Sunday, December 23, 2007

See you in 2008!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Photography by Linda Merrill. Click image for larger view.

I'll be taking a mini-blog vacation until January 1st and which time I'll be unveiling some new initiatives and refocusing on some long neglected content as well. So, here's to a vibrant and beautiful 2008!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

ICFF - International Contemporary Furniture Fair - Call to Entries

George Little Management, LLC (GLM), producer and manager of the ICFF, and Bernhardt Design announce a call for entries – deadline January 15, 2008. ICFF Studio invites submissions from designers working on any and all the product categories exhibited at the ICFF: furniture, seating, carpet and flooring, lighting, outdoor furniture, materials, wall coverings, accessories, textiles, and
kitchen and bath. Selected designers win a spot to display their prototypes at ICFF Studio, a group area with individual booths on the exhibition floor.

Winners will be announced February 15, 2008.

Good luck!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Movie Set Decor: Atonement

The new film Atonement which comes out this week and stars Keira Knightley and James McAvoy is partially set in British countryside of 1935. The New York Times had an interesting article this week about the Shropshire Mansion "Stokesay" that was used as the setting for part of the movie. This late 1800's foreboding Victorian manse is owned by Caroline Magnus, who, along with her brother, unexpectedly inherited the estate fifteen years ago from an elderly aunt. Although she was single (40 at the time), living in London with friends, a boyfriend and a budding career in counseling, she decided to give it all up to move in and take care of the old place.

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

While she managed to scrape together money over the years to put on a new roof, upgrade the electrical and much of the plumbing, the interior decor was lacking. Part of the reason was because she was forced to auction off much of the contents to pay for everything. She was actually hoping that a movie or tv crew might find the estate interesting, and so they did.

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Movie still photography by Alex Bailey

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Movie still photography by Alex Bailey

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Jonathan Player for the New York Times

Happily, because of the location fee paid, improvements made by the production and its new found status as a tourist attraction, Ms. Magnus is able to continue the maintenance of the mansion. "Atonement" tours are available for $25 per person for groups larger than 20. Pretty reasonable!

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing the movie!

ETA: Visit Stokesay's website here for more photos.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Meet The Artist: R. Kenton Nelson

Far and away the most hits I get are from people searching for everything (and I do mean everything) from the set decor of the movie "Something's Gotta Give", which I've blogged about before. And, of all the hits, Google searches and emails, the majority are searches for information on the artist R. Kenton Nelson. Several of his pieces were used in the set of the movie - some from Diane Keaton's personal collection. However, clearly director Nancy Meyers is a fan, as another work can be seen in Mel Gibson's characters bathroom in the Nancy Meyers film "What Women Want".

Front hall image from set of the movie "Something's Gotta Give"

Bedroom image from set of the movie "Something's Gotta Give"

Mr. Nelson is a contemporary artist (born in 1954) whose work evokes a more innocent time - both true and imagined. I found this very interesting article on line about his style and view point. "I paint the world as I was led to believe it would be.". Click here to read more.

Mr. Nelson is represented by the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery in New York. Her website show cases many of his works.

"A Day With James" oil on board, 2001, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"A Late Homecoming" oil on panel, 12 x 12, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"Drawing" oil on canvas, 12 x 36, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"After the Blue Sirocco" oil on canvas, 36 x 60, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"Lunch" oil on canvas, 48 x 36, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"Betty's Prerogative" oil on canvas, 18 x 18, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"Small Favors" oil on canvas, 30 x 24, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

"Poets Entrance" oil on board, 36 x 24, image courtesy of Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

Click here to see all images at the Eleanor Ettinger Gallery

One of the most asked questions from readers is, of course, where one can purchase prints of his works. Well, the answer is basically, nowhere. Mr. Nelson apparently does not license his work - no prints, mugs, calendars, mouse pads. While I believe he would probably make a fortune, clearly, it's not his motivation at the moment. And, there's something to be said for exclusivity. On the other hand, while his subjects are that of every day life, every day people have little access to his work, aside from internet images and his book "Rhyme and Reason Prose and Cons: The Art of R. Kenton Nelson", which is now currently unavailable.

While Mr. Nelson is not merchandising his work for profit, he does allow limited edition prints to be used for fund raising purposes. The Frostig Collection 2007 is selling limited, signed editions of a few pieces to raise money for the improvement of social skills of children with learning disabilities at the renowned Frostig Center in Pasadena. While still not in the price range of most people, these $1,200 prints must be considerably less than an original work. Plus, the money goes to a great cause.

Meanwhile, I do love his work and can't help but think of him along with Norman Rockwell, another American painter who painted a more innocent world than was perhaps actually real. While it's fashionable to dis Mr. Rockwell as a lightweight "illustrator", I think he was an artist who could reach the masses, bringing them into the process of art, all the while making political points. Interestingly, Mr. Nelson has also worked as an illustrator and his work also offers the sense of immediate recognition - that the story, or point, of the piece is easily understood.

Above Norman Rockwell illustrations courtesy of Paul Giambarda.

"Stockbridge at Christmas" set in Stockbridge, MA, home of the Normal Rockwell Museum. My parents own a signed print of this painting, which I have my eye on!

Harvard Ceramics Sale - Moved to Monday

Due to the snow/ice storm we have going on here today, the Harvard Ceramics Program Holiday Show and Sale is postponed until Monday, 12/17. Click here for more info.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holiday Decorating: Christmas at the White House

The White House has got to be the mother of all decorated house museums. Gotta love the "Barney cam".

Images of 2006 White House Holiday Tour courtesy of the White House.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Top Design Season 2 - Casting Call

BravoTV is seeking undiscovered interior design stars for the second season of its hit competition series TOP DESIGN! They're looking for all types of artists, interior designers - up-and-comers, established professionals and those aspiring to greatness. The winner will receive a spread in ELLE DECOR, $100,000 and lots of media coverage.

For complete application information: go to or email Or, feel free to email me and I can send you a copy of the application. It's pretty extensive (be prepared to offer up your innermost secrets, busts for shoplifting gum and references), so get out your video camera and shoot an audition tape. Deadline for submissions is February 15th at high noon. But, the say earlier is better.

Taping is currently set to begin in March.

Good luck!

Harvard Ceramics Program show this weekend!

Works by more than fifty potters and sculptors: the most varied
selection of excellent, hand-made ceramics in the Northeast

Opening Reception: Dec. 13, Thursday, 3 – 8 pm
Dec. 14 – 16, Friday – Sunday, 10 am – 6 pm
* snow date for Sunday storm: Monday, Dec. 18, 10 – 6 pm
* check website & phone for snow date confirmation

For more information about the show's exhibitors and
Program offerings, click here or call 617.495.8680

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Gifts Ideas - Swedish antiques and accessories

My friend Tricia at Avolli Scandinavian Antique Furnishings just sent a note that her latest finds from Sweden have arrived! Here are a few items that caught my eye. They'd make great gifts for the antique lover on your list!

Crystal Snaps Glasses - Sweden, late 19th C

Antique Glass Beaker - Sweden , early 20th C

Gustafsberg Gravy Boat - Sweden, 20th Century

Needlepoint Pillow - Sweden, 1940's

Antique crystal Girandole, Sweden, late 19thC

Click here to check out more.