Thursday, September 30, 2010

Zac Freeman's Amazing Portraits Made With The Stuff In Your Junk Drawer.

You know all that stuff you either toss away of throw in the kitchen 'junk' drawer? Buttons, old remote controls, pen caps, paper clips, Altoid tins, Lego Minifigs, wire, plastic bits and pieces from lord-knows-what? Well those are precisely what artist Zac Freeman uses in creating these one of a kind portraits.

above: portrait of Jerry and Jerry detail

Beginning in 1999, Zac began collecting junk, found objects, and general trash which he then glued to wooden substrate to form an image -- in these cases, faces of men and women. His assemblage artworks are made on a large scale (the pieces average about 28" by 35") and when viewed close up look like crap cobbled together with a hot glue gun, but when viewed from afar are impressive, compelling and simply beautiful portraits.

above: Zac Freeman's portrait of Garrett (detail) and mouth (close-up)

His finished works combine the best aesthetic qualities of Chuck Close and Bernard Pras and that's saying something.


Garrett (detail):


Holly (detail):


Ryan (detail):


Courtney (detail):


Bryan (detail):



The artist's self portrait:


David, below, is his recent addition to the Woolff Gallery:

Zac at work in his studio:

above two images courtesy of Woolff Gallery

In the artist's own words:
"I was interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space. It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself."

all images courtesy of the artist
Zac Freeman Art

For commission requests or inquiries about Zac's work please contact Nick Woolff of the Woolff Gallery.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Competition in Christianity, Part 1

My name is Jessica. And I am an imperfect Christian.

I think that’s the best preface for what I’m about to open up and share with you.

One evening, about a month ago, my husband and I cozied up on the couch after dinner and channel surfed to find something worth while {which these days, is very hard to come by}. As we were browsing through a slew of “nothingness” something caught my eye – a program called Hillsong TV. I was familiar with Hillsong music as I have purchased several of their praise and worship cd’s over the years {worship leader Darlene Zschech has such an annointing on her voice}. That evening, Hillsong TV was broadcasting a message entitled “When Ordinary People Pray” delivered by its Pastor, Brian Houston. As I was listening I found him to be so authentic, so real, and so relatable. He was delivering a simple, yet profound message – one in which I will never forget.

His message in a nutshell: We are all imperfect. No matter who we are, there are things in all of our lives that need to change. Let’s stop the spiritual competition and be transparent with one another.

Those words really resonated within me.

If you've been a long time reader of my blog then you've read this post in which I talked about letting God more into my blog; that post also shares why I was initially reluctant to do so. But ultimately I wanted to share my heart with all of you more and not conceal my faith and love for the Lord. By opening that door, for some, it brought another commonality to the table and has allowed transparency, even if it's just in a small way, to shine through. Sometimes it's not always easy to lift up our privacy fences but being relatable can have a powerful impact - in fact, transparency and being will to share our testimony has led/can lead many people towards salvation. It's not always easy to live out our christian walk in front of others - God is much more compassionate than people are and He sees into our heart, whereas people cannot.

Yes, I am a Christian– but I am an imperfect one. I am a flawed human being who has been saved by grace and if it weren’t for God’s mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness, favor, protection, provision, unconditional love, continual blessings and endless devotion towards me, who knows where I would be.

I have sinned, repented of that sin, and then repeated that same sin again. Again I will say, thank God for His mercy and forgiveness.

I haven’t always followed in God’s ways, abided by His commandments, or have completely walked out His calling on my life.

The day that my father died, I said the following words to God: “HOW COULD YOU!?!” Followed by...“I HATE YOU”.

There are some days that I am conscious to spend time in prayer and others days that I just don’t make it a priority.

Some days I take the time to think about all the blessings in my life and tell the Lord how grateful I am for them, and then there are days that I just…don’t.

Some days I am a submissive wife – some days I’m not. And on those days that I’m not it’s likely because I’m being headstrong, impatient, intolerant or controlling {sometimes all of those things at once}.

Last Sunday I went to church – this past Sunday I didn’t. To be even more transparent, we’ve been out of church for months and have just started going back.

There was a time in my life when I was so on fire for the things of God – when I was passionately, whole-heartedly serving Him with all that was within me {I shared a lot about that time in my life in this post}. I was so mindful of pursuing the call of God on my life and the plans and purposes that He created me for. Nowadays I’m stagnant. However, being a child of God, the Holy Spirit is hard at work in me and He isn’t letting me easily put those things permanently to the way side.

I have been in some really, really unhealthy – and un-Godly – relationships. And man, did God have His hand on me.

In my past I have lied. About a lot of things.

I occasionally enjoy a nice glass of wine or a good cocktail. I used to be so conflicted about drinking alcohol {was it ok?, was it not ok?} – it’s something I rarely do but when I do, I don’t have an internal struggle or guilt about it anymore.

I have been judgmental of others.

I’ve said a curse word or two {or 3,684} in my time.

And while I’m at it I should mention that when I was probably eight or nine years old, I pocketed a few butterscotch balls from the grocery store’s candy bin.

