More of the Overdrive Exhibition and a Woman from LA

Inspired by my visit to The Getty, I decided to take in some of the other exhibitions that are running concurrently with Overdrive.  Todays adventure was to the Hammer Museum for an exhibition covering the career of A. Quincy Jones; one of the architects featured at The Getty Show.

A. Quincy Jones has long been a favorite of mine.  When I was a first year architecture student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, we took a field trip to Los Angeles.  We saw some of his buildings and visited his office.  I have never forgotten the experience.  I thought and still do think his designs are wonderful.IMG_5908

For me, once again this took me back to my youth.  Looking at the renderings and working drawings, there is a special style to them, something that defines them as having been created during the amazing growth spurt that Los Angles experienced in the middle of the 20th century.  I look at the these practical, yet beautiful renderings and I long for the style of the time; cool, chic, clean.  Nothing looks as crisp and clean as a pen and ink rendering.  I can smell the oder of the markers used to add color to the renderings. I can feel the crispness of the large pieces of paper under my hands.  I remember looking at the undersides of my forearms after a long day of drawing…covered with graphite.  Those days are gone.IMG_5909

I love the shapes of the plants and the people, how you can tell immediately what they are, but they are not infused with the super-reality of our current age.  I remember the unique stylized “architectural lettering.”  I don’t think anybody has to spend a whole semester learning how to print this way; neatly and with speed.IMG_5910

There was something magic about this time here is LA.  It was a time of youthful exuberance, strength, growth and no limitations.  The work of A. Quincy Jones has left an indelible mark on the cityscape of Los Angeles, and I for one applaud him.

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The Getty, Overdrive and A Woman from Los Angeles

The Getty, always  a beautiful place to go on a sunny afternoon; but for me this trip was different.  No sooner did I lay eyes on the first tease of the Overdrive Exhibit, I turned into a Archinerd.IMG_5788


My youth revisited. I studied Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in the late 1970’s.  I had my first job in the business of architecture in the summer of 1976…and do you know who I worked for?  Armet Davis and Newlove.  Imagine my surprise as I entered the exhibit and the first thing I saw were renderings of the restaurants that made this firm the top of it specialty, Restaurant Design.  I remember some of the projects…but what I didn’t know at the time, was how ground breaking the designs really were.  I did not realize that they came up with the formula for what came to be known as the Modern Coffee Shop.  Who knew, that The California Coffee Shop was inspired by Car Showrooms.  The the booths were designed to reference the tuck and roll of car upholstery.  I did not realize that the artwork was original and that everything from the menus to the swivel chairs was designed by Armet Davis and Newlove.


The exhibit goes on to explain how Los Angeles come into prominence; the influence of oil, aerospace, cars and the post war baby boom.  These were just a few of the factors that made LA the center for modern design and thinking in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Many of my favorite modern buildings are represented;  works by Quincy Jones, Pereira, Eames, Kappe etc.

There are models, original working drawings, renderings, photos; in short it is a fabulous representation of what set Los Angeles apart during the Modern Movement.

Don’t forget to listen to the audio presentations.  It is so interesting to listen to the oral history of those who lived and designed during this time.

And while you are at the Getty, take a look around at the beauty around you.IMG_5761


This exhibit is well worth the trip.IMG_5788 IMG_5780 IMG_5746 IMG_5738 IMG_5737 IMG_5736 IMG_5733 IMG_5731 IMG_5730 IMG_5728


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New York City, The Bergdof Goodman Windows and a Woman From Los Angeles

New York City is always an experience.  I look on it as a second home.  I understand the pace and the energy here, but what I love best is walking everywhere.  My last visit, while attending The National Stationery Show, took me to up Park Avenue in search of a few essential cosmetics that mysteriously where not in my bag when I unpacked…what I found were the windows at Bergdof Goodman.  IMG_5613

The window art was amazing; the manikin at the front door were stylistically perfect and they seemed to look down on me as if I were a small child pressed up against the window in wonder.  As I edged closer for a better look, I noticed the display was all about Woman in Art.  This is me I thought.  I am a woman in art!

