FOURTH FLOOR WALK UP

Brooklyn based lifestyle blog by Lauren L Caron

Artists

CREATE | Artfully Crafted Gifts

CREATELauren CaronComment
Watercolor painting by Traci Page. 

Watercolor painting by Traci Page. 

For the giving season this year I'm all about giving art. Art is something that can cost pennies to thousands of dollars, but whatever it may be, it's going to be personal and meaningful. More so than the next sweater or electronic.

Recently, a friend of mine, gave me one of her original paintings. I was so touched by the gift, especially after thinking about how she spent time creating this piece with me in mind. I had mentioned that I was interested in purchasing a similar one that she had created and was shocked when she made a new one for me to have?! I was so excited about the gift and the idea of hanging in on my wall, that on my way home from lunch I popped into a local framer. In less than two weeks I'll have it home with me.

In the past year I've met and began following several wonderful artists that I'd love to share with you. As well as a few new framing companies that take all the stress and effort out of having your own work printed, framed or both. 

ARTISTS TO FOLLOW

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TRACI PAGE

Traci began her career in advertising, then fashion specializing in product development, and most recently jewelry. Traci typically paints with watercolors and often journals her travels and experiences through the palette. Taking account her career path, Traci has a great eye for details and a passion for luxury, which lends itself well to my favorite series of her's, The Lines + Facets collection that include saturated, slightly abstracted jewels. She also accepts commissions on pet portraits, paints foliage and food studies. You can follow Traci on IG through @PageTraciWatercolor.  

DANI SCHAFER

Dani's abstract paintings are beautiful and boundless with expressive brush strokes. She combines strokes of opaque saturation with sheer shimmery metallics perfectly marrying masculine and feminine palettes within each piece. The love the abstraction of her work, and how you can see the movement and the freedom within her hands. She also partnered up with Design Love Fest for free computer wallpaper downloads [here]. I have one on my own desktop and love how it makes my computer look as though it's a part of the gallery wall that is hung behind it. Every few months I change up the image but it's always something similar. On my wish list is a canvas painting of hers, I'd love to have it framed in a white frame with a large matte to give the painting space to breath, hang it on a wall with a mix of modern and vintage artwork... I can see it now. Dani's IG account is @DANISCHAFER

I DREAM OF JEANNE

Jeanne has also recently shifted careers, moving away from PR and Marketing in fashion to illustration and painting. She chronicals her swoon worthy travels through watercolor along with translating instagram shots from her A-List of friends and bloggers. Her work can be found at Kennedy Waston in Seattle and online [here]. She also accepts commissions through her website. Jeanne's IG account is @IDREAMOFJEANNE.

DONALD ROBERTSON

If you haven't already heard of Donald Robertson, then you should definitely take to following his instagram feed. He is what the world is calling an Instagram sensation, having blown up within the past year. I first heard of him through Alessandra Branca, when we collaborated on the Branca hall at Bergdorf Goodman. She commissioned him to paint a vignette for an Architectural Digest feature. Within a year, I was telling my boss and boss's boss about him and trying to convince them to collaborate. Not long after I left, he did a collaborative window installation and just this past weekend had a holiday pop-up shop at the store. I can't say that I was the reason for his collaboration with BG but I can pat myself on the back for putting the bug in Linda's ear. His work is definitely up there in price, but if you're a fashion lover like myself, then you have to at least grab his book that was published this year or an ornament at the BG holiday shop. You can follow Donald @DRAWBERTSON.

INSLEE BY DESIGN

Inslee is an illustrator who has been commissioned by both private clients as well as major brands and retailers. She has collaborated with several companies to bring her original whimsical designs to print on phone cases, calendars, napkins (embroidered) and more. A few of my favorites include the French chic vibe paintings... the croissants, topless sunbather and the Time Out (print). You can find her here @INSLEE.

Gallery wall with new print, framed and printed by Framebridge. 

Gallery wall with new print, framed and printed by Framebridge. 

CREATE YOUR OWN

If you're thinking, none of these artists meet your taste or style, there are so many others out there selling gift worthy work. A different path would be to have some of your own personal work printed and framed. I decided to do just that for my family this year, with a series of personal photographs that I had printed into a calendar using Artifact Uprising. Parabo Press also sells custom printed calendars.  

Another company that prints, and has a ton of frame options is Framebridge. They offer free shipping of your goods both ways, that means if you have an original or print of something that you want to have framed they cover the shipping fees to have your artwork shipped to them, and back when it's framed. They also print photographs that you can upload direct to their site. 

I decided to print and frame a few of my favorite photos that were shot on my phone. Half expecting the quality to be meh, they ended up turning out beautifully. I chose one from our vacation to France when we road the Camargue ponies, I snapped it while on horseback - one of my favorite places to be on earth. The other is of our dog Max, chilling on the sofa. I love his coy expression because he's actually not allowed on the sofa.

As for the frames, I purchased one simple, modern black for the Camarague image and for the framed picture of Max, an antique silver leafed frame. Both frames are a nice quality. 

One more place that has a number of favorite go to frames is West Elm. they carry polished, and brushed brass and silver toned frames that come with mats. For a recent Union Adorn commercial project, we bought several of these and framed various look book prints within them. 

FRAMEBRIDGE

ARTIFACT UPRISING

PARABO PRESS

I hope I gave you some ideas for gifts, that are a little out of the ordinary. I think it's so important to celebrate people's talents, and this is an easy way to do so! Happy Gifting! 


 

All images are from the artist's website, or taken by myself.

