Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Art and Literature

Art embraces, art graces, art speaks volumes of our personal emotional beliefs. Imagine a tomorrow without it and we would all fade into an unexpressed colorless reality. Now imagine our everyday without music, literature and poetry published through print or on the Internet ... Even the art expressed through hipster poetry slams. What would reward our curiosity for fulfillment and entertain our soul if literature was no longer and the expressed beauty of art wasn't prolific anymore.

"The scream" Edward Munch, painting location Oslo Norway
Now imagine a recent nightmare filled dream for me, one without the things that matter most to me. Can you? Imagine my unexplained preoccupation with my constantly writing poetry. It often wakes me from a sound sleep and demands that it be expressed, sparing no excuses, needing no sleep, nor food. A driving force in me I honestly can not explain, it flows and I continue to go with it. 

"The Scream" lithograph version 1895
Now think about the appreciation and wonderment of artisans beauty from the past and in the perceived future. Well I woke in an absolute cold sweat and an emotional flatness of an existence that showed me what would be if self expression was ever oppressed. This nightmare of all art and literature vanishing was the inspiration for this post which will feature some new additions of art and adding more rustic charm in our row-home.

"Personality is everything in art and poetry"
~Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

"Art and Literature are two things I think my life would be drastically deprived of trying to exist without - an absolute nightmarish reality"

Recently John and I purchased through an on line auction a vintage oil painting by the 20th century artist CH Wilton. French post Impressionism, an original oil, paper and fabric collage painted in the 60's. Titled French beggar in the Street.

It is rare when one of CH Wilton's original collage oils from his French Beggar series goes up for sale. This oil painting spoke to me to be included in our tiny but beloved wine related corner in our Dining Room. Imagine our jubilation when we won it! Expecting to pay the auction estimate of upwards of 400 dollars and we surprisingly won the bid for 200.00. Seriously!

The closeups show the Plaid fabric patch and the signature

A decision was made by us to pop it out of its frame and to float it displayed on a shelf/ledge that would hang over our antique French riddling rack from the Champagne region in France.  I hold a strong heartfelt bond and belief in filling our home with family, friends and laughter. Wine always factors in with meals, often prepared in anticipation of a shared evening with guests. I've been adding many more rustic touches to our row-home, they just seem to belong and embrace me at this point of my life. 

Our rustic refined wine corner of our Dining room. 

We decided to go with a salvaged rustic wood shelf/ledge in Black Walnut. I custom ordered a pronounced raw edge salvaged wood from Pennsylvania. Hand crafted in a one of a kind special piece from a very friendly/easy to work with craftsman on etsy named Reclaim to Fame. All sources will be found under the last photo of this post. I was charged 80.00 and 20 dollars shipping and this magnificent beauty is what we now enjoy adding rustic natural beauty in our Dining Room. 

Top view is the salvaged Black Walnut.

A blogger friend in Hamburg Germany, Méa, blogs about her amazing transformations in her 100 year old home and about the Cartapesta art she creates. Méa's Vintage has over the past year become a blogger friend who creates from her heart and shares her beliefs and dreams.

This is a second purchase of her Cartapesta art pieces for me. The first piece was a Believe banner - perhaps one of the most magical words in our language, or so I believe!

The photos are of her gift wrap, truly art in itself. From the pretty Jeanne D'Arc wrapping paper to her hand made orchid flowers crafted in her magical hands in raw silk to her hand torn and frayed white ribbon and this cool rustic hemp that I haven't been able to find in America. So what was inside.... 

Well inside was a specular winged heart I ordered from Méa.  With a rhinestone dotting the letter i on the word étoile (star) it winks and blinks as you past by. This has a special meaning to me. It reminds me of a star I purchased in memory of my son.

I took copper wire (which will eventually develop a soft patina) and artfully twisted and hung it from our gallery wire display in our Living room which display's both John's and my Black and White photography. Below are our ledges with antique artifacts, centuries old Buddhas, Monks and carved wooden art. We live in an 1,800 square foot row home surrounded with art in a very approachable casual way. Méa's flying heart lovingly hangs between the photographs.

The photo on the left and right is of our French 1972 Citroën Pallas DS. My personal decorating style? Who knows ... Perhaps just a total admiration and appreciation of our small worlds amazing artisans. I live in the historic city of Philadelphia and try to embrace the natural colors of bricks and stone that I feel add warmth and comfort in our home. 

