Live your life and forget your age -- Norman Vincent Peale
Hyla3D lets me do this. Recently, the folks at Jan Marini Skin Research in San Jose, California, asked me to participate in their spring campaign launch for Hyla3D, a product designed to improve the overall vitality of skin. My job was simple: use a full-sized sample, which I received complimentary from them, and offer feedback on the experience. The verdict is in: wonderful.
The art of looking young is scientific. Hyaluronic Acid, which is naturally present in our skin in high levels when we're young, begins to decrease over time as we get older. Add in the harmful effects of the sun and suddenly our face is under attack. Hyla3D works by boosting these levels thus improving the overall volume, elasticity, and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Its patented Hyaluronic Acid Activating Complex restores and revitalizes what nature subtracts.
I'm fortunate to live in the South Carolina Lowcountry where a near constant level of humidity keeps my skin fairly well hydrated. However, Hyla3D is like capturing morning dew in a bottle. The feeling is wonderful as it glides on effortlessly; my face soaks it up like a sponge begging for more. Within a week I began noticing that brown patches were fading and I could visually see the texture of my skin starting to improve. If you're looking for a product to fight the aging process and/or reverse the signs of sun damage, I highly recommend it. And then I recommend moving to Charleston, South Carolina. Kidding, but I do feel blessed to call this place home. Thank you, Jan Marini Skin Research, for allowing me to test your product, sing its praises, and become your newest fan.
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Art Imitating Life, Again
Three years ago, I wrote about the Russian-born French artist Marc Chagall and how, based on a selection of his quotes, it would be nice if art imitated life. Well, it seems I've gotten my wish. At a recent gallery show, guests were encouraged to interact with the artists by sharing comments and feelings about each piece with Post-It notes on the wall. This social part of social media played out wonderfully in real life in a manner more meaningful than online.
In what ways do you see art imitating life? How do you wish it did? The blurred boundary between the two is a fascinating subject worth exploring.
The Art of Editing
Small spaces require an attention to detail that is familiar to the world of fashion. Stylists might remove an accessory before considering an outfit complete. Editing for interiors is just as important to avoid overcrowding tight spots.
Downsizing can make this difficult, however, as it did for me this past year. Emotional attachments cloud decisions about what to keep, what to discard. Regardless, whether starting fresh or moving into something more cozy, editing is critical.
Tackling this design project on your own? Remove one piece. You'll be happy you did.
Tip: Take a picture. Photos offer clarity. The two dimensional nature of photography is helpful in the editing process.
The Power of White
2014 was a year of change. One that found us downsizing from a large space into two smaller ones. Which, despite a desire to lighten the load, still leaves us with a storage building full of unplaced furniture. We hope to clear it out soon.
One of the small spaces is a brick, mid-century ranch with an open living-dining room concept and separate kitchen. Our initial impulse was to remove walls separating the kitchen but we fought that urge, instead opting to work with the original layout. This allowed us to pay homage to the integrity of the classic design while avoiding hasty remodeling decisions.
To combat tight spaces we painted interior walls white. The next decision involved a colored ceiling to give walls the appearance of floating upward versus stopping definitively and boxing us in. We chose a pale, light, grey giving a crisp, clean finish against the stark white paint. The result is subtle with just enough hint of color to shake things up.
Aside from making our space feel larger, white works well in that art takes center stage. Drama jumps off the walls, particularly since our collection consists of brightly colored pieces -- a blend of folk, classical, and fine art that is a feast for the senses when you enter the room. Books are also a focal point with colorful dust jackets providing an additional element of interest.
Photos illustrate the effect we were after, and, hopefully, the power of white.
Tip: Do you feel trapped by small spaces? Escape with white walls. The mind can be easily tricked with a simple coat of paint.
As I sit here contemplating the end of another year, one that found me over-committed and negligent when it came to posting... it is with a sad heart that I reflect on one of those commitments and say goodbye to an organization near and dear to my heart.
The Community Arts Project (known as CAP) closed its doors in August of 2014, ending a 15 year run at Lake Norman.
Change is good. And change is inevitable. But too much change brought about the demise of a valuable resource.
I served on the Board of Directors for 3 years and know first hand how passionate all involved were, and how hard everyone worked to support the local art scene while bringing unique process-based art experiences to the community. A noticeable void will be left behind by its absence.
Goodbye, CAP. I and so many others will miss you.
Looking for ways to give back in 2015? Consider volunteering for an arts nonprofit. Most local organizations operate on a shoestring budget and would likely benefit from your time, talents, and gifts. Also, volunteer hours are critical when it comes to grant programs and other sources of funding that make operating possible. Plus, it feels good.
