Monday, January 26, 2015

Introducing Artist Frederique Chemin

The discovery of Frederique Chemin's works of art is like a burst of sunlight in the midst of a gray winter. Her layered vivid imagery and saturated color brings her paintings to life. Please enjoy some of works of art and our interview. Frederique lives and works in both Paris and Aix en Provence.

In her own words: "In my paintings, there are always little, yet significant figurative details within a mainly  abstract approach. I like the immersion into color and matter and I like the impact large paintings have. But I also like when some figurative references trigger imagination. Like tracks that would tell the viewers of my paintings where to follow- like a compass of the spirit. I like the different levels of reading, where different elements combine to form a global vision that everyone can see or feel in their own way."

Bella Vista
Cartography I Series

1) I understand that you became interested in art at a very young age. Would you tell us more about that?

I have always loved painting and drawing. When I was a child, I spent hours immersed in my work.  It has always been my favorite occupation! I would have skipped school and everything else to be able to remain at my table with my colors and brushes.

I was fortunate to have a drawing teacher in school who noticed my passion for art when I was 10. He offered to take me to the School of Beaux Arts in Paris where he had a private studio.  As a finalist in the Prix de Rome contest, he taught me oil painting. We walked through the entire school and its different studios. I was so amazed! I decided I would study art at this school when I grew up - and that's what I did. My teacher eventually won the Prix de Rome and went to Rome for several years and I never saw him again, but I am very grateful to him for having opened the door of this universe to me.

Spring Garden
Cartography I Series
des Fruites des Fleurs
Cartography I Series

2) Where does your inspiration come from?

It comes from life! I like to try to catch the part of a dream, happiness and beauty that is present in life. I try to give people who look at my paintings the joy of colors and space, like an "invitation to a  journey"* in a special way. I am inspired by the many things and places I see and things I live. Good memories, emotions, looking at my children and remembering the child I used to be (and still am)!

15th of August
Cartography II Series

My Paris Dream
Cartography II Series

3) Have you had a mentor or who are some artists who have influenced and inspired you?

I love the work of many artists. I admire Raoul Duffy for the lightness of his lines and  his various skills, Matisse for the "luxury, calm and delight"* he provides for us and Mark Rothko for his mastery of color. I love Edward Hopper for the deep feelings present in his paintings, Picasso for his freedom, and many more!

Plonger dans l'Eau Bleue
Cartography Series III

Villa Serene
Cartography III Series
4) What effect did your studies at l'Ecole Nationale SupĂ©rieure des Beaux-Arts de Paris have on your aesthetic?

It was a wonderful place to be. You had a studio you would share with other students.  You could exchange ideas about art and life, creating the future in a place where you could feel the greatness of the past! I had a wonderful teacher, a painter called Amor who taught me that I had to find my own way and my own technique.

Play with Me
Cartography IV Series

Jeux d'Eau
Cartography IV Series

5) When you have time to relax, what activities do you enjoy?

I love reading, playing music, watching movies and outdoor activities allowing me to be in contact with nature like swimming and skiing.

un Jacinthe ou un Crocus
Black Cartography Series

My American Dream
Black Cartography Series

6) Where can our readers find your art? Do you have upcoming gallery exhibits?

You can follow me on Facebook and on my website. You can see my paintings at Gallery 32 Fine Arts in New York. I will have an exhibition in Paris in Spring 2015 and one in Aix en Provence in May 2015.

Miroir, Miroir
Black Cartography Series

7) Finally what words of wisdom you have for the aspiring artist of any age?

I would say find in yourself what is your particularity, what really belongs to you that you want to share with others; the colors of the song you want to sing! And if you feel like being an artist, go ahead, make your dream come true. Don't give up or let anything stop you from doing it!

*"Invitation To The Journey" Charles Baudelaire

Be sure to visit Frederique's website to see more of her art, her upcoming events and to learn more about this fascinating artist. This is the link to her Facebook Page.

Much thanks goes to Paula Winke, marketing and public relations consultant, who made the introduction.  Paula is based in Kansas City; however her work with clients takes her throughout North America and abroad.

Thank you to my Family, Friends and Followers who support The Arts!
Please sign up for email alerts to find out about my latest features. 

The Arts by Karena

Monday, January 12, 2015

Renowned Interior Designer Paul Vincent Wiseman & The Wiseman Group: Inner Spaces

Chosen as one of the years top ten design books by, Inner Spaces: Paul Vincent Wiseman and The Wiseman Group is indeed  a favorite in my library as well. Inner Spaces was published this October, 2014 by  Gibbs Smith, written by Brian D. Coleman, and includes forewords by the esteemed architect Frank Gehry and industry critic Paul Goldberger. Matthew Millman's fine photography brings the featured homes to life in this book.

Paul Vincent Wiseman

I was privileged to have a conversation with Paul recently and learned a great deal about the man himself whom I have come to admire greatly; as well as the incredible success of The Wiseman Group founded by this talented man at the young age of twenty seven in 1980. He has a wonderful sense of humor and each home in this book feels completely authentic, comfortable and curated just for the homeowner. Please enjoy!

In this Victorian Russian Hill update, as well as his other projects, Paul employs the use of  wabi-sabi: the Japanese art of finding  beauty in imperfection, in antiques, and the transient nature of all things.

