Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Huffingtons Throw a Party

Last Friday night we threw a little fete at the gallery and what a party it turned out to be. It was technically the opening of “A Grand Affair” (a nice little show featuring paintings all under $1,000.00) but the evening turned out to be a festive and fun party.


We’re chalking the charged atmosphere in the gallery up to cabin fever – or what’s left of it around here. We poor Atlantans took a walloping about ten days ago: a lethal combination of snow quickly followed by freezing rain. The result were shocking: literally impassable and icy roads and a general shut down all over town.


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And yes, we hear it all the time from Northerners and Midwesterners and yes, you’re all correct: we don’t know how to drive in those kind of conditions, which is exactly why we are happy living in our temperate and above-freezing climate!

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Two of us crept and crawled our way to the gallery on day four of the Deep Freeze and slid into the gallery. UPS and FedEx deliveries were delayed by days and our poor artists were frantic trying to make sure their art arrived in time.


DSCF9083Shipments of paintings were delayed because of the weather…and then they all arrived at the same time!


With packages and boxes arriving in dribs and drabs, it was a hard show to hang. We ran out of our indispensible wall rods and hooks and had to wait for them to arrive, which meant we couldn’t hang. By Thursday, we were still a mess and quite honestly, we felt the show didn’t come together perfectly until Friday morning when we all got that “Aha!” feeling and we were confident the walls were looking their best.


linda opens a boxSmiles from Linda as she unpacks boxes


Anyway, after a solid five days and nights of being housebound, our friends and clients turned out in droves to take a peek at A Grand Affair.


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H102 Just to make it even more fun, we had our very favorite band, Smokey's Farmland Band, strumming their guitars, mandolins, and violins.
H48Smokey’s Farmland Band (sometimes they’re a trio and sometime they’re a fivesome - we had the trio) is made up of adorable and friendly musicians and they added the perfect backdrop at the gallery.


Our sweet bartender sadly couldn’t make it at the last minute, so one of our Huffingtons took charge along with two dear friends and beautifully handled the masses at the bar. The lines for the vino wound around the gallery but everyone was patient and had a great sense of humor. Our table of pretty food lasted no more than half an hour.


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So, our guests feasted their eyes and stomachs and washed it all down with a nice little French red and white and we’re pretty sure a good time was had by all.


We’ve got all the party pix on our Facebook page, so if you’re not a Friend, please become one so you can view the fun photos.( All party pix are courtesy of our charming English photographer, Philip Shone)


Just so you know, we do take plenty of time planning our calendars around these thrice or quarterly openings. They’re a great time to visit with our lovely clients and shine the spotlight on our artists. Coming up with the titles is half the fun and some of our favorites over the years have included: Wet Paint, Re-Arranging Reality, Luminosity and Juicy.


And, as this week rolled around, we were already hard at work planning our next event. You’re going to love this one: Blonde Bombshells, opening on Friday March 18th.


Stay tuned!


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Melissa Payne Baker (undoubtedly one of the Blonde Bombshells in the March 18th show, found us this perfect bottle of wine. Look closely at the title!)


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(sort of hard to read but this wine is called “The Blonde Bombshell!” Perfect for our next opening…)




Ta ta!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How Does He Do It? Artist Mark Lague

We are so fortunate here at Huff Harrington to have a large and diverse stable of artists. Together they form a melodious collection comprised of contemporary and traditional subjects, oil and acrylic renderings, and technical and spontaneous compositions. We like to think our strength as a gallery lies in the uniqueness of these artists.

Reading in the Park 30x30 $2600 Reading in the Park, 30 x 30”

One of these artists, Mark Lague, is new to many people here in Atlanta, but he is renowned throughout Canada and the United States for his technical urban landscapes and realistic figures that capture a singular moment in time. He transforms everyday, mundane, and “normal” scenes into something extraordinary and dynamic. His compositions are layered, yet uncluttered. He works in the moment, which lends an element of spontaneity, yet the final painting that emerges seems to be laid out in an orderly fashion from start to finish.

