Wednesday, December 20, 2017

My Beethoven

I am sharing the series of family masterpieces that were the elements of this years family Christmas Card this week. I have shared my Girl With The Pearl Earring and now it's time for Beethoven.

This year I realized how diverse each of my family members are. Each their own work of art, different strengths and skills like the different skills poured into the iconic paintings they represent by the respective artists. Differences in style, era, and color pallets much like a metaphor to illustrate each individual.

Ludwig van Beethoven is my favorite classical composer. His fury and passion you can feel through his music. He also had a serious hearing impairment and wrote his most famous work, 9th Symphony - Ode to Joy when he was completely deaf. An amazing example of overcoming obstacles associated with "disabilities" and creating a unique masterpiece.

I wanted to present my interpretation of Joseph Karl Stieler's Portrait of Beethoven,  painted in 1819, with oil on canvas - 62 × 50 cm (24.4 × 19.7 in)

Journey of the portrait:
*Commissioned by Franz and Antonie Brentano in 1819/20
*Purchased by raffle by the brother of Louis Spohr at a raffle run by the Art Association of Brunswick
* Following Spohr's death it was inherited by his daughter Rosalie, the Countess Sauerma a harpist
* 10 February 1909 Purchased by music company C.F. Peters Henri Hinrichsen
*Mr. Hinrichsen was murdered in Auschwitz 17 Sept 1942 and the painting went to his son
*Walter Hinrichsen took it to New York to hang in his office
*1981 it was sold to Beethoven House in Bonn Germany where it still hangs

Information about the painting was taken from Beethoven's conversation books, "Stieler was permitted four sittings between February and April 1820. This "concession" - Beethoven considered such sittings to be a kind of penance - was not only due to Stieler's artistic ability but also to Franz and Antonie Brentano, who commissioned the portrait. Beethoven was happy to grant them this concession as he had been close to them since 1809 and once referred to them as his "best friends in the world". source

The painting was created on commission by the married couple Franz and Antonie Brentano, who had been friends of Beethoven since around 1810. Beethoven's conversation [sic] books give rather detailed information on the origins of the painting. The composer was sitting for the painter four times - a very unusual high number of sittings, since Beethoven is said to have been unable to sit still. The hands in the painting had to be painted from the artists memory as Beethoven could not be persuaded to sit any longer.

Stieler's portrait of Beethoven distinguishes itself above all through two novel elements. First of all - in contrast to all other contemporary paintings - it shows the composer while he is performing his art. Beethoven is holding a pen and seems to be working on the Credo of his "Missa solemnis". The face of the manuscript he is holding says: "Missa solemnis / From D # (# stands for Major)"; on the page facing the composer, the word "Credo" can be recognized. Further on, Stieler shows the view to a forest landscape in the background and by doing this, he - for the first time - combines a portrait of Beethoven with the romantic motif of nature. Beethoven's well-known love of nature and his famous "Sinfonia pastoral" op.68, with its haunting musical description of nature, provided him the biographical clues for such a depiction. Both motifs - "Beethoven composing" and "Beethoven in nature" - became very popular during the further course of the 19th and 20th century, and until today, fine artists again and again were depicting those motifs. source  

Unedited original of my step-son as Beethoven

Edit #1 With the painting background

*Wardrobe: I.N.C. Military style jacket (similar trim to Beethoven's in the portrait)

*Red Cashmere scarf - tied slightly different than the painting to cover the ruffled bodice of the 70's men's tuxedo shirt used.
*The book prop was created and the actual sheet music placed inside the book.

All of the makeup, wardrobe, digital editing, card creation and images were created and taken by me.

Edit in frame and used in the gallery of our card.

Watch our Masterpiece Theatre, Journey of a Card:

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Girl With The Pearl Earring

Every year my family and I produce a themed Holiday Greeting which also doubles as our family photo for the year. I have posted about previous years; Alice in Wonderland, Game Of Thrones, Candyland and 101 Dalmatians. Each theme represented something to us during that time period.

This year I realized how diverse each of my family members are. Each their own work of art, different strengths and skills like the different skills poured into the iconic paintings they represent by the respective artists. Differences in style, era, and color pallets much like a metaphor to illustrate each individual.

I chose "Girl With The Pearl Earring" for my daughter Kaleigh because the complexity if this piece is found in its simplicity, just like her. She is so beautiful and this painting really had the ability to showcase my daughters beauty. She is the center of our gallery as she is the center of my universe. She is thus, My Girl With Pearl Earring.

I did all of the wardrobe, makeup, photos and editing this year. A huge mountain to climb so I did 6 individual shoots. Her (clip on) pearl earring is Vintage and didn't have a mate. The mustard fabrics are actually large linen table cloth pieces that I found at a thrift store as well as the blue stretch fabric for the headband. I spent $3.50 on both and as a wardrobe stylist for Evolution Vintage I had the earring on hand. With time and imagination, anything is possible. We shot hundreds of images and chose the one above as I felt it most resembled the composition and the spirit of the original work.

The original was painted by Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and estimated to be painted in 1665, the painting was signed but not dated. It became part of the Mauritshuis in The Hague in the Netherlands in 1902. It is a small piece, 17.5" X 15", oil on canvas. 

There has been much speculation about who the model was for this painting (actually called "tronie" - in dutch it is a study of head and shoulders dressed in exotic clothing - it is not technically a portrait). Because it is an unresolved mystery people for centuries have projected their own story onto the figure. It spawned a novel (that has sold over 3 million copies) and a feature Hollywood film adapted from the novel/ I feel one of the most beautiful elements of the work is the mystery. who do you think the girl is? So much is open for interpretation.

