’ portrayal of Gertrude and that fabulous copy of Picasso’s painting he did of her!) The exhibition, “The Stein’s Collect” is at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, then travels to New York, and finally Paris, where it all began. From the Wall Street Journal article:
For several years, almost the only places in Paris where one could go to see collections of works by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse were Gertrude and Leo’s (and later Alice’s) weekly Saturday-evening salons on rue de Fleurus, and Sarah and Michael’s the same evening on the rue Madame. Eventually, “everybody” came—writers, musicians, cafe society and the gay demimonde, foreign searchers after the new, and the artists the Steins collected.
The Steins were such influential and astute art collectors that they managed to have owned some of the most beautiful and important paintings ever created, such as these two glorious Matisse portraits. They are breathtaking!
So I’m sure you can understand why I have learned to say correctly “Paris me manque” whilst my head is thinking: “Paris is missed to me!”
If you have a website, blog, store, tumblr, twitter, etsy, or any other online enterprise, you know you are always thinking about them and working on them. It is a lot of work! Sometimes I just want to think about my chihuahua, so I make art pieces with her and they make me happy. I just turned this Warhol version of Jodi the Chihuahua into a small canvas for my store at http://shop.trolleyla.com. Maybe it will make you happy too!
Yesterday I went to see “Art in the Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. It was a knock-out of a show; a veritable feast for the eyes, ears and senses. Very entertaining and engaging. (I’m very impressed with the shows that MOCA’s new director Jeffrey Deitch has been assembling out here.) Especially since I’m ambivalent about grafitti art. I love the culture that street art percolates in- I love the raw energy and emotion that it emerges from- yet it sometimes just isn’t the art I prefer to look at. But this show was amazing, and I plan to write more about it on the next post. Today I just want to focus on the 1981 video “Rapture” by Blondie they played upstairs. The unreal beauty of Debbie Harry in her prime, wearing her embellished tube-top and shorts singing the first rap recorded in a pop song! She is so mesmerizing, as is the fake New York city street set with Fab 5 Freddie spraying grafitti in the backround, and weird New York 80′s street people dancing in and out of the scene…“and the man from mars stopped eatin cars and now he only eats guitars…Hey!” Absolute retro heaven!
Watch the whole video!
Obviously, I need to do a Debbie Harry piece; however, this new LARGE canvas of Bianca Jagger captures all of the era’s glory! Click on the photo, or purchase here.
I have been in a cleaning/organization frenzy lately, and the last stop has been my little art studio. I fearlessly tossed away some life-size paintings on paper (but they were of a live model, and the instructors played a trick on us…our model was a VERY heavy set older man!) I did like the paintings, though
In my studio I found this fabulous poster I had kept of the summer event “L.A.Flash”, which was a 2008 recreation of the ORIGINAL 1973 version! I have to say that 70′s style, fashion, art and photography is absolutely one of my favorite eras. It’s was so real and authentic, yet so over the top. Pointy collars,polyester, and hair hair hair! I love these photos from the original event.
Here is what is written on the poster:
“In 1973, LACMA commissioned five photographers to document L.A.’s street style. Thirty-five years later, we’re celebrating the project by asking what your L.A. street style looks like today. Dress the part for this late-night art event- photos taken during the evening will be added to the museum’s archives at lacmaflash.org.”
In my new store, I have a few homages to the glamour of the 1970′s that you can purchase. I love this sparkling, decadent image of Bianca Jagger in her studio 54 era! Click on the image to purchase in my store. Also available as a SUPER large “Statement Piece”!
Since I’m such a lover of color, I am really liking these unusual picks for home decor. I’m absolutely swooning over the painted chair by Jane Hall. Check out her website, it’s an inspiration. I dream of having my all my art made into wallpaper, furniture upholstery and handpainting objet’s d’art. I DO know you’d need an army of assistants, though, since I can barely keep up with adding things to my online store, much less going back to painting. (This is a time management issue; I keep swearing one day I WILL NOT start the day by opening my computer! And everyday, I fall into a big, black hole…)
Here is a new retro inspired image I did that ifts right into the color scheme. I can see this enlarged to a super pop art canvas print, right next to the artichoke table! Check it out in my store here.
I was so excited to have Turn Magazine send me this! They gave me a nice promo by featuring my Brigitte Bardot hommage on their very cool magazine. It is definitely worth a look; amazing photographers, art and fashion… just great eye candy! Take a look here!
And as always, you can purchase this in my new store