Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tile of Seville, Spain

Hola! I returned to a very hot & humid Lafayette, LA, suffering terrible jet lag...not sure why it is so bad this trip, but it is...hopefully I will be back to "normal" (HA!) in the next day or two...any brain work is out at this point so I just want to look at the photos of all of the incredible sights that I was fortunate enough to be exposed to in Spain.

Spain (particularly Seville where these are from) is well known for the tile and ceramic designs produced there and they are spectacular..I am giving you 5 of my favorites in this post...enjoy!
and good night...

the 1st three designs are from the Alcazar in Seville and date to the late 14th/early 15th century..being a geometric pattern freak, I went completely gaga over these...and the designs are as relevant, fresh, and appropriate today as they were back then..

the color combinations are just fantastic...

I've just completed a fabric scheme for a living room in Chicago that I am working on..I was very inspired by these 2 designs when finalizing the color combinations...these are from the Palacio de Lebrija in Seville and date to the 16th century:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The museums of Madrid are incredible! Tim and I saw the 3 majors...Museo del Prado, Museo Thyssen, and the Museum Reina Sofia...all great and musts on any trip to Madrid....For this letter from Spain I am giving you my 5 favorite paintings that I saw at the Prado...
It has become common practice for bloggers to do a give away every now and then to their loyal readers..SO, the first person to respond in the comment section at the bottom of the blog telling me which of these 5 is their favorite and why will receive a book on the Prado Museum as a gift from me...so get your art glasses on (remember you can click on the picture to make it larger to really study it) and let me know which one you love and what it is that you respond to in the painting...Enjoy!

I love the juxtaposition of the new addition with the shrub covered roof with the old building

I am now an urn and statue freak after seeing all of the ones in Spain! these are on the front facade of the Prado

Tim and I were very lucky to have a "guide" with us to see the Prado...our Madrilleno friend Antonio Sanchez Casado who worked in the furniture department of the Prado for a few years and has written books on art took us through the museum....focusing primarily on the masters Goya, El Greco, and Velasquez, we got a wonderful Spanish history lesson through the art...

I am not one to long to look at religious art so you will see that my favorites are not of that sort...

I am now OBSESSED with the paintings of Patinir, an artist I knew about but had not been fortunate of to be exposed to...the use of varying shades of intense blues is fantastic!

Joachim Patinir (1480-1524)
Landscape with Saint Jerome
Oil on Panel
c. 1516/1517

Here again, one of my favorite pieces from the entire trip....

El Bosco (1450-1516)
The Garden of Earthly Delights
Oil on Panel Triptych
c. 1500-1505

Diego Velazquez
View of the Gardens at the Villa Medici, Rome
Oil on Canvas
c. 1630

Another painter whose work I had not seen before, Aureliano de Beruete:

Aureliano de Beruete (1845-1912)
El Manzanares
Oil on Canvas
c. 1908

and the master, de Goya!

Francisco de Goya (1746-1828)
The Strolling Players
Oil on Tin Plate
c. 1793

Don't forget to pick your favorite and let me know which it is....



Friday, June 18, 2010

Hola! from Spain

Hola from Marbella, Spain! I am sorry I haven´t written in the last few days...We were in Madrid until last Saturday, then traveled by fast train (it´s fantastic! and sadly something the USA doesn´t have) to Seville for 2 nights, and have been in Marbella since Monday...today we travel by fast train to Barcelona where we will be until Monday...

This has been a wonderful, wonderful, wonderful trip...I still maintain life-changing and even more so after being here for longer...

Madrid is a city that I have fallen in love with and I will do several posts on the wonders of it in the next week...But for now, I give you Garden of Earthly Delights by El Bosco (Hieronymus Bosch) which I saw at the El Prado Museum in Madrid (again, thanks to Laura & Lisa for making us ¨visita oficial¨ at the museum!)

I had never seen this incredible, incredible triptych painting....It is the type of work that you could see 20 times and find something different each time....

just study a bit...you know you can click on the picture and it will enlarge...

according to the Prado, in this triptych created circa 1500:
"The left panel is dedicated to Paradise, with the creation of Eve and the fountain of life, while the right panel shows hell. The central panel gives its name to the entire piece, representing a garden of life´s delights or pleasures. Between paradise and hell, these delights are nothing more than allusions to sin, showing humankind dedicated to diverse worldly pleasures. There are clear and stronlgly erotic representations of lust, along with others, whose meanings are more enigmatic. The fleeting beauty of flowers and the sweetness of fruit transmit a message of fragility and the ephemeral character of happiness and enjoyment. The seems to be corroborated by certain groups, such as the couple enclosed in a crystal ball on the left, which probably alludes to the popular Flemish saying: "happiness is like glass, it soon breaks."
Hmmm....sounds like the real world to me!..aren´t we always somewhere between paradise and hell? isn´t that reality?
for me it certainly is, but for now....I will continue to enjoy the paradise of this journey in Spain!
Adios Amigos,

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Hola! from Spain..Part 4..Modern Hotel (Paradores Hoteles) & Art Gallery (Galerie Arte Sonado)-La Granja

Hola chicos, chicas, amigos, & amores...
We just arrived in Seville, Spain by train today...another incredibly charming and beautiful city..this is the 7th day of this truly life changing journey..I am a bit tired because we have been moving at a fast pace in order to take it all in...My next few posts will be about Madrid...

This post, however, is my final letter regarding La Granja and the beauty of the village..Juxtaposition, the most important design element, is the focus of these pieces...

First up...Paradores Hoteles:

Housed in the Casa de los Infantes, an 18th century structure constructed by Charles III to house Princes Gabriel & Antonio, a modern beauty exists...we did NOT stay here (La Granja was a day trip for us) but if I come this way again, I will most definitely spend 1 night in La Granja..

While walking down a cobble stoned street, I was stopped in my tracks by the modern glass entry doors tucked behind the ancient carved wooden doors:

the human sculpture was a major clue that there was something VERY interesting going on inside...and boy was there! note the original stone walls with the new sheetrock versions in front..the elaborate crystal chandelier with the modern rug below...

and even a Lewit P floor lamp by Metalarte (a Spanish company) for Hinson & Company (www.hinsonlighting.com) where I worked for 4 of the 8 years that I lived in New York! :

Like many European buildings, a central courtyard awaits you..in the hotel, one side is a courtyard lounge and garden :
and the other, the restaurant:

Who couldn't while away a day here?? the pool is at the top of a hill with stone walls and steps..PERFECT juxtaposition in the form of the glass box structure with the ancient coraly-pinky building behind it:

Just down the street from the hotel, Claudia Schaefer (a friend of our friend Chico) has a wonderful contemporary art gallery..again, look at the cobblestone street, the wonderful shell pink stucco facade and the modern glass entry to the gallery:

The current show at Galerie ArteSonado (www.galerieartesonado.es) is of three photographers..As a photography junkie, I was on cloud nine for the hour or so that we spent there...here are my favorites:

Elixir, 2010 by Pototo

Busto Series by Alberto Villar
**I have selected the middle one for one of my clients..hope it happens!

Note the juxtaposition of the original beamed ceiling (painted white for freshness), the original stone based columns, the new, very crisp neutral stone floor, the modern lighting, & the modern art---YUM!

Noche blanca & Agui y ahora on left by Pototo
Diptico New York on right by Javier Martin de Frutos

I've written three letters regarding La Granja because it is not a place I have ever heard Americans speak of visiting...It is a MUST if you are in Madrid...about an hour and a 1/2 drive from the city..in the mountains..beautiful, beautiful..one night would be enough so that you have a full day and a 1/2 to enjoy the hotel, gallery, & royal palace and gardens..

OK....hope you enjoyed! gotta run so I can take a quick siesta and then head out for Tapas in Seville!

More tomorrow....


Friday, June 11, 2010

Hola, Hola, Hola! Palacio Real de la Granja

And now for the Palacio Real de la Granja....
Unbelievable...Spain's Versailles..
built in the 1700s for King Philip as his summer house...

The palace as seen from the gardens...beautiful, beautiful..and so perfectly symmetrical...for those of you in Lafayette, you'll understand what I mean when I say that it is TOO bad that the owners of the nouveau grande "European" mansions didn't visit this palace before building! particularly the "cherub house" and the multi-structured gated monstrosity on Worth Avenue!

To give you a sense of scale, Tim is 5'6"....the simplicity of the arch and the classic shutters and simple iron railing are just perfection..

vast, vast, vast, vast....

This tower structure is just beautiful..reminds me of pal Robert Smith's tower house on Lake Martin..all very simple details but very, very effective..

