Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Revolutionary New Art Gallery - NOT A GALLERY

It is like haute couture for your home, at ready to wear prices, AND you can order online!

This is a piece from the series entitled Shelf Life, installed in a client's home.  This is the largest size you can order from NOT A GALLERY, and WOW, what a look for $699!

Gallery owner, and digital artist, Justin Belmont has turned the traditional art gallery concept on its head with NOT A GALLERY.  Just as the name insinuates, this is NOT your typical GALLERY.  It is an online gallery selling large, eye-catching artwork in five different sizes, with prices ranging from $249 - 699.  Ever talented Justin creates the most beautiful and unique pieces using simple, cost-effective, and eco-friendly techniques. 
Here are some close-up images of Justin's innovative framing technique.  Every order shows up ready to hang, with no fuss or special installation instructions.  

He begins with a digital image – a photograph, screen shot, vintage material, even a pattern – and he carefully restores and re-colors it, adding his artistic touch.  He prints each image to the specified size using a no-VOC, 8 color UltraChrome printer, which gives the image jewel-like clarity and color. Next, the print is hand glazed with a non-toxic acrylic gloss, which adds painterly texture as well as UV protection, eliminating the need for glass and a traditional frame.  Lastly, the image is drymounted to a pressed hardwood panel, and attached to a 2” deep wooden frame, constructed of certified renewable birch.  By the time you receive your artwork, it is ready to hang with a wire loop in the back, and needs no further framing or fussing.
From Les Antilles series.  Each series is done in a small batch, usually no more than 125 prints per image.  Each print is hand numbered and signed by the artist on the back.

Justin’s subject matter is eclectic, there is something for everyone amongst the various series he offers – from Shelf Life, which features striking images of the massive volumes that inhabit the reference room of the New York Public Library, to Les Antilles: Seaside Chic, a collection of soothing nautical images inspired by the interior design of the French West Indies.  He has even taken screen shots from Google Earth and re-colored them, creating some of the most beautiful city-scapes I have ever seen - more beautiful than the real thing!
Hang Googlescapes "New York" on your wall in lieu of a window, for a view more beautiful than the real thing!

Get what Justin calls “wall power”, with these inexpensive, yet museum quality pieces.  Even just one of his artworks would immediately create a focal point in a drab room.  A vibrant 36” x 48” piece could work in lieu of wall paper or paint – particularly if you are renting your home and do not want the hassle, but still want the look.
From A Country Drive: New England in the 1960s

Visit the website at: http://notagallery.com and browse his work.  Feel free to contact the gallery with suggestions for subject matter – Justin happily tailors his work around his clients, and is always keen for a fresh idea.

I am a huge Dashiell Hammett fan, and am loving the newest series entitled Whodunit, inspired by the 1930s and 1940s detective novels. Take a look, and let us know which is your favorite!

Monday, February 14, 2011

My Funny Valentine, the Lanuage of Love

It was a dark and stormy night, when I became an acronym challenged, social media, arriviste. I can pick up any accent in a New York minute, and swiftly donned Mrs. Malaprop's mantle to the giddy delight of my daughters. Yes, I thought LOL, Laughing Out Loud, meant Lots Of Love.  My children knew I was out of my league, and enjoyed it so much--they didn't tell me. I wrote to a friend: "I am so sorry to hear you backed your car over our beloved Boomer. You must be devastated. LOL.  Liz"  I was losing friends.  Words like "twisted" and "sick" were whispered about me all over town. Thanks girlies!

Portrait of Boomer on the Left Bank

In another horrible missive to a savvy friend, I wrote: "I had no idea you missed the lake in July, because of your surgery. You were missed. LOL, Liz"  Needless to say, she is not taking my calls.  I really meant to say: "Lots Of Love, not Laughing Out Loud." This should never had happened to me. I was lazy. As a child, I devoured my favorite book of all time: Codes and Secret Writing. 

While garbed as Harriet the Spy, I was feverishly writing secret notes to friends, with lemon juice, and instructing them to hold the paper over their toasters, to burn my private messages onto the page. 