Thriller Turns 30
Well, not exactly, but today's the 30th anniversary of the song reaching number 1. If google is correct it was on this day in 1983, to be exact. I will never forget watching the video in my room thinking how cool it was and the controversy surrounding Michael Jackson's supposed connection to the occult. He was a Jehovah's Witness and I guess they frown on that sort of thing. Whatever. Crazy the stuff that stays with you when you're young and impressionable. I remember thinking, what's the big deal? It's Hollywood and movie magic and MTV and a cool song. Cut him some slack. Of course, he didn't need me to defend him back then and did enough in his life to stir up controversy more "controversial" than dead people dancing in unison. At any rate, I wanted to pay tribute to this musical milestone and moment in pre-teen history with a video that speaks to my inner 11 year old. It invokes memories of Thriller while capturing a spirit of rebelliousness with an authentic nod to the style of the 80's. Which is making a comeback, by the way. Plus, it makes me want to dance. Like, totally.
A Love Affair with Pictures
Time eventually positions most photographs, even the most amateurish, at the level of art. -Susan Sontag
Encouraged by the words of Susan Sontag, whose relationship with photography is equal parts fascinating, political, and hyper-critical, I am embracing the medium and releasing the first in a series of limited edition prints. I hope to one day achieve the level of art.
Focused on the command of color, geographic areas of interest, leading lines, balance, and other obscure and pleasing compositions, these prints are part of a collection produced from a year long effort spent journaling with a lens.
February is the month of love. Feel free to love them.
Old St David's Church Series -- 5x7 signed numbered unframed $15 -- 8x10 signed numbered unframed $20 -- Custom framing, larger sizes and canvas prints available upon request. Limited Edition 20 prints any size. Orders shipped within 7 days.
A look at the year's best food pics -- Note: Oysters made a strong showing... a year of living and eating well caught on camera. Here's to 2012. Cheers to 2013!
Color is as important to food as it is to art. I often prepare meals strictly with that as my guide. Well, not strictly. But you get the idea. Rarely do I use cookbooks. Something about bucking the system makes me not want to follow rules. Plus, I don't like to start from a place of no. What if I don't have all of the ingredients?
Back to color, good thing I like grey. It being the color of oysters, and all. I didn't t make everything you see. But I made a lot of it. And ate it all.
The Power of "Other"
"I'm interested in raising questions, basically, how to look at the Other" -- Viviane Sassen as quoted in About Face, an article featuring her work as a photographer in last month's New York Times
When I was 9 I asked my Mom why there weren't any black bandaids. It was 1980. We were in the car and she didn't have an answer for me. "That's just the way it is," she said.
Hmmm, I thought. That hardly seemed fair.
Someone else thought it wasn't, either. I open up the NYT and am immediately transported to my 9 year old self.
There's something about being different that helps you recognize the Other. For Ms. Sassen, it was life in Africa. Me? Growing up in conservative South during height of Reaganomics. And learning you're gay.
Trust me, they don't teach that at cotillion.
...She points to an image she shot of a friend, Dakar businessman named David. Earlier, she'd seen another local businessman with a typical tan-colored Band-Aid on his dark skin. She says she finds it odd that Band-Aids for non-white people are rare: "Even if you're a well educated, fortunate African you still have to wear a light Band-Aid."
--Dutch artist Viviane Sassen, New York Times
Do you see the Other? To read the article and view her thought provoking work in it's entirety click here.
Beauty in the Eye of the Boulder
No home is complete without an antique barber chair
As in Boulder, CO. Sure, the election has us thinking fondly of the whole state, not just the area known as The Berkeley of the Rockies, but there's something special about this town that makes the typical thrift store experience just a little more hip... if not high. Ok, I had to slip that in.
All pot smoking references aside (with the exception of this one: won't it be refreshing for Denver and the surrounding towns to lose the whole Wellness concept? The distribution channels are already set. No need for pesky prescriptions or silly medical covers anymore...now I'm done), Boulder is home to some of the coolest treasure trove hunts West of the Mississippi.
Antiquing, thrifting, call it what you will. One man's trash is another man's treasure. Check out these pics from one of my favorite spots I found while getting my hippie fix here.
Never underestimate the power of a thrift store to spice up an interior. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Don't be afraid to think outside the box. I have never understood the person who will go to a furniture store and buy a matching set. Or fill a home with uninspired retail items. THIS is where the magic happens. Express yourself in fun, interesting, one of a kind, often historical and nostalgic decor that comes with a story attached. Like that one time, in Boulder, when you bought an ounce of pot, smoked it and picked out some crazy shit in a funky store....
Did I just say that? Oh, well. It's legal now. As long as the Feds look away.
What kind of far-out, contemporary, fresh, dope (there goes that word again), antique finds have you scored in places like this? Isn't life more interesting when it's one big show and tell? I just exhaled.
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