Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Helen Frankenthaler

I was saddened to learn today that Helen Frankenthaler passed away.  When I heard the news, the image of an abstract horse sketch flashed into my head.  I unsuccessfully searched the internet for the image I had in mind.  Now I'm wondering if such a thing even exists. Never the less, I found many wonderful images of her abstract and colorful paintings.  Interesting also to see photos of her painting some huge canvases.  Painting for her must have been extremely physical.  What an amazing talent!  Truly inspirational.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Masterful Masterpiece: Downton Abbey

I'm a huge fan of Public Television. In fact sometimes I think of myself as a "prisoner of Public Television"...which I believe is how James Spader's character in Sex Lies and Videotape refers to his mother.  I usually prefer to watch anything on Public TV over another station.   And of all the shows on Public TV, Masterpiece Classic, formerly Masterpiece Theater, is my absolute favorite.  OK, so I'm a pushover for a good period drama.  When Downton Abbey aired last year, I was completely drawn in.  The last episode seemed to end in an inconclusive way, and I didn't realize then there would be another season.  In hind sight it should have been obvious.  Anyway season II is set to air in January, and I can't wait.  The sets and the costumes are fantastic, as is the acting.  I loved Elizabeth McGovern 30 years ago in Ordinary People, and I love her now as the Countess of Grantham.  Highclere Castle, where Downton Abbey was shot, is open to the public, it would be magnificent to see.

 During these garden party scenes, the help is dressed all in black and the party goers are all in pale colors.  The contrast is an interesting statement in class division.  I wonder if that is authentic, or it was employed by the movie makers for striking visual effect.

Elizabeth McGovern as Countess Grantham
Mary in beautiful blue hat
Love the necklace!
I just love this photo.  The servants are all in order in front of the castle.
Another great costume!
Love the fern behind the Earl of Grantham.  What a beautiful room.
Great costumes!
More great interiors.
I think this is a scene from next season.  I can't wait!
Simply Elegant!!
Hunt scene.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


 This time of year I love watching the Nutcracker. It's really the only time of year that ballet takes a prominent position in our mainstream cultural awareness.  If I can't get to a live performance, I can usually count on seeing a performance on Public Television.  I've lately noticed that ballet photographs are often in the New York Times Arts section.  It seems like that's really the only place I see ballet images on a regular basis.  And the photo are always fantastic.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Horse Feathers

I am in the process of designing a horse barn for a client as part of a mini estate.  While looking for images of inspiration, I came across some barns and equestrian properties designed by Peter Zimmerman  I especially like his use of stone and bold, simple shapes.