In a Hurry 10x8 $950 In a Hurry, 10 x 8

Lague prefers to paint from life, but this is not always possible, so he uses digital pictures to capture the light, feeling, and movement of the scene he wants to paint later. From his memory and the pictures, he starts with a pencil sketch. Then he lays out the value pattern and composition, which relate to the placement of colors and objects. He wants his work to have a strong value foundation. He layers various shades of color into the painting in such a way that the composition grounds itself by having each piece of subject matter he paints complement whatever is around it. It fits together like a complex jigsaw puzzle. Based on this, the format for the final painting is already in place. The last thing he does is to insert darks and lights where they are needed.

City Shadows 7x9 $450 City Shadows, 7 x 9”

Lague likes to work alla prima, which means he completes a painting in one single session. When he first started painting, he worked with watercolors, which he loved due to their transparency and immediacy. He began experimenting with oils in 2002 when he started painting his urban landscapes. He felt that the oil medium gave weight and depth to the work and was more appropriate for the subject matter. Oil paints also stay wet longer than watercolors, which dry immediately, so this allows him to continuously work on a piece for a few hours.

Boatyard Reflections 7x9 $450Boatyard Reflections, 7 x 9”

In terms of his subject matter, Lague paints scenes and people who don’t know that they’re watched. He wants to capture the true human experience and all of the raw, real, emotions that go along with this. He finds beauty in the ordinary - to him, all life, in all walks, shapes, and sizes, deserves appreciation and admiration. His interest in cityscapes stems from his desire to convey scenes that incorporate both motion and light. At any given moment from various angles, light will strike architecture and people in different ways, and Lague strives to capture the essence of the light in his work. The light in these same scenes is transformed into something even more spectacular at night or during a rainstorm, thus many pieces of Lague’s work reflect such scenes.

Alone at a Paris Cafe 30x15 $4000Alone at Paris Cafe, 30 x 15”

Although Lague is very detail oriented, his goal is to leave something unsaid with his work. Visually, his paintings may appear somewhat unfinished or perhaps not as fleshed out as they could be. Simplicity and conciseness are valued over an exact representational rendering. In terms of the message he conveys with his work, Lague leaves much open to the interpretation of the viewer. Who is this person? Where is this place? Why did he paint the scene the way he did? Lague creates an open dialogue with the viewer that they can engage in, with him, even when the artist is not present.

Copy of Waitress in the Sun 24x12 $1500 Waitress in the Sun, 24 x 12”

We are excited to be featuring new work by Mark Lague in our Grand Affair show, opening this Friday at 6 p.m. To truly appreciate his work, you must see it in person, so we hope you will come check him out (as well as all of the other lovely artists we'll be featuring). He is a tremendously talented artist, and he are honored to represent him here at Huff Harrington.

Tata!

Sarah

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Huffington favorites that haven't sold...yet.

We’ve been snowed and iced in all week here in Atlanta so we had plenty of time to think about this funny little art phenomenon that we see all the time at the gallery.

Any artist or gallerist will tell you that there is no way to truly predict sales – it’s just one of the many idiosyncrasies about this business that makes it challenging, exciting and rewarding. Most professional artists would say that their sales are cyclical - and the galleries would probably back that up, too. One minute, the artist’s paintings are flying off the wall and the next minute they’re not. We can’t always definitively track the sales back to anything we’ve done here at the gallery, but we know that raising awareness of the artist through media exposure, advertising, social media venues and introducing them to collectors is a huge part of it. But in the end, the painting has to connect with a collector and that’s a little like falling in love. It either works or it doesn’t.

We’re totally fine with that because we know it’s just how the business works. If you’ve been reading this little blog, you know that we get attached to certain paintings and even though we’re delighted to see them go to new and happy homes, we know we will pine for them just a little when they sell.

