Tuesday, 31 July 2012

maison gray photography.

I love google, it puts an end to those frustrating times where a name is on the tip of your lips and but you just can't think what it is, and it makes tracking down something you've seen and liked a whole lot easier.
I'd seen these incredible aerial beach photos featured in various interior magazines a while ago and started to go digging through a rather large pile, but got through about five magazines and realised I should just cut to the chase and google them. I discovered these incredible shots are the work of Californian based photographer Maison Gray
bondi beach swimmers maison gray
bondi beach maison gray
bondi beach swimmers maison gray
st tropez maison gray 
tiki maison gray
Shooting from a helicopter Maison has captured aerial beach scenes in Australia, Europe, America and Brazil for his 'A la Plage, A la Piscine'series. For Maison the photos are "a visual celebration of colour, light, shape," and above all, "summer bliss." You can buy Maison's birds eye perspective of the beach here. Very different to the standard landscape beach shots, the photos create a new appreciation for colourful umbrellas and symmetry. 
carribean maison gray
coogee beach maison gray
miami blue and red chairs maison gray
miami blue and yellow chairs maison gray
sagaponack main beach maison gray
st tropez secret beach maison gray 

Monday, 30 July 2012

simple pleasures.

 I rarely come back from the beach empty handed. I can't resist filling my pockets with fragments of coral, shells and tumbled rocks. You never know what you'll find, as it depends largely on the tide, luck and how much time you devote to fossicking. I spent a good few hours yesterday leisurely strolling along the beach with my eyes glued to the sand looking for treasure. The weather was incredible and I think I got a pretty good haul. I love the beach.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

profile pia blair - little land of pia.

Get yourself a cup of tea or coffee, maybe a biscuit or two and set aside some time to read about artist, traveller and story teller Pia Blair of littlelandofpia. Living in her adopted city Ho Chi Min, Pia creates her very own little land through collage and screen print techniques. Unique fragments beautifully compiled on paper, Pia's little land is truly imaginative and colourful! I am sure you'll be hooked reading about her adventures, life, inspiration and work so check out her blog and facebook page too. If you fancy snapping up an original piece head to Greenhouse Interiors. Run don't walk.

How would you describe yourself?
Cheeky, impulsive, sarcastic, loving and optimistic.

What was your childhood dream?
I had many! To own my own business, and have a shop and create something that was my own. Own and renovate a beautiful period home. I think I was the only 11 year old I knew that was obsessed with watching Maggie T’s Home Show on the ABC on a weekly basis and would tell adults that I wanted to either be an interior designer or masseuse?!! I always saw myself traveling the world. At a young age I wanted to be the next Catriona Rowntree on ‘Getaway’! I also wanted to be the next Michelle Timms, aka the point guard on the Australian Women’s Basketball team. So from this all I can gauge is the fact that I had an identity crisis from a young age!

What led you down your current path?
I studied Fine Arts Sculpture and Printmaking at University and after finishing those three ridiculously fun years I had no idea what I wanted to do. I really didn’t have any self-belief in my own artistic practice and felt a bit lost really. After a road trip with some of my besties I thought that I would like to have a job that allowed me to travel and live in different places. So the natural choice was becoming a Secondary Visual Arts teacher I taught for 5 years in Frankston, which was tough but really good for me. I became bored by the monotony of being at the same school and yearned for adventure. Fortunately my boyfriend then (now lovely husband Luke) felt the same. We travelled the world for 6 months before landing a Visual Arts job at an International School in Guangzhou China. From there I got a job at the International School of Ho Chi Minh City, where I have been teaching kids from all over of the world Visual Arts for the past 3 years. After a big trip through South America this time last year I was sitting on yet another 36 hour bus ride and decided that I need more in my life and really felt like I needed to produce my own work. After living in Asia for 5 years it became apparent that you could not buy interesting or well made greeting cards anywhere. So I started a small range of screen-printed and collaged cards. I took them to the coolest shop in the Ho, ‘L’usine’ and they bought the lot. This gave me the confidence I needed. I showed them to my best mate Emma Cleine from Lumiere Art + Co who kindly passed them onto our now amazing sales agent Julia Green of Greenhouse Interiors and she loved them, but advised me to make artworks not cards. So I started making screen printed, and spray-painted and collaged works on paper. I became so busy doing full-time teaching and making that I decided to throw in the towel last month and now I am working full time on my business and I am the one-woman show behind littlelandofpia! So for the last 6 months I have been creating large and small mixed media works on paper and now have 20+ stockists Australia wide! I have now just started making bags, cushions, digitally printed designs onto silk and who knows wheat else will emerge! I’m so excited to see what will come from this time away from teaching.

