Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pull Up a Cup: Faith Adams Ceramics

Handcuff Blue Teacup and Saucer ~ Faith Adams Ceramics

I'm very ritualistic when it comes to my mornings. I like to get up, take Remy out, and then make myself some hot tea to get the day started. Because tea is so engrained in my daily routine, I always have an eye out for interesting teacups. I suppose I collect them. Of course, teacups serve so many great uses besides holding tea. They make stylish catchall vessels for coins, barrettes, paper clips, business cards, flower buds, the list goes on. Thanks to my cool teacup radar I discovered Faith Adams Ceramics. As soon as I laid eyes upon her Handcuff Blue Teacup and Saucer, I was in love. I adore its Chinese Blue contrast against the crisp white porcelain. Along with its finely shaped silhouette it gives the set a classic air. However, the handcuffs and beaded texture around the outside offset the classic with a little touch of S&M; The perfect modern matrimony. Now there is a sentence I never thought I would write... 

Porcelain Sage Green Praying Mantis Serving Bowl

Porcelain Emerald Green Starry Sky Beetle Bowl

Many of Faith Adams' pieces have a touch of subversion to them. Despite being delicately crafted and glazed in gauzy pastel tones, she likes to add a touch of something slightly unexpected. For example, how many people would really love the idea of finding a beetle in their cereal bowl? Everything strikes just the right balance though. Somehow the beetle looks happy in its home, and somehow I feel happy to have it there. It's how we are supposed to feel about nature, I think.

Porcelain Blue Bee Teacups

Porcelain Green Goldfish Plate

I love this Porcelain Green Goldfish Plate. Once again, I detect a slight Asian influence, but Faith clearly gives the ancient tradition her own personal spin. They would be a great set when paired with these Porcelain Green Sea Horse Small Plates.

Porcelain Green Sea Horse Small Plates

Porcelain Yellow Bee Small Plates

Porcelain Emerald Green Grasshopper Tiny Teapot

Since tea brought me to Faith Adams, I will use it to take me out of this porcelain daydream. Lately I've been finding my teacup obsession extending to teapots. Somehow I had managed to escape that infatuation, though, Clearly, not for long. Faith's Grasshopper Tiny Teapot seems like the perfect companion for a solo tea party. I'm also obsessed with the teal hue in her Morpho Butterfly Cup and Saucer. I want to splash it all over towels, candlesticks, necklaces, summer flats. It is such an inspiring color.

Porcelain China Blue Morpho Butterfly Cup and Saucer

To learn more about Faith Adams Ceramics, visit her Etsy shop. She has many more beautiful pieces in addition to what you see here: soy sauce dishes/chopsticks rests, necklaces, and more.  I love her signature, by the way. Such a cool font!

*All photos taken from Faith Adams Ceramics' Etsy shop.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ben Venom's Poison Is Electrifying

Skullfly Quilt

Last night I took my first intro to quilting class. I learned a very basic paper piecing technique. Despite being very tedious and time consuming (I was only able to get half way through what I supposed to in the designated time), I fell in love with this patience-required art form. Inspired by last night's class, I have decided to pay tribute to one of my favorite quilters, Ben Venom

As his moniker suggests, Ben Venom creates brilliantly fiendish quilts out of heavy metal tee shirts. The results are nothing short of jaw-dropping. His craft is outstanding and his vision like none other, and together they melt into an intoxicating intersection of fine artistry and slasher culture. While I'm sure any metalhead would lust after these badass quilts, I think Ben Venom's work is universally appetizing. I am entranced by the "Skullfly Quilt" and "Don't Wake Me Lucifer" and would be lying if I said I didn't want to take one of them home. Check out his work for yourself. See if you don't find yourself drinking up his poison.

Don't Wake Me Lucifer

See You on the Other Side

Get a load of the handiwork on "See You on the Other Side."  Talk about meditative. The intricacies of this piece are mind-blowing.

Listen to Heavy Metal While You Sleep

Black Magic

I'm crazy about this lettering. It makes me wish Ben Venom could design t-shirts for my band, The Del-Reys. How would that be for up-cycling? Use band t-shirts to make more band t-shirts. Ha! 