For heavens sake, you think I would bother to learn text acronym speak, but no. My Sister and I had The Hipsters Dictionary, and thought ourselves clever in 1964 that we knew squares were L7's.  Our linguistic coolness was not new. Here are some thoughts for the abbreviated comments we might delete, and should not. Logos, designs and brand concepts that once seemed powerful, are currently ludicrous. If you have ever entertained the symbol of the tiny acorn holding all the secrets of the mighty Oak, just stop. 

To our children, ACORN, as an acronym means: A Completely Obsessive Really Nutty Person. Our romantic symbolism is done, done, done. Don't go there with your brand or logo. They will laugh themselves silly and let you look D-U-M. I swear getting old is like being a redneck.  Now, as the youngsters comment in text speech to us, do not be offended with the word: "Bitc#"

In the 1960's, not to mention current surf speak: "Bitchen" means really cool, fantastic. It was code for Sonofa... It might have been in the hipsters dictionary. We learned it from our California cousins, to my parents dismay. If a commenter says B-I-T-C-H in reply to the question: "I went completely over the top with the new Pantone (Honeysuckle) color of the year, in this hall. What do you think?" 

Basically In The Clear Honey

So different from the very bad, bad B-word, that no woman should ever utter, unless she has to. This is not a rude comment. It is actually completely flattering--primarily, because they think you get the lingo, and secondly, this is a thumbs-up, not the other finger. Who the hell knew?  So my friends,  communication is complicated. Keep the lines of communication open. Happy Valentine's Day to all my new blogger BFFs. My thoughts on Love can be found in this article in Women's Voices for Change.

I am going to Ecuador Tomorrow!

I will be sending you pictures and stories. 
Love You Kiss You Already Miss You!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Dixie Highway Shopping with The Empress II

 More Fun With Liz and Jane!
Jane, explained why the Dixie Highway is the best bargain hunting in America: "You have to understand, Florida is a big drain. As people downsize and retire South, they bring their favorite things. Eventually, a lot of it ends up on the Dixie Highway. " High and low Palm Beach style flows down the alluvial layers of possession. Remnants of great castles and estates mingle with common rubbish. Chinioserie, hand painted furniture, Italianate pieces, paintings and ceramics are heaped together, quite unlike Worth Avenue, a few miles away. The rule of thumb is: The more jumbled the shop, the better the buy. You have to sift for the gold, ignoring the prevalent common objects. Lighting can be dismal, chairs sit on tables, upon tables, and precious antiques are dusty.

A. Abbott Antiques Mall and Design Center overflows with everything from six foot 19th century Venetian Blackamoors, to this unique vintage folding writing desk, with an asking price of $499.00. Cleaned up, it would make a chic little laptop desk for a cramped apartment. I am imagining note paper, pens, love letters and party invitations, sorted within the nooks.

 Moving down the road, there is an Ali Baba cave at Shi and Erhard. It is dark, dusty and good.

431 Bunker Road, West Palm Beach

This opulent 18th century French Regency mirror is a real knock out. So is the asking price at $12,000!

Everything is relative. Down the road, without the dust, you can pick one up for $24,000 at Cedric Dupont.

Why, oh why, is this antique frame and glass, so shiny and new for this much money? Excessive restoration destroys value.  I have also witnessed the equivalent in the $75,000.00 range. Train your eye! Bruce Erhard's dusty mirror, way, way off  Worth Avenue, Madison and 1st dibs might be a clever negotiation.

This wicker valise has Brooke Giannetti's name all over it. Texture and patina add character and convert the generic to the unique personal.  This hardy, organic traveler would happily settle down in front of a sofa for a well deserved rest as the perfect coffee table. 

I do yearn for this chic vintage Greek Key outdoor furniture. With a $1,400.00 price tag, which includes the shipping, it is not a deal maker, as it still requires extensive restoration. Fellow shoppers, I have been stalking the elusive and perfect outdoor furniture grouping for way too long. If you see a bargain, send photos to liz@dovecotedecor.com!

Niki's shop: Sold as of Feb. 1 (561)-568-7288
                                                                   5109 S. Dixie Hwy

We're all about the Zebs!! If you really think about it, Zebra's do not look like anything in nature. The Greeks and Romans don't have a design god, but there must be one who envisioned this outlier.  What a stunning graphic gift. George Stubbs (1724-1806) painted the iconic zebra image that launched a thousand rugs.

