Monica D. MurgiaArt, creativity, and fashion
In 1784, Mr. Jean-Baptiste Huet, an artist employed by the Oberkampf works located near Jouy, France etched this design. This type of copperplate print, known as “Toile de Jouy” illustrates the various processes used in printing textiles.
Wesley Simpson presents a group of new scarfs from his collection of designs by famous artists. Included are scarfs by Marcel Vertes and Salvador Dali.
Existence is musical. I heard this expression a few weeks ago, and it left a big impression on me. The idea that life doesn’t have a destination, a goal, is really liberating. For a long time, I felt trapped in an endless corridor of goals. I became enmeshed in the idea that success is a far off destination, achieved only after years of school, tedious jobs, and walking over hot coals. The dream is to one day arrive – whenever that is – save up a bit, retire and then enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Image courtesy of Work of Heart Studios. (And available for purchase!)
Interestingly enough, I “arrived” a bit early and realized that it was all a hoax. At 25, I had finished a graduate degree, was teaching college, and had all the outer trappings of success. But inside, I didn’t feel one bit different at all. I had arrived at the finish line, only to realize that life isn’t a race. Life isn’t a journey with a serious destination. To think this is to cheat yourself out of happiness in the present moment. You delay happiness and tolerate situations to hopefully, one day get there at the end.
In music, the end of the song isn’t the point of the composition. We don’t dance to arrive at a specific spot in the room. The point of music and dancing is to enjoy the experience. And so is life. Life is a musical thing, and the point is to dance or sing along the way.
Image courtesy of Deviant Art.GHTime Code(s):
Life is spontaneous. It happens by itself. This is one of the fundamental principles of Buddhism. While it is good to make plans and set goals, it’s important to make time for life to unfold before you. This isn’t living life according to whim. There is more to spontaneity than caprice and disorder.
As an artist, I can tell you how this is true. I can’t tell you where my ideas come from. They happen spontaneously. It’s difficult for me to approach a canvas or piece of paper with an expectation. When I try to make something specific, it never seems to turn out right. So my approach has been to let the materials “speak” to me. I mix the paint right on the canvas. I see what shapes start to appear on their own.
I sprayed and sprayed several hued paints on this board. I noticed how the colors mixed together, how each can sprayed differently. The only method I had was that I would keep painting until it felt right. I did countless layers of paint. The yard was filled with a thick cloud of fumes that made me dizzy. I stopped and mixed some oil paint with stand oil and dripped it over the board. I started thrashing the paint brush wildly at the board, giggling and having fun at not caring what the outcome would be. I turned the board to let the paint drip from one end to the other. Then I alternated between layers of spray paint and oil paint. From the photos, you can see how wildly different the painting looked at each stage.
Suddenly, almost magically, I knew the painting was finished. There was no way for me to schedule the right amount of time. I just had to feel it. To me, painting is like playing a game. When we play games, we get most fascination out of games that combine skill and chance. Games like poker or bridge. You don’t feel completely at the mercy of chance, and you don’t feel completely at the mercy of skill. It’s exciting and fun to not know the predictable outcome. Order and randomness go together, creating surprise. That’s how I define spontaneity – the perfect harmony of order and randomness.
One of my favorite Buddhist philosophers is Alan Watts. He has a great recorded talk called The Art of the Controlled Accident. He consistently compares Buddhist philosophy to painting. Life should be lived in a manner like painting. You can’t have calculated expectations for everything in your life. You have to approach situations with an open mind, only to search for possibilities and opportunities that present themselves. Never force something. It will only elude you. Instead, take the approach of letting the beautiful things around you emerge on their own. You will be surprised – and happy.
If you liked this post, you should consider reading my previous posts :
Showing UpGHTime Code(s):
Sometimes, good things find you. That certainly was the case last week. Every step forward bought surprise and delight. Good news just poured in like bright yellow sunlight on the morning that you want to sleep in. It just kept inching its way toward me, making me pay attention. So things only got better when I was able to purchase this coat:
If you’re new to my site, you may not be aware of my complete adoration of the work of Antonio Castillo. The Spanish designer took up couture after the Spanish Civil War, designing for major couture houses including Paquin and Lanvin. He did design for a 5 year period in New York in the 1940s.
