Thursday, April 30, 2009

Vicki Archer ~ Part Two

Sitting Room at Mas de Berard

Was the fact that you had this wonderful book in you a surprise or did you always want to write?
The publication of My French Life has been the biggest surprise of all - especially to me. I never imagined that I would or could write a book and especially a book about France. I still cannot believe I had so many words within fighting to get out!

The elegant subdued tones of Vicki Archer's vanity area.

Did the "house" lead you to the book or how did the idea evolve? What circumstances or people made this idea germinate? When did you know you were going to write about your French experience and the house you were renovating?
Finding and buying our property Mas de Berard has led to so many changes and writing My French Life is one of them. I found the house by chance and I rather like to think that my book happened by chance too. In 2005 I travelled to Florence with my daughter Emily to settle her into an Italian course as part of a gap year - at the same time I had arranged to meet up with an Australian friend, photographer Carla Coulson. Carla had been living in Florence for some years and during my stay Carla and I caught up on our girl chat. We had both moved to Europe in 2000 and started new lives - she in Italy, me in France - and over those few days I told her how I had fallen in love with France and how this had changed my life as I had known it. We talked, as old friends do, of the challenges and excitement of leaving home and starting afresh. The more we talked the more we felt there was an idea for a "french" collaboration between us and as a result she approached her publisher in Australia with the idea. The response was very positive: the proposal was accepted and My French Life was published in November 2006. It was true serendipity - extraordinary circumstances and timing brought about My French Life, but then that is how I came to fall in love with France in the first place.

The vibrant, youthful tones of her daughter Emily's vanity area.

You are almost finished your second book, do you stick to a strict writing schedule or when the mood (or words) hit?
I stick to a very strict timing schedule but I am much less rigid when it comes to ideas. I start with an overview and theme for the book and then I define these ideas by chapter. I never know exactly what detail I will write in each chapter until I sit down and start tapping away. I have a process that works for me: I like to think for some time about the beginning of each chapter - I will mull over thoughts and memories for as long as it takes until I find my first sentence. Once I have found that I am usually off and running. If the thoughts don't come, because sometimes they don't, then I concentrate on something else and hope I will be more creative the next day. The key to writing is to know that the words are always there and that they will eventually come.

Timing is different - once I start writing I don't stop and I can only concentrate on my work. Like all jobs there are deadlines, contracts and expectations so to be a writer requires self-discipline. Fortunately I love the writing process and find it very rewarding so I am happy to be locked away with my computer.

An image from French Essence ~ new book release in November 2009

Can you tell me about your new book subject? Release date?

My new book is about living life with ambience. I believe the French are true masters when it comes to ambience and I think that it is this "ambience" than has made me so enamoured with life in France. This book is about beauty and nature, interiors and landscapes in my Provencal world. French Essence (named after my blog) will be published in early November this year.

We can hardly wait!

All photo images courtesy of Vicki Archer - My French Life

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Fabulous Vicki Archer- Part One

Mas de Berard in Provence where the story began......................

The evocative photo image cover of A French Life
~ photography by Carla Coulson

When I first started blogging a few months back, I would see this evocative book image often. A high-profile circle of high-style bloggers love this book (released in 2007) and just adore the stylish author Vicki Archer. She did what most women dream about from time to time....took the leap, moving from Australia to France, and landed in a whole new life. Now, I don't miss too many books myself, at the trade shows or by way of my neighborhood bookstore, but for sure I never saw this one....if I had I would have bought it in 5 seconds flat. I love a great follow-your-passion story with gorgeous photography and this I could tell had both. So how did I miss this fabulous book? Author Vicki Archer thinks "the book was printed in Australia, then made it's way to the US by way of blogger support, but for some reason it never had a strong presence in Canada". Hmmmm..........who is this lady? And how can I get my hands on her book with that fabulous cover? .

The blog of Vicki Archer is called French Essence where she posts regular and welcome doses of her rural french life. Last week she sent us a series of blooming flower photos and their floral history. Both these photos are from her popular blog. It may sound like I'm getting ahead of myself here, but really I'm not....

