One of my guilty pleasures is watching inspiring videos on the weekends while enjoying a cup of dark roasted coffee. I am drawn to short stories about life in remote places that are raw and beautiful. It seems that these remote places often cherish tradition and craft and I seek out those that carry forth things such as knitting, cooking traditional recipes, boat building or other traditional crafts. In this video, we see a bit of all of these things and a pure appreciation for place and a lifestyle that is chosen for it’s beauty and simplicity.
Glenn Bartley has designed a very inspiring life for himself. He is a world renowned nature photographer and travels the world photographing rare birds and other interesting creatures. Living in British Columbia provides him with endless birding opportunities and an understanding of Northern migrators and the coastal birds that inhabit the cold waters there. He has designed photography tours that are a dreamy way to see beautiful countries,
Birds and the Bees Collection: Mother Nature’s designs humble and inspire us.
They can be powerful or delicate. Simple or intricate. She’s a weaver, a sculptor, a painter, a musician. She has created spaces that feel more like home to us than any other.
We imagine her living space: the forms, colors and textures that surround her. A desk where she can design the weather. A dressing table for crafting scents of flowers,
I greatly admire people that have designed creative lives for themselves. Customizing how you live, what you make, whom you make it for and with and especially— when it’s well crafted and beautifully designed. Nudie Cohn lived a very creative life and his beautiful designs bursted with color and sparkle, each piece telling a personal story. Nudie was born in Kiev in 1902 and at age 11, his parents sent him and his brother to America to escape Czarist Russia.
Around the same time that Sherwood and I got married many years ago, we designed The Wedding Rug. It is a graphic story, with a lot of subtle, personal references to people, places, animals and activities we love. We nod to Gram Parsons and Nudie Cohn, the amazing suit that Nudie made for Gram and the beautiful music Gram made and the musicians he played with,
It’s impossible to live in Maine and not be inspired by the colors of fall. The trees are blasting out reds, oranges, yellow and greens. The ocean is a deep dark blue. The fields are golden, the ocean floor is ripe and textural and the woods are rich and rusty. While considering which architect would be the best fit with our autumn color stories this week, Luis Barragan was the obvious choice for his use of color and form.
Our posts this week all have a Scottish theme, which is a great opportunity for us to learn a bit more about tartans and plaids. Tartans are actually what most of us consider plaids— a criss crossed pattern woven in wool. In Scotland, plaids are the textiles that were once slung over shoulders in what represented a more traditional dress or used as a blanket or throw on a bed. In North America, we consider plaid to be a pattern that has been in and out of fashion trends for decades.
Dualchas Building Design knows exactly what to do with pristine, rugged coastal property. They celebrate the spectacular landscape of coastal Scotland with massive windows highlighting the panoramic views of rocks, ocean, mossy fields and mountains. Their buildings would feel right at home here in Maine, possibly inhabited by those of us that hail from that area several generations back.
“Dualchas Building Design was founded on the Isle of Skye in 1996 by brothers Neil Stephen and Alasdair Stephen.
Sometimes a painter stops us in our tracks. Such is the case with Conrad Jon Godly. Most recently known for his mountain landscapes, which are brilliantly painted with heavy brushstrokes, Godly captures the majestic beauty of mountain landscapes. From 1982 to 1986, Godly studied as a painter at the Basel School of Art, then worked as a professional photographer for the next 18 years. He began painting again in 2007,
Peter Ralston, Dick and Nate, 2012
Peter Ralston is an old friend and one of my favorite photographers. His love of the Maine islands is evident in his work. I’ve always been amazed at how someone “from away” could capture the essence of the islands and the island people in one image. He sees the beauty in the textural rawness of the coast and in the weathered faces that work on the water.
Celebrating mountains and Maine in this weeks posts gives us the opportunity to learn more about one of Maine’s greatest modern painters, Marsden Hartley. Born in Lewiston in 1877, Marsden Hartley’s early years in Maine were a struggle. He left Maine and lived in Europe, New Mexico, New York, California, and Massachusetts. His life was full of travel, education and dedication to his art, which consisted of painting,
Ruth Asawa’s work is otherworldly. Her sculptures have a dreamy, cellular quality and create an atmosphere of meditation and peace. Born in California in the 1920’s, Ruth Asawa was sent to an internment camp with thousands of other Japanese Americans. While in the camp, she learned her craft from artists that were working there. It’s hard not to compare the freedom of her sculptures and the peaceful energy they exude with the circumstances under which she created her first sculptures.
Very often, I find that colors aren’t what we think they are. I love creating a color study comparing wool poms, pantone or paint colors with natural leaves, flowers, mosses and plants. Testing myself, I will look at a leaf or berry and then go pull the pom or color swatch of what I think is the best match, without holding the two together. Surprisingly,
Editor’s note: The following story first appeared in 2014. June Hopkins passed away in 2015.
June Hopkins has been celebrating artists and craftspeople in her gallery on North Haven, an island off the coast of midcoast Maine, for 60 years. She has introduced us to countless painters, potters, sculptors and printmakers and always in a beautifully presented exhibition.
I’ve known June my entire life. She was one of the first people to support me when I decided that art and design would be the direction in which I would steer my life.
One of Bradbury’s nature prints featured in Johnstone and Croall’s seaweed guide. Developed in 1853, the process created an impression of the plant on a lead plate, which was inked and used to make highly realistic prints.
Louise Nevelson was born in Russia in 1899. In 1905, her family emigrated to Rockland, Maine. I was enthralled by her work and the story of her life. The fact that she had lived right there in Rockland,
Patterns repeat themselves in nature. In shells, the marks left in the sand from the tides, tree bark, leaves,ice, everywhere. Lace has always reminded me of those mathematical patterns we see in nature. I’ve been collecting vintage lace pieces for years and am always finding new connections between man made patterns and those we see in vastly different scales in nature. – angela
Sometimes dreamy projects land on our plates when we least expect it.
The most recent one was a project we collaborated on with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.
For the past year, we worked closely with the horticultural team at CMBG brainstorming various ways we could interpret an angela adams garden.
A couple of years ago, at Design Miami Sherwood and I were taken away by Tokujin Yoshioka’s work. He created an immense installation with white straws, which transformed a building into an ethereal landscape. It was so beautiful and so well executed that it seemed to trigger every sense. Visually, it was transportive – taking you to another world. You could hear, taste, feel this installation. It was so peaceful and inspiring,
The dining room is a part of the home that everyone gathers to share the details of the day, or memories of holidays past. It’s important to incorporate a dining room table that fits in with your family’s style and needs. Below are three modern, handcrafted furniture pieces that will stand the test of time. At angela adams, we design anything from dining and coffee tables to dressers, desks, cases, seating, and hand woven area rugs.
Recently we had the pleasure of having two of our rugs included on a project for the DIY Network. Restored show host and home preservationist Brett Waterman included our Borealis and Spike rugs in Jeff & James’ restored 1906 Arts and Crafts home in Season 2 Episode 2. We’re glad to be a part of a home being thoughtfully returned to its original splendor!
Didn’t catch it? Watch it here!
Popularized by psychoanalyst Erich Fromm in the 1964 book The Heart of Man, the term “biophilia” (from bio-, meaning “life,” and –philia, meaning “friendly feeling”) refers to “love for humanity and nature, and independence and freedom.” Twenty years later, Edward O. Wilson expanded on that definition, adding “the rich, natural pleasure that comes from being surrounded by living organisms.”
Design has a powerful effect on our minds,