Sunday, July 31, 2011

God Save Mcqueen

Tomorrow without fail I will get my sorry ass to the Met to see this show that I'm told hemorrhages inspiration! I can use some about now. Not sure if it's the heat or the down time of July/August but I need a hardcore injection of visionary genius apparently sitting on the bruised mannequins at The Metropolitan Museum. Mcqueen turned the art form of fashion on it's head, my only question is why is Sarah Jessica Parker the show's narrator? Only in America guys! I say they missed the boat with Tilda Swinton. Hope to be back swiftly with a report.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Scents

Summer, although limited in range, has it's own charm with it's wildflowers and grasses and drought loving herbs. Now is the best time of the year for the fragrant greens with their tiny blossoms conjuring all types of uses making you both hungry and thirsty at once. You'll be seeing a lot more on this blog in the next few weeks so get down with it cause I'm breaking into it them all and the mini pears, apples, figs and beautiful vegetables that come right alongside them in the crates at Union Square.
Lest we forget, it's also Zinnia, Dahlia and Cosmo time! I love the lovely flirts how can one not?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tree of Heaven

There's an invasive tree growing everywhere and having lovely giant apple green pods that turn fleshy pink. It's called the Tree of Heaven or Ghetto Palm or Stink Tree. It was the tree that Betty Smith wrote about in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. And yes, it certainly does! All over Brooklyn!
Apparently it was brought over from China when Chinoiserie was all the rage. It's overly zealous ambitions to spread quickly made it unpopular as well as it's noxious odor which I thankfully have yet to experience- perhaps the trees I have encountered are all female( the male species emits a foul smell to attract insects for pollination). Needless to say the tree gets a formidably bad rap and deserves it but here the pods have been mixed with apple branches, dusty miller and garden roses in the company of other citrus lime/yellow parings. It's a nice cool summer mix calling to mind lemonade and lemon ices but it was the rain that ultimately made me happier today.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Artist's License

Beau Chamberlain
Breathing Was the Easy Part

Beau Chamberlain
Apartment Living 2008

Beau Chamberlain is an wonderful artist that shares a studio space on the same floor my studio is on. He was throwing out this large cardboard that he has used to paint his whimsical paintings on for years. I grabbed it from him and asked if I could have it as a backdrop. I think he was a little tickled and shared in the appreciation of it's random paint marks, a direct product of his perfectly executed compositions of fantasy organisms in universes all their own. I thought I would dedicate this post to him and sought to make a still life reflecting his worlds because each of his paintings inhabits their own individual cosmos.
Then as I searched the fridge for specimen and went foraging in the 100 degree heat for unusual flora that might live in his paintings. A whole new palette emerged for me. Flowers I would never think of mixing somehow worked together in a lyrical circus of color and shapes.
And then as I photographed them the light in the room and the colors reminded me of another artist whom I was lucky enough to have known and called a friend.
Loren MacIver was the first woman to be asked to show at the Venice Biennial in 1962. When I met her she was 86 years old. The last of a breed, Loren lived in a truly original bohemian studio on Perry Street. She told me stories of Billy Holiday visiting her there with EE Cummings and playing the piano for her and her husband, the poet Lloyd Frankerberg.
They were tight with Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore and Dylan Thomas to name a few. Loren would tell me stories of her time in Paris. About the "white" dinner of potatoes and cauliflower that Dubuffet would send up to her studio in a bucket hoisted by a pully.
We would watch old black and white films and she would share her favorites like Jean Cocteau, Marcel Marceau, and Jean Harlow.
How do Beau and Loren coexist in the same blog post? I suppose they both used a similar palette of colors since his painting board and my flowers brought me to recall Loren's paintings.
And that palette enabled me to break out of my usual and bring together photography and flowers in ways I would never have thought had it not been for Beau or Loren.

Thank you for helping me see better!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Self-Serving Passiflora

Antique medicine bottles with Agapanthus, White Brodiaea, Passion flower vine and Cypress Vine

The passion flower is as evasive as the emotional state it's named after. How many times have I taken on the risk of buying them for an event only to spend days hoping and wondering if the expensive bulbous buds will open? The day comes and more often than not, I use it's expressive foliage but no flower. I swear it has a mind of its own! The next day I'll come into the studio and sure enough there it is composing an epiphany all it's own.
Selfish little bastards!
Still I must admit the thrill I get when they open and grateful for the privileged of witnessing it's lusty show.
I've noticed it seems to open best when cut and placed in hot water then left alone in a moderately cool environment. It's all a game of timing and patience like most of the best things in life.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Violets are Blue

Delphiniums, Anemones, Passion Vine, Lavender, Agapanthus, Phlox and Geranium in a broken clay pot set into an iron urn,

Thursday, July 14, 2011


It's hot and sweaty in the city and the plum trees are relentlessly dense with burgundy leaves. I began with a study in dark burgundy which morphed into a purple and magenta story. It made me think of Billy Holiday, all bruised, sleepy eyed and woozy- where blood and tears collide and the mood is dark and saturated with longing and foreboding shadows but not without hints of innocence and fragility.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cy Twombly RIP

curious insect markings on a lovely weed on n6th - willyburg

Friday, July 8, 2011

Plum Crazy!

Arrangement of Early Summer Plum Branches, Chippendale Garden Roses, Peonies and Begonias

Rainy days don't get me down. I spent the day cleaning the studio and finally making this arrangement to share with you. Flowers are so pretty in the rain. These were placed on the fire escape while the water pattered down on it. It looked like a micro garden. Speaking of which, I just got a call from The Brooklyn Queens Land Trust and I have the official go ahead to start tending a local community garden which has been neglected!!!
Yes Sirree!
Northside Garden!
A lovely patch of land run by the BQLT on N5th St and Driggs. This rain should make weeding much easier and satifying!!
The new chapter begins......

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Give 'em Romance

Feels like I haven't had a chance to breath between back to back consultations, samples and appeasing the gods, (that is the clients that be). But I say this in a spirit of appreciation! The studio has been host to a few fantasy maquettes of installations that are being proposed for next year. I'm officially on the bandwagon with the vintage "do- it yourself" design paradigm that is currently saturating the bridal blogosphere. It's sweet it's romantic and it touches a nerve of comfort that the event world has been craving for some time now. Martha of course has been doing it all along with her crafty throw backs which are always so quaint and frankly all American- something I am certainly not. But I love martha, spelled in lower case because I speak of her, not personally, but as an aesthetic.
I am working with a bride on a wedding for next year. She proposed that we use hand made paper flowers as accents in a garden like environment. I suggested that we string garlands and lanterns and have the wispy flowers loosely "growing" from the greenery. On the table we assembled a still life of antique bottles, lanterns, candles, etc... All in all, a very whimsical effect was achieved.
The other images are from the treatment for an escort card table blanketed with Plumosa Fern and Ivy and Illuminated by various pewter candles.
These are not original ideas but they are beautiful and resonate with the new sentimental romantic bride.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Morning Glory: Love you

The seedlings are starting to show blossoms! Morning glories are greeting me as I arrive to the studio. Here I caught a few before the day gave way and the small glowing trumpets shriveled up before my eyes..... But all is not lost, the flower of affection will love again tomorrow morning.