Rhymes and Reasons: Interview with John Black

Jul 17
I’m excited to announce the launch of a new live interview series called “Rhymes and Reasons of Design”, where I have intimate conversations with artisans, artists, designers, leaders in health and wellness, creatives, and all who inspire me.
The first interview in the series is with John Black from West Virginia – his family has resided there since 1850. I was drawn to John’s work because of the colors and movement and a story behind the art that I wanted to know. John loves working with his hands, whether it’s being a chef for ten years in New York or painting and sculpting. John works with multiple mediums – ink, oil, and clay. His sculptures are figurative, that begin on paper and turn into clay. His creative process began at a very young age. John’s mother and grandmother have art from when he was five and six years old. His process is unique in the large scale of his paintings and he’s brought some of the same aspects into his current art from his childhood art. Unlike most artist’s studios, his studio does not have art everywhere (one large oil painting can take up to six months to dry). He believes that colors hold an emotion and he loves color matching and bringing colors together that people don’t often see together.
Spirituality and painting goes hand in hand for John. Painting is like a meditation for him. He believes that all of his work is based on balance – he tries to gather a center and then work from that point. For him it’s a therapeutic process. After recovering from a serious injury from a fall in 2016 and ending up in a coma, his artwork completely transformed. This experience led him to explore theoretical science and quantum physics.
Last year he was more inspired than ever painting in Denmark. He loved working with spray paint which turned out uniquely organic and beautiful. Denmark is a sustainable country and John connects with this, since his art is waste-free. And in the next year, he hopes to be on his bus that he bought to convert into a tiny home and be able to travel to beautiful places and make art. The bus will be modified so that he will be able to create large art – and bring his online audience into the process in the future. He also has a book coming out so stay tuned!
You can find John Black on Instagram @johnxblack and follow his work there and his future journey on the bus that he will be documenting next year.


ELLE Decor’s A-List 2020: Who I’m Watching

Jul 10

Every year ELLE Decor’s A-List proves to be inspiring and 2020 did not disappoint with some of the most innovative interior designers from around the world, bringing raw talent to every project – each with their own style that elevates how we interact in the space. Here are some of my favorites I’m watching.

“Based in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, Alyssa Kapito brings a fresh take on the classics and has a great appreciation of antiques and art.”

“A world-renowned interior designer, Vicente Wolf has published four design books, including The Four Elements of Design: Interiors Inspired by Earth, Water, Air and Fire.”

“British interior designer Veere Grenney boasts more than 30 years of experience in the interior design industry. Before launching his own company, he was a director at Sybil Colefax and John Fowler. Grenney’s talent extends beyond creating stylish and comfortable interiors—he also has a fabric and furniture collection.”

“Former set designer Ariel Ashe and architect Reinaldo Leandro’s New York City firm Ashe Leandro mixes contemporary luxury and natural materials to create spaces that feel open and timeless.”

“Bunny Williams is all about classic comfort, an informed eye, and a bit of fun. In her rooms, fine European antiques meet mirrored walls and gutsy artwork. She uses intense colors and delicate patterns with equal panache. Go inside a Williams-designed Park Avenue apartment here.”

“Jesse Carrier and Mara Miller are a husband-and-wife duo who create rooms that are a confident mix of timeless and contemporary design—both familiar and fresh at once.”

“Alexandra Champalimaud of the Champalimaud design firm is an Anglo-Portuguese expat and one of the world’s most talented luxury hospitality designers.”

“Based in Washington, D.C., Darryl Carter, a former lawyer, turns out cool, calm, and collected spaces that are distinctive in their masculine rigor.”

“The New York–based designer’s firm, Jayne Design Studio, knows how to create personality-packed spaces that embody ancient and modern design principles.”

“Former Million Dollar Decorators star Kathryn M. Ireland describes her style as “California coastal meets European chic,” and the result is an elevated boho look that has attracted clients such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Drew Barrymore.”

“Kelly Wearstler’s global luxury lifestyle brand is marked by its distinctive designs and sophisticated soulful character. Wearstler’s signature style juxtaposes raw with refined, and her portfolio includes luxury hotels and grand residences from Beverly Hills to the Caribbean.”

“Leyden Lewis is not only an interior designer with a singular aesthetic, he’s also a fine artist.”

“Beth Martin of the San Francisco–based Martin Group crafts homes that feel cozy and effortless, and she was one of our Designers to Watch in 2011.”

“More than anyone, Nate Berkus is the public face of contemporary design. His predilections tend toward neutral palettes; natural materials like leather, linen, and wicker; and objects made by hand. Step inside Berkus’s Chicago apartment here.”

“A blogger turned interior designer, Houston-based Paloma Contreras is a modern influence who keeps an eye on traditional styles.”