RSS Feed

Category Archives: Art

Otomi Fabric

Otomi Fabric

I had a very brief trip to Mexico City for work. I really wanted some Otomi fabric, hand-embroidered fabrics. I was inspired by photos like this:

dsc_1296

images

Here is what I bought:

IMG_1868

IMG_1869

This small piece of Otomi in the photo above will get framed. I just love to burro.

IMG_1870

The piece above is about 7 feet long, maybe 18 inches wide? I got it for about $30, which was a great price, I think. I had originally intended to use it as a table runner, but my mom told me that Otomi doesn’t wash well. Apparently the colors from the thread run and get all over the white fabric. So instead, I will also use it as a wall hanging. The colors are just incredible.

IMG_1871Finally, I bought this serape blanket for about $20 (probably overpaid, since I bought it at the airport with my remaining pesos). It’s really soft and the colors are also just great. I think I will use it in the yellow-floored attic guest room.

I think Mexico is my spirit country – Mexican food is my favorite food in the world and the folk arts and colors just speak to my soul. I really hope I get to spend more time in Mexico City in the future. I was really impressed.

Besos y Abrazos,

Rachel

 

Pigeon Painting

Pigeon Painting

Inspired by some other pigeon art, I set out to paint my own.

Image

I painted this little guy on canvas board with acrylic paint. I found the frame for $1 at a yard sale. $1!!! Score!

Image

Here it is in the corner, with my new hanging lamp (post about that forthcoming).

Image

He makes me happy. I think he needs a name.  I may also paint him a friend yet… Obviously I need lots and lots of bird art. More bird art!

Also, I had an idea that may already exist. If it exists, someone please let me know. I would like to exchange some of my original art with someone else’s original art. I desperately want original art by some other artists, but I cannot afford to buy it, and I think there is too much of my own art in my apartment.  Does some sort of art swap exist? If anyone is interested in an art swap and in the DC area, please reach out!

For the love of pigeons and art and pigeon art,

Rachel

Updating Thrift Store or Garage Sale Art

Updating Thrift Store or Garage Sale Art

Sometimes you find some cheap art at a thrift store or a garage sale. It’s alright, but it’s not awesome. Here is what a little bit of paint and a few glasses of wine can do. I got this weird old duck painting at a garage sale for $4. My boyfriend thought I overpaid. . .

IImage

You can take a cute, but ho-hum duck and make it into a bright statement piece.

I painted the frame black with some paint that I had on hand. And I went in with the bright blue and some other vibrant colors to liven it up.  I just used acrylic paints.

Image

It’s not a masterpiece, but it does help fill in my gallery wall.  And I think the duck is cute. You likely remember that I have a seriously love of bird art. (Here and here.)

Image

Also, I’ve decided to just accept the fact that my photography skills aren’t great and post the pictures of my projects, as is. If I keep waiting until I get good at photography or have the time to stage perfect photos, I will never post on the blog. (After sitting in front of a computer for 10 or 11 hours a day at work, I can hardly bring myself to open my laptop on the weekends, let alone during the week; so I find I do all these DIY projects but cannot bring myself to share them since it requires sitting at the computer.)

Anyway, I hope you still like my abbreviated posts and real life quick phone photography.

Go find some cheap art and make it awesome.

Love,
Rachel

 

Being Happy with Where I Am

Being Happy with Where I Am

January is definitely the month of self-improvement, or at least affirmations of self-improvement. I guess I’ve jumped on the bandwagon. This post will, therefore, be rather self-indulgent and fairly meander-y (because after a long day at work fighting bad guys, the last thing I want to do is write up an outline for a blog post).

IMG_0434


Something that I’ve been struggling with lately is feeling dissatisfied with what my apartment looks like, and letting that make me really depressed.  Yeah, it doesn’t look like a picture out of HGTV. And yeah, it’s a work in progress. And no, I still don’t have art for over the TV.  But what I want to focus on is not what is wrong with my apartment or what I want to change. Rather, I want to focus on what is working and try to find more ways to make moments that are working.

