Thursday, September 15, 2011

PSO Designer's Showhouse & Artist Freddy Silva

 "I believe an image should ask the viewer to participate," says Freddy Silva, whose photographs attempt to capture those fleeting moments where the line between the tangible and imagined are blurred. And in requesting you to look closer, you find yourself dissolving into another world. His etherial photographic images mirror his work as a best-selling author who writes about ancient sacred monuments, where the veil between worlds is thinner. All this questing takes him all around the world, which explains why he holds three nationalities.

Residence: Portland, ME
Sources of Inspiration: Evans Notch, and headlands around Popham
Favorite Qoutes/words of wisdom: "Wherever you go, there you are."

I find his work mesmerizing.
My current obsession is his Pier #2, which I had put on metal rather than the traditional print/frame (going for the unexpected in the showhouse!).

"Pier #2, is it real or imagined? This etherial image reflects that fine line between worlds we often miss, the place where magic and surreal combine. Shot during a break in fog around Popham, ME, it is a moment where the mind can wander into places less travelled, and when thoughts can be stilled."-Freddy Silva

Freddy is represented by:
Heather Frederick, Director

Monday, September 12, 2011

PSO Designer's Showhouse featured Artist: Ellen Thayer

Maine Artist Ellen Thayer created a one of a kind piece just for the PSO Designer's Showhouse. She was kind enough to work with my color palette and concept.

"Between the sun’s angle, the sky condition, and the surrounding environment, the magnificent range of colors in the resulting rhythmic water reflections have inspired eight of Ellen’s paintings to date.  These mesmerizing reflections have a relaxing and meditative quality for the viewer.  “Reflection, Oak Island” was created specifically for the hallway above the staircase to create a feeling of calm and repose." 
Ellen is gaining recognition for her Reflections series, each of them different in color and mood, which I find appropriate because of how the Maine coastline changes its colors and moods throughout the year! I am so pleased with her stunning piece that supports the PSO.
More about the Artist:
As a former television meteorologist in Portland and Boston, Ellen Thayer has been a Maine island adventurer for most of her adult life.  Living on Casco Bay in South Portland affords frequent boating and kayaking excursions where Ellen finds limitless artistic inspiration in the remarkable rocks, weathered shells, and driftwood as well as island vistas and calm coves.  Ellen’s vast collections, from what the sea discards, inspire a variety of art forms and the images she captures on camera become vibrant oil paintings.  Ellen has been painting in oil for over twenty years and continues her art education through various artist’s workshops.  In recent years, Ellen’s commissions have expanded to include pet and people portraiture.

Ellen’s work has been exhibited at Art of the Sea in South Thomaston, Archipelago in Rockland, and Tara Home and Gift in Cape Elizabeth.  From June to September of 2011, sixteen of Ellen’s oil paintings are exhibited at Townsend Real Estate and Art Gallery in Willard Square, South Portland.  This year, Ellen has been an artisan exhibitor at the Seacoast Home & Garden Show in Durham, NH, the Maine Home + Design Midcoast Show in Lincolnville, and the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland.  Ellen’s work has also been accepted into the Ogunquit Museum of American Art’s Invitational.  This Fine Art and Craft show takes place at the museum on November 4 & 5 this year.

Recognizing the significant character of Maine’s islands, Ellen has been a long-standing member of the Maine Island Trail Association whose model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship strives to assure the conservation of Maine islands while providing an exceptional recreational asset for the people who use them. Ellen has also been a long time supporter of the Island Institute who works in close partnership with Maine’s year-round island and coastal communities to ensure that these special places remain vibrant and viable. Ellen donates ten percent of all sales to these two organizations. Her original piece inside the showhouse will support the PSO and an ever larger % is donated (Big talent = big heart).
(One of my other favorite pieces-her one of a kind hearth art)
Ellen's words to live by: "“Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” - Goethe’s Faust

The current showhouse is open to the public now through October 3rd. It contains many original works of art, decor, and design and raises funds for the Portland Symphony Orchestra.  More info can be found here

Heartfelt thanks to:
Ellen Thayer
(207) 450-5951

Sunday, September 4, 2011

PSO Showhouse Countdown: History and Inspiration via VOX Photographs

The PSO Designer's Showhouse is unique in that the house itself was built in 1920. The house was built in 1920 atop a portion of the John Bundy Brown Estate which was destroyed in 1915. Architect John P. Thomas built this spacious stone and slate tudor complete with a servants’ wing and chauffeur’s apartment above the garage for James C. Hamlen and his family (related to Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s Vice President). (VIA PSO website)

So it's natural that my original design concept included art from the Maine Heritage Collection by VOX Contemporary Photography. I have worked with this Gallery before for my design clients, and am consistently amazed and the volume and quality of photographers that VOX represents.
Here is a glimpse into the Heritage pieces I am using-and you will have to guess WHICH ONES are actually in the house!
John Carleton Bicknell was born on May 28, 1871. At the age 7 he nearly lost his life, and did lose his right arm, after falling out of a tree. Bicknell’s photographic business started circa 1902. The Golden Age of Hand-Painted Photography was 1900-1940.  And with his studio located in Portland, he just happened to be working in one of the hotbeds of early 20th century hand-painted photography. Yet, although the hand-painted photography craze slowly declined during the 1930’s depression, we see that the Bicknell Picture Co. stayed in business into the early 1960’s and beyond. The vast majority of Bicknell pictures were taken in Maine, including Portland, Rangeley, Eustis, Bethel, and many other areas. He also took pictures in New Hampshire (North Conway, Franconia Notch), Vermont, and several other states. (Via unravel the gavel)

Ralph Farnham Blood

Ralph Farnham Blood's photography dates back to the 1930's and his wife, Laura Blood, hand colored all the photographs.The White House owns a large original of “Portland Head Light, 1931″.
VoxPhotographs sells contemporary, Maine Heritage and vintage works and all are represented in the spaces that Fiore Interiors designed.
"Photographs are my passion. I am not a photographer myself, but love the medium." says director Heather Frederick. When asked for her favorite inspirational qoute, she responded:
“And you will find out that there are all sorts of ways of learning not only from people and books, but from sheer trying.” – Gertrude Jekyll

My sincerest thanks to Heather at Vox Photographs for helping give my creative visions historic authenticity.-Vanessa @ Fiore Interiors.


