Blue and White Monday: One Room Challenge


So, so much inspiration in all of the many recent One Room Challenge projects.  I'm sharing glimpses today of blue and white from both the 20 Wednesday participants and the Thursday linkers



These last three are images I didn't include in my ORC family room project post.  I love this last one that shows my new and gorgeous Reagan Geschardt painting behind the ginger jar : )


Q & A with Artist Elise Morris


Today, I'm thrilled to share artist Elise Morris and her breathtaking work with you.  This room was designed by Katie Rosenfeld, one of my favorite interior designers.  The spectacular painting she used here is by Elise Morris, one of my favorite artists. 

Elise's work strikes me as ethereal and delicate while being strikingly beautiful. Immediately upon being introduced to her work, I became enthralled.  I know you'll love both learning about Elise and seeing her lovely work.  

 Living Capture

How/why did you first begin creating art?

When I was a child, making stuff was always a big part of my life. I found a way to draw and paint whenever I could. In Kindergarten I did portraits of all my classmates, down to the details of their shoes and hairstyles. I made illustrated books and little dolls, and furnished a doll house with furniture made from found materials. I then started a painting class when I was 7 or 8, working with oil paint. I learned how to mix colors in gradations and set up a paint palette with the colors properly placed.  But we were copying paintings in order to learn how to paint. I have since had to unlearn the rules and make up my own.

 Flutters End

What influences your work most?

I am most influenced by my daily experiences outdoors - I notice light and shadows, reflections and shapes, and above all color.  I am constantly collecting images to bring back to my studio. I am also looking for the feeling of being immersed in something larger than myself. There is an endless supply of inspiration out there for me.

 Reaping Shadows 4

How has social media affected the world of art, and beyond that, you specifically?

Making connections is suddenly much easier, and sharing the process of making work has been surprisingly engaging. I follow other artists on Instagram, and have found a wonderful little community there. It feels supportive and inspiring, and I don't think I expected that.  It's been fun to send out studio shots and get some nice feedback within a few minutes. Social media also seems to level the playing field a bit - when it comes down to it, we're all just in our studios making stuff, and looking for some kind of connection.  A year and a half ago I started a blog called The Studio Work in which I document studio visits with Bay Area artists - a project that has literally connected me to an amazing group of artists.

 Dawn's Patience

How do you create your optimal environment for painting? Do you use music? If not, is there another way you generate a climate conducive to painting?

I can't paint with music at all!  I find it terribly distracting. Lately, though, I have taken to listening to a bunch of different podcasts - everything from Astrophysics to parenting issues.  It seems to engage a different part of my brain and I can more freely focus on my work. I love TED Radio Hour, Radiolab, The Moth, Snap Judgement, Freakanomics and many others.

 Sylvan Span 2

What item in your studio do you consider indispensable? 

My studio is pretty bare bones but very usable. I have big white walls and all my supplies are on a rolling metal cart. Since my studio is a detached garage next to my home, it faces my yard. We just planted our vegetable garden for summer, and I have several fruit trees and a chicken coop, all right outside my studio door. In winter my indispensable items are my parabolic heater and tea kettle!

 Gold's Reach 3

What is your favorite museum?

I truthfully love them all - well at least the ones I've been to! Musee D'Orsay might take the cake with that gorgeous light. Taking my son to museums that I love will certainly give them new meaning.

 Cadent Span 3

What priceless, well-known piece of art would you most like to own?

Just as I love all museums, I also love all paintings. But, I would love to chance to live with something over time - a spectacular and spare Agnes Martin painting, or a lush light-filled Bonnard.  I could also live inside Monet's huge water lilies painting (I'm old school I guess) - it's so much larger than you would think - three panels that are 6 ft by 13 ft each. I gasped when I saw it in person at the MoMA.  I could easily make a wish list that was 100 pages long.

 Shadow Play 2

 Quiet Call 3

 Light's Fall

 Lines Stray 2.2

A huge thank you to Elise for taking the time to tell us about herself.  I'm amazed by Elise's talent, and very much enjoyed learning more about her.  I highly recommend visiting her website where you can see many more of her breathtaking paintings and also incredible images of installations and exhibitions.  


