Friday, April 30

Found on Etsy

A few things:

1) I love cows. I will commission a giant oil painting of a cow for my living room one day.

I'm serious.

Cow in Tall Grass by Peacock Garden

Mama Cow 2 by Peacock Garden

Max and Ruby by Peacock Garden

Early Risers by Peacock Garden

2) Meet Gordon:

Gordon the Dog by Karen Fincannon

Gordon is begging to come live with me. Begging. I pointed out to Gordon that he is $80.00 and that is kind of alot for a ceramic dog. He said you can't put a price on cuteness and that he would make a great birthday present. I really can't argue with that.

3) Meet Gordon's friend Rachel:

Rachel the Cow

Wednesday, April 21

Tell me the truth

Am I lame because I think this commercial for the new season of The Hills is seriously cool?

I don't even watch The Hills. The only thing I watch on MTV is 16 and Pregnant (don't judge me.)

The song is called 'New in Town' by Little Boots. Oh yeah, I downloaded it.

Tuesday, April 20


I'm back! After spending hour upon hour sitting in the airport waiting for the volcanic ash to clear I am finally back stateside.

You have probably been wondering where I've been! Well...

I spent the last week here. Swimming in ridiculously nice hotel pools.

Buying crepes from street vendors and drinking lots of wine.

Soaking in views of the Seine, taking pictures, navigating the metro and putting those nine painful years of French classes to work.

I went to Mass at Sacre-Coeur and spent a whole day in the Louvre. I even did some art shopping in Montmartre too. It was heavenly.

Cafe at Montmarte by Mary Lou Mack

Chestnut Tree by Cellia Saubry

Hommage a Toulouse Lautrec les jardins de la Butte
by Jean Prevos

Kidding! The only French thing in my life is asleep on the couch right now. Snoring, farting and occasionally wagging his tail.

It sure was a nice thought though. That swimming pool looks pretty good, doesn't it? Maybe when I win the lotto one day...

Non, non. I have been here in the good ol' US of A. Here, but really busy and feeling a bit uninspired. So, please pardon the lack of posts. I'll be back. I promise.

In the meantime...perhaps ma petite soeur will make a few more regular appearances.

Hint hint. :)

Pool courtesy of the Ritz Carlton, Paris
Café by Shawn Lipowsk
Art by Cellia Saubry and Jean Prevos via this lovely blog.
Other images unknown?!

Tuesday, April 13

One of Manet's muses

Édouard Manet's pretty redheaded model appears in many of his paintings. The woman was Victorine Meurent, and while she was a painter in her own right, she is best known for her work as a model for artists such as Manet, Edgar Degas, and even Henri Toulouse-Lautrec!

Portrait of Victorine Meurent
Édouard Manet, 1862
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

She even exhibited in the 1876 Paris Salon-yet her role as the controversial figure in many of Manet's famous paintings is what she has been best remembered by.

Woman with Parrot
Édouard Manet, 1866
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Manet first saw Victorine walking down a Parisian street with a guitar in her hand.

Luncheon on the Grass
Édouard Manet, 1863
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Victorine in the Costume of a Matador
Édouard Manet, 1862
Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC

Her most famous (and scandalous!) work as a model...

Édouard Manet, 1863
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

This painting was actually inspired by a painting by the great Renaissance painter Titian:

Venus of Urbino
Titian, 1538
Uffizi Gallery, Italy

Monday, April 12

Good Bye Dixie Carter

Holy Dress!

Very good reader Wes. Even my resident historian didn't get it at first glance (I know, I was shocked too.) So, enjoy the next 24 seconds with my congratulations:

Since Wes didn't give it away totally I'll let the rest of you stew over my hint (and his comment) for one more day. Translation: that post isn't quite ready, sorry it was a busy, busy weekend.

Now, on a completely different topic. Don't you think this would be a great church dress?

