Oscar Gowns and Art 2017

Another year, another Academy Awards, another gowns and art post. Thank you to my friends that gave me a little encouragement to do this again. Sometimes I think I’m the only one that reads my blog so it’s nice to have some feedback. If you like something you see, please let me know! See past years here and here.

Back to the 2017 Oscars… overall, this was probably my least favorite one ever. The dresses were kind of all the same to me (gold or solid) and the ceremony wasn’t that interesting either. I missed the most exciting part with the mix up over the “Best Picture” because I went to bed. There were a lot of nice dresses but not many were very exciting. Despite the yawnfest, I still managed to pick out five that I thought were worth a second look.

Art : Frank Stella / Pamela Wiley / Ben Nicholson

Priyanka Chopra: If I could go to sleep tonight and wake up tomorrow as Priyanka I would finally know the feeling of being better than everyone else… haha. Man, that girl has some confidence. If she were teaching lessons on how to be her I would totally sign up. I feel like there should be a t-shirt with the slogan “Be Like Priyanka” in bold letters. Only she could wear this dress (and those cuffs!) with ease. It’s probably obvious this dress beckons to quilting but quilts are beautiful so there you go. The dress seems like a work of modern art itself so it felt natural to pair it with two such artist.

 

Art : Nike Schroeder / Todd Chilton / Bobbie Burgers

Ginnifer Goodwin: I thought Ginnifer looked like a porcelain doll but I haven’t seen or heard much about her look. Mostly everyone has focused on this very similar red dress which is also beautiful. I actually liked GG’s a little better because of the fit, tiers of transparency, and structure. This dress is bold and romantic all with a lightness to it. Very complex! Which all seemed like a challenge but I think I found artwork with the same qualities. (That top work is super cool string art!)

 

Art : Crystal Liu / Henri Matisse / Nicoletta Darita de la Brown

Janelle Monáe: I’m not surprised that Janelle wore the most outstanding dress of the night. I love her style. I’ve contemplated only dressing in black and white because of her. This dress has a lot going on but I was happy to see somebody taking a risk. In my search for art I focused on black, white, metallics, and texture. How perfect is that black bag with the gold embroidery?!? This dress is fun and whimsical so only fun and whimsical art would do. Thank you for being you, J!

 

Art : Kelly O’Brien / Curtis Jere / Tracie Cheng

Jessica Biel: Dipped in gold like an Oscar herself! Way to show up everyone, Jess. You already got Justin… why you got to steal all the attention too??? I love tone of this dress; the gold is more brown than yellow and looks perfect with her coloring. And that neckline! I also really love the distressed trend on a formal dress – how fresh. The artwork I picked for this gown are just as luxe and detailed and timeless.

 

Art : Rosemarie Auberson / Miranda Crooks / Amanda Clyne

Hailee Steinfeld: I’m not totally sure who Hailee Steinfeld is but that’s okay because her dress is bee-yoo-ti-fullll. The light lavender-y color is gorgeous. I hardly realized the dress is (basically) entirely sheer. To fully appreciate it, you should see a close up. And the ruffles on the back! It is the definition of pretty to me. I went for artwork that had the same sheer and etherial quality as the dress. I really love how unabashedly feminine the dress is and so I picked artwork that was the same and was coincidentally made by all women. You go girls.

Awesome Documentary I Watched Recently

Over the Christmas break I watched a really interesting documentary about artist Cai Guo-Qiang called Sky Ladder. You can watch the trailer below…

I found Sky Ladder to be super inspiring as a creative AND as a human being. I would recommend this documentary to anyone that needs a little inspiration to persevere (all of us right?). The wide variety of art he makes really resonated with me. I have a lot of interests and I always feel like I need to choose one path but I can never decided. It was reassuring to see a prolific artist that didn’t choose just one path and is still successful. Granted he’s already “made it” which allows him the freedom to do whatever he wants but it’s still aspirational nonetheless.

Check out some of his work below:

Please let me know if you watch it and what you think! See more of his work here.

NYC in 2 Seasons Part 1

I’ve officially visited NYC in all four seasons. I know, where’s my badge?! In 2016 I experienced The City in both it’s glorious extremes: July and December.

In July, Greg and I decided we hadn’t traveled enough this summer (ha!) so we loaded up the car and drove 14 hours north to Brooklyn. Luckily, we always have a place to stay with his brother and sister-in-law – thanks Scott and Meredith!

