Category Archives: Illustration

The School of Flaunt Handbook

If you are not familiar with Alexandra Smythe and Cate Clarke, co-authors of “The School of Flaunt Handbook” and of their web site (www.schoolofflaunt.com), you should be.  Described as The Divas of Good Taste, Alexandra and Cate have dreamed up a tome in which they promise to navigate you safely through the snakepits and landmines of money, moda and manners.

With such interesting chapter titles as “Wardrobe – From Runway to Reality”, “Votre Maison – All Gated Communities Are Not Created Equal” and “Amour or Affair de Coeure – We Want to Light Your Fire!”, their Handbook is filled with tips and quizzes and a bevy of helpful hints to guide you safely into their “Flaunt Fabulous World.”  (Full disclosure:  I was very honored when the duo asked me to do the black and white illustrations for the Handbook.  Thanks so much Alexandra and Cate!)

So before you even think about accepting that next dinner party invitation or stepping foot into Bergdorf’s again, spend a few hours with Alexandra and Cate and The Handbook, available through amazon.com.  You’ll be glad you did and as the authors proudly state, “why go through life as ordinary, when it is just as easy to be extraordinary!”

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I Can’t Give You a Turkey Dinner. . .

. . . but maybe a few feathers will do.  Sorry for the silence as of late.  Will pick up the pace after the holiday.  Have a good one!

 Sketches by Joel Woodard

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October Changes Everything . . .

Photos by Joel Woodard

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Different Books Call For Different “Looks”

There are reading glasses, magnifying glasses and rose-colored glasses.  And then there are blinders (figuratively and literally) which won’t let you read or understand at all.  The point is different books called for different ways of journeying with their authors.  (Of course, it doesn’t hurt to have some chic-y specs as well!)

Photos by Joel Woodard

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The Meadow

“Sinking knee-keep into awe,

In this luminous field, I heard

Manifesto of a bird

Publishing this meadow’s law.

All the flowers, I could see

By a sense more keen than sight

In his field’s unearthly light, —

Flowers mangered mystery!

Every rock was pasture to

Beauty that the meadow knew.

Vines upon their journey high —

On their pilgrimage to sky —

Vine and branch and bud and I,

Rose and weed and bough and blade,

Rock, sweet anchorange to shade,

Twig and petal, brook and feather,

Leaf and pebble, bush and pond,

Link by link in network vast,

All were interbraided fast;

All were ligatured together

In all universal bond!–

Each was but a separate name;

Each apparelled but the same

Quenchless and informing flame!”

Photos by Joel Woodard; Poem by Louis Ginsberg

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“Keep it simple. That’s the secret.” The Albert Hadley Auction at Sotheby’s

When Albert Hadley decided last year to shutter the day-to-day operations of his eponymous and well-renowned interior design firm, he wondered what to do with some of the eclectic and beautiful decorative objects and furniture he had amassed over the years and which were gathering dust in a warehouse.  Sotheby’s (www.sothebys.com) was contacted and they put together some beautiful vignettes of the designer’s items which will be up for auction as part of their larger “Fine English and European Decorative Arts” auction slated for March 30 and 31.  The lots, made up of some original designs of Mr. Hadley as well as some interpretations of iconic items, along with some of his room sketches, have reasonable price estimates assigned to them by Sotheby’s.  But given their provenance I do suspect the gavel will go down on closing bids many times over those estimates.  In case you miss the Sotheby’s auction, Stair Galleries in Hudson, New York (www.stairgalleries.com) will be hosting an auction of their own on April 1. 

After viewing the lots in situ yesterday I was reminded that on Mr. Hadley’s desk, he keeps a yellowed newspaper clipping headline which quoted him years ago and which gives the key to his success and vision.  “Keep it simple.  That’s the secret.”  Ah, now we know.

Top photos by Joel Woodard

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End of Story

Paper marbeling is an ages-old method of surface design used to produce patterns similar to stone or shell.  The patterns appear as a result of color floated in either water or a glue-like substance known as size and then transferred to paper or fabric.  It has often been used for endpapers or covers for books.  And just look at these varied and beautiful marbled and shell papers here which I came across yesterday.  In the stillness of this shop these beautiful tomes made me a bit chagrined that I was judging them by their covers alone.

Photos by Joel Woodard

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