artist in res - emma lipscombe

Australian artist Emma Lipscombe is not afraid of colour! As we settle into another brisk, grey, wintery today here in Canada it's reassuring to know the somewhere out there it's summer. Take a look at Emma's work. I think you'll agree that there is something quintessentially Australian about the way she approaches colour. Close up of 'Best Floor Ever'Perth artist Emma Lipscombe, a landscape designer by trade, was drawn to paint and puzzles about two years ago. Each painting is composed of laser-cut timber shapes (triangles, diamonds, parallelograms) that she finger paints and then pieces together to create geometric patterns.

Emma Portrait 02Emma cites designers Faye Toogood, Ilse Crawford, and ceramic artist Lubna Chowdhary as inspiration along with Scandinavian carpet design and Bauhaus textile workshop patterns.

'Laplace & Co' hanging at home 03

Emma says, "My fascination with colour comes from so many places. I do a lot of research and digesting of imagery from all over the place and I love seeing the way that other people, artists, designers use it. I  plan the pattern in advance and have a general idea of the way I want the colour to work. But very often I will do many layers of paint until the colour composition sings to me!"

The ViewEmma's artwork is available for sale through her website.


A moment of intense colour in your home might just be the remedy you need to see you through this Canadian winter.

Photos courtesy of Emma Lipscombe.

artist in res-albert zuger+giveaway

Let's kick off December and my birthday (yay, today is the day) with a fantastic giveaway. I can't tell you how much I love these bangles and this artist. Screen shot 2013-12-03 at 4.48.40 PM

Albert Zuger discovered his passion for jewelry by falling in love. Wanting to make his own wedding bands he took up his tools (he studied sculpture at the Pratt Institute and worked as a fabricator in Brooklyn making everything from bronze doors to parts of artist's sculptures) and found his true calling. When the time came for Al and his wife to leave Brooklyn for Toronto he saw the opportunity to delve into his new passion deeper.


Working from the basement of their Victorian home, Albert pounds out designs that are both sculptural and show the mark of his hand. Inspired by the work of artists such as Alexander Calder (did you know he made jewelry?) and Isamu Noguchi each piece is hand-hammered. There is something both classical and raw about his bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings that recalls warriors and goddesses.


His affection for his craft is evident on his blog where he beautifully documents the creation of his work from custom made wedding bands to elegantly curved hoop earrings.


Albert is hosting a Holiday Sale and Open House this Sunday, December 8th from 12 - 6pm at 63 Cowan Avenue. A chance to see his beautiful work for yourself.


To enter the giveaway to win the gold bangles (pictured above) please leave a comment on this post telling me your favourite piece from his collection. (Personally I am in love with this gold cuff. Drop dead, capital "G", Gorgeous.) I'll announce the winner on December 17th. I'm happy to say this contest is open to all my readers!

Happy Christmas/Birthday/Hanukkah to all!

Now enter away..........

(Photos by Kristin Sjaarda for The Marion House Book with the exception of the bracelets courtesy of Albert Zuger.)

artistinresidence-suewilliams a'court

It's been awhile since I've done one of these artist-in-residence posts but these images were just the dose of inspiration I needed. There is something so magical about an artist's workspace. Studioinprogress

StudiopaintThis studio belongs to artist Sue Williams A'Court. She lives and works in London, England from a home based studio. She tends to work with organic shapes and soft, diluted colours like chalky pinks and milky whites.


It all really appeals to me. Her former career as an illustrator is very evident in her work which ranges from painting to collage.


Desire and Longing IV


Anonymous 4

You can see how lovely her paintings look in an interior. I believe this is in her own home.

StudioSue4If you happen to find yourself in London you still have a few days left to check out Sue's group exhibition Lucid at the bo.lee Gallery.  Or check out Sue's work (available for purchase) here.

