Tag Archives: Painting

A Closer Look: Jackson Pollock


In honor of my trip this weekend to New York, enjoy one of that city’s most famous (and largest!) paintings. Autumn Rhythm (No. 30) hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It measures over 17 feet long, and was painted by Jackson Pollock on unstretched canvas on his floor.  Make sure to see this cultural treasure the next time you’re in New York.  The Met has a ” pay what you wish ” policy every day, which means you can see it for next to nothing, though it’s worth over $100 million.


image 1: the slide projector online 

image 2: artchive.com

A Closer Look: Art Inspiraton for the Chancellor’s House at NC State

The Chancellor’s house at NC State is coming along nicely, and we’re starting to think about the decorative touches that will make this house feel like a home.  In such a large house, with both public and private areas, we had to get creative about where to find the right pieces.

We’ve mined the University Archives, Gregg Musuem, and the work of local artists to find the perfect collection worthy of such a grand building.  Below are some pieces that have inspired us….

Mining the Musuem

One of the best sources of art for the Chancellor’s house is the Gregg Museum at NC State.  We will adorn the walls with several loans from their permanent collection.

Some of my favorite pieces are the photographs of esteemed North Carolina Photographer Elizabeth Matheson (above).  Her work is currently in a show at the North Carolina Museum of Art, and we hope to place similar work on the main floor of the Chancellor’s House.

Another great artist in the Gregg Collection is George Bireline, whose abstract expressionist painting (above) will look amazing in the Chancellor’s study.


Mining the Archives

Another great source of art will be reproductions made from the University Archives.  This vast collection includes all sorts of wonderful images.

An illustrated Entomology book by E.A. Seguy (above) is one of our favorite finds.  These large prints of insects and butterflies are striking.

We also discovered the archive’s collection of printed sports memorabilia.  We’d love to incorporate some of this fun and colorful artwork.

The university also has an impressive collection of glass slides from botanist B.W. Wells.  He used these hand-colored slides to instruct his students on the biodiversity of natural ecosystems.  These slides can add a touch of beauty to the house, while also bringing to mind NC State’s role in the sciences.


Finding Local Talent

One of our main goals was to incorporate the work of local artists.  Below are two examples of the artists who have inspired us, and who we hope to work with.

Ashlynn Browning (above) is a talented painter based in Raleigh.  Her bold, colorful paintings are masterfully produced, and can add a punch of color to any wall.

Steve Staresina (above) is a local artist who creates large-scale frescoes.  He is creating a large-scale work commissioned specifically for the Chancellor’s Parlour.


Decorative Touches

To round out the collection, we’re looking to additional sources to add diversity to the collection.

We love the (above) wall piece from Ironies.  Cast resin painted with a metallic pigment make this wall-sculpture look like formed metal.

Another great source for decorative pieces is Natural Curiosities.  They offer many interesting works in a variety of formats, and can add a sophisticated touch to any home.  The abstract paper collection (above) is one of our favorites.

The Jean Baptiste Collection (also from Natural Curiosities) is another collection we’d like to use in the home (above).  The same set of prints was featured in this month’s issue of House Beautiful magazine (below).

We look forward to updating you as the art collection continues to come together.



image 1: http://web.ncsu.edu/this-red-house/

image 2, 3: http://www.ncsu.edu/gregg/collections.html

image 4, 5, 6: North Carolina State University Archives

image 7: http://www.ashlynnbrowning.com/

image 8: http://www.staresina.com/

image 9: http://www.ironies.com/index.php

image 10, 11, 12: http://naturalcuriosities.com/


A Closer Look: Jasper Johns

Just in time for the 4th of July weekend, I want to introduce you to an artist with southern roots that everyone should get to know.  Jasper Johns is an artist who was born in Georgia, raised in South Carolina, and rose to fame as one of the most important American Painters of the 20th century.  Take a look at one of his most famous works: Flag from 1954.

With Jasper Johns, things are not always as they seem.  He used the flag in order to comment on flatness in modern painting, and used dense brushwork to imitate the strokes of Abstract Expressionists like Jackson Pollock, although in a controlled and deliberate manner.  Here’s a closer look at the above painting, which shows his use of encaustic (wax mixed with pigment):

It has also been suggested that the flag is a sort of autobiographical reference, referring to Johns’ time in the military, or the Revolutionary war hero after which he was named.

