A VISIT TO SIR JOHN SOANE’S MUSEUM

The Wall Street Journal published a great article this weekend about Sir John Soane’s Museum in London which I was happy to stumble upon as I was reminded of some sneaky photos (can’t stop, won’t stop) that have remained unshared from our visit almost two years ago.

In a city with behemoths like the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert, Sir John Soane’s Museum is a more unassuming presence, but still delivers inspiration in a big way.

Comprised of three adjacent townhouses purchased and combined in the late 17th and early 18th centuries by one of England’s most venerable architects, Sir John Soane, the museum is chockablock–literally floor to ceiling–with Soane’s various collections.

At every turn you’re visually assaulted with corbels, capitals, friezes, funerary urns, bits of entablature, pieces of architrave, architectural models, drawings, and paintings, all meticulously arranged and hung to impart optimal effect.

There are over 40,000 objects total (you might say Sir John Soane was the original maximalist) acquired and assembled over a lifetime. If you’ve been to the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, consider Sir John Soane’s Museum the British pre-curser.

Unlike Barnes (watch The Art of the Steal for the backstory here), Soane’s wishes that his home remain intact and open to the public free of charge (save for “wet or dirty weather”) were protected by an Act of Parliament.

It really is a fantastic gem that I hope to return to again one day and highly suggest visiting if you should find yourself in London.

ART LESSON: MEREDITH PARDUE

Meredith Pardue

Meredith Pardue

Meredith Pardue

Meredith Pardue

Meredith Pardue

Meredith Pardue

Art is one of the few splurges I truly feel guilt free about making. I’ll debate the merits of a new bag or pair of shoes for months, but if a piece of art resonates with me I’m suddenly cavalier.

Unlike clothing or accessories which inevitably need to be replaced, art lasts a lifetime. Nothing sets the tone in a room or has the ability to spark conversation quite like a great piece of art. Over the years we’ve bought a few special pieces to mark various occasions and I love having those visual reminders of milestones.

 I’ve developed a long “someday” list for our growing collection and the latest addition is artist Meredith Pardue. The Savannah College of Art & Design and Parsons graduate describes her canvases as “composed of organic forms that derive from those found in nature, but ultimately the paintings are a visual record of an unplanned dialogue between myself and a blank canvas.”

I’m completely captivated by her work and use of color. Hopefully it brightens your Monday.

images via Meredith Pardue and Artsy

MARY H. CASE x BISCUIT HOME

Bailey McCarthy | Country Living

MaryHCase2

I’ve been a long time fan of Texas interior designer and Biscuit Home founder, Bailey McCarthy. Her irreverent decorating style is always inspiring, not to mention her lovingly renovated homes which have all been showstoppers.

Bailey’s country farmhouse was recently featured in Country Living and one of the rooms I loved the most was the family room above. The mix of buffalo plaid and chintz was perfect, but what really drew me in was the Texas longhorn artwork above the mantle by artist Mary H. Case.

We seem to have a bit of a thing for animal inspired artwork in our house with a menagerie currently counting a flamingo, giraffe, and rhino among its residents, so it’s no surprise that the longhorn was a hit.

I was super excited to read via this interview with the artist that we can now shop trays and limited edition giclee prints as part of a Biscuit Home x Mary H. Case collection.

Hook ’em horns!

INSPIRED BY: SURROUNDED ISLANDS

Surrounded Islands | Christo
Surrounded Islands | Christo
Surrounded Islands | Christo
Surrounded Islands | Christo
Surrounded Islands | Christo

In high school we had an all-school meeting every Friday. The headmaster and head of school spoke, there was some form of entertainment, and for the most part I wasn’t very attentive; however, I do remember watching a documentary on Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s Central Park installation: The Gates.

In continuation of Monday’s mission to bring a little color to the notoriously gray days of February, I bring you my latest inspiration–the Surrounded Islands project for Biscayne Bay–which, I was thrilled to discover, was executed by none other than Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

So here’s the deal, in the early 80s Christo and Jeanne Claude surrounded eleven islands in Biscayne Bay with 6.5 million square feet of floating pink fabric as a work of art “underlining the various elements and ways in which the people of Miami live, between land and water.”

These photos make me deliriously happy. I will never be able to resist a good shot of hot pink. I’d love to blow up the last photo to a ridiculous size and have it framed in lucite for my future office. That needs to happen, right?

Not only is it artistically inspiring, but I imagine there were a hell of a lot of critics saying it was silly, couldn’t happen (insert typical naysayer response here), etc. But, Christo and Jeanne-Claude made it happen.
Even more reason I need that framed print…

ARTFULLY INSPIRED

Winslow Homer

Glitter Guide Marlien Rentmeester-bedroom

Manuel Canovas Sark Wallpaper

I wanted to title this post “Put a Bird on It” but figured an obscure Portlandia reference might be lost on the majority of readers (kind of a weird show, right?)

Anyway, I was cleaning up my iPhone camera roll last night and came across a photo of a Winslow Homer oil painting I snapped at the National Gallery a few months ago.

I was drawn to the moody, saturated colors–it’s hard to see but the duck’s eye is the most unexpected shade of Veuve Cliquot orange–a color I previously would never have thought to pair with sea greens and grays.

Ironically, I had happened to be looking at Manuel Canovas’ Sark wallpaper earlier in the day (it would be criminal if I didn’t take the opportunity to use this pun) and they are so obviously birds of a feather.

The wallpaper is even more fabulous in person and immediately reminded me of Marlien Rentmeester’s master bedroom decorated by Hillary Thomas which features the fabric version of Sark. Oh how my brain is a funny little decorating rabbit hole…

I think it goes without saying that I’m now eagerly seeking opportunities to ‘put a bird on it’.

Have a great weekend!