Friday, July 29, 2011

Romantic Melancholy: Art inspired by Sarabande

~Alexander McQueen's Most Romantic Runway show as Artistic Inspiration~
by Miriam Schulman.
Spanish Rose, original watercolor by Schulman
The Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has the flower dress on display which inspired this painting. There are more watercolors in this series where art meets fashion and fashion meets art. Inspired by Alexander McQueen's dress, Sarabande and re-imagined as a Gustav Klimt stylized painting using swirls, butterflies, and flowers to give visual interest, symbolism and texture.

The dress in the detail picture comes from the McQueen collection called Sarabande. Sarabande is a type of music which was first references in Central America by a popular Spanish dance called a zarabanda. While the dance was banned in Spain in 1583 for its obscenity, Cervantes and other authors of that period reference the dance in their literature. Undoubtedly the silhouette of the dress references the Spanish flamenco costumes and instead of a single rose in the hair or on the collar the entire dress was made of fresh flowers.
McQueen Dress in Runway show
portrait of the socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati by Giovanni Boldini

The sarabande form was revived in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by classical composers. The fashion runway show was accompanied by a live orchestra playing Handel's Sarabande. Other romantic influences for this collection were Goya, the Spanish painter, socialite Marchesa Luisa Casati and garden flowers.
Portrait of Emilie Floge by Gustav Klmit

treasury with items inspired by the McQueen's 2007 Runway Show
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Thursday, July 28, 2011

How to post your etsy treasury on facebook.

Maximize exposure through social media.
By Miriam Schulman.

We all love being featured in etsy treasuries, but how do you turn this ego boost into a boost in sales and exposure for your items? Of course, those of us lucky enough to have a treasury promoted on etsy's front page have seen a huge surge of traffic and sales to our stores and our goods, but what to do for those quieter treasuries that never make it to the home page?

Screen shot after link is pasted in status bar

The easiest way to promote the treasury featuring your product is to copy the link location of the treasury and copy that into the status box on facebook along with a comment that says something like "my item has been featured on etsy!" Now, before you hit share you have to click on the arrow button until you see your beautiful product appear as the thumbnail. When you hit share you will be sharing which item was chosen for a teasury, not just that you are featured.
Right picture, wrong caption!

Now there is a drawback to this method. Notice how the text under the treasury says "Vintage New York Postcard"? That is not the description that goes with the thumbnail, but rather the description to the first thumbnail that came up. So, although this method is easy to use, it is not the best method.

A better method for posting treasuries to your facebook media is through Hootesuite. The basic package is free and there is  a grease monkey script for putting hootesuite right on the tool bar for Mozilla Firefox. (there should also be one for Internet Explorer)

Let's assume you have downloaded Hootesuite and added that to your desktop. Here is what adding a treasury through Hootesuite is like: Go to the page that has the treasury. Click on the Owl/Hootesuite icon in the upper right of your tool bar.

A window will popup that has the name of the treasury, a shortened link to the treasury and options to add to your social media accounts. In one quick step you can paste the treasury to your facebook account as well send a notice out to twitter.

Click on your twitter account icon and your facebook. Again, you will have to scroll though all the other items in the treasury until you get to the one that features you. This time, you can change the text in the box to whatever you want. Sometimes you may want to put in your item description. You can also change the title. This is a good place to say you have been featured. The text in the tweet box can be changed too. You can replace the words "Mozilla Firefox" with keywords that better promote your item. Also, put an "@" symbol in front of the shop owner's name in case they have a twitter account. Another convenient feature is that you can schedule these status updates. If you wake in the morning to find you have been featured in more than one treasury you can schedule the updates throughout the day by using the schedule button.
Final screenshot of what the treasury looks like posted on, LIKEY?
One final tip for promoting your items that are featured in treasuries. Etsy recently introduced the idea that you can "favorite" a treasury. This makes a smaller version of the treasury appear in the status updates for everyone who has added you to their circle. Always favorite the treasury if you appear in the first eight items.

