Thursday, May 31, 2012

By the Sea, By the Sea and a Winner!

This time of year, many of us living in the Midwest start to think of vacations, long weekends, getaways! Where do most of us want to go? To the sea, to the sea,anywhere there  is a cool evening breeze and water. Water to swim in,to go cruising, sailing, fishing or just to have a refreshing drink, sit and relax, gaze out upon the cool waters. A soothing escape from the heat and humidity; even though I adore having four seasons to enjoy.

St. Barts

The Maldives from Slim Paley

Recently I have decided to jump into Pinterest. It has taken me awhile because I am ALREADY on the computer way too many hours. You may see a decrease in commenting as when I read your blog  post I feel I MUST pin some fabulous images IMMEDIATELY!

From Sally Lee by the Sea..... The Australian Coast

Follow me on Pinterest and you will see some of the loves of my life, my interests, my passions! Also the origins of these beautiful images!

We all need time to rejuvenate and revive our creativity by giving our bodies and souls a place to unwind.

Everything you need will fit in these Totes!

Santorini in the Evening  .....My Favorite Island in the World

Now to announce the winner of the Segreto Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors By Leslie Sinclair

Also, Much Thanks to Cristin of Simplified Bee for choosing me to win a $50 Gift Certificate to Wayfair.

Watch for some great Artist Interviews and exciting New Giveaways soon  to come!

Art by Karena

I love to see your comments and thank you all for being great blog friends and supporters of The Arts!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Artist Series 2012 Segreto Finishes and Book Giveaway

Introducing Leslie Sinclair the founder of Segreto Finishes

Leslie lives by the philosophy that upon entering a room, your eyes should not draw a distinction to one element or finish but should see the surroundings as a whole. By developing a palette that complements a home’s architecture and design, surroundings are given a new perspective.

Gilded Sideboard

Leslie, Tell us about how and when it all began… Segreto Finishes.

 I use to run a computer company and after my third was born I really wanted to leave corporate America.  I have always loved to paint and have a passion for home interiors. I just started playing around in my hallway and it grew from there.  My family jokes that I have so many layers in that hall of paint that it has shrunk by 3 feet.

Plaster Finish Foyer

As your business evolved I noticed you went into other areas, for example Art, Decorative Painted Furniture, was that a natural evolution?  

 I think I must get bored easily because I love delving into different areas.  It has been so much fun for me to learn teach and implement so many different things. 

Wall Painting

Gorgeous Cabinet Finish with Contrasting Back of Shelves

 Do you have specialty artists on staff for one area of design or finish? How did you acquire these very talented artisans?

I have a 25 full time employees.  I tend to hire good people who are quick learners with a great work ethic and a good attitude.  I teach and train them from there.  I do have a few key people who have come to me more knowledgeable in certain areas that I was. It has been so fun learning from them as well.

Golden Gilt Leaf Finish

 Segreto has grown exponentially, to what do you attribute that?

I think great customer service is key, being on time and on schedule, and truly appreciating the opportunity to make someone’s home more special.

Decorative Ceiling Motif  with with a fabulous Lantern
Your book is one of the most popular among designers, the Images are exquisite! When did writing the book become a reality? 

Thank you!!  It took me about 3 years to photograph and about a year to do the writing and graphic design. 

Are there others in the field that you admire or have been mentors?

I admire much especially the old plasters and  cabinet finishes done centuries before. Love to learn how these techniques have been handed down.  There are so many people in the industry with so much talent. 

Powder Room Wall Art

 Leslie thank you so much for this enlightening Interview and Feature of Segreto Finishes!

 Thank you so much for interviewing me. The book can be purchased on amazon or my website Segreto Finishes.

Segreto Finishes has been featured in many of our favorite Shelter Magazines! Just look at this cover!

Enter to win the incredible book Segreto...Secrets to  Finishing Beautiful Interiors.  Value of  $85 . This Giveaway is open To USA Residents only.

1)  Visit  Segreto Finishes ,come back to tell us what you like!  Sign up for email newsletters on Leslie's Blog, or follow Leslie Sinclair Segreto Finishes on Pinterest. or on Facebook

 2) For extra entry Be a Follower of Art by Karena via GFC or Linky in my right side column

3)  For a third entry Do a shout out on your own blog about Segreto Finishes and this Fabulous Book Giveaway!!

The Winner will be chosen on Wednesday May 30th at Midnight EST!

Thank you for leaving a note  It means so much!

Thank you for being her and for your support of Arts and Design!