We all got to chatting one day here at the gallery and talking about our painting “crushes” and how we’re secretly glad they haven’t flown off the walls…yet:

Ann


Brigitte Curt, High Tide in the Afternoon


If truth be told, I was visiting what Sam Jones cleverly calls “The Loovre” (i.e. the Huff Harrington loo, which happens to be a gallery of floor to ceiling paintings – some of which are our best jewels which can be savored at one’s leisure), when I finally had a chance to really study and admire Brigitte Curt’s High Tide in the Afternoon. With this up close and personal interaction, the painting literally took my breath away. Warm and glowing, there is just the slightest glint of light that bounces off the water. The birds provide a subtle contrast that gives the painting life. And the palette, a beautiful mix of complementary colors, works magically to give this painting a timeless quality. It is not sentimental or clichéd. It is simply gorgeous. I know we should probably move it out of the Loovre into a more public spot in the gallery. But then I wouldn’t have my selfish moments with it. And I’m not quite ready to give it up yet!

Meg


Shelley Hopkins, Blossom

I usually know I’m in love with a painting when I can’t quite explain why I like it so much. It’s just a feeling I get. But this one appeals to me on so many levels. First, Shelley’s style is whimsical, folksy and just plain fun. I love how her definitive technique peels away so many layers of stuff, leaving the subject and its meaning clear for all to see. I love the simplicity of the girl (yes, I’m picking up on the daughter/girl imagery) and her quiet fascination with the empty bird cage. Where’s the bird? Did she accidentally let it out? Did she intentionally set it free? Is she a teenager trying to escape her own cage of little-girlness? Shelley also always incorporates cross-hatches in her work, which symbolize children’s growth. And lastly, the dramatic black, chalky background, polka dots and charming little floral shapes give this painting a feeling of innocence and youth. I have no doubt that this painting won’t last long here at the gallery, but I am happy to feast my eyes on it as long as it’s here.

Linda


Mark Lague, Alone at a Paris Cafe


My favorite painting that has not sold yet is Alone at a Paris Cafe, by Mark Lague. I am particularly drawn to this exquisite piece not only for the beautiful palette of reds, blues and golds, and not only because of the way Mark uses his brush and palette knife to create a unique dance of strokes on the surface of his canvas. It is much more personal for me. I see the young blonde woman as myself, as a college student. That was the age that I started longing to go to Paris, to sit just as the young woman is doing, all day, over a cafe au lait and a pain au chocolat, reading Colette. Luckily, I have realized this dream, and to this day find being "Alone at a Paris Cafe" to be one of life's guilty little pleasures!

Sam

Ewa Rzeznik, Clearing Skies

Growing up in Florida, you tend to think of the Atlantic Ocean as your front yard and the Gulf as your back yard. So it's no surprise that I am drawn to Ewa Rzeznik's Clearing Skies because it takes me back to a time when a simple walk on the beach was not a short vacation trip event but was a weekly and often daily occurrence.

For me, Ewa has captured the tranquility, peace and serenity of the ocean that so many of us equate with an escape from all concerns and cares when surrounded by the beauty and soothing rhythm of the waves.

Ewa is a master of painting a scene with an economy of strokes. Her use of the palette knife creates art that is so textural, you feel that if you touch the painting, you are actually touching the sand and her reflections are so exquisite, you might expect to see your own face reflecting back from the painting.

In this particular painting she has placed the subjects surrounded by the ocean's water and reminds me of how comforting the ocean's music can be.

Gazing at this painting is like taking a mini-vacation without having to travel. This painting could almost be considered therapeutic.

I hope it goes to a good home.

Sarah

Aaron Whitehouse, Eyeing Eternity


Aaron Whitehouse is one of the newest artists added to the Huffington stable, and I'm so excited about his work! To appreciate his stunning resin pieces, they need to be seen up on a wall, under lights. I was amazed at the depth and layers of complexity that emerged when light shines down on the smooth, glassy surface of his work. These pieces project off the wall towards the viewer, drawing you into the three-dimensional composition. It's electric. And stunning. He has created true show-stoppers that will knock your socks off when you first lay eyes of them.

