ARTmonday: Lee Essex: Postcards From India

As long as I’m on this whole Indian theme, I thought I’d show you a collection of gorgeous paintings by Boston-based artist Lee Essex. (She is represented by Peter Marcelle Contemporary in NYC and Southampton, as well as Parker Gallery, St. Simons Island, GA.) The show, entitled “Postcards from India,” celebrates the rich visual impressions of Indian temples and palaces in Rajasthan. Essex does drawings on site, and works from those in her Beacon Hill studio. The mixed media pieces are lush combinations of ink, watercolor, charcoal, colored pencil, tempera, and oil pastels on paper, with layers of patterns achieved with wood blocks and stencils that Essex makes herself. Essex also takes many photographs during her travels, which she uses as inspiration, along with incense and sBangara music, which helps set the mood. I’m practically transported . . .




Images: Peter Marcelle Contemporary 50 East 72nd Street, NYC and 36 Hampton Road Southampton, NY.

Get the Look: More Grey & Green Wallpaper (Because I Am Obsessive)

Here’s another batch. Next thing you know I’ll be off grey and green and onto some other color scheme. But with any luck, I will order a few samples and make a decision. Post your opinions, please.



Wallpaper Pattern Names

Row 1: Osborne & Little Volte Face; Osborne & Little Volte Face; Madison & Grow Eloise.

Row 2: Tres Tintas Barcelona Pajaros; Romo Kenazan; Flavor Paper Huton.

Row 3: Design Your Wall Custom Bamboo; Design Your Wall White & Silver Mylar Geometric Squares; Jocelyn Warner ?.

Row 4: Ferm Living, Wild Flower; Design Your Wall Custom Brown & Green Floral Vines; Romo Simonii.

Row 5: Graham & Brown, Bittern Feather; Graham & Brown, Chrysanthemum; Anderson Como Arts & Crafts Ogee.

Row 6: Graham & Brown Beauty Amethyst Modern; Tres Tintas Barcelona, Pajaros; Anderson Leaf Sprig.

Resources for papers shown here:

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Get the Look: Grey + Green Wallpapers

Here are samples of the grey and green wallpapers I am considering for the wall behind my bed. There is not much wall space, so it needs to be a small scale pattern. The room is large, but dark… I should really take a picture of the dreary room and post it. Maybe later. The headboard is a crisp white cotton duck. And I want to paint the walls green. Let’s not get into the furniture now. Would love opinions, especially from the design types out there. Here are the swatches (I’ll add the sources tomorrow). And, dear husband, should you see this, please let me know what you thinks via a post. (So much more civilized than face-to-face combat, don’t you think?)




Wallpaper Pattern Names

Row 1: Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis; Ballard Designs Trellis; Anderson Jazz Collection Leaves; Anderson Leaf Sprig.

Row 2: Flavor Paper Sheba; Flavor Paper Fleur de Saveur; Osborne & Little Wilde Carnation.

Row 3: Graham & Brown Amelie Cream Teardrop; Osborne & Little Oak Leaves; Flavor Paper Vapor.

Row 4: Duro Blomster; Jocelyn Warner Leaf; Cole & Son Woods; Brocade Home Abstract Floral Print.

Row 5: Jill Malek Stampede; Graham & Brown Darcy Pearl Cicrular Geometric; Osborne & Little Trifid.

Row 6: Studio Printworks David Frost; Design Your Wall Modern Geometric; Osborne & Little Minaret.

Resources for papers shown here:

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Architecture: Modernist Enclaves in Lexington, Mass.

Everyone has a back up plan. The New York Times ran an article on Sunday called “What’s Your New Plan B?” It talked about folks who once upon a time dreamed of abandoning real life to run a B&B or some such idyll. But now we need real Plan Bs.

I live in Boston. City living (which is the only kind I can stomach) means paying exorbitant private school tuition for our kids. What if we couldn’t afford to do that anymore, and had to move to the suburbs?

Well, I’ve picked one out. I’m hoping it’s an academic exercise. I hate to drive. I think yards are overrated. I can’t stand when Girl Scouts ring my doorbell.

It’s Lexington, MA. There are two synagogues, academics and scientists rather than hedge fund managers galore, a symphony, a decent school system, and , this is what got me, an interesting architectural history.

Researching an article for the Boston Globe magazine (to be published Feb. 22), I learned that Lexington has nine modernist neighborhoods – more than anywhere else in the country. They were built by two groups, one led by Walter Gropius and the other by Walter Pierce. People adore these neighborhoods. Some residents are the original owners, dating back to 1954. Even Walter Pierce, now 88, still lives in the house he built in 1958.

From the outside, the houses are what some would call ugly. But they were revolutionary, and today’s developers could learn from them. The only trees that were cut for these 1,800 square foot houses were the ones that absolutely had to be cleared to make room for the house. This means nicely wooded lots. The houses could be turned this way or that, allowing flexibility in siting them, on ledges or whatnot. So houses are not lined up in Stepford Wife rows, all facing the street. There’s lots of glass so you can commune with nature. Community land was set aside, some with fields, streams, playgrounds, even pools. And they were affordable for young professional families.

Not the city, but not bad.


First I was Stylexpert. It was my AOL screen name, cleverly concocted way back when. Soon, I worked for the Style Channel, a joint venture between Fairchild Publications and AOL, and the name stuck. I also founded a site called Marc Jacobs, Todd Oldham, Kate Spade, and Vera Wang doled out style advice, joined by Serge Normant, Laura Mercier, and Iman with beauty advice. I got a bit carried away, adding Bobby Flay for food, Colin Cowie for entertaining, and the list went on. Here I am, a decade later, still seeking (and giving) style thrills online. But now, I have two little boys. Skinny little boys with bright red hair. Orange, some might say. They’re the inspiration for my new name, Style Carrot.