Inspire Your Heart With Art Day on Reviving Charm blog


I like to joke that there is a “holiday” for everything. I am not sure how it came to be but today is considered “National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day”. I have a great respect for the arts after years of studying art and architecture throughout high school and college. I love visiting museums, although I don’t visit as often as I would like. Art presents itself in a variety of forms and is a subject that touches everyone differently and what moves me may not move you and vice versa. valentines heart gift tag 4_Reviving Charm

I use to sketch quite a bit while in college although my skills are extremely rusty. But every now and then I love to pick up the paintbrush and do a quick watercolor, usually something abstract in nature. This past weekend I thought I would pull out my watercolors to create some gift tags for Valentine’s Day. What better way to celebrate Inspire Your Heart with Art Day than sharing what I’ve created? Hopefully, this will inspire you to take time out to enjoy your own creative skills. (What creative thing do you enjoy doing most?)

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This project was simple and convenient since I had all the supplies already on hand. I trimmed my watercolor paper to size (approximately 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches) and created simple graphic images using watercolors. I punched a hole in the corner of each tag and attached matching satin cord. Easy peasy and Voilà… simple gift tags and miniature works of art for recipients to enjoy.  valentines heart gift tag 3_Reviving Charmart inspiration quote_Reviving Charmvalentines heart gift tag 2a_Reviving Charm


Art: A Focus on Marco Tirelli

Today a complete solar eclipse will be visible across a wide stretch of the United States that will sweep from west to east. It’s a huge deal since the last complete eclipse was back in 1918 and it hasn’t been since 1979 since the last eclipse was visible from the mainland United States. The next solar eclipse isn’t predicted to happen again until 2024 so many people are using this as an excuse to throw a theme party (although who really needs an excuse to throw a fun party?). I will actually be attending one by someone who knows how to host a fun festivity and my special glasses, from what I am told, have already been reserved for me. Hopefully, they match my outfit…


There is something beautiful about the simple shapes found in our solar system so I always find it intriguing when an artist chooses to select them as their subject. The contrast and tension between light and dark are also particularly appealing to me and these simple, rudimentary shapes can feel very fresh and modern when displayed in today’s interiors. Case in point is the interior below by French interior designer Jean Louis Denoit. The art on the wall is by Italian artist Marco Tirelli, who our focus is on today.jean louis denoit marco trielli moon artMany of Tirelli’s paintings and sculptures depict abstract subjects. His work has been described as capturing “indeterminate forms interacting with light and shadow, such that they appear to occupy three-dimensional space.” His art has been hard to categorize by some but has been referred to as “metaphysical” by others. marco tirelli moon art reviving charm 1

Marco Tirelli in his studio in Rome (2012).

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Tirelli’s first exhibit was in Milan, Italy in 1978 and his work has since been exhibited all over the world. The following pieces were shown last year at Axel Vervoordt Gallery in Belgium.

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Exhibit at the Pastificio Cerere Foundation in Rome (2016)marco-tirelli black and white art

Exhibit at the Di Meo Gallery in Paris (2006) marco tirelli art Reviving Charm

Exhibit at the Palazzo Poli Istituto Nazionale Per La Grafica in Rome.marco-tirelli-palazzo-poli-istituto-nazionale-per-la-grafica Reviving Charm.jpg

Exhbit at the Venice Biennale (2013)louise-alexander-gallery-marco-tirelli-venice-biennale-Reviving Charmmarco-tirelli-venice-biennale-2013 reviving charm 1

Exhibit at the Museo Mathildenhohe in Germany (2002)marco tirelli art Reviving Charm 1

Exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in Bologna, Italy (2002)marco tirelli artist Reviving Charm


I was hoping to use today as a way to pay special tribute to the moon. Although research for today’s post took me down a slightly different path than originally envisioned, I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Enjoy the day…and don’t look up…well, at least not without your special eclipse glasses.


Confession: one of my personal quirks is that I can never leave a vacation, no matter how quick it may be, without buying a souvenir of some sort. I’m not talking the touristy travel mug or refrigerator magnet type of souvenirs. I’m talking stylish jewelry or trinkets to grace our home, for example. It is a nice feeling to put on a piece of jewelry or look at a piece of art picked up during our travels and be able to think back upon fond memories. Not actually a bad character trait to have, if I do say so myself!

When Mr. B and I were vacationing in La Jolla a few months back, we stopped into a bookstore where we spent a considerable amount of time looking through volumes of books in almost every genre. I purchased the book “Peggy Guggenheim” by Laurence Tacou-Rumney published in 2002. It is in excellent condition; it looks like the pages had never been cracked open. The book is one of many that graces our family room coffee table. I’ve been wanting to do a little more reading lately and am learning that I need to incorporate a little bit of “down time” in my life. There’s nothing better than curling up on a comfortable chair and reading an interesting book. I might as well start with a book already in my own collection. What are you reading lately? 

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Peggy Guggenheim on our coffee table.