This treasury appeared in the activity feed for over 400 members who have added mimistudio to their favorites!
Here is the treasury used in all the screenshots above. 
Click on any items you wish to purchase.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hidden Gallery Gems in Chelsea.

Where to go gallery hopping in New York.
by Miriam Schulman.
Summer Butterfly Swirls by Miriam Schulman
The Chelsea Art Walk is this Thursday, July 28, 2001 with over 125 participating galleries! Chelsea's second annual summer evening of extended hours and special events is free and open to the public.Where does one start?  Here is a guide to some great finds. The evening is from 5-8 or you can visit the galleries at the their regular viewing hours.


Jill Greenberg: Glass Ceiling
Clampart 521-531 West 25th Street (cross: 10th Ave)
thru August 19th

Giant, juicy and kaleidoscopic images depict women submerged or surfacing in stilettos through candy colored waters. The series was inspired by a commercial assignment the well known photographer received that involved photographing Olympic athletes wearing heels. In addition to these luscious surreal underwater photographs are Greenberg's most recent animal series which include fantastical portraits of horses.

Summer hours: Tuesday - Friday 11am - 6pm, Saturdays by appointment 
Exhibition open until August 19 

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Inspired by the Models and Fashion of Alexander McQueen.

Art of the Muse.
by Miriam Schulman

Fashion illustrations and fantasy art inspired by Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. (still going on thru August 7, 2011)

Chess Queen
Size: 16x20"
Media: Watercolor on Canvas Board
Blue and purple butterflies lift the queen off her feet and carry her away.

The Alexander McQueen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has an amazing dress with Japanese influences on display which inspired this painting. McQueen's concept behind the collection was that each model was a life size chess piece that moved across the board like the Wizard Chess in Harry Potter. In McQueen's world he had the Japanese against the American. The dress in the runway photograph depicts McQueen's version of the Queen. There are more watercolors in this series where art meets fashion and fashion meets art.

McQueen designed the 2005 collection It’s Only a Game around the idea of a chess match between America and Japan. Each ensemble corresponded to a particular chess piece.
Related Blog Posts:

Symbols of Death, Birth and Renewal in the Art of Alexander McQueen

Five not to miss art shows in NYC this summer

Alexander McQueen brings an artist's touch to his designs

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Friday, July 22, 2011

Art of the Muse

Inspired by the Models and Fashion of Alexander McQueen.
by Miriam Schulman~

The Alexander Mc Queen show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art has the red butterfly hat on display which inspired this painting. There are more watercolors in this series where art meets fashion and fashion meets art.
Butterfly Fairy-Goddess, 11x14" watercolor on Canvas Board by Miriam Schulman
Butterflies are the ultimate symbol of life after death for the caterpillar must succumb to the cocoon and die before being reborn as a butterfly. This hat created by eccentric milliner Philip Treacy and conceived by McQueen as an accessory for his 2008 runway fashion show. The show and the hat were a tribute to the late Isabella Blow, who had discovered both Treacy and McQueen and championed their clothes.

The exhibition, Savage Beauty, ends with the collection Plato’s Atlantis, which was Alexander McQueen’s last collection while he was alive. 

Related Blog Posts:

Symbols of Death, Birth and Renewal in the Art of Alexander McQueen

Five not to miss art shows in NYC this summer

Alexander McQueen brings an artist's touch to his designs

Read More »

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Five More Art Shows to Round out your Summer in NYC!