SPACES | Feeling Nostalgic

CREATE, LIFE, SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
FFWU_WillPerkins

I recently purchased a new computer and have been slightly lazy about moving all of my photos over to the new. So today as I started the process, I stumbled onto a few albums that made me feel really nostalgic. One in particular was from trip we took to visit a dear family friend who was an amazingly talented artist. These pictures were taken as Will casually showed us around his beautiful home on the Northshore of Massachusetts. Although you would never know, this property is new only built about 15 years ago, the house was constructed from original parts and pieces of dismantles homes that Will had purchased. 

Will was a student of Pratt in the 70s, where he learned the art of restoration. He made his living bringing old houses back to their authentic selves and transformed new to feel old. He painted numerous murals though out the Northeast, some of which can be seen in Old Sturbridge Village. Side note: he also painted the floors of my parent's entry hall - a faux tiled marble. Aside from painting, he created sculptures, that were life like fantastical creatures, as well as people that he would place in his home, the gardens or even on the front lawn. The Victorian lady was made of miscellaneous cloths and textiles he had gathered, she was weatherized to live outside - to walk aimlessly throughout the property, set wherever to fit Will's whim. 

He was the one to push me and inspire me to move to New York and pursue my passions. Making me forever grateful of our relationship. It's people like Will that make our lives so special and memorable. They're eccentric, imaginative and wonderful. Treasure them. 

FFWU_WillPerkins
The Victorian lady's face was cast from the above bust. 

The Victorian lady's face was cast from the above bust. 

Will taking us through the gardens...and his home. His art studio was a beautiful mess.

FFWU_WillPerkins
My mother and Will bought the same wallpaper - my Mom's is in her bedroom. 

My mother and Will bought the same wallpaper - my Mom's is in her bedroom. 

These pictures are from rooms throughout his home... not styled, just as it was.

 

All photographs were taken by Lauren L Caron © 2015

CREATE | Artist Profile - Jake Messing

SPACESLauren Caron1 Comment
Paintings by Jake Messing | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Paintings by Jake Messing | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

I recently visited the studio of the Brooklyn artist Jake Messing to get a glimpse into the life of a full-time working artist in New York City.  Jake was recently commissioned to sell a series of paintings at Bergdorf Goodman, the paintings are now on view on the Decorative Home floor on 7. The new Loft installation is a theme based loosely on a overgrown French Chateau showcasing a large collection of the Frédérique Morrel needlepoint animals.  

The subject matter in Jake's paintings are lush and robust, Dutch Masters style still life paintings with a modern twist. I especially love the insects and vermin that creep throughout the beautiful elements.  Continue reading to learn more about Jake as an artist and of course, enjoy!

Bergdorf Goodman Loft | Paintings by Jake Messing | Sculptures by: Frédérique Morrel | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

Bergdorf Goodman Loft | Paintings by Jake Messing | Sculptures by: Frédérique Morrel | Photography by: Lauren L Caron © 2015

JAKE MESSING

400 SQ FT | 1 RM | WALK UP | STUDIO | WILLIAMSBURG, BROOKLYN

Years in space: 2.5 yrs

Style: Representative

Favorite Medium: Oils and Acrylics....and watercolors....and graphite

Favorite Subject Matter: The surreal - anything that twists your brain a bit and questions what you're looking at. 

Where did you study: Parsons School of Design

How long have you been an artist full time:  6 years

Your studio is in a great location, how did you find it? Through an old friend who had been in the space for years and an opening came up at the right time. 

Where were you working before? I had a gorgeous studio in Red Hook, Brooklyn - directly on the water and perfect views of the Statue of Liberty. 

Why did you leave? What were the deciding factors to move? Hurricane Sandy hit and completely wiped out the studio. I lost a lot of art and chose to move to "higher ground." 

The collaboration with Bergdorf Goodman is a recent venture, but you have worked with other brands in the past, can you please list the other companies that you have partnered with, as well as some projects that you may worked on?  Yes. I worked with Tiffany & Co. for about 4 years creating original artwork and graphics for their windows and in-store experience globally. I have also worked doing windows displays and original art/illustration for Nike, Harry Winston, Van Cleef & Arpels, Mrs. John L Strong (no more), Cynthia Vincent and the Brooklyn Public Library to name a few. 

Tell me about this series: It is inspired by the Dutch Masters. I was drawn to the decadence, darkness, detail and overall traditional beauty of their work. I tried to emulate that style as much as possible and still put my own twist on it. The flowers in the pieces all bloom at different times of the year, and the feathers are from birds from different regions of the world. Each piece has an element of hidden yet imminent danger to them. I enjoy that dance between beauty and danger. 

Where did you look to for resources and inspiration? I found most of my reference images online. I went to the Met a few times to see some of the original Dutch Masters work in the flesh. 

Any specific detail or details that you find to be your favorite within these paintings? I love the "dark" or "dangerous" elements to them. i.e. - the snakes/wasps/rats etc. that lurk slightly beneath the beautiful veneer. 

Any upcoming exhibitions or installations? I am presently showing in an Art Fair in the Netherlands and am working on getting a solo show with a gallery there in September. 

Favorite Museum: Museum of Natural History

Favorite place to go for inspiration: The ocean, my sketchbook, and google

Favorite Art Galleries: Jonathan Levine, Lyons Weir, Driscoll Babcock, Paul Kasmin to name a few.

Any activities that you do as an artist for fun, that you would suggest other creative people to do? I got to a bunch of obscure classes at Brooklyn Brainery and through Coursehorse.com

PAINTINGS

"Last Voluptuous Moments" 36 x 42 | "Blue Apetition", 36 x 42 | "Thin Paper Veil", 36 x 42

The paintings will be on view until June 10, 2015

 

The Frédérique Morel loft and paintings by Jake Messing will be on view at Bergdorf Goodman until June 10, 2015. I recommend that you see this exhibit sooner than later, as they're all one of kind pieces. 

Lastly, if you'd like to learn more about Jake, you can see he & his finance's home tour [here].