Peggy had a few quirks of her own. She was quite the eccentric woman. And her style included wearing some of the most outrageous sunglasses, including the pair she wears on the front cover of the book. I’ve read that it was her way of protecting herself from her own insecurities. I am not sure if that is true but they do say the eyes are the windows to the soul. That got me thinking about myself. I never leave home without a pair of sunglasses in hand (a post on that to come). You’ll typically find me in the large black oversized kind. Hmmm, I’m starting to wonder what that says about me….I digress…

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A couple of pages from the book “Peggy Guggenheim” by Laurence Tacou-Rumney.

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Today is officially the first day of summer. Temperatures are starting to heat up here in California. It hit 100 degrees at the beach yesterday. I am not a big fan of hot weather which also got me thinking about cool places to escape. When I say “cool”, I am meaning lower temperatures although someplace interesting wouldn’t hurt! While drafting this post I couldn’t help but think of Venice since it did serve as Peggy Guggenheim’s home which has been turned into a wonderful museum for all to enjoy. The museum is situated along Venice’s famed Grand Canal. It has been several years since my last trip to Venice and recalling the sweeping views from the museum patio are just what I needed for a mental escape from the heat. Why don’t you come along and take a quick escape with me…

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A beautiful blue sky.

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Amazing views of the Grand Canal.

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Beautiful architecture.

All photos by Reviving Charm.


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“Mini Roses in Yellow” 12″x12″ oil on wood panel; 2015

Sometimes nature, in whatever form it may be, is the best inspiration. There is definitely truth to the phrase “you never know when inspiration will strike“. I recently came across this painting from Canadian artist Caroline Ji  and somehow the brilliant yellow rose blooms against the moody dark background inspired me to create a gallery of images based on the the artist’s original painting.  So for today, enjoy these images featuring the bold color combination of yellow and green. Interestingly, it’s a color combination I am seeing lots more of since drafting this post. Enjoy!

reviving charm inspired caroline ji

Interview with Artist Andrew Morrow

Mr. B and I have traveled to San Francisco so often that several people who work in various restaurants in the City think we actually live there!  Over time you establish relationships with people as a result of frequenting a place over and over again.

One of the places we always seem to frequent is the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco.  A huge part of my fascination with the hotel has always been the artwork.  The focal point of the lobby lounge includes two large scale paintings by Canadian artist Andrew Morrow.  The paintings, entitled “Love” and “War“, each measure 8 feet tall by 16 feet wide and are always a topic of conversation between Mr. B and I.   For example, (and I’m embarrassed to say) I thought there was a headless horseman in the “War” painting only to realize after many months that the rider is not headless but is instead looking down. It’s funny how each time I look at the paintings I see something new.

Several years ago Andrew Morrow was gracious enough to answer a few questions for me about his artwork.  I am thrilled to share the interview with you.  And by the way, he was quite amused about my  “headless horseman” reference.
Andrew Morrow in his Ottawa, Canada studio.

What inspires you as an artist?  Most of my inspiration comes from the art world or contemporary image culture. Painters are always in dialogue with their medium, but as a representational artist (someone who paints things that look like things), I’m also very interested in the images of our time. At the moment, I’m spending a lot time looking at pastoral ideals and sexually charged imagery. There is also a completely unforeseeable component to inspiration, this is the cliché of the lightning bolt striking from any place, at any time. This is a very real thing.

What was your inspiration for the “Love” and “War” paintings displayed in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco?  At the time, I’d been working on what I had called “War Paintings”. These were large-scale, apocalyptic battle scenes. I knew that James Robertson, the art consultant in charge of the hotel’s collection, wanted my work, but with a little less confrontation. James had decided the scale, 8’x16′, and the number of paintings, 2, but mostly, the rest was up to me. I came up with the idea of two paintings that could work in opposition with another, and thus “Love” and “War”. However, I’m not generally comfortable with binarisms as my universe is filled with grays, so conceptually, the paintings parallel, and overlap one another. “War”, presents one side of a battle, but with humour and beauty. “Love” depicts a swirling, Baroque, bacchanal, with small moments of conflict emerging from time to time. The paintings, exhibited across from one another, present compositional mirror images of one another. Because of the scale and prominence of the works and the targeted audience of the hotel, there was an exhaustive editorial process, leading to the paintings as they are today. I remember sending an initial sketch in, and getting notes back saying that there shouldn’t be any “rats”, or “dogs” in the work. The rat was actually a mongoose. The dog, was, well, a dog.

“Love” by Andrew Morrow in the lobby of the St. Regis Hotel, San Francisco. A detailed view is below.

What can we expect next from Andrew Morrow? Can you talk about any upcoming projects?  I’m currently working on a massive painting to be exhibited in a museum show here in my hometown of Ottawa. I’m also creating works for the upcoming Art Fair in Toronto. After this, I travel to Europe for 5 weeks on a research scholarship. Following that, I’m back home, working on a video project which will be screened in March of 2010. I’ve got more demand for my work that I can possibly keep up with these days. It would be nice to have a clone or two in the studio. Or at least an army of talented monkeys.

What are 5 things you couldn’t live without?  What can’t I live without? The logistician in me would say air, water, food, etc., but this doesn’t really say much does it? Family for sure, I’d be lost without my family. I also really like my bike. And art. I need my time alone too, this makes life bearable. Let’s lump in all those life-sustaining elements, like food and air in the fifth spot. I need these too.

You can also check out his website here.

Lobby lounge photos by me.  All other images courtesy of Andrew Morrow.