I'm still putting together ideas for a one-room studio inspired by Eat, Breathe, Draw, Sleep, but I got a little sidetracked thinking how nice it would be to spend a week doing just those activities.
Wouldn't matter where. Any sunny spot would work.
[Matisse's photograph of his assistant, Lydia Delectorskaya, circa 1935.]
[Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1944, Henri Matisse, Vence, France from MoMA's exhibition, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century.]
[Francoise Gilot in 1948 photographed by Gjon Midi for Life Magazine.]
[Robert Capa, Magnum Photos, Copyright Estate of Robert Capa. 1948 photo of Francoise Gilot and Pablo Picasso in sunny Golfe-Juan, France, with Picasso's nephew, Javier Vilaro, in the background.]
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century, an exhibition currently on view at MoMA, includes the photographer's famous portrait of Matisse and is traveling to the High in 2011. Looking at a range of vintage photos of Matisse, Picasso, Francoise Gilot, and Paloma Picasso (mainly from the 1940s and 50s), I started imagining a casual garden dinner party to sort of cap off a relaxing week. Maybe a birthday celebration. Not a theme party, but again, something vaguely inspired by Eat, Breathe, Draw, Sleep.
[Credits follow below.]
I really like the thought of using Lisa Fine's Baroda II linen to cover one long dining table and then mixing in napkins made from remnants of Carolina Irving's Andaluz. (Remember, this is all just imaginary play for now.) Both fabrics have elements that very much remind me of the 20th-century masters. Irving's print resembles the North African textiles collected by Matisse, as well as his drawings on the envelope above...
[Red, late-19th-or-early-20th-century North African pierced and appliqued hanging. Colored cotton appliqued to sackcloth. Matisse, His Art and His Textiles.]
...while Fine's birds definitely connect with the mood.
In Matisse and Picasso: A Friendship in Art, Gilot writes:
It was amazing to see how much space birds occupied in Matisse's and Picasso's correspondence. Birds seem indeed to have been a common denominator for Matisse, Picasso, and me. Both artists always kept birds at home -- Matisse mostly exotic species, Pablo the more ordinary kind, except for the owl. In my grandmother's garden in Paris, my father's aviary had enchanted my childhood.
[Screengrab via STYLE.com.]
Also, as you probably already know, Paloma Picasso was named for the iconic dove symbol designed by her father. I've shown the same two fabrics in multiple color options because I'm drawn to the idea of Matisse-like pairings on the table.
[©Sarah Lowengard's The Creation of Color in Eighteenth Century Europe.]
Could be complimentary colors, such as red with green or, other variations of color wheel opposites, like lavender and curry. In short, one color from Irving's collection and an opposing hue from Fine's.
Benjamin Wilson Antiques suggest Matisse to me, too, so it would go on another table placed up against a courtyard wall.
[Scissors via to Bell'occhio.]
I might suspend a few paper birds or fresh flowers inside. (In his new book, Flair, Joe Nye offers advice for using whimsical pieces without getting cheesey.) A small bar could be set up next to the antique cage.
J.F. Chen could hold fresh green leaves by the ice bucket.
Keeping things earthy, painterly wood grain dinner plates from B.D. Jeffries, or maybe rattan chargers from Target with simple white china.
Helianthus goblets from Anthropologie.
[Photograph by Amy Neunsinger from Shabby Chic: Sumptuous Settings and Other Lovely Things.]
Magnolia's cut from someone's backyard (because of the still life), a mish-mash of rustic chairs, like the one above from Wirthmore, and possibly a child's Thonet bench from Huntington House.
[Picasso's Thonet rocking chair in Damian Elwes, Picasso's Villa La Californie I & II, 2006, oil on canvas, 66 x 66 inches.]
Handwritten invitations mimicking Matisse's letters, and loads of candles. Oh and a guitar in the corner propped against a wall -- another nod to Picasso. Apart from the food and the utensils, what am I missing?
Afterthought: 6:10 p.m.
[Photography by Tim Street-Porter, styling by Carlos Mota, interior design by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.]
Speaking of Pablo Picasso ceramics, look for his candelabra in Ellen Pompeo's Hollywood Hills house as seen in the May 2010 Elle Decor. Interiors by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.