maison21's absolute favorite american painter, is hands down, stuart davis (1892– 1964). he would tie with picasso for our favorite artist EVER, except he was in no way as prolific as picasso, and let's face it- picasso invented modern art (we know, we vastly oversimplify, but hey, this is a decoratin' blog, not art history 101 ;-). stuart davis, while a personal hero, isn't quite in the same league as picasso (no one is, for that matter), but we adore his work, and would rather have one of his paintings hanging in our home than anyone else.
we love davis because of his bright colors and his fusion of cubism and graphic art styles. his work almost can almost seem trite today because it has been so often copied by the graphics, illustration and advertising industries so as to seem commonplace (watch a pepe le pew cartoon from the 1960's after viewing davis' work, and tell me they weren't influenced by by him). in fact, maison21 would consider davis to be the first pop artist, presaging warhol by decades.
yes, maison21 loves him some stuart davis:
so now, why is maison21 showing you all these fabulous masterworks? well, because a while back we wrote a post entitled "filing for reorganization", where we spoke of looking at the economic turndown as a positive, and now that design projects have slowed a bit, we hoped to use the spare time we find ourselves with to re-embrace doing some of the things we love- like painting. we stopped making art 3 or 4 years ago when we just didn't have the time any longer, and well, now we do- so no excuses...
we cleared out the garage of most of our inventory (except for the below table- it's so damn 70's chic we can't stand it, but even after lowering the price by 2/3 , it still remains in le garage, unsold (it would seem HOBAC and m21 are the only two people who "get" it in all it's chicness).
so using that glam table as a workspace (don't worry, we covered it) and keeping mr. davis in mind as our inspiration, we actually finished our first painting this weekend. we took a vintage water-damaged cardboard print of flowers in a vase, purchased because we liked the gesso frame it came in, and we transformed it (frame was a dated off-white gilt washed 1960's french provincial number, so we just busted out the white lacquer spray paint on it).
now we're not posting this to get compliments (swear), as we know that we aren't transforming the art world with our unique vision or anything. we ARE posting it because the process made us feel really good, and sometimes it's really easy to forget to take time to do stuff we love. we felt like we really accomplished something this weekend, other than worrying about swine flu or the housing crisis, and it felt great to just be "doing" rather than "thinking".
making something, whether it's a good meal, or a garden, or a painting, satisfies something basic and primeval within us, and maison21 highly recommends it- even if you are just gonna copy the work of someone else, like we did. so this week, if you have the time, m21 says make something, anything (a new recipe, a blog post, a craft project)- your soul will thank you!