Wednesday, November 30, 2011



The colors I wear are always very specific, expressive choices, related to my mood or surroundings.  This is an ideal that I share with the late German Expressionist Franz Marc.


Marc (1880-1916) was a painter and printmaker, and one of the founders of the artistic collaborative known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider).


Along with Auguste Macke and Wassily Kandinsky, Marc founded Der Blaue Reiter journal in 1911, which became synonymous with the German Expressionist movement in Munich.
View my Kandinsky post here.


In 1912, Marc met Robert Delaunay, who greatly influenced Marc's artistic shift toward Futurism.


Within months after being sent to the front in World War I, Marc was listed as a notable artist and was slated to be removed from combat.  However, he was killed in battle in 1916, before he could be sent home.

Blue Horse, another painting, Franz Marc

For Marc, particular colors had very specific meanings.  For example, blue signified masculinity or spirituality, and red symbolized violence.


"Art is nothing but the expression of our dream; the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things, our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them."    --Franz Marc


I'm wearing a vintage silk blouse, thrifted Ellen Tracy silk skirt, vintage cardigan, Urban Outfitters socks, whistle pendant from the Brooklyn Flea, and Marni shoes.

[Marc images from, Leicester Arts and Museums Service,, and, respectively.]

Monday, November 28, 2011



In the spirit of the shopping season, I've put together a collection of (mostly affordable) gift ideas for the artfully minded individual.  I would love to give or receive everything on this page!  

Not pictured is my absolute favorite gift: a museum membership.  Not only does it generally provide the recipient with free admission, discounts, and access to special events, it also supports the institution and its ability to bring art to others.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Nicole Eisenman, Winter Solstice 2012 Dinner Party (2009), oil on canvas

Today, among many, many other things, I am thankful for inspiration and the opportunity to share it with others.
Most sincere wishes for an uplifting holiday. 
[Image from]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I've been busy working on a whole new collection of Artfully Awear holiday (and anytime) greeting cards. 
Featuring original watercolor and opaque ink sketches, the cards are available for sale on my Etsy page.
  "Like" Artfully Awear on Facebook for a special discount code!
UPDATE 11/24:  The greeting cards have sold out.  I will be listing more in the coming weeks.  Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


One of the most well-known portraits in the History of Art is Portrait of a Man (1433) by 15th century Flemish painter Jan van Eyck.


Painted in 1433, the relatively tiny painting (10 x 7.5 inches) is a possible self-portrait of van Eyck himself.  The absence of any emotion and steady gaze of the subject are elements that give the portrait a peculiarly unsettling nature.


The van Eyck painting resides in the National Gallery of Art in London.  Find an interactive gallery view and more information here.

Contemporary artist Devorah Serber takes Portrait of a Man as the subject of her installation work, After van Eyck (2006), in which she creates the image using 5,024 spools of thread as "pixels" which are then compounded and refracted by a lens placed at the front of the picture plane.

Sperber's work toys with the idea of illusion vs. reality as well as the interaction of art and technology.  See more examples (including Renoir and Rembrandt) and a brief explanation of Sperber's work here.


In my interpretation of the work(s) I am wearing a vintage, thrifted turban and a vintage wool cape that belonged to my mother.
[van Eyck image from; Sperber images from]

Monday, November 14, 2011


Aleksandra Ekster, costume design for Dance of the Seven Veils, 1917

This look was inspired by the ballet costumes of Aleksandra Ekster (1882-1949), a Russian-French painter and designer. A close friend of Picasso and Braque, she is well-known for her Cubo-Futurist designs and, later, Art Deco paintings.


I'm wearing a vintage jumpsuit, Gap leather jacket, Lauren Merkin leather clutch, suede shoes by L.A.M.B., a vintage leather belt, and House of Harlow 1960 necklace.

[Ekster image from]

Thursday, November 10, 2011

ART TO WEAR: Qianlong Vase.

Qianlong period Imperial yang cai double-walled vase (c. 1740)

Mary Katrantzou, Autumn/Winter 2011

With the auction season upon us (and bolstered by an outstanding showing at Sotheby's Contemporary Art Evening Sale last night in New York--view the results here), I was reminded of the sale that rocked the world of Chinese art a year ago. Above is the most expensive Chinese work of art to ever sell at auction. The 16-inch vase sold for $83 million, 40 times greater than its estimate.

The sale inspired the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection by Greek designer Mary Katrantzou, now available at Neiman Marcus. I'm convinced that good things would happen while wearing the Mixed-Print Jersey Dress ($790).

[Images from, and]

Tuesday, November 8, 2011



Embroidery and crewelwork on garments always puts me in mind of medieval tapestries, such as the well-known Unicorn Tapestries of the Late Middle Ages.


The set of seven tapestries is of South Netherlandish origin, and is made of wool warp with wool, silk, silver, and gilt (or gold) wefts.


The tapestries, depicting the hunt and capture of the mythological unicorn, manifest themes of fertility and marriage, as well as the Passion of the Christ.


There are also many symbolic characteristics, ranging from the over 100 species of plants depicted, to the number of figures and colors used.


In Medieval times, the unicorn was a symbol of invincibility, often representing Christ, and the horn was believed to have healing properties. This belief extended to the horn of the narwhal, which was a highly sought-after object.


Dating from around 1495 to 1505, the set remains in remarkable condition and resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's collection at The Cloisters.


I'm wearing a J. Crew cashmere sweater and pencil skirt and Plenty by Tracy Reese embroidered jacket, all thrifted from the same Goodwill, on different days. The boots are the Frye Veronica, the leather purse is vintage, and the necklace is from Anthropologie.


[Unicorn Tapestry images from]

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

ART TO WEAR: Atelier.

I recently had the pleasure of viewing the first capsule collection from the artist and designer collaborative Atelier. Scottish artist Lucy McKenzie and designer Beca Lipscombe created a collection of high quality, made-to-order garments, specifically engineered for those who work in creative or artistic capacities.

The collection, part of The Inventors of Tradition project, is meant to underscore the very best in Scottish textile and fashion manufacturing, referencing the solidification of national identity through the industry since the 1930s.

Working with tailor Steven Purvis under the notion that quality=traditional, the collection succeeds in "responding to tradition with a sensuous and independent femininity" and accomplishes "elegant self-respect in dress for working life." I was deeply impressed by the level of craftsmanship of each individual piece, as well as the timelessness of the collection as a whole.

Images from The Inventors of Tradition Collection 2011 Lookbook, Thea Westreich/Ethan Wagner Publications.

View more pieces from the collection and read more about Atelier at

Many thanks to my colleagues at Art Advisory Services for the gracious press packet and tour of the collection.