Saturday, April 5, 2014

Let there be light



Lined up in regimental order,  the light towers on the eastern approach to the new 
SAN FRANCISCO-OAKLAND
Bay Bridge
 remind me of some sea creatures standing at attention

state -of-the-art LED lighting
welcoming oncoming traffic
to
ARCHITECT-DONALD MACDONALD
The world's largest, self-anchored, single tower suspension 
gleaming a pristine white against the California sky 
It's  beautiful but 6.4 Billion dollars ?????
Not to be outdone in the East vs West 
'Beauty Pageant'

The Western Span on the San Francisco side

an art-light installation of 25,000 LED lights 
undulates in different patterns every night 
and will continue through March of 2015

How much energy will that require...
At least they are LED lamps

HMMMMM....Wonder who got the electrical contract on that little nugget ?

Light is beauty


Let there be light

Channeling  light has always been an interesting  challenge 


Caldarium-80BC
Roman Baths
Pompeii
Windows pierce the barrel vaulted ceiling and an oculus directs a shaft of light
on the cold plunge tub 

Thomas Jefferson understood the power of light 
and installed 16 sky lights in Monticello 

The dome at Monticello


and third floor bedrooms flooded with natural light
Did Jefferson study Vermeer's paintings on one of his European trips ?



 Vermeer 's work has been inspirational 
to artists of all genres for over three centuries
Depicting light as it illuminates interiors,

The Artist's Studio
JOHANNES VERMEER
1666
Housed at the Kunsthistoriches Museum
 ( that's a mouth full if you can even begin to pronounce it)
Vienna 
it is one of the largest and most complex 
of Vermeer's paintings  

"...where there is no light there is no beauty."
Albert Hadley

Natural light is first choice when possible


INTERIOR DESIGN-JOHN SALADINO

LIGHT
from the glow of a fire
bouncing off reflective surfaces like silver or gold
creates it's own glow and beauty

but can't substitute  


INTERIOR DESIGN-JOHN SALADINO

 sunlight streaming through a window
bringing everything to life


INTERIOR DESIGN-RELA GLEASON

Add a dash of white to dark interiors
 a touch of freshness as it picks up light
Observe this technique studying old portraits 

 rich colors
become more vibrant when contrasted 
to a fresh white collar or ruff

JOHANNES VERMEER
(Died at the age of 43 leaving a wife and 11 children- surprised his wife survived it)

Hand thrown bowls from Pope Valley Pottery
are both beautiful and functional


The white glaze allows the forms to take center stage
The sheen gives each piece a reflective quality

PHOTO- SARAH LONDSDALE

Potter, Kelly Foley at his kiln 

Axel Vervoordt masterfully manipulates light to create his
magical spaces using natural light whenever possible


The latest in the Axel Vervoordt library
is
LIVING WITH LIGHT


A primitive slab of wood takes on it's own artistry
 with the play of light and shadows

as do these stone troughs


The shadows of foliage create a dramatic mood
in a simple corner
at Axel's home outside Antwerp

Mirrors present opportunities to play with the reflective qualities of light

at the same time expanding spaces 


DESIGN-RELA GLEASON

 and doubling  the light
both natural and artificial

Steel sash doors glazed with mirror  
flank  niches at either side of fireplace
adding depth and increasing  light


A collection of gold framed mirrors 
on a chocolate brown wall 
draws light
and glamour into a dark room

INTERIOR DESIGN-FISHER WEISMAN

Interiors that "whisper luxury."

JEFFRY WEISMAN-ANDREW FISHER 
San Francisco designers,
 Andrew Fisher and Jeffry Weisman
have masterfully incorporated antiqued mirrors 
to panel the walls of a
 Nob Hill apartment


They share their limitless experience in their book
ARTFUL DECORATION

 With the launch of their retail resource

ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST
 www.casaacanto.com
San Francisco-San Miguel de Allende 

many of the products of their combined talents
are now available


 Candlesticks
by
Andrew Fisher

ROPE SCONCE
Matching chandelier available


The latest introductions in the 

CASA ACANTO COLLECTION  
are truly 
OVER THE TOP 


Glamorous Chandeliers 


THE GRAND TIER 

Gilded canopies of interlocking circles 

Encrusted in Dutch metal leaf
Dripping with what look like gold feathers
MIDAS CLASSIC
They reflect

MIDAS PLANK 
They glimmer

MIDAS TABLE LAMP
They glow

They DAZZLE


Almost futuristic ,  yet reminiscent of ancient  Aztec motifs 
it's appropriate that these glorious creations are handcrafted
south of the border 


MONTEZUMA II
Leader of the Aztecs
Wearing his famous headdress of feathers

Senor Andreas de Pescador
Yo creo que es su inspiration...
SI ?????
Montezuma gave little value to gold -EVEN THE REAL KIND-
other then as decoration
so he willingly gave it to Cortes, the Spanish conquistador

Gold Rush


24K gold leaf on hand wrought wire
strung on leather
I on the other hand could be easily convinced that 
I need one of these exquisite 'decorations'
by Senor Fisher 
available at Casa Acanto

Andrew's Midas Touch extends to
 his gilded paper and burlap creations are stunning

Framed in 24k Italian gold leafed frames 
adding  brilliance to any interior

Marvel at each tiny individually 
hand cut- 
hand gilded- 
hand folded
 and then 
hand sewn
nugget

