Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Easter

I painted the door for If I Were A Toy just in time for Easter Sunday! *Important tip- if you need to scrape paint off glass, much faster to spray with Windex 1st. I learned the hard way ;)

I planned to keep it simple this week, so I made this little card for my readers :)

Then the pleasures of Spring sprang to mind! I've been going through photos, usually of trips I've taken with my mom in the Spring. My hope was to find the most fabulous shots to enter in Frommer's Photo Contest (deadline tonight). Feels like playing Lotto. I uploaded about 25 and now cross my fingers that I will be the lucky winner for a cover and $5,000 bucks ;D

Regent's Canal in London, above is a very charming area. Visit Waterscape for more info :)

I bought these Ranunculus, which I'd never heard of before, from a local bodega/deli. I don't have a green thumb, so I am keeping a close eye on these! Lots of light & water-- should be able handle these pretty little flowers.

I started with my album full of photos from a May trip to Rome a few years ago. The Roseto Comunale or Rose Garden on the Aventine Hill is simply gorgeous! A must see if you visit during the flowering season :)

It is very hard for me to edit down to just a few, but I'm trying. I have many photos from Italy. Love this kid below. He wasn't prompted to make this face, he just went for it!

My mom made a brilliant decision and booked our stay in Venice at the Westin Excelsior on Lido. It's a 15 minute boat ride from Venice proper (hotel has private boats going out every hour or so). It's magnificent and the town of Lido is a beauty, too! I took endless pictures of people's homes. Above, I've shared the most simple of pleasures; towards the end of each day we had Prosecco, Pellegrino and snacks on the water :D

If you haven't been to Venice, make it a goal! It is truly extraordinary!! Above is the Basilica di Sant Marco The piazza seems to stay over populated for obvious reasons ;) You can escape the crowds if you're not afraid to get a little lost or turned around on the walkways. Venetians are very friendly, too.

I adore Burano for all of it's wonderful bright colors! It's a dream :)

Above, a house statue of Jesus. It was the nicest one I saw and thought it would be appropriate for my Easter post, of course.

I've used this picture on a past post. It's one of my favorites and honestly, I think it has a shot as a book cover!

You may know by now how much I like Spain, so I used restraint when choosing photos :) Below in Barcelona, the walk from one masterpiece to another, Gaudi's Sagrada Familia to Montaner's Sant Pau Hospital.

Many years ago I visited Claude Monet's gardens in Giverny, France. It was absolutely gorgeous! Again, I have so many photographs, even so they can't do it justice.

The MOMA has Monet's Water Lilies on display through April 12th, including his late paintings in the collection.

Cuteness :o)


Retiro Park in Madrid, Spain is most spectacular! Below, the unusual Dr. Seuss-like trees intrigued me. I will include more from Madrid on a future piece.

Hello there!

Hope you have enjoyed this little ode to Spring!
Happy Easter :)
xo, Allyn

Monday, March 22, 2010

Black & White

Color and the seemingly endless combination of hues, whether bold & bright, muted & sophisticated, pale & pastel, is what first attracts me to a particular piece of art, interior or object in general. It's my 1st consideration when I begin a painting and what I enjoy most when making one, particularly on the Blip Blop dimensional series. I take great joy in it everyday. In this post, however, I've decided to celebrate the things I love in black and white...

Buckaroo Bunny, above, is tacked to a wall in my studio. My friend, Kristine recently commented on it's line and graphic quality. I have several versions of this guy, intended as a logo for my 1st set of tees, the Brooklyn Buckaroos, only to be abandoned :( All are pretty cute, though.

This stark dog restaurant sign was photographed in Madrid and the funny cat sign in Venice!

I LOVE black and white cookies!!! I became somewhat addicted to the minis Starbucks was selling a couple years ago. Just as fattening to eat miniatures unfortunately :(

Below is a photo from Stylish Cuisine a terrific recipe site I found written by Diane and photographed by her husband, Charles. I don't bake, but make it my business to know people who do! Click here for the black & white cookie recipe :)

Here are some of the Farm Animals I made for my friend, Melissa Stampley. Her 5 yr old son's Health Fair was last week at PS 10 Brooklyn and they needed line/coloring book-style drawings. Melissa's husband enlarged them and printed numerous copies on boards that were then made into stand- up models for kids to color.

I was reminded how gratifying it is to make simple line drawings with paint, some sketchy and some more graphic like woodblock prints.

As a renowned local artist ;) I was invited to participate and judge the kids' work. As so often happens, I got a call for a commercial the day of the event. Disappointed I missed it, I look forward to seeing some photos in the future.

I plan to make more and put together some little coloring books myself :D

I love black and white tiled floors! Below, big squares (courtesy Apartment Therapy/Chicago )

hexagonal with flowers, very sweet :)

Sephora is a favorite of mine, especially the great prices for their own lines of lip glosses, make-up remover and body lotion. I also go to them for my Lancome mascara and countless shades of lipsticks in reds and plums! Their signature black and white stripes beckon me from blocks away ;)

I've had this skirt since 2003. It's by Cynthia Steffe and I've worn it more times than I can count. I love the tiny polka dots and the way the white lining peeks through the lace and thin cuts. It fits regardless of weight fluctuation, too! Sits low some days and pulled high others ;)

I'm a fan of great cars and I'm especially fond of European styles. I love this photograph and the perfect black & white license plate.

I take photos of cars almost as much as dogs. Below, two fine characters from Italy. The top was in Burano, while the older guy below was taken in nearby Torcello.

Not sure if this Gondolier was posing for me or not? very relaxed in the sun. I love black & white stripes, on shirts and on animals...

He looks sad, hope he's just looking for a snack! Zebras are truly exquisite looking animals.

My skunks need new fresh hair, but I still love 'em!

Who does not love the Panda Bear? If you don't know about the WWF, World Wildlife Foundation, check it out here. They are the world's leading conservation organization.

Black & White photography, especially the work of Melissa Zexter. Cher, eat your heart out ;)

Below, the lovely young Mirabelle looks out on the world.

I took this one above over 20 years ago here in Union Square, NYC. I often wonder what this little boy is doing now.

Of course, old black and white movies like Notorious and To Kill A Mockingbird.
This Notorious still is from The Online Photographer blog. Should take a look at his Top Ten black & white picture picks.

This mostly white door with it's fine black details was at the end of a small alleyway in Sitges, Spain. I think it's just stunning! As is the bust below from the MNAC (Museo Nacional d'Art de Catalunya). This museum sits atop Montjuic mountain in Barcelona and is filled with incredibly beautiful artwork.

more cars, why not? Here are a couple of original Mini Coopers...

Don't know the make of this car below, but they're all over Europe I think. Like to imagine myself here on this sunny day, about to hop in, pull back the top and drive off to the next adventure or a relaxing picnic by the lake :)

My city car ;)

Last but not least, my parents cat, aptly named BW. He basically found (or targeted) my dad a couple years ago and soon became a beloved pet. Panda, their lovable indoor kitty was not amused. Fortunately for her, BW spends a lot of time outside. He particularly enjoys sneaking around at night. Last summer I was visiting and a neighbor told us that a Spider Monkey had been spotted in the neighborhood. I'm not kidding. We think it's more likely that BW was mistaken for that ever agile monkey :D


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