On Top the wired glass front cabinet in our kitchen sits two antique vintage olive oil jars, I asked Rosemary from Villabarnes if she could create a couple of her gorgeous full of patina, cut from salvaged vintage metal tags. One for in our kitchen to read Olive Oil in Italian since the olive oil jar is from Italy. Gorgeous patina and adds charm.

Olio d' Olivia, it measures 2x4. John took picture hanger wire and twisted knots through the holes to hang it. 

In our Living room sitting on top our African Paduak exotic wood shelves on the exposed brick wall is one of our vintage olive jars (this is a vintage one from the 80's, far from antique). I added faux olive branches from Decor Steals. A tag custom made by Rosemary with the words Ramo d'olivio (olive branch) is displayed. Thank you Rosemary for adding rustic charm and beauty inside our home. I am fortunate to own many of Rosemary's creative pieces.

Rosemary hand cuts these from salvaged metal and hand polishes the edges to be smooth. 

Upstairs in our sitting/reading room we've hung a Pen and Ink drawing of Venice over the mantel. A late Summer change in the rooms art.

On the mantel is our other Material Culture find from our hunt I wrote about last post. A long necked handmade pottery vessel. 

A close up - reminds me of a balloon! 

I had John downsize the two Black and White photographs of our son Chris that had hung over the mantel.  It was time ... Sunday August 23 was his Birthday and the 2nd Birthday without him. The photos still hang in our sitting/reading room. I like their new smaller version in the frames placement so much better.

As an avid reader I'm always looking for a reading escape to provide a imaginary adventure. Besides all my collected over the years decorating and design books that I peruse are books that fill my imagination with intrigue and spine tingling suspense. "Lightening" is a new read for me of an older Dean Koontz book. It made and stayed on The New York Times best sellers list years ago. All I can say is WOW. I just finished the book, WOW! WOW! WOW! I guess you can tell I enjoyed it.

"She was fascinated with words. To her, words were things of beauty, each like a magical powder or potion that could be combined with other words to create powerful spells."
~Dean Koontz, from the book "Lightning"~

This is John's latest book he is absorbed in....

Remember when I talked about the "R" word (retirement) for John? Well it's moving in that direction and we have always talked about going to the Grand Prix in Monaco. Looks like we are going to celebrate John's retirement with a race. Seems kind of symbolic of life to me. The years speed by ever so quickly and you hope and pray you win in the end.

As I always do I will leave you with my poetry. See you in a few weeks, enjoy and linger in the last weeks of Summer. For soon it will fade into shorter days and crisper evenings filled with lasting precious memories. Philadelphia is still daily hitting the 90's in temps so we truly are enjoying an Indian Summer.

The allure of fashion, art and beautification in furnishing our homes leaves one constantly aware of style and guess what - you are not alone.
Styles change and simply evolve while you heighten your appreciation of your own personal flair and to designers this is a fact well known.

Enhancing ones personal dwelling for comfort and satisfaction of being "au courant" seems to be an ongoing, never ending activity.
I know personally for many years it's inspired my decisions in striving for personal artful expression and is my own proclivity. 

Recently I've gone through a period of clarity in understanding exactly what I long for in embellishing our home for soulful reward.
I reflect back to changes and renovations we have done, perhaps simply because we had overtime become bored.

Now after many years I fully understand that dwelling at home is about relaxing and soothing our concerns while finding a heartfelt peaceful embrace.
Living in a space that reflects not only your spirit of adventure, but also your souls discovery during a journey of living that comforts with blessed grace.
© Vera
Reclaimtofame1 on etsy


  1. Lovely . . . as usual.

    I love those tags from Rosemary and the heart from Mea is fabulous.

    I don't have the adjectives to describe the beggar and although I would love to see everything else, he is begging me to come and really look at him.

    As I read today and looked around your house, I was struck by the proximity to Anita's latest post. She writes of talking with people and looking them in the eye. That is obviously the best way for us to know one another. But without all of today's social media, The Beggar might not be in your home today nor would Rosemary's tags or Mea's heart. And I would have read your beautiful words.

    Have a wonderful time planning your visit to the Gran Prix. We are off to tomorrow to San Francisco, a Giants game and of course a wonderful gourmet experience at Chez Panisse.

  2. The soul of your home is so apparent, you my dear have given your home a voice, and I not sure if your home loves you more, or you love it more....in any case it's truly a home to love. Your personal stamp is placed on it, your collections maticuliously placed with rhym and reason. Your treasures blend into your spaces like poetry to the heart, Mea's pieces amazes hauntingly beautiful, Rosemary's tags delight with beautiful age. So authentic in feel to your wine bottle collections.

