Wednesday, June 30, 2010

a contrast of old & new

A few more pictures from the walk I talked about yesterday. Funny these buildings are on the same street. One looks brand new and the other looks like...well, see for yourself.

What I love about the photo below are the flowers in the window. Most buildings like this are very charming on the inside. I would love to see the inside!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

old & beautiful books

Steven and I were house and cat sitting for friends last week. It is always fun to house sit as it puts us in a part of town that we usually don't wonder around in. We go to this area but usually with a purpose, not to just wonder and window shop. Well, Sunday we wondered and wondered and came across an old book shop. Unfortunately, it was closed but I got some good photos through the window.

A unique thing about Hungary is that you will see Hungarian folk motifs on everything! From book spines to meat packaging! I love it!

Friday, June 25, 2010

work in progress: 3 panel wallhanging

Months ago (many months ago) friends of mine bought one of my silk wall hangings. They brought it home and hung it up and realized it looked very tiny on their big wall. So, they commissioned me to paint a three panel piece. They have been patiently waiting and will be surprised to read that I have finally begun the process.

the original piece they bought and the inspiration behind the 3 panels
Working with 3 panels is a challenge. I want each panel to look good by itself but I need for all three to look cohesive when they are next to each other. It was really hard to get started this time. They like the original piece they bought but they want something a little different.

The beginning. Sketching out the ideas on paper.
Each panel sketch is about 11" x 17" (A3 size).
The panels will be much larger when it is painted.sketch of middle panel
I scan my sketch into the computer so I can play with color and composition more easily.
The painting will look more hand done than the image below.
(It looks really flat because of the computer.)

There is still lots of work to do but I am pleased with the direction I am moving in. Any thoughts? I could use some feedback. Do you think there are too many leaves?

After the design is approved I will enlarge it to actual size and then print it out. This will get placed behind the silk and used as a guide when I put the resist on. So, stay tuned for more...

Years ago I worked on a three panel piece for friends Hillary and Krishna. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed seeing the smiles when we finally hung it. We worked together on colors so it would complement what they already had in the room.

At the time I was hanging silk from metal rods.
Currently I am stretching the silk on wooden frames.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Night of Museums

Saturday was "Night of Museums". This is an annual event held around the summer solstice during which museums in Hungary keep their doors open until late night and offer special programs. We headed over to two of my favorites places to check out what was happening.

First, we went to my friends gallery, Eventuell, where they were having an exhibition about Marimekko. The colors and patterns of Marimekko looked great in her gallery! They had a singer and a wonderful pianist perform. (The pianist also happens to be her 12 year old daughter - a master pianist in the making!)

I actually showed up a day early to get a few good photos of the exhibit before the crowds showed up. Glad I did or I would have no photos.
A new Marimekko fabric called "fox" to be released this fall.
I love this print! The colors and painterly feel make it a bit different for their collection. I am use to the more graphic 3 color prints.

Next we headed over to the Iparművésyeti Múzeum. They had so much going on! Along with their permanent exhibits, there was artists selling their handmade items, a room reserved for watching Bollywood movies, and live music. The below pictures were taken at around 11 pm. The place was hopping! (I ended up buying a beautiful silk painted top from the artist! I will post photos soon.)
Mitsoura - a Hungarian band with a very unique sound. Check them out on last fm here. They sounded great on Saturday!
To wrap up the evening we headed over to one of out new favorite bars, Jelen. It reminds us of Seattle with its relaxed atmosphere and arty feeling.
If you are in Budapest next year for this event. I would really recommend going. You pay one price (1200 ft - about $5.25) and this gets you into all the museums for the day. You get special exhibits and events, music and craft fairs. A great deal and an exciting and inspiring evening!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

design project: Europe2You

I am so excited to be able to share with you one of the projects I have been working on. I have been working with Stacy Borocz from Europe2You on designing a collection of Suzani inspired plates. She will be launching these new designs next month at the The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market. I can not wait to hear the feedback from her clients!