This piece in particular, Eyeing Eternity, manages to convey serenity and energy at the same time. It's like looking into a pool of water that has no bottom and seems to go on for, well, eternity. Various shades of blue create the depths. It's tempting to reach out and touch it, in order to break the perfectly calm surface. This piece gives off a solid, weighty presence within a room, due to its unique creation process. Aaron acts as a sort of mad scientist, combining various chemicals and epoxy resins to construct these masterpieces. His work is like nothing I've ever seen before, and I'm happy to enjoy looking at it for however long (or short) it stays in the gallery.

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We're getting back in the swing of things after "Atlanta SnowJam '11" and are looking forward to our Grand Affair opening next Friday, January 21. We can't wait to visit and mingle with our wonderful clients and artists- an especially exciting prospect after being cooped up inside with limited company all this week.

Do you have a favorite piece that hasn't sold yet? Check out our website and let us know which pieces you're enjoying looking at but know will be gone in a jiffy.

Tata!

HH

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Huffington Home for Sale (or How it was All Meant to Be)

Front Door

You know the expression, it wasn’t meant to be? I’m not sure how many times people kindly consoled this Huffington, who sold her house with a plan to move in to a high rise condo in midtown Atlanta last year, only to have her plans thwarted by the condo building falling victim to the economy and going in to foreclosure.

So there we were, a little family of four, with no place to live! At the time, it was hard to imagine what was meant to be. Luckily, our fabulous realtor, Kevin Grieco, happened to know of a place to rent, and we quickly and gratefully poured into a pretty four-story townhome just north of the city. It was the perfect solution for us and we liked it so much that when the owners offered to sell it to us, we were extremely tempted. But deep down, we are city people and had set our sights on high rise living in the heart of Buckhead. We lived in the townhome happily for a year, and then when the right high rise condo came on the market, we decided it really was meant to be. And so reluctantly, we left our townhome and greeted the new year in a brand new condo.

All this to say that the pretty townhome where we lived for a year is now available for sale. Since we have no financial interest in helping it sell (other than dinner with our realtor, which we’ll probably have anyway because he’s turned in to a friend!), we’ve decided to use this little space to promote the home which is undoubtedly the best deal in all of Atlanta. Check out the pictures of this lovely, four story, 4 bedroom, 4 ½ bath, 10 foot ceiling home that overlooks a pool and a clubhouse, and is conveniently located next to GA 400, I-285 and is IOP (inside of perimeter!), and then scroll down to the realtor link and just be careful not to fall off your chair when you see the price!

Exterior view

Dining Room 4

Above, the front hall leading to an open dining room.

Dining Room

The family room and kitchen table, where we spent much of our time.

Living Room 1

Living Room & Kitchen 2

Although I’m not usually a fan of dark cabinets, this kitchen was delightful to cook in and the cabinets blended beautifully with the dark floors (that look lighter than they are in these photos). And I loved the openness of the room and the view from the kitchen.

Living Room side table

We were spoiled by a cozy fireplace that turned on with the flick of a switch.

Sitting area & fireplace

We loved the master bedroom, especially with the light that poured in on sunny days (unfortunately not the day Kevin took the photos).

Master bedroom

Master bedroom 3

There is another pretty bedroom, but those of you familiar with our favorite gallery dog Scurry, will be shocked to hear that she confused the bed for her potty the day Kevin took the photos. So, that bedroom (which overlooks the pool) was not photographed.

Girls Room 2

The entire fourth floor is a dream teen suite – making returning to a college dorm just that much harder!

Girls Room 3

There is also Huffington Hubby’s study, which was not dressed for photography!

Walkway

We hope that one of our nice blog readers will be the lucky person to discover and fall in love with this townhome. The owners are lovely and they treated us so well for the year that we rented from them. And we can’t say enough good things about our realtor Kevin. So we’d like to think that if we can help this pretty home fall in to the right hands of a happy new owner, it really was all meant to be.

Tata,

AH

PS: For more information, please contact Kevin Grieco.