IMG_0436

On step I am taking in this direction is participating in Apartment Therapy’s January Cure.  So far, I am really digging it. It’s a realistic way for me to make progress on getting my apartment in shape, but not in a picture perfect way. Just in a normal people, with normal lives, trying to make their homes a little more beautiful.  After just scrubbing the crap out of my floors and vacuuming behind and underneath furniture I don’t usually move, plus adding fresh flowers, my apartment already feels a million times better. Who’d have thunk?

IMG_0439

Sort of in the vein of being happy with what I’ve done instead of focusing on what I want to do, I am sharing pictures of my bar area. I’m happy with how this “moment” in my apartment looks.  Everything in it was either thrifted, DIY, or is an heirloom.

IMG_0443

My GREAT GRANDMOTHER made that charcoal horse drawing. I’m obsessed. It’s still in the frame I got it in, because I’m scared that if I change the frame, the picture will disintegrate. This came into my life just at a time when I was really wanting more horse art, and the fact that it’s an heirloom (I have only one other real heirlooms), well that was awesome.

I painted the little owl painting, and blogged about it here.

I found the small deer antlers at Brooklyn Flea for $20.

I MADE both the deer and moose taxidermy. It’s papier mache, and I’m pretty stoked with how it came out. I will try to post a tutorial soon.

I got the dresser for $35 on craigslist and the distressing you see is REAL distressing because that’s exactly how the paint chipped just from being old. No faux distressing for me. I’m currently debating repainting it, but part of me loves the original paint finish.

Here’s this area all dolled up for the holidays, with a garland of pom poms and bells that I made (tutorial from A Beautiful Mess). IMG_0519

So I guess what I am trying to say is this: I’m going to be proud of myself when I am awesome, and go easier on myself for things that aren’t perfect. And keep my floors clean. 😉

Happy New Year, my dear readers! I am so glad you are on this journey with me.

Love,

Rachel

Painter’s Crush: Leila Jeffreys

Painter’s Crush: Leila Jeffreys

OK. She is technically not a painter, but since I have started this new bit on my blog called “Painter’s Crush” it just seemed easier to call this another part of that segment, even though she’s a photographer. Disclaimer over.
6-Little-Holly-Squawkamole1

I have another new painter’s crush: Leila Jeffreys. And yes, her artwork also features birds. Yes, I know I have a weird thing for animal art as shown by giraffe, blue rhino, and recent painter’s crush on Matt Adrian.

Matilda

Leila Jeffreys takes incredible photographs of birds up-close – mostly parrots. Then she makes them huge (like almost 3 by 4 feet). These birds are then basically human size, and are just stunning.  Jonathan Adler carries some of her work. Again, I cannot afford any of it, but I can covet it from afar (or from the safety of the internet).  What I wouldn’t give to hang that giant pink/white cockatoo (Matilda) in my apartment…

Pete

To provide some context, here is one of her photos in a lovely Australian home. The scale is just perfect.

Home_TamsinJohnson-living2

Seisa1

So if anyone wants to get me a Christmas present, a really really nice extravagant Christmas present, you now know what I want. 😉

For the love of birds,

Rachel

 

 

Painter’s Crush: Matt Adrian

Painter’s Crush: Matt Adrian

He’s been famous in the art world for a while, but I just discovered the incredible work of Matt Adrian.  I fell down the rabbit hole of his artwork for quite a while. Time well spent. I’ve got a new painter’s crush.

I have only heard the moon laugh once, and once was enough

I have only heard the moon laugh once, and once was quite enough

Boyfriend and I were in Portsmouth, NH, for some autumnal voyeurism (AKA looking at the changing leaves) and walked past an art gallery featuring Matt Adrian’s incredible paintings of birds. Unfortunately, we couldn’t go into the gallery because it was late at night and already closed. Boo. But I took a quick pic of the name of the artist so I could later look him up. And O.M.G. Love.