Blue and White Monday


This is a photo from my recent One Room Challenge family room project. Problems with my exactly six year old computer (Mother's Day gift) kept me from sharing most of the photos Thursday.  I've added lots of images over the weekend, and you won't be surprised that many contain blue and white -- perfect for Blue and White Monday.  Go here to see more.


One Room Challenge: Spring 2015 Finale


It's the final week of Calling It Home's One Room Challenge Linking Event, and I'm excited to share my project with you.  This is the second time I've worked in this room as part of ORC.  You can see the first project and the "before" images here

The focal point of the room is the mantel, and what's over it is unquestionably the most important element in the entire space.  I couldn't be more thrilled with our new Reagan Geschardt painting. As the largest most visible aspect of the room, it was mandatory that this painting both work with what I already had, and be enough of a statement to function as the centerpiece.  I knew Reagan could pull this off easily. She's amazing, and this piece is absolutely beautiful and perfect for our family room.  Below are a couple of detail shots of the painting that I couldn't resist adding. Isn't this incredible?!

The painting leaning against the mirror on the chest is one of three fantastic watercolors Christina Baker painted for this space.  The last time I redesigned our family room, I ignored this wall.  I'm so happy to finally have something happening on that side of the room, and Christina's paintings are the best part of it without a doubt.

While my new lamp came as a bit of a shock, I've gotten used to it now, and love it.  I ordered it completely misunderstanding its size. Not sure how that happened, but I was expecting a lamp a third smaller.  The shade I'd intended to use looked actually laughable.   Thank goodness for the very helpful and talented ladies at The Lamp Shop who saved the day by finding the perfect size shade and this fantastic acrylic finial.  If you're in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, I highly recommend them.

The bookcases are on the wall opposite.  They were by far the hardest part of this for me. I have no experience styling, and find this type of job intimidating.  For days I just stared at the shelves and my books/art/items on the floor. Finally, when the photography appointment was imminent and there was  no longer a choice, I started placing things on shelves in somewhat of a panic. I know things will move around a lot more before I feel like the bookcases are finished.

This is the wall opposite the mantle and one on which we are too often focused (blaming Netflix).  The stacks under the TV are usually in disarray as I'm constantly pulling books to turn pages as I semi-watch TV.  That wall would stay much neater if I learned to needlepoint.

While our family room retains the same general look as before, changes and additions were made that improve it.  The removal of the ceiling fan was a huge enhancement. I'm an admirer of Meg Braff's work, and have noticed several rooms she's designed in which she used a white chandelier with white shades.  It's an understated, quiet look I really like.  As my house is a Colonial Revival, a Williamsburg style fixture fits right in.  I found this awhile back at my favorite local consignment store, On Consignment, and had it painted white.

I should have switched the fan for a fixture when I redid this space three years ago.  What a difference it makes!

The blue and white planters I had in front of each window were smaller than these.  The pattern was also lighter.  Having the larger fishbowl planters with the stronger pattern definitely makes more of a statement.  

Accessories are subject to change frequently at my house.  I've used various blue and white items on the mantle through the years to flank the art.  Before deciding what to use for this project, I wanted to wait until Reagan's painting was hung.  Her gorgeous work has so much motion that I imagined vases with greenery or flowers as being possibly busy and less complimentary.  The size of these ginger jars is perfect for the mantle, and I love the acrylic bases with them.

I posted about the book Sophistication Is Overrated here, and seeing it on my coffee table makes me happy!  The authors, sisters Susan Palma and Babs Horner, are such amazing, lovely, fun, talented ladies whom I just love.  This book is one of my favorite additions to our family room : )

As always, it's been such a treat to be involved with ORC.  Linda's idea to have bloggers finish a room together was brilliant.  ORC continues to be a great experience for both participants and readers, and, oh my, how it has grown!  Very impressive, Linda!

A big thank you to Jimmy Zeilan who not only photographed my project beautifully, but who was also extremely patient with my never ending attempts at fine tuning.

Be sure to go enjoy all of the amazing transformations at Calling It Home.

In the unlikely event that you missed the 20 ORC participants' spectacular projects, the links are below.  You won't want to miss!



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