While A French Life was waiting on my order list, I received a lovely comment on my new blog one day, then another, another, and soon there wasn't too many early blog days when my empty comment page didn't have a supportive little comment from, you guessed it....Vicki Archer. I am sure she was politely responding to a comment I had left, but from what I can tell she has this great little habit of commenting and supporting many blogs....a most gracious habit to share. I'm going to get to her stunning, yummy book in a minute, but you should know Vicki Archer has the most fabulous blog called FRENCH ESSENCE that gets many comments per post, so the fact that the France-based author and blogger takes the time to comment at all tells you .........this is one of those fabulously chic ladies everyone wants to know.

The Terrace at Mas de Berard

I did a little background research on ordering this book in Canada and received a response from her publisher Penquin that the Canadian rights to this book were never bought, which means Canadians can't walk into a bookstore and see or buy this book. If Canadian you have to be patient, but you can order it through {click here} just make sure you order a few, one for yourself and one to give away. It is quite simply a spectacular book to give or receive. If you do either, you will be in for a few delightful surprises. One the book is larger than you would expect (coffee table size) from it's website photo and it has this wonderfully unique padded cover under the jacket that my friend says "gives you such a comforting feel when reading it" , she was right, it does. There aren't too many books that I have read (and we are talking hundreds here) that so elegantly transported me to another world, the world every women wants to live and love in..... rural Provence, where she restored Mas de Berard a seventeenth-century property, and then on to Le Weekend in Paris where she regularly meets up with gal pals for shopping and macaroons. Her feminine and enticing style of writing and story of how this lifestyle came to pass will have you swooning, then you'll spend the rest of your day or week figuring out if there is anyway on earth you can just pack your bags, cash in your ailing retirement fund, move to France and do the same. Right next door........she sounds like she would be the most down-to-earth and stylish of neighbors.

Lavender in July

Vicki Archer graciously sent over some of the images from A French Life, more of which you will see tomorrow. In Part Two of this post, I will share some of her interior photos of a more feminine nature and her thoughtful answers to some questions I had after finishing this lavish book. In Part Three , I'll send you over to meet Vicki's gal-pal and Paris-based photographer Carla Coulson .

Fruit Blossoms in Spring

Hope to see you tomorrow for Vicki Archer ~ Part Two

All photograph's courtesy of Vicki Archer ~ A French Life and French Essence

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

My Gorgeous File ~ every Monday

Roger Vivier ~ Haute Couture 2009

Dior Haute Couture
I keep a blog photo file simply called Gorgeous. It's full of all things I find gorgeous, girly-girl, pretty, glamorous, inspiring, and in their fanciful manner they often lift my spirits on Monday when I open my files for the upcoming week. So I've decided to gather these together in a random fashion every Monday to share their sheer beauty in the hopes they will do the same for you. We all need a little of that! I've had my eye on this little Dior Haute Couture number for many months, it was one of the first fashion photos I posted on my blog sidebar a few months back. I simply think it is one of the loveliest creations I have ever seen. So does everyone else, the frothy creation has practically become iconic for a number of reasons. You must pick up the latest issue of Vanity Fair and see the photo spread with actress Emily Blunt (of Devil Wears Prada fame) wearing all manner of haute couture. Not only does the photography by Michael Roberts take your breath away in all it's feminine glory, the article written by A.A. Gill makes a valid larger-picture point to the place of couture in these dismal times. He also answers a fashionable question.....Why do men's and women's buttons do up differently?

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci . Lace Fan by Defrise ~ Paris

This photo didn't make the Vanity Fair issue but it is on their website. Note the exquisite court-like shoes by Roger Vivier with the fanciful pink bird detail shown in glorious detail above. You must go to the Roger Vivier website {click here} the interactive website is worth a visit. This link will bring you directly to the Haute Couture section where you can watch how the shoe-and-purse illustrations of creative director Bruno Frisoni turn into finished product. Just click on any of the illustrations. Then visit another visual treat on the same site.... the Ines Little Diaries written by Ines de la Fressange and follow her video shopping diary. The former- model-then-turned muse to Karl Lagerfield at Chanel is now the brand ambassador to Roger Vivier and takes you along as she explores hidden shop gems located on Paris streets a bit off the beaten track. The direct link didn't work so just watch the right corner of this interactive site on the main page to see a page corner flip over and then click to get to her section.