The first two days we were there it was PERFECT weather. I wore jeans and a tank top and never sweated. Things then took a dramatic turn to HEAT and HUMIDITY.

Despite the weather conspiring against us we go out there and suffered I mean… had fun.

Sites: 9/11 Memorial, Washington Square Park, The Whitney, The Met, Chelsea Market, random art galleries, Prospect Park, Strand Bookstore, DUMBO, Transit Museum, Oculus, random pent house open house (G’s SIL had artwork in it)

Places: Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Manhattan, Bed-Stuy, Downtown Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Chinatown

Food: Katz’s Deli, Brooklyn Farmacy and Soda Fountain, The Meatball Shop, Dough Donuts, Morgenstern’s Ice Cream, El Rey, Grumpy’s, Chinatown Ice Cream Factory, Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory

Those are the exact places I could remember the names. We ate a super authentic ramen place in Chinatown that was a real experience. We went to a whiskey tasting and a chocolate tasting in Red Hook. And in between everything we had a lot of coffee, pizza, and bagels.

Now the pictures:

And if you made it all the way to here, bless you! You get a badge too! Stay tuned for part 2…

#GregAndMollieGoWest2016

airplane viewOn June 1st, Greg and I set out west again for 14 days (read about why we go and last year’s trip here). It was tiring, surreal, and mostly fun. We spent ten days this year in Idaho with two consecutive groups of 12 kids. It was pretty similar experience to last year and we even went back to Yellowstone.

Since we had two groups of kids it kind of felt like Groundhog Day. We ate the same things, did the same activities, everything the same like it was the first time. Except when the second group of kids left for Yellowstone, Greg and I headed to Las Vegas!

olives

It was a nine hour drive from Idaho and I didn’t drive a mile. I did read a whole book though. We stayed only one night with Greg’s childhood friend before heading to California for our final destination. Neither of us really had any desire to “do Vegas” but I wanted to experience it a little bit. My friend Claire recommended eating on the patio at Todd English’s Olives restaurant in the Bellagio. We saw fountains, the strip, casinos, and had great food. I feel like we got enough of the Vegas experience in one night.

bellagio

On our way out we did get to see the famous Dale Chihuly glass installation in the lobby so that was neat.

Because I’m really into jamming a trip full of activities, the next morning before we headed to Cali, I planned for us to visit the Neon Museum. It was pretty hot out even at 9:30 in the morning but it was so worth it! If you ever go to Las Vegas I think this is a must do and see. I took a lot of pictures so feast your eyes…

greg neon museum

I don’t make Greg do ridiculous poses. I encourage him and he’s always willing, God love him.

neon museum3

The museum is all outdoors and tours are an hour long. There are certain historical/popular signs they tell you about but I don’t remember anything because I was too busy taking pictures and trying not to melt.

neone museum4

The arrangement of the signs were so thoughtful. Some look like they were put there haphazardly but that’s part of the subtle intention. It’s a photographer’s dream!

neon museum2

I have a thing for rust and patina and these signs are so perfectly worn. It’s almost like it was manufactured BUT IT’S NOT!

neon museum1

AND LOOK AT THOSE COLORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

neon musuem gr

Oh look, I found mine and Greg’s initials. How sweet.

neon musuem mb

After the tour we walked around “Old Vegas” for a while, got some coffee and breakfast. And here’s one last shot of me being a tourist… Giant flamingo!

vegas flamingo

You still here? Good! Next stop is SEVEN MAGIC MOUNTAINS! And it’s just as magical as it sounds.

seven magic mountains 4

Out in the desert about 15 miles from Las Vegas is a new art installation by Swiss artist, Ugo Rondinone, that went up in May. I don’t remember how I found out about it but I’m going to say Instagram.

seven magic mountains 3

It’s really in the desert. There are signs telling you to not leave the path because you will be bitten by a poisonous snake and die if you do. So it really has that “wow factor” you know?

seven magic mountains 2

It will be up until May 2018. It really is super cool seeing these giant neon boulder statues in the middle of the desert (and risking your life to see them). I like your style, Ugo! I didn’t want to leave but it was kind of hot.

seven magic mountins 1

Back in the car we go and our next stop is Orange County, California. We left the blow dryer air for cool ocean breeze. We stayed with a buddy in Costa Mesa. He took us out for superbly delicious tapas that night and the next day we met two of my college homies in Venice for brunch. We ended up parking right near the Gold’s Gym Arnold Schwarzenegger made famous.

golds gym

We ate at a really pretty place called Rose Cafe. It was so picturesque. If I’m being 100% real, that’s why I picked it.

rose cafe

I ordered avocado toast and took this picture…

rose cafe floor

Sometimes “basic” just feels so right.

