Sunday, November 14, 2010

Dark Impressionism

I hold a place in my heart for the Impressionists. I have been blessed to see many original Impressionist paintings in my travels, and I always seek them out. Some I have visited again and again.

Like many, I first fell in love with the dreamy pastel-coloured paintings of Claude Monet at a university poster sale. Water lilies gilded my apartment walls for years. I still love these soft pretty paintings, but it's the dark and moody ones that have grown into my bones.

Here are five of my favorite "dark" impressionist paintings. There are many others. I love the contrast of light and dark, the saturated blues, the stark quiet scenes...

Norbert Goeneutte
Le Boulevard de Clichy, par un temps de neige 1876

Claude Monet Rough Sea at Etretat, 1868-69

Gustave Caillebotte, Paris Street; Rainy Day, 1877

Édouard Manet, Le Chemin de Fer:

Gustave Caillebotte, Rooftops Under Snow:
What is your favorite Impressionist painting?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Soft Brown Love

I am hopelessly in love with this soft, medium brown colour. The feeling has been with me for months and isn't going away.

I just bought this little Christmas wreath from Ballard:
I almost bought this pillow from mysparrow but chickened out because I can't figure out my bedding right now and what I really need to go with what. I still covet it:
These soft blankets from Garnet Hill make me happy (especially the bunny brown one):
The new Anthropologie catalog made my heart sing with this classical collection, with all its varied blessed shades of brown:

This relaxed corduroy coat (from the book "French Country Style at Home") reminds me of the past and the future, as it holds a little of something I want to possess (ease):

I have been waiting for this brown chair (thank you Rachel Whiting):

And who can resist this simplicity? I know I want it:

Or this?:
...both from Garnet Hill.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

New Pottery & A New Painting

Some new things arrived at our house this week. Apparently simply stopping shopping is not happening here (though I do try).

Today I attended a wonderful pottery market. I bought the two black pieces in the background (on the right), which look very similar but are by two different artists. The large pot is by Ezequiel Morales, a Calgary-based potter originally from Mexico. I love his work, which often has a clean, Japanese feel to it. The black pot in the background, far right, is by Ardin Howard, whose work is also very fine:
The large bowl (white interior) in the foreground above is also by Ezequiel and was already in my collection.

The pottery came out of storage because I am now celebrating the arrival of this painting, our landscape acquisition by American painter Al Barker. It arrived this week to great fanfare:
The painting is beautiful - very moody and quite dark, so the pottery came out to complement it colour-wise. I have not decided where the painting will hang as I think it needs more light...perhaps near the front door. The frame is heavy and ornate and I love its volume but the very gold colour is standing out like a sore thumb from my otherwise sedate, silvery decor. Hence the black pottery to balance it until I figure out how to integrate it...

Below, the shiny pot in the foreground (right) is by New Brunswick potter Tom Smith (originally American) who is really rather famous (and fascinating). I bought it this summer on holiday, in St.Andrew's N.B. where he resides and has a studio. He does all raku work:
Tom sold me my first pottery vase 20 years ago (a gift from my mother while I was in university). I loved it so, but sadly knocked it off a ledge in my first Toronto apartment, straight down into the long stairwell that came up into my loft. I still have all the pieces and told Tom I was going to glue it back together some day!

I think they all look nice together:
I am a major convert to fine china, but the pottery (my first love) still comes out from time to time.

I also purchased this piece (below) at the sale today, which is similar to two other pieces I own from yet a different potter. This is by Ardin Howard also. Its curves suit my living room, which is full of curvilinear furniture (and mirrors the adjacent lucite lamp base):
When I buy pottery, I try to buy either blue-black or slate blue-green so they all complement each other and look like a proper collection.

Hope you've enjoyed the visit.

By the way, do you like my new blog banner? I thought it was time for a little update.