Sunday, March 25, 2012


Doors and Openings

I have been doing research on doors for a big project I am working on.  I have always thought that doors were special and significant.  They are something you walk through every day.  To start the day, we walk through our front door.  To go to work we open the door to the office.  When you enter church, you walk through a large set of doors.  It is a moment when you pause, anticipate, and can even get fearful.  Who knows what the day will bring? Who knows what is on the other side of the door?

So what do you want to pick for your home?  Yes, you can go to Home Depot and buy a hollow core door but do you want to walk through them everyday and feel hollow??  NO! You want a door that is exciting and beautiful, something full of promise for the future and also one that gives you a sense of  history.  OK, a home doesn't need to have all doors like this, but how about a fabulous front door?

I decided to go through some photos from my travels to see what amazing openings I have walked or looked through.  Wherever I am, I love taking pictures of a great doors.

Here is a picture of me at the Taj Mahal
A better picture of the Taj by Thamer Al-Tassan
Talk about exciting and historical.  The Taj Mahal is not just an amazing marble dome.  It is a series of substructures where you enter and exit through magnificent arches that are made of marble inlaid with semi precious stones.  You know the artists were hard at work to create such a large structure.  You feel their sweat (OK, it was about 110 degrees when I went!) and you see their determination to do everything perfect for the Mughal emperor.

This is a photo of me at the entrance to a temple in Bali

Bali has many doors to temples that you enter with respect and humility.  You may not enter if you are not properly covered, so you can see my skirt and sash that a local worshiper handed to me before visiting the temples.

The next several doors are from Udaipur, India.  I love the scalloped edge and the dark wood with brass.  The scallops make the doors special.  They are beckoning you and inviting you into see the splendor on the other side.

Udaipur, India

The painted door above depicts an Indian God, Ganesha.  The royal colors are used and immediately you are aware that you must be silent to show your reverence.  Below, another God is framed by the scalloped door.

From this opening, one peeks at the city life below.  I took the photo from inside a palace. In the past, one may have been hiding away from the city or anticipating the city's energy.  Below, I fell in love with the beauty!  The turquoise, the tile, the history of daily life hand painted in each tile.  So stunning!

In Istanbul, Turkey, I took many pictures of hand carved stone openings and while I was on a boat cruising the Bosphorus, I saw doors, windows and places of worship that were incredible.  I could have gone up and down all day long.


Photo taken from a boat on the Bosphorus in Istanbul

So before going to Home Depot, think about your doors.  Embellish them, revere them, notice your feelings as you walk through them.  I think you may choose a different door:-)


Monday, March 12, 2012


I think art makes a space.

There are so many styles of art out there (Paintings, sculpture, photography...) that you can't go wrong.  Art is available to purchase at all prices.  I have worked at an art gallery, The Kneeland Gallery in Sun Valley, Idaho and at a museum, The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  I have been exposed to so many artists, styles and I see the attraction to it ALL.  So how do you purchase your art?

I purchased my first piece when I was hanging art for a show.  I couldn't stop staring at the art.  It was a mono print with acrylic over it.  The central character was a cowboy and the artist was Larry Pirnie.  I had met him and his fabulously energetic wife and knew I had to have something made by him.  I was so  nervous buying it.  It was a ton of money for a recent college grad, but I felt a connection to the piece, as I felt a connection to the artist.  Well, my mom never understood why I bought art instead of a dresser for my clothes.  (My clothes were still folded into milk cartons stacked up on my floor!)  But, I knew I would have it forever.

This is an example of his work.  Am I a cowgirl?  No.  Can I ride a horse?  I would say yes, but the horses don't often listen to me:-)  So why?  I felt happy looking at it.  I love Pirnie's sense of humor in all of his works.  I became friends with him and eventually commissioned him to make a piece with a cowboy in his red truck with a poodle next to him riding on the range.  I thought that would make me laugh forever!  It made him laugh!!

Anyhow, am I commissioning art these days?  No.  I have three kids in schools, camps to pay, dogs to feed, but I still love art.  I am always on the hunt for a great landscape painting.  I just bought a fabulous plein air piece from a thrift store for $250.  I love hanging them all together.  They make such a great statement!  I also search for great work.  I bought 4 landscapes that arrived today from Francois Fournier, a landscape painter from Canada.  Here is one of them.

It was $100 and I could see his passion through his energetic brush strokes.  I love the colors.  They remind me of summer in Idaho.  I had a connection.

Speaking of color, I love the smile I get from another fabulous artist on Etsy.  The Pink Pagoda has tons of amazing work!  Could you imagine having this triptych in your daughter's bedroom?
How cute is that?!  Her colors and patterns are fabulous. Whether it is a hot pink pagoda or an orange dragon, I am drawn.  As her store states, "Dress up your walls with affordable chic chinoiserie!"  

So you see a theme.  Buy when you have a passionate connection with art.  If it makes you happy now, it will make you happy a long time!  Do I still have my plastic milk cartons with clothes?  No! But I have my art!  And, I do not regret buying any art I have.  The only regrets is about the art I haven't purchased.  So go and buy something today!!