melanie parke: beauty and light

Welcome, do come in!

A pretty teapot, a vase of wildflowers, a bowl of fruit on the table. Melanie Parke elevates common still life elements into scenes of breathtaking beauty by infusing her pictures with exhilirating light.

Melanie in Rome.

Melanie’s interiors feel refreshingly alive thanks to her winsome layered compositions, gorgeous colors, and interesting perspectives.

We sense someone may have just left the room, or is expecting a visitor or two at any moment. Once our eyes have drunk their fill of sheer loveliness, we gaze beyond, through open doors or windows – out to the garden, woods, or beach, where we can continue dreaming.

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marie assénat: happy happy bonjour bonjour!

Vrroom, vrroom!– we’re off to discover Marie Assénat’s fun and colorful world!

Bonjour, Mes Amis. If you’re in the mood for big smiles, you’ve come to the right place. 

Illustrator Marie Assénat

Marie’s a Parisian illustrator currently based in Brooklyn. Her distinctive style is all about simple lines, bold colors, lots of quirk, and a certain je ne sais quoi that’s absolutely irresistible. So charming, so French!

It was while studying graphic design at La Cambre in Brussels that Marie discovered her love of illustration. In her last year of art school, her instructor showed her work to a publisher, and that led to her first children’s book.

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Sarah Bowman: In and out of the Window

A cup of tea, a sweet treat, and a lovely view: who could ask for more?

British artist Sarah Bowman is known for her ‘though the window’ paintings, which impart a soothing sense of peace, calm and serenity. 

Sarah in her home studio.

This unique hybrid of a still life in the foreground with a landscape beyond invites the viewer to enjoy a dual narrative, with the chosen objects and the space around them telling one story and the outdoor scene another.

Bowman has said that her landscapes are derived from memory; they’re an amalgamation of places she’s visited such as Cornwall, Devon, the Scilly Isles, and Andalucia.

She actually lives in Ashburton, Devon, where she works at home in an attic studio. She and her husband own the White Space Art Gallery in nearby Totnes, a market town with a thriving arts community. 

Sarah works in oil on board or canvas, using a gentle, muted palette. A harmonious blend of subdued greens, blues and greys with pops of pinks, yellows, oranges and purples speak of idyllic coastlines, stone quays, fishing villages, patchwork fields, quaint cottages and rolling hills dotted with sheep.

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remembering what truly matters

“Poetry of Spring” by Kent Paulette
REMEMBER 
by Joy Harjo

Remember the sky that you were born under,
know each of the star's stories.
Remember the moon, know who she is.
Remember the sun's birth at dawn, that is the
strongest point of time. Remember sundown
and the giving away to night.
Remember your birth, how your mother struggled
to give you form and breath. You are evidence of
her life, and her mother's, and hers.
Remember your father. He is your life, also.
Remember the earth whose skin you are:
red earth, black earth, yellow earth, white earth
brown earth, we are earth.
Remember the plants, trees, animal life who all have their
tribes, their families, their histories, too. Talk to them,
listen to them. They are alive poems.
Remember the wind. Remember her voice. She knows the
origin of this universe.
Remember you are all people and all people
are you.
Remember you are this universe and this
universe is you.
Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.
Remember language comes from this.
Remember the dance language is, that life is.
Remember.

~ from How We Became Human: New and Selected Poems 1975-200l (W.W. Norton, 2004)

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“Conquest of the Irrational” by Kent Paulette

This beautiful prayer poem, a meditative paean to the interconnectedness of all living things, is more timely than ever.

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love me some Joe Brainard

“If I’m as normal as I think I am, we’re all a bunch of weirdos.” ~ Joe Brainard

I love it when one good thing leads to another.

Kenneth Koch’s poem “Permanently” (which I shared last June), sparked my interest in New York School artist, writer and set designer Joe Brainard (1942-1994).

Joe in Calais, Vermont, about two years before he died of AIDS-induced pneumonia (photo by Pat Padgett).

Both his visual art and writings were new to me; unlike his more famous contemporaries Frank O’Hara, John Ashbery, Ron Padgett, James Schuyler, Andy Warhol, Fairfield Porter, and Koch himself, Brainard had somehow slipped under my radar.

Brainard’s “Chewing Gum Wrappers” (1971)

If you’ve been a Brainard fan all along, then you know he was a prolific creator who left behind an impressive oeuvre of innovative, pop culture inspired collages, assemblages, paintings, drawings, and comic book collaborations, as well as multiple collections of mostly autobiographical poetry and prose. 

C Comics No. 2 (Boke Press, 1965)
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