Venice seemed really very California. I wish we could have spent more time there but I guess I’ll have to go back!

After brunch we headed to The Getty. I love museums so much. I didn’t take any pictures because I WAS ENJOYING THE ART LIKE ONE SHOULD so you’ll just have to take my word on it.

We didn’t want the day to end with Max and Amanda so we headed to Hermosa Beach for more tapas and pitchers of sangria.

hermosa

The only picture of the four of us is this screen shot of a snapchat. It’s perfect though. (We did miss you Liz!) After we left Hermosa Beach, Greg and I headed to Laguna Beach for gelato and watched the sunset… can’t stop, won’t stop!

sunset in laguna

I really wanted to do some hiking where I could see the ocean so the next day we hoped on the Pacific Coast Highway and went down to Crystal Cove. We were supposed to do a 5 mile hike but it turned into a 6.5 mile hike because we hiked in the wrong direction to a parking lot instead of taking the trail. Whoopsies!

crystal cove

Once we got on the actual trail, the hike did not disappoint. We started by hiking in the canyon and then it wrapped down toward the ocean. It was an incredible view. You could see all the beaches from Newport to Huntington. It was the most ocean I’ve ever seen.

crystal cove cacti

I was slightly obsessed with seeing cacti “in the wild.”

huntington beach

After lunch in Laguna we hit the road again. I don’t know if we were delirious or addicted to seeing things but we decided to head down Huntington Beach Pier to watch the surfers. Do as the Californian tourists do.

huntington beach 2

Congratulations, you made it to the end!

We left the next morning out of LAX and made it to Birmingham around 9 pm. Don’t worry because we already have next year’s trip planned!

Next month we’re driving up to NYC and then I’m heading to Houston for a a couple of days. If you want to follow along, you can find me on Instagram and Snapchat under the user name: @molliejoydesign

Do you have any trips planned? I’d love to hear!

 

 

Oscar Gowns and Art :: 2nd Edition

The Oscars have come and gone and I only saw one of the movies nominated (The Revenant, Go Leo!). But I did see all of the fashion because it’s my favorite part. I picked my top 5 most inspiring gowns for this year’s edition to pair with some art. I think I’m going to have a follow up post for all the white gowns (and jumpsuit) I loved. I know there has been a movement of “ask her more” as in ask her more than just who she’s wearing and I respect that. Men are somewhat limited in their tux choices but at the same time I don’t see many (if at all) going beyond a slight variation on the standard. So, gowns it is.

I hope you enjoyed last year’s post because without further adieu, here I go again…

naomi watts oscarsART: Emily Filler / Brian Steely / Georgina Vinsun

Naomi Watts: I’ve been a huge fan of Naomi for years. I think she is a classic beauty and a fellow fair skin gal. This metallic dress looks like a mermaid’s dream on her. The colors compliment her cool skin tone and reflect light like no other dress on the red carpet that night. It’s playful and elegant. I am inspired by the reflective quality of the dress as well as the colors (so unexpected!). My art picks for her are a little abstract just like the dress itself is and what it does with light. Also she obviously could be a mermaid with newly obtained legs.

 

olivia munn oscarsART: Donald Martiny / ??? / Maria Ines Gul

Olivia Munn: Who would have predicted an orange dress to be a stand out? Olivia usually flies under the radar for me but wow. She was stunning in this orange, soft number. I love that this dress isn’t harshly structured and has some nice curves to it. Basically, she looks perfect and her lipstick too. My picks for this dress reflect the overall soft quality as well as the understated ease. Dang, I wish I looked good in orange.

 

jennifer lawrence oscarsART: Pierre Soulages / Ashleigh Ninos / Fitz Herrera

Jennifer Lawrence: As usual looking perfect and on trend with a little bit of a gothic flair, J-Law. The texture, the neckline, the silhouette, you nailed it sister. The see-through, layered-ness texture of this dress really influenced my choices of art to pair it with. I’m a fan of transparency (in design but also in life). It adds depth and richness to gowns and art. It looks expensive but not over the top.