After work, I passed by Augusta Auctions preview of tomorrow’s New York sale. Tomorrow at noon, 422 swoon-worthy lots will go on the block. Sometimes people ask me how I amass my personal collection. Once you really delve into a specialty, like American couture or a weak spot for Lanvin-Castillo, you begin to make all kinds of discoveries. Like a vintage store in Houston. Or a kindred spirit with an amazing blog. You start to develop all sorts of relationships when you share your interests with other people. Earlier this year, I took my fashion forecasting class to see the April sale preview offered by Augusta Auctions. I can assure you that if you are a serious fashion collector, this auction is a must attend.
Lot 282: Paco Rabanne Coat & Helmet, c. 1965-67. Image courtesy of Augusta Auctions.
Everyone should attend at least one auction in their life. Bidding on a coveted item is a unique experience. It’s a lot like gambling or playing the stock market. It’s a mix of adrenaline, sweat, fear, and lust. Questions flurry your mind and you only have seconds to make a decision: What if someone outbids you? How much is too much? What is the real or perceived value of the item? Is it a solid investment? Your mind is in overdrive and the auctioneer is crooning to get a higher price. You’re all of the sudden unsure what hurts more, your purse strings or your heartstrings.
Augusta Auctions always has really amazing pieces. Much of this is because they represent museums. Museums have limited storage space. They can only store so many objects safely. New acquisitions and donations mean that space dwindles. Curators can either re-organize the storage environment, or decide to edit the collection. (De-accessioning is when the museum decides to remove items from their collection and sell them on the market.)
Lot 376: 19th Century Matador Cape. Image courtesy of Augusta Auctions.
The de-accessioning process is what makes the auction so fun. There is such a rich variety of objects available for purchase. I was absolutely over the moon for this 19th Century matador cape. It was a faded light sage green satin with gold gilt raised embroidery. While signs of wear were apparent, it was such a beautiful piece.
Storing fashion and accessories can be a major challenge, especially in a New York apartment. Space is limited. So is time. You need things to be orderly yet easily accessible. I find this especially true of accessories like bags and jewelry.
I’ve had jewelry boxes before, and found them really counterproductive. My jewelry was virtually hidden from view, making me forget to wear it. The first time I moved to New York, I adopted the practice of displaying my jewelry around my room.
Here I am, back in the city. I had the same idea of displaying my jewelry, but wasn’t sure of the approach to take. I wanted it to somehow be part of the decor. After looking up some ideas, I came across this idea on Pinterest:
I decided to make one for myself this weekend. With the help of my friend Riley (see photo) I went searching for a piece of wood in Central Park.
After our walk in the park, we headed over to Paper Source. This store has all kinds of sumptuous materials for making visual presentations. I found some decorative pushpins that were perfect for my project.
Having two varieties made displaying the pieces more interesting. The silver pushpins were great for organizing chunkier necklaces and rings . The floral pushpins were better for more delicate chains. Take a look:
The piece of wood I found was narrower on one end. This was brilliant for adding my bracelets and cuffs. Earrings are usually difficult to store, but this design made things simple. The jute twine I bought for hanging the piece was perfect. I mounted two adhesive hooks to the wall and voilà:
The twine in between the hooks was the perfect spot for earrings. No wasted space and everything is easily accessible. The best part? It looks pretty and reminds me to wear my things.
Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe Scheherazade Costume for Young Man. Designed by Leon Bakst, 1910. Image courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.
Ossie Clark/Celia Birtwell Printed Chiffon Evening Gown and Cape, c. 1976. Image courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.
Costumes aside, there are some serious designers represented in the lot. From Worth to McQueen, you’ll be able to find something to pine over. I was delighted to see this Ossie Clark and Celia Birtwell evening gown with a cape. This power couple virtually created the fashion scene in England during the 1960s and 1970s. Celia designed textiles while Ossie made garments for famous clients including: the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Bianca Jagger.
Madame Gres Black Silk Jersey Evening Gown, c. 1935-1944. Image courtesy of Kerry Taylor Auctions.
There is a beautiful Madame Gres available. The Grecian draping is always perfection. In black, it’s timeless.
See what else is available on the December 3rd auction via the virtual catalog.GHTime Code(s):