Saturday Spotlight on…Artist Anna Mulcahy

So today being Saturday is a very appropriate day to introduce the first post in my ‘Saturday Spotlight on…’ series for my humble little blog.  I thought I would kick it off with the personality that I guess is the catalyst for the series – that would be one Anna Mulcahy.  The series being; regular Saturday posts on emerging and established design and artistic talent that has caught my eye, inspired me, made me laugh, made me cry and whom I believe in as a talent and as a story to tell and share to a wider audience.   I hope you enjoy reading, discovering, perhaps revisiting and by all means leave a comment and let me know you’ve stopped by.

I first met Anna Mulcahy a few years ago now, when she came in to Maple Homewares in Balwyn.  Anna had brought some of her gorgeous Collage Crosses in to Maple, hoping to get her pieces in to some of the local homewares stores.  Anna is such a genuine, humble, warm person, and you know straight up that there is no BS – so refreshing.  She is a terrible salesperson though (and she won’t mind me saying that, she’d say it herself), you know she lives to paint and the thought of people paying for her passion I think, initially may have been a little challenging for her to comprehend.  She’s getting better at it.

Anna is one hell of a talented lady, creating detailed hand-made paper and mixed media collages.  She also creates dreamy, exotic backdrops for her collages and gorgeous detailed drawings.  Over time I have seen the changes in Anna’s work as she gains more confidence in her own abilities, and belief in herself as a ‘fully fledged’ artist.  Needless to say Anna’s work is now represented in some of Melbourne’s most popular homewares stores; namely Maple Homewares in Balwyn, Fenton and Fenton in Prahran, Curious Grace in Yarraville, Montebello Emporium and Sissy in Mt Eliza (about an hours drive from Melbourne). Anna’s work is so bright and colourful, I find myself drawn to every one of her pieces.  Her pieces evoke images of faraway places, places we’d love to go to but for whatever reason can’t quite get there.  It’s no surprise then than Anna draws much of her inspiration from past travels across Egypt, Israel and Morocco. I’ve seen Anna’s pieces in homes (mine included) take centre stage, they are so rich in their exotic palette and imagery that they bring a space to life and can do justice to the family that lives there.  Anna’s passion seeps through her pieces and in to the homes fortunate enough to have invested in her talent. 

 

Anna at Curious Grace Anna Mulcahy and ‘Azraq’ at Curious Grace in Yarraville

 Anna, tell us about yourself.  Did you always want to be an artist, and what led you to where you are today?

I was always good at Art but it wasn’t encouraged in a house full of professionals, therefore it was thought of by myself and my parents as more of a hobby.  20 years ago I painted my first piece and an interior decorator friend of mine saw it and sold it to her client for $500.00 unframed! So my art career began. Twenty years later I have managed to paint full time and as a single mum it has been a fantastic career as I could be at home for my babies.

Both your paper art and paintings are certainly gaining popularity. Is there a particular medium you prefer?

I love mixing it up. I paint abstract designs in acrylic paint and turn it into collages at the moment as they have been particularly popular.

How would you describe your artwork?

I would describe my art as global, colourful and very happy.  

Emerald City at Fenton and Fenton

 ‘Emerald City’ looking right at home amongst the eclectic mix of home wares at Fenton and Fenton in Prahran.  

Do you have an idea of what you are going to paint from the outset, or do some pieces unravel once you start putting brush to canvas.?

I have a pretty good idea before I start especially with collages as they have to be measured with precision although I often end up with a totally different piece than what was in my head to start with!

 

Aztec Blue at Curious GraceIMG_5251

‘Aztec Rose’, ‘Aztec Blue’, and below collage crosses – highlighting the precision in spatial arrangement and preparation that’s required.  

Collage Cross

Collage Cross 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What does a typical day involve for you?

No such thing as a typical day! I paint when the creative urge hits which luckily is all the time. Sometimes 9 -5pm sometimes 9pm – 3am. I just go with it and have an Anna nap if I need too.

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Anna at her studio in Glen Iris, painting the finishing touches to ‘Colonel Haiti’.

Top 5 resources for inspiration.

1. Travelling especially the Middle East

2. Everyday objects. A pretty outfit to a walk with the dog.

3. Interior and fashion trends

4. My mood

5. Doodling and playing with paints

Which other local artists, designers or creative people are you liking at moment.

