Monday, May 17, 2010

A Sight to Behold

I wear glasses all day and just got a new prescription. Because glasses are an extension of one's face, choosing a frame is an important undertaking - are you a statement maker? Conservative? Whimsical? Feminine? For me the aesthetic is very important, so you'd think I love shopping for frames. You would be incorrect. As soon as I take my glasses off, I can't see, so trying on frames is like listening to music with the mute button on. Maybe I exaggerate a little. But only a little.

Today, I tried on too many frames to count and at the end of it all, I had a headache and no frames. Dejected, I started to walk out when I spied a strange pair of frames on the counter that I hadn't asked to look at. Nobody knew why they were there, but they were like nothing I'd seen before. I popped them on, looked in the mirror and voila, my search was over. Here they are!

I love how they have the rimless part of the frame at the top rather than the bottom, where it usually is. They're by Parisian frame maker Lafont. They specialize in slightly off-center (in a good way) frames in colors ranging from black to flourescent green. And the styles...oh la la. I was in love with their wearable works of art. Best of all, the shockingly high price had been slashed to less than half the cost. Sold! Here are some other models they dreamed up.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Journalist and the Painter

I read a remarkable essay by the great Joan Didion on the painter Georgia O'Keeffe. Didion's razor-sharp observations reveal a feminist soul whose "hard" character juxtaposed brilliantly with her delicate and decidedly feminine blooms. Have a read here.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the Nightstand

I've been consuming books this spring, all non-fiction; there's a sense of urgency to my reading, as if I suddenly realized that hmm, one day I'll simply run out of time and I'll die, having never learned how to use a circular saw or make a souffle. Somehow it seems less tragic to say, "Dang, I have days to live and I never read any Pushkin." But enough of my mortal angst, I'd rather share some of my current reads that are inspiring all kinds of new ideas.

The Vital Gesture: Franz Kline

One of my heroes from the abstract expressionist movement in the mid-20th century. I'm intrigued by the process by which Kline found his style late in his career and worked humbly, tirelessly in search of his artistic voice. His journey is as inspiring (and complex) as his paintings, which seem so spare at a glance, but reveal themselves slowly under closer inspection. Highly recommended.

Hans Hofmann

I love how his bold color blocks both explore spatial tension and convey profound energy (or inertia, or both, as with Pompeii, above). His influence as both a painter and teacher inspired generations and continue to influence artists today. Plus his painting are just so beautiful.

Rethinking Acrylics by Patti Brady

This is a really fresh look at the flexibility of the acrylic medium. Brady encourages readers to think beyond acrylic, canvas and brush by exploring the use of acrylic mediums, less conventional applications (such as pouring, lifting, dripping and faux encaustic methods), acrylic transfers and watermedia effects. This book takes an already versatile medium to new, exciting levels. My head is bursting with too many ideas to count. It's a lovely dilemma.