Color Guard Dress by ModCloth

I do. I think you would really blend in if you wore it to Mass at Paris' Sainte Chappell:

Sainte Chappell
Building circa 1248
Image Courtesy of

I'm not kidding, you would practically melt away into the walls. The 13th century floor to ceiling stained glass windows cast colorful shadows in every direction. Walking through the front door of this high-gothic jewel box is like stepping into a gigantic kaleidoscope.

Sainte Chappell
Windows circa the 13th to the 15th centuries
Image courtesy of

You may not be quite as camouflaged by these modern beauties, created by the talented artists of Laws Stained Glass Studios in Statesville, NC. But, you would definitely coordinate!

New Corinth Baptist Church
Rutledge, TN

First Christian Church
Smithfield, NC

Friday, April 9


If you can tell me who was born here:

Well, you know the drill. No cheating. See ya Monday!

Thursday, April 8

We said most...

Fiori Di Como by Dale Chihuly
The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas
c. 1998

Dale Chihuly is overrated. Why museums and universities (like this one) fall all over themselves for something that is made by apprentices and looks just like something that every other museum and university already has is beyond me.

Wednesday, April 7

A few pictures

What Easter Weekend looks like in the Carolinas:

The best part of spring

Tulips in the front yard

Love these adorable Easter crosses in front of St. Patrick's Elementary School in Charlotte. I've filed this away for next Easter / when I get a jig saw:

Happy Easter!

Huckleberry the Basset Hound spent his weekend lounging:

Allergies won't stop this dog!
and getting some love:

Huck & Aunt Jenny

*His ears are yellow because he was dragging them through pollen. This is not the best time of year for dogs who are allergic to both trees and grass!

Monday, April 5

Permission to frat

Two summers ago, we packed all of our frattiest clothes and headed off to Cape Cod and Nantucket for our honeymoon (we also went to Boston and Maine, it was an awesome trip full of lots of nerdy historical stuff.) When we rolled up to Cape Cod we were expecting something like this:

So naturally, we were really surprised to find that pretty much everyone looked (and acted) like this:

The Cast of MTV's Jersey Shore

It was NOT fratty. As we sat at dinner one night, clearly out-fratting everyone in the restaurant, we decided that the true home of frattiness is not the exclusive beach towns of Cape Cod, it is the South. (I really don't know why we ever even questioned that fact.)

Here in the South, we strictly adhere to these rules, no matter how hot it may be outside:
  • No white bottoms after labor day. Unless it is made of wool or it is a wedding dress, it is not allowed.
  • No seersucker, eyelet, madras or linen after labor day. This applies to both sexes.
  • No pastel colors on men until the temperature is 65 degrees or until Easter arrives, whichever comes first.
  • I don't really like white shoes, but if I did, there would be no wearing them after labor day.
  • No straw purses or natural fiber on shoes until Easter. That means espadrilles are out (I know, this is a tough one.)
  • You may wear a bathing suit at any point during the year however, your suit and/or cover up cannot be made out of any of the above fabrics mentioned in the first bullet point.
It has been a long winter of rule following and so I am please to announce that today is a day of celebration! The rules are officially off for the next 5 months. I am currently outfitted in both white and linen. Hubby is in pastel. Huckleberry, being a hound, is naturally fratty. We are a hard fratting family.

So, in honor of today, the day after Easter and the Frattiest Day of the Year, I would like to introduce you to Art History's Top Ten Most Fratty:

10) The Gibson Girl

Illustrator Charles Dana Gibson invented female frat when he introduced the quintessential American girl-next-door to the world. Gibson Girls were the female ideal at the turn of century, dominating magazines and the advertising world from the 1890's to the 1910's. They were beautiful and well-mannered while being competitive, athletic and sassy all at the same time. The wore all of the latest fashions and had men wrapped around their fingers.

9) Hamilton's Coca-Cola Girls

Much like Gibson's Girls, Hamilton King's advertisements for the Georgia-born soft drink are as classic as the refreshing drink they advertise. This King ad was circulated in 1912.

8) George Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, 1886

Hanging out on the Island of La Grande Jatte was the 19th century Parisian equivalent to tailgating. Dress up, get there early, sit, drink and repeat.