White Magic

Raised by Wolves

Ben Venom's work is stunning all on its own, but it is so visually striking that I can see so many awesome applications for his work besides quilting. How cool would it be to see a mural of "Utopic Dreams/Dystopic Realities" emblazoned on the side of a building as you ride the train in and out of the city? The colors and textures in the eagle's head are incredible, and the theme seems appropriately thought-provoking for a New York City mural.

Utopic Dreams/Dystopic Realities

Thirsting for more Ben Venom? Check out his website, Ben Venom, for a wider gallery of his venomous works. Plus, visit his blog for updates on current projects and exhibitions.

Any thoughts you'd like to share? Conversation welcome!

Have a terribly awesome Wednesday!

*All images for this post were taken from Ben Venom's website or blog.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Fulbright Triptych on Full Display!

The Fulbright Triptych ~ Simon Dinnerstein

I am so happy to report that Simon Dinnerstein contacted me shortly after I wrote the post about Cousin Corinne's Reminder last week, which included some of my thoughts about his artwork, and specifically the wonderful three-paneled painting above- The Fulbright Triptych. He had some really lovely things to say, including the great news that The Fulbright Triptych's residency at the German Consulate in New York City has been extended until April 2014. Plenty of time for you to see the large-scale beauty in the flesh. There's more, but I will let you read his comments yourself...

Dear Alba:
Many thanks for your response to my painting, The Fulbright Triptych and to Cousin Corinne and the essay by Jhumpa Lahiri. 
I want you to know that the exhibit of my Triptych at the German Consulate has been extended until April 1, 2014.  The Consulate is open Mon. to Fri., 9-5 and they are located at 871 United Nations Plaza, First Avenue and 49th Street.  The painting is 14 feet in width and, though it reproduces well, should really be seen in person.  You can see more on this painting at: 
A book, The Suspension of Time, was published last year on The Fulbright Triptych.  It consists of 44 essays on the painting and is 360 pages long.  Book Court carries it. 
On my website, there are many paintings and drawings and also a chapter on prints: are super fine prints and are moderately priced. 
Best regards,  

In addition to Triptych, Simon Dinnerstein has one other pieces currently being exhibited. Don't miss In Dreams Begin Responsibilities on display at the National Academy Museum.

Can't wait to see these two pieces, can you?! 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Side note on Side Tables

The garden continues to come along. I've planted tulips, roses, pansies, violas, geraniums, crocuses, and more with still even more to come. It's starting to look like Provence out there! While enjoying the weather the other day in one of two patio chairs I found discarded on my block last summer, I realized that there is a key element missing. A side table. No outdoor lounging is complete without a table to rest your book and your cocktail, or glass of wine. So I've begun looking at some options. I don't want to spend much, so everything is under $100. What do you think? 

Tried and true: The Wood Clan

Nice and airy with a punch of color.


Iron maidens.

Wild Card!  It's not under a $100, but it's so close and I thought it was too cool not to include!

What do you think?  Any favorites? Leave your thoughts.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Never Forget Cousin Corinne's Reminder

For my friend Cristina's birthday yesterday I gave her a copy of a semi-annual publication I have recently come to love: Cousin Corinne's Reminder. It's a hodge podge of pieces from all corners of the art world- prose, poetry, photography, fine art, and more. The most recent installment, "Issue Number Three," has (among many other great pieces from the likes of Emma Straub, and more) a gorgeous spread on fascinating artist Simon Dinnerstein's recently "discovered","The Fulbright Triptych," with an accompanying essay by Jhumpa Lahiri. I saw a postcard of Triptych about a year ago and became enthralled with the images and the stories they told. Upon seeing Lahiri's in-depth "Triptych" essay in Reminder, I knew I had to take it home. I'm glad I did. I have so enjoyed discovering everything in it. The publication does a great job of exploring a vast array of mediums and presenting a diverse, but talented group of artists within its pages. Best of all, it's only $14 an issue, and each issue is quite hefty.

I couldn't find excerpts to show you from Reminder. However, I did find these beautiful images of Simon Dinnerstein's "The Fulbright Triptych" as featured in "Issue Number Three."