 

cate blanchett oscars

ART: Jenny Andrews Anderson / Calvin Ross Carl / Rebecca Chaperon

Cate Blanchett: I’m a total fan girl of Cate’s style and persona. She is the epitome of edgy perfection. She has worn some of my favorite looks in history that I could and should probably do an entire post dedicated to her. I love that she’s not afraid to take risks. And really I just want to be her. She’s so cooooollll. Anyway! The color, texture, and movement of her dress guided me in picking the art. I looked for art that showed subtle depth and calmness.

 

amy poehler

ART: Becca Stadtlander / Jen Garrido / Hanna Ilczyszyn

Amy Poehler: Of the night I was most surprised by Amy’s gown. I love she chose something so detailed and different. I haven’t seen much said about her choice but I could imagine it being divisive because it is so different. I am a fan though. I think she looks beautiful like a Japanese garden in spring. She looks like a walking illustration so it made it hard to pick things that weren’t so literal. I stand by my choices though. They show control and restraint. They are feminine but not girly and I think that represents this dress. (Btw, I love her with red hair.)

Did you watch? Who were your favorites?

Favorite Instagrammers

Instagram is my favorite form of social media. I’m pretty particular about who I follow because I use it mostly as a place for inspiration (aside from a couple satirical accounts). I love discovering and following artists, illustrators, designers of all kinds, and stylists. It was really hard but I narrowed down my favorite Instagrammers to a list of twelve. I divided them into two categories for you: Art Makers and Artfully Fun.

My favorite Art Maker Instagrammers:artmakers

@juliarothman :: Julia is an illustrator and is always working in her sketchbook like a good artist should. She and a couple other cool gals have a drawing club and I’m insanely jealous.

@charlottelovely :: Charlotte Love is a stylist living in London. I don’t know anything about her but her pictures are always a welcomed dose of fun and whimsy in my feed.

@helenmccullagh :: Helen is an Australian artist that paints mostly florals. I love seeing into her process and details of paintings in progress. Her work is really beautiful if you’re into flowers.

@kindahkhalidy :: Kindah is an artist and surface designer in California. Her work is so playful and colorful. I just want to bottle it up and keep it in my pocket for when I need a shot of happiness.

@alkeemi :: I’ve included Kimia’s work in this post from a few months ago. Not only is she a painter but the art curator at the Wythe Hotel in Brooklyn. How much cooler can you be? She has a great eye.

@petra_borner :: Petra is another artist I included in the Artists You Might Like post like. You might also like her Instagram feed. I like following her because she posts a mix of process, inspiration, and finished work.

 

My favorite Artfully Fun Instagrammers:
artfun@emilyblincoe :: Emily is a rad photographer who crazily organizes random things like cherries, crackers, and leaves. She has a super cute puppy to boot. She adds soothing eye candy to my feed.

@shopbando :: If there is any girl gang I want to be a part of it’s the Ban.do gang. Fun, colorful, witty, I can’t say enough about how much I think this brand is THE COOLEST.

@thedogist :: You’ve probably caught on that I love dogs. I can’t resist a great photo of a dog on my feed and these are exceptional. I love how he captures their personalities and always tells their name and age. So cute.

@kellyoxford :: Kelly is a writer with a silver tongue. Her observations are hilarious. I found her on Twitter a few years ago and thought she was so witty and honest. The captions for her cats are the best.

@cestmarie :: Maria Marie is a Mexican based photographer and stylist. I love how light and pastel her feed is. It makes me want to eat cake and take better pictures. That’s a good thing.

@graymalin :: I don’t follow a lot of travel feeds because to be honest it makes me feel envious. I try to avoid that feeling. Anyway, Gray’s aerial photographs of beaches are too dreamy to deny.

 

I hope you’ve found some new folks to follow on Instagram. There are literally millions to follow. Are there any you think I would like? Who is your favorite? You can also find me on there!

Artists and Artists You Might Like

Many believe that contemporary artists aren’t making anything original; not that people aren’t trying, but that it’s impossible to produce anything that has never been seen before. On the other hand, no one will be able to exactly duplicate anyone else’s work (or even their own).

