Inspiration

mix and match

October 18, 2018

I’m mad about the mixing of prints. I liked the layering of florals over a simple black sweater in this editorial and this is pretty fabulous, too. She’s bold. But for best inspiration I look to Matisse’s models –– the original mix and matchers. Here is Odalisque in red Jacket, and she is utterly divine.

nike

October 17, 2018

“God gave you two hands,” is what the English warn about raising more than two children. One, two, seven children –– I don’t know a single mother who doesn’t wish for more hands. It’s how I felt this morning, as I pegged it up Spadina chasing an Uber that had sped off with two of my three children in it. The third, a tiny-just-turned-four-year-old, stood alone on the curb in a flowery rain jacket as I ran away from her, screaming at the white Toyota. We’d decided to Uber to school because it was raining, and I told the driver we’d be making a stop at Bloor and Spadina to drop off the littlest one. Goodness knows how, but the driver misunderstood and thought I meant that I was getting out also, and that he would be driving the other two solo. Even as I watched him drive off, (with my phone, too) I was almost certain that that was what he had assumed. But almost certain turns mothers into Nike. It did this mother. I didn’t run, I flew. Variations on these crazy seconds play out for us all, regardless of how many kids you have,  and how much help you’ve got. Even super efficient, got-it-all-under-control Mums get caught in torrential thunderstorms with no umbrella. We’re human. With superhuman qualities, when required. We turn our bodies into a canopy. We learned a lesson or two; communicate better. Speak up when in doubt (neither child said a word). We did all burst out laughing though once I was back in the car.

brollies are for sissies

October 15, 2018

I look ever so slightly ridiculous wearing one, but I do love my Dollar Store rain bonnet. It was a gift from our nanny, Marilyn and I’ve worn it for years. It’s the top knot that sends the whole look over the edge, but it keeps my hair dry-ish, so I really don’t care. For a year or so, my great friend Stephanie and I had an idea (My Mum’s idea, actually) of starting up our own line of whimsical bonnets in clear plastic with high wattage piping. We had a name, and everything –– Deluge –– and we envisioned them everywhere, from chic hair salons to the cash at your local supermarket. But between babies, work, travel etc… Deluge never made the splash we hoped. An idea means very little if you don’t see it through, and to this day, I wince when I see a bonnet on the runway, on a magazine cover or on a celebrity’s noggin’. Steph and I had fun dreaming Deluge up, and maybe one day we’ll find a Deluge part deux? In the meantime, I have at least a dozen samples in rotation for rainy days. The pink neon is my favourite (the bonnet came with a chic little pouch that matched the piping) but I’m still faithful to my original.

Body art

October 11, 2018

There’s a certain painting that I’m drawn to –– the meeting of simple forms in strong colours on a canvas –– that I’ve seen many variations on of late. But there’s something about French artist, Caroline Denervaud‘s work that stands out. AnOther Magazine, describes her paintings as a “meta millefeuille” which I find so apt. “Few can claim the truly tactile relationship that Denervaud explores within her work. Sheathing the floor of her studio with swathes of paper, and combining dance and movement with the application of pen or paint, Denervaud creates shapes that offer a direct trace of her movements.” Her process is fascinating and idiosyncratic, and that may be what we feel in her paintings, and what distinguishes them from others.

autumn

October 11, 2018

It’s windy this morning and the leaves are falling like raindrops. It’s a weird time of year, when the intermittent bursts of heat start to feel like party guests that don’t want to leave. It’s sort of sad and wistful. But the show must go on, and while these days feel like a gift to warm weather lovers like me, I know it’s time to put on a coat, walk out the door and start something new.

asymmetry

October 9, 2018

If I liked pottery that is perfectly straight, tight and symmetrical, I’d be shit out of luck. Instead, I lean towards work that shows the markings and mistakes of its maker. I like wonky rims and irregular patterns. I like disproportions. Lucky for me, my aesthetic lines up with up my ability. And with aspects of my nature, too. I’m a sloppy cook, and I rarely wear clothes that match. I brush my hair only when I feel a massive knot coming. And a lot of what I’m drawn to –– paintings, people, places –– is weird, quirky and flawed. But like all of us, I’m a contradiction, with another side that’s conservative, rigid and disciplined. I swim three times a week, for 35 minutes at a time, and I relish in routine and hospital corners. So to find areas where I feel free, and where I can explore my inner wabi sabi, is exciting to me.

Whiskey trail

October 6, 2018

I don’t wear bracelets very often, but this bourbon-coloured, thick plexi glass cuff by Lizzie Fortunato would get me to. I love the chunkiness and the colour. And while we’re here, let’s all look at the model’s rust sparkly socks. This palette is gorgeous, and not just because it conjures Fall. It’s just as pretty with your summer whites.

bohemia

October 4, 2018

You hear the word tossed around often, but what makes a home authentically bohemian? The Spaces, an online magazine on architecture, design and art describes such homes as a “culmination of lives spent travelling, working, reading and learning. Paintings have origin stories; faded frescos sit behind modern art; prints and lampshades sit slightly ajar; curtains clash with cushions. More is usually more.”  Haute Bohemians, by Photographer Miguel Flores-Vianna explores some beautifully bohemian homes –– from castles to pied-a-terres –– around the world. “What seems significant in modern Bohemia is that every component of a home has significance to its owner. It goes without saying that no bohemian would hire an interior designer to ensure the result is au courant.” It’s the kind of book I could pore over for house, and then imagine my very own goat-house-turned-villa on a far flung island in Greece.

Mama Dada

October 3, 2018

Oh, to be a fly on the wall at Marcel Duchamp’s New York apartment as artists, critics and collectors flocked to party and drink and exchange in pithy repartee. The Arensbergs were there, so was the writer, Henri-Pierre Roché. Max Ernst and Peggy Guggenheim were there, too. In fact, all the coolest aesthetes were. I watched a lecture given by Dada scholar, Francis Naumann today, and forget being a fly, it made me want to whisk myself back to the 1920s and score an invitation to one of Duchamp’s shindigs. The lecture was on artist and potter, Beatrice Wood, and she alone would have been reason enough to join that milieu.  Daring and groundbreaking, funny and smart, Wood was one of a kind. She lived to 105, if you can believe it, and broke with all the staid and stuffy traditions she’d been raised. She wore saris, ate Hershey’s chocolate bars, and made pottery that is as beautiful and bizarre as she seems to have been. Wood’s autobiography, I Shock Myself is top of my reading list. “My life is full of mistakes. They’re like pebbles that make a good road.”

sofa so good

October 3, 2018

Here’s a sofa that’s stood the test of time. You’d think that Mario Marenco’s 70’s sofa was designed last week. The orange leather version has a retro feel, for sure, but it fits right in with contemporary design. I think it’s absolutely beautiful in this amber velvet, and no doubt a dream to sit on. Getting back up again, could be an issue.

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