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Painting the Nursery

I am waiting for the ultimate surprise. In t-minus 9 weeks, the gender of Baby T will be revealed! Strangely, a lot of prep work seems to be contingent on old, traditional norms. Pottery Barn, OshKosh B’gosh, Carter’s, Old Navy and other big brands are convinced that “male means blue” and “female means pink.” The birthing industrial complex kindly suggests green, yellow and grey as unisex hues. Onesies, house paint, socks, and animal-themed toys (lions are on “boy teethers” / birds are on “girl swaddlers”) are all codependent on antiquated tropes. Some of the clothes even seem overtly sexist, “Mommy’s littler helper” and “Daddy’s princess.” Sigh.

That said, a few brands get the aesthetically pleasing, gender-neutral baby fashion (and lifestyle) items right without all of the saccharine, cutesie details: Boden, Giggle, Sprout, Tea Collection, Burt’s Bees Baby, KicKee Pants, SkipHop, RenĂ© RofĂ© Baby, and hundreds of independent brands found online and via Etsy.

Now that my nesting instinct has kicked in at (just shy of) 32 weeks, my personal struggle with the “gender wars” came this past weekend. In my desire to check errands off of my (never-ending) list, calm anxieties, or feel superficially prepared for the whirlwind of a newborn, I decided this Saturday was the time to paint. Four of my wonderful friends obliged and were paid in delicious Greek food and major gratitude.

Headed to Lowe’s Home Improvement with nothing but a few dream photographs from Pinterest, I had little idea of what color to choose. Originally, I had wanted a minimal and Scandinavian white. But, my friend Sonja said such a dull color was “unnecessarily punishing the baby with bland” and also, not indicative of the excitement, joy and magical exuberance of a child. Tall order.

Hours later, we chose Valspar’s Mint Hint. I’m told it pairs well with Apple Slice, Lime Sherbet, and Pearly Violet. Considered a blue undertoned neutral, it easily complements grey, wood, and pastel. Step one of our unisex mint nursery is now complete!

Now on to modern yet infant appropriate decor.

A Modern, Gender Neutral Mint Colored Nursery

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P.S. Yours truly, neurotic mom-to-be, promises the room was HIGHLY ventilated – windows and doors were open.
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Lee Price

Lee Price is an American figurative realist painter. Her hyperrealist canvases contain candid, pseudo-photographs concerning the relationship between women and food. Sometimes evoking secret moments of binging, and others featuring lonely moments of tea-sipping in a bathtub, Price captures the quiet war of emotional eating, using herself as the subject.

As a woman, I have been made to feel guilty for eating that extra french fry, for wanting that additional slice of cheese, or for not being petite. Women are constantly ‘food-shamed’ according to antiquated stereotypes of our gender should behave around cuisine. In short: eat little. We are held to impossible etiquette standards, we must be dainty, and yet, we must also be the cooks.

Food, the sustenance of life, and for many a joy of life, is also something which seeks to control us.

I have eaten crab rangoon in a bathtub. I have consumed a bag of Salt and Vinegar potato chips and a box of Oreos silently before a roommate came home. I have sneaked eating Frozen Yogurt on my walk home. I once got into a fight with a best friend over a box of Whole Wheat Strawberry Poptarts. All the aforementioned rest neatly in my annals of food guilt.

Yet, some of my most cherished memories also contain the ignition of my olfactory bulb and gustatory delights: pizza from Jumbo Slice, 2 am chicken tenders from Wingo’s, a Philly cheesesteak, my anniversaries at Dovetail and Colicchio & Sons, a weekend olive oil tasting in Napa Valley, sashimi-delivery-for-two with my boyfriend in the tangled sheets.

It wasn’t until the aughts that a woman finally won Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.

I oscillate between a life of gluttony, of flippant uncaring, and of an extreme need to somehow tame my natural urges, and to count a calorie. My friends are all on a perpetual diet. I cannot read a woman-targeted magazine without an article on cholesterol, staying slim, or the right kinds of fats. If left unchecked, I would eat all of the world’s chèvre.

Lee Price, Ice Cream II

But, in truth, I adore food. I adore it at least three times a day. And Price shows this edifying and celebratory (almost orgasmic) side of fare, as well. However, she neglects to include the communal connotations of a shared meal.

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From her studio in Beacon, NY, Price dreams up canvases “exploring food’s role as liberator, crutch, drug, and nourishment.” In a somewhat mocking turn, the city of Beacon, not far from the Culinary Institute of America, is also in the midst of a food revolution. The industrial town on Metro North has remained its relationship with farms not factories: Tito Santana Taqueria, The Hop Beacon, Homespun Foods, Max’s on Main, The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, Cafe Amarcord.

Let the food revolution continue.

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An Artist’s Dwelling (14) – Hope Gangloff

Born in Amityville, New York in 1974, Hope Gangloff’s childhood seems to weirdly coincide with the publication and subsequent production of the Amityville Horror books, movies and murders. Chalking this up to an unrelated coincidence, let us resume Gangloff’s “normal biography”. Based in New York City, the artist is currently represented by Art Department, Richard Heller Gallery and Susan Inglett Gallery.

Hope GangloffHope Gangloff is known for creating vibrant and truthful portraits of her friends as a way to share her view of modern American life.  The subject matter often captures a generation in flux, a certain type of youth affected by the waning economy and obsession with material goods. The representation of such excess culminates in her aptly named canvas, Bourgeois Landfill”. 

Gangloff’s pitch-perfect, highly detailed portraits are not characters of individuals, but illustrations of an exact likeness and eternal stamps of a moment’s mood. Her confluence of seemingly disparate, pale yet over-saturated colors on the canvas reminds me of Maurice Denis of “Les Nabis”, while her matter-of-fact representation of sketching, sometimes sexual, bodies echoes Egon Schiele. Her color are so honest, that skin looks vaguely bruised, imperfections apparent in all their creased and jaundiced glory.

LET’S LIVE IN HOPE’S WORLD!

Hope Gangloff

Hope Gangloff Home Decor

ONE: 19c Napoleon III Chaise Lounge with Toile / TWO:  6 ft. Tall Four Seasons Flowers Screen from Oriental Furniture / THREE: In2Green Eco Fish Cotton Throw Blanket / FOUR Lamb Fur Wool Pillows, Set of 2, in Blue and Grey

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Hope Gangloff

ONE: A Plaid Lounge Chair by Paul McCobb / TWO: angelo:HOME Harlow Dusk Blue Floral Armchair / THREE: The sluggie wool rug in turquoise blue / FOUR: Short-Necked Galvanized Steel Watering Can

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Hope Gangloff Home Decor

ONE: Lasko 754200 Ceramic Space Heater with Adjustable Thermostat / TWO: BRESCIANI Ribbed Knee-Length Fine-Cotton Socks in Brown / THREE: AERIE Floral Loop Scarf in Princess Blue / FOUR: Mohawk Ziggidy Tangerine Rug / FIVE: Pierce Ottoman in Mist from Williams Sonoma Home

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Hope Gangloff

P.S. As if Gangloff weren’t already cool enough, her father-in-law, Bruce Degen, is the original book illustrator for the Magic School Bus series.