On The Floor

One of the jobs I have been working on for the past 4 years is revamping a family home. The lovely couple have pretty much moved into the “empty nester” category with their youngest heading off to university, outside Sydney, at the beginning of last year.

We’ve transformed the house in every way, except structurally and are now up to the fun part of putting in the new furnishings.

Family Room before

The new leather lounge has gone in and we have bought some new artwork.

This oil painting by Velia Newman will sit on the family room wall

Last week we looked at some rugs and chose the following three from Designer Rugs.

Floral Sketch

Floral Sketch

This is the right size – 2m x 3m.

Flame Tree

The pattern will get lost once we put a coffee table on top.

Atoms

The background colour could be changed to a warmer off white to blend in better with the tiles and sofa.

We don’t want the rug to detract from the artwork but it must complement it.

Which one do you like?

What to do this weekend?

It’s Thursday and time to think about the weekend. There are a few things on this weekend that may be of interest to you.

Art Sydney First up is Art Sydney 2009 which is being held at the Royal Hall of Industries, Entertainment Quarter, Moore Park. The official opening is tonight with a special preview party from 5pm – 9pm. You can book tickets here. The show continues on Friday from midday – 9pm, Saturday 10am – 6pm and Sunday 10am – 5pm. There will be lots to look at including artworks from over 100 galleries all under the one roof. You might like to take an Art Walk and Talk or take the kids to a free workshop or spot fresh talent at the Off The Wall exhibit where 12 of the best up-and -coming artists from across Australia are exhibiting with works from as little as $250.

On Sunday head to the Danks St Festival which will showcase the art galleries and gourmet food that have made Danks Street, Waterloo a drawcard for people from all over Sydney. Crowds can expect culinary delights from Danks Street Depot, Wah Wah Lounge, Grosvenor Hotel, Thai Pie, Red Star Pizza and Mason Rose, The French House and Patisse.

Making its first appearance at the Festival this year is the Live Green Kitchen hosted by Lyndey Milan, with leading local chefs including Jared Ingersoll, Kylie Kwong, Alex Herbert, Dave Campbell and Ashley Hughes demonstrating cooking techniques that focus on sustainable food.

PYD Market

Also new for 2009 is a “Handmade Market” selling all the things you love about your local fete – everything from handcrafts to sweet treats, supporting local artists and charities. There will be more performers than ever before in some surprise shows you’ll never forget and a great music line up that is guaranteed to have you cruising on a Sunday afternoon.

PYD Building

Festival favourites return such as the Produce Market, bar and “Arty Pants” – interactive art for kids. The PYD Building (so named because it sits on the corner of Philip, Danks and Young Streets) has the Vogue Living designer markets running over both Saturday and Sunday in the car park.

Anzac Bridge

Anzac Bridge

Sunday is also the Seven Bridges Walk which is a 25 Km course that takes in Sydney Harbour Bridge, Pyrmont Bridge, ANZAC Bridge, Iron Cove Bridge, Gladesville Bridge, Tarban Creek Bridge and the Fig Tree Bridge.

Gladesville Bridge

Gladesville Bridge

Join the fun and see this beautiful city while helping to raise money for beyondblue: the national depression initiative, The Cancer Council NSW, Diabetes Australia – NSW and The Heart Foundation NSW.

Iron Cove Bridge

Iron Cove Bridge

What would you choose?

Is your cup half full?

I can’t wait to head over to Eva Breuer Gallery this weekend and have a look at the exhibition of works by Rosemary Valadon.

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The exhibition is called Euphoria ; The Tea Party and the paintings look fantastic. Beautiful vintage tea cups and saucers with tea and blossoms and lemon and spoons.

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Makes you want to sit down and have a cuppa right now.

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I would like a set of four to place in the casual dining room or perhaps one of the tablescapes in the dining room.

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Decisions, decisions!

Wishing You A Colourful Weekend

"High Country" by Dulcie Clegg - Watercolour on Yuppo Paper

"High Country" by Dulcie Clegg - Watercolour on Yuppo Paper

If you’re in Sydney’s North Shore tomorrow, drop into Roseville Public School’s Fair. They are having an Art Show as well and I have just delivered four of Mum’s paintings to the organisers.

"Tumbling Peonies" by Dulcie Clegg Watercolour on paper

"Tumbling Peonies" by Dulcie Clegg - Watercolour on paper

Hope they have good weather and a successful Fair.

by Gianluca Neri on Flickr

by Gianluca Neri on Flickr

Whatever you get up to this weekend, enjoy.

Aussie Back Yards

Wall Mural by Emma Burmeister

Wall Mural by Emma Burmeister

I loved this image when I saw it in a recent Australian House and Garden. This small house in Melbourne has virtually no outdoor living area other than the courtyard. So mural artist Emma Burmeister was called in to give the family what nearly every other Aussie family has (or wants) – a Hills Hoist (for drying clothes, there’s nothing like it), a weber barbeque for the snags (sausages), a sprinkler (not used so much these days in view of the drought), a backyard cricket set and Dad has a beloved Victa motor mower. The quirkiness of the image appeals to me, it would make me smile every time I stepped outside.

Art For Art’s Sake

One of the last things I’m often asked to advise on when working with a client, is their art. Not so much which type of are, but rather which part of the wall should the piece be placed. It’s usually the last thing that goes up and marks those freshly painted or renovated walls so I understand the trepidation felt.

crb464015 The most important aspect of hanging art is to make sure the centre of the artwork is at eye level. This is so the average person can peer straight into the painting. Those of us that are vertically challenged need to take this into consideration and take it up a few centimetres. However as we all know, rules were meant to be broken.

