November 26, 2012 | Alex
Hi all. I'm back to blogging after a full week of thanksgiving vacation. I hope everyone had a happy holiday!
A quick note on the 30-day One Kings Lane Challenge before I dive into today's post. I've been keeping up on my Pinterest board, but since their focus now is mostly gift ideas, the items on sale tend to fall into one of two categories: 1) outside my decor bailiwick (I'm certifiably fashion-challenged); or 2) items making a return appearance from prior sales. I don't re-pin an item if it comes up for sale a second time to avoid a board chock full of repeats. Hope that explains the quiet front on OKL-related posts. Now back to regular programming!
This is a particularly meaningful installment of "Artist + Designer Spotlight" spotlight for me. This spring, I bought my very first piece of original art-- an oil on canvas by the talented Brooklyn-based Charlotte Evans. Ryan and I went to opening night of the Affordable Art Fair with every intention of just looking. But when I saw this Coney Island beach scene in the Will's Art Warehouse booth, I knew I couldn't leave without it. So I gritted my teeth and pulled out my checkbook.
My friend Rachel recently teased me that I'm the only person she knows with chronic buyer's remorse. I have a terrible tendency to second guess every major expenditure, no matter how much I love or even need it. But I can honestly say I've never once regretted the purchase of my first piece of art. Not after handing over to the check to the gallerist with the lovely British accent and not when I saw it come out of my bank account a few weeks later. (I did balk a little bit at the cost of framing it, but that's a different story.) Even though it has no clear utility besides making me smile, I just love it. No second guessing!
I have a suspicion that the absence of buyer's remorse has to do with the purchase's symbolic value. For some reason, buying my first piece of art made me feel like a real, live adult. I've bought posters and prints, but never an oil on canvas. From a gallery no less! Pretty grown up, huh?
You'd think the symbolic step into adulthood might be something more obvious like picking up your first paycheck or paying your first month's rent. But in discussing it with my friends, it's often an object-- a momento-- that ends up being a vessel for that step into independence. In the case of my baking enthusiast friend Meghan, it's a top-of-the-line Kitchen Aid standing mixer (you know the kind that comes with a million attachments and can practically bake a cake on its own?) For me, it's an oil on canvas. To each her own!
I'm normally more of an abstract art person, but I also love a scene that's deeply evocative of a place or time. Charlotte Evans' work hits both those sweet spots for me. Her landscapes are transporting, but her technique is vaguely reminiscent of abstract works. There are broad brush strokes with patches of canvas peeking through the scene. But the outlines and muscle details in her human figures is incredibly sharp and precise. All her paintings seem to tell a deeply personal story. I could look at my Coney Island beach scene for hours dreaming up stories for each of the characters in the water.
Here are a view of my favorite works from her portfolio:
Sources (clockwise from top left):
- The Big Leap 2, Print, 14" x 14" - via Saatchi
- Dive 2, Print, 14" x 14" - via Saatchi
- Brighton Pier (2007), Oil on canvas, 36'' x 48'', 91.4 x 121.9 cm - via charlotteevans.net
- Reflected (Red Canoe) (2012) Oil on canvas, 60'' x 60'', 152.4 x 152.4 cm - via charlotteevans.net (Original and prints available for purchase via Saatchi)
- Orange Top (2011), Oil on canvas 12'' x 12'', 30.5 x 30.5 cm - via charlotteevans.net