What do you love most about what you do?
I love that I can be in my workspace at home in Vietnam and be totally engrossed in what I am making. I am very fortunate that I can spend my days making what I want to and I don’t think there are many people out there that can say that.
I am so flattered if anybody shows interest in what I do, and wants to buy one of my artworks or a shop chooses to purchase a littlelandofpia or a magazine or blog show cases my work. I am so excited to have this coming year to focus on making and feel so fortunate to have this time to focus on my practice.

How and why did you make the leap from making works on paper to pieces for the home?
I realised how fortunate I was to live in Vietnam and how I have a mecca of possibilities on my doorstep. Finding ‘leather street’ and a company that will digitally print my designs onto silk were highlights. Seriously, I am the luckiest lass in the world! I also need to remember that this is my livelihood and I need to make an income. So it was important for me to diversify and try my hand at multiple things so I can appeal to more stores and clients.

Where do you feel most inspired?
When I am travelling or on our motorbike travelling the streets of my beloved ‘Ho’. I see so many photographs that I wish I could take, but invariably find myself without a camera because bag and phone and camera snatching is rife! I really truly love living in Asia and love the chaos and obscurity that occurs in my world. I usually come up with my best ideas on long bus trips in far away places. I have a notebook that I write everything in and then refer to those ideas for months after. I read a motivational book when I was travelling last year that really gave me a kick up the backside and gave me confidence to believe in what I do. I love talking to my mate Emma and hearing about what she is working on. I really feel that we feed off each other’s enthusiasm and give each other great ideas and direction.

Who do you admire?
Anyone that has the balls to put their stuff out there! I think that takes courage! Living in Asia I feel rather disconnected to what is happening in Australia and that is a strange dichotomy when you are living in a far away place but making art for customers in a place that you call home but don’t live there! I see so many brands all doing the same thing and really want to try and remain true to myself and make unique things and not follow trends. I love Miranda Skozcek’s work, Spacecraft backing cloth paintings and Bonnie and Neil are the forefront of Australian homewares for a reason. I feel that they have created a unique and well-constructed product and there are too many brands copying what they do which is a shame.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Trying to do two full time jobs at the same time was pretty tricky. I was working long days and often had to make pieces when I really wasn’t in the right headspace. Managing my time will be a big challenge for me. Working from home will really test my ability to procrastinate! I go through bursts when I doubt what I am making and myself and when I see other businesses flourishing and selling lots I wonder if I will ever reach that level of success. It can be quite lonely and isolating when you are working away from home and I get such a lift when people give me positive reinforcement.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
Being featured on The Design Files was HUGE for me. But having said that, I pinch myself when ever somebody buys one of my pieces! I am so flattered and in disbelief! I am also pretty flattered when I see strangers pinning my artworks on Pinterest. I have some amazing stores stocking my work and that is most definitely a pinch myself moment when Julia my agent tells me they have purchased.
What are your top creative resources?
I really feel out of the loop when it comes to trending online resources!

I love the blog line x shape x colour, because it inspires me to capture beautiful images.

My collages are so dependent on what I manage to find to create with. So I scour my lovely city with vigour and find the most amazing books from the 1940’s-1980s from France. Russia, Vietnam and elsewhere in second book shops and antique shops in Ho Chi Minh. This is an invaluable resource for me and gives me new ideas every time I find something golden.

I find Pinterest a great time waster! But it is a good way to gather and categorize things that inspire me. Often I don’t realise what I am attracted to until I see patterns in what I am drawn to.