Artworks from floor to ceiling

Artworks from Floor To Ceiling

Another great tip for hanging art is to hang a large piece off centre and group two or more smaller pieces to one side, rather than on either side.

0306p083_hen_1 Arrange clusters of separately framed photos, rather than multiple photos in one frame.

image4_thumb As they say, beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and this should be kept in mind when you are buying art for your own home. What appeals to you will not necessarily appeal to everyone, but if you are living with your piece then it must have some meaning to you. It should evoke a memory such as something you have purchased on a holiday, or it should tell a story like a historical piece or it should get you thinking.

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Shell Money from Solomon Islands

These were my daughter's baby shoes. Too cute for hand me downs.

These were my daughter's baby shoes. Too cute for hand me downs.

I don’t think a house looks lived in until there are pieces on the wall. It doesn’t have to be expensive artworks (although my artist Mother would say this is a good option). Think outside the frame and consider other options for decorating the walls.

Plate wall by Lisa Congdon

Plate wall by Lisa Congdon

Hall of Mirrors

Hall of Mirrors

Framed

Framed

If you were styling your home for sale, then that’s the time to purchase or rent artwork that sits well with the decor. The subject matter at this time should be fairly neutral too. It’s amazing that some people just can’t see past what’s in front of them and an “out there” artwork may detract from the reason these people are in your home in the first place.

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So this weekend, have a look at what’s hanging on your walls and maybe change things around or put up new items. Whatever you do, enjoy your weekend.

Rug Up at Government House

Government House, Sydney

Government House, Sydney

Last night I attended the Rug Up Design Forum which was held in the Grand Ballroom of Government House. What a magnificent building. I’ve lived in Sydney for 7 years and never visited this Historic House. Australia is only 200 years old and you forget we do have some beautiful old buildings. I have just finished reading The Secret River by Kate Grenville which is a fictional novel following the journey of one of the early settlers of the Hawkesbury River just north of Sydney. It was interesting to have that insight into Sydney’s early days and then be standing on this historic spot.

Drinks in the arcade

Drinks in the arcade

The panel on the design forum included Yosi Tal from Designer Rugs, Akira Isogawa, Fashion Designer, Liane Rossler from Dinosaur Designs, Julie Patterson of Cloth Fabric and Harold Luke of Whitecliffe Imports. Lead by Neale Whittaker from Belle Magazine the panel discussed the art and romance of rugs.

Designer Rugs started in 1986 when no-one was making rugs in Australia. In 2005 they ran a fundraising event to design a rug with the funds going towards the charity Camp Quality. This was a very successful event and showcased Australian Designers. From there, the idea to ask Australian Designers to collaborate on rug designs evolved with each of the three designers on the panel having a collection of rugs manufactured by Designer Rugs.

Cloth Rug on Display at Government House

Cloth Rug on Display at Government House

It was interesting to hear where these designers fine the inspiration for their designs and how they then translate them to their respective products and now rugs. The common challenge each of them find is working on such a large scale as a 2m x 3m rug and handing their designs over to other people to produce. They all consider themselves part of a cottage industry and are all very “hands-on” with their designs, manufacturing and marketing. Liane called the rugs, jewellery for the home and I liked that.

Akira Rug on display at Government House

Akira Rug on display at Government House

One thing that was evident from this conversation was that each of the designers are passionate and dedicated about their work. Julie likened her creativity to a stock. You put all the good ingredients in and keep it simmering away until you are ready to cook. Liane said the most important thing is to have contentment and enjoyment in what you do, any success that comes along is a bonus. Akira said his challenge is to keep inspired and passionate.

It was wonderful to hear these amazing people and have a little insight into their thought process. Designer Rugs has done a wonderful job of blurring boundaries and bringing fashion, design and art together.

Bentwood Chairs at Saturday in Design

Bentwood Chairs at Saturday in Design

Bentwood Chairs at Saturday in Design

One of the projects going on in conjunction with Saturday in Design was redesigning the Bentwood Chair. James Richardson Group supplies the industry with a range of chairs and other seating mainly from Europe and the Czech Republic and is the largest supplier of Bentwood Chairs in the Southern Hemisphere. There was this great teaser at one of the locations which convinced us to visit the showroom where the contestants were on show.

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All the chairs were amazing and so different from each other. We had the opportunity to vote for our favourite.

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Which one would have received your vote?

Life’s Journey

I have long been an admirer of paintings by Margaret Olley and as I learnt more about this remarkable grand dame I liked her style even more. So when I read that the S H Ervin Gallery in Sydney was host to a touring exhibition of her work I HAD to go and take a look.

Margaret Olley sketching in Newcastle in 1965

Margaret Olley sketching in Newcastle in 1965

The blurb says that this exhibition “provides an insight into the world around Margaret Olley from the early 1950’s to the the 1970’s”. The watercolours and pen and ink studies on display (which are essentially her travel notes) show scenes of her home town of Brisbane (also mine), Paris, New Guinea, Kuala Lumpur, Bali, Venice and Sydney. It is remarkable to think that the then 25 year old travelled the world in 1949 – a very different world than the one I have seen. It was only 2 years since World War II ended.

Brisbane River by Margaret Olley

Brisbane River by Margaret Olley

Better known for her Still Life paintings, these artworks easily show her eye for detail, colour and everyday scenes. Her first trip abroad to London and Paris in 1949 was the beginning of a life-long romance with travel, of visiting museums, paying homage to great art and of exploring cities and cultures of countries throughout the world.

Port Marseille by Margaret Olley

Port Marseille by Margaret Olley

I recommend you visit the gallery before 28th June to view these seldom seen paintings. The exhibition then moves to the Newcastle Regional Gallery and will be on display from 15 August – 26 Ocotber 2009.

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