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Posts Tagged ‘Original Art’

Have I ever mentioned that I love my job?  I do.  I love my job.  Weird stuff happens here.  The awesome kind of weird.  For example…

Once upon a time (not so very long ago…) a lovely lady heard great things about Slate and came to see what all the fuss was about.   Little did she know as she drifted through each vignette, that hidden among all the loveliness was a buried treasure in the form of a painting,  from her life decades ago.  Until there it was, staring her in the face with a sense of irony too unlikely for words.  So she sought out the charming and witty store rep (who bears an uncanny resemblence to your dear writer…) and told her, “You will never believe it, but I painted this in the 60’s.  I can’t believe it’s here.”  So I will tell you the story of how the painting came full circle, and then you will know why this place is so awesome. 

You can still see hints of the original colors, and still in it’s original frame!

Five decades ago, the aformentioned lovely (Chris is her name) gifted a sizable red and yellow magnolia flower painting to her sister for her birthday, which remained with her for her entire life.  After she passed and her husband remarried, it was thoughtfully returned to her, where it sat in a closet for several years. 

One day her daughter came upon it, decided it might be useful in a different color palette, and gave it a cream and sky-blue make-over.  Voila!  Sadly, her husband hated it.  So back to the closet it went.  Years come and go, and nob0dy wants it.  It’s time.  The daughters sells it.  A short time later, another daughter hears the painting has sold, and is beside herself.  Really? How could you just go and sell a family treasure like that?  I want that painting! 

Now at this point in the story, Chris pauses to qualify that (she swears) she talked to everyone and nobody wanted the darn thing.  But there we are.  The painting is gone.  I mean, what can you do?   And so she stares at this painting in serendipitous disbelief that it has made it’s way back to her.  It even has the original rough wood frame that her husband made for it.  And so it came to pass, my friends, that I made a call, relayed the story, and Cookie (the sweetheart  merchant who owned said painting), was as charmed by the story as I was, and returned it to the family for her cost.  The painting is home again, and hopefully not in the closet.   Full circle.  I love my job.

The end.

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It’s a new month, friends, and though 2012 is half played out, we are here to give you something to look forward to each and every month.  Yes, those new year’s resolutions may be but distant memories, but at this, the halfway point in the year, we are hosting  a reason to put on a dress and drink some prosecco.  Our feature art wall changes the first of the month, so it is time to celebrate a new month, new artist and new season of summer fun. 

This month, at the crux of summer, we highlight the art of Kate Gaither.  Inspired by nature and frequently a painter en plien air (frenchy speak for open air painting), she often takes a multi-media approach, and has been known to use everything from recycled materials to beach glass she finds along the Carolina shore. 

Born in Indiana and raised in Florida, Kate moved to NC in 1980 after college at University of Florida. She owns Newport Properties, a full service real estate firm at Lake Norman and has been in Real Estate for 32 years. Kate finds it relaxing to create new visions of what she sees in nature in her spare time.

 This collection of works is inspired by spring’s bloom – everything coming to life; it is a collection featuring acryllics and collage.  And with the heat bearing down on us these days, these flowers may be the only ones not wilting in the sun.  Come see them here beginning the 1st of July.  Stay tuned for more information on our artist reception July 13th.

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He’s been your hero, your rock, the voice in your head, comic relief.  Your dearest friend, your dear old dad.  And for all these things (and so many more!) our desire on Father’s Day is to reflect even the tiniest glimmer of the love, admiration and respect we feel for the old man.  Unfortunately, it usually goes something like this:

“Dad, I love you so much that I have combed the world over to find you the perfect… new tie?”   Wowee.  Now, that’s love…  Really, if that’s all you got, don’t even bother.  Nobody wants another tie.  I don’t think I’m wrong about this.  For the love of  God, get some  inspiration!  Try just a modicum of thoughtfulness.  Really, it’s the least you can do.

