A global guide to LIVING CREATIVELY

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Five

Pointing in other directions - recommendations from our reading list:
designboom : artist, Ron Mueck
Drift, Ron Mueck, 2009
mixed media
118 x 96 x 21 cm / 46 1/2 x 37 3/4 x 8 1/4 in
image © ron mueck by alex delfanne, courtesy Hauser+Wirth Gallery
inhabitat - © Garrison Architectus
designboom : Edward Ogosta Architecture

Lannan Foundation Gallery : Transparent

Peter Alexander, Untitled, 1966-1968, Cast polyester resin, 69 ¼ x 6 ½ x 6 ½ inches, Collection Lannan Foundation
Jawbone wireless speakers

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Monday night, we dined at Elysianla's, "night in", an at-home-event-like dining establishment conceptualized by David Thorpe, Julia Meltzer and Wu Tsang. While all three are also prominently involved in the art world, here they present a fine dining experience. From the moment one enters the front gate, the imagination is peaked as the luminous entry is approached through a lush bamboo forest garden.
We are cordially greeted and seated at our table. Not knowing what to expect other than a prix fixe dinner ($35.00), we discover a number of tables set for either eight or six or four. We wonder who else might be in attendance this evening.
Table set for a previous event
As other guests are seated several things take place immediately: bread is delivered along with a small bowl of roasted almonds, wine (ours) is opened and poured - no corkage fee charged - and our orders are taken by a friendly waiter. We all choose simple lettuce salads and the Yellow Fin Tuna - all fresh and delicious. Dessert is a Drop Biscuit with strawberries with créme fraiche - also delicious.
Best of all, the venue is filled with diners who are as intrigued and delighted as us, to experience this delicious evening.
To be included you must first send them your email address. Once you are on their mailing list, you will be notified. Then, it is up to you. Don't wait too long to reserve your table,  or you'll miss out!
From the website:
David Thorne is a Los Angeles-based cook and artist. He worked 4 years as a line cook at Canelé, and most recently as a prep cook at Ammo with Chef Daniel Mattern. He has also cooked at a slew of private events for clients including Redcat Gallery, Art Matters, Rhode Island School of Design, New Los Angeles Charter School, and Clockshop.
Wu Tsang is an artist, filmmaker, and host. He cooked on the line at Canele for 2 years and produced an after-hours dining experience called “Grown Dining Room” in collaboration with Total Freedom & SFV Acid at Dinner House M.
For more information: elysianla
(Thank you Leigh and Claudine!) 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Japanese Garden Reopens

Japanese Garden
Huntington Gardens, San Marino, CA
Project Facts 
Date Originally Built: 1911–12
Original Landscape Superintendent: William Hertrich (1878–1966)
Project Timeframe: Closed April 4, 2011 – Reopened April 11, 2012
Total Project Cost: $6.8 million
The Japanese Garden at the Huntington took one year to build and just over one year to restore and repair.
According to the fact sheet, the Japanese House and bridges were restored and ponds were repaired. A new ceremonial tea garden and tea house were added, as well as a new waterfall between the original Japanese House and Zen Garden.
New paths were also added and accessibility was improved. 
Below, photographs from our recent visit:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dianne Reeves Sings

and Russell Malone
Presented by 3sat
Dianne Reeves website
If you are not acquainted with Dianne Reeves, then you don't know everything about singing. With this video, you come one step closer. The next step is to link to her website, find out if she's singing nearby - then, experience this exceptional singer. You won't be disappointed.


The Huntington Gardens - Zen and Bonsai Gardens
The Japanese Garden, after a year of renovation, is now reopened. While some things remain the same, much has changed in this, its centennial year.

Displayed here are the Zen and Bonsai Gardens which, except for a waterfall at the entry, remain essentially the same.
Simple and stark, each of these gardens invite us to spend time contemplating.