Lars Bolander is in on it. Note the Venetian Blackamoor. I've seen the same one at Trelliage on Madison, but haven't found the source. 

It's all happening at the zoo, so..... Dog portraits are well represented up and down these streets. This holy terrier by Thierry Poncelet  is exhibited at Sold (address above). I love how the aristochiens' expressions match their garb.  This philosophical fellow will run you about $2,800. 

This congenial ancestor is coming up for grabs at Bonhams New York: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 [Lot 00214] Dogs in Show and Field: The Fine Art Sale  31 x 25 in.  oval
Estimate    3,000 - 5,000 USD.  The frame is magnificent and compelling for a price comparison or bargaining position. There is a wide range of prices realized at auction for this artist, so if you love Poncelet, do your homework. I can't resist my favorite Poncelet portrait, that reminds of of my precious miniature long haired Daschund, Violet. 

As far as events are concerned, Kofsky's Estates opens periodically to tout le Palm Beach. 

The front of this line is the place to be. You need a clear understanding of how things are categorized and located--collectibles are inside, center and to the right. You need to be on a mission, get to it quickly and grab it. The friendly staff will tag your items as you point. He who hesitates.... would be me. 

A pair of these tole, Italian flowers were still standing when the music stopped for $650. 

This pair of exquisite tole lemon tree luminaries (I can't call them lamps) sold for the same amount. If I saw them again, I'd jump. The dealer, that bought them, said they sold for twice the price before "le recession." I am all for price corrections. 

A pair of these contemporary, hand painted Chinoiserie wall paper panels sold for $1,200.00. They have perfect, understated frames, but I already have one in my living room and decided two more in the dining room were a bit much. The real find would be water color on silk panels, with bumble bees and butterflies--moving on.  We hit several more stores plus a 10 acre salvage yard before the end of the day, so I'll keep you moving. 

C. Bell is a high Florida contemporary and vintage shop that is fun to see. Many of their products are on our website, so if you like the look. poke around Dovecote Decor. Which reminds me. Lars Bolander has our carved chair, on his show room floor for $895.00. I presume shipping is added.

Dovecote Decor's price is $563.00 with free shipping, so we are looking out for our buyers! 

Circa Who has good quality vintage Palm Beach style, in a crowded, though well merchandised space. They have an excellent website, but I can't say the prices make me reach for my Visa card. Remember, bargains are usually covered with dust, take your antihistamines.  There is always something new, and my favorite discovery was at Donovan and Gray: 3623 S. Dixie Highway
West Palm Beach, FL 33405 Tel: +1 561 838-4442 email: info@donovanandgray.com

These are Roldan figures--fun Spanish touristy souvenirs. Roldan and Klumpe dolls have a very specific and stylized look. They are made of cloth and felt, and were produced in Barcelona, Spain from the 1950s to early 1970s.

These dolls began as traditional Spanish flamenco dancers, and matadors. They range from 8" to 12" tall. At some point, somebody in the workshop lost their mind, and began creating animated caricatures. They might be the first action figures.

Energetic movement, professional clothing, exuberant hairstyles, and detailed accessories make these dolls the best I have ever seen--trust me. I had dolls, dollhouses, dollhouse figures and three daughters. Viewed as a collection, they represent a celebration of life in all stages, moments and identities. I'd like the entire shelf, which is for sale for $4,500 and has different 35 figures. But, I became distracted by the vintage clothes. I've never seen a better collection in my life. The clothes are a Proustian, croissant, inhale of fashion memory. I never owned or wore these clothes. I saw them in the New York Times Magazine Fashion section in 1967. If you love clothes, you will weep. Ripping through racks of vintage Pucci, in perfect condition, will tear any epicurean heart to pieces.

Other Great Stops on the Dixie Highway
Jay Millstein 
Antiques to Modern
5105 S. Dixie Hwy

The Sugar Chest
960 N. Federal Hwy
Pompano Beach, FL 

Greta S.
Decorative Antiques
3803 1/2 S. Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach

Paula Roemer
505 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach

Faustina Pace Antiques & Interiors
3633 S. Dixie Hwy

N.P. Trent Antiques
3729 S. Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach