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Dec 20, 2014

Designing a room around Artwork

The challenge thrown to me by Jordan of was too good to resist, and one that I've not tried before - Pick one or more painting(s) from the site and design a room around it.

Invaluable is an online auction marketplace of fine and decorative arts, antiques, collectibles, and estate sales. The live online bidding platform allows collectors to bid in real-time on auctions held around the world.

I devoured the site, and here are three pieces I loved for their colors, richness, and stillness in anticipation of beautiful movement.

   and  and   
I dig huge paintings, and so my ideal size would be anything above 36inchx36inch each.
Striking and would definitely serve as conversation starters in any room!

Now how do I do justice to these works of art?
Let me take you through my idea. Imagine...
this dark color palette: Blue, green, black, grey, red. Let's assume there's this room blessed with loads of natural light streaming in through tall French windows facing a small green patch outdoors.
To start with, I'd bathe the walls in this lovely blue, and this exact texture:

Throw in one black Vicenza two-seater from Urban Ladder, and three of these armchairs from 1stdibs (three instead of two to create a more informal trio). 

This beautiful round grey rug in the center... a huge one

This Esquelet chandelier from Fenton & Fenton, again in a nuge grey in order not to take much attention away from the artwork...

Now for the corners:
A deep-brown tower-shelf, displaying pottery in shades of blue, green, jade like this one (I'm talking colors like these)
with this tall buddy next to it

Would pump in some poufs in neutrals for that added texture

And a succulent group on the opposite corner to balance it out. I'd pick this Gilmore table from Urban Ladder and cover the tabletop entirely with succulents potted in silver cups and containers...

Done! Now let's bring these ideas together:

This would create enough interesting points of interest in the room. If it were me, I'd be struck by these paintings first, my eyes would then dart around to take in the accent pieces and plants, and my attention would eventually come back to these huge, beautiful works of art! What do you say??

(Click on the pictures to go to their rightful sources)

Dec 6, 2014

Transforming Spaces with Art: 8 Creative Ways to Display Art

Art transforms, and how!

Walls (the obvious), get an instant facelift with artwork on them. But let's try breaking some norms... knock some of your art off the walls and see if you agree with me.

Read on. A few of these are brilliant ideas especially for those staying in rented homes, where hammering nails on the walls is equivalent to drilling holes into your landlord's chest ;-)

Plonking them against the wall, on the floor

Chalkboard art behind ledges! Let's call it interactive art.

Putting them back where they came from... where else, on an easel :-) I admit having a secret crush on this one.

Position it in unexpected spots, say in your kitchen 
or your bathroom, above the sink, above doors, or above a shoe rack

Inside or in front of bookshelves

On Stools/Chairs that are seldom used

Or just plonking them on shelves adding character to your vignettes

And there, you have a fresh way to add that element of surprise and interest to your home. And more so to honor the artist whom you bought the piece from.

And, I hope you haven't missed this popular post on how Aradhana Anand has transformed her home with her art collection.

Do tell me if you've done something radically different showcasing your art collection, I'm all ears! 

Nov 29, 2014

Art & Artisans of Fez & Asilah: Morocco on my mind

The first thing that ever got me hooked to Morocco/Marrakech was the blog 'My Marrakech' (now M.Montague) by Maryam Montague. Maryam's blog tantalized me by weaving rich images with stories from the faraway land.

And just as Maryam says in her book Marrakesh by Design, "Moroccan style is attainable yet exotic, practical yet mysterious" and that's exactly what got me hooked!

The arts and artisanship of the country speaks much to me. There's amazing craftsmanship and detailing in the everyday life and architecture of Morocco, to say the least. Let me share with you readers, my wishlist and a travel plan for artsy bohemian MoroccoJust hop in, lets walk through cobblestone sidewalks, leather tanneries, visit artisans and vibrant markets and much moreI would be delighted if this ever helps you planning a trip to this rustic land! 

Aside of Marrakech and other places (which are definitely not to be missed), I'd wander longer at Fez (Morocco's capital of art and crafts) and Asilah (a seaside town near Tangier). 