I purchased my copies of Reminder at Book Court in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. However, I bet you can find it in most, if not all, bookstores in New York. Hopefully, elsewhere too. Otherwise you can subscribe via their website. It doesn't seem to be terribly updated, unfortunately, but you should be able to get ordering information. I love the cover photos they've used so far. Breathtaking images!

In case you are itching for more Simon Dinnerstein as I am, then I'll leave you with some more of his beautiful artwork. I'm so in love with his style. What I would give to tour his studio and see all of his pieces in the flesh! Luckily, on his website, you can read his personal reflections on his artwork. Such an unusual move for an artist, but as an aficionado I love this opportunity to peer into this thoughts.

Flower Market Rome, 1977-78 ~ Simon Dinnerstein
oil on canvas

Angela's Garden, 1970 ~ Simon Dinnerstein
burin engraving

Garfield Place, 1970 ~ Simon Dinnerstein

Polhemus Place, 1969 ~ Simon Dinnerstein
burin engraving

Monte Casino Daisies, 2002 ~ Simon Dinnerstein
oil on wood panel, plexiglass palette

Solaris, 2003 ~ Simon Dinnerstein
oil on plexiglass palette

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

*All images from this post were from Simon Dinnerstein's website, or Cousin Corinne's Reminder.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Indigenous Stories by Tamara Adams

Gathering of Mexican Women ~ Tamara Adams

As you know from previous posts, I love Mexican art. I love Diego Rivera. And I love art that represents under-told stories. There are many artists in Latin America that still work with the legacy of Diego Rivera creating their own highly stylized paintings with themes of power, struggle, family, and indigenous life, heritage and culture. But here in the states, these are less commonly explored arenas. The work of Pacific Northwest artist, Tamara Adams, picks up just where Diego Rivera left off. Adams creates deep, vivid paintings that explore the rich and spiritual lives of strong indigenous women. With bright colors and artistry clearly influenced by  Rivera and others like him, Adams manages to pull from these painters she admires, but raise her own voice and bring to the fore the stories of women who are often overlooked, but have much to say.

Whimsical Mother and Child

Black Madonna and Child

Nursing Mother and Child

I love the themes of spirituality, motherhood, sisterhood, and oneness with nature that run through Adam's paintings. In many pieces, mothers nurse or care for their young in moments of total devotion and quiet bliss. In Nursing Mother and Child, we sense a profound satisfaction in the mother's care-taking, and that through it she becomes ever-closer to her earthly environment as represented by her surrounding foliage. Adam's images harken to the native spirituality that conquistadors and other colonialists attempted to wash away with their organized religions upon arriving in the new world.  Her sensitive portraits celebrate the beauty that lies in these resilient and thoughtful systems of belief.

Sing Away the Blues

Girl and Birds

Tree Spirit and Ravens

None of Adams' paintings represent the connection between women and nature quite as strongly as Tree Spirit and Ravens. In it, she paints a tree inhabited by ravens with the soulful face of a woman. It's as if she says that women are borne out of the earth just as flora and fauna, and are one in the same. It's a powerful image, and I love how she makes each element such that you don't know where one ends and the other begins. In other words, where does the woman end and the tree begin, or the tree end and the ravens begin? They are all part of one same organism.

 Gathering of Women

Importantly, Adams also delves into the relationships women have to each other. Just as they are bound to nature and youth, they are bound to each other and provide one another with a unique strength. In Gathering of Women, we see four women gifting a sister plants, fruit, a bird, and peppers. It seems to me that the women are saying, "Among us there is an unspoken bond, and together we will always provide each other with what is needed." It's my own spin perhaps, but I think what is sure is that these female relationships are based on loyalty, trust and allegiance.

Colorful Prayer Icon

I'll be in Oregon later this summer, and I'm hoping to make a trip to see Tamara's radiant paintings in person. The glimpse of texture I can glean from web images must be stunning in person. If you can't make it to Oregon like me, you can purchase Tamara's work on Etsy, or visit her website for more images and information. Posters of several prints are also available for purchase on allposters.

Goddess Portrait with Bird

What do you think? Are you moved by Tamara Adam's work like me? Share your thoughts!

*All images for this post were taken from Tamara Adam's Etsy shop.