I’ve been completely MIA from my blog for a while, but my excuse is that I was in Greece all last week and was just having too much fun (and also the wifi was a bit spotty). I’m in London now for a couple of days with my mom and am planning to share photos from both Greece and England once I’m home and have things sorted out a bit more. Bear with me!
For now though, I figured I’d share a book that I just finished in case you’re on the lookout for something new to read. I picked up An Italian Wife at the bookstore at LAX and ended up really liking it. The story starts in the late 1800’s and follows the life of Josephine Rimaldi through nearly 100 years, beginning with her early adulthood in Italy and following her through a move to America, where she has children and attemps to assimilate into her new country. It’s a really well written, easy read, and is perfect if you’re looking for a vacation read with substance.
Have a good Memorial Day!
Have you heard of Chateau de Gudanes? It’s an eighteenth century chateau in the South of France that an Australian family has purchased and is restoring, sharing their progress online and via instagram. I had read about the project a few years ago when they first bought it (their story has been featured on Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar) but forgot about it until I came across this update.
The abandoned house had been neglected for years and was/is in need of major help; there was water and structural damage, parts of the interior were just rubble and the roof had caved in in various sections. I can’t imagine taking on such a project, but it’s kind of magical and addicting to watch as they go about their renovations. The family is hoping to be finished with the project this year, and is planning to open to the public for weekend stays – who’s coming with me?
Today I’m sharing a little interview with Mary Elizabeth Peterson, a contemporary abstract artist based in Connecticut. I first discovered her work via Pottery Barn (where so many good things come from), as she currently sells some work on their site like this gorgeous painting that I’m hoping to buy soon. Read on to learn about her inspirations and how she got started, and check out more of her work here. Thanks, Mary Elizabeth!
How did you get started?
I began oil painting in private lessons at age nine. It was clear from the start that I had an exciting “mind’s eye” and that it would need to be developed. But art school seemed too risky so I pursued a degree and skill in journalism. I was a young, rising star VP at a national brokerage house in 1997 when I learned I would need 11 hours of life-threatening brain surgery. With major brain surgery they save the “life support” form for last. The last-minute timing is actually good. There’s no time to think. You just have to trust in your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. I wrote: “if I can’t paint, pull the plug.” At the time, that statement didn’t even have the slightest practical application in my life! It was literally hidden between the lines. But when I was finally able to work again after my surgery I started dropping in on classes at The Corcoran College of Art + Design. I’m pretty sure my art career would have never happened if I hadn’t needed brain surgery. I could not be more happy and fulfilled than I am today as a full-time artist!
How did the Pottery Barn collaboration come about?
The short answer is: Pottery Barn found me! I have been licensing work to them and a handful of other retailers and dealers.
3. My art originates from visual memories of remote landscapes, waterways and intriguing natural objects like seedpods. I sort this “mental slideshow” and cull out elements that are not strictly representational but strike me as being somehow or even vaguely familiar.
4. For the last six years I have been working in a three-story lakeside sunroom studio. I moved recently and I am looking for a new space. I NEED to be near water to be most creative!
5. I have been nursing two “coffee table book” ideas for a long time and I am close to actually finishing one about accidental art or art made by passersby!