Ok, so what does dear old dad like to do?  What would he do if he had the time?  What makes him smile and laugh for days?  Think.  How about a momento?  Something that will remind him of great times you have shared, dreams in the making or an inside joke he can’t live down.  Or something just really cool.  Or really anything at all besides another tie.  Really.

(By the way, I was testing this hypothosis with a dad I know around here (we refer to him as “Papa Color”, but that’s a whole other story…), and he agreed.  “No, not a tie.  Nothing practical.  Get me something I would never get for myself.”  So there it is.)  Here are a few unique and super cool gift ideas to get you started.  You’re welcome, dads.

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I have developed a neurotic obsession with art.  Blame the day job, but I am surrounded on all sides by incredible original art that often moves as quickly as it comes in.  You know that moment when you look at a piece of art and the thought of walking away from it feels as though you are leaving a child behind?  You simply must own it.  Lovelies, I don’t know if you are aware how lucky we are to live in an area where original art abounds.  Great art.  And great art by wonderful people.  I am blessed to know so many of them; it makes owning the pieces even that much sweeter.  One of these such gems is Sharon Hockfield, the featured artist here at Slate for the month of June.

Sharon, a career-long teacher with CMS,  is a Charlotte native who has always had a love of art, even while attending East Meck, but  it wasn’t until she began working with an artist on her daughter’s wedding invitations that she thought to actively pursue it.  She recently completed an artist-in-residence training with Andy Braitman, and her resulting work is lush and thick with paint.  She likes to work from life – figures and florals, which is a natural progression of another passion of hers – landscape design.    Come in and check out all the gorgeous and varied works by this lovely lady.  And don’t be surprised when you get attached…

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You have a defined style, you know what you like.  Why, oh why, then, can’t you get it to feel right?  Forgive the cliché, lovelies, but too much of a good thing…  In design (and just about everything else), we all know that while too much sweetness is cloying, too much masculinity can be cold, just as too many neutrals can feel monotone but overwhelming color feels like a circus. Do you find yourself drawn to the same elements over and over?  Marinate on this: One element in the absence of  its opposite may feel incomplete, but the whisper of its opposite magnifies itself. ( I theorize this is why kettle corn may be the world’s most addictive snack, as illustrated by my recent trip to the mountains.  But I digress… )  So if you are plagued by a Groundhog’s Day sense of safe and similar, what to do? Throw a wrench in it!  Highlight all the things you already love by peppering in a tiny hint of its counterpart.  You like clean lines and crisp finishes?  Drape a sumptuous throw over your sofa.  You have a room full of dark wood? Lighten up with a white-painted chest.  Lots of solids?  A kiss of pattern will banish the boring. Shall we begin?

Look your space and take stock.  What themes are repeated?  Is it all hard lines and crisp finishes?  Or perhaps you are a creature of comfort and many of your surfaces are rounded, soft and cozy.  Look at the colors in your space.  Are they cool or warm? Lots of color or all neutrals?  What words describe your aesthetic?  Super glam or casual?  Dark or light?  Preppy or romantic? Relaxing or energizing, etc?  Assign shapes to the elements in your space. What shape is most often repeated?  Look at the lighting, furniture, art and accessories, and take some notes.

Next step: Analyze.  Determine your comfort zone by what you see a lot of and your fears by what you don’t.  Perhaps you have a space filled with rounded shapes, comfy chairs, pillows and throws, lots of neutrals.  What are you missing?  You want it to feel comfy and relaxing but not boring!  Here’s the trick.  Your space is craving a tiny touch of the elements you run from.  It should be 90/10.  You need a few hard edges, some reflective surfaces (maybe a touch of sparkle?), a few shakes of bold color, and Voila!  Treat it like a spice.  Just a touch will wake up the flavor.  Perhaps a mirrored tray, a sleek accent chair, and a bold geometric pattern.  Take a color you love and introduce it around the room in small doses to add excitement and energy.  One, two, three, done.