I really miss seeing great exhibitions. So whenever I travel I try and see as much art as possible whether that’s a planned incident or just general observations on the streets. The MOMA in New York, and the TATE Modern in London are guaranteed winners! Street Art in Tokyo, Japan, Bogota in Colombia and Rio de Janiero Brazil were standouts. Havana in Cuba was just stunning and I love anything weathered and a little dishevelled so this city really pulled at my heartstrings. I would love to visit again. I felt alive and it was my most favourite place ever.

What is your idea of happiness?
Being with my loved ones and laughing. Feeling confident and inspired. Sitting in the sunshine with a breeze. On holidays or travelling somewhere new always makes me feel happy. Sharing champagne with friends and having a late night boogie is always a good way to make me the happiest lady on the planet. Oh and a new outfit is certain to turn a frown upside down!
What's next?
I would like to have an exhibition, I would like to promote myself and sell more work in Asia and make links with stores in Hong Kong, Singapore and Ho Chi Minh. I am thinking I may go to India in the next couple of months and see what I could create there. I think the artisans in India are incredible and the colour and diversity seen there when I travelled a few years ago was exquisite. This trip is guaranteed to getting my heart beating a little faster. I am showing my new wares at the Life Instyle Fair in Melbourne August 2-5 and this will be great work experience for me. Seeing what sells and what does not sell will be invaluable for me. I am just interested to see where I fit into the market in Australia and what is not being done so I can expand my range and continue to make work that has a unique aesthetic.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read – emails from my girlfriends at home.
Watch - Something ridiculously trashy! I’m too shy to admit the crap I watch.
Cook - Omelettes with fresh Basil for Luke and I.
Create - something involving a little cut and paste
Listen to - Florence and the Machine, The xx, Fat Freddies Drop, Ray Charles, and Kanye West.
Dream about - Meredith Music Festival, Greek food and beaches on Kefalonia, having my besties from Australia at my house in Vietnam. Oh and shopping in Melbourne for new outfits!
Look forward to - Sunday brunch with friends and free flow Veuve Clicquot champagne at my favourite brunch place in town in the Ho.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

fortudious find.

Set your dvd players to record Dream Build -ABC Sunday 8.15pm.If you like Grand Designs (yep) and Australian Grand Designs (yep again) like me you'll love this new series about Aussies who have turned the dream of building an incredible home into a reality. 
The first episode just screened featured the Hill House by Andrew Maynard architects which I mentioned here. The next episode profiles a Melbourne family who have built a futurist house with a backyard transformed by a man-made hill
Dream Build
Inspiring, unique and very addictive I think this is my new favourite show. Checkout the website where you can post pictures of your own dream home, view a photo gallery and watch episodes. 

Monday, 23 July 2012

rug up.

I have had this picture, torn from an old vogue magazine, pinned above my desk for years. I love the light and I love the rug! It is an oldie but a goodie from Loom. As it is still freezing....I thought I'd go in search of a few more covetable rugs and found quite a few which took my fancy. 
chevalier edition panier by stephen burks loom
chevalier edition tresses by samuel accoceberry loom
old yarn kilim Loom
old yarn kilim bal Loom
old yarn rug Loom
dhoku kilim Loom
old yarn Loom
bereketh old yarn rug Loom
designer collection triangles armadillo & co.
armadillo & co.

Friday, 20 July 2012

profile emma cleine lumiere art + co.

lumiere art + co. limited edition art prints
lumiere art + co. tea towels
- too nice to use on dishes!
lumiere art + co. mandala cushions and limited edition art print
photos armelle habib - styling julia green
lumiere art + co. mandala cushions
photos armelle habib - styling julia green

 emma cleine of lumiere art + co.
Who doesn't love a few pom poms? Certainly not Emma Cleine the creative talent behind Lumiere Art + Co. Studying fine art before working as a teacher, last year Emma decided to devote more time to her passion and produce pieces she loves. Starting out creating vintage paper flags, Emma's since proven her design skills across various mediums including wooden objects, limited edition prints, artworks and textiles. Destined to become treasured pieces in any home, her delicate lace inspired designs come in beautiful a colour palette - which can prove troublesome if you are trying to limit your selection to just one. I don't know if it is too early yet, but I am thinking a mandala cushion may just be the first addition to my Christmas wishlist. Check out where you can buy Lumiere Art + Co here.  

