Hang Time……

I have a bad habit of buying art and never hanging it.  At the moment, under the guest bed there are no fewer than 6 paintings waiting to be framed and hung.  As we all know framing is an expensive endeavor and I somehow can never pull the trigger especially in the light that most of the paintings I have are under $100 from auctions and flea markets.

So the pictures sit in “art purgatory” until I either use them in a client’s home (which has happened twice now) or I gift one to a friend for a special occasion.  I was afraid that the paintings I picked up at the last auction were going to suffer the same fate so I grabbed the bull by the horns.  I decided that switch out the small gallery of framed fabric remnants in the music room   for the large “Modern Family” piece I picked up earlier this  month at the auction.

I am quite smitten with the change and think the painting is the perfect piece for the room.  The colors are spot on and I love the quirky subjects – it was destined to be …or at least that is how I think of it.

One painting hung and about 15 to go…….

So tell me, what do you keep buying and not using?  Jeans?  Dishes?  Small tropical islands?  Shoot me a comment or a tweet and let me know!  Okay back to homework……

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“Design” Circle of Life…..

You toil for days on a design project, put it on the blog and send your baby into the world.  You hope it inspires others to try their hand at the task, but all you get is the sound of cyber crickets?  Sometimes the life of a blogger is solidarity but other times you are bathed in the soft warm glow of comments, emails, Pinterest pins and Twitter retweets.

For myself, the stenciled wall I did in 2010 is the proverbial post that keeps giving.  I have received countless emails from  readers and fellow bloggers about the post gave them the push to try a paint treatment in their home.  I like to think that my blog post is part of the “design circle of life” (cue Lion King music).  Seriously, I firmly believe that by putting my effort, time and sweat (and at times blood) into crafting these projects, it helps demystify the process and inspires others to try.  In turn, those people inspire others and before you know it, a DIY revolution has transpired…..

Just call me the Ghandi of DIY (no offense intended)…..

But seriously, I was tickled when I received two different emails on the same day from Janice and Samantha telling me that they had taken the bull by the horns and attempted a Moorish tile paint stencil.  I am happy they did because the results on both turned out AWESOME.

Janice decided to use the stencil as an accent wall in her bedroom.  I love how her metallic paint plays up the sheen in her duvet and the sequins on her pillows…

Samantha of So Many Moments opted to use the Moorish stencil in her newly opened photography studio.  The stencil, while glam, provides a great boho quality to Samantha’s office that makes perfectly with the rest of the decor….

Kudos to both ladies for tackling the stencil project.  I love seeing how the same stencil completely changes the feel of a room.  With a little time and elbow grease, each got the room they wanted at a fraction of the cost of wallpaper.

Okay peeps, keep it coming!  If you have done any projects that were inspired by the blog, I want…I need… I must see them!  Shoot me a picture at lifeoutloudmail@gmail.com and you just may end up on the blog!

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Artist Snapshot: Try Serino

One of the things I appreciate about my life is how it always introduces me to passionate people in the most unexpected ways. For example, have you ever met someone with a hidden talent? And no I don’t mean your frat brother who could drink a 6-pack in under a minute or your sister-in-law who can burp the alphabet. I mean truly amazing and talented individuals that have seemed to skated under your radar.

A few months ago I learned that my barber/hair stylist, Try Serino, is a professionally trained artist. What amazed me was how humble she was about this fact as she cut my hair. She explained that while art is her passion, it doesn’t always pay the bills (preach on sister!!!) and she found being a hair stylist a nice balance that allowed her to explore her creative side and keep the money rolling in to cover expenses.

And don’t get me wrong, Try is a phenom hair stylist as evidenced by the fact that I travel 45 minutes each way to sit in her chair. But when she finally shared her work with me, it blew me away. It’s dark, beautiful and complicated – this isn’t your throw it up in your foyer stuff – it is highly interpretative, subjective and leaves the viewers with questions of their own. For me, that is the hallmark of true art – work that not only draws me in but forces me to think.

After pestering Try on various occasions, she finally granted me a brief interview so I could explore more deeply her creative process and paintings:

Try, where did you do your training?

I hail from Washington, D.C., and earned a Fine Arts degree in painting from The University of the District of Columbia. Since graduating, I have had solo shows in Washington DC, Savannah Georgia, Salem Massachusetts, and San Francisco.

Your work has a beautiful muted vibrancy. In some of your pieces it’s like you took a snapshot and put it on the canvas and then painted over it. What is your process?

Thank you. I work with a variety of materials, including gesso, acrylic medium/paint, charcoal, and photographs, put on to canvas. I continue the process by adding layers of pigment to build up the image resulting in a rich, layered and at times, multi-dimensional final product.

When I look at your work, I feel like I know the subjects. Is your work based on real people you have met or know?

Although primarily representational, I try to explore the conceptual relationships between color and value influence in my work using a variety of methods from traditional portraiture to figurative abstraction.

Some would say that you work could be interpreted as dark, but to me there also seems to be more than just darkness.

My paintings run the gamut but I often illustrate the sometimes dark beauty hidden in the subjects I use for my figurative work. I explore that through a mixture of media and metaphor. Like many artists, the statements I personify in my work are a reflection of the unique conditions in my life.

As you know, I am a huge fan of your work, so what’s next on the horizon?

Well, being a hair stylist has place me in contact with a wide swath of unique and varied people but at the same time has left me with the realization that being a woman of color in this industry has it’s challenges. I am in the preliminary stages of a set of new works that explore my creative journey in the hair industry. I envision it as a large-scale graphic novel that tells the story of maintaining your center in a world made of dreams.

Thank you Try! I love Try’s work and its deeply personal approach to tell the visual story. I am eyeing a piece for our living room – now I just need to collect my pennies and start saving!  Interested parties can contact Try at serinotry@gmail.com for more details on her paintings or discuss commissioned pieces.

Okay, I have an old college friend and her fiancé in town this weekend. I am off to play host.  Have a great weekend!!!!

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