June 30, 2011

Beach Heaven

Welcome to the Gulf Shores-also known as the Redneck Riviera!  


White sands and crystal blue water...heaven! 

June 27, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Beach

We're heading to the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast on Wednesday and I couldn't be more excited! Sun, sand, delicious seafood and  lots of southern hospitality!  What better way to prepare than beach-inspired spaces.

Happy Monday!

{images via Elle Decor}

June 26, 2011

Sunday Veranda

I love the detail on these chairs from decorator Chessy Rayner’s Southampton, New York, home.  The classic veranda decor and calming landscape is perfect for a Sunday brunch!

{image via Elle Decor}

June 24, 2011

Friday Fave

Wouldn't you love to be lounging next to a lazy river this weekend? I adore this soft and  enchanting oil painting by New Hope School artist, Rae Sloan Bredin.  

Rae Sloan Bredin (American 1881-1933), A Day on the Delaware, oil on canvas
Auctioned at Freeman's, Philadelphia on December 5th, 2004
price realized: $113,750 (including buyer's premium)

What are your weekend plans?

{image via AskArt}

June 23, 2011


I think one of the best aspects of moving to the suburbs is the abundance of hydrangeas. The beautiful, bountiful bushes are in almost every yard and I'm in heaven!

June 21, 2011

Summer Solstice

Gifford Beal (American 1879-1956), Sailboats in Harbor, oil on board
Auctioned at Grogan & Company, May 21-22, 2011
price realized: $1495 (including buyer's premium)

How I wish I could be out on one those sailboats...happy summer solstice!

June 20, 2011

Monday Inspiration: New Twist

Yesterday I discovered a delightful and incredibly delicious twist on a old classic: grilled shrimp. I love peel-and-eat shrimp.  It's my favorite way to eat them.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try grilling unpeeled shrimp....I discovered the hard way that peeling grilled shrimp is no easy task.

So I was searching my cookbooks and my online go-to's for a creative new way to prepare my unpeeled shrimp.  While scouring Epicurious and I stumbled across the technique of brining.  I might be slow to the game, but I had never thought of brining shrimp.

After a 45-minute brine, the shrimp were ready to be placed onto the grill and I crossed my fingers...the shrimp were the most delectable and easy to peel shrimp I've ever had.  The perfect new twist on a dish I thought I knew backwards and forwards.

Enjoy my adapted recipe of this new favorite!  So scrumptious no sauce is even needed!

8 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 lemons, havled
4 garlic cloves, peeled, and crushed in garlic press
3 cups ice

1 pound 16-20-count unpeeled deveined shrimp

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Kosher salt
Freshly ground coarse black pepper

1. Combine water, salt and sugar in a large bowl, stirring till salt and sugar are dissolved.  Squeeze lemon juice into brine and add lemon halves. Stir in the garlic and follow with the ice.
2. Place the shrimp in the brine, cover and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
3. Preheat a well-oiled charcoal or gas grill to medium.
4. Remove the shrimp from the brine and pat try.  Toss with olive oil in a bowl.
5. Place the shrimp on the grill, close the lid, and cook for 2 minutes. Flip to the second side and grill for 1-2 minutes.
6. Remove from the grill and immediately place in the bowl with the lemon juice, salt and pepper, tossing to coat.

{image and recipe via Epicurious}

June 17, 2011

Friday Fave

The Corcoran Gallery of Art has an upcoming exhibit Washington Color and Light featuring the works of the Washington Color School.  The exhibit, opening June 25th, will highlight the  local D.C. artists' passion for color and urge for exploration.  Gene Davis, Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, Paul Reed, Thomas Downing and Morris Louis-who never thought of themselves a group-first showed together in the exhibition, Washington Color Painters, in 1965.  While their individual styles varied, their experimentation with acrylic paint and optical color patterns are the common thread among the artists.

Below is a delightful acrylic by Gene Davis.  Davis is best known for his brilliant stripe paintings.  When I first came to D.C. I couldn't understand what was so impressive about his works--seeing them in a book or on a computer screen is simply not the same as standing in front of one of his massive paintings.  While he did do smaller works,  most of his paintings are LARGE! 48 x 48 in, 57 x 57 in, 60 x 70 in, 95 x 115 in...Nothing can compare to seeing a canvas with teeny, thin vivid stripes that's larger than you!