So many fantastic artists out there. Two favourites are Jai Vasicek & Katie McKinnon  plus the Masters. Marc Chagall being a favourite

What are you looking forward to?

I look forward to more travel now the children are older. Morocco, Spain and Portugal are high on the wish list

Favourite place to shop and eat in Melbourne?

Homewares: Maple. Curious Grace. Fenton & Fenton and SISSY in Mt. Eliza

Clothes-  I buy it if I love it and it doesn’t matter where it’s from.

Restaurant – Amigos with the kids The Smith with friends Cafe Cucina or Stoke House for romantic dinner

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Above – Anna’s ‘Persian Pink, ‘Emerald Medina’ and ‘Spanish Sunset’ and Jai Vasicek’s crosses (below) at one of Anna’s favourite stores (and mine),  Maple Homewares in Balwyn

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What are 5 things most people don’t know about Anna Mulcahy?

There is nothing people don’t know about me. Pretty much an open book. I’m an optimist and passionate and I think very funny too, although my kids may disagree! I love my partner, kids and friends and am at my happiest painting.   A huge thank you Anna, for your time and for your ability to inject our homes with so much life and colour.   Lisa xx

FezCarbivale at Curious Grace

‘Fez’ at Fenton and Fenton, and ‘Carnivale’ at Curious Grace

Wasi DesertCollage

‘Wasi Desert’ and a gorgeous elephant collage – showcasing the extent of Anna’s creative talents.

 

 

 

 

It’s a Subway Situation in the Bathroom

I never tire of Subway tiles, I know they have been around forever, well since early-twentieth century anyway. Originally gracing the walls of the subway in New York, who would have thought that they would become a design favourite – creating  such a classic look.  I love the way you can bring a little more edge and attitude to the room by merely having a contrasting grout colour. Personally I love the white subway tile with a dark grout and some gorgeous brass tap ware – for the bathroom.  And it’s the bathroom that I’m interested in at present, as myself and a client embark on their bathroom renovation – with so many ideas that need to be fine-tuned, here’s a few of my favourite images for inspiration.

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Image via poppytalk.com

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Image via Apartment Therapy

 

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Image Via

 

Morton-Ave-03-Landscape

Image via desiretoinspire.net  Incredible to note that this image is a computer rendering by Studio You Me , so talented.

 

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Image 5 via lamaisondannag.blogspot.com.au

 

 

201807598_CuLwuTYY_cImage 6 via onebrooklynmodern.com

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Image 7 via  ladolcevitablog.com

What I’m Diggin’ Right Now

I’m back…let’s not go into how long it’s been, but a bit has happened, needless to say Live-Breathe-Style has had a bit of a freshen up and I have lots of awesome ideas, images and inspiration for you to enjoy. Let’s kick off with a roundup up of things that ‘I’m Diggin’ Right Now’.

light and rug I love everything about this space above. I came across this image on The Style Files and although I tend to go for a lot more colour, the textures, materials, height of the ceiling, scale of the furniture and lighting make it a truly captivating space. The Z1 Black pendant in particular caught my eye. I am a massive fan of Ay Illuminate design house based in the Netherlands. They work with beautiful natural materials to produce the most exquisite range of lighting, basket ware and ceramics. This pendant light is no exception.

The rug, another of my personal favourites, is a traditional Beni Ouarain carpet.  These are made by the Berber tribes of the North-Eastern Middle Atlas Mountains in Morocco. They were traditionally used as bedding to keep warm in the cold winter months.  These rugs, understandably fetch a fair price – upwards of $3000 for a decent sized Beni Ouarain.  Kinda out of our price range at this point in time, but I did notice that Freedom Furniture  have a very decent version of this rug, the Moroccan Boxes Floor Rug.  It is a combination of cotton and wool, but it actually looks pretty good.  Even better, it’s on special –  $379 for a 300cm x 200cm.  It might just get me by until I can fork out for the ‘real deal’. 