We should concede that are only so many themes in the human experience. Repetition of theme is inevitable. This is no license to be a lazy artist. We are all unique individuals and have specific points of view that no two artists share. I do think that some artists blatantly “ape” other artists for profit and others rely too heavily on their popular influences. I look for a balance of recognizable influence applied to a unique point of view.

I love discovering new (to me) artists and often think about their influences. Out of habit from graphic design I tend to make connections. The following artists are some of my recent favorites. I don’t know for certain if any of these artists are influenced by the artists I have them paired with (two masters and one current) but I thought it was interesting how similar some appear. These are completely my ideas (as far as I know). Hopefully you will discover a new-to-you artist. Let me know what you think.

paul ferneyPaul Ferney

I discovered Paul Ferney through his wife, popular blogger Jordan of Oh Happy Day. I was drawn to his painterly style and beautiful subject matter. I especially love his newest paintings of beaches. His style harkens back to French impressionism but has a fresh contemporary spin to it. I also love what he does with “The Commission Project.” He makes small commission paintings more accessible and affordable for anyone by painting from a photograph. He does it about once a year. It’s fun to see what people want to be made into a painting.

If you like what you see from Paul you might be interested in Impressionism more specifically Alfred Sisley. Also check out famed American artist Wayne Thiebaud (especially his dessert paintings). For another current artist similar in style I suggest Lisa Golightly. Her paintings are just as dreamy and similar in subject matter.

Sisley / Thiebaud / Golightly

andy dixonAndy Dixon

I found Andy Dixon through the power of Pinterest. When I was thinking about this blog post I was trolling my “Art & Artists” board and noticed I had a few of his works saved. Without reading his bio I was noticing references to the masters of art history. Turns out, that’s what his latest work is actually about… duh. Anyway I love how he’s playing with traditional subject matter. He takes subjects often considered “old fashioned” and makes them new and exciting. His application of color is supreme.

As obvious as it might be, if Andy Dixon is rocking your world right now you should definitely check out Henri Matisse and Henri Rousseau. I would even suggest Wassily Kandinsky from his use of color. If you want someone a little more current with a similar vibe take a look at Kimia Kline. I see similar influences in her work (maybe I should read her bio).

Matisse / Rousseau / Kline

sally benedictSally King Benedict

I’ve mentioned Sally King Benedict before. She’s a southern gal residing in Atlanta. Basically she’s who I want to be at the moment. I don’t remember where I stumbled upon her but I’ve been following her for about a year. I love the simplicity and energy in her paintings. She plays with color and line in an interesting almost graphic way. She’s probably the most “commercial” artist in the round up but I don’t fault her on it. I want to buy her art so there’s that. Besides faces she also has some interesting abstract work.

If you’re intrigued by color experimentation, abstraction, and line I suggest looking up Paul Klee and Pablo Picasso. I feel like Sally’s work has to be influenced by Picasso or have some of the same inspirations (African masks) as him. A current artist/illustrator I think you might like if you’re digging Sally is Petra Borner. Her art can vary but is equally as interesting.

Klee / Picasso / Borner

Oscar Gowns and Art

To be honest I’m not really a movie person. There are movies I like and all and occasionally I’ll see a movie or “film” as the cool kids say in the theater. But I would rather not pay $10 to sit in the dark for two hours. Despite my lack of culture I love watching the Academy Awards. I watched this Sunday night even though I hadn’t seen a single film nominated but enjoyed it just the same because… fashion.

I’ve had some back-burner careers that I would have pursued in another life that include circus performer, child star, and most relevant to this post, fashion designer.  I read a handful of fashion blogs and feel like I have a handle on most things sartorial so while I was watching the Oscars and admiring the gowns* — ka-boom — idea: gowns and art.

*Sorry this post isn’t equal opportunity to the male persuasion. There were only two guys that were interesting: the navy tux guy and everything Jared Leto.

I picked out some (8) of my favorite looks and perused my “Art and Artists” Pinterest board. This was a challenge but it was fun. And here you go:

rosamundpike

ART (top to bottom): Amy Boone McCreesh / Raven Roxanne Wilson* / Cy Twombly

Rosamund Pike: She was the first look I saw of the night and it did not disappoint. Red, slit, texture, undercut hair (yes, what?). She had it all going on. I did see on a blog someone noted she had the exact same prom shoes as what’s her face in “She’s All That.” Her name and the color of the dress made it super fun to pick out art to match; tons of texture, flowers, and red.

