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Inspiring Feed: Lulu DK


Painter Lulu deKwiatowski, known to her contemporaries as Lulu DK, creates stunning original paintings and collages that give way to her sought-after textiles, interior and lifestyle designs. She honed her approach while studying fine arts at Parsons School of Design before departing for Paris, where a visit to a fabric mill changed her life. The designer's instagram, (much like her book, "LULU") brims with vibrant collages that tell the story of a well-traveled, artistic life.

Our Lulu Faves:

Five Questions for Mississippi Painter Bradley S. Gordon

ART, APR16, PEOPLEJess Graves
Artist Bradley Gordon in his Oxford, Mississippi studio.

Artist Bradley Gordon in his Oxford, Mississippi studio.

Art Proust: when we pull 5 questions from the famous Proust questionnaire and add 1 great Southern artist to answer 'em. Today we drop our pin in the county seat of Lafayette, Mississippi (Oxford, to be exact) where painterBradley S. Gordon calls home. There, he looks to wildlife for inspiration, citing the animals of the South as his muse. Here's what's on Brad's mind.

"Longhorn at Dusk"

"Longhorn at Dusk"

5. What is your idea of earthly happiness?
BBQ-ing outside at my studio with family, my dogs and my good friends. A cold beer is always a bonus.

4. Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
Mamas all across the world for bringing us sweet little angels like mine.

"Catching a Drift"

"Catching a Drift"

3. Who would you have liked to be?
I'm a pretty lucky fella who has been given a loving family, great friends, a badass wife and the sweetest little ninja baby girl ever. I am very happy being me.

"White Cold Morning"

"White Cold Morning"

2. What is your favorite color?
Scranapple Berry

1. What is your present state of mind?
It feels about like that Christopher Cross song “Sailing".

2/1/16 - 2/6/16: Spotlight on Art Artist's Market [ATL]

ART, AGENDAJess Graves
Art: Hayley Mitchell

Art: Hayley Mitchell

Who+ What: Celebrating its 35th anniversary this season, the Spotlight on Art Artists Market consistently pulls record crowds with nearly 1,000 pieces sold each day.  Thousands of visitors make the trip to the six-day Artists Market each year for its ever-changing inventory of artwork.

Spotlight on Art 2015 featured more than 350 invitation-only participating artists. Artist alums include Benny Andrews, Radcliffe Bailey, Howard Finster, Thornton Dial, John McWilliams, Todd Murphy, Gogo Ferguson, and Robert Rauschenberg. Their work and that of hundreds more have been added to prestigious museums and collections around the world, including the High Museum of Art, The National Gallery, The Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art, and many others on five continents.

Pieces at all price points, from $5 to $15,000 in areas such as Contemporary, Realism, Impressionism, Folk, and Sculpture, as well as the stunning Jewelry gallery.

“As the largest artists market in the Southeast, there is truly something for every art lover at Spotlight on Art,” says Sarah Williams, the Spotlight on Art 2016 chair. “With the help and hard work of more than 200 volunteers, Trinity School transforms its walls into 6,000 square feet of incredible gallery space. Whether you are a casual observer, art aficionado, an emerging artist looking for inspiration, or a seasoned talent, a walk through the Spotlight on Art Artists Market will expand anyone’s understanding of the amazing world of art!”

Proceeds from Spotlight on Art support Trinity School funding priorities such as student financial aid and continuing teacher education. The Sixth Grade – the “senior class”of students at Trinity – also dedicates a portion of proceeds as a charitable gift to an organization to be chosen in the fall as part of their Values curriculum. Past recipients have included The Joseph Sams School, Families First, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, and Atlanta Pet Rescue and Adoption.

Where + When: The Spotlight on Art Artists Market will be held February 1 – February 6 on the campus of Trinity School at 4301 Northside Parkway. The Artists Market is open to the public each day and for two celebratory “meet the artists” evenings, Opening Night (February 1, 6-9 PM) and Cocktails & Canvases (February 5, 6-9 PM). Admission and parking are free. 

47 Resolutions from Your Favorite Southern Chefs, Musicians, Artists, Entrepreneurs, Creatives and Tastemakers


New year, new you? Maybe, maybe not. We asked some of our favorite Southern friends (many of whom you might recognize from our stories this past year) what they're promising themselves in 2016; the responses made us laugh and tugged our heart strings ... but most of all, they inspired us to sit down and think about our own goals for the coming year. Maybe they'll do the same for you.

