Monday, November 28, 2011

Just Hanging Around

Photography: Marcus Hay, Taken in store At Anthropology, Right: Street Art Portrait in Dumbo, Brooklyn 
Left: Page from Megan Morton's "Home Love" Right: Page from Geraldine James book "Creative Walls"


Photography: Marcus Hay, Portait "Chinese Girl/ The Green Lady" by Vladimir Tretchikoff

Left: Page from Geraldine James book "Creative Walls" Right: Unknown Artist

Photography: Marcus Hay, Portrait: Unknown Artist

Photography: Marcus Hay, Portrait: Unknown Artist

Various Unknown Portraits
Photography: Marcus Hay, Portrait: Unknown Artist

Photography: Marcus Hay, Portrait: Unknown Artist

Wikipedia says: “A portrait is a painting, photograph or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality and even the mood of the person”

Lately I seem to have been drawn to buying vintage oil portraits in particular, although some have also been pastel and even pencil line work. I really love to decorate with them, mostly I don’t even know the subject or even the artist, but there is something about a portrait that draws you in. As Geraldine James in her wonderful book “Creative Walls” say’s “The drama of a portrait wall cannot be denied. The mystery surrounding them gives added intrigue to the collection” I love the way a portrait can elevate an interior or how when someone walks into a room, often it’s the first thing they see and ask “who is that”

My favorites seem to be from the 50’s and 60’s when haughty women in particular seem to all have aura that resonates even from beyond the canvas. Most of these featured here are portraits that I own myself and are photographed in my apartment in New York. The most famous here as most of you would recognize is “The Chinese Girl/ Green Lady” by Vladimir Tretchikoff who was one of the most commercially successful artists of all time. The model for “Chinese Girl/ Green Lady” was the daughter of a restaurant owner Tretchikoff met in San Francisco. It has been featured in many sets of famous movies. Tretchikoff's work was immensely popular with the general public, but is often seen by art critics as the epitome of kitsch, I disagree and think it has earned the right to be regarded as a mid century classic.    

If looking, Portraits are quite easy to pick up in Flea Markets or Vintage Stores, Of course some are better than others but I think it’s good to pick an era when collecting and that way if displayed together they will have some sort of uniformity. As a Stylist, I love themes and nothing draws you in quicker in an interior scheme than another set of eyes on a wall, in my opinion, the more the better!  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pottery Barn/ Holidays, 2011

2011 Cover
Photography: Brad Knipstein

Photography: Brad Knipstein

Photography: Brad Knipstein

Photography: Brad Knipstein

Back In July I spent and week and a half in San Francisco for Pottery Barn. We were of course shooting Holidays which is a regular thing to do in July in the world of catalogs, However this was my last Holiday themed job for the year and a big one to end with. 


Of course as we all trim and wrap and prepare for the big day later next month, It is the perfect time to share with you! The Holidays are truly upon us so all this work in advance I have done on Holiday themed shoots this year seems to seem real now.  


What some might not know is that The Pottery Barn was co-founded in 1949 by Paul Secon, a music Editor and musician and his brother Morris. They have over 200 stores and a direct mail business that distributes a staggering amount of over 100 million catalogs a year. Pottery Barn is quintessentially American and it is great for me having grown up abroad to gain an understanding of the vastness and influence that Pottery Barn have on decorating in The USA and beyond, It is a huge product with over 60 years influence on the shelter market. 


These images even though shot in a studio look remarkably like a location which is the magic that the team strive to create. We had some quite large set ups including the 4 beds in a indoor porch situation that took many hours to perfect and create. With Pottery Barn, It is all in the detail, As a Stylist you need to consider every element, The exact way a curtain fold hangs, The ribbon on tiny presents in stuffed stockings, anything that can help give a narrative to the shot.  


These images were shot by the very talented Brad Knipstein, www.robertbradleyphoto.com

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Real Simple/ Week of Dinners/ December

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant

Photography: Jonny Valiant
An all too familiar revisit happened when I worked on Week of Dinners for the December issue of Real Simple which is out now. I had never really worked as the Stylist on this section but when I was on Real Simple as Style Director, I would be responsible in overseeing the styling of this section with another Stylist. Of course it has bee a number of years since I was there and although the concept has not really changed having been a regular staple section of the magazine for many years, it has moved on aesthetically quite a bit. 


Shot by the ever wonderful Jonny Valiant jonnyvaliant.com.au , We started with the Process Style shot that appears on the opener, This represents some or most of the ingredients featured in the recipes before cooking them, I always love working with the raw food elements, The colors and texture of raw food is always inspiring. The other shots are simple and clean. I really liked the palette on this story, Being a winter story we were able to go and bit dark and moody. 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Behind the Scenes/ The Workshop

Photography: Marcus Hay


Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay

Photography: Marcus Hay
There is just something I love about workshops, in an ideal world I would love to have one, but living in Manhattan with an apartment and 2 storage units already, I might be pushing the limits. Workshops are where great things happen though; I often think it is the things that perhaps get overlooked in workshops that are the most fascinating. It’s the element of surprise, the way the paint can left its messy rings, the testing of colors on a random swatch. It could be the stacking of painted planks of wood, the outlines left over from painting blue tiles. Stencils, rulers, tools, old ladders, these are all such fascinating things for me, I never tire of them.

I am in and out of workshops a lot with the overseeing of sets, working with set builders is a great process even though sometimes I still do feel like we speak a different language at times, Being an Art Director or a Stylist means your language by nature I think can come across as a bit flowery, Most set builders talk in measurements and as the expression goes in “nuts and bolts” A great set builder can be multi lingual or as time goes on a Stylist or Art Director gets to know the terms needed to get the job done.

It’s probably why I am the one wandering around workshops with my camera taking photo’s of what most would consider just messes and finding the beauty there, You can make the old “Jackson Pollack” analogy and get caught up in just the drips, splotches and strokes, but really there is way more to look at then just that. As most would see from my current website I have a fascination with pegboard. I love its simple approach to organization; nothing is greater than a wall of organized tools of the trade (or if you were Julia Childs, organized pots and pans) on pegboard. I love vintage hardware; it reminds me of my Grandfathers mechanics workshop that I was fascinated with as a kid, brushes are such beautiful things to me also and vessels for such creativity.    

These images have been collected over the last couple of years, A collection of many that inspire me, I hope you enjoy my tour of the workshop and catch a glimpse of a behind the scenes world you don’t often see, It is the place of reality, where amazing things happen to help create the end result, I feel privileged to be witness of it and work with many set builders who bring so much to table.  

Friday, November 18, 2011

CB2 Holiday Cover

Photography: Alec Hemer
Imagine my excitement when I received the latest CB2 Catalog in the mail and there it was a cover I had conceived way back in July. The idea had come to me while on the CB2 Catalog shoot, we had a last day of cover tries and had tried many options that day. I was looking at some of the product from afar and noticed how they kind of resembled small buildings. 


CB2 for the holidays have the cutest little chair decorations, They became the springboard to creating a city, I used chalkboard paint for the surface and background, drew a moon and stars, We wanted to give the feeling it was snowing in the city so we sifted fake snow from above as it rained down upon our city made with wrapped buildings and CB2 product, It was so much fun to create and I am so pleased they picked it for one of the 2012 holiday covers!   


You can see more product and shots at www.cb2.com


Photographer Alec Hemer shot this great cover, you can see his other work at www.triciajoyce.com