The pizza plate on an antique trivet.
I have a true appreciation for what Stacy does. She works with potters on the countryside, using traditional methods and molds, tweaking the designs to be more modern for her contemporary customer. Her strong creative vision mixes old and new so well it is hard to tell one from the other.

The below photo is my plate design mixed with some of Stacy's antiques.
I think they look great together. What do you think?

The below plate is a sample the potter made.
He took my designs but only did the line work. I think it works.

Below are some other pieces that Stacy sells. The idea behind the "Suzani" plates is that they can be mixed and matched with her existing collection. Think of them as great accent pieces!
To see more of what Stacy offers and to see photos of the factory, visit her website at You can also become a fan on Europe2You's facebook page. Click here to become a fan.

PS. Stacy is going to let me tag along on one of her next factory visits. I will be sure to take photos of the process and post them here!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

new website is LIVE!

Finally, after 2 years of procrastinating, months of planning and weeks of tweaking, my new website is up!

A little background on the is hosted in the USA, it was designed in Hungary and developed in Estonia! Rene (my amazingly patient web developer) and I never meet face to face to talk about the site. Everything was done via email and Skype. This is a true testament to the fact that you do not need to be located in the same town, state or even country to work on a project successfully.

Thank you Rene for all your help and patience!

Click here or on the image below to get to my new site!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

my summer studio

The weather has turned from rain and cold to sun and warmth. I am so grateful! Tuesday I could not bring myself to sit indoors in front of my, I moved it outdoors. In the morning it was coffee, laptop and emails and a blog and then the afternoon was paints, magazines and roses in bloom. Our flat is small but it is perfect! Who can pass up a private rose garden?

our garden and my summer studio in full bloom
being inspired by leaves and roses
looking up...hmmm could this be a print in the works?I took loads of photos of the roses but the reds always loose their definition.
If I turn the photo to black and white in Photoshop it looks pretty good. Does anyone have any photo advice on how to photograph reds?

colors & textures - rust & decay

Recently, I have become really drawn to artwork with texture. It started with fine art and collage. I have seen this trend becoming stronger and stronger-or maybe I am just hyper aware since I love it. I love the colors, the depth, the layering.

I do not know the artist to the painting below.
If you have info on who this is, please let me know so I can give proper credit.
Claire Basler. I love her work. If you haven't been to here website you must check it out!
I started using textures in my own digital artwork and I am craving to try an oil painting where I can experiment and let loose. I will keep you posted on this.

For me and my digital work, textures add depth and interest to what would have been pretty flat artwork. However, I am always struggling with creating the textures, making them look interesting and spontaneous.

Well, two weeks ago Steven and I spent a few days with friends in a small town in Hungary called Döbrönte. We took a walk around town (which was a pretty short walk since it is a really small town) and I found some great inspiration. Check out the images below.

Closeups of houses and buildings. I really like the colors.
The colors of rust and decay-who thought they could be so beautiful!
I love these old buildings-they are everywhere in Hungary.
I can totally visualize a wonderful garden and a cute little
table and chairs. The gate - I would not change a thing. The colors are fantastic!
Feels like something I would see in Mexico.
What kind of trends are you seeing in the art world that are over flowing into the design world? Any prediction? Do you have any artist you recommend I look into? I would love your opinion.

Friday, June 4, 2010

color boards and inspiration

Finally finished. 18 months of magazines, tearing out all the images and articles I like and then compiling them onto pages for my inspiration book. I return to this book when I am creatively stumped or am needing some color inspiration. I guess I am feeling a bit that way now and thought this would help.

Magazine tears waiting to be sorted. This stack is about 2cm high-lots of images.
Below are 3 of the 22 pages I put together.
What do you do when you are creatively stumped? Do you have a routine or something that helps motivate you? I would love to hear you thoughts. I am always looking for advice on how to get the creative juices flowing.