IMG_5611And then I rounded the corner, and I saw Bergdof Goodman’s homage to the Met; “Punk. Chaos to Couture.”IMG_5607

Again, this is me I thought, well not literally, but I remember it.  I am not so much a Safety Pin-Gal, but I was young and the times were fun.IMG_5626

It was a time when bra-burning was over, and woman were looking for new and different ways to define themselves.  We did not want to dress like our Mother’s.  Woman had a new type of power and freedom of expression that had never been experienced.  IMG_5622

So looking into these windows was like recapturing a bit of my youth. IMG_5619

Thank you Bergdof Goodman.  You made me smile, slow down for just a moment,  and above all you inspired me!IMG_5616

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The 2013 National Stationery Show; Studio Daedre’s Trend Forecast and a few Opinions!

The National Stationery Show;  for paper people and Studio Daedre, it is the center point of the year and the focus of much energy and preparation.  Although we came into the show with minimal expectations, The National Stationery Show vibrated with a vigorous energy not seen in many years.IMG_5681

Yes, this years Stationery Show was a success.  Although the show was again smaller, the word in the aisle was that, the shake down in exhibitors was a good one; viable companies remained and there were plenty of new companies looking to launch themselves into the Stationery World.IMG_5669

Buyers that came to the show were serious; many carried pre-made lists of companies to visit.  Most attendees seemed to know what they were looking for, yet were open to suggestion.IMG_5664

As far as Trends go…yes, there are still lots of people interested in Stationery.  It seems that it not just the 50 somethings that know how to pen a thank you note…the 20 year olds have learned the value of sending a card in an email world.  We at Studio Daedre continue to push the envelope and look for a new and fresher way to do things.  Colors; rich bright gold will be making a comeback.  I like it paired with deep purple or turquoise.  Although I still like white, I think I will be working more with ivory tones.  Be sure to visit Studio Daedre at the upcoming California Gift Show and NY Now this summer.  You can expect to see lots of new illustrations, fabulous color combinations and amazing products.  Hope to see you there.IMG_5662

California Gift Show:  July 19 – 22, 2013  Booth # 2915.

NY Now:  August 18 – 21, 2013  Booth # 7350.IMG_5675

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Inspiration is everywhere and Studio Daedre takes it all in!

No matter where I go…inspiration is everywhere.  People ask me, where do you get the ideas for your illustrations.  The answer is anywhere and everywhere.  I live life. I go out, unplug from my electronic world and look, listen and observe all that goes on around me.

A run by the beach, a ramble in the garden or a trip to the farmers market…they are all part of what inspires me and keeps me moving forward as an artist.  It is part of what allows me to understand what colors and designs people want…before they know they want them.  As I do my final preparations before heading off to The National Stationery Show, why don’t I give you a peek into what I see and how it translates into one of my original illustrations.

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Studio Daedre and Downton Abbey…what they have in common

Like many, I too became enchanted and involved with Downton Abbey; but who would think that I would draw a business lesson from the last few episodes!

Studio Daedre has been in business and involved in the stationery industry for close to 20 years, and like Downtown Abbey, has seen many changes in lifestyle, culture and the economy.  The key to survival in any business is to be proactive and move with the times. As I look back on the last few years, since the first hint of downturn in the economy, I think about the changes we have made to ensure the longevity of Studio Daedre.  Like Downton Abbey, we have used our resources more efficiently;  in addition we are open to new ideas and new ways of doing the same things.  Studio Daedre also actively looks for ways to reinvent itself, with new products, illustrations and designs.

Unlike Downton, the heart and soul of Studio Daedre is guided by a woman.  The Stationery Industry has been a tricky business of late but at last seems to be turning around.  It is true, electronic devices have reduced the need for some people to invest in a note card, however in the same breath, it has made it chic to send a handwritten greeting or thank you.

Rest assured, Studio Daedre is in good hands and will be there for the next generation.  We are already working on “things” that we will premier at The National Stationery Show in May.  You will be amazed.  Expect nothing less than the best in clean and sophisticated design!