Emily Blunt reclines in suggestive style wearing a Christian Lacroix frock (saying dress just seems so inadequate in this case) on a settee that captured my attention. Note the silk flowers and you are going to see a theme here that I can't help but notice going in more than a few stylish directions. I love it when that happens.

Ingrid at Fashion Is My Muse has been blogging about the historical use of lace. She must love this delicate Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. I have a feeling we're going to see more lace, floral, and petals......maybe ribbon?

When I saw the satin ribbon, the rose quartz , the delicate lace-like creation from jewelry designer Ranjana Khan....I knew I was going to have to borrow this incredible necklace photo from Judith over at the blog Paris Atelier to sit amongst all these lovelies. I don't think she will mind, she shares gorgeous so well.

It isn't just the couture that makes this photo shoot so incredibly perfect. The talented Vanity Fair Senior Style Editor Jessica Diehl deserves a loud but ladylike round of applause for locating the perfect backdrop located in Le Raincy outside of Paris, but putting those chairs in a random fashion...... a stroke of styling brilliance.

Do you see a connection? Exquisite paper flowers by paper artist Jo Lynn Alcorn adorned this staircase setting by designer Amy Lau in this year's Kip's Bay Showhouse in New York. She worked with designer Amy Lau and Maya Romanoff Wallpapers to create this floral application that has everyone going crazy at this year's designer showhouse. The showhouse is open until May 13th.

Though based in New York, paper artist Jo Lynn Alcorn does a great deal of work in Japan where they have a cultural affinity for her paper creations. Visit her website {click here} to see more of her incredible art.

Though she works in vibrant colour as well (see her green flowers for the Harper's Bazaar-Japan cover in her portfolio) I love her white or tone-on-tone renditions, here's a daisy creation backdrop she did for a Marc Jacobs ad campaign.

I saw this photo on the blog French Blue today {click here to read more}. She has paper art on her radar (and her beautiful blog banner) so her blog is always full of this gorgeous craft. Paper artist and teacher Jeffery Rudell did these fanciful wigs in handmade French paper for the Tiffany window "Queen for a Day" displays in New York. I'll see if I can find out more about his "papercut" talent.

"Couture is a promise to the future from the past: There will be entrances and orchestras again, carriages and candelabra again, parties and seasons again. Throughout the history of civilization, doom, doldrums, depression, and disaster have descended to paint the town gray. But they will also recede, leaving little but a shudder. What is left, what abides, is beauty.

A.A. Gill - Vanity Fair ~ May 2009

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pouf Wrap

There is a corner in my store room with remnants of my former life as an interior designer. It's not that I have been ignoring these pieces of low yardage fabric, I've just been waiting to experiment with them a bit. I don't sew and this is a disadvantage for my next little project....fabric gift wrapping. This isn't a new's just people feel a bit strange doing it I think. Maybe afraid you'll look like cheap Aunt know what I mean. Of course it may mean you just want to save these remnants, a clever idea will come along and you'll be sewing them up like crazy, gorgeous sachets for everyone next holiday. It won't happen, here anyways so gift wrap makes sense to use these up. Figuring out the right size that makes sense for general gift wrapping is a bit of a challenge..........then I had a duh... moment, I'll make three sizes. So this photo is just my experimenting, take the fabric, gather, twist, then pull out the top to pouf and quickly secure with ribbon. I haven't sew the edges yet so I have a voluminous amount of "pouf" but I like it, gives it a faux-couture look. I know......the silk ribbon doesn't hurt either. And yes, I know you can do this look with a scarf as well and I might just try it coming up.

I think the Aunt Minnie look everyone fears is possible if the fabric is too cute (unless that's the gift theme). If the fabric is opulent like this embroidered floral silk, I think your gift just got upgraded. Fabric gift wrap makes sense these days, it can be re-used, recycled, and regifted many, many times over. I can see this look twisting in many directions, Pucci, gorgeous chiffon, lots of possibilities. You can use pinking shears if the fabric is casual and fun, anything more elegant will need edges sewn. Watch for clear-out pricing on fabric remnants, especially raw silk as it has the stiffness needed for a good "pouf". Anything slinky is going to fall more than pouf, though not a bad idea either. You're going to feel positively "green" with your regift wrap. As soon as I confirm the sizes I will post again on this idea.

Little Side Tip: If you can't quite work fast enough to tie the ribbon while holding the pouf, then use an elastic band, then tie the ribbon bow. If careful, you can then go back under and carefully snip the elastic.

Both photos by Sande Chase - Oooh la la Cadeau

Friday, April 24, 2009

Va Va Voom...for music to my ears

We have an exceptional symphony in our medium-size town of Windsor, Ontario. We are one of the cities in Canada that is right in the heart of the economic downtown and car industry meltdown, so the only music a lot of people want to hear is the hum of a well-functioning auto assembly line. But we are the keepers of our children's future world as well so I don't think this should mean we ignore the arts, though sadly it can be the first to go when concerns are more pressing. I think it means we should support it if we can, go listen to the local talent, go to that local artist showing, look around closer to home. Music needs to be heard, artists need to draw, and we need to hear and see beauty more than ever. Some of the most creative solutions will come from this very bleak time as the world re-aligns itself. With that in mind......I decided to do some va va voom in exchange for music to my ears.

A la la friend of mine is involved with the local Windsor Symphony and every year they have a fundraising gala. You know what that means.......silent auctions. I donate this Tower Of Gifts for three reasons, my friend is a really good one, two I hope it raises funds for our symphony, and three.......I hope the bidder has a wonderful la la moment when she opens it all ( last year's bidder had a "la la " un-wrapping party but they didn't invite me). I expect it will take about 3-4 hours to unwrap this production because it took double that time to put this tall lady together. It did run through my head to downplay the gift production, being that the economy is awful and I don't want to send the wrong message. Then I thought......just go crazy, I'll try to make it gorgeous and maybe it will fetch a few more dollars for our worthy symphony, in which case I'm going to bring out all the stops. I thought you might enjoy seeing this presentation, it's not often I do a tower (3.5 feet tall) that includes 5 boxes and 17 gift wrapped gifts (every single one of them) and likely about 200 yards of ribbon , I'm exaggerating, not quite that many yards.

The gala colour scheme is Black & White so I thought a strong dose of coral and orange would make it stand out and loosen some wallets. I used my vintage Paris label gift wrap and all 17 gift items of various sizes are from France (or look like they could be). In wrapping each item, I used 10 different gift wrap styles for a delicious pattern mix and just about every ribbon colour I have ( I did pass out at 10 pm). The Windsor Symphony director and conductor John Morris Russell is a fabulously energetic and creative one and I hope he will stick around, we are lucky to have him.

Just in case you think I've lost my mind with this over-the-top presentation, I thought I would share a simpler gift wrap presentation I used when wrapping up this lovely notebook. bows, just simple knots over matte gold metallic paper, it can be done.

All photos by Sande Chase ~ Oooh la la Cadeau

Thursday, April 23, 2009

No Bows.....just ribbon

After last week's feedback comments, I got to thinking, "what if you really can't tie a bow? Some people struggle with a tying a bow, though I tend to think it's often the quality of ribbon that makes all the difference. The ribbon quality you find in your mall card shop isn't ever going to "bow" nicely, I hate to be the one telling you that, but it's true. I had this gorgeous little gift card that is a card line I am looking to add to the website and it had me playing with this whisper-soft green ribbon and just letting it drop, seeing where it went. You know I can't explain these impulses that I have when it comes to wrapping. It's a fragile silk hem ribbon, tie too snugly and it starts to split.... so the less it is handled the better. I kind of liked this uncontrived look and simply let it move into soft curves and then rolled pieces of double-sided tape in a few spots to hold it's position. Then I tied in those paper roses (they have wires) at random spots. Now, you tell me when you look at the bottom photo........