1) Paul, thank you so much for taking the time to comment for this feature. What first inspired you to take the career path of an Interior Designer?

I was always drawing and building houses as a kid. When I was in college, a childhood friend (whose home is in the book) 
 said to me, ‘Why are you studying political science? All you ever do is talk about art and history. Why don't you do something with art history and architecture?" With that, Wiseman says, “everything just started falling into place.”
The highly regarded and widely recognized Wiseman Group, now in business thirty five years, is not known for a "look". That is because Paul and his staff listen to their clients needs and want their homes to reflect that. Paul lost much of his hearing at a young age and he believes that not only sharpened his other senses; it causes him to listen very closely and consciously.

Astute collectors, this couple's living room contains paintings by Alex Katz, de Kooning, and David Park. There are antique Asian ceramics as well as a contemporary sculpture by Henry Moore on the mantlepiece.

One of Paul's favorite rooms to decorate  in a home is the library because he feels it truly reflects the client's personality and interests.  

Details on a vanity and a stunning view.

2) Your travels at a young age must have been so inspiring. How did that affect your design aesthetic?

In connecting the dots. I turned 18 in Athens, 21 in Tasmania, and 25 in Paris. Three weeks in Bhutan, where the architecture and the monks' dwellings first used feng shui. The Grand Canyon is perfection. My travels have been a profound experience and continue to be.

The owners of this Spanish-Mediterranean Villa in San Francisco asked Paul to combine traditional architecture with their iconic contemporary art collection.

A small vintage fixture found in Paris inspired the lighting created for the entry and home. It is carried over into the kitchen, with three of these pendants hanging over the island.

Open galleries include art by Takashi Murakami, Anish Kapoor and others.  The art collection is often rotated

3) How does art and sculpture complete your vision in design. What does that mean to you?

We have been very fortunate to work with clients who have great art collections.  Art is very personal. In a lecture I gave at Carlton Hobbs upon the release of my book the first image I show is of the Lascaux, France cave dwellings. Man's first efforts at interior design, show paintings of the hunt, altars, sacred objects, and rooms for retreat and comfort.

The focal points of this dining room include a stunning view as well as this shimmering Gerhard Richter painting.

The Living Room includes many custom designed pieces by TWG with works of art by Richard Prince and Sigmar Polke

4) Did you have mentors or others in the design world you deeply admire?

Many, including Frank Gehry of course, the late Ricardo Legorreta, Renzo Mongiardino in my early years, for his detail, and John Saladino who is a great influence and friend. I am going sailing with Frank this weekend and to a production at the Disney Concert Hall he designed.

This sophisticated high-rise in Chicago is home to an accomplished pianist who wanted space for his beloved Steinway and his art collection.

Four custom rugs, all unique yet related with a cloud-like feel pull the varied art and elements together. A Noguchi twisted floor lamp mimics skyscrapers in the distance.

The dining room chandelier consists of custom lighting pendants with quotes from Michelangelo. They illuminate the area without blocking the panoramic views of Lake Michigan below.

5) You give a lot of credit to your extremely talented team and the artisans who work with you. 

I liken myself to the conductor of a symphony or the editor in chief of a magazine. What we provide does not happen quickly; however it is well worth the wait. I tell my clients that they are the patron energy of our time to these artists and artisans.

Paul at his home in Marin County

Although Paul has designed homes for many icons of industry, many of whom entertain lavishly, his and his partner, Richard Neil Snyder's own home in Marin County is designed for relaxation.

6) Paul, what advice do you have for the beginning designer?

Travel, travel, travel. Become knowledgeable about the history of the field of Interior Design. 

7) When you have the time, what do you enjoy doing for relaxation?

Gardening, the grounds are beautiful, the house was built in 1912, and I have  converted a lot of the plantings to succulents.

Cooking. Marin County is the mothership of organic food and I go every week to the Farmer's Market at the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center.

Reading. We are bibliophiles and have 10,000 books between us. My partner is a law professor and historian.

8) What are your favorite vacation spots?

I've traveled a great deal over the years and do not as much anymore except for our clients. For personal travel, I love Hawaii and the Aman Hotels are my favorites anywhere, especially Java, Bali, and Bhutan !

As with all of his design projects, in Paul and Richard's home, as much thought has gone into the integration of the exterior architecture and gardens as the interiors.

Your personal philosophy, aesthetic?

Gratitude, live in gratitude and it radiates out from you.

At the front entrance of a home Paul designed on Hawaii's Big Island.

The Lascaux Caves in France, an image that Paul references to describe the deep personal connection we have to our interior spaces.

The Wiseman Group with Paul and his talented team of designers, including principals James Hunter, Brenda Mickel, and Mauricio Munoz at their San Francisco office.

You have seen examples from only a few of the many stellar homes around the world featured in Inner Spaces. This is a book to enjoy for many years to come and may be purchased at Amazon or your local book seller.

Be sure to visit The Wiseman Group's website at 

My thanks go out to Paul Vincent Wiseman, to Gibbs Smith and to Andrew Joseph PR.

Thank you to my Family, Friends, and Followers who support The Arts

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The Arts by Karena

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