Saturday, October 30, 2010

portrait of the artist: joan mitchell

Continuing on the theme of Abstract Impressionist artists for this little feature, Joan Mitchell is especially inspirational for me--because she's a woman. It's always surprising to me that there aren't more historically brilliant female artists. It seems that the majority of the "great" painters from the past are men, when women clearly have the dramatic temperament and the creative touch. I just think that's interesting. I'd love to hear who your favorite female painters are--past and present! I'm just teaching myself about these things :) Mitchell's paintings were often loose interpretations of landscape in brilliant colors. She said she wanted her paintings "to convey the feeling of the dying sunflower."

This is one of my favorites, but I can't figure out what it is called--any tips?

(City Landscape, 1956)

(Untitled, 1958)

(Ohne Titel/Untitled, 1959)

(Le Chemin des Escoliers, 1960)

(Untitled, 1960)

(Untitled, 1962)

(Calvi, 1964)

(Untitled, 1969)

(La Ligne de la Rupture, 1970)

(Sunflower, 1972)

(Barge Peniche, 1975)

(Untitled, 1977)

(Cypress, 1980)

(Hans, 1981)

(Buckwheat, 1982)

(Chord VI, 1987)

(Chord VII, 1987)

(Sunflowers, 1990-1)

(Untitled, 1990)

(Champs, 1990)

(Yves, 1991)

(Ici, 1992)

I really just like the fun in these paintings--despite their absolute abstraction, there is still something natural and botanical about them. She somehow captured the life and the essence of flora in a beautiful, new way. And, because everyone loves a love story, here is a letter she wrote to the artist Michael Goldberg during his six-month stint at the NY State Hospital, where he went "in lieu of serving prison time for writing bad checks on her husband's account." (Washington Post):


Hey beautiful,
Just got your letter . . . -- God you mean a lot to me -- it's never been like this before in my life. I cleaned the studio -- made the bed . . . -- I'm using the paint off your palette -- I feel so close to you . . . -- I'm drinking the beer you left on the windowsill -- & I'm kissing you -- this I do all the time...

Friday, October 29, 2010

a full belly, a birthday, and a new dress!

Oh Friday, sweet Friday :) I'm so delighted that the weekend has come at last! K and I are having a low-key Halloweekend with pumpkin carving, pie-baking, scary movie-watching and probably some candy-eating (if I have anything to say about it)! I'm really excited. It's been so nice spending all of this time with K lately--now that cold weather has hit VT, I'm perfectly content to hibernate in our cozy little abode (and maybe start working on some of those goals).

(dress: Secondi; tights: Ralph Lauren; shoes: Payless)

I bought this dress in DC at an upscale consignment shop, Secondi. At $35, this was one of the cheapest items in the store, and I just couldn't let it slip away. At first I was iffy about the big geometric buttons and the shiny belt, but the sweet sixties-style cut and the perfect plaid pattern sold me in the end. I've been looking for a dress in this exact print for I-don't-know-how-long, and now I have it! The fabric is a really soft felt-like material, and it was actually marked as a "sweater" in the store--but you know me! As long as it covers my bum, it's a dress :) I also didn't notice until this morning that the top button (by the collar) was actually completely different, and worn to white in the middle (!) Being the sly trickster that I am, I colored the blank space with my eyeliner pencil, and Voila! Catastrophe averted.

I was actually realllllly not feeling well yesterday (there should be a law against sickness on birthdays), so we decided to skip the movie (I wanted to see You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, even though the reviews are pretty terrible--I'll be loyal to Woody until the day I die!) and enjoy the delicious dinner that K prepared for me. I woke from my relatively rejuvenating nap to the sweet smell of baked butternut squash, drizzled with butter and maple syrup:

As I watched Project Runway and flipped through my November Vogue (it takes forever for this magazine to get to my door--I guess they figure we're about 20 years behind the times anyway out here), K cooked mushrooms and zucchini in garlic and olive oil. He drained some of the juices into a bowl and brought me chunks of chewy local bread to dip in the deliciousness (for a bread hound like me, this is about as close to heaven as it gets...), then tossed the vegetables with vodka sauce over pasta:

Seriously, this man can cook. By the end of the night, I was miraculously feeling 100% better--and now I'm good as new! That's how a wonderful boyfriend and a bellyful of incredible, yummy comfort food turned my birthday all the way around :)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone! I can't wait to see all of your creative costumes!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

happy new year 2010

I have been alive for one quarter of a century.

(tunic/socks: TJMaxx; skirt: vintage; shoes: Seychelles)

25 (Goals) for my 25(th Year)

1. Finish a first draft of my novel.
2. Try a new recipe every month (at least).
3. Read the Complete Works of Shakespeare.
4. Design and sew a dress.
5. Take a graduate class.
6. Join a gym.
7. Get a new (fancy) camera.
8. Audition for a musical.
9. Make a rag rug.
10. Find my "scent" (Kate Spade Twirl?).
11. Get a haircut (finally).
12. Visit the Newport Mansions.
13. Eat leafy greens.
14. Paint some canvas for the apartment.
15. Stop biting my damn fingernails.
16. Get a keyboard and teach myself to play.
17. Travel somewhere I've never been.
18. Drink 1L of H2O every day (at least)!
19. Make a short film.
20. Sleep more.
21. Stretch more.
22. Get a massage.
23. Go snowboarding.
24. Sip champagne in a hot tub somewhere.
25. Smile!

I've been milking my birthday week for all it's worth--last night I went out for Margarita Night at Julio's with a bunch of my ladyfriends, tonight my wonderful boyfriend is wining and dining me with a delicious home-cooked meal, and tomorrow night we're having dinner with my family to finish off the festivities! I'm such a lucky (and certainly not hungry) girl :)

(Here's what I was up to last year...)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

the ballerina project

This morning I was inspired to simplify.

At first I thought my all-black ensemble was indicative of my feelings on my upcoming birthday (mourning the loss of my youth, perhaps?), but dismissed that notion because I've actually quite come to terms with the big 2-5. I then serendipitously stumbled upon the Ballerina Project (via Rockstar Diaries), and was instantly smitten. I have a fondness for the ballet that I can't quite explain--I'm certainly no swanlike ballerina, and I generally gravitate toward dramatic chaos (as opposed to the stiff discipline of the ballet), but it's just so beautiful. Ballet is, to me, the quintessance of graceful femininity and timeless art.

(dress: TJMaxx; shoes: Payless; glasses: F21; bolero: consignment)

Voila! My homage to ballerina-chic :) And now, the real ballerinas:

Lovely, yes?