Exhibitions not to miss in New York.
by Miriam Schulman~

Where do you go for great art in the middle of July when some shows have closed and you've seen the rest? The Cone Sisters exhibition is still going on at the Jewish Museum and so is Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art but if you are a  frequent museum goer you may be looking for a fresh batch of new shows to see. Here is a round up of another group of exhibitions that have either just opened or are still going on through the end of the summer in New York. (related blog post: Five not to miss art shows in NYC this summer)

Willem de Kooning: The Figure: Movement and Gesture
The PACE Gallery, 32 East 57th Street, nr Madison Avenue
Apr 29, 2011 - Jul 29, 2011
Who do you think is in the top two spots for the most expensive paintings ever sold? Picasso? WRONG! Van Gogh, good guess, but wrong again. The top two spots are held by Jackson Pollock and another abstract expressionist, Willem DeKooning. ( his painting sold for 137.5 million in 2006!) The Pace Gallery gained control of his estate from the Gagosian Gallery last year and now we have the pleasure of viewing the genius of the late Abstract Expressionist's colorful figurative works. be sure to grab a girlfriend and see this show during the week as these gallerists are spending their weekends at the beach.

Summer Hours:
Mon-Thurs 9:30-6; Fri 9:30-4 

Jim Henson's Fantastic World
Museum of the Moving Image
36-01 35 Avenue; Astoria, NY
July 16–January 16, 2012

Your grew up with Sesame Street. Your kids love Elmo and now with the new Muppet Movie coming out, what better activity for the whole family then to go to a museum that highlights the achievements of the genius behind all the beloved puppets. Fifteen iconic puppets, including Miss Piggy, Kermit the Frog, Rowlf, and Bert and Ernie, are on view, along with photographs of Henson and his collaborators at work and excerpts from his early projects and experimental films. Your children won't be disappointed by this show and neither will you.

Guided tours of Jim Henson’s Fantastic World are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 p.m. and last 30 minutes.

Museum Hours
Tue-Thu: 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Fri: 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Mon: Closed 

In a New Light: Bellini's St. Francis in the Desert
Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street (Fifth Avenue)
May 22, 2011, through August 28, 2011
The crown jewel of the Frick Collection is Giovani Bellini's St. Francis in the Desert. Even if you are already familiar with this iconic painting, be sure to catch some of the great programs the museum has planned over the summer in connection with the exhibition. For example, the Frick is having a free night of after-hours viewing of their two exhibitions, In a New Light: Bellini’s St. Francis in the Desert and Turkish Taste at the Court of Marie-
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Picture Perfect: How to Dress for your Portrait Sitting

Blank Canvas
by , guest blogger Lindsay LeBoyer 

When having your portrait painted, you want to look your best. Here are some guidelines to ensure the subject is the star, not the clothes.

1) Wear white on top
Aeolian Tee, Anthropologie
White is a classic that never goes out of style and reflects light beautifully onto the face. Wearing white on top will also make the subject stand out from the background. When choosing a white top, it's important to remain to true to your personal style. There are many options to choose from, like a classic white button down or a modern tee. Make sure you choose something that feels like yourself, because that way you'll feel feel comfortable and natural when you're posing. Don't worry if there's a stain on your shirt; the artist can paint it out. Since white can sometimes be a little see through, wear undergarments that are white or skin tone and won't show through your shirt. For younger subjects, non fussy pieces like a cute blouse or plain white tee shirt will work well. Keep in mind that you'll want the portrait to last forever, so stay away from anything very trendy that can date the painting.
Melanie Stretch Poplin Shirt, Ralph Lauren Blue Label

2) Cover your knees

Straight stretch jean, Ralph Lauren

Tiered Skirt, Old Navy 
Another important guideline is to keep knees undercover. Short skirts can ride up and look too revealing for the portrait. Girls can wear a flouncy mid length skirt which is comfortable to sit in. Avoid tight mini skirts or anything made from stiff, uncomfortable fabric. If skirts aren't for you, go with a pair of classic jeans. They shouldn't have any big rips or frayed hems because these details can look messy and are constantly going in and out of style. Another option is khaki or chino pants.

3) Be yourself, relax, and have fun! 
Clothing is important, but the most essential thing to wear to your portrait is a happy face.

All portraits by Miriam Schulman For more information or to commission a portrait please visit

Click HERE for more portrait samples

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