Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Get Drunk on Color

Raspberry Wine
Red Raspberry Wine
by Miriam Schulman

I Dream of Paris, original Eiffel Tower painting
Pantone's predictions for 2011 fall colors includes raspberry wine. Providing men an alternative to Honeysuckle pink, Raspberry Wine has more sparkle than a merlot, making a statement with its vital red characteristics.The swatch on the Pantone website is decidedly pink, but you can opt for a little redder variation such as rouge. Or use the pink in full force in combination with taupe, otherwise known as nougat this season, for an energetic and sexy combination.

Interior decorator Amy Lau found a gorgeous red that has the beauty of red wine without venturing into the feminine.  "I'm completely in love with these paints, originally made for Le Corbusier and mixed with pure artist's pigments, so you get these supersaturated jewel tones. This is the color of garnets, rubies, Japanese maple leaves, that red dress you wear on a first date that really sizzles. I see it in a dining room with red wine, a five-course meal, candlelight, and twinkling glasses."

Interior designer, Richard McGeehan says "Pink can have a fierce energy that pierces through like a fog light. I'm drawn to hot pink, and I like it paired with taupe, for balance." Check out this sophisticated fabric from Levievre through Stark
Cranberry & Fuchsia Ikat thru Pieces; 404-869-2476

Shop owner and tastemaker Lee Kleinhelter advises to pair "plum and magenta. It has boldness." Check out the color combination in these ikat pillows.
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Monday, September 26, 2011

Decorating Ideas for Soft and Restful Rooms

Et Tu Cadet Blue?
by Miriam Schulman

Pantone Fall 2011 Color
Cadet, the perfect marriage of blue and gray, is another indisputable classic color for the home This Pantone color was featured for men's wear on the fall 2011 runways but is timeless in the home. This color is decidedly gender neutral that is neither juvenile nor feminine so works in bedrooms for both sexes.

Cadet Blue Bed Linens
Get the whole sheet set or just a decorative throw pillow in this easy to live with organic color that is not too girly. I would love to see the Donna Karan duvet pictured here mixed with the unusual throw pillows by etsy sellers pictured below. The brown and blue polka dotted throw pillows add a contemporary masculine punch while the Brunschwig and Fils toile pillow would add instant old world style.

Update your old furniture to look like new.

 Slate and Oyster White by Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co.

All it takes is a new coat of paint in cadet blue. Interior Decorator Brian McCarthy advises "Find a piece that has good lines and trick it up. I've taken a plain pine chest of drawers from a junk shop and done a simple, cottagey finish with milk paint. Start with a base in Swedish blue-gray and lightly brush over it with white, pulling back with steel wool in spots to reveal more color." 

Benjamin Moore's Wolf Gray

You can also repaint kitchen cabinets Decorator Sandra Nunnerley complains  "I'm so tired of all those off-white cabinets. I'd paint them this dark Swedish gray-blue and make the whole room very Gustavian, with chalky white walls, Carrara marble countertops, and stainless-steel appliances." When I repainted my own kitchen cabinets for a secretly budget saavy makeover, I had considered this advice but decided my kids would ruin white counters in a month and painted the brown cabinets bone white and went with slate gray countertops and saved the white marble for the backsplash.

Keep the Walls Beige and Let the Artwork Shine
In a bedroom by Royce Pinkwater all the colors are soft and restful. Eric Cohler designed the custom cadet blue upholstered headboard. Artwork by Miriam Schulman adds the finishing sophisticated touch.Collect abstract tree art

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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Powerful Purr is better than Prozac

How I got a Cat

by Miriam Schulman

My Sister-in-law's Ginger Tabby Cat
For years I insisted to my family that we couldn't get a dog or a cat because of my allergies. I love cats but after having to give up two Siamese cats when I was a toddler because of severe allergies, and then being known as the "girl who sneezed" in grade school when my step father got the family a dog and a cat I didn't think there was another pet in my future. We loved visiting my sister-in-law's cat and I thought that would be enough.

