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Archive for July, 2012

Ryan Pickart

July 30th, 2012


They are named Odette, Ingrid, Diana, or June. They come across as fragile young women yet at the same time confidently look you straight in the eyes. Aware of their beauty but not blinded by it, somewhat mysterious and melancholic. These are the women who come to life in the paintings of American artist Ryan Pickart. I noticed his work during some late night wandering on Pinterest. This is why I love internet because you can discover genuinely talented people regardless of where they or you are located.

The influence of Gustav Klimt is obvious. To say I’m a fan of Klimt is an understatement. I stopped counting the publications I have about his work. I love how he painted women in all their glory in the different stages of their life and how he used colours and created fascinating patterns. The care he took to paint their attire keeps on surprising me.

Mada Primavesi, 1912, oil on canvas, 149.9 x 110.5cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA

Eugenia Primavesi, 1913/14, oil on canvas, 140 cmx 84 cm, USA, private collection

Like Klimt, Pickart pays great attention to detail the background and the garments his models are wearing. The first three paintings immediately reminded me of this Balenciaga collection and, more specifically, of this jacket which Charlotte Gainsbourg (pictured below) wore on the cover of French Vogue shot by Graig Mcdean for the December 2007 issue. I don’t know if this was his actual source of inspiration but my guess is I’m not far off.

You can purchase Ryan Pickarts work on U-gallery where he sells original paintings and some prints (if you are on a tighter budget). I strongly recommend you to follow him on Facebook where he frequently shares updates of work in  progress.

I’m eager to see this painting finished, looking at the inspiration I’m convinced it will, like his other work, be breathtakingly beautiful.

West Germany

July 19th, 2012


I’m sure you have seen similar vases before in different sizes, colours and with all sorts of different glazes from dripglaze to volcanic. I’m not an expert when it comes to West German pottery. I’m still learning as I go. The first insight I got was by the lovely shop owner of Feelings in Antwerp, a shop stuffed with ceramics, lamps and small furniture from the 50s, 6os and 70s. After the very first piece seduced me with its bright colours and intriguing surface at a flea market, I walked into this shop for advice, not sure of what I actually just bought. She taught me to take a look at the bottom of the vase. There, if lucky, (some vases are blank or have markings which are barely readable) you’ll find two numbers (the first defining the shape, the second -usually- the hight in cm) and the confirmation that indeed it is produced in West Germany.

Some surfing on the net (with this website as main source of information) taught me that there are different brands like Scheurich and Bay Keramik and honestly, for now, that’s all I need to know. I’m not a collector. If I stumble upon reasonably priced piece I’ll consider to buy it but if the colour and texture doesn’t appeal it won’t go home with me. Some pieces, though, are really worth taking a closer look at.

How I would love to develop fabrics or wallpaper inspired by those glazes. Anyone a idea where and how to start?

all pictures by elisabeth for

Shades of white

July 17th, 2012


A friend asked me for advice regarding her freshly renovated apartment. When i came to meet her she was sitting with two huge piles of fabric swatches – the curtain maker had left behind – in front of her. She seemed stressed and overwhelmed. “I have to pick the colour today. Last time i made the mistake of picking raspberry for the living room!” Why raspberry, I asked (a question which honestly has been on my mind ever since I walked into her apartment). There was a long pause then she confessed: “My mother told me a pop of colour would do me good.” We bursted into laughter.

Rushing into design decisions or listening to well meant but unfounded odd advice has never really helped anyone. We talked it over and the words which kept on coming back while discussing the mood were light and calm. Sometimes all you need are shades of white…a great timeless backdrop in case you ever crave for a pop of colour.

Those breathtaking beautiful dresses are by Madame Grès. I posted about this exhibition before. Can’t wait to see the scenography at the Momu this autumn.

all pictures by elisabeth for

Olive tree

July 11th, 2012


No, this is not turning into a blog with daily posts of my lunch. Please look beyond the toast. I was searching for wooden bread boards for a while now. I was fancying these but they are slightly too expensive for my tast. Once in a while I used to check al the major homes stores without finding anything to my liking. Over the weekend I discovered BON BAZAR, a new shop that opened a couple of months ago in Antwerp and focusses on organic and ecological home products. There I found this beautiful alternative.

I just love the drawing of the olive tree wood.

Steenhouwersvest 33
2000 Antwerpen

all pictures by elisabeth for