For me, transparency {especially with Christians} doesn’t come easy. And theoretically it ought to, no? After all, jointly we are the body of Christ, designed to [among other things] uphold one another. But I have noticed that we aren’t always naturally inclined to be authentic with one another. Why is that? Could it be because there’s an underlying spiritual competition that exists and it keeps us at bay from each other?

Getting back to the message that I watched on Hillsong TV…..

In Houston’s message he gets into a story about the time when he was going through seminary school. Surely everyone there had to be “holy”, right? One evening a group of men from the school gathered together to fellowship and pray. But on that night, something different happened. One by one, the guys started opening up, getting real, and confessing their faults on to another…one said that he was a chain smoker, to which everyone became wide-eyed and shocked, sitting in disbelief. Because of the first guy’s transparency, another guy opened up and shared that he had an anger problem and couldn’t control his cursing banters or suppress his “wave” of the middle finger to people who he became irritated with. Because of the first guy’s transparency and the second’s guys authenticity, a third guy voiced that he is a compulsive gossiper and cant wait to get out of the place…to tell everyone about the other two guys' issues! Ha! It was quite a funny story – but it was told to make a point….

Prior to that day, before those men had shared some of their imperfections one to another, they would size each other up spiritually – not knowing of the inner, private battles that each of them faced. They would seemingly compete {consciously? unconsciously?} for who was the bigger, better, more spiritual giant. Who would say the longer, better, more fervent, prayer. Who was living their life more closely in alignment with the word of God. All the while they were each intimidated by the perception that the other person gave off – the perception of having it all together. It wasn’t until they became authentic with one another and showcased their flaws that they realized that having a transparent heart, and having an atmosphere of authenticity, and being real one to another, is a beautiful, liberating thing.

In our walk with God, we are always being refined. We don't get saved and then become perfect. We don't have to work, however, for God's love. His acceptance of us comes without conditions. And although mistakes will be made, there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus {Romans 8:1}.

So do we be transparent with just anyone about our past pain and our current struggles?

.... Part 2 to Follow ….

Sit On Knits! Custom Upholstered Sweater Chairs By Melanie Porter.

Traditional and modern chairs take on a new dimension when upholstered in the hand-knit textiles of Melanie Porter. From tub chairs to wing chairs, Chippendales to Egg chairs, Melanie painstakingly strips them of their original upholstery and then covers each chair in her hand knit panels of cable knits, patchwork, cross-stitch, and crochet. Details like hand covered buttons, pom pom accents, union jacks, painted frames and color combinations best show off the textiles.

Melanie's chairs are cozy and inviting one-of-a-kind functional art pieces. She even gives them human names, which only add to their appeal. Here's a look at several of her unique chairs.

Nora chair:

Lottie chair:

Olivia chair:

Bob chair:

Will chair:

Pip and Pen chairs:

Albert chair:

George chair:

Gilbert chair:

Bertie chair:

Tabby chair:

In addition to the chairs, Melanie makes and sells hand-knit cushions using Italian Merino wools.

Percy (Union jack) Cushions in two colorways:

Daffy, Honeycomb and Quod cushions:

images courtesy of Furfin, Melanie Porter and Mydeco.

About Melanie Porter:

After 10 years working as a knitwear designer for a number of international fashion brands, Melanie has turned her expertise to furniture, creating one-off contemporary designs from chairs sourced from auctions and markets across the UK.

Melanie undertakes the entire process herself and everything, from the restoration and upholstering to the individual, crocheted buttons, is done by hand. The result of this incredibly labor-intensive process is a stunning and unique work of art, destined to be a future family heirloom.

Shop for Melanie's chairs and cushions here.

Please contact Melanie for any further details, or to enquire about bespoke commisions.
07770 941305

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Marcia Cross' Trailer on the set of Desperate Housewives

Although it was highlighted in October of 2007, I am just now seeing the feature that Traditional Home did of Marcia Cross' trailer. Talk about an oh-so-glamaourous retreat! To say that it's devine is an understatement! Have a look....

Not exactly what you envision when you hear the word "trailer", huh?! The small space was impeccably "beautified"!

For information on the design elements, visit the Traditional Home online feature here.

Strollin' Through Target

Yesterday morning I scooped up this pretty little thing and headed to Target {for a very quick trip!}.

I wanted to see what kind of walking toys Target carried; I was curious if they had anything different from the other two stores that I've been to. They didn't. But it was fun strolling!....

Doesn't she look so comfy in there!? I took her to Target in her comfy at-home play clothes : )

I got these little shoes for Ilah while I was pregnant - she wore them yesteday for the first time. Considering how fast she is growing she probably won't wear them too many more times so I took a picture of them on her little feet!

Holding mommy's hand. I love it!....

Sometimes she tries to eat me too....

All the kiddie pools, floating devices, goggles, etc. were on clearance so I picked up this sun canopy for the pool for next summer {just $3}.

In preparation for fall, Target had such cute clothes out for little ones....

I think the saying on these pj's are so cute! Wish the top was long sleeve....

Last year before Ilah was born I bought some really cute pj's on clearance at Target. I looked at them hanging in her closet last weekend and thought that they might still be too big for her to wear but I went ahead and took the tags off a few and washed them {I hang dry everything}; well, I went to put her in one before bedtime last week and as it turns out, it was too small! They are all the same brand which means they are all too small! : ( This little one is growing like a weed!
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