First of all, I really love animal art – most of my favorite art features animals. And bird art is no exception.

Nor'easters I have known and narrowly survived

Nor’easters I have known and narrowly survived

Second, his paintings are beautiful. The colors and compositions are just lovely.

Overdressed and Underappreciated

Overdressed and Underappreciated

Third, his paintings are not only beautiful, but they have clever and amusing titles. The titles are almost like little lines of poetry, but funny. Some of the titles left me actually laughing out loud. This is a link to more of his artwork, which includes all the hilarious titles.

Voyages of Discovery I wish to God I had Not Undertaken

Voyages of Discovery I wish to God I had Not Undertaken

Check it out. I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

Love,

Rachel


Painter’s Crush: Cy Twombly

Painter’s Crush: Cy Twombly

One of the problems of being in law school (aside from being in law school) is that I don’t have nearly as much time for crafting, painting, thrifting, cooking – basically all the things that I really love – as I used to. BUT I can spend a few minutes here and there looking at things online that I love. And then, I can present them you, my faithful readers, like I am some clever designer or museum curator. Then, you, my faiththful readers, can say things like, “Wow, Rachel over at Suits and Aprons really has great taste in (insert crafty/arty noun here)! Man, I wish I could have her over for a dinner party and we could discuss (insert same crafty/arty noun here). Then maybe we could go to Karaoke and Rachel would sing something awesome and we would be BFFs!”

All part of my master plan to Karaoke with my readers all over this great nation.

Anyway, I was surfing the interwebz when I discovered the incredible paintings of Cy Twombly. Wow! His stuff is incredible. (Click on any image to see it bigger.)

I mean, would you look at those colors? And how fast and loose Cy goes with the paint? All of these photos are from this website – which has a huge gallery of his work. Worth checking out. Not all of his work is as colorful as the ones I selected, but I liked those ones so much. Since I obviously love bright colors – no surprise there, faithful readers. I think that if I died and was reincarnated, I would like to come back as a macaw or a flamingo, or maybe a peacock (a male) because I want to be as bright and shiny as possible. Oooh – or an octopus: did you know octopuses can change color and texture? I would fit in anywhere!

Hope you like Cy Twombly. I am really digging his stuff right now.

Bright and shiny love,

Rachel

Giraffe Painting

Giraffe Painting

After rediscovering my love of painting, I sat down to paint a second time. I, apparently, am very into painting jungle/safari animals at the moment. Or just large mammals. Time will tell what the category of animals really is as I paint more.

Giraffe

One of my dear friends once commented on how I have a strange obsession with painting all of my furniture blue. As I post more photos she will comment on how I have a strange obsession painting XXXX-type animals. I’ll let you know.

giraffe2

As usual, my photography  is mediocre. But, this painting, I assure you, is pretty adorable. It’s about 10″ by 12″ on canvas board in acrylic. Right now I am not into painting the backgrounds – I really dig blank canvas these days. I attribute it to my love of Matisse.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy Giraffe as must as I do.

Love,

Rachel

 

Blue Rhino (O.M.G. I love painting!)

Blue Rhino (O.M.G. I love painting!)

Have you ever loved something, and then not done it for a while, and then forgotten how much you love it?

I LOVE painting. I love love love it. I love the feel of the brush on the canvas. I love mixing different colors. I love having something in my head and recreating it for the world to see. I love how nothing else bothers me when I am painting. I am not worried about papers, grades, school or relationships. I am only worried about making something beautiful. I love how when I paint, I have this dumb smile on my face for hours at a time while I dab away at the canvas.

But for some stupid reason, I forgot how much I freaking love painting. I mean, I knew I liked it. But I forgot its therapeutic effects. I guess I forget the good stuff because sometimes paintings don’t come out the way I see them in mind’s eye or something.

Anyway. I had forgotten about the joy of painting. Hadn’t painted in over a year. And then I was crazy stressed out, dealing with a bunch of stuff that still makes my blood boil just to think about. Though I probably didn’t actually have the hours to spare to sit down and create, I did it anyway.