Conversely, for all you hard-edge modernists out there wanting expansive breathing room, but living in sterility, your space is aching for the softness of a curving line or two, a touch of texture, and some organic shape to warm it up.  A few luxurious pillows, a touch of warm wood or fresh flowers, and an unexpected vintage accessory will replace the echos with exhales and coldness with an invitation to live  life within your walls.  Check out the driftwood lamp, the abstract flower painting, and the antique elephant garden stool.  Fresh flowers that never die add energy, and the organic shapes of the coral pillow and vessel are dynamite for breaking up the defined lines of a, ultra-contemporary space.

Overall the key is this:  take a risk.  Try something you normally wouldn’t.  A few opposites make a room feel just right.  Keep your modern or traditional, but juxtaposing just a few elements enhances the style you already have.  Don’t take my word for it – try it!  Come into Slate with a few pictures and we’ll help you find exceptional elements to carry it to the next level.  And because you can try nearly anything in the store on approval, there is no excuse to let your room sit stagnant!

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“Dogs have no pretense, just an innate desire to please, and a lack of self-awareness that makes them beautiful.”

Five Buck Chuck 22x28 Oil on Canvas

For all of you dog lovers, we have a special treat in the works for you. We’ve all seen dog portraits, good and bad, and loved or hated them, but this is something else altogether.  We’re honored to introduce you to Heather LaHaise, a fine artist whose work has been featured in the New York Post, The State Newspaper, Modern Dog, and HGTV as well as several other publications and notable blogs such as Dog Art Today and Design Milk.  Heather treats dog as muse, evoking dignity in “the underdog,” often capturing the essence of rescue pups, senior dogs and strays in ways that elevate puppy love into high-fashion amor.

When you cast your eyes on her dogs, you instinctively feel the spirit of the animal; the sweet-tempered loyalty, the high-spirited adoration, or the curious adventurer.   Not only that, but the dogs feel like part of something bigger.  Something insatiably swank, haute couture, impressing upon you a love of urban landscapes and gorgeous textures.  This is fine art, darlings.  You have never seen anything like it.

She balances abstractionism with realism in her portraits with graphic use of space and expressive layering of paint.  Planes of uneven color, gestural marks and calculated drips mark her style, often with dogs as the focus of the finished piece.   And, while the dogs may give her a voice, she strives to transcend the singular category of “dog art” and continues to work toward contemporary ideas, including a collection of abstract works, collectively showing at Slate beginning March 1st.

So come in this Friday, March 2nd, enjoy our later hours with a beer or glass of prosecco, and organic delights provided by Thomas Martin Catering.  And don’t forget to bring Fido, Fluffy or Butch.  We love your pups.  And as always, treats provided for them too!

To see more pictures, Like us on Facebook.

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Flowers that won't die, Marble heart paperweight, and Delicious candles... Just a taste of the gift ideas we have up our sleeves.

“It has been said that we need just three things in life:  Something to do, Something to look forward to, and someone to love.”  Well, you’re on your own finding the object of your affection, but once you have that under your belt, we recommend keeping said wonder-boy (or girl).  Hmmm… how to do this…..

Flowers? Cliche.  Lasting? Hardly.  Here’s a secret.  Flowers are always sweet, but really only make an impact when they are unexpected.  Let’s get motivated, lovers!  Think outside the box.  We’re here for you.  In that spirit…

Always keep them wanting more.  This is sage advice.  Everyone wants something to look forward to.  And it feels so good to be a thoughtful sweetie-pie!  Shower them with periodic and unexpected gifts and gestures.  Valentine’s Day is nice, and I recommend celebrating with flair.  Skip the common, the expected, the flowers and dinner.  How about something as one-of-a-kind as he is? Something she’ll see everyday that’ll take her back to that moment?  Or, for even greater impact, the weekend after Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to surprise your love-bug with a teensie memento of your amore.  We are abloom with original art, unique gifts, sexy scented candles, pretty/statement jewelry and plenty of ideas for creating memorable moments.

Whether you are a traditionalist, sticking to the hallmark holiday, or prefer to celebrate anything but, we are once again here to make it easy to be thoughtful and romantic.  Come by for ideas, inspiration, gifts, and, (we know you might need it!) help.

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