Thursday, February 24, 2011

Time and Space



That's me at the front door. A J. Neel Reid house.

 I just flew low over Atlanta trying to find a house I wanted to show you. This is Neel Reid House whose well known to the landed gentry of Atlanta. A brilliant classicist on whose wall I was fortunate to have the opportunity to paint a mural in 1983, (or was it 1984?), a long time ago! Now, I've got some shocking images to show you,  of course the photographs are probably shocking only to me because I can hardly identify what I know to be pictures of me. What was I thinking with those big thick socks and hot pants? Tell me! Fortunately I think the painting I'm doing is not so bad. It was my version of the Chinoiserie in the The Long Gallery at the Royal Pavilion at Brighton. I remember at the time I was so into the Brighton Pavilion. Of course you probably know the Pavilion was built by the Prince Regent whose father was mad King George. Atlanta loves, loves Regency so apparently it rubbed off on me.


Me painting with spectators

I seemed to always be on a ladder

Part of my finished work circa 1984
So why drudge up this ancient history? I guess it's on my mind because I'll soon be paying a visit to Atlanta. Family will be there and possibly some more painting for me too. Don't worry I promise to keep you in the loop.



P.s. If you're still interested I've got a few other posts about Atlanta:

Pompeiian Model

Trompe l'Oeil

Fox Theater

The Ponce

Friday, February 18, 2011

See Food

(Please click on photos to enlarge.)
Hanks Seafood, Charleston. My frieze is in here!

I just finished reading Alice Waters and Chez Panisse: The Romantic, Impractical, Often Eccentric, Ultimately Brilliant Making of a Food Revolution by Thomas Mc Namee. It came out a few years ago but my sister just gave it to me for my birthday recently and I ate it up like a scrumptious clafoutis.

studio view
studio view
The first time I visited San Francisco as an adult I offered to take my host to dinner toward the end of my stay. "Anywhere" I said. As luck would have it we grabbed a reservation within just about 24 hours. The normal time lag for garnering a table at Chez Panisse is often a month or months but I was blithely unaware. The specialness of Chez Panisse was unknown to me. This was 1988. Since then I've been there more times than I can remember so it should be apparent that I "got it".

My frieze installed
Now anyone who visits a good restaurant in the U.S. is likely benefiting to some degree from the Chez Panisse effect. Charleston, South Carolina has become something of a foodie town. (Alice does not approve of that term: foodie. I like it fine.) There are so many good restaurants there and I'm happy to have my work in a couple of them. When I painted the frieze for Hanks Seafood I was definitely thinking of food, good food. My palette was meant to suggest freshly boiled lobster, raw oysters, creamy seafood bisque, you know, yummy.

Hanks interior showing my frieze.

Hanks interior showing my frieze.

Hanks Seafood waiters waiting to serve you.

I had some fun painting the frieze and it was sort of a surprise to me. I assemble the ingredients: the imagery, the palette, and the materials and just started painting with no preparatory sketches. I think this is sort of the way Alice works. You take really good ingredients and put them together without a lot of fuss. I followed that other Waters dictate too: use local. The background imagery comes from sea charts of the low country and many of the fish depicted are served in the restaurant.


Have you eaten yet?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ready For My Close-Up



 I saw Nixon in China today. It was a live broadcast from the New York Metropolitan Opera at Frank Sinatra Hall, USC. No doubt it is thrilling in person but the close-ups we got were amazing and I'm sure much more than those in NYC could see even front row center. Peter Sellars himself directed the broadcast and he seemed to have a number of flying cameras at his disposal.






But I digress because this post isn't about opera or Adams but Chase as in Linda Chase. Of course I'm in this too. I'll be your mirror, reflect who you are, in case you don't know. Linda Chase is one of the most chic decorators I've never met. Well, we've met on the phone but really we should meet in person. I know I'm ready for my close-up (look) at Nu-Vignette, Linda's new chic little shop in Summerland.





Linda has a number of my mirror images at Nu-Vingnette and she sent me close-ups (photos) taken in the shop which should whet your appetite for seeing the real thing. If Summerland's too long a drive from where you are go to Amazon or some other bookseller and order Linda's fabulous book on Beidermeier. Yes, she wears a lot of hats. Hats are back, you know?
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