Trace @ Art (Basel) Week MIAMI 2012

12/09/2012 § Leave a comment

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Is it just me or is Art Basel weekend growing exponentially by the year? Unfortunately for us 9 – 5 Miami-Dade residents, there’s so much to see (20+ shows) and so little time!

Every year I focus on the main event at the Convention Center, so this year I thought I’d mix it up:

Thursday I went to Peace on Earth, an art fundraising event by For The Cause Events benefitting Planting Peace @ FIFTY in The Viceroy. I decided to do my part by bidding on and actually won a photograph that’s already up in my living room!

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at Design Miami (the sister event to Art Basel with a focus on collectible design) and today I’m dedicating to Scope (a large fair in Midtown for emerging contemporary artists and galleries).

I’m about to get out the door for an early brunch to prep me for another day of art. So, the news will come first, the photos will follow in a few days time!

Check back for:

Design Miami/2012 HIGHLIGHTS

Scope Miami 2012 – Emerging ART

Happy Sunday!

Renata

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The Magical Alhambra in Granada

11/26/2012 § 1 Comment

Precedents, vol.1

It was first year, first week of studio, when my professor suggested I research the Alhambra in Granada, Spain. Off I went to the silent Richter stacks to begin an exercise that would lead me, four years later, to the actual orange courtyards of Andalusia.

I didn’t know then, but I was to soon fall in love with the romanticism of this place and the past it represented.

Of course, the illustrations I found from numerous 19th century Orientalists didn’t help at all! These artists depicted exotic (and at times erotic) notions of what life would have been like in the Alhambra when it was still inhabited by the Nasrid rulers (around 889 – 1492). Claude Debussy wrote songs for it & Washington Irving wrote a collection of stories while living in the complex, called the “Tales of the Alhambra“. There’s no wonder I got this romantic notion about the place that could only be satiated by a flight to Madrid, a rental car, and a road trip South to Andalusia.

What follows is a collection of the 19th century illustrations alongside photos from my trip of the same spaces being depicted. For the most part, they are in consecutive order that I walked through the palace and shot them.

There is so much history and legends surrounding this palace complex I thought it’d be best to leave them to the experts and just wet your appetites with photos. If you’re intrigued and would like to know more about the history of the Alhambra, please visit: Alhambra.org

On the way up the hill to the Alhambra…

The Gate of Justice – by Asselieneau, 1853

The Gate of Justice on a cold day in December…

The Patio del Cuarto Dorado – by Frans Wilhem Odelmark, 1889

The Patio del Cuarto Dorado on a busy afternoon…

Detail on opposite wall of the Patio del Cuarto Dorado…

Patio de Comares – by Asselieneau, 1853

Patio de Comares

Detail of door at Patio de Comares

Sala de Los Embajadores – The Day after a Victory at the Alhambra by Jean Joseph Benjamin Constant, 1882

Detail in the Sala de los Embajadores (at the far end of the Patio de Comares)

Arab Baths on East side of the Palacio de Comares

Patio de los Leones – by Asselineau, 1853

Daguerrotype by N.M.P. Lerebours from mid-1800′s

Patio de los Leones

Sala de las Hermanas – Asselineau, 1853

Sala de los Abencerrajes – Asselineau, 1853

Ceiling at the Sala de las Abencerrajes

The Partal Palace portico

View of Granada, Spain from the Partal

Lower Gardens in the Generalife

Generalife – by Doré

Generalife Lower Gardens

The Main Canal Court in the Generalife

Portico at end of Main Canal Court in the Generalife

Looking back in the Main Canal Courtyard in the Generalife

Sultana Court in the Generalife

Peinador de la Reina (Queen’s Dressing Room)

View of the Alcazaba

It’s Turkey Day 2012!

11/22/2012 § Leave a comment

Gobble gobble! I hope everyone has a spectacular holiday with your loved ones with some juicy turkey and all the works!

Thank you readers for checking in and following my blog. You inspire me to keep going and staying creative!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

X O X O ,

The Birth of a Handmade Logo

11/15/2012 § Leave a comment

A few weeks back, when in need of a little graphic design inspiration, I found Work by e Bond – a web and book designer who’s spent several years designing for Anthropologie. You’ll see her site has beautiful spreads with tactile visuals filled with paint sploshes, cardboard, and handmade typography. I’ve always wondered how they actually created these graphics…

Then, while checking in on one of my favorite blogs this Sunday, Bright Bazaar, I found the missing link: “Behind the scenes of making a book cover“.

I had spent all day Saturday shooting the apartment of my lovely and talented designer friend, Lisa Whyte*, and woke up Sunday still in “the zone”. One thing led to another, and I began shooting letters using a long leaf I cut from my garden. I then used a little Photoshop magic to create the above logo.

So here’s my first shot** at what I like to call “handmade graphics”!

The possibilities are endless. The only drawback I foresee: I’ll have to make some extra space to house my growing collection of ribbons, rocks, branches, paper, fabrics, and other beautiful things I’d like to photograph.