Art by Karena 

Disclosure: Leslie is sending me one of her books, Segreto,  Secrets to Finishing Beautiful Interiors! 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

2012 Artists Series Featuring Theresa Cheek of Art's the Answer

Introducing the extremely talented Decorative Painter Theresa Cheek of Art's The Answer

I hope you will enjoy the following interview and images of her spectacular work. 
Theresa says  "Art’s the answer...let me interpret what you see in your head.   Using paint, gold leaf. plasters, egg tempera or a combination of mediums, let me visualize your dreams. I specialize in making things “old and crumbly” with European influences. Painting for over twenty years with a degree in Art History, I approach each project with serious research to give authentic results.

Art’s the answer....let me give you your dreams!
Emphasizing art and decoration in daily life..."

Tell me about when you discovered your desire to paint.

I don't know when I was not attracted to art!

I had my first commission while in my early teens.While earning a BFA in Art History at the Univ. of Texas, I took many studio classes to keep up the painting and drawing. I was always attracted to color and creating. Drawing was my first passion, and painting came later with experience.

  Who has inspired you in this field of decorative painting? Who do you admire from present or past artists working in this genre?

 Artisans that have a passion for lost techniques have influenced me the most in my career.  Contemporaries such as Lucretia Moroni, Jean-Luc Sable, Carolina d'Ayala Valva, Alison Woolley and George Zaffle have all taught me in workshops and influence my style and approach to all of my projects. Pascal Amblard and Pierre Finkelstein are also people that I look to for influence and direction. 

Works by Koo Schadler, Carlo Marchiori , Adrian Card and Miriam Escofet also make my heart beat fast!

 Theresa do you have a specialty within this field of art? ie: Trompe l’oeil, Arabesque, Fois Bois, Cartouche? (You may want to define these terms for readers are not familiar or any other areas of decorative art that you love.)

Deterioration completely fascinates me! My mantra is making things "old and crusty". I love weaving this into trompe l'oeil and arabesque using washes of color, abrading of the surface, waxes and rottenstone. Trompe work is when the subject matter is painted in such a way that it "fools the eye" into thinking the illusion is real. Arabesque is a decorative design based in Arabic or Moorish roots.

  I know that you travel to France and Italy to gain inspiration…does this get fresh ideas percolating for new projects and works of art?

 Definitely! I spent last year and this one documenting fresco work in Florence, Venice and Bologna. Sometimes, just a color combination on a wall or a faded decorative design will inspire an entire project. I take tons of photos never knowing what will spark a new project.

 Would you tell us about a favorite project or two in your career that stand out? I know that you have so many of your projects at Art's the Answer website.

 Chinoiserie is one of my weaknesses! I have done a few rooms with different chinoiserie scenes including pagodas, fruit trees with birds and other Asian elements.

 Where would you suggest that new artists go for instruction/ courses in this field?

There are many conferences that have classroom teaching for students wanting to improve their skills. Art forums also offer incredible first hand knowledge in their archive threads. Art schools and studios offer private smaller classes with artisans as well. Many of these classes advertise on the art forums.

 Lastly, Theresa what kind of advice do you have for new artisans starting in this business?

You must be in it for the long haul.  This must be your passion, you cannot be in it strictly for the money! Diversify your talents and try to stay on trend by attending lectures and conventions. Build files on Pinterest and see what is trending there.  Offer different techniques  on several levels of expertise so price points can vary. Do not be afraid of hard work! In this economy, many jobs are small and require a lot of labor. Read art forums and get involved in the threads, there are many good discussions in the archives. Find a good mentor and pattern yourself after their successes!

Theresa, thank you so much for this interview. As you know I love your  blog Art's the Answer and your Art website Art's the Answer. I could look at your art & designs for hours!!

 Please visit Theresa's blog and art site; you will be thrilled with the Fine Artistry  you see!!

The winner of the Crystal Scented Candle Urn from Tina and her Enchanted Home Shop is  Cathy Wall from the Fabulous Room RX

I also want to thank Emily from the wonderful blog Splendid Market for a luxurious Spa Soap from The Malibu Ranch, A Pedometer, which I am already using and a tote Bag!


Art by Karena 

Thanks to all of my readers who support the Arts, Artists, Entrepreneurs and Fellow Bloggers 

Your comments mean so very much!

Images and some text courtesy of Art's the Answer

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Featuring Tina from The Enchanted Home An Interview and Giveaway

Once in awhile a new blogger comes along who captures and inspires us through her lifelong  dream she is bringing to fruition. This is so with Tina of The Enchanted Home.

She has shared with us the phases of building her families dream home; the decisions, the dilemmas, the dramas! A woman with such superb taste that she then decided to open her own shop, with many of the exquisite items she loves and chose  for her new home! Her motto is "great style is always in fashion". "Trends come and go but the classics are here forever and part of the fun is reinventing the past!"
By the way, her prices are substantially below retail. 

Please enjoy my interview with Tina and then enter for a chance to win a sensual candle from her boutique !

