Saturday, July 27, 2013

I collect art (part 2 - sort of)

So as I was saying in my previous post- I do actually and have for a long time - collect art .  But the reason I brought it up was because I have made a concerted effort to gather some new paintings for the condo that I am decorating for our use in the coming winters....

And as I said- I have been haunting websites that sell vintage original art- and collecting seascapes for the long wall in the Living room/Dining room combination area-

so without further ado - here are some photos- of the things I have found online- they range in vintage from the 1940s through 2011 (some are signed - some are framed - some bear actual dates)


hard to tell from the photos but these are of varying sizes - generally on the small side and I felt like I wanted something to be the center of the grouping.  About nine years ago, we had purchased a painting in Maine by an artist I really liked named Keith Oehmig.  It hangs in our bedroom in Chicago. (see below) -

so I decided to go to the online site for the gallery where we bought this painting and see what was on offer that might be a larger work in the sea theme- and lo and behold- there were many to choose from.  There was a single one that I fell in love with and that was the one I contacted the gallery about.  When I called there I found out that Keith was in that day and so I talked to him and told him how much we had enjoyed the painting we bought years ago.  We exchanged pleasantries and then I was transferred to the lady who takes the information. I had already sent an email that included the above photo and one of the artist in the gallery with our picture (from way back when)-

and as a result of the negotiations - we have a centerpiece for our LR/DR grouping- from Keith Oehmig - painted just last month in 2013 of the Ogunquit Beach- I think it quite beautiful!

then along the way, of course I fell in love with a few more vintage paintings that were not seascapes but which would work quite well in the condo Master bedroom... including two really appealing Italian scenes (one from Venice and one a 1967 painting of the Ponte Vecchio in Florence)

and then one I just couldn't resist - a painting by a California artist from the 1940s of a cabin in the woods - I LOVE these cars- this is so of a period!

so now - I am pretty much finished until I get a chance to actually hang all this artwork - and then reassess the need for anything else....or maybe I'm not... LOL - you never know what will show up in the "added today" on the vintage artwork segment of the website! Happy Picture Hunting!

a number of titles

come to mind for this post---

the ease of addiction - or
I become an art collector - or
decorating the condo redux....

so - while it is somewhat a long story I KNOW I can condense it to "just the facts ma'am..." 

I came home from Florida around the 4th of July holiday after going there to build furniture (see the post: I build furniture part II) and I was pretty happy with my progress but the walls were really bare - I had bought a few cheap posters on line framed in plastic with plexi-glass (wasn't clear online that they were going to be that cheap looking- LOL but you get what you pay for)

I had taken these and hung them in their intended spots and while nothing special they were fine for where they were and the plexi-glass turned out to be a bonus because these posters were to hang on walls that couldn't take a big hanger for heavy weight as behind them were pocket doors.

OK a little aside- we only have two regular doors in our condo- the front door and the door to the guest bathroom.  Everything else is either sliding glass (seven of those) or pocket doors (three or four depending upon how you count.)

So the posters worked out OK and I could see from even that small wall d├ęcor how much a difference this makes in the feel of the room.  From there- well - that is the thing... I see now how collecting can become and obsession luckily I can stop (ha ha ha - that's what they all say) because I do only have so much space.

I had been visiting online decorating sites scanning for small objects that I would need in the new condo (especially the kitchen) and on one of the sites I found a category for used art work.  Well I guess I should call it "pre-owned" since you don't really use art work... and began small with a watercolor of beachcombers in the same palate as the Lanai color scheme...

Then I came across a painting I liked of Venice (a good choice for the bedroom) and well then things got on a roll and I found a series of seascapes for the Living/Dining room - which 1. has lots of wall space and 2. really need some perking up as right now it kind of looks like a furniture warehouse.... so I put together (over several weeks of watching what arrived in the vintage art daily post) a grouping of seascapes for the big wall in the LR/DR...

another digression- I have actually collected art for quite some time- when I started to travel I looked for a "souvenir" that I could have as a reminder of the places I have visited and the people I have met along the way (in what is now 70+ countries.)  I didn't start out in watercolors, but soon found that nearly everywhere I went I could find a local artist painting a watercolor of a size I could easily transport home.

so I guess looking at this post so far I can't keep it short - so I will go to some examples - the first a granary in Tunisia near Tataouine...

and the souvenir:

then one from Portugal - Phil with the artist and then the painting in our home-

my mother modeling the Venetian Mask I purchased and a photo of it hanging in our powder room -

although it looks nothing like my mother- those are definitely her eyes in the modeling picture and it is kind of strange how much life just the eyes can bring to something-

next New Zealand- a recent trip there (last December) and I found in a brief bathroom stop a painting I wanted in a local gallery - my good luck the artist was the one manning the co-op that day so she knew how much I liked her work... this one was a completely accurate representation of the weather we had near Franz Joseph glacier-

Rome- the Fountain of Trevi- (don't know what hour the artist saw so FEW people there LOL)

Venice- lamp post and looking across the lagoon from Piazza San Marco-

this artist amalgamated two photographs- that's one of the cool things you can do as an artist - just take what you like of the scene and emphasize what you want people to "see"-

the Bridge of Sighs-

Dubrovnik and the man who painted it - where I bought it from him on the wall surrounding the city formerly known as Ragusa-

Valetta Harbor in Malta- and a local style boat on the water- followed by the painting I bought in town in a gallery-

so I actually could go on and on but will leave it at that... with one more photo of the stairway wall where a number of my travel "souvenir" paintings hang-

and I think since this has gone on so long already I will do the Florida acquisitions in another post LOL- see you there!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

the hits just keep on coming!

OK so we have basically been to Goosefoot maybe ten times now- It's a neighborhood place for us- but high end destination dining for those not so fortunate to live nearby.  We love Chris and Nina - they are both such truly warm and welcoming people.  And it is hard to come up with something new to say when everything is just perfect- and that is what goosefoot is- an experience where everything is perfect.  The tables in the dining room are comfortably sized, the spacing makes access for the wait staff easy so you don't end up having to squeeze around anyone and the noise level is buzz-y but not intrusive.

We had several new courses last night so I will post the menu and then show the food- my current favorite is the farm egg- with the asparagus... but it is hard to pick between that and the preserved shrimp served in an egg shell- both are packed with combinations of intense flavor - well I guess I should just say- go eat there and find out for yourself.... there is a reason it was the number one new restaurant in Chicago last year---

the menu for tonight:

The food photos:

In the order served and listed on the menu- except not listed are the amuse of a golden beet and goat cheese on a spoon, the palate cleanser of yuzu and beet juice in the glass - and the fruit on the tree (LOL) at the end.

all I can say about this meal is YUM!

here are the wines we selected to accompany the meal-

and just for an ending comment - here is the fruit on the tree - LOL

don't eat the stump! but do visit goosefoot for an amazing meal!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

happy anniversary! Chicago Gourmets celebrates with Oceanique

starting yesterday our social lives return to busy- with a Chicago Gourmets event  at Oceanique to celebrate their 25th anniversary and the 16th anniversary of Chicago Gourmets!

here is the blurb:

the menu:

the food!

all fabulous! really everything was perfectly executed and had a little different slant in the preparations that really made the flavors pop and the wine pairings were all very well done so they brought out the best in each course- really spot on!

they had just finished - hours earlier - a redo of the front of the restaurant... and it was all clean lines and white tile- very soothing - with an homage to the fresh fish markets of Europe -

many members attended the sold out event! (and they were lucky they got to sample such great fare!)

a toast to the chef and the sommelier at the end of the evening- both created a memorable event!

and then tonight- Goosefoot!  always a winner in our book!