Archive for January, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

cynthia mason interiors — in the news — dec 2010

Many thanks to Hart­ford Mag­a­zine and Corina A. Lopes for includ­ing my "Designer Spaces and Mar­ket Places" room in the Decem­ber 2010 issue.

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Monday, January 24, 2011

in the atelier…with Russ Potak

Art inspires me and artists amaze me. The abil­ity to cre­ate beauty from such raw mate­ri­als can­not fail to impress. Every built envi­ron­ment ben­e­fits from the addi­tion of art in any of its forms. ‘In the Ate­lier’ is a new blog fea­ture spot­light­ing artists I have met in the real or vir­tual worlds. They have gra­ciously agreed to answer a series of ques­tions I hope will help read­ers under­stand more about their art.

Today’s fea­tured artist is Russ Potak. His work, to me, rep­re­sents quin­tes­sen­tial New Eng­land. His brush strokes add lively energy to his sub­jects, and while still real­is­tic, his paint­ings bor­der on the impres­sion­is­tic. I espe­cially love the rich colors!

1) What path led you to your life as an artist?

The path that led me to be an artist was already paved when I was 5. I just kept doing what came nat­u­rally to me, like walk­ing, speak­ing, eat­ing,  and breath­ing.  I never con­sciously acknowl­edged that I was an artist. I just com­mu­ni­cated in a visual way. It wasn't until I had to put a tag on it, for edu­ca­tional pur­poses, that it became a "thing".

2) Please describe three sources of inspi­ra­tion for your art.

I've always been inspired by just see­ing art. What peo­ple have done. Liv­ing artists and deceased ones. Muse­ums and art gal­leries have drawn my inter­est. I've always felt like I was home when I vis­ited them. The other thing that was a big inspi­ra­tion was life itself. The big pic­ture. The real deal. The ulti­mate cre­ation. And from it, these feel­ings and impres­sions formed that needed to be told, in the only way I knew how. To paint them. I con­sid­ered writ­ing them, but I felt they needed so much more than words alone.

I guess, paint­ing is my first lan­guage. Eng­lish my second.

3) What was the last item you brought home from a trip? Where did you go, and why that item?

The last item I brought home from a trip was a stick from the seashore. It was the coast of Maine. A mist rolled in. You could hear the fog horns in the dis­tance. The ocean was grey and mys­te­ri­ous and I walked along the sand and peb­bled shores. I came upon this stick, which was really more like the staff of Moses. It had washed up on the shore from the tide. It was well pre­served in salt and time, and had a whitish grey patina like the bone of a whale. That, to me, was a trea­sure of more wealth and sig­nif­i­cance than had I found a hun­dred bucks. I picked it up and strode off with it like I had owned it my whole life. All I needed was a peg leg and an eye patch to com­plete the ensemble.

4) Please fill in the blank: If I was not an artist, I’d be a__________.

If I was not an artist, I guess I would be a writer, a film pro­ducer, or some  other sim­i­lar thing that filled in the need to express myself. The cre­ative drive needs a vehi­cle. I would have found one, ..  some­where, some­how, to get to where I needed  to go in the cre­ative realm of things.

5) What advice do you have for peo­ple who are afraid to buy art?

My advise for peo­ple that are afraid to buy art is this. Buy small. Buy afford­able. Buy unpre­ten­tiously. Buy like you were spend­ing money for a good book, a movie, a con­cert, or  a fine meal. Its not some­thing that you have to have to get a co-signer for, or give up your first born. Just like it, buy it, and enjoy it.  Don't get too heavy with brood­ing mean­ings as to its exis­tence or feel that it has to answer the ques­tions of  the mean­ing of life. Maybe it will, maybe it won't. Just con­sider it a pur­chase to pam­per the inner self. Kind of like that stick I was talk­ing about ear­lier. It felt good, and I liked  it, so I took own­er­ship of it. I'm the stew­ard of that stick. When you buy art, you're invest­ing in your­self. You become a stew­ard of that paint­ing. Its a win-win situation.

I hope you enjoyed learn­ing more about Russ and his work. Fol­low him on Twit­ter @russpotak or see more at:

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Something lovely…spotted in Litchfield ct

In a rare break from the crazy win­ter snows, I spent a fun lunch and shop­ping ven­ture on Mon­day with my friend and fel­low designer Jane Sper­off. She urged me to check out these lit­tle gems — aren't they great?

purse from B.Bell

book purses from B. Bell

sweet cou­ple

Each one is a unique purse, made from the front and back cov­ers of an old book. The inside fea­tures dif­fer­ent fab­rics, and the han­dles are all indi­vid­ual as well. Bib­lio­phile that I am, I suf­fered a pang at the thought of destroy­ing old books. But let's face the truth, there are surely mil­lions of unloved, unwanted old books out there, so cheers to B. Bell Designs for giv­ing them a new life. She is a 19 year old col­lege stu­dent who makes these to pay for her school­ing. How great is that?

delight­ful colors

every one is unique

Check into her Etsy shop or visit Litch­field to pick up one of these unique excit­ing lit­tle bags.

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