 I didn't want Godzilla living in my house

Then comes along my eleven year old son. (now he is 14) I have a daughter too, but she keeps her wishes to herself. Not my son. With Machiavellian techniques that would make any lawyer blush he relentlessly pleads his case. First, he wanted a bulldog and I told him, maybe, if he tested negative for pet allergies, I would consider. Before we made the allergist appointment, however, the next door neighbors got an adorable bulldog and my son started dog watching. After he learned that maybe a dog was a little too much work after all he switched to wanting a chinchilla---or a lizard. Now iguanas may start out really cute byt they can grow several feet long. Since I didn't want Godzilla living in my house, I thought maybe a Chinchilla would be okay if he bought it with his own money and if he waited until he came home from camp because I was not taking care of a furry rat all summer.

the cat room is this way

Five months later... (buy cat print)
So one day before he left for summer camp we drove over to the main drag in White Plains to the local pet store to look at all the varieties of rodents they had to offer. There were no chinchillas that day, but on the way we happened to pass the Pet Rescue Mission in the County Center- a hall that usually holds a three ring circus. In the main area, the huge hall was filled with barking pit bulls and the place stank of feces. I felt my blood pressure go up with my resolve not to own a canine but my son, knowing how to charm me said, "Come Mom...the cat room is this way."

therapeutic benefits of purring

As soon as we entered the room full of purring cats my blood pressure started to return to normal. There is something in that too. A cat’s purr ranges between 25 and 140 Hertz, which matches the frequency that has been shown in humans to produce the most therapeutic benefits.Slowly, we circled the perimeter of the room where majestic cats of all colors sat primly in cages until we reached the kitten corner... In case you are wondering about my allergies I used zyrtec for the first six months, and somehow I became conditioned to our cat so I don't have an allergic reaction anymore.

We love cats especially little kittens. This watercolor painting is of my cat Ebony just after we adopted her from an animal rescue shelter. We immediately fell in love with her white whiskers and pink nose. Here she is studying herself in the mirror. She is a very social kitty with a wonderful personality. If only she stayed little a bit longer. {you can collect any of the cat art shown in this blog here}

Learn more about the upcoming Crazy Cat class and snag your early bird discounted price: HERE
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Thursday, September 22, 2011

How to Decorate Your Home With Deep Teal

Deep Teal
by Miriam Schulman

Deep Teal, a strong, blue-toned green, suggests ocean depths and the color of the sky as daylight descends into darkness. A great standard when used with cedar green, its color-wheel neighbor, Deep Teal is also a unique counterpoint to Honeysuckle pink. Even though turquoise is in the same family as teal, the teal of the season is a bolder blue and green combination. 

Be Color Happy and Put Deep Teal all over your walls  

Lift your spirits by putting this gorgeous color all over your walls. Why not? You couldn't commit to anything bolder when you purchased that beige couch? ( yes, I am talking to you.)

Glidden's Seven Lakes Suzanne Kasler recommends using Glidden's Seven Lakes, "What makes this color happy is how saturated it is. The depth and intensity of the turquoise gives it a chic, European look. It kind of takes you to a different place." In her designs she paints the moldings to match the walls to make the color less decorative and more architectural.

World famous interior decorator Mario Buatta says, "I'm blue, I'm blue! I'm a happy guy but I have always loved blue, in all its shapes and sizes. For libraries and dining rooms, I like this deep Mediterranean blue. I'd use it glazed and shiny, and bring in reds and greens and pinks. Every color looks fresh against blue. Put lemon yellow with it and it will look like a Matisse painting."  

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS Gulfstream Marshall Watson is another interior decorator who is not afraid of color. "Imagine sailing around the Greek islands and looking into the deep teal-blue water. There's a certain sexiness you feel on your skin when you're out on a boat in the sun and the breeze, relaxed and loose. When I walk into a room painted this color, I'm completely transported. Suddenly I'm floating in the Aegean, bobbing up and down with the waves."

Update your old furniture to look like new with coat of deep teal paint
Dunn-Edwards After the Storm
Molly Luetkemeyer has great advice for painting old furniture: "One of those inexpensive, gaudy mirrors with a lot of carving can actually become quite beautiful with paint. I like this deep, muted teal because it's mysterious. You can't quite figure out if it's blue or green. Colors like this with a little gray in them take you to the next level of sophistication." 