(Last image via Remodelista

artist in res-courtney wotherspoon

You might remember in December I introduced the idea of having a so-called Artist in Residence. I meet so many talented people in my travels that I thought it would be nice to give them a voice (not that they don't already have one of their own!) This month I'm happy to have Courtney Wotherspoon share this space. Courtney and I first met when I profiled Smock Cafe last spring. It was evident from that first meeting that she was a creative force to be reckoned with. From illustration to hand lettering to interiors to retail products she can literally do it all. _MG_7524

You're involved in several ventures: illustration, art, lettering, interiors. How would you describe the work you do?

I often just sum it up as "the business of making things look good". So often people ask me “what do you do”, and expect a one or two word title. Because I do so much across a broad spectrum, I find it difficult to label myself as strictly “illustrator” or “designer”, as the lines are often hazy;  I'll switch hats (or layer many at a time) throughout the course of a work week. Regardless of what I'm doing, the finished project tends to represent me and my voice, as the disciplines I work in, thankfully, complement each other well. I may be delusional, but I like to think that my work can find a home in any realm, be it a living room, a magazine page, an envelope or a store front.



Do you have a preference for one discipline over another?

My first love is illustration and hand-lettering, so I always get excited to come back to that and work on a good old fashioned editorial piece. Recently though, I'm finding more and more work I do finds itself in the physical '3-dimensional' world; through interiors, commercial applications and retail product. I grew up with an interior designer mother, so I think that is finally catching up to me. I do, however,  think that I approach a space differently than a 'professionally trained' decorator, as I'm coming at it from an artist's perspective.


An ideal project is one that lets me explore all angles, from branding, art and design to execution and installation. This is why I so enjoy projects like l'ouvrier, because I was able to work with Justine and Angus from concept and brand development to menu design to art installation-artwork that, I hope, drives the concept of the restaurant home. The 'detritus baggies' installation, for example, is composed of construction and renovation materials, speaking to the 'labourer' that the restaurant aims to feed. We've elevated these humble materials by displaying them in a thoughtful way, giving them a life beyond their function and a sense of importance. Appreciating the raw materials, if you will. This is what Angus presents through his menu as well, so there's a consistent dialogue happening between the front and the back of the house.


Working with my hands is a must, so regardless of what project I'm working on, I try to get my hands dirty whenever I can. In my world, paint under the fingernails is the sign of a day well spent.


What has been your most fulfilling project to date?

Last year I worked with Sara Wood to develop Smock Cafe and Wonder Workshop (here in Toronto), and it was a project that brought - and continues to bring - a lot of joy. Because my involvement in the project began at conception and continued all the way through to opening, I was able to touch on so many elements that I love and really foster that creative spirit. Everything from brand identity and development, to illustration (a great series of collage pieces on their website), 'craft curation' in the workshop's 'apothecary' to installations and small projects around the physical space (every table in the cafe tells a different story through collage). From the beginning we wanted to present a kids' space full of wonder and whimsy, so it really just felt like we were playing and having fun creating throughout the process. It was a great collaboration.



Across all your work there is a consistency of aesthetic. How would you describe your style?

Handmade, textured, whimsical, organic, layered, reigned-in chaos, cheeky, hard and soft. I try not to take myself too seriously and have fun switching things up, playing and keeping people guessing. I think that as long as it's coming from a place of honesty and my love of art and craft, it will continue to be aesthetically 'mine'. Hopefully those who come across it get a sense of that as well.


Going forward where do you see your work taking you? 

I've always envisioned my work on fabrics and walls, so a textile collection is next, followed closely by a wallpaper experiment.

I'd like to continue seeing my illustration work presented in different media than the expected page or billboard, so bringing it further into the home and retail environments seems like the next logical step, and a good way to continue bridging that gap between art and environment. All the while continuing to hone my skills through conceptual illustration, whenever the opportunity presents itself. It's like a muscle that needs continued training and exercise - just got to keep moving, for fear of atrophy.

invite1Finally, what's the one thing you are coveting to receive this year? 

A Lindsay Adelman blown-glass chandelier *gush*


To see more of l'ouvrier the restaurant that Courtney helped create check back in next Monday when I will profile the space.

Image credits:
Image of Courtney & Images of l'ouvrier baggies and sticks- Kristin Sjaarda
All other images courtesy of Courtney Wotherspoon.