Tina, Tell me about your early background/ Interior Design and where you feel your sense of style came from?
I had one year of interior design school (after college) but then got pregnant and got busy raising a family. Always had an interest since I was a young girl and was known to visit a relative, persuade them to spend a few hours on the other side of the house only to have me work my magic (or so I thought at 13) so they could come back to their newly redecorated space! Sometimes it was met with true delight other times, well, lets just say I was  reprimanded  and was ordered to immediately put everything back in its place :)

Fast forward to later in life ......was lucky enough to do some  interior design work which was well received and then started to do some freelance work as the kids started getting older. I am just about ready to jump back in (as soon as my own home is done, and that is definitely a major priority) I definitely got my sense of style from my mother who has excellent taste and always made it seem so effortless to create a wonderfully elegant home, that was spotless, beautiful and so inviting at the same time. I can only hope I am able to do the same!

Are there certain Interior Designers you admire or have as mentors?

Definitely love many but a few favorites offhand that come to mind are Charles Faudree, Cathy Kincaid, Bunny Williams, Ralph Lauren,Joe Minton ..these most closely emulate the style that I love.

 We have followed the building of your fabulous home from start to finish…how has that process and choices affected your genre and aesthetics? 

 Well the process certainly opened up  my eyes in a big way…because in my pursuit to learn as much as possible through the Internet, I discovered the world of blogging and needles to say being a part of that world and connecting with so many incredibly talented people has been the best virtual classroom I can imagine. I have been able to fine tune my own style, learn more about what I really love and have gotten countless of incredible ideas and inspirations in doing so. 

I think I have not swayed much in terms of style or what I like, but do think through this experience, its allowed me to crystallize the ideas and concepts which I had that maybe needed some fine tuning. Interestingly, I have files of pictures from many years ago and still am in love with so many of those images now as I was all those years ago. So...I have definitely stayed true to what I love but in building, researching and blogging, have come full circle and feel like i have a really good grasp on what I love and what works.

 What precipitated the opening of your amazing and unique shop? How do you decide what to buy for the boutique?

 So many people were always emailing me asking where I got various things I either bought or were considering…it seemed like a natural evolution for me to open up an online shop. In addition I always wanted my own design shop but also know how involved and demanding it is of ones time so this was the perfect happy medium and an excellent way for me to slowly get my feet wet again working in the design world. And I am having a ball! 

The only things I buy for my shop are things I either have or would put in my own home. It is a total and honest reflection of what I love and my personal style. I am always on the prowl for the next great thing, ideally something not easily or commonly found. I love hearing from my readers/customers and getting their take on things and hearing their suggestions.


 Is there advice you would give to 1) a friend building a new home/ starting out in design/ or opening an online boutique?

 Yes, be sure you have lots and lots of patience will need it. Add at least 15-20% more time and cost to whatever time estimates and price quotes you have in mind. I guarantee it will go over at least that. There is no such thing as too much research, the Internet makes this remarkably accessible so type away and keep on learning. Subscribe to at least 4 or 5 good design blogs that are in sync with your personal style. The daily posts will provide more inspiration than you can imagine. 

Stick to what you love and what makes you genuinely happy. Don't sacrifice, you will regret it later. Good things are worth waiting for…and even if it means spending more time looking or waiting for it to arrive…in the end you will be glad you did. 

One last tidbit, spend the most money you can out of your budget on the things that are either impossible to difficult to change later, windows, moldings, doors, facade details, you can always change the aesthetics but the bones of the house are what is going to give your home the character and personality that will make it yours.

Thanks Karen...this was a lot of fun to reflect on the process, what went on to bring about The Enchanted Home shop and has given me a chance to thank blog-land for giving me a gift back..that of being a vast classroom filled with so much knowledge and beautiful inspiration not to mention the many many wonderful and generous people!

 The Giveaway of this lovely scented candle is open to US and Canadian Followers!

 To Enter 

1) Visit The Enchanted Home blog and then click on Tina's Shop in the Upper right hand corner. Come back and tell us what you would love to have (hint to someone, a late surprise gift for Mothers Day) 

2) Be a Follower of Art by Karena Via GFC or Linky

Extra Entries 
3) Post about the Giveaway on Your Site or Put a link and image in your upper sidebar.

4) Be A Follower Of The Enchanted Home

5) Announce the Giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and give us your Username!

Have fun browsing Tina's Shop! 

The winner will be chosen on May 15th Midnight EST

Spread the Love and Much Thanks for supporting our fellow Bloggers, Artists, Architects, Interior Designers and entrepreneurs!

The winner of the beautifully made Angel Wand by Anita, of Castles, Crowns and Cottages is Trino of  Atelier de Campagne


Art by Karena

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