    The art could not have been meant to rest in any other home but yours, the auction win Wow! And I love the style so me, I am going to try my hand at the French artist mix of art media with paper and fabric and oils, it's a fabulous piece, you will soon see my French lady that I am going to have printed to litho graph paper. Old and tattered looking so I can have pieces to share with my etsy friends.

    As I emailed you a Happy Birthday to your Son Chris, well I know he is so approving of the down sizing of the canvas prints of him to a much more smaller yet statement making size of honor. He is so loving the changes your home has taken on and the amaze authentic history you have added to your Row Home with those 100 year old beams....they gave your Kitchen a VOICE!

    The poetry, your dream of lost art, speaks to me as an artist, I wake in the middle of the night to get up and start something or best write it down as to not to forget when morning again wakes me.

    Beautiful post, one of my favorites and Poetry is who you are, if not for it how would the words of beauty show up to greet you everyday, it's written all over your walls where your home expresses where this artist (you) live.


    As for the BIG "R" retirement what a way to go out....indeed going out with a fabulousely holiday bang! Monaco and speed racer? John so deserves a holiday as special as this plan of yours.

    See you to beautiful people soon.


  3. Good evening dear Vera!

    Well, I don't think I would be healthy if it wasn't for art and literature. There are times when I'm reading poetry or even attempting to write it, and I get this RUSH of JOY! To be connected to the raw reality that we are linguistic souls is spectacular, giving me a sense that art is like my life blood. Any art really, is who we are, what we see, where we've been, where we want to be...we need it, and when we can surround ourselves with what we love, we can be that much happier. I love Méa's work and your oil is stunning. I just bought another oil but this one is a German antique oil on board. It's for Ruben for Christmas and he is going to love the moody browns and grays and lovely gold frame.


  4. Vera, you have such a gift for displaying your treasures. Where would we be without art. I'm so glad we've made a connection. It's an honor to have a place among the fabulous artist you've surrounded yourself with.

  5. Your home has such a warm, eclectic, interesting vibe to it, Vera. I love that you have filled it with pieces that hold special meaning to you and your family. It speaks of the huge amount of love and appreciation that fills your heart. The heart piece definitely spoke volumes to me, as I can understand the meaning behind it. Bless you, sweet friend!

    xoxo laurie

  6. The beautiful art and literature you have displayed in your home is truly an expression of who you and John are. I love how each painting, artifact, handmade treasure, and architectural design is chosen deliberately and with purpose and meaning.
    I believe we were created to embrace art and literature...a necessity for our being.
    Your wonderful poetry never disappoints, Vera!
    Mary Alice

  7. Good Evening Vera,
    It does not surprise me to hear you wake from sleep with needing to express your art of writing and form. It comes from your soul and our souls never sleep. I love seeing your home and how you express yourself throughout. Your love of art speaks volumes in your pictures. I love that heart from Mia so gorgeous. Your poetry flows from your heart and is beautiful.

  8. What a great post, Vera! You truly have the gift of words, and I can understand your need to create. What would life be without that?? I love how you have added so many unique treasures and one of a kind pieces to your home. So much more interesting I think than just a "cookie cutter" look! What a great piece by your friend Mea. I just love how she wrapped her parcel, always fun to see how other arts package their work. The photos of your son are so special. Thank you for sharing:)

  9. Hi Vera, just beautiful my friend. Not only the fabulous art work but your words and poetry that pulls one in.
    To have art around is like breathing. Without it we can not exist.
    Love the winged heart. It is so you and I love how you display it between your art pieces.
    The metal tags are a treasure. These are the special works of art that make our homes special and give meaning.
    Always beautiful and all inspiring to visit.
    Have a great couple weeks. Hugs and blessings. cm

  10. I don't think I can express my feelings about this post---the connection of art and literature as well as some of the others who commented. I will say that with each and every post you write, I get to know 'Vera' better and better and you are such a very deep and complex woman.

    I simply love the changes you have made in your home; the art and wonderful changes in your kitchen. the newly redone photos of your dear son. You definitely have reached a point in your life where you are truly expressing (even more so possibly?) what is deep in your soul and I thank you for sharing that with us. You so inspire me.