Nature is recreated by hand and revered. We sit, watch and listen to the stillness within.
Next: Images from the reopened Japanese Garden.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Modern Mediterranean 2

Los Angeles Estate
Earlier we posted images of the Ronald Frink Architects design for an estate located in Los Angeles. Today, we post additional guest house elevations. Please see our first  posting - Tuesday April 3, 2012 for other images.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Itō Jakuchū

IN COMMEMORATION: The paintings of Itō Jakuchū 
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
March 30 - April 29, 2012

Nandina and Rooster, c. 1761–1765 from Itō Jakuchū, Colorful Realm of Living Beings, set of 30 vertical hanging scrolls, c. 1757–1766, Sannomaru Shōzōkan (The Museum of the Imperial Collections), The Imperial Household Agency, Tokyo 
PBS recently aired a story about the paintings of Itō Jakuchū, which are currently on exhibition at the National Gallery of Art. Considered a national treasure of Japan, the 30 scrolls are on view to commemorate the centennial of Japan's gift of cherry trees to our nation's capitol.
The exhibition is titled, Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū, and will be in shown until April 29th. 
Online, viewers may celebrate the exhibition by submitting their original Haiku poetry.
The paintings are exquisite! If you are unable to view them at the National Gallery, please view them online. And email your original Haiku poetry!
Paintings of Itō Jakuchū and Haiku
National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC for more information

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Silverlake Garden

Silverlake Veggies and First Roses
Zucchini, bell pepper, bush beans

One dozen tomato plants

BMW Published

Pacific BMW Showroom, designed by Ronald Frink Architects, is prominently displayed in a new book titled, Ignite, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of Lighting Design Alliance, Inc.
For more information, please see our story, Automobile Showroom and Offices, March 24, 2010.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Artist, Ai Weiwei

PBS Frontline
Chapter 1 of 2
The artist educates with sculptural or two-dimensional imagery - thoughts are conveyed through images. A communication pathway develops between artist and viewer and beliefs change.
Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, discloses an escape route from our self-imposed imprisonment to freedom. As we enter the artist's world, our rigid thinking patterns, our fears, and our relationship to outdated traditions are transformed.
This is great art made by a great artist - in this case, a brave artist, as well.
The 2nd chapter of this program may be viewed on Frontline.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Doc Martin Returns

Just when we thought KCET had shown the final episode of Doc Martin, we just discovered the series continues with season 5.
Why we love this tactless character, we can't be certain. He's not the most lovable character. But, there is something in him we wish we all possessed - the quality of being true to oneself, no matter what.
From the KCET website:
DOC MARTIN is a catchy comedy drama that stars Martin Clunes (Men Behaving Badly) as Martin Ellingham, whose truculence and tactless manner causes mayhem in a small Cornish community. The series details the trials and tribulations of the brash Ellingham, once a celebrated London surgeon who left his job after developing a phobia to blood. After retraining as a general practitioner, he gets a job in the beautiful but sleepy village of Portwenn, replacing their deceased local doctor-but his abrasive personality doesn't exactly mesh with the pace of life in Cornwall. 
We're tuning in and we hope you will, as well.
Thursdays, 8 PM 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Birthday Party

Recently, we attended an elegant, festive birthday party and we share the experience with you - as a story. No names, no specific details - read between the lines - embellish and enjoy. 

Entering the block-long town bus, I scooted next to the birthday celebrant, lifted the back of my tux jacket and sat back. Ahead of me, other celebrants side-saddled in two long lines along each side of the car. Starry lights, above their combed and well-coiffed heads, gently flickered in alternating soft colors. We were on our way.
Traffic, then a detour, kept us from arriving unfashionably early. We pulled up to the Mullin Automotive Museum, poured out, posed to the flashes of a camera, and officially entered the party. We had arrived.
Mullin Automotive Museum
Once inside, the polish and sheen of dozens of classic cars dazzled our eyes: a 1938 Dubonnet Xenia, a 1922 Renault 40 CV Type JV, a 1938 Bugatti 57C ATA Atalante, a 1938 Talbot Lago T150 and more. I learned later, that the objective of the museum is to pay  "...homage to the art deco and the machine age - eras that produced exquisite art and magnificent automobiles. The museum is home to the finest historic French automobiles from the Bugatti to the Voisin as well as significant and representative decorative art from the 1920s and 1930s." This was a party venue fit for a classic car enthusiast. Perfect.
Women were dressed in glamorous gowns and cocktail dresses, while men wore their finest tuxedos - each differentiated with fancifully colored bow ties.
Live music and the chatter of spirited conversation filled the cavernous space. Guests, cocktails in hand, renewed old friendships, recalling stories from the past - laughing, sparkling, tilting with sybaritic delight.
The daughter of the celebrant, also the party planner, a beautiful blond woman with vibrant eyes and smile, held everything in her sight, making sure all went as planned. It did.