It needs those paper roses. Otherwise it looks like someone
forgot to tie up their ribbons! Actually the effect is much better when
you see it "in person", as you can see my photo skills have not
improved much. I have a real love-hate relationship with technology.

Just curious, so I ordered this little book called Chic Shopping Paris by shopaholic and francophile Rebecca Morginant. She has a Paris guide website and blog, but appears she is away right now taking care of her new bambino. The handy purse-size Paris shopping, museum and restaurant reference guide is a lovely book gift for the Paris traveling friend{click here to order}
All three photos by Sande Chase - Oooh la la Cadeau

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Not Too Sweet

You wouldn't think that bubblegum pink could be sophisticated, but this glam rendition show you how it's all in the mix. Look carefully, I think that's a mirror (see the faint mirror image?) or someone has played a very clever painting trick because at first glance it appears to be a moody painting. An absolutely fabulous mirrored foot board gives this room it's big-girl glam and the bold chair upholstery fashionably twists the room from too-sweet to too-fabulous in one clever stroke.

I had the intention for a more sophisticated look, but then the darn thing just started wrapping itself, must have needed something sweeter today. I used two gingham check ribbons and a stripe to see how the pattern mix would translate. You can barely see it but the pink gift wrap has a faint tone-on-tone stripe as well. Bubblegum pink and fun.
The Paris card was made with my Paris ink stamp kit. I've been experimenting with trying to get the perfect imprint pressure, something I need practise doing. I'm not a crafty person, but like the toys and possibilities.
White ink is one of my favorites for these ink stamp images, see the laurel wreath. There are two ink stamp kits on my website under small gifts and one with Bird images that can be requested in the check-out form. I'll show you next week.

I have this ridiculously-overpriced metal ribbon that you pull to give it it's wavy texture and I thought I would add a fuchsia pink ribbon and label from my butterfly stickers. The price means you have to figure out how to get impact with very little length. You can see it's original width on the left, then on the right is it's pulled appearance. You'll see a better photo showing it's dimension in an upcoming post, I used it for a quieter colour scheme. I've been on a wrapping roll, so lots of gift wrap ideas ahead.

Top photo from Domino via Flickr/Photo 2, 3 and 4 by Sande Chase - Oooh la la Cadeau

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Love HBO

In case we forget how truly gorgeous both these women are after viewing Grey Gardens on the weekend.......I thought you might enjoy these beautiful Vanity Fair photos of Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. I was out Saturday night, so pre-taped what I thought was the new HBO movie of Grey Gardens and realised at midnight that I had taped the original 1976 version........panic, absolute panic...... then found that HBO (at least here in Canada) was running it again through the early morning hours. Whew...and what a delicious way to spend a Sunday morning! My only complaint was that it was about three hours short, I could have watched their story and the exquisite set interiors of Grey Gardens in it's pre-crumbling heyday for hours. Sunday night was reserved for viewing the Maysles brothers classic documentary version that originally brought the sad plight of these destitute eccentrics to the attention of their famous relative Jackie Onassis (who promptly ponied-up the funds to make the East Hampton home livable for the most part). The new HBO version adds in a glimpse of their previous life of privilege and wealth and (somewhat) helps answers the question of why the Beale women ignored their pauper status for years while still thinking they were society princesses.

New make-up techniques were used on both actresses to maintain realistic facial movement . The East Hampton 28-room mansion was painstakingly recreated for the film in a field east of Toronto, Ontario. I suspect both women will be award nominated several times over and deservingly so. Visit HBO {click here} to see a short preview, background, and I'm watching for the DVD release date.

Drew Barrymore had to cajole the director to consider her for the part of Edie Bouvier Beale. After seeing her in this movie and then seeing the original Little Edie in the documentary, it's hard to imagine anyone else in the role of Little Edie. She captured this lovable, but odd (some would say deluded) personality of this truly fascinating character. The sad part....that Little Edie isn't here to see the fame that she so desperately thought she had lost in staying with her lonely (some would say controlling) mother at Grey Gardens, though she did have her "moment" at the original documentary screening. A totally random and shallow thought when looking at this photo of Drew Barrymore......isn't this big hair gorgeous and when is it coming back?