Johns’ breakthrough move was to adopt popular iconography in painting, paving the way for pop artists like Andy Warhol.

Take a closer look at Jasper Johns’ work and see what it means to you…


Have a Happy 4th!




A Closer Look: Art Project by Google

Have you heard of Art Project powered by Google?  It’s an art lover’s dream come true.  It works a lot like Google’s street view, allowing you to “walk” through famous museums ranging from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  You can stop at most of the artworks and see them up-close.  And I mean really close!  The zoom ability is amazing, allowing you to view paintings at more than life size, and examine every brushstroke.  One painting even lets you turn off the light to see it glow in the dark.  While nothing compares to an actual trip to the museum, this is the closest you’ll come without leaving your house! 

Design Lines Ltd. Google Art Project Van Gogh Closeup Starry Night

Here’s a screenshot of Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh – as you’ve never seen it before!


image: google

A Closer Look: Ashylnn Browning at First Friday

What are you doing next Friday?  Why not check out First Friday in Raleigh?  It’s a great opportunity to see art, hear music, and enjoy food in downtown Raleigh.  For me, art is always at the heart of the event.  One of the most traveled spots on the circuit is Artspace, a large industrial building filled with artists who open their studios to the public.  It’s a big space, and there is more than enough art to overwhelm you.  But for me, there are two artists who really stand out from the crowd, and always make the visit worthwhile.  One of them is a talented painter named Ashylnn Browning (I’ll talk about the other artist next month!). 

 Design Lines Ltd artwork by ashylnn browning hot and pink oil on panel

Browning is currently working on a series of paintings that, in her words “create a hybrid of geometric forms and intuitive process.”   It looks as if she took Buckminster Fuller’s famous geodesic domes and warped them into dream-like versions of themselves, then plopped them into a surreal landscape.  For Browning, the result of this approach is a body of work that is easy to love, with beautiful colors and striking compositions.  

Design Lines Ltd artwork by ashylnn browning muddled clarity oil on panel 

In one of my favorite paintings by the artist (below), I like how the gray paint around the edges seems to intrude on the center of the painting, leaving us with only a glimpse into its dense inner-workings.  It is as if the painting is hiding a secret that can never be fully revealed.    Many of her other paintings have similar psychological undertones, and I always enjoy discovering something human amidst their imperfect geometry.

Design Lines Ltd artwork by ashylnn browning braced oil on canvas painting

Raleigh’s First Friday is next week, so check it out!  And be sure to visit Ashylnn Browning’s studio in Artspace – located in Studio 109, 201 E Davie Street, Raleigh, NC 27601.

For more information you can visit First Friday’s Official Website and Ashlynn Browning’s Website.


A Closer Look: Jeremy Kerman At Craven Allen Gallery

Art inspires the way we live, see and understand the world.  It certainly inspires the work we do at Design Lines so much so, that Rob has created a  new blog series called “A Closer Look.” Every Friday he will take you a journey through art, design, and the intersection of the two. So take it away Rob!

Design Lines Ltd. Craven Art Gallery Jeremy Kerman

Last week, I was excited to see Jeremy Kerman’s show “Find myself a City to Live In” at Craven Allen Gallery in Durham.  I originally saw his collage paintings in Watt’s Grocery, a restaurant just a few doors away, and I was immediately hooked.   Using scraps of photos and paint on paper, he casts local Durham landmarks in a new light.  

Design Lines Ltd. Craven Art Gallery Jeremy Kerman 2

Worked over surfaces, hastily joined paper, and a fanciful juxtaposition of scales give these paintings the feeling that they were created intuitively, despite the artist’s formal education in art.  It is this freshness and honesty that draws me to Kerman’s work.  But what keeps me interested are the fascinating urban spaces he creates within – places that are as familiar as they are fanciful.  Can you recognize any of them?

Jeremy Kerman’s work is up through the end of the month.  Craven Allen Gallery is located at 1106½ Broad Street in Durham, North Carolina.  (919) 286-4837


images: Craven Allen Gallery

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