If you are not ready to take the plunge into the deep teal blue green waters, try using teal as an accessory. Or get a painting with bold teal tones.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Curly Hair Has a Renaissance

The New Feminine Ideal 
by guest blogger @lindsayleboyer, Lindsay LeBoyer

Currently modern women favor hair as sleek and straight and possible. However, that modern ideal has not always been in fashion and curls are starting to make a comeback. Since many salon straightening treatments contain formaldehyde, women everywhere are embracing their natural textures. Curls and waves are on the rise, and celebrities like Rihanna and Taylor Swift are getting in on it too.

The Birth of Venus 

Painters such as Botticelli and Titian depicted their ideal of feminine beauty with luscious, curly hair. Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus," depicts the Greek goddess Venus emerging from the sea, sporting a mane of flowing, golden curls. She is a vision of natural beauty with hair floating in the wind. Had Botticelli painted Venus with straight hair, the pictures would lose it's pure, magical quality.

Taylor Swift
The name Taylor Swift is pretty much synonymous with gorgeous, banana curls. The Grammy winning country singer credits Bumble and Bumble curling balm for her frizz free hair, and Babyliss conical curling wand for touch ups. On tour she rocks her curls loose and wild, but sweeps them into a soft bun for award shows.

Hip-hop singer Rihanna has made quite a few headlines with her hair. At the beginning of her career she sported long brown waves, then a short pixie cut, curly blonde mohawk, and now a full head of red curls. Rihanna's curls are tight and bouncy, forming perfect spirals. The key to her haircut is layers, which tone down the volume just a little bit and create a nice round shape to frame her angular face.

Get the Look
Young Woman Combing Her Hair by Titian
DevaChan recommends not combing curly hair
If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, it's important to use a line of products that will enhance them. DevaChan promises soft, frizz-free curls or waves, and its system is customizable to match many different hair types. You can find DevaChan at most hair salons, or visit their website

Now that you have the tips to keep your curls looking beautiful, one question still remains... Are you confident enough to officially go curly? When you're feeling tempted to pick up the flat iron, remember this: Centuries ago, painters depicted the ideal feminine beauties with curly hair. Today, fashion forward celebrities are embracing their curls, and the media praises them for it. Beauty brands like DevaChan and Bumble & Bumble encourage girls to be natural. Magazines devote beauty columns to getting the perfect curl. Don't give in to to the next new straightening treatments when traditional femininity embraces a mane of natural curls.

Are you confident enough to go curly?

Blogger Lindsay LeBoyer is an intern at Schulman Art. She writes a fashion blog called The Style Child.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Coloring Pages for Kids at Scarsdale Art Association Show!

Color Me Beautiful.
by Miriam Schulman.

Spencer Stroll, original watercolor
Scarsdale Art Association's Annual Outdoor Art Show and Sale will be held on Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. 

The work of many local artists will be on display and available for sale in Chase Park. Chase Park is located at the intersection of Chase Road and Woodland Place across the street from the post office and Bank of America. The park is a well-kept open space in the Village center. There is a red-bricked patio terrace and several picnic tables and park benches spread sporadically around the park. It is a quaint spot for a picnic and a stroll, or to do some light reading and nature sketching.

For children
This year I will be xeroxing line drawings of Scarsdale scenes and also fashion illustrations from the Alexander McQueen exhibit. Coloring tables will be set up in the park so that children can color while their parents browse for art.

In addition to fabulous new watercolor on canvas of imaginative bug paintings, I will have Scarsdale scenes available as fine art prints, note cards and a limited selection of originals ( so get there early for best selection!)

Special Edition Note Cards

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Monday, September 12, 2011

Global Home Decor

Drawing in the Galleries for the Arts of South and Southeast Asia
by Miriam Schulman, @schulmanArt

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has one of the largest collections of Asian art in the Western world. Last Friday night I participated in the drop in drawing session that took place in the  Galleries for the Arts of South and Southeast Asia. The gallery that I worked in had sculptural objects from the Afghanistan in the 5th century. During this time one can see both eastern and Greek influences of art, religion and culture. There are Buddhist heads coexisting with Greek gods. The terracotta remnants has lost their color but with a little artistic license and inspiration I re-imagined them as fully realized watercolors. The museum only allows charcoal pencil in the galleries, and the watercolor was added later in the studio.