Don't you just love HBO? Just in case you've missed it, HBO has another series running right now on Sunday and Monday nights and in it's second season (first season available on DVD and itunes download) that is on my can't-miss basis - In Treatment with Gabriel Bryne . I am addicted to this story line, but mind you.... if " Paul Weston" was a psychoanalyst of choice, you wouldn't believe the head problems I could make up.

1st and 3rd photo from Vanity Fair/ 2nd and fourth photo from HBO

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Continuous Talent

Though I consider myself low-maintenance at this point in my life ( can hear hysterical laughing from the males around here, but don't listen to them) when you purchase as many anti-aging skin products as I do at our local Shoppers Drug store, they give you a copy of their in-house fashion magazine called Glow. Truthfully, the only fashion magazine I read is Vogue and that's for the articles, so these glossy giveaways usually end up in the recycle bin. But for some reason that day I did flip through quickly and just happened to notice the article titled "How Busy are You?" and then really noticed these fabulous ink drawings by Toronto-based artist Rachel Ann Lindsay. Forget trying to understand my tendency to procrastinate ..... who is this artist? I loved this drawing message so aptly drawn and thought it summed up the feeling most of us have these days, those lists never go away. I don't care how you juggle it, though the article did have some good points, but I will think about those later...... What makes this fresh talent truly remarkable is her technique......... these are drawn in ink in one continuous line! Simply put....she does not lift her superfine pen at any time until the illustration is complete. The young Sheridan College grad explains this ability "on my confident days it's like meditation. Drawing in ink limits you in some ways as there is no going revising. Once a line is drawn, there it is. I throw out a lot of drawings. It's important to try and stay unattached".
"The lines that are disappointments to me at first, then seem perfect when I look at them later, that becomes a source of joy to me. I love to draw people, there is so much beauty in a person's face and gestures."

Rachel's website { click here} has a cool feature, it opens with one of her illustrations being drawn in this continuous line technique. Her portfolio, which includes magazine illustration work for corporate clients across North America and portrait drawings (contact Rachel for more information on this service) is worth the website visit. I love the chandelier, the retro hair dryer ladies, the staircase (all on her website), they make you realize how unique this line talent ability is and invites the viewer's scrutiny.....where does that line begin and end? A young lady of continuous talent.

Illustration image use courtesy of Rachel Ann Lindsay

Friday, April 17, 2009

" La La Loves You" Gift Giveaway

Wall Sculpture by South African artist Brett Murray

Unless Oprah calls and says "Sande, we want you to be our exclusive gift wrapper and we're going to order 1,000 gifts this month (I'd be ready, but I don't see that happening anytime soon!) I better get my Oooh la la Cadeau website in order. I feel I have been a bit unfair........I wrap and post items that I say will be on the website soon and then have been slow in getting these products photographed and up for sale. But truth be known, your comments and this blog have been so helpful in defining what my gift website should be as it shifts once more. I'm gearing up for a big re-do but I have been stalling.....and I'm not sure why. Life has changed, the economy has certainly changed forever, so my instinct is that you still want gifts, but smaller choices, petite cadeau, still beautifully wrapped of course. It isn't that what I'm doing isn't working, I'm just getting a vibe that it needs to shift. Maybe I'm too extravagant in my gift wrapping? Do you want simpler wrapping choices? Maybe you even want to wrap your own, should I offer you the Wrap Room section I have been mentioning? Rolls of gift wrap with coordinating ribbon so you can do your own thing? I would love to know what you want in your gift giving and how to give it to you. I believe in thoughtful gifting because it makes women feel so special, I also believe I can do it well. I just want to do it better.

Maybe Oprah would say to follow my instincts,
but I would love to hear from you.