Iron work that is, again, perfectly simple and beautiful...

Photos were not allowed in the areas of the house with antiques and art...this floor is an example of where 17th century design is still oh so relevant..in fact, the David Hicks tile collection from Studium utilizes this exact color combination of ivory, caramel, & chocolato..

I fell in love with these interior wood shutters...I recently was shopping for a client at Au Vieux Paris Antiques (www.auvieuxparisantiques.com) in Breaux Bridge, LA, where antique paneling very, very similar to the design of these shutters is available..

this ceiling is exactly the design of the foyer ceiling in a clients house..adds depth and interest in what would otherwise be just a flat ceilinged boring space..

Adios....off to see the Royal Palace of Madrid today!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hola from Madrid Part 2! Gardens at Royal Palace-La Granja

Hola! I can't believe I am on day 7 of my trip to Spain...I am in love with this country on so many levels and for so many reasons but primarily because of the beauty..everything I have seen is just simply spectacular!

On day 2 of our trip, our wonderful friend Chico organized for us to go into the countryside about an hour outside of Madrid. The village of La Granja has buildings dating back to the 15th century and is just lovely..really, stunning..I will do a separate blog on the town in a day or two..

The main draw for people to La Granja is to see the Royal Palace at La Granja and its gardens..the palace dates to the 18th century and was the summer home of royalty of Spain for centuries..It is considered Spain's Versailles..

Here I will show you the gardens..SPECTACULAR!!!!
over 1,500 acres...26 very elaborate fountains..the garden was designed by only French landscape designers from the 1700s...

If you ever make it to Spain, this is a MUST do....

It was quite a big deal for us to get to see this fountain in action--this area of Spain is in a drought and as it relies solely on the reservoir of La Granja for water, restrictions are in place during droughts and fountains can only be working certain times of each week..we arrive in time to see this as people (hundreds) were clapping and cheering...

There are 26 of these bronze fountains throughout the garden..they are breathtaking:

This one is the "Bath of Diana"..the parts that you see that are rough looking are made of actual shell..is is a myth that King Philip V remarked in the late 1700s that "it has cost me three million and amused me three minutes." HA!

The Fountain of Neptuno:

Ahhhhhhh, the colors of the garden.....Japanese Maples (one of my favorite trees) are everywhere, everywhere, everywhere in Spain..also, Rhododendron and Cedars and Jasmine are robust and everywhere...it's a great combination for a garden...the cedar, japanese maples, rhododendron, jasmine

And these Chestnut trees were in full bloom..gorgeous to look at it and sweet, sweet, sweet to smell...

As a designer, I found all of the sculpture and vases to be mesmerizing...VERY detailed and intricately designed..

And here I am happy, happy, happy and giving you a sense of scale...remember I am 5'10"..even in my relaxed stance of repose I am probably 5'8" from ground up and you can see how massive this vase is...

Adios for now! today is our last day in Madrid...we travel by train to Seville tomorrow...
Muchos gracias..

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hola! from Madrid...Part 1

One of my biggest regrets is that I have not attended graduate school to get a masters in Art History or Arts Management...it is something that I must achieve at some point...

BUT, for now travel will have to serve as my graduate school as I see and do and experience life-changing moments and events..staying ahead of the curve (and my competition!) by stepping outside the box of safety and reality of mundane daily life...it is what my clients will benefit from as I stay on top of what the world and not just the South is doing and offering all of us..

HOLA! from Madrid, Spain where I am since Saturday and until this Friday..
Each day has been spent seeing, doing, & studying 4 categories which I will expand upon in blog posts to come...


I am obsessed with these new tables by Moroso..the Ukiyo table is a chic red metal base with the top made of traditional Kimono fabrics pressed with polyester resin.


Yesterday we visited the Museo Reina Sofia where I saw this diptych by Sam Francis, 1956..


a new interest of mine...all things beautiful interest me and gardens are a huge part of any design project...on Sunday we traveled out of Madrid to the mountain side town of Le Granja..this the just one tiny corner of the Royal Palace gardens


classic or modern it always fascinates me...I can stare at a building for hours taking it all in..
this is the Palacio Real de Le Granja which is so massive and detailed that it took about 2.5 hours to tour just the palace

Adios for now!! Daily posts to follow as I explore and learn and become a better designer and art consultant! My clients will thank me later, I know....