How would you describe yourself in five words?
Busy, thoughtful, fun, hardworking and romantic.

What was your childhood dream?
To simply ‘make’. I always wanted to be an artist and designer.

What led you down your current path?
Having my son, Lenny. Taking 6 months maternity leave from teaching allowed me to assess what I wanted to get out of life. I’m so passionate about art and design and spent 10 years talking about it, it was about time I did something to contribute to it!

What do you love most about what you do?
The flexibility to continually change what I make. It’s just my hands and me! Nothing about what I do is ever a drag or monotonous. I don’t rely on manufacturing. I love processes and designing my work around a technique I’m into at that particular point in time. I like blurring the line of craft, art and decoration.

Where do you seek inspiration?
I don’t screen print so my designs are guided by what is possible by using a printing press. I like to take a concept and expand it through exploration. Visiting galleries inspire me.

Who do you admire?
I love Australian artists Sally Smart, Lisa Roet, Louise Weaver, DelKathryn Barton and Cherry Hood. Stewart Russell of Spacecraft (I have two!) and my bestie and artist Pia Blair of little land of pia, who I went to Art School with. I also admire my Mum and Nana.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Not being confident in my work or believing that people may actually like what I do. I’ve also had an ongoing battle, which I think derives from my 90’s cynicism about art vs. craft, commercial work vs. real art. I’ve completely made peace with that battle now.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
A couple. Buying a copy of Home Beautiful with my home featured whilst stealing a 5-minute break from a photo shoot of my new collection. Attending Life Instyle at the start of this year, delivering 11 artworks to Jardan that were then shipped to their Brisbane showroom. Amazing! Still can’t believe it.

What are your top creative resources?
1. Julia Green, a stylist and extrodonaire behind Greenhouse Interiors.
2. Artist, Jos Law. Jos’ forte is assemblage. Her enthusiasm is infectious and gusto to ‘make’ and not be precious has made me follow the direction I’m going now. She taught me to not worry about doing commercial work and to apply fine art skills to all that I do.
3. A beautiful old book of wallpaper designs from the 1920’s
4. I love Inside Out magazine. I have been a subscriber forever.

What dream do you still want to fulfil?
I aspire to have a solo exhibition of artworks in the next two years, have stockists overseas and have a studio to call my own! Yep, I’m still lacking in the workspace department. My kitchen table is my studio and it drives me crazy! I would also really like to collaborate with another designer.

What's next?
A more extensive range of lino print patterns printed onto fabric and a few commercial commissions. I’m already thinking of a collection of artworks and soft furnishings for Winter 2013.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do:
Catch up on everything, enjoy my gorgeous friends, eat, drink, beach and dream.

Read – I wish I could real off a long list of incredibly intellectual titles or few Penguin Classics, but to be honest, since Lumiere Art + Co, I haven’t had time to read a good novel which is terrible!
Watch - The last film I watched was Jane Eyre and before that a French film called Ricky. I also enjoy a staple diet of True Blood, Mad Men, Big Love, Girls, Dexter and Offspring.
Cook - Consistently recipes from Guy Mirabella and Nigella Lawson. I love Guy’s ricotta gnocchi.
Create - Everyday.
Listen to - XX, Bon Iver, Kanye West and Sally Seltman.
Dream about - Finishing everything I have on the go. Travelling to Greece.
Look forward to - Seeing my little boy grow up and nurturing Lumiere Art + Co. so it becomes everything I want it to be.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

houses awards part 2

House alteration and addition under 200m2
Four Room Cottage
 Owen and Vokes
photos jon linkins

Hill House
andrew maynard architects
photos nic granleese
Skylight House
chenchow little architects
katherine lu

Prahran Residence
christine francis

House alteration and addition under 200m2

Skirt + Rock House
marsh cashman koolloos
photos richard glover

Brick House
clare cousins
photos shannon mcgrath

 South Yarra Residence
nixon tulloch fortey architecture 
shannon mcgrath
* I think this green couch should get a special award - love it!