Artist in Residency Recap

A month in Italy to create art – a dreamy opportunity! How did this come about, you may ask. Here’s a quick art recap of how Steve’s Artist in Residence at La Fortezza came about and the fabulous results.

You may remember last fall, Steve taught a painting workshop at Annette Joseph’s 9th century villa, La Fortezza. It was full of creativity, laughs and exploration. That lead to this offer from Annette, be the first Artist in Residence, creating work inspired by the region. And he said YES! So, this past July, he did just that, creating a body of work that reflects the history, geography and beauty of the Lunigiana region. Truly a gift to focus on art for a full month.

If you haven’t been to this part of Italy, add it to your travel bucket list. Lunigiana is a historic region between Tuscany and Liguria, drenched in history, unique foods and breathtaking views.

Italy, art, Steve mckenzie's

Being familiar with the town and nearby art store, Steve knew what supplies he needed to take and what he could purchase there. So, with brushes and paint in hand, he spread out in the spacious studio, working on many canvases and paper pieces at once, as the inspiration moved him.

art, roman soldier, paper
Soldata Romano II

One of the benefits of being in one place for a longer period of time is you make friends with the locals. This was especially helpful as Steve wanted to make copies of historic rare books and ephemera at the local rare books archives, to incorporate into his paintings. With some patience and help with translating, he got more than he needed, including the Roman soldier seen above, an atlas of the region from 1785, and a lawyer’s goat skin bound book of contracts from 1635, all incorporated into various works of art.

It wasn’t all painting, there was cooking to be done, in Annette’s fabulous kitchen, plus visiting local museums, sites and an artists’ co-op. Check out Annette’s many workshops here.

Italy, food, Mutti tomatoes
A new favorite, Mutti tomatoes mixed with simple garden produce were the base for many suppers.

One of the artists shared some scrap chunks of Carrara marble with Steve. What an amazing new conduit for his art, another blessing from travels and learning from new friends.

Sculpture by Steve McKenzie – Carrara marble

How does one end such a wonderful month of painting? With a show of course! A downpour didn’t dampen our spirits either. The food truck brought the food inside the studio where our friends, local and from afar, ate, drank and danced into the night.

The next day, we packed up the art, said ciao to La Fortezza, and headed to the iconic beach town, Forte Dei Marmi, the perfect way to cap off a jubilant July.

Advertisements

Who Doesn’t Love Iris?

pillow, Iris, fashion
Hand-made Iris Apfel Pillow by Huger Memories $295

Iris Apfel, fashion icon, business woman, interior designer, has inspired so many with her wit, style-sense and sharp eye. Our friend, Sarah Wiley of Huger Memories has created a fabric pillow homage to Iris, part of Sarah’s Women We Love pillow collection.

 

 

Oprah pillow
Oprah pillow

 

Huger is bringing your favorite heroines home in their new limited-edition collection. Using the same unique process to create custom memory pieces, Huger artist Sarah Gibson Wiley has hand drawn photos of the iconic women and then machine stitched the photos onto hand-cut applique to then create a 21” decorative pillow. They are all available for $295 at HugerMemories.com and at Atlanta’s steve mckenzie’s shop.

jackie_1024x1024
Jackie Kennedy pillow

gift, home, house
House Portrait – a perfect housewarming gift

Not only can you add remarkable women to your sofa, Sarah loves to create a fabric memory for her clients, be it their home or pets or family.   Working with her client, Sarah gathers photographs and makes notes during the consultation – to ensure she captures the look and feel of the concept. She draws on her computer and chooses all stitches and areas of applique. A computer generated mock up is sent to her client for design clarity and approval. Once approved, Sarah selects designer fabric for applique and cotton thread to bring color and life to the drawing. Then she stitches the design on a fabric background that will then be either sewn into a pillow,  or framed either by you or by her favorite Richmond framer.

gift, beach, family, kids
Family beach memories

Sarah, Steve and Jill hit it off at last week’s The Southern C Summit in Sea Island, so much so that you can find her work in Atlanta at our shop, steve mckenzie’s.

We are always excited about featuring talented makers who create from the heart, such amazing pieces for the home.

dog, gift, pillow, art,
Add a pillow featuring your beloved furry family member!

Preserve a special memory with one of these hand-crafted pieces.  And what a special gift!

Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio
Sarah Wiley, the artist in her Richmond studio

“My goal is to bring clients joy by creating lasting memories in the form of a unique art form”. – Sarah Gibson Wiley

Start the journey towards your own custom Huger Memories piece at: https://www.hugermemories.com and tell them steve mckenzie’s sent you!