Brueghel

By Beth Scanlon
on December 23, 2013
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Brueghel is in my life this week.  His painting is on the cover and referenced in the book I am reading. I used a postcard of the first image above as a gift tag for a package sent to my dear friend because the colors matched the paper bow.  And, we watched two movies over the holiday weekend, White Christmas and Museum Hours. A scene in Museum Hours, filmed in the Brueghel gallery of the Kunsthistorisches, sent me on a search for Auden's poem about Brueghel.  I've copied it here because Brueghel has been a welcome guest.

 

MUSEE DES BEAUX ARTS

W.H. Auden

 

About suffering they were never wrong,

The old Masters: how well they understood

Its human position: how it takes place

While someone else is eating or opening a window or just

walking dully along;

How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting

For the miraculous birth, there always must be 

Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating

On a pond at the edge of the wood:

They never forgot

That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course

Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot

Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's

horse

Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

 

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away

Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may

Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,

But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone

As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green

Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen

Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,

Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

 

 

Spicebush Swallowtail

By Beth Scanlon
on December 21, 2013
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My daughter Meg said, "Oh look, You made them fly".  We both like the butterfly stamps.

Intermezzo

By Beth Scanlon
on December 20, 2013
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For me this Acque Nobili advertisement was the lemon sorbet of December's visual feast.  I eagerly shuffled my papers to see how I could capture the freshness. The Italian Garden photograph is from the Acqua di Parma website.

Christmas Cards

By Beth Scanlon
on December 05, 2013
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Painting the cloud backdrops is one among many of the enjoyable tasks I perform in my studio. Yesterday, I took the day off to prepare our Christmas cards. They are painted clouds, my studies of a Sky Study, c. 1869, pastel by Edgar Degas.  Thank you to P. Gaye Tapp for posting Degas' work on pinterest.  It was such a fun exercise, I was carefully looking at the Degas for each card yet they are all different.

Marble Sampler

By Beth Scanlon
on December 01, 2013
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The first photograph shows a marble sampler in The New York Times Style Magazine on Travel, November 17.  I used that idea for the front of this letter holder.  The second photograph depicts Laura Sartori Rimini of Studio Peregalli in front of a wall of pieced paper also in The New York Times Style Magazine this time in the issue on Luxury, November 3.   I pieced the paper on the back of my letter holder but I substituted a marble floor pattern from Saint Mark's. The resulting letter holder seems festive and old world to me.

Venetia

By Beth Scanlon
on November 22, 2013
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When paired with Venetia, this paper becomes reflected marble and swirling seaweed in green effervescent water. The shell pink lining completes it.  When I finished, I went searching for the paper weight purchased years ago at the New Jersey shore.  I wonder, would this piece please a Venetian?

The image is from Braun & Hogenberg's Civitates Orbis Terrarum, Cologne.  The map, published in 1572, depicts Venice viewed from the south with important buildings shown in profile. 

George Stubbs, Zebra, 1762

By Beth Scanlon
on November 12, 2013
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Portrayed against the Buckingham House landscape, the first zebra in Britain was a gift to Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III.  Artist George Stubbs, best known for his sporting pictures, seems to have painted this work without a commission.  It remained with him throughout his life.  

I was delighted by the pairing of this Spanish marble with the zebra.  I added more color to my painted backdrop to pick up the the yellow in the marbled paper.  I first saw a painting of a zebra in a woodland setting in the home of my chic friend Leann and I am happy to offer it here.

Orange and Gold

By Beth Scanlon
on November 09, 2013
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The picture above is Tiepolo's fresco Figure of Asia from the stairwell of the Residenz Wurzberg.  The image is in the public Domain from Wikimedia.

"It is inevitable-and right- to see his frescoes as a novel in installments, where the same characters meet up, from one end of Europe to the other, changing-sometimes only minimally-costume and pose.  They are a crowded caravan, swaying, more gypsylike than courtly. They emerge from and plunge into tents like the one with blue and white stripes-long, low, and mysterious-painted on the ceiling above the grand staircase in Wurzburg."  Tiepolo Pink  Roberto Calasso

Please don't miss the billowing ivory tent behind everything in the fresco.  Could the figures at the elephant's trunk be magi? Priscilla asked for tents in holiday paper to ship this week to Hollyhock.  When I found these papers in orange and gold I was certain they were right.

Saltire

By Beth Scanlon
on November 04, 2013
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The flag of Scotland is "The Saltire".  The saltire design is a heraldic symbol in the shape of a diagonal cross. I think it makes a striking letter holder.  It would be very bold in a dark color and yet, pretty for a garden room in this Italian green floral. 

An Accommodating Box

By Beth Scanlon
on October 29, 2013
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This is a large box.  It is 16 1/2 inches long, 14 1/4 inches wide and 3 inches deep.  The white paper in the last photograph is a scrapbook page.  The box was designed to hold scrapbook pages, the size pages seen on the desk of Charlotte Moss in the Quintessence video. It would make a lovely gift box for linens or a heavy book. The grosgrain ribbon is built in to the box and its color is eau de nil.  Thank you Howard Slatkin and T magazine for enriching my vocabulary with that lovely name.

Italian Paper Collection

  • Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in brown/blue
    Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in brown/blue Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in brown/blue
  • Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in green/lavender
    Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in green/lavender Baroque letter holder Faux Apt Faience in green/lavender
  • Cartonnage Boat Valet Tray in Italian Paper
    Cartonnage Boat Valet Tray in Italian Paper Cartonnage Boat Valet Tray in Italian Paper
  • Edwardian Triptych Letter Holder in Florentine Metallic Gold Italian Paper
    Edwardian Triptych Letter Holder in Florentine Metallic Gold Italian Paper Edwardian Triptych Letter Holder in Florentine Metallic Gold Italian Paper
  • In-Box with Lid in Blue Tile Italian | SOLD OUT (available in other paper)
    In-Box with Lid in Blue Tile Italian | SOLD OUT (available in other paper) In-Box with Lid in Blue Tile Italian | SOLD OUT (available in other paper)
  • In-Box with Lid in Fierenze Italian Paper
    In-Box with Lid in Fierenze Italian Paper In-Box with Lid in Fierenze Italian Paper
  • In-Box with Lid in Fiori Blue Italian Paper
    In-Box with Lid in Fiori Blue Italian Paper In-Box with Lid in Fiori Blue Italian Paper
  • In-Box with Lid in Giglio Italian Paper
    In-Box with Lid in Giglio Italian Paper In-Box with Lid in Giglio Italian Paper
  • In-Box with Lid in Light Green Marble Paper
    In-Box with Lid in Light Green Marble Paper In-Box with Lid in Light Green Marble Paper