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The Atlanta Gift Show and Studio Daedre

We finally did it.  We went to the Atlanta Gift Show and exhibited in our own Booth for the first time.  IMG_4162

The Legend of The Atlanta Gift and Home Furnishings Market has held for years.  It is certainly different from any other market I have ever visited.  The complex of buildings is larger and closer together than any of the other markets, making for easy access to the many showrooms and temporaries; the city vibrated with the energy of focused attendees, both buying and selling.

As an exhibitor, I saw a cross-section of buyers I have never seen before.  Mostly buyers from the Mid-west, Texas and the Southeastern part of the country.  There was not much cross-over with the other shows I do.  Buyers who go to Atlanta don’t really go anywhere else; at least that is what I was told as I questioned the people I worked with.

As with any show, it is all about location.  I was in Building Three, reputedly the least desirable of the buildings, but we met lots of new accounts.  The buyers who did order at the show were enthusiastic.  Will we show again in Atlanta…I’m not sure.  I do at least have a lay of the land and know where I would like to have a booth next time.  IMG_4163

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A Woman from Los Angeles hanging out in Iowa

It was my first time traveling in December in many years.  Usually I avoid the crush at the airport during the holiday season…but this year I did something different.  I traveled to Iowa in mid-December.  IMG_2999

I had forgotten how festive the terminals can be.  Some sophisticated;IMG_3002

and some just as if your family put the decorations up themselves; I like them both.P1030843

And life in Iowa is different from in Los Angeles.  One thing you would not see in LA, Santa on a bulldozer. P1030854 P1030849

The long shadows of late afternoon winter light made this School house magic.IMG_3007

And the City itself, edgy in a homespun way.  This year as an installation art project, all of the trees in town have tree-cozys.  They were loving knit by the residents of Iowa City and in celebration of art and winter.IMG_3029 P1030897 P1030895 P1030896 P1030893 P1030892

Where ever you are this holiday season…let us celebrate the things we have in common and the appreciate the unique differences that make people and places unique.  P1160223

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Sutliff Bridge and a Woman from Los Angeles

I have been traveling to Iowa for close to 5 years now and one of the spots I like to visit and revisit is Sutliff Road.  For a Woman from Los Angeles with a romantic heart…this road has it all.P1030734It is a small road roughly leading from the County Road NE, just north of P1030733 P1030730Iowa City to Highway 30.  Sutliff Road winds though the heart of Iowa Family farm country; a beautiful contrast to busy city life.P1030736

It took me a while to find my way here.  I like getting out and just driving the country roads.  I found the bridge a few years ago, a battered shadow of itself after the last big flood.  I talked to the locals, who said that it had been a favorite picnic spot.  I just thought It was a great place to watch the sunset.

Took this picture in December of 2012

Took this picture in December of 2012

To my surprise, the last time I visited, the bridge had been rebuilt.  It was a modern fix, but it still maintained the vintage charm of the original.  I rejoiced and took the short walk across the river feeling somehow lucky to have have seen  the likes of this restored.P1030722P1030723 P1030729

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Will Rogers and a Woman From Los Angeles

Autumn in Los Angeles is wonderful, although not in the way most people might think.  It is a time when the days get shorter, the evenings cooler and the air beautiful and clean.

Although I have lived in Los Angeles most of my adult life, I continue to discover wonderful new things to do and see here.  

The greatest awakening for me this year has been the Santa Monica Mountains and the backbone trail.  The views are spectacular and the sence of wilderness hard to believe. 

My latest adventure was a birthday gift from a friend…a trail ride at Will Rogers State Park.   That is the polo field on the right.

It has been quite a few years since I was on a horse…but as you can imagine it comes back to you quickly.  For those of you not to keen on hiking, this is a great way to get up into the Santa Monica Mountains.  

The views are amazing; panoramas of the ocean, city and mountains.  Your guide might even point out a movie stars home or two!

All in all, lots of fun and a great way to enjoy Los Angeles.

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