Heather Frederick, Director

I would also like to recommend the framing gallery and printing house that did such beautiful work. Simple, elegant framing is so important and quality printing is vital to these fragile images. Thank you:
Framing by Christine's Gallery

Lincolnville, ME

Prints by Nickelson Editions
Camden, ME

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Local spotlight: Laura Fuller/Fuller Glass. When Art and Design (fabulously) collide...

COUNTING DOWN the days until the PSO Designer's Showhouse!
I moved to Maine in May of 2010, to an area called Munjoy Hill. I would walk the golden retriever past this beautiful studio and peer into the became quite a habit. When I found out I was going to participate in the PSO Designer's Showhouse, I summoned up the nerve to introduce myself to this awesome artist!
Maine artist, Laura Fuller lives and works in Portland, Maine. She grew up in Bath, Maine and has also lived in Paris, France. Laura was a founding owner of the Hay Gallery in Portland, Maine and now has the Laura FullerGlass Design Studio and Gallery on Munjoy Hill in Portland (my hood!)
Laura has been working in stained glass twenty years. She began putting three-dimensional objects in her panels while still in school. When discouraged by her instructor from this innovative technique, she committed to the craft of incorporating found objects into her complex glass pieces. Each unique relief expresses not only her story, but also that of the objects incorporated within.
For Laura, each object is a reflection of the complex narrative of life-- past, present and future:
"Life is change. That is the only reliable certainty. It is constantly and continually progressing and altering. Unexpected and uncertain in outcome, it is certain in process.Objects are our representatives. 'Living' solid, fruitful, domestic, useful lives: indepedently functional. These objects, having given 2 to 200 years of faithful service, became hidden. In drawers, closets, dumps, underground, and in the ocean --waiting.
Now newly born, part of a different whole. Suspended to be gazed at, in reverence. In honor of their, and our, past lives. The beauty is in the years of touch as marked by many hands. The experiences portrayed trigger memories, of events lived and imagined. And of what will become."

Laura finds inspiration in "Light, memory, love and the beauty of an unexpected line, artists like Mondrian and Kandinski, seeing a beautiful, old, stone building covered with scaffolding, the blending of sleek and worn, ancient and modern"

I commissioned a piece of Fuller Glass for the showhouse, and working with her has been a joy. I walked into her gallery a total stranger with a crazy idea, and have found a kindred spirit passionate about supporting the arts...and creating her own special space within the showhouse. She has combined the spirit of the Symphony Orchestra, Interior Design, our shared organic and the modern influences, the proximity to the ocean....all in one piece. Here is about 25% of the piece, a partial sneak preview:
My inspiration for "Adagio" was the simple, elegant beauty in the shape of a violin. And a sense of peace.-Laura Fuller
Nope! That's all you get to see! So far every person who has seen this piece has been amazed, I couldn't be happier with the response. I chose a great crystal flushmount light fixture for the space that casts tiny rainbows on the walls surrounding it-the tiny entry now feels like another world.

When asked for a favorite quote or words to live by, her response was "Do all things with love." that why I love her work?

Laura Fuller, FullerGlass

129 Congress street Portland ME 04101

Portland Symphony Orchestra 2011 Designer's Showhouse Countdown!

One week to go!
I have been getting MANY questions about the process, so lets address them...

149 Western Promenade, Portland!
For those of you who are wondering, gracious homeowners (Ed Gardner and Steve DiMuccio) moved out of their home and allowed 17 designers to each have their own space to design, create, and often demo/rebuild. Each designer funds their participation. Why? Because this is the largest fundraiser for the Portland Symphony Orchestra, and only occurs every 2-3 years. Hundreds of volunteers participate.
The designers compete to earn a spot within the house. We submit proposals, and a board/committee chooses which design they feel best fits the space.

Showhouse board members Tracy Davis, Susan Dench, and Ed Gardner contemplating my presentation.

More of the other presentations in the background, mine is in Susan's hand.
We install our designs from August 4th-August 31st. This year was a bit different as the projects included a kitchen upgrade/remodel, new tile in the upstairs bath, and a complete remodel of the master bath. Many of the spaces had only a few days to install because of the construction debris. It was a bit like an episode of Extreme Home Makeover! So far all of the results have been beautiful and the remodeling is a beautiful mix of modern technology with respect to the historic character of the house.

The September 2011 issue of Down East magazine contains the designer profiles as well as a schedule of events, which can also be found on the PSO page HERE

I can finally show my design presentation  for my space. Many changes occur from concept to completion, so I am not giving anything away. This is simply a peek into how my creative brain works.
This was my inspiration board created MANY months ago. Highlighting local artists, Maine's history, organic colors, and art noveau lines.

My concept for the first floor

My concept for the second floor
TICKETS can be purchased through PORTtix or by calling (207) 842-0800. They are $25 and you view ALOT of amazing square footage for that price! Tour is open September 10- October 3rd.