Saturday, January 30, 2010


A cold, blustery night did not prevent me from attending an opening at The Kranzberg Arts Center celebrating the opening Tim Curtis' new work. Tim and I harken back to the halcyon days of Fortune Interiors, a subsidiary of the then Mark Twain Bancshares. We were a group of artists engaged by the Chairman of the Board, Adam Aronson, to design, fabricate, and install the banks' interior design. Not unlike a Medici-like patronage, our artwork was bought by the banks and installed in them. To step foot into a Mark Twain Bank was an unforgettable experience and set the standard for aesthetic excellence in commercial interiors. Another colleague from the days of yore was also in attendance, John Foster.

There were hundreds of chalkboards with Tim's writings. Of course, he had fabricated the framed chalkboards himself. In talking with him, I learned that he is working on an MFA in Creative Writing. It seems to dovetail perfectly with his long, illustrious career as a sculptor. Learn more about Tim on his website

I've long been a fan of chalkboards. I like to use chalkboard paint particularly in kitchens and children's rooms for spontaneous notes and drawings.

Why frame yourself in? Cover the entire wall, woodwork, too, for a super-sized personalized sketchbook page that is sure to have graphic appeal to all!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winter: Design Discussion at DWR

Yours truly with Power Point assistant, Bill Darby

It was an honor to be invited to speak at Design Within Reach's Designer Series January 27th for a presentation of my work followed by Q & A. Being surrounded by modernist masterpieces, the evening couldn't help but be a success. The attending guests and I enjoyed a stimulating discussion on a variety of subjects such as: the blending of art and interior design, collecting original art, acoustic challenges, current trends, and sustainability.

While there, I spotted these Random Light (2002) pendant light fixtures designed by Bertjan Pot made of epoxy and fiberglass. Again, the moon motif came to mind.

Here's another for the moon series: Glo-Ball Collection (1998) designed by Jasper Morrison.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winter: Fog Blog

I love the color gray. I have used it often in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms. It is a calm and peaceful color; ever ready to invoke a subtle, sophisticated and steady influence on the cacophony of our lives. I have been asked to do an apartment in Chicago and spent time there this past week. Floor to ceiling windows on the the 10th floor presented a vista of gray, overcast skies. Somehow, intuitively, my client and I decided on a soft gray for the kitchen walls. Being on the far end of the apartment, yet in view of the windows, it seemed the right visual balance for a typical gray Chicago day. The apartment will be alive with plenty of bright colors, so the grey will act as a neutralizing force.

When I returned to St. Louis, a thick blanket of fog had descended. Again, it is the quiet, the muting of color, that I find so magical about fog. The nuances are infinite, as one's vision makes constant adjustments to focus.

Perhaps because I weary of the bombardment of color, I welcome the respite of gray to collect my thoughts. I also like the way that a familiar place can be altered so as to be unrecognizable. It makes the ordinary extraordinary. But be careful: one can easily lose one's way in a thick fog!

St. Louis Country Club

My daughter is now at University College London. She has been there a few weeks and has seen the sun on only two days. Fortunately, she loves the color gray! When I first went to England, I felt I understood why the English enjoy all those riotous colorful floral chintzes.  They need the color to offset the gray!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Winter: Sidewalk Salt Rings

When walking my dog, Chewy, I come across all manner of visual material that influences my interior design and art work projects. Thawing comes and goes in St. Louis, and leaves behind this interesting effect of salt rings on the sidewalks.

I found them quite remarkable in shape, color and texture. Furthermore, it continued the theme of moonscapes that I'd been thinking about since our New Year's Eve blue moon. Not exactly as impressive as crop circles, as it is just a frozen puddle of snowfall with salt crystallizations. The edges and monochromatic colors are naturally perfect. Cutting-edge art for the front of a house, if I must say so! And it's free!