HERNAN CORTES
Cortes arrived in Mexico in 1518 in search of gold
for the coffers of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain


The monarchs needed the gold to finance expeditions 
to the new world 
where they were hoping to convert the natives to Catholicism
while also building up the Spanish armada for future conquest closer to home
(There are those white ruffs)

Feathers and more feathers

In 1521 Cortes stopped playing nice and conquered the Aztecs
decimating a culture that had thrived from the early 13th century

GO FOR THE GOLD

So... speaking of gold


SCYTHIAN GOLD
so ancient yet so modern in it's bold simple shapes

CRIMEA: Gold and Secrets of the Black Sea
A treasure trove of golden objects made by 
Scythians-
a nomadic steppe tribe who inhabited what is now eastern Europe 
in the 7th-2nd century BC

Objects on exhibit in Amsterdam
are now the center of dispute between Russia and the Ukraine
There is a legal question of exactly who the collection
should be returned to when the exhibition closes on May 18th.  

I'd wager my gold on strong arm Vladimir 

What is old is new again:
Ancient treasures, hand wrought with bold simplicity and integrity 

Design inspiration - YES

RING- ELIZABETH GAGE



EARRINGS: ELIZABETH LOCKE



&

Nationalistic Pride - YES

Diego Rivera the  Mexican muralist and husband of artist, Freda Kalo
was fascinated with Pre- Colombia art
Technically anything produced before the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the New world 
but also anything that preceded the 
arrival of the Europeans-hence
PRE-HISPANIC
Rivera amassed a massive collection of about 60,000 pieces
believing these treasures should never leave Mexico 

He had a vision to build a museum to house his collection;
realized but not completed before his death


MUSEO DIEGO RIVERA ANAHUACALLI
Mexico City
is often overlooked

It's a MUST !!!!

Designed of volcanic stone to resemble Aztec pyramids
the museum houses over 2000 pieces 


 Rivera clearly understood the magic he could create 
by manipulating the  fall of light into the interiors

A mystical quality hangs in the air





with artifacts beautifully displayed
An ancient earthenware bowl called a lebrillo
dating from before 700 AD
Diego Rivera Collection
Anahuacalli


Modern lebrillos whose form has not changed in over 1000 years
painted by contemporary artists, Luca Bray,
on display at the Talaveras museum
 Puebla, Mexico

The third floor of Anahuacalli is Diego's studio 
which he did not live to see.
It houses the sketches for his famous murals
Massive window surfaces north facing,  flood the space

So drop all preconceived ideas you have about Mexico and Mexico DF.
This unique city so near and yet so 'far'


Ancient and yet so modern and cutting edge 

Great restaurants- Great hotels- Great design-Great museums

and the smog is just about gone

The vastness remains as does the traffic 

but the city will not disappoint 
Mexico City is a very cosmopolitan place-
 It has once again arrived
(I have barely scratched the surface of all there is to see and do- stay tuned)


The natives are friendly

BTW... don't expect to have tacos  at every meal

though you might be tempted 
after trying one of these

Don't hesitate to order up several from a street vendor
...and never forget 
that ubiquitous squeeze of lime
Mexicans even squeeze it on popcorn

it will "light up your food"


Buen provecho !


Light /White  Chile

1 Rotisseried Chicken- Cosco's is The Best in my opinion
Remove all the meat from the bones and dice into 1" chunks

2 Cups-4 Cups chicken stock- 
you can make a very rich stock from the skin and bones of the rotisseried chicken by cooking them down in 6 cups of water with 2 stalks celery, 1 large yellow onion and 3 carrots

1 yellow onion diced
2 cloves fresh garlic minced
2 TBLS. olive oil
2  4 oz cans diced green chile peppers
2- 15.5  oz cans white beans
2 TSP Oregano
2 TSP Cumin
1/4 TSP Cayenne
1/4 TSP Cloves
1.5-2 pints chicken stock
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1 fresh lime

Garnishes
1 cup shredded Pepper Jack cheese
4 fresh limes
1 bunch fresh cilantro
diced red onion
shelled sunflower seeds

Fresh tomatoe salsa optional
sour cream optional

Saute the diced yellow onion and minced garlic in olive oil until transluscent about 5 minutes
Add the diced chiles and spices and mix well
Add the beans, stock and chicken and bring to a simmer
Cover and continue cooking on a low heat for 1/2 hour
Squeeze in the juice of one lime
Season with salt and pepper to taste

Add stock if chile feels too dry- It should be a bit soupy and it will thicken up as the garnishes are added

Serve in individual bowls and allow everyone to select their own combination of garnishes

Hasta la Vista

RELA

4 comments:

sheila said...

855When I decided to paint, I was surprised to see that shadows can be as artsy as the object being painted. Maybe even more because it is based on nothing, only the was the light falls around it! ( <:

Linda B said...

Rela, I've been waiting for inspiration for a new color scheme in my living room for THREE years. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting the photo of the Vermeer painting! I now have my inspiration! Love your blog.

Antonia said...

LOVE this post. I love the transitions from one subject to the other -- all of which are fascinating. And living in an environment where there is light -- even small amounts of reflective light -- is such a gift.

Tim Jacobs said...

always amazed by rela's wandering mind....like the voyage of ulysses...it goes everywhere and often to unexpected places. a true delight.