Add Ethnic Asian Inspired Paintings to a Foyer
A set of three watercolors make a stunning statement when displayed over a cozy couch in a foyer. Cathy Kincaid decorated this foyer, with artwork added via simulation for decorating inspiration. The upholstered bench and the polka-dot pillows are from Madeline Weinrib
Galleries for the Arts of South and Southeast Asia, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Global Decor can be colorful
Ethnic home decor does not need to be all in browns and earth tones. Modern global decor can include happy tones of teal, pink, lime green and orange. In this bohemian decorating scheme three watercolors grace the wall above a sofa adorned with a variety of patterns and textures.

Add modernity to your home and wardrobe by combining turquoise with earthy ethnic touches

Do you love art and decorating? Get art you love and decorating tips you love delivered straight to your inbox! Click HERE.

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Friday, September 9, 2011

What color beige should I paint my walls?

Classic Beige

by Miriam Schulman

Best Beige Shades for painting walls

Beige paint colors | beige |
Beige paint colors are the epitome of natural and relaxed, making them perfect for any dining room, living room, or bedroom. While some people may think that they are “safe” and “boring” – when done with style and an eye for detail, they’re anything but. Below you can discover a great selection of my favorite neutral paint colors that are versatile and provide any space with an air of elegance and sophistication. Remember to decorate with colorful wall art and bright furniture for a vibrant ambiance.

Color changes depending on the light in your room and the time of the day. Color expert Ellen Kennon says she has done "entire houses in Mushroom, which is pretty darned fabulous. It's a beige, but it changes drastically — one minute it's putty and the next, it's rosier. Chameleon-like and mysterious, it takes on the properties of the colors around it." Interior decorator Michael Roberson finds that warm tan shades like Benjamin Moore's Powell Buff adds a coziness to his room designs. "What makes it so pretty is the way it reacts to light. When the sun hits it, it glows, and on a rainy day it casts a nice kind of cozy warm shadow on the room. This isn't a get-excited-about color, but it's a terrific background. Very calming in a bedroom. Great in a sitting room with almond-colored suede or gray flannel and, if you need an accent, a plummy linen."
Beige paint colors | beige |
Farrow and Ball, String 8
Beige paint colors | beige |
Full Spectrum Paints, Mushroom

 Beige is flattering

Conservative designer Thomas Jayne likes Benjamin Moore's Camel Back and points out"At one point in life, everybody has coveted a camel-hair coat. It's just an extremely flattering color, and camel-colored walls are warm and soft, yet very masculine. Camel, with an underpinning of yellow and a slight bit of red, has much more life than beige, which can go gray and cold. Art looks great on it. Use camel as a foil for red or blue — totally classic."
Beige paint colors | beige |
Beige paint colors | beige |

Beige makes people happy

In the end, beige makes everyone happy because the neutral can work with lots of other colors and is a natural decorating chameleon. As Darren Henault says "I've used [Farrow & Ball Buff] in small rooms, large rooms, sunny rooms, dark rooms. I think the reason it works so well is that it's got a lot of red in it, so it brings out the pink in your skin. People think a room looks good if they look good in it."

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Celebrated Portraitist and Genre Painter Frans Hals

Dutch Art in New York
by Miriam Schulman

Trademark jutting elbow and knuckle on his hips
The Dutch have revered Franz Hals as part of the holy trinity of artists coming from their country that include Rembrandt and Vermeer. The current exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art does a great job placing Hals in context of art history. The curators relate the painter to the past and also to the future of Dutch and modern painting. Nineteen paintings make up this exhibit which also includes other Flemish masters such as Rubens, Jan Steen and Van Dyke. The exhibition ends with painters of the impressionist future such as Robert Henri who site Hals as an important influence on their work. In Henri's seminal book, The Art Spirit, he writes of Hals "what cool generalship and positive, immediate decision were necessary to place those solid forms in action and to render so much completion with simple strokes."