Fez first. Would ideally visit artisan workshops with a native Fassi guide, walk it through the labyrinthine Medina with its teeming local markets and workshops, eat local food and wander with artistic purpose. I long to visit the backyard workshops of the traditional craftsmen – zellij tile masters, weavers, tanners, coppersmiths and potters. And not just watch them in action, but to go slow, meet them and try out some of the techniques myself.
However if time is a constraint, I'd choose to go through Culture Vultures Fez and let them do my local planning

The leather tanneries of Fez: Imagine giant watercolor pools like these!
These are in fact leather dyeing vats "containing natural vegetable dyes, such as poppy flower (red), indigo (blue), henna (orange), cedar wood (brown), mint (green), saffron (yellow), and pomegranate powder." These tanneries process the hides of animals, transforming them into leather products - all manually. The process has apparently remained unchanged "since medieval times, which makes these tanneries absolutely fascinating to visit." (as seen on the AmusingPlanet)

Roam the Fez Medina to catch up with  the classical artisans at work 

and plenty more. Watch this video by the Exposé Artisanal project for just a teaser.

Would any one want to miss the carpet auctions in the Middle Atlas Mountains??
Also take off to visit textile weavers in the little caves and co-ops of the village Immouzer (off Fez).

Of course, with this heady cocktail of arts and crafts anyone would be hungry as hell. So then do a Food Tour Through Fez with Plan-It Fez or Fez-Food. That would be a perfect end to your stay in the city. Slurrrrp! 

And then onto the fortified fishing village of Asilah.
Not to be missed by art and design lovers. For me the idea of "cobalt blue–painted window frames, emerald carved doors, fruit stands selling fresh orange juice, and donkey-drawn carts clattering down sun-dappled alleys" is pure blissAdd to it that Asilah is a village "so blessedly removed from Morocco’s tourist-filled cities". The walls of this village appear to be splattered with graffiti, calligraphy and other gorgeous work as I browse through a hundred stunning images. Here are some teasers for you!

Must visit these hole-in-the-wall stores
and hunt for paintings and antiques in Alkamra
and swoon over calligraphy as effortless and bold as this!

That last image does it for me. Just this virtual trip gives me a Happy-High... Morocco has to happen someday!

Must mention this too... apart from impromptu travel planning with the help of local hands, alternatively if you are in India and looking for India-based travel planners who help with customizable travel packages, you could check out Discover Morocco by I haven't checked it out myself, but they do have some interesting plans for hassle-free travel.
Some others organizers I found are  TheWanderersTUI, and EquinoFunHolidays.

Art and craft tours (virtual for now) is something I'd thoroughly enjoy doing, It has fit perfect into my blog calendar and I intend to continue it as a series, so keep watching this space. You can drop in anytime and check the Artful Home & Travel tab above for updates.

Click on the pictures to go to their rightful sources.
And a Disclaimer: I may or may-not have visited these places or used the services of the links mentioned in this series. All suggestions based on my research and tastes. Leave it to you to take a shot at them :)

Nov 22, 2014

More Beautiful, Beautiful Artist Videos

These artists-in-action inspire me no end. As they work on their canvases, creating beauty out of their fingers and right brains, I am filled with a sense of awe which pushes me to Get Up and Create.
You might have come across these videos someplace or the other... yet watch them again, soak in the magic, be inspired to handcraft a thing of joy, out of nothing!

Just watch this beauty by artist Jai Vasicek and be amazed.
"Expect bold colours, tropical motifs and ladies draped in vibrant textiles and jewellery"
Video via the Malachi exhibition by the artist at Fenton and Fenton. A post on Jai Vasicek and his work is warranted, and coming up soon!

Here's another video - Kelly Rae Roberts, a hugely successful artist and "possibilitarian"
This colorful video was shot by Vivienne McMaster and view it in Kelly Rae's own words "We spent an entire afternoon in and around my studio and she took photos and videos of the studio, of me, of my cowgirl boots, of my paints, and more. There was dancing involved. And skipping. And other ridiculous silly fun."

And this one was a bonus find for me, in the sense that it let me into Indian artist Aarohi Singh's home, a glimpse of her studio (albeit before the gorgeous painted walls), and some of her work which I hadn't come across otherwise... view it here!

If you loved these, don't miss my earlier post on a few more beautiful artist videos.
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