Gene Davis (American 1920-1985), Red Chatterbox, acrylic on canvas
Auctioned by Sotheby's Arcade, New York on June 22, 2005
price realized: $10,800 (including buyer's premium)

I'm enchanted by the playful, bright colors and summery nature of this work!

Have a wonderful weekend!

{image via AskArt}

June 16, 2011

Artist Intro: Todd Hunter

I ran across the vivid paintings of Todd Hunter (Australian b. 1972) last week on Verdigris Vie and was immediately drawn them!  Hunter has been described as "an alchemist of form."  His works transcend the need for definition-instead marrying form and abstract lines into a harmonious medley.  The vibrant colors and bold brushstrokes lend an air of confidence and energy-while the inventive titles arouse an element of whimsy in each oil. 

Caravan, oil on canvas

Died Pretty, oil on canvas

Some Summers, oil on canvas

Strange, Strange Skies, oil on canvas

Remember A Time When You Once Used To Love Me, oil on canvas

This Perfect Day, oil on canvas

Simply stunning!

June 13, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Simplicity

Absolute simplicity-that is what I'm aiming for this week.  Summer is already passing in a blur and I'd like to slow the world around me down...

While that may not be quite as realistic as I'd like, the ability to create an element of purity and ease within everyday life, a house or a work of art is well within my reach.  The room below embodies this aspiration-the clean lines and absolutely simplicity of the environment elevate the room to a level of genuine sophistication.

{image via A Perfect Gray}

June 10, 2011

Friday Fave

When I woke up this morning, there was a early morning haze-probably the heat that awaits outside- but it was oddly comforting and serene.  I knew immediately the artist who could capture this exact moment: Claude Monet.  This painting is one of Monet's early morning paintings of the Seine-one of his many paintings of the river.  

Claude Monet (French 1840-1926), The Seine at Giverny, 1897
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Have a wonderful weekend!

{image via NGA}

June 9, 2011

Hidden Oasis

Right now in DC we're experiencing day two of an incredible heat wave. When I woke up this morning at 6am the temperature was already 80!  The air is sticky, the sun is brutal and the heat is consuming. 

What I wouldn't give to escape to this Cleveland Park hidden oasis created by landscape architects Scott Fritz and Leslie Gignoux...

Hope it's cooler where you are!

{image via Home & Design}

June 6, 2011

Monday Inspiration: Clusters of Art

When rearranging the art on my walls last week, I became enthralled with clusters of art work.  With all of the unique ways of arranging and diverse combinations of mediums, walls can be truly individualized.

{image via Veranda}

{image via A Perfect Gray}
{image via A Perfect Gray}

Continue on to see the remaining inspiring clusters!

June 3, 2011

Friday Fave

Here is a breathtaking oil on canvas by Old Lyme Colony artist and renowned American Impressionist, Childe Hassam.  Hassam painted this work in 1905, shortly after arriving in Old Lyme, Connecticut.  Hassam's use of the vibrant colors of the setting sun and the quick brush strokes of the light reflecting off the water epitomize the roots of the Impressionist movement- the ability to capture fleeting moments, to embrace vivid colors, the spontaneity of the brush, the introduction of abstraction onto the canvas and to create a world as it is seen, not as it should be seen.

Childe Hassam (American 1859-1935), Sunset at Sea, oil on canvas
Auctioned by Christie's, New York on November 29, 2007
price realized: $3,737,000 (including buyer's premium)

{image via Christie's}

June 2, 2011

Abstract Love

I recently fell in love with a piece of art that came into our auction house.  It was an abstract, slightly impressionistic landscape by local artist Elzbieta Sikorska (Polish/American 20th Century).

I loved it...but after days of obsessing, worrying about the large size (3-ft by 4-ft) and stressing about the impact on my other potential home improvements, I decided I'd place a conservative bid and see how it turned out.  Unfortunately, it was fated to not to be mine.

It did, however, spark a renewed interest in bright, whimsical abstract works and how they can drastically impact a room.  I fell in love all over again!

{image via House Beautiful}
{image via Willow Decor}
{image from Things That Inspire}

{image from Things That Inspire}

{image from Things That Inspire}

{image via House Beautiful}

{image via Perch}

{image from Things That Inspire}

{image from Things That Inspire}

The art truly transforms each environment...imagine a traditional landscape or portrait in the same space.  The room would awaken an entirely different emotion and ambiance!