* Fun fact about Raven: Her parents gave me my first job ever at The Zoo Gallery in Grayton Beach. Raven is a few years younger than me but she went to Auburn (I had painting with her brother) and I’ve loved seeing her work pop up on the internets.

 

 

jamiechungART: Corina NikaKarina Eibatova / Judith Ann Braun

Jamie Chung: Jamie didn’t get much play on the interwebs but I thought she looked like a doll. I love the dark overlay on the nude fabric and all the sparkles. In the words of Katy Perry, “Baby, you’re a firework.” I was really led by the starburst designs but then I came upon the mineral watercolor and thought it represented the entirety of her dress. The dress has somewhat of an organic feel to me.

 

 

juliannemore

ART: Vivienne Strauss / Marcos Villalva / Anna Gillar

Julianne Moore: Ok, Julie I need your secret. Girlfriend is twenty-four years my senior and gives me hope for my skin’s future. This word is overused but FLAWLESS. Ol’ Karl at Chanel made this dress just for her. Julianne you are a swan, a goddess, and a rose. I tried not to be too literal in my art picks but these were just too perfect to deny. All very strong and feminine.

 

 

marioncotillard

ART: Naomi Vona / Ashley Goldberg / Elise Wehle

Marion Cotillard: She is basically physical perfection. Marion is so cool. So French. I only want a bob haircut because she sports one. On the other hand, the haters were out on her dress. I think this dress is awesome. Boring/safe is not fashion (can also be applied to art!). She pushed the proverbial envelope. With that, let’s be friends Marion. The artwork I found for her dress is probably my favorite. One of the most inspired of the bunch. I was really inspired by the use of cutouts on her dress, like a modern lace.

 

 

emmastone

ART: Martha Rich / Monika Petersen / Eugenia Loli

Emma Stone: Is is gold? Is it chartreuse? Who cares! I want this dress. No, I NEED this dress. Emma looked like a Klimt painting. Thanks for representing us fair skinned maidens. Her fun personality inspired my art choices. How perfect is the red lips with the gold background? Who would have thought intricate details would be so fun.

 

 

cateblanchett

ART: Cecilia Carlstedt / Sally King Benedict / Heather Day

Cate Blanchett: Another win for the fair skinned. Cate looked like an awesome strong statue. What a risk of going with a seemingly simple black dress but then bam — that Tiffany’s made turquoise necklace. She radiates “I’m the baddest bitch.” And you are Cate. She actually looks like royalty, not just the Hollywood kind. The artwork I picked for her are “statement” pieces, just like the necklace and herself. By the way Sally King Benedict is one of my current favorite artists.

 

 

lupitanyongo

ART: Sally England / Georgia O’Keeffe / Lee Borthwick

Lupita Nyong’o: She has been my girl crush since last Oscars when she wore that light blue number and then had that awesome acceptance speech. I have loved everything she’s worn. How does she continue to one up every look and be an awesome person? The 6,000+ pearl dress is just so dang good on every level.  Her dress is so sculptural and yet soft, I had to find artwork with the same feeling. How the pearls lay it reminded me of macrame (hints the first piece) and then there is softness and shine. Beautiful and unexpected.

 

 

kieraknightley

 

ART: Rachel Cordaro / Kiana Mosley / Unknown

Kiera Knightley: My little English garden gal. Kiera has always been a fashion player but lately she has been upping her game (remember this dress from the Golden Globes). I personally love this. I love the writing with what looks like a deconstructed bouquet. It’s genius and lovely and I would totally wear it. This dress in itself is art to me. I persevered and picked out some artwork for it anyway. There are plenty of flower paintings and art but I focused on ones that also had the looseness of her dress.

 

Thanks for hanging with me, folks. Who was your favorite? I also loved Jennifer Aniston‘s dress. She’s such a mermaid!

All gown images came from here.

 

 

 

Quick Art History – Grandma Moses

I tell my students they need to be able to name a few artists when asked and should also know a thing or two about them. If nothing else, it comes in handy when playing Jeopardy (and assures people that you have a little “culture”). I’m calling this feature “Quick Art History” where I’ll give you the important points of an artist’s work and life. You’ll surely dazzle your friends at the next dinner party. Art historians may cringe at my pedestrian treatment, but I do it for the people.