Coco and Milo

 

How gorgeous are these cushions? They are from a small homeware company called Coco and Milo.  They have a quirky, eclectic mix of cushions that feature on the  Made It online market. In particular I love the Handprinted Scandi Aztec cushion, that also comes in black with the gold fringe. 

pineapple lamp

Next on the list is this gorgeous bone china Pineapple Lamp from Have You Met Miss Jones. It featured in last weekends Sunday Age, ‘Home Style’ lift out.  It would be the most adorable, quirky addition to a child’s bedroom.  The lifestyle company Have You Met Miss Jones, continue to produce exquisitely crafted, interesting and unique products. They started out specialising in white bone china products, but have now expanded to include clay pottery, porcelain, wood, resin, recycled glass and lacquer.  Jump on their website and see all the quirky goodness for yourself.

teatowels gallery

 

One of my favourite Australian artists, Rachel Castle, has released a range of screen printed Tea Towels. There are 4 in the range and they are designed with the intention to frame and hang.  They are a limited edition (just 100 of each design), and a fantastic way to have a little piece of Rachel Castle in your home .  Rachel’s whimsical paintings, embroidery, screen prints and range of bedlinen is exquisite and she has a huge following in Australia and Internationally (deservedly so). Lucy Feagins from The Design Files posted a fantastic interview with Rachel, back in 2010, well worth a jump over. 



castle bedding

rachel 2

rachel 1

 

To finish off my little (big) list of things I’m lovin’, here’s a little fashion.  I’m still struggling with the fact it will be Winter in just over a month so I still managed to slip a few ‘Spring’ like pieces in there. Although considering I am one to wear thongs in the thick of winter (with a scarf, beanie and coat mind you) it’s probably not all that unexpected.

leopard loafers

Leopard print (or Ocelot if you are that way inclined) is still EVERYWHERE….scarves, bags, shoes, pants, jackets, coats, hats.  But for damn good reason.  It looks great with just about anything.  You can clash prints, or keep the rest of the outfit simple…it adds interest, colour and seriously for $50 (try Shopbop) these super cute Soludos look super comfy, and again – could be trotted out any season – gotta get me some of these.  With distressed denim, white T-shirt, you’re good to go. 

Milano and Arizona Birkenstock

Ahhh yes the old Birkenstock has made a comeback (did it ever go?).  The last pair I had traipsed all around Europe and were with me for quite some time thereafter. The ‘it’ sandal for Spring/Summer (and look Winter with a pair of woollen socks? Yes?) is the Birkenstock.  Yes it’s on trend, but sooooo comfy, so might just be jumping on that bandwagon once more.  The latest style being touted around town is the Arizona (in black or white….let’s go black for Autumn/Winter shall we?) .  

asos leather jacket

This brown leather jacket by Mango, a Spanish clothing company (available via Asos) looks amazing.  It’s REAL leather, and ON SALE (from $344 down to $223) BARGAIN. Autumn, Winter, Spring…..done.  I know the black leather bikers jacket is getting it’s fair share of publicity, but for me, brown leather fits the bill. Not as harsh, and perhaps a little more ‘versatile’ for my lifestyle (as a Mumma). 

free people jacket‘The Light Shining On Me Jacket’ jacket by Free People  is the perfect little jacket to throw on over boyfriend jeans or some ‘skinnies’ with a white T underneath.  Stunning during the day or night, this little jacket is on my list for spring.  It has crochet accents and a layered trim that gives it that edge. I love pieces like this, because as you look at it more closely you can see more and more detail.  An interesting piece that will get heaps of use. Tick.

Right o, I’ve broken the drought.  Looking forward to getting stuck into all things design, decoration, fashion and food….

Thanks for stopping by.

Heidi Middleton at home

I just came across these images of Heidi Middleton in her home, posted on The Diversion Project, originally  from Tales of Endearment and had to share them with you.  Both blogs/sites have so much eye candy it will make your head spin, and you might learn something along the way too.  Tales of Endearment, as the author, Natalie Joos puts it (who is a Fashion Consultant and Casting Agent in Brooklyn), is a collection of ‘stories about friends, vintage, love, style and life’. Please go check it out.  Hope you enjoy the images as much as I did.  Such an amazing woman, is Heidi Middletion, for a multitude of reasons.

All above images via Tales of Endearment

The ladies in all their glory, Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton of Sass and Bide.

Enjoy,

Lisa