* I’m currently finishing up these photos and will share them here in the very very near future!!!

** Click on the logo image to see it more up-close-and-personal!

Tricks of the Trade: Choosing Colors

11/05/2012 § Leave a comment

Choosing the right color can be a bit tricky… Sometimes it’s hard to decide whether to play safe with a neutral or go bold, sometimes you don’t know what colors go well with another you already have in that space, and sometimes you just don’t know why it looked so good at the store but you can’t get it right at home!

I find, when picking colors, it always helps to have a little inspiration. It really is all about finding what colors you are naturally drawn to and then choosing the best shades for your room.

First, let’s start with the inspiration part. Art, textiles, photography, fashion, anything colorful that you consider visually attractive can serve as an aid for establishing a palette!

It’s also good to keep in mind what mood you want to set in the particular space. Neutrals, blues and greens tend to be more formal and calming, while warm and bright hues are usually more sociable and lively.
 

The lighting in a particular room also affects your perception of the color and the mood. North-facing windows don’t receive direct sunlight and bring in a cool light that casts a slightly bluish light. South-facing rooms tend to be much brighter and receive warmer light. The color temperatures of the lightbulbs in your light fixtures also affect the overall mood and colors in the space.

Once you’ve chosen a color palette decide which colors you will use as your main colors and which will be accent colors. Normally, it’s safest to choose the boldest hue as the accent color. You can then paint your walls one of your main colors and use accessories, like pillows or a nice vase, to bring in those pops that will complete the palette.

Go to the home store with your palette inspiration and buy 2 or 3 samples that you find the closest to your main color. Paint small squares of each on the wall (around 5″ x 5″), let dry, and look at it in different lighting conditions (morning, afternoon, night with lights on) to pick your favorite one. Fight the urge to skip this step because it could save you a lot of time & money – Trust me, you will regret not doing it if you commit too quickly and decide the shade is “too this” or “too that” AFTER the job is complete!

The Camera Obscura in Modern Times

10/26/2012 § Leave a comment

So today I was talking to my coworkers about the amazing optical phenomenon that is the camera obscura. I went online to look for some examples and I came across the work of photographer Abelardo Morell.

Abelardo has been taking these “travel” photographs since the early 90′s starting with black and white film moving into color and finally digital photography. He uses this optical device first discovered in the 5th century B.C. to fuse the inside with the outside creating literal yet ethereal images. From Times Square to Florence’s Baptistry, Abelardo has traveled the world documenting these camera obscuras.

Manhattan View Looking South in Large Room, 1996 (Abelardo Morell)

The Brooklyn Bridge in bedroom, 1997 (Abelardo Morell)

Umbrian Landscape in Empty Room, Umbertide, Italy 2000 (Abelardo Morell)

Castle Courtyard in Bedroom, Italy 1999 (Abelardo Morell)

Havana Looking Southeast in Room with Ladder, 2002 (Abelardo Morell)

Grand Canal Looking West Toward the Accademia Bridge in Palazzo Room Under Construction, 2007 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Central Park Looking North-Summer, 2008 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Landscape Outside Florence in Room With Bookcase, 2009 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: 5:04 AM Sunrise Over the Atlantic Ocean. Rockport, Massachusetts, June 17th, 2009 (Abelardo Morell)

Camera Obscura: View of Times Square in Hotel Room, 2010 (Abelardo Morell)

The camera obscura is created by blocking out all the light in a room and then creating a pinhole (small hole) on one of the sides (that faces the view you want to capture) allowing the view outside to be projected onto the opposite wall, upside down. Why does this happen? Light travels in straight lines and when some rays reflected from a bright object pass  through a small opening with a thin surface, instead of dispersing, these rays reconstruct as an upside down image on the flat surface opposite the hole.

Artists such as Leonardo da Vinci used the camera obscura as a drawing tool using it to project views onto the canvas/paper and sketching over them. There is a much disputed debate about whether advances in realism in the art of the early Renaissance occurred due to the aid of optical devices such as the camera obscura (Hockney-Falco thesis).

To learn how to make your own camera obscura click here!

NORDIC STYLE

10/02/2012 § Leave a comment

I think residential design should be personal.

In Miami, residential interior design tends to be more about establishing status than revealing character. Here, formulaic interiors unfortunately seem to be the norm. Personally, I’m very tired of their superficial beauty.

I’ve been following blogger Mia Linnman of Solid Frog for the past few months now. Based in Jönköping, Sweden, Mia’s posts have a purist and restrained aesthetic that I truly love. These historical shells adourned with vintage finds and an abundance of white have me feeling like it’s the real deal. The spaces are crisp and modern yet so romantic and believable as if they host the lives of real individuals.

I find myself thinking, why can’t design be more authentic like this in South Florida? Why must everyone be seeking what’s “in” rather than what they’re “in to” ? What happened to being unique & creative?

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