Dress: Ted Baker Vintage Floral Dress found via ASOS, HERE. / Room: Designer Tracy Reese’s farmhouse bedroom with saturated florals reminiscent of an Eastern bazaar dress. The lamp is a 1950s antique. The Chinese table dates from the 1940s. Room design by Bjorn Wallander, image found via Country Living, HERE.
Dress: DIZZY ANCHORS DRESS via J.Crew, HERE. A crisp cotton dress with shirring at the waist and a flirty ruffled hem, finished with an allover maritime motif illustrated in-house by J.Crew’s graphic design guru Grace (it was inspired by the designer’s recent getaway to Greece—I know, I’m a little bit jealous too). / Room: A nautical inspired and striped dining room featuring sea an homage to seaglass, sailboats, and Nantucket reds. With its statement stripes and simple palette, this chic look is so shipshape I want to salute it. Photograph by Oliver Gordon. Image found via House to Home, HERE.
Dress: My newest shopping obsession is Canadian brand Joe Fresh. stylish and affordable clothing and accessories line for men, women and kids found in Canada and the US. The brand is designed by the ex-designer for Club Monaco. This summer’s cookbook has lots of fresh squeezes of lemon coloring! Dress found HERE./ Room: Team your yellow with lots of white to keep the look ultra (Joe) fresh. One cannot have a frown in this sunny, modern, and sleek homage to the colors of the sun! Image found HERE and created via the team at Heal’s.
The word “pastel” as we know it is originally an art term (of course). It technically is the term for a powdered pigment stick (or chalks) in a binder. The most widely used form of pastels is a “soft pastel” which is a crayon that can be easily smudged and whose colors are bright. Pastel techniques can be challenging since the medium is mixed and blended directly on the working surface, and unlike in paints, colors cannot be tested on a palette before applying to the media. The pastel form was first mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci (who apparently invented and discovered EVERYTHING) in 1495. Because the use of pastel and term has become so colloquial and ubiquitous – IT HAS BECOME AN ADJECTIVE – pastels can now mean any color that is pale in color and saturated in a low hue. Let us hop into the candy-colored, cake-frosted world of pastels (encompassing several art forms):
Wayne Thiebaud “Cakes and a Counter,” 1963, National Gallery of Art
THE ABOVE IMAGE IS A PHOTOGRAPH AND REPLICA OF THE THIEBAUD PAINTING. The Inspiration: “Cakes,” by American artist Wayne Thiebaud, 1963. Williams Freeman’s sugary spread is virtually identical to the original. Image found via Martha Stewart Weddings, HERE.
Wayne Thiebaud Pies, Pies, Pies 1961. Oil on canvas 20 x 30 in (50.8 x 76.2 cm) Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento.
Mary Cassatt, Sleepy Baby, 1910
Ian Davenport,”Puddle Painting: White”, 2008
Ian Davenport, Prismatic Diptych (Ghost), 2011,Colour etching diptych on Hahnemühle Bright White 300 gsm paper
I find these muted hues extremely calming, almost bordering on earth tones (on that note, it is said that technically cave paintings could be considered pastels). My bedroom is in a pastel, sage green so that I can feel relaxed before the sandman visits. A pastel color palette feels cozy and inviting. It also allows your home to be in a perennial spring!
Why not live inside of an Easter Egg Shell? Image found HERE.
I am showing this even though I am not the biggest fan of slipcovers. To each his own pastel! Image found at InteriorHolic, HERE.
In the words of David Bowie, “Life’s a Circus / It’s not fair / Life is a hard road/ When you’re not there / At the fair”. In all honesty, I don’t really know to what he’s referring, but life sometimes does get downright comical, confusing, freakish, and entertaining (all qualities of the circus). Sometimes life even smells like caramel corn, cotton candy, and peanuts. Life should never be taken too seriously, and clowns, whether satirically acting out a gag, taking a pie to a face, or pretending to be forlorn, remind us to laugh . A clown always plays the fool for us – how nice of them.
Antonio Donghi, Circus (Circo equestre), 1927, Oil on canvas, 150 x 100 cm, Gerolamo and Roberta Etro, Milan. Some say that Donghi, although employed at the time by the Fascist government, drew this painting as a scathing caricature and a slight act of rebellion.
The Fratellini Family was a famous European circus family in the late 1900s and 1920s. Their famed performance in Paris, Montmartre, France, after World War I at Cirque Medrano was so successful that it sparked a strong resurgence of interest in the circus. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the post-impressionist French painter often frequented that very circus. The famous clowning family used their shows to attract Paris’s Intellectual Elite and leftist idealists. Their father, Gustavo Fratellini (1842–1905), was an Italian patriot rebel who took part in the unification of Italy.
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, “In the Circus Fernando The Ringmaster” (aka “Cirque Fernando: The Equestrienne”), oil, 1887-88 (Art Institute of Chicago)
Joan Miro, PEINTURE (PERSONNAGES: LES FRÈRES FRATELLINI), 1927The Fratellini Brothers, Oil on canvas, 130 x 97.5 cm, Photo: Robert Bayer, Basel
Kees Maks, Three clowns: the Fratellini brothers in the cirque Médrano, Paris, The Fratellini brothers (depicted in this lot from left to right Paul, François and Albert) were a famous clown act in Paris from 1902 to 1924 in the cirque Médrano. Maks depicted the popular trio on many occasions.
Believe it or not, my Uncle Don is actually a clown. He can make a quarter disappear behind your ear, a giraffe from a balloon, and a Queen of Hearts appear from a deck (guessed correctly). His stage name is “Stinky” and he performs with his brother who goes by “Finky”. They dress in a style of clown costume called The Tramp or The Hobo. Whereas most clowning inventions hail from France, The Tramp and Hobo clown type is truly a North America creation. James McIntyre and Tom Heath are credited with the creation of the tramp clown characterization in 1874. The history of clowning itself dates back to the days of the Egyptian Pharaohs wherein the role of clown (or jester) was also considered as high advisor and sometimes priest. To become a full fledged clown, academies exist that will train amateurs in the art of Auguste, White Face (grotesque, neat, European), Harlequin, Rodeo, and Tramp. When a clown performs, his act is referred to as his framework. It was not until my uncle joined the Shrine Circus that I realized circus clowns have a rich academic history. A clown has always played a major part in social histories as a respite from wars, depressions, and the hardships of daily life. Austrian- born, American sociologist, Peter Burger, writes in his book Redeeming Laughter: The Comic Dimension of Human Experience that “It seems plausible that folly and fools, like religion and magic, meet some deeply rooted needs in human society”. The clown also plays an important part in the history of vaudeville, physical comedy, and acting techniques.
So how does the melancholy, mystery, humor, and colorful behavior of clowns translate into a room?