Maggie Mathews' Art: Water, Shells and Bones

ART, JUNE15, PEOPLEJess Graves
Mathews' Buckhead studio is littered with natural elements, art books and inspiration.

Mathews' Buckhead studio is littered with natural elements, art books and inspiration.

Words: Katherine Michalak | Photos: Caroline Fontenot

Atlanta-bred abstract painter Maggie Mathews calls the beaches of St. George Island her muse. We caught up with her on the eve of her first solo exhibition.

I met with Maggie Mathews at the studio space she’s recently moved into, where she’s still getting settled. 

“Sorry, I’m realizing I haven’t cleared off places to sit,” she chuckles, moving a box from a chair and dragging over a stool. 

She’s relaxed and casual, not an ounce of pretense or staunch formality. Soon we’re rambling on as though we’ve been hanging out for years. We sip coffee as she tells me about her upcoming show, pointing to the stacks of canvases leaning against walls behind her waiting to be hung together at this important debut. She tells me that all her previous work -- the private commissions, the marketplaces and pop-up shops, the independent projects -- has been preparing her for this show. 

 “Everything up to now has been research.” She says.

Atlanta-bred abstract painter Maggie Mathews.

Atlanta-bred abstract painter Maggie Mathews.

There’s never been a time in Mathews’ life when making art was not her singular focus. As she rattles off the list of creative forces perched in her family tree, she unwittingly gives further credence to the age-old nature/nurture discussion. Raised in the family furniture business, hanging around the “office” resulted in absorbing the interplay of line, form, color and pattern. A treasured aunt paints, her father draws and sketches, and both her parents greatly encourage artistic expression. So, for Mathews, becoming a painter felt less like establishing an occupation and more like speaking in her native tongue. 

She grew up in Atlanta, her childhood home resting on the banks of the Chattahoochee, which offered up a watery playground replete with active wildlife. Regular trips to St. George Island, Florida intensified her fascination with shoreline ecosystems, an appeal that developed into a lifelong artistic symbiosis. As a school girl, Mathews painted sections of Lilly Pulitzer patterns she liked, delighting in the color. College brought intensive study and further technique development.

Mathews remains mesmerized by masters such as Georgia O. Keefe, Joan Mitchell, Cy Twombley, Willem de Kooning and David Hockney; she’s also counts Betty Anglin Smith and Jim Draper among her influences and is energized with inspiration by her contemporaries -- from colleagues like Sally King Benedict to local Atlanta street artists. 

Mathews' painted champagne bottles have become a hot commodity among her collectors.

Mathews' painted champagne bottles have become a hot commodity among her collectors.

She also enjoys writing and interior design, yet continually returns to her brushes for deepest expression. Mathews started out her professional career painting landscapes, mostly coastal, before moving into full exploration of abstracts. Her pieces range in size, from small accent canvases to wall-sized panels and mural projects; she loves to paint large-scale, or as she says “really stretch and extend my arms” giving an inherent physicality to those works.

Maggie admits to pressuring herself for (perceived) success right out of her college art study, approaching her work from a perfectionist standpoint and becoming increasingly frustrated. She over-conceptualized as she struggled with what her art “should/could/would be about” and searched for powerful themes. In short, she was thinking too much. Once she began to relax and acknowledge the images that had always been floating about in her head, she moved into her comfort zone. 

Maggie concedes, “I started to respect it... respect that painting to feel good is enough.” 

New works in various stages of completion are stacked high in Mathews' studio.

New works in various stages of completion are stacked high in Mathews' studio.

That’s when she caught her current and found her muse. Water, shells, bone -- these are Maggie’s calling cards, the motifs of each simultaneously juxtaposing and mimicking each other in a confluence of texture. Maggie walked me through a few paintings as examples, basically giving me a guided tour inside her mind, and within moments the patterns lodged in my brain as well -- tides and driftwood, oysters and cow skulls, turtles and insect exoskeletons dancing around in kaleidoscope transitions. 

We’ve talked for over an hour before I mention that I brought a whole list of interview questions along with me and had yet to look at them. Mathews smiles and tells me to get them out.

I’ve already learned so much about her, but I pick one question from my notes to ask: “Mark Twain said,’The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’ When did you discover your artistic birthday?” 

Maggie ponders the question for a long minute then declares, “Probably now, I think. Now it’s all starting to feel right, starting to make sense to me.” 

Mathews largely works in acrylic, but dabbles in watercolor and pastels as well.

Mathews largely works in acrylic, but dabbles in watercolor and pastels as well.