Impress Yourself: Artwork to Jazz Up Your Interior

by Jennifer Hernandez

Art is around us everywhere. Books frequently reference Michelangelo’s masterpieces, pop culture doesn’t tire of Andy Warhol’s “Marilyn Diptych” and the “Mona Lisa” seems to have a doppelganger in every decade. But art goes beyond what we see in mass media. People can showcase and examine it in intimate settings to stir emotion, inspire creativity and fuel motivation.

If you love color and are looking for paintings that will do more than fill a space, then find inspiration in the passionate hues of these five impressionist and post-impressionist artworks by exhibiting them around your home or office.

1. “Impression, Sunrise” – Claude Monet

monet sunrise

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, PD-1923

This painting is said to have started the impressionist movement. Its rapid and seemingly effortless brushstrokes capture the momentary beauty of daybreak and exude a sense of optimism and vitality. These subtle yet provocative orange and blue hues can set the tone for a new day and a fresh start. Place it in a space visible from your bed so it’s one of the first things you see when you wake up.

2. “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” – Georges Seurat

seurat-2

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, PD-1923

This soothing illustration of Parisian leisure on the Seine River alludes to the idea that life is a stroll in the park. The vibrant red, warm sage and cool green shades were created through pointillism, a technique where millions of small dots systematically form shapes the eye can recognize. It depicts a calm, colorful atmosphere settling in as Parisians softly gaze into the distance and share quality time with loved ones, creating a permanent moment of relaxation. When you need to unwind in your home, this can be your go-to visual.

3. “Dance at le Moulin de la Galette” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Auguste_Renoir_-_Dance_at_Le_Moulin_de_la_Galette_-_Musée_d'Orsay_RF_2739_(derivative_work_-_AutoContrast_edit_in_LCH_space)

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, PD-1923

Renoir used soft, almost untraceable brushstrokes of yellow and peach tones outlined with bold, dark details to create a bubbly atmosphere where friends sip champagne and lovers unite on the dance floor. In this never-ending party, the fervent sun trickles through the trees and fills the painting’s subtle colors with a hazy light. This artwork showcasing healthy friendships and an elegant social setting is a great piece for a living room or family dining area.

4. “The Mulberry Tree” – Vincent van Gogh

mulberry tree

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, PD-1923

People sometimes describe post-impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh as a tortured soul. His mental health issues made his life difficult, but they also allowed him to see in vibrant, active colors. With its thick, rapid brushstrokes and contrasting cool blue and warm yellow colors, “The Mulberry Tree” generates thoughts of branching out and reaching for the sky. The tree’s extended limbs imitate open arms ready to embrace new opportunities. Place this simple yet tremendously powerful painting in an office to awaken a positive attitude when you walk through the door.

5.  “Where Do We Come From? Where Are We? Where Are We Going?” – Paul Gauguin

gaugiun

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, PD-1923

Paul Gauguin, a frenemy of van Gogh, calls on the prismatic residents of Tahiti to illustrate the basic question, “What’s my purpose?” With its saturated blue and yellow hues and stimulating characters, this painting takes you back a few centuries to depict how far humanity has come. It ignites the question, “How far can I go?” The painting’s intimate setting and revealing nature makes it a great stable, thought-provoking piece for a wide wall in a bathroom.

A Perennial Polish: Your Best Accessory

by Justine Giancola

Seasons change and so do nail color trends. When summer ends, we bid adieu to bright, neon and pastel polishes and welcome the deep, dark shades of fall.

However, one color compliments almost every outfit in any season: Essie’s Bahama Mama. The rich plum paint is my personal favorite and a constant must-have in your wardrobe of polishes. Its darker shade makes it seem like a fall color at first, but after one coat you’ll realize the versatile potential of that little glass bottle’s content.

essie

Image Courtesy of Justine Giancola

Because the polish has a purple hue rather than the typical brown, burgundy and blacks of cooler seasons, you can easily wear it in warmer weather. The name itself makes you want to pack your bags and head to the tropics!

Still not convinced? Here are a couple tips to pulling off this darker polish in hotter seasons.

Let’s start with jewelry. Go for silver or platinum baubles for a brighter match. Gold can sometimes seem heavy, and it may give off a wintry appearance when coupled with Bahama Mama. Silver tones present a lighter look that compliment it best in sunnier seasons.

Consider your makeup, too. You might not think your face has anything to do with your nails, but this polish paired with heavy makeup can give you an overall chilly appearance. When sporting Bahama Mama in spring or summer, keep your shadows subtle and your lips light with more natural tones. Complete your look with a chic outfit for the warmer weather, and your nails will surely compliment your style.

Note: While it may seem obvious that Bahama Mama works wonderfully for the cooler seasons, there are still ways to jazz it up even more! As leaves change from summer to fall, consider pairing your polish with gold or brass jewelry and jewel-toned outfits. In terms of makeup, you have more leeway.  Take advantage of deep colors in the cold for a rich look that will certainly turn heads.

Don’t forget to stock up on your Bahama Mama collection because no matter what time of the year, you can always rock this captivating color with confidence.

Stay bold, friends.

13 years later: Orange & Blue remembers 9/11

Courtesy of Eric via Flickr.com

Courtesy of Eric via Flickr.com

Sept. 11, 2001: Four planes. Three buildings. Two thousand nine hundred seventy-seven victims. One grey day we’ll never forgot.

Although members of our staff were only 7, 8 or 9 years old, we each have distinct memories of that fateful day. Join us as we remember where we were on one of the most tragic days in recent American history…

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