    Jane x


  11. Your home is a true expression of you, Vera... Expressive, gentle, a love of life, and so very soulful.
    The photos of Chris look beautiful. I want to send you a warm hug.
    I always enjoy reading your poetry, Vera. You are an inspiration.
    I could not live without art, and you have carefully chosen and placed such a beautiful pieces in you home. Thank you for sharing with us.
    Blessings dear friend,

  12. I truly believe a home should be filled with art and yours is filled with so much of it and also with so much of who you are as an artist and as a writer. I hope you had a wonderful summer, Vera.

  13. "Now after many years I fully understand that dwelling at home is about relaxing and soothing our concerns while finding a heartfelt peaceful embrace.
    Living in a space that reflects not only your spirit of adventure, but also your souls discovery during a journey of living that comforts with blessed grace." Yes. That's it, Vera. This is what "home" should be. Love this post. ~ Nancy

  14. Oh Vera....you have bared your soul through the pieces of art, and the words you've expressed. Each image shares a part of who you are....and what's inside. The design and colors in your home give off warmth, and comfort. It's a place that invites you in, and embraces you.
    This is a lovely post, dear friend.

  15. Oh dear Vera - I am so grateful and sooo delighted to see my little one hanging there so happily. And I want to thank you for your increadible words.
    Your home is a fountain of strength, full of art like energy stations ;))
    I love the tags from Rosemary and the oil urn is breathtaking :))
    All you do is with thought, deepest thought, and that makes me want to visit your blog from the first place :))
    Lovely Vera, have my hug, I think of your dream of the star, picked for you, your friend Méa

  16. Dearest Vera! I am on the run, but I was just reading my blog comments and I had to come back in response to yours. OH that little doggy, he is so special, as well as those that Penny has made for me. He sits in a gorgeous French cabinet in our great room. He sits with a poodle that I bought from the same shoppe that day. But I have to photograph TEA RAT, a rat that we have that looks just like your guy who sits in the nook of your beam!!!!!

    My dear, I need to go. Open House duties call me! LOVE!

  17. Good Morning Vera,
    I have seen the painting "The Scream" before and didn't know much about it. I love the winged heart that your blog friend made, it's lovely. There is an eclectic shop that I go to sometimes, and they have unique and wonderful things just like this heart. What a special black and white picture of your son, Chris. Black and White was the first photography class I took, and I'll never forget blowing up my pictures in the dark room.

    Yes, art is so delightful for us to have in our every day lives. I was thinking of taking an art class. What an interesting post this is about so many things.
    And those red roses.......they made my day. :~)


  18. this post has *so* many elements and all are beautiful and require thought. :) the heart is lovely - the patina that will come to the metal wire will be a nice touch.. my heart goes out to you, this, being your 2nd birthday w/o your son. i understand. {{{gentle hug}}}

  19. Oh Vera, you do have such a gift with words and art! I'm amazed at the depth of your thoughts and truly am inspired. Thanks for sharing your home, each detail so thought out, love it!

  20. What an interesting post this is about so many things.
    You have an amazing blog!

  21. My dear friend,

    I read this post a few times, as once was not enough to fully indulge and appreciate all of its many layers, those of visual, lyrical, and sentimental appeal. Your home is definitely a representation of your multi-faceted personality, illustrating so much of your artistic passion for life's many emotional luxuries.

    The collection of photographs of your beloved son, Chris, are beautiful in their black and white presentation, and I know they will be a constant well of nourishment for your heart and soul. Thank you for sharing your latest feelings and thoughts with us; as always, they are truly inspirational.

    Happy weekend, sweet Vera,

  22. I, too, read your post a couple of times...so much to take in. You have a lovely home filled with love and much thought.
    I love your French Beggar ....I, too, have a favorite artist..G Harvey. Even his prints are too expensive for our Social Security budget but I still dream of owning one, someday. His painting sell for thousands of dollars so I will never have an original....
    Your words are so beautiful, Vera...

  23. I love the title of your post Vera, Art and Literature. These are two of my passions and I shudder to think of a world without them, it would be a sad place indeed. What a brilliant idea to pop that beautiful CH Wilton oil painting out of it's frame and to display it on it's own without anything around it to distract the eye. I am in love with those vintage olive oil jars. They add so much personality to the kitchen as well as an old world feel.The little metal tags are a perfect addition. And that winged heart with the solitary rhinestone! I sighed when I laid eyes on it. What a beautiful and touching work of art. I love that your house is filled with little hand made things created by your blog friends from all over the world. How special is that? The poem you've written for this post is just lovely Vera, I thoroughly enjoyed it, as it so eloquently expresses exactly how I feel about my own soulful dwelling.