Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Artistically Speaking

I don't claim to be a connoisseur of fine art, in fact some art which is highly valued would be pieces I would walk right by and maybe even think were downright ugly!   I took an art history course my freshman year of college and I really did enjoy it and can still identify a flying buttress or Corinthian column as well as the next person, but I just never got into visiting museums, watching foreign films, or being able to spot a certain designer from across a crowded room.  I'm the kind of girl...ok woman...who visited Paris for 4 days and never once set foot in the Louvre, but I did venture out of my way to eat Berthillon sorbet at their "original" ice cream store, and knew just were to go to munch on delicious macaroons... Laduree...c'est magnifique!

Don't get me wrong, I love certain designers and I'm fairly adept at recognizing beautiful antique furniture or a particular wood species.  I can also rattle off quite a few names of silver, china, and crystal without the benefit of reference materials.  But my daughter put it quite succinctly, (after I accompanied her to the ballet at the Kennedy center a few year ago as part of her birthday gift), when she declared that "the arts are lost on you"!!!

Now, I could have been horribly offended by her comment, but when someone tells you something that you know has a grain of truth to it, you can't really be offended can you?  I mean she was right in saying that "some" of the arts are lost on me.  After all, I'm the person watching the ballet who loses the beauty of the art form while fixating on the length of a particular dancer's legs and neck, or which pirouette wasn't "quite" up to snuff.  Or even how many bulbs are burned out in the beautiful chandelier hanging from the ceiling.  So see...I do have some taste, I noticed the chandy right?!

What I lack in artistic knowledge I make up for with boatloads personal preferences.  I know what I like and I rarely waffle on a decision to buy something.  I can see something and then years later come across that same item or even one similar, and I will be drawn to it again and again.  Mr. Tide likes to say that my tastes are very consistent.  He also likes to add that if there are two identical things sitting side by side I WILL pick the most expensive one.  I like to think of this as both a blessing and a curse!

Over the years I've mentally cataloged certain artists who's work I covet and hope to own one day.  To the true art lover, their prices may seem inexpensive, a bargain in the world of fine art, but for me with college tuition bills from one child and more looming on the horizon for our son who starts college next Fall, they might as well be Picasso's or Monet's.  Still, I hope to one day own one of these beautiful works knowing that it will be an investment , if not monetarily then certainly mentally, as I would get great enjoyment out of passing by it each and every day, and something like that can't be measured in money, it's simply invaluable.

I hope you enjoy seeing two of my favorite artists and their works.  And if you happen to be lucky enough to own artwork by one of them...just don't tell me!...NO, I'm joking... I would love to hear about it and live vicariously through your art!

Artist Scott Kelley has beautiful paintings of wildlife.  His blue herons are beyond beautiful!

Isn't this blue heron painting beautiful?  And look at the punch of color that vibrant green backdrop provides...stunning!

Here is another one of his lovely heron paintings.  The level of detail is incredible and so lifelike.

He has such an eye for detail and his use of vibrant rich colors, makes his artwork "jump" off the page.

Paintings of birds are not the only thing that Scott creates.  The painting above, from his archives, appears to be a study in "found" objects from the along the beach.

This next artist is near and dear to my heart.  John Matthew Moore is a Georgia native who now calls northern Virginia home.  His creates astonishingly beautiful botanicals that are so realistic you want to lean in to smell their sweet fragrance!  But as beautiful as his botanical, egg, and shell paintings are, it's his sheep paintings that make me want to mortgage the farm to own one!  As "mom" to two herding dogs, and a sheep farm less than a mile from my home, I can't think of anything more appropriate to hang on my walls.

This exquisite orchid is just one example of his masterful artistry.

Photo:  Martin Trowbridge 

Tulips are one of his trademark series and he clearly has a passion for these delicate and beautiful flowers.

He makes something even as simple as this bird's egg into a thing of beauty!

You may have seen some of his artwork featured in one of the rooms in the DC Design Show House.

I had  some serious art envy when I saw that fellow blogger, Jeannine over at Small and Chic in Cville had one of his prints hanging in her own home!  Aptly named Olivia, John Matthew Moore's gorgeous ewe print looks smashing on her walls I must say!

Don't you just want to reach out and pet that adorable woolly head?

I hope my little trip through a few of my favorite artists has inspired you to find your own special artwork. 

For more on how Jeannine became the proud owner of Olivia, visit her blog by clicking HERE and then on the posts about Olivia.  She's also hosting a Giveaway right now where you can win the cool antler bottle opener pictured below, so mosey on over and tell her I sent you!  Don't forget to say hi to Olivia while you're there!


  1. Wow...such beautiful artwork...the ORCHID is my fav!


  2. Love all these artists - the egg is to die for! Leigh

  3. Those bird paintings are lovely. I haven't heard of either artist but they are both well worth noticing and appreciating. Thanks for letting us know about them.

  4. Gorgeous vibrant art! Love the ewe and really any pastoral scene with sheep for that matter. I stumbled across a site several months ago with vintage prints that you can download free that remind me of some of these and you may enjoy just browsing through them. It's at vintageprintable.com -Lili


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