Sitting at our table were two young career women, two photographer-authors, the party planner and the son of a dear friend. We dined, drank, chatted with each other as our eyes collected fragments of information about other guests from our tucked-away corner of the room.
Speeches were made. One talented orator regaled us with stories from the celebrant's past. We smiled, laughed and visualized each scene, weaving ourselves into the rich tapestry of his words - the warp and weft of linen threads, blended into a densely textured work of art.
As the evening progressed with music, dancing, a variety of desserts, I thought about the Robert Browning poem, "Andrea del Sarto" (1855) where we first come upon the phrase, "less is more":
Who strive - you don't know how the others strive
To paint a little thing like that you smeared
Carelessly passing with your robes afloat,-
Yet do much less, so much less, Someone says,
(I know his name, no matter) - so much less!
Well, less is more, Lucrezia.
An overused line, I think it best not mentioned in relation to parties. Certainly, more is best. From black tie formal wear to highly polished classic automobiles to caviar, all was impeccable. Remove an element - art is destroyed. Much like the tapestry woven from the orator's words, the assembling of elements is complete at the start. The cake comes into being by combining ingredients, cooking for fifty minutes, until done. Concept manifested.
As we bent ourselves into the mile-long limo for the drive home, the celebration began melting into memory as sound, smell, touch, taste and sight. I rolled myself into bed, fading into the night, dreaming sensual image fragments of partying like clockwork.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Soul Blues

There's no one quite like Bonnie Raitt. Her voice is smooth and rich and it rises up from deep inside her soul. 
Bonnie Raitt "Right Down The Line" - a music short film from Steve Lippman/FLIP on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Modern Mediterranean

Los Angeles Estate
Inspired by classic Mediteranean architecture, this custom residential estate, designed by Ronald Frink Architects, is to be privately situated in the hills of Los Angeles with both ocean and city views.
From a private gated entrance, a serpentine drive leads around a private wooded lake to the formal entry court at the front entry of the Main House for a gracious arrival. The Main House is sited centrally on the property to enjoy the surrounding ample terraces, lawns and gardens and to afford gracious indoor and outdoor living and entertaining.
The estate will be designed to achieve a LEED Gold certification with multiple sustainable design features, such as: Photo-voltaic panels, geo-thermal system, high performance glazing and insulation applications, permeable paving and reclaimed water for irrigation.
The estate concept design includes:

• A grand 30,000 SF Main House with a classic formal entrance and gallery, great room, dining room, library, family/entertaining areas along with private family and guest bedroom suites on 3 levels.
• A private 2,500 SF Guest House.
• A 3,000 SF Pool/Guest House adjacent to the 75’ swimming pool and two tennis courts.
• Extensive landscaping with both formal and natural landscape features.
• Garage parking for 8 cars with additional guest and staff parking.
• With extensive terraces and shaded portals, the design provides simple and elegant living spaces with abundant daylight and dynamic views.

Drawing upon key Mediterranean design traditions, the design incorporates thick walls of stone and plaster with deep set windows, rich earth-tone colors and graciously sized rooms with delicate, understated ornamentation.
(Additional images will be posted as the design progresses.) 
Ron Frink, prior to starting his own practice in 1994 worked with such prestigious firms as Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), William L Pereira Associates and AC Martin Associates. Ronald Frink Architects has had projects published in various publications, including: 200 Houses, Architecture & Design: Los Angeles, American Spaces: An Overview of What’s New, Spaces-Interiors of the USA & Canada, and Another 100 of the World’s Best Houses. The firm is also the recipient of awards, including: LEED Certification (Lakeshore Plaza), Award of Excellence (Southern California Development Forum), Award of Excellence (California Council of the Society of American Register Architects), Preservation Award (Los Angeles Business Council and Los Angeles Conservancy) and Grand Prize (Southern California Development Forum).
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