Monday, June 24, 2013

My Not So White Room

Over the years, things sure have changed at this blog. It's become more and more vocal, less ephemeral, more wordy, less about cute things, less nervous, more me.
little red riding hood, large postcard or poster, watercolor
While I'm still processing how much and what kind of content I'm comfortable with, I feel like I'm well on my way to getting my bearings.

A few years ago, I wouldn't have thought twice about promoting artists and vintage sellers and herbalists who's stuff I used and liked. Now I wonder.

From shameless self-promotion (Something I feel I've always been rather terrible, yet feeling like I'd rather be too modest, than overly-confident, or self-absorbed.), to giving shout-outs to friends, family, blogs, or independent sellers I like, I feel I'm treading a fine line on inspiration vs. consumption.

And yet. I feel like I make it very clear that I believe in looking at one's consumption is an important part of a meaningful, alternative, radical life, I spend relative little money on things, I buy local, used, I mend, fix and make...

What I'm trying to say is, if you see something here you like, think about how much you might want it, need it, how practical it is, how much joy it'll bring you how fiercely you'll love it in times to come. Think about what else that money could buy. Good food? Something you need more? Something someone else might need more?

If you have to buy, buy wisely. Buy what you love. Buy from artists and independent sellers. Buy according to your tastes and not someone else's trends.

So now that we've got that "this is an ad-free blog, or is it?"-thing covered, I wanted to give a shout-out to an amazing artist who's work I discovered through etsy-trawling recently and who's art, I'm not kidding, looks like it's from my dreams.

yellow raspberry, summer forest, watercolor postcard
There's something about Olga's paintings that reminds of my childhood in the 80s (yeah, the other side of the 80s aesthetics!), of Slavic melancholy, endless days at the summer house, of half-forgetten ideas, dreams, Japanese books...
baby owl, watercolor postcard
Her prices are almost as amazing as her work and though I never invest in decorating my home (pretty much all of our stuff is whatever was free/available), I figured getting a few of these cards would be okay.

Over the years I've gathered a mighty, if small, selection of artworks that has a rotating display in our few little rooms. Not being a minimalist, I definitely have more art than I can expect to hang at any given time, yet small wonders like these are to me what really makes a house a home. From postcards, to print, to paintings, sometimes they've been the only permanent thing I've owned and therefore they represent my own space to me much more so than furniture, or vases, blankets and other more three-dimensional things.

coniferous trees (pine, spruce, larch, yew and juniper) poster or large watercolor postcard

I don't know about you, but I feel totally different from buying art than buying clothes and accessories.
True, I'm still buying things, but I feel like  I'm investing in something less tangible, more lasting, less vain.

my japan serie, mother with a sleepy son, large postcard or poster, watercolor

For a dollar fifty, plus shipping, I get to dive into this etherial world. Somehow, even though they're a little more minimalist, a little more washed out then I'd typically go for, these pictures feel like a forgotten part of my own imagination.

herbs  (peppermint, rosemary, dill, thyme, purple basil) poster or large watercolor postcard
And don't worry, I've expanded my matching grant program of clothes shopping to all "frivolous" purchases. For the price of these cards, a non-profit entity of which I shall blog another time received the same amount.

pine cones, summer forest, watercolor postcard
After all, what's the point of collecting pictures and pieces of nature, if your dollars can't also go towards protecting it?
fox watercolor postcard, forest animals for children

Tell me, who's art are you admiring?


  1. These are lovely, thanks for sharing. I especially like the pine cone one.

    I've never really invested in decorating our apartment either; everything is thrifted leaving most rooms all mismatched, but no matter.

    I've always loved Michael Sowa, but his prints tend to be more than a dollar fifty! I got one as a gift a few years ago and it really makes me cheerful to look at it, so I suppose it was worth the price.

  2. i really like hearing (reading) your reflections on your own process of blogging and how the whole thing tics for you. for the same reason, i like it when you share/promote, because it also gives me insight into how you see the world, what lights you up, what it feels like in that heart of yours. also, you may have guessed from your visits here, but everything in our home is a street/thrift find. i'm at some kind of process in my own growth where i am daring to claim that i deserve to invest in my home, my clothes, me. too bad our finances don't reflect this new inkling! so it seems extra special to find something like your artist here, where the aesthetic investment exceeds the cost. i love all of these...especially the little owl. now i wonder which one you bought? xoxo

  3. She's so talented with watercolor, and such affordable prices! I like it.
    I'm always keeping up with an old friend from Providence's art, Phoebe Wahl, who actually hails from the Pacific Northwest! Here's her work

  4. I've been thinking a lot about consumption lately, particularly with food and homemaking. I've been so busy, so I've been buying food on the run (a lot of burritos from Mexican Kitchen at Pike Place), and buying a lot of little things that are supposed to make my life easier (most of them are "natural," organic, what have you), but I know there is a step I can take to be more intentional. I am truly maxed out on time, so I've started the conversation to cut back on some of my responsibilities. I want to live intentionally, and I'm hoping that more time in my day will help make that vision a reality.

    That said, promoting and consuming art is a gift! And where you are now, it sounds like this promotion is genuine. You put a lot of thought into sharing this work! And thank you for doing so, it's beautiful!

    I've been a devotee of Kris Chau's for a long time. She's changed up her website and taken down her store, but a Google image search reveals some of her best and most colorful work:

  5. These paintings are ethereal, so calming to see. And I really like your use of "Slavic melancholy", that's an idea I can relate to. Art: Fleur Cowles paintings. She's not modern necessarily (or alive), but I love her dearly.

  6. lovely artwork!
    with regard to commercial endorsements, etc, i have come to enjoy them on blogs i follow (ahem, when i do check in, cough cough). there is such power in where we spend our money (i always teach my kids--it is like casting a vote!). and it is both a curiosity and inspiration to see what others find, whether handmade, vintage, secondhand, or new.
    sending you hugs (if not an overdue email). xo

  7. Oh Milla, these watercolors are wonderful... Fluid and very evocative at the same time, they denote a true master of her craft. And I love how you describe your feelings about them - yes! that's it exactly. Also, I find them very moving in a sober, subtle way - both her subject and her love for it seem to radiate quietly on the page. I keep looking at them in wonder.

    One of my most recent discoveries is Karlee Rawkins (she lives in Australia)

    But there are many artists / illustrators I admire - my treasure box is here :