If you have a few spare moments over the next 2 weeks and can drop in to my gift website {click here}and have any thoughts, suggestions, input, ideas, or even criticism on what you see, I would be thrilled to hear it (even the bad stuff said in a nice way). If you are blog comment-shy, feel free to email your comments to, I will still enter you in the giveaway. Keep in mind I do promote other gift sources in the interest of being blog impartial, so no I don't have any guilt asking this favour this one time. But, I don't expect feedback for nothing, so now the really fun part...

La La 8.5 x 11 Poster - Sparkle Power at Etsy

" La La Loves You" Gift Giveaway

If you comment on this blog post in reply to this feedback request before April 30th, your name will be entered in a giveaway draw at which time one of you gals will be the happy recipient of a Oooh la la Cadeau gift. If you comment and already are or become a new follower, you will get 2 votes - double the chances of winning! I will blog announce the winner on Friday, May 1st. And no, it doesn't matter where you live, the gift will find you. It's my son's birthday on the 30th so I'll let him do the honours. I can promise it will be totally decadent and extravagant! A box full of exquisite gift-wrapped treats.! You can even pick the wrapping style if you have a favorite style from my blog. It's quite simple........I could really use your feedback.

A la la gift sample full of lovely gift-wrapped treats.

Now go have a great weekend.

Top photo via New York Social Diary/Bottom photo from Sparkle Power at Etsy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Janet Hill Studios

I met artist Janet Hill via a favorite blog called Beautiful Things To Share where I head for daily doses of all things gorgeous, go visit Charmaine {click here} she has a remarkable beauty-radar and colour sense to her blog posts. To my surprise, Janet Hill is located in Stratford, Ontario, a few hours drive from me. In blogger world that's like being right next door and I'm delighted to tell you about my talented new Canadian neighbor. For Janet Hill who was told by one of her professors where she received her Bachelor of Fine Arts that "it is almost impossible to be a full-time artist unless you were prepared for a lot of rejection and a lot of hardship", she has discovered that the world of technology and art can successfully merge. "For a while I struggled with the idea of selling online because it didn't seem serious enough" says this artist but "I figured that if the Impressionists could pull away from Realism, I could embrace modern technology". Thank heavens for us that she re-thought that prof's advice.

Irises - original oil painting. Sold

Janet Hill is entering her second year of full-time painting, before that she owned a gift store in Stratford, Ontario for six years which was located in a historic building with great wall space. "I started hanging my paintings in the shop, mostly to create atmosphere, but people started to buy them, then coming in to just look at the paintings". The decision to paint full-time coincided with the popularity of Etsy, the popular global marketplace where the creative crowd can individually sell their artistic wares. Janet Hill Studio started small on her now-popular Etsy shop, offering 3" x 5" paintings and "they slowly started to get bigger as they sold". And yes, though located in Canada, she does ship to the United States and elswhere.

The Seduction Print- available on Etsy

Her original oil paintings go fast. She posts her canvases on her blog where they are often sold before they hit her Etsy shop. It's best to follow her blog and act quickly or contact her if you have a favorite image. She paints quite quickly it appears and many of her popular images are available as prints, the Seduction Print above sells for $10.00 and fits a 8" x 10" frame. I think a cross section of her gorgeous interior images would make for a gorgeous wall collection. Not all images are available in print format, she says some just don't convert as well as you would guess, so again, act fast if there's an original oil canvas you just love.

Janet is just starting to offer her work in the form of single notecards. I'm hoping she offers more soon. Real soon.

Two Red Sofas - 16" x 20" Original Oil.

An recent and original oil painting posted last week on her blog and now for sale for $280.oo US in her Etsy shop. Get moving, it's still for sale I think.

Perfume - Original Oil Painting. Sold

I found this little favorite of mine in her blog {click here} archives from 2008. Spend some time to go through her blog archives for a look on her creative progression and view "I call these painting my oil sketches because they are quick impressions of people, interiors, table settings and other household objects". She blames the Canadian winters for her "strong interest in the beauty of interiors", I think her fabulous talent would show up in any climate.

All images from Janet Hill Studio.


Related Posts with Thumbnails