Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Design Comes First • Innovative Design That Is.

Ernest Hemingway said "Cut out the ornamentation and design as straight as you can" - he was speaking of the written word. I see what he meant. I have this thing with clean lines. I have this thing with order. I definitely have a thing with innovative designers who see those lines, who seek risk, who champion ambition, who push beyond the ordinary - whose vision is to draw you in, to startle you into an emotional response that you don't expect. 

I step into a space, and before all else I anchor my feet solidly on the ground. I take it all in. I actually cannot take a seat until I have taken it all in. I take in the vision, the intent, the originality. I take in the beauty, the experimentation, the chance taken, the genius. I relish the moment.
Only after I have this this all in - once I am more than a little dizzy with awe - will I then sit down - or simply continue looking.

Each of the places below stopped me in my tracks. Each one has inspired me from the very moment I stepped on its threshold. Take a road trip, stay close to home - it does not matter. Look. See. Risk. Design. Create. Be the catalyst. Take a chance. And look again.

•  Presqu'île Winery • Orcutt •

ØL Beer Café & Bottle Shop • Walnut Creek •

•  Sans Liège Wine Bar • Pismo Beach •

•  Sir Francis Drake Hotel • San Francisco •

•  Museum of Modern Art • San Francisco •

•  Preserve • Winters •

•  Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center • San Rafael •

•  Calicraft Brewing Company • Walnut Creek •

 Lincoln Park Wine Bar • San Anselmo •

I have added the links to each place. There are so many stunning spaces that speak to my sense of aesthetics - my curiosity for the unique. My list just wants to grow.
My older daughter has caught the bug. She has a unique way of capturing modern spaces, ageless spaces. I can see that she is moved by them.

Remember to stand still, to look up, to look around - don't just eat the food drink the drink view the art spend the night file the forms. Take it ALL in. You will see very quickly how good it is for the soul. 

Enjoy as always, Adeline

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Oh to be a doll for a day

Most people have a collection of sorts; some are passionate about historical maps, others might prefer miniature cars, antique corkscrews, or perhaps vintage textiles. I was blissfully lucky to photograph my mother's doll collection - a collection like no other. As far back as I can remember, there have been dolls in my mother's world. 

From her many travels and year-long stays overseas, she has amassed an impressive collection; each doll's origin reaching far and wide. One dates back to the 16th century; a charming couple was found in the Himalayan foothills; a Chinese set was purchased in HongKong. Matryoshka and Russian peasant dolls add to the mix, as does an antique trio from Provence with their sombre papier-mâché faces. Others come from the heart of Americana, while the cage dolls reach back to Spanish Colonialism. There are the German wooden stick dolls, and the darling rag doll made by my father's mother made during his childhood years living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

I remember Fifi (she gets her own caption below). Fifi lived in my home during my parents' many years in the Himalayas. When they would come to visit, Fifi proudly awaited her return, sitting on an old children's chair, her black straw hat weathering the test of time with its bold ribboned flowers; the elastics of her cuffs softening.

Before their move to Europe, my parents stayed with me for a while - the dolls amassed over time started finding little corners of their living space. I came up with the idea of making a book for my mother to take back with her - I would stage the dolls against the various colorful backgrounds in my home, and let whimsical styling take over. Porcelain skins, rosy cheeks, sideways glances, cinnabar red lips; I played doll in a way, looking at each one, intrigued by their journey here, each one patiently waiting for me to tend to them.



The book is done. This last photo is on the cover. The dolls have crossed a wide expanse of water and made their way to 's Hertogenbosch. My mom is happy. The dolls are happy. I am happy. 
All that is indeed good for the soul.
Enjoy as always, Adeline