Details are important in my projects. I placed my daughters finished photo in the same frame that hangs in the Hague.

Watch how the entire card was created! *Sound Up*

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Lisa's Gift Guide: 2017

We are one month away from the big day. We make investments of our money and our time into the Christmas season. For me time is always in short supply so I post a gift guide annually to share what I am buying for the loved ones on my list. I love to share the businesses that I support and purchase from. None of my posts are ever sponsored and are places I actually shop from.

1) Seanese I love this fun T-shirt business! I am a sucker for a clever graphic tee during the holidays and beyond. I am also a fan of wearing said t-shirts in non "traditional" ways. They are not just for jeans or lounge wear. You may have read my last post on the company (if not see it HERE). For the holidays they have a new collection of shirts for EVERYONE. It is an inclusive collection, with something to fit everyone and a wide variety of colors and classic "Sean-isms". He also gives back to a different charity every month! Use CODE: GIFTTEN and save 10%


This is a special shirt for me as the eyes of the elf were taken from a photograph of my son Blake and resemble the beautiful eyes he, Sean and most people in the Down Syndrome community share!

Betsy Johnson Velvet Booties
Kacey Bootie with Glitter Heel (On Sale HERE for $60)
They also come in BLACK
My personal bootie of choice for this holiday season!

This entrepreneur's mission is to spread JOY though fun socks! John's also happens to have Down Syndrome, he employs people with disabilities AND gives a % back from every sale to various charities through the year! WIN-WIN-WIN!! 
There is over 1300 different designs and the prices are amazing. Stuff your stocking with SOCKS! 


Time to awaken your deepest desires and realize your ultimate dreams! Let Dr. Tererai Trent guide you home to yourself and the life you deserve. A great gift for any 'Sacred Sister". I as left realizing that the world needs me to realize my dreams and reminded that "It is Achievable" AKA "Tinogona" (Read more about the amazing Tererai HERE)
Buy it HERE

 The Universe Has Your Back Cards! A unique gift that can be used for daily inspiration!

The real life tale of a former model turned member of a Saudi billionaire's harem.


Artist: Luanne McGee-Turner
Pet Portraits

I will be comissioning a fun portrait of our puppy Leo this year. Buy one for the pet lover on your list or treat yourself and commemorate your fur baby! Portrait start at $200 CAD plus shipping EMAIL her for more info. PS - She just happens to be my talented and beautiful cousin! 

Tara Deetscreek

Tara is a talent portrait artist and fashion illustrator who works with mixed media (paints and pencils). I have purchased the most amazing Mother's Day gift from Tara (A custom birds nest with an egg representing each of my mothers grandchildren) which could also double for a cute Christmas Gift. 

She has also been a gracious donor to the National Down Syndrome Society Gala Auction for 2 years in a row! I also have a gorgeous custom portrait hanging in my living room as I type. I adore her Winter wreaths she is painting this year. For only $25 you can gran a chic monogramed wreath for your wall or mantle. This also makes an amazing hostess gift to take to any holiday gathering. You could also purchase sevral to make your last name, or the monogram for each of your children. The possibilities are endless!


I acquired the most amazing winter coat from this sweet Vintage Shop. A vintage Hudson Bay Company Blanket Coat just in time for my holiday trip home to Canada! Christy has a wide variety of vintage clothing, shoes and more! 

Evolution Vintage
I have personally curated a collection of Vintage clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessories in my eBoutique. There is literally something for every woman, every taste and every budget. 
Shop my new fit finder and immediately see what is available that fits you! (or the lady on your list)

SAVE 30% on EVERYTHING through tomorrow with code: CYBERSALE

YSL Skirt $250

You also have the uniqe opportunity to shop pieces from the Paul Brockmann 55,000 Dress Collection!


Monday, November 13, 2017

Deck The Halls

The Season Of Giving: Pink Fringe Dress & 55,000 Dress Collection Pink Gown

Time to deck the halls for the upcoming holiday season. I am Canadian so my Thanksgiving was celebrated in October however the American thanksgiving is observed next week. My current geographical location will not hold me back from dragging our my decorations and giving the tree a trim now. I had the pleasure of Visiting the Cambria Nursery Gift Shop yesterday to shoot some holiday images for Evolution Vintage.

We visit the Cambria Christmas Market every year to check out the amazing vendors, have a cup of hot chocolate, become inspired by the lights and sounds of the season and of course to shop and acquire a new ornament /decoration (or two) for the year. Check out my experience last year HERE

Every year the holiday set up's and decor is different but equally inspiring. The Christmas Market opens Nov 24-Dec 23. The gift shop however is open daily with gorgeous decor for every taste. Everything pictured as props or in the background is available for sale directly in the gift shop.

Vintage Christian Dior Men's Tuxedo Shirt (Available via Evolution Vintage)
Plaid Cashmere Scarves, made in Germany available at the Gift Shop ($24.99)

Gorgeous MGM era gown ($1,000) Read the story of this dress HERE

Who's ready to deck the halls?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Get The Look: Carrie Chic

Carrie's Closet

It is no secret that one of my all time fashion icons is the character of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City. It should also be noted that the actress who portrays Carrie, Sarah Jessica Parker is equally as fascinating and iconic from a style perspective.

In 6 seasons Carrie (via stylist Pat Fields) served us up some amazing and inspirational looks: Her Vintage looks are some of my favorites - see them HERE

In season 6, Carries "Date Night" look I adore. Now is your chance to replicate the spirit of her look using a mix of Vintage and Contemporary pieces.

Re-Create the look:

Vintage Multi-Strand Necklace

You can use any variation of the above to achieve Carrie's look. 

Get Carried away with your personal style!!