Strong and modern diagonal composition
After leaving the exhibit you exit upon the nineteenth century paintings and the message the Met gives you is made clearer by revisiting the portraits of John Singer Sargent and Manet. Sargent encouraged other portrait painters to "Begin with Franz Hals, copy and study Franz Hals, after that go to Madrid and copy Velazquez."

His portraits of men were hailed during his day for his lifelike qualities. The psychological impact of these important men look a if they had just entered the picture plane as in a bewitched Harry Potter portrait and were only going to give the viewer a few minutes of their time. The portrait sitter invariably looks disdainfully down on the view with his knuckle on his hip in an impudent gesture. The elbow juts out into the picture space with the body in a three quarter profile and the head turned slightly toward the viewer. The flesh is ruddy in a Rubenesque sort of way. Moreover, Hals was a master of the brush with his virtuoso depiction of lace, linen, silk and satin each conveyed with strong brushwork that belies the difficulty in executing these textiles in paint.

The genre paintings differ from Hals more formal portraits. Here we see lots of dirty teeth, an unusual body part for a fine art portrait.Most faces in formal portraiture are depicted with lips closed or only slightly parted. Both types of paintings share the same candid poses not convincing captured again in fine art until the introduction of photography some 300 years later. In his naughty genre paintings, Hals has fun introducing phallic symbols and less subtle signs of debauchery such as prostitution, smoking, and raucous pubs which he depicts in a nonjudgmental manner. 

Although many Dutch sought out portrait paintings, these were not as well paid during his lifetime as the history painting and religious subjects.Genre paintings were also not commissioned works but hung in the artist's studio until sold. The artist struggled in his lifetime financially to feed his eleven children. His paintings fell out of favor during the time of Vermeer but had a revival with the championing of his brushwork by the impressionists and later collectors sought out his work as the "modern master"

Many of the paintings are pulled from the Met's permanent collection but you will miss out on the delightful audio tour which as New York Times critic Roberta Smith writes "provides a remarkably full tutorial on Hals’ achievements."

Frans Hals in the Metropolitan Museum continues through Oct. 10 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; (212) 535-7710,

Miriam Schulman is a portrait artist in New York. For more information about commissioning a portrait see

Dutch art always remind me of tulips. Have you ordered bulbs for fall planting?
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Friday, September 2, 2011

What color paint is good for artwork?

Orchid hush
by Miriam Schulman
Pantone Orchid Hush
Room view re-imagined with artwork by Schulman
"Orchid Hush", a unique tone of gray with complex orchid undertones, coordinates well with any other color. As a result, designers have been turning to this shade for home and fashion according to the fall Pantone  color report. For example, interior designer Betsy Brown masterfully layers neutrals to create the romantic master bedroom pictured above. She uses bright white on the bedding and a lampshade instead of the walls. "One of the biggest mistakes people make with neutrals is not using enough contrast...You have to interject elements that add intense personality. Make it gutsy, or else it's boring" says Brown. A cashmere crochet blanket from Suite Dreams adds a comfortable element of luxury. The ikat pillows by Madeline Weinrib add a unexpected tribal touch pulling together the coffee browns and lilacs. In a simulated view, peacock art turns the volume of the room up a notch adding to the exotic romance. 

Martha Stewart Living Dusk available from Home Depot
In House Beautiful magazine (September 2011) interior decorator Hal Williamson gives this advice for choosing a wall color to show off your art collection, "I just don't think white has the personality and warmth that makes you feel invited into a room. I want something a little stronger, and this dusty lavender has a soft powdery feeling. It's rich and mysterious, like antique velvet. Anything you hang on it looks more special."

Anatomy of a Peacock Painting- breaking down the colors
Check out how unexpected colors come together to make this artwork. A purple peacock sits on a wooden tree stump in a gorgeous meadow filled with ember-glow coral and honeysuckle pink wild flowers. His feathers are shades of phlox purple and orchid with many coffee browns to complement the rich colors. The background also has barren brown trees with lush cedar greens and yellows beyond. The very modern wall art is done with archival watercolors on specially prepared canvas. This art would be at home in modern or traditional decors. A frame is not required for display but a simple classic gold bamboo as shown in room view would complement the contemporary artwork.

Do you love art and decorating? Get art you love and decorating tips you love delivered straight to your inbox! Click HERE.
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