7) Anything by Guy Harvey

Rainbow Country by Guy Harvey

Guy Harvey artwork is best displayed on the back of a men's t-shirt, worn with slightly too short khaki shorts and Costa Del Mar glasses.

6) Dogs

That, my boy, is a duck by Ross B. Young

A portrait of your hunting dog makes excellent office/ man room art. (Why yes, we do have a oil painting of a Basset Hound in our house.) Some of my favorite depictions of hunting dogs are by English romantic painter George Stubbs (1724-1806.) Stubbs really set off the trend of sporting dog art, but he is just now gaining recognition as a masterful dog and equine painter, 200+ years after his death.

A Couple of Foxhounds by George Stubbs

5) Marine Art

Sailing Regatta by Catalina Decaire

Where would fratty people be today without the sailboat? Afterall, the sailboat gave birth the frattiest shoe known to man, the Sperry Top-sider.

Marine art has actually been around a long time, making it the most historically fratty on this list. For as long as people have been building ships, artists have been painting them. The Dutch, who were the world's best shipbuilders during the 17th and 18th century, were particularly keen on marine painting.

4) Luncheon of the Boating Party by Pierre- Auguste Renoir, 1881

The French and the American South share many cultural similarities (I'm sure my husband could explain all of the historical reasons behind this, the French connection to the American Civil War yada yada but I'm not going to get into that today.) Being able to slow down and relax like the Boating Party is very fratty.

3) The Official Kentucky Derby Commemorative Poster

Each year an artist is picked to commemorate the second frattiest day of the year, Kentucky Derby Day. This year, French artist Linda Le Kinff's colorful, Henri Matisse inspired painting was selected as the Official Art of the Kentucky Derby.

2) Bacchus by Caravaggio, 1597

The frat flip! The toga! The beverage offer! As far as fratty art history figures go, Caravaggio's Bacchus is as fratty as they get.

1) SEC Football Stadium Panoramas

Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn University

Can you honestly get any frattier than a framed panorama of 87,451 of the frattiest people in America all fratting together? Of course you can't.

Honorable Mention: The Lynch Bench Series by Johnny Lynch

(Just look at it. I couldn't leave this off the list.)

Thursday, April 1

I got nothin

Art is funny. Sometimes it jumps out and grabs you and sometimes, it doesn't. Right now, nothing is grabbing me. Nothing.

So, here are my top five favorite pieces by John Singer Sargent. Maybe if I stare at them long enough it will get the art juices flowing again. I can't rank them, that would be way too hard. So here they are in random order.

circa 1878, Oil
The Warner Collection of Gulf States Paper Corporation
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Because I would love to be the woman perched on the ledge--feet up, clapping and letting the southern Italian wind blow through my hair.

circa 1908, Oil
The Bill Gates Collection

Because their faces and robes are gorgeous. And when I say their I really mean "her." It's the same young woman (his niece) in 7 different poses. I know, (sigh), he was so talented.

Villa di Marlia (A Fountain, Lucca Italy)
circa 1910, Watercolor
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

I love the patina on terracota pots and I love the lemons too. I tried to copy this last year in my own garden. The lemon tree didn't make it but the pot is getting there.

Carnation, Lily, Lily Rose
c. 1885, Oil
The Tate Gallery, London

The way the lanterns glow makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I like how the little girl in the front is focusing on carefully lighting her's too. It's cute.

circa 1905, Watercolor
The Brooklyn Museum, New York

Because Sargent blue beats Titian blue any day of the week. (Yes, I know that some people may think that is crazy talk.)

So, I'll be back when something grabs me, or hits me, or speaks to me or whatever you want to call it. Jenny calls it "lack of inspiration." Maybe I've got a little case of that.

PS. Today is my wonderful husband's birthday. Here is his favorite piece of art:

Dogs Playing Poker by Cassius Coolidge
circa the early 1900's (yes, it really is that old!)

April Fools! He actually has really wonderful taste in art and he is a huge history nerd. Just two of the many reasons why I married him :) Happy Birthday A!