Quick Art History

Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses lived from 1860 to 1961. She was born in upstate New York into a large farming family. She grew up on the farm and continued agrarian living into marriage and parenthood. Selfless and scrappy, she bought her family a cow with her own savings and churned butter for supplemental income during tough times. At the age of 72 Grandma Moses took up embroidery and would give away her creations that she dubbed “worsted” pictures.

Grandma-Mose-Home-in-the-Hills

After just a few years, her arthritis made it difficult for her to embroider. Her daughter suggested she take up painting… at age 76. She painted casually and painted intently and gave away much of her work. Most of it was bright, honest, and direct. As someone who had lived a complete life and only painted as a personal hobby, Moses felt neither a need to evolve into something nor a desire to make a critical statement with her “work.”

pull boys

Many paintings ended up in a local pharmacy window gathering dust until they caught the eye of a New York City collector who had a propensity for seeking out native artistic “finds.” He bought all of her paintings in the store window, took them back to NYC, and made the rounds to museums and galleries in hopes of making Grandma Moses famous. Collectors and curators liked the paintings but were turned off by her age.

country wedding

It wasn’t until 1940 that her paintings made their public debut. The show was titled “What a Farmwife Painted,” thinking that the artist’s name, completely unknown, did not merit attention. A New York department store reassembled her show for a Thanksgiving Festival and invited Grandma Moses to speak. The NYC press was charmed by her humility and overall precious personality and she became a superstar, shortly thereafter featured on the cover of Time and Life magazines (among many other awards, president meetings, exhibitions, etc). Her passing at the age of 101 was front page news across America and much of Europe.

the old bridge

Grandma Moses is an example of continued perseverance, lifelong learning, and doing what you enjoy for enjoyment’s sake. She painted without self-consciousness or egotism. It’s okay to pursue things you don’t have any expectations for. And it’s never too late to start. Grandma Moses is not included in a lot of survey art history classes but her story is important to any creative. Now get to it already! (bio reference)

time cover

“I didn’t have an opportunity to study art….but if a thing seems right to me, I do it.  Art is like the Bible.  Everyone reads the Bible and has a different opinion.  Everyone looks at pictures and has a different opinion, so I go on my own.  I love bright colors so I use bright colors.  I don’t know much about perspective and things like that.  But I paint because I like to and I know what I want to paint.” (source)

images: 1/2/3/4/5/6

Mollie Joy Design Update

Mollie Joy Design 2014

What’s new:

I took some time this summer to plan, gather, and narrow my creative thoughts. I felt spread too thin with too many ideas and possible directions. My life has continually been a journey of figuring out my passion. I feel like I can do anything I’m interested in (hello, I’m a millennial) but I know that is not rational nor feasible. So I read a few books, did some inner research, took a couple of ecourses, and talked to a creative entrepreneur coach (more on all of that later). I finally feel like I have a narrowed focus (but let’s be honest, I’m still dreaming of what’s next).

The focus:

During and after college I knew I didn’t want to be a designer for a bank, law office, or any other super corporate-y business (which these jobs are most abundant). I do acknowledge they all need good design but just not from me. Thus I pursued other interests (ie, teaching art) and freelancing. Recently in my freelancing projects I noticed I was left wanting to do more! I wanted a complete picture, I wanted to design more for my clients. Like I said earlier, I took time to process all of my thoughts and I came to the conclusion: I want to work with other passionate creatives that want to make an impact in the world. This could include artists, yogis, stylists, restaurants, bakeries, florists, shops, nonprofits, etc. My focus with these passionate creatives is branding. To help make this happen, I have recruited some of my passionate creative friends in order to offer more complete branding packages. Check out my Services page if you are interested in more information on what I offer.

Going forward:

I want to use my blog to express my interests, connect, and overall have fun. I have planned out broad monthly themes in which I’ll connect most of my posts. I’ll also be posting in three main categories: Art, Design, and Lifestyle.

This month’s theme is LEARNING. I felt this was appropriate as I took some time to learn about myself and I’ll continue to learn as I go. I will be learning to manage this blog, my life, and the life I want to live. I consider myself to be a lifelong learner and I hope you are too. Happy August pals!

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