Sunday, 23 August 2015

James McNeill Whistler

I was at a mini music festival not too long ago and as I was walking through the maze of rooms, this screen caught my eye. The screen, entitled 'Blue and Silver: Screen with Old Battersea Bridge' (1871-1872) is by the American-born, British-based artist James Whistler.

The colours caught my eye at first, it has a real dreamlike quality. It's made from distemper and gold paint on brown paper laid on canvas stretched on the back of silk. 

This is the man himself, photographed in his Paris studio with the screen in the background. I think I need this for my future dream  house.

An interesting fact about Whistler is that he sued an art critic who accused him of metaphorically "flinging a pot of paint in the face of the public"!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Sean Ono Lennon and The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger

It's definitely time for a little update on my life. Firstly, I went to watch a music video being shot and managed to take some photos. I will upload all of them in another post but for now, here's one of me wearing a headpiece from the carnival in Rio! It was like a jewelled eagle - so beautiful. I want one of my own! 

I also went to see Sean Ono Lennon perform with his band 'The Goast of a Saber Tooth Tiger'. I really didn't know what to expect - would he be talented in his own right or is his band getting publicity purely because of who his parents are? As soon as he came on stage, it felt surreal - he looked and sounded very much like his dad, John Lennon, as well as having his stage presence. He was really funny and down to earth, cracking a few jokes about his band name and how all the good names had been taken, like 'The Backstreet Boys'. His great sense of humour definitely comes from his scouse genes! He also had Yoko's traits, including her dance moves. His voice was truly incredible, his style and presence oozed coolness - not surprising really, but I was pleased at how talented he is in his own right and how he deserves to do well. I'd love to see him perform again. Here's a pic I took and a little video below of the song  'Animals' - it's a shame instagram only allow 15 second videos!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Mondrian and his Studios

A friend asked me to go along to the Tate and view their latest exhibition on the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. If I'm being honest, I didn't particularly want to go as I'm not a huge fan of his work but I convinced myself that I was being a little narrow minded and couldn't have an informed opinion unless I went to see it in the flesh.

As I walked in, to the left of the exhibition, I was met by a window looking into a life-size reconstruction of Mondrian's Paris studio. This was my favourite part.

Mondrian believed that an artist's studio should be a reflection of his current work which leads the development of contemporary art. He thought that an artist could not develop if their studio was 'a museum of ancient art'. I've got to give it to the man, I respect the dedication he had to his work, allowing his art to seep into every aspect of his life.

One thing I realised as I was wandering through the Tate was that although I may not be a huge fan of his art, it's certainly iconic; one of his pieces only has to appear on the TV or internet for a couple of seconds and it's instantly recognisable. It's unique.

The piece above is called 'Composition with red, yellow and blue.' (Apologies about the blurriness, I moved as I was taking it)

I felt that once I'd seen a few of the paintings in the style of the above, it became very repetitive as they were all so similar.

I'm glad I went to the exhibition and I do have a new found respect for Mondrian and the style he created, however it didn't fascinate me and I wouldn't rush back for another look!

I'd love to hear your thoughts about Mondrian's work.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Roger & Gallet Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil Review

Emma from Escentual kindly got in touch last week to see if I wanted to try out the newest launch from Roger & Gallet - their Fleur de Figuier Ultra Nourishing Oil. During the last couple of years I've converted to using oil on my hair before styling it so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on this fig-scented oil which can be used on skin and hair.

I did a little research and time and time again the scent was described as being addictive, so as soon as Mr Postman delivered it, I quickly unwrapped it, took off the lid and had a good sniff! I didn't know what to expect as I'm quite particular with which scents I like, but true to all the reviews, the scent is delicious and really 'moreish' - I wanted to smell it over and over again. The aroma is a mixture of grapefruit, fig pulp and fig pulp - not a combination I've tried before, but one I'll definitely be using more of. 

The oil is made up of 96% natural ingredients - I'm trying to use more natural beauty products so I'm very happy about this. It contains a blend of grape, pomegranate, blackcurrant, apricot and sweet almond oils, rich in omega 6 and antioxidant vitamins A and E. I sprayed it a few times into the palm of my hands and massaged it into my arms and legs. It felt lightweight, not greasy in the slightest and left my skin feeling nourished; it also looked really healthy and not overly shiny. I keep sniffing my arms whenever I use it though as they smell soooo good!

I also used it on the mid lengths to the ends of my hair after I'd washed it and before I used my hairdryer and GHD's on it. Like the effect it had on my skin, it made my hair feel soft, silky and shiny. Be careful to only use a little bit though as using too much would make your hair greasy and don't use it in your roots (I spritzed the oil into my palm first - about the size of a 5 pence piece, then distributed it evenly into my hair). 

So overall, I'd definitely recommend this oil, even if it was purely for the smell, however it ticks all the other boxes as well and thoroughly nourishes hair and skin. The packaging is very pretty as well and ideal for gifts. The price of the oil is usually £25.50 making it more of a luxury buy in my book, however there is 1/3 off the Roger & Gallet range until the end of August at Escentual, making this oil £16.83 - so I'd pick it up whilst it's on offer! You can buy it here.

Thanks to Emma and Escentual - who sent it to me for an honest review. 

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Mario Bertorelli

This evening I logged onto Facebook and noticed that 'Saatchi Art' had chosen Mario Bertorelli as their artist of the day. If I'm being honest, I've never heard of him before, but I clicked the link to the artist's profile and really enjoyed looking at his artwork. However, it was when I read the 'about me' section in the artist's profile when I felt really inspired by what he had to say (inspired enough to write a blog post about it and that's saying a lot).

The beach.

"For almost forty years I have dedicated myself to combining objective, dreams and surrealistic reality through collages, shadow boxes and kaleidoscopes . Collages have a dreamlike essence which completely disregard logical principles, as all surreal creations do. In the waking life 2 plus 2 equals 4. In dreams, 2 plus 2 could well result in red alligators atop underwater polka dots clouds, and so ad infinitum. Shadow Boxes have been defined as a box to keep dreams. Dreams form the other half of our lives that we, unconsciously, live when our experiences are arbitrarily represented with our senses only while we are dreaming. Dreams already appeared in writing circa 5000/6000 years ago in the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. A magnificent example of surrealism is the stream of consciousness writing in the last 25 pages of Joyce's Ulysses: there are no punctuation signs whatsoever in there, just as it happens with our mental processes. They are not hampered by any punctuation, they just occur, even smells, voices, songs, cries, fear, love and all the human and not so human utterances. I have also been a Cultural History professor for three decades. What's relevant about cultural history, dreams and reality? They are all inextricably linked in surrealistic images. There are no punctuation marks, no paragraphs separating a renaissance soldier from a NBA player or a Petra column from a Manhattan skyscraper or a horse's nose. It's all part of human experience and our mind can integrate them, rather easily. "
I dream a lot myself and thus could truly relate to Mario's ideas.

Alice, you are late.

Happy Birthday Venus.

Miranda and Ferdinand.

Out of time.

To take out.

 You can read more about Mario and buy his artwork here.