Oh. My. God. It was awesome. It was better than I remembered. I mean, how could I possibly forget that high that I get just from putting color on canvas, just from mixing colors, just from painting myself a new friend?

Well, I hope I don’t forget again. I have been painting a little more now – not as much as I would like. But enough to take my mind off things. Enough to create beautiful new pictures. And enough so that I don’t forget the magic of creating. I know it sounds corny and cheesy, but whatevs. Deal with it.

Without further ado, here is my latest creation:

Love.

Love.

Yep. It’s a blue rhinoceros. (It is really hard to spell “rhinoceros,” BTW.)

It’s 16″x12″ (I think). Acrylic.

It’s hanging in our apartment above the stereo and looks great. However, I only took the one pic. I spent all my time painting and baking bread, so I had less time for photography.

I hope you like him. I love him. And Rhino serves as a reminder to never stop doing things that I love.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever forgotten how much you like something and then you rediscover it and your mind is blown?

Rhino love,

Rachel

PS. This post is for Julia, who encouraged me to sit down and paint, and who was my rock this last semester.

Klimt – Up Close and Personal

Klimt – Up Close and Personal

Gustav Klimt was kinda awesome. And the Klimt exhibit currently at the Leopold Museum, Klimt – Up Close and Personal, in Vienna is also kinda awesome.

The courtyard at Museumsquartier, where the Leopold is located. The bright colorful things are benches/chairs/tables for people to sit and enjoy the scene.

The Leopold

Stormy weather, but still an undeniably beautiful public space.

Not only does the Leopold have some of Klimt’s most incredible paintings, but the curators managed to track down hundreds (HUNDREDS!) of post cards that Klimt scribbled, sometimes as many as ten per day, to his dear friend, Emilie. Most of his postcards are about the weather, or what he ate for a dinner, or just a few thoughts that popped into his head. They are essentially the pre- and during-WWII equivalent of text messages, and were a wonderful glimpse into thoughts running through Klimt’s head.

Letter that Klimt wrote to his life-long friend, Emilie. I love his fascinating sketches and wonderfully eccentric handwriting. I makes me want to resume the lost of art of postcard-text messaging.

Death and Life

Lake Attersee (My Favorite – it’s Even More Brilliant in Person)

Der Goldene Ritter

The Big Poplar II

Klimt was a man who painted without an underlying motive, without pushing some major theory. He often said he was more interested in painting beautiful things than conveying some bigger thematic meaning. He also had many cats, which wandered freely through his studio. Rumor has it that he told his students that cat paw prints and occasional urine on his sketches were not a problem – they were really improvements. It was unclear if he was joking or not, and despite hygiene problems, I love this lighthearted approach to painting beautiful things.

Gustav Klimt and a Cat, that may or may not have improved upon his sketches. He is also wearing one of those long Chinese-style robes, and nothing else…

Though he mocked his art, Klimt was a successful painter during his lifetime, and received large sums for his paintings.

During the summer, Klimt only wore long Chinese-style dressing gowns, with nothing underneath. Secret-revealing time: That is BY FAR the best way to paint. In the buff, or semi-buff. If I had a long Chinese-style dressing gown, I would wear it to paint too.

Klimt was one of the founders of the Secession movement, a group of influential painters trying to break out of more conventional art molds. This (below) is a lovely poster for the group, that I believe was drawn by Klimt, but right now I cannot really remember.

I have so much more to tell, because I was incredibly moved by this exhibit. There is also more awesome stuff that was on exhibit at the Leopold Museum, but I think I will share that with you later.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this post. I want to finish by saying that I was never moved by Klimt before – the most famous works that everyone knew didn’t really speak to me – but this exhibit left me screaming to get out my paints, dying to put his techniques on canvas. If you haven’t been to see it yet, and have a chance, I highly recommend it. And I recommend wearing long gowns commando-style.

Lieben and painting,

Rachel