Art Soiree Presents: Salon After Hours

I recently attended the first of Art Soiree’s newest event, Salon After Hours. They choose a talented salon in the DC area and collaborate to create a memorable night celebrating the art of beauty. First up was the David Rios Salon and Spa in Georgetown neighborhood in DC. It was a night full of visual delights as attendees were able to witness the stylists and makeup artists prepare the finishing touches on the models, then watch it all come together in motion with a mini runway show.

Makeup artist, Michelle, completes her look inspired by painter Roy Lichtenstein’s work.

The team at David Rios spent countless hours to prepare for this event. They chose to take inspiration from some of the greatest artists and masterpieces in art history to create the looks they premiered that night. There was also the chance to meet the stylists themselves to chat about their work and experience. Everyone that I met from the salon was very gracious and friendly, and their enthusiasm for their passion was contagious! Based on what I saw, I would highly recommend checking out the crew at the David Rios Salon & Spa. They know how to make you look good (and also know how to throw a party)!

For the full album of the event at the David Rios Salon, see it here!

If you’re in the DC area and haven’t heard about Art Soiree, I suggest you check them out! They host many events throughout the year, sharing their taste and joy of the arts. Tonight I will be attending the next event for Art Soiree’s Salon After Hours at Roche Salon, so stay tuned for part 2!


Art All Night DC

It’s like a bar crawl, but with art!

The Art All Night event in DC was held this past Saturday, with 8 different locations that were open to the public from 7pm to 3am. Each site offered a different experience and those with comfy shoes, drunk on caffeine, and had a strong will were able to see everything. I, on the other hand, only made it to about half of the venues because I opted for heels and occasionally drifted off the path because that’s just how I roll. Still, I was able to enjoy what I did see. The entire event was free, with some venues offering alcohol, live music, and even burlesque performances for the visitors well into the wee hours of the morning. Booze, art, and music…and I can get all of that even if I just bring a 20?! How could one NOT attend?

I did have a couple of favorites from the places I visited, Continue reading

Art Basel Miami Beach 2012

Alright folks, I know it’s two months away but I couldn’t wait to share that I will be in attendance at this year’s Art Basel art show in Miami! For those that don’t know, Art Basel in Miami is probably THE hugest and most important art show on this side of the world. Artists, galleries, and the people who love them from all over the world converge to the Miami Beach area for a week-long celebration of the visual arts. I can’t believe I’ve never gone ’til now! There will be several other art shows and events going on concurrently with Art Basel, so it looks like it’s going to be an exhausting weekend. Plenty of researching to do beforehand! Damn, I’m getting overwhelmed just thinking about it.

(e)merge Art Fair (Photos)

Alex Podesta

I was able to take some time to check out some of the work at the (e)merge Art Fair that took place over the weekend at the Capital Skyline Hotel in DC. (e)merge brings together a collection of artists and galleries that are making moves in the contemporary art world.

I missed all of the performance art this year (dang) but there was still so many other things to enjoy. I thought that I’d share some of the pieces that I was able to capture. Enjoy!

Prêt-à-Papier Show at Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens

And I thought learning to make an origami crane was a feat…

Recently I attended an event hosted by The Art Soiree that centered around the current exhibit at the Hillwood Estate in DC, Prêt-à-Papier. The exhibit features stunning handmade, full scale dresses created by Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave. The kicker is that each of the garments and accessories on display are made of just regular craft paper, paint, maybe a little glitter here and there, and glue to hold it together. That’s pretty much it!  Each piece truly is a work of art, painstakingly constructed and painted in a process that takes an average of 3 months per dress – and that includes having the help of studio assistants. The works presented at Prêt-à-Papier draw inspiration from fashions throughout the 17th to early 20th century. The artist appears to be drawn to the royal grandeur and intricacies of the time periods. Before turning her focus on creating the paper costumes she’s now known for, De Borchgrave was an accomplished trompe l’oeil painter. “Trompe l’oeil” is a French term which means “to fool the eye” and refers to the art technique of rendering 2-D images with incredible realism. That painting experience seamlessly translates into the 3-D realm as De Borchgrave demonstrates her skill in manipulating the materials to create the illusion of satin, lace and other textiles in each fragile piece. It’s an accomplishment that photos can’t do full justice. The show is a delicious treat for the eyes, and yes, the pieces absolutely put your 3rd grade papier-mâché volcano project to shame.

In addition to the main exhibit in Hillwood’s Adirondack Building, you will find other pieces of Isabelle’s work sprinkled throughout the mansion itself where her garment asserts itself into the lush surroundings. When I took the tour, I was amazed to see how different each garment looked from the next. It seemed like De Borchgrave could make anything out of paper and paint! I never knew one could push its properties so far. This show is certainly worth seeing if you have any interest in fashion, paper crafts, or looking at cool stuff.

The exhibit is currently running until Dec. 30th. More info about the Prêt-à-Papier show and Hillwood Mansion can be found here.

Here’s some of what I captured during my visit:

Not nearly as grand as the dresses in the exhibit, but I did alright. Dress: ASOS; Gold bracelets, ring and belt: Target. Photo Credit: Art Soiree

Check out more pictures on Purple Paintbrush’s Facebook page!

Figure Painting Workshop Pictures – Day 5

So here it is, after a few more tweaks and observations from Day 4 this is the final result of the figure study I did at the summer workshop I attended at Studio Incamminati:


Not too bad, considering how much I thought I was struggling with it. I definitely see where I can improve, but I’m not beating myself up as bad as I was earlier in the week. It was a great learning experience and I’m pretty happy that I took the time to attend this workshop. It wasn’t easy, I’ll say that! I’ve come away with a lot good feedback from the instructors and I trust their insight. Another big thing that seemed to be reinforced to me throughout this experience is that one just has to keep painting often, it has to be a part of the routine in some way. It’s really the only way to get better. I’m going to keep that in mind, and try my best to keep pushing myself as well as continue to encourage others!

Thanks for hanging in there with me, hopefully in the coming weeks you will get to see more products of this recent burst of productivity and motivation. Can’t wait!

Figure Painting Workshop Pictures – Day 4

Day 3 was a really tough one for me and the beginning of Day 4 was no different! I was struuuuuggling! But, fortunately I was able to get some help and attention from the instructors and I started to feel a little bit better about what I was doing. Honestly, I’m still not completely happy with this study but I DO think that I’m in a better spot than yesterday. Check out the pics: