Monday, June 23, 2014

Linda Leslie: Inside the Studio with thanks to C.Whitney Ward

Cirque Deauville by Linda Leslie oil on canvas 42x60

The painting pictured above is a new arrival to Pryor Fine Art and is one of my favorite pieces in the gallery. As noted in the past, a person's taste and preference in artwork selection is varied. For me, I enjoy paintings that evoke a time and place; a painting that transports the viewer to another (often imaginary) world. Even more enchanting is when the artist draws the viewer in just enough to evoke time and place, without the follow through of a specific time/place. Such is the case in many of paintings by Linda Leslie. 
White Bird Blue Box oil on canvas 48x30

So, I was thrilled recently to see a blog post by C.Whitney Ward ( that highlighted Linda's talent and her extraordinary home. Many thanks to the blog Chasing Santa Fe for giving us an up close glimpse into the home/studio of Linda Leslie and a true family of artisans. 

Below is an excerpt from the 6.18.14 post written by C.Whitney Ward for Chasing Santa Fe. For complete post, please use link above: 



The visual charm of artist Linda Leslie & filmmaker/musician John Witham's home/studios begins as you step through the gate into their diminutive courtyard - urns laced in vines; a stone lamb basking under a violet clematis; and an imposing bronze bust diligently guarding the front door, eyebrow cocked...

Bust of Artist David A .Leffel by James Leslie (Linda's Father)

Then you step inside and the charm continues. Richly-painted, faux- finished walls, handsome paintings and sculpture -  every surface artfully composed by  this talented Santa Fe couple.

Talent obviously runs in the family.  The wall leading to the second story showcases Linda's paintings hung  with an amazing cord system designed by one of her  sons, Hutch DuBosque. 

"Sketching keeps my eye working. It helps to keep my work loose and more confident. I feel calm, peaceful and happy when sketching. I try to think of nothing. I feel less pressure and more freedom than when painting."
And  sculpture and sketches by her father - noted artist James Leslie - take pride of place throughout the house, including the bust at the front door.

And lest I forget the other two residents of this
 lovely home - Kayla and Sally .


Both John and Linda are working artists and each have their own studio that reflects their aesthetic and work style.

Linda takes an orderly approach to her drawing/painting. - the skeleton is a constant companion and she does a lot of measuring, using a beautiful plumb line (below) that was a gift from John. Her studio is romantic and personal, designed/arranged by  Hutch and filled with her paintings, her father's sculpture, her other son Jamey's handmade furniture and frames, shelves and shelves of books, and objects that she loves.

Glass envelope/letters by Joanne Teasdale
She works in oils and also encaustic - an ancient technique of using warm beeswax, resin and pigments, creating an ethereal, luminous surface. She describes her work as dreamy and peaceful. "It takes me out of myself."
We look forward to seeing you in the gallery soon! Very best, Christina and all at Pryor Fine Art

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

La Belle Epoque and Women and Morphine Exhibit (blog post by John Seed)

I recently came across this very interesting blog post by artist, writer, and art professor John Seed on his blog John Seed: Writing about Art and Artists.

The post caught my eye because of its reference to one of my favorite time periods, La Belle Epoque (or "Beautiful Era" in English). Generally spanning from 1871-1914, this period covers a relatively peaceful time in France and the rest of Europe. This is post Paris Commune and pre WWI. During this peacetime, visual art, literature, architecture, music, and theater flourished. Though, it was not only the well-heeled that enjoyed this period. The Moulin Rouge was a popular destination at the time as well as the many other dance and music halls that were spread across the "bohemian" neighborhoods of Paris.

We mostly think of the influence and evidence of this era in Paris, which is rightfully so, but I fell in love with the era while in Nice, France, seeing the beautiful examples of Belle Epoque architecture that still exist today. Many artists and architects split time between Paris and Nice during this period (how nice!) and you can see many similarities in the remaining architecture and paintings from both locales.
Hotel Negresco 
Other notable dates
1875 Palais Garnier built (The Paris Opera House)
1889 The Eiffel Tower completed for World's Fair (Paris)
1890 Vincent Van Gogh dies
1912 Galleries Lafayette dome completed 

Prominent artists in Paris during the Belle Époque included post-Impressionists such as Odilon Redon, Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Émile Bernard, Henri Rousseau, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (whose reputation improved substantially after his death), and a young Pablo Picasso. More modern forms in sculpture also began to dominate as in the works of paris-native Auguste Rodin. (source Wikipedia).

Hopefully the Belle Epoque is starting to take shape in your mind. Beauty and prosperity abounded, but as we find in the article below, life was so beautiful for all, and thankfully, there were artists to capture even these not so pretty images of real life. Again, thank you to John Seed for the original blog post and enjoy. Visit us in the gallery soon! The fantastic new work of Lisa Lala and Brandon Blane McMillan remains on view.  - Christina

Victoria Dailey on "Tea and Morphine" at the Hammer Museum

If you were to ask writer, independent curator and antiquarian bookseller Victoria Dailey "What is the most shocking image of the late 19th century?" her answer would likely surprise you: Eugène Grasset's La Morphinomane (The Morphine Addict), which Dailey feels is "at least as shocking" as Edvard Munch's Scream series of the same era. La Morphinomane -- a desperate image of a dark-haired young woman shooting up in front of what Dailey describes as a "lurid-yellow wall" -- is one of the highlights of the not-to-be-missed exhibition "Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris, 1880-1914" at the Hammer Museum in Westwood. The exhibition closes on May 18th, so take out your calendar now...

I recently interviewed Victoria Dailey and asked her not only about the exhibition and its key images, but also about what she has learned from her involvement with the material.

John Seed in Conversation with Victoria Dailey
Victoria Dailey
Can you tell me how you and your co-curator Cynthia Burlingham conceived this exhibition?

I had been advising Elisabeth Dean on her collection of late-19th century French prints, and arranged for her to donate the collection to the Grunwald Center at the Hammer. To celebrate the gift, Cynthia and I decided to do a show drawn from the collection, and we knew women would be the focus of the exhibition. The Mary Cassatt etching of a woman having tea had recently been added to the collection, and I have long been fascinated with Eugène Grasset's lithograph, Morphinomane, and the idea just struck us. Tea and morphine encapsulated so much about women in Paris during what is usually called "La Belle Epoque" and we just knew that this title would yield an interesting, provocative show.

Eugene Grasset, La Morphinomane [The Morphine Addict], 1897.
Color lithograph, 22 ½ x 16 7/8 inches (57.2 x 42.9 cm).
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
What were some of the discoveries and revelations that you made while doing the research for "Tea and Morphine."

While I was aware that many women had difficult lives in 19th century France, I was astonished at how deeply misogyny ran throughout French culture; women in France didn't even get the right to vote until 1945! No wonder they turned to morphine, they were shut out of nearly everything (except prostitution).

Another shock is that France didn't really have a democracy until the 1870s, that despite the French Revolution, France continued with monarchy for nearly a century. After the Revolution, they had an emperor--Napoleon--then they restored the monarchy they had so violently toppled, going so far as to crown Louis XVIII and Charles X, brothers of the guillotined Louis XVI. After the Bourbon kings, they had King Louis-Philippe and another emperor, Napoleon III. By the time France had its first democratically elected president, we in the United States were on our 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant. To me, this is a staggering fact.

Henri Jean Guillaume Martin, Le silence [Silence], c. 1894 - 1897.
Color lithograph, 22 ½ x 17 inches (57.2 x 43.2 cm).
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
Could you mention and briefly comment on a few of your favorite works?

I mentioned Grasset's Morphinomane; it is my favorite work. It is so extreme and bold, I think of it as a companion piece to Munch's Scream. To see a young woman injecting herself with morphine in a work from 1897 is more than surprising. Another favorite is Henri Martin's depiction of a young woman as a Christ-like figure; female Christ figures are extremely rare in art, and this one is extremely haunting and mysterious.

Eugène Grasset, La Vitrioleuse [The Acid Thrower], 1894.
Photo-relief with water-color stenciling, 22 7/8 x 18 inches (58.1 x 45.7 cm).
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
A third favorite is another work by Grasset, The Acid Thrower. An urban myth had been initiated during the Paris Commune of 1871 that involved stories of women throwing fire bombs, but no actual case ever came to light. In the 1880s, some women did throw acid onto their romantic rivals, reviving the stories about dangerous, acid and bomb-throwing women, and Grasset's image shows the angry, frustrated, green-with-envy woman about to commit her crime. This is a far cry from the usual images of the period that show Can-Can dancing, frolicking, feather-flaunting women.

Mary Cassatt, Tea, ca. 1890, drypoint, 8 1/8 x 13 3/4 inches
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
In a show about women, are women artists included?

Some visitors have asked why there is only one woman artist in the show--Mary Cassatt. The answer is that there were very few women artists at the time. Along with everything else, women were shut out of higher education, including art schools, and prints by women are rare. Luckily, Mary Cassatt made etchings, and her work depicting a woman having tea is the basis for one-half of our title. Furthermore, the few women artists that did exist were mostly painters; printmaking was just not something women did at the time. It was difficult, messy, and required strength to operate heavy etching and lithograph presses; the printmaking world of the time was run by men.

Paul Albert Besnard, Morphinomanes ou Le Plumet, 1887.
Etching, drypoint and aquatint, 12 11/16 x 17 1/4 inches (32.2 x 43.8 cm).
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Purchase.
Photograph by Brian Forrest.
Is it fair to say that the subject matter found in this exhibition's prints rarely made its way into painting?

Yes, printmakers often dealt with subjects that were taboo, difficult or hidden; they weren't as public as paintings, and their frequent use as book illustrations created a literary connection that just didn't exist in paintings. Prints could depict images that explored the deeper recesses of culture that paintings often missed, and since prints were sometimes issued as a series, a range of images could illustrate one theme. In the exhibition is Albert Besnard's series La Femme, a group of twelve etchings showing the life of a woman, from marriage and childbirth to rape and suicide.

Victor Emile Prouvé, L'Opium, 1894. Color lithograph, 24 3/8 x 17 inches
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
Will visitors to this show find themselves looking over some of the shows more difficult themes -- including prostitution and addiction -- and feel like nothing has really changed?

Yes, visitors are astonished that drugs were so prevalent in the 19th century; drug-addiction is not a new phenomenon, but we tend to think of our ancestors as somehow naïve or innocent and that our problems are new ones. Similarly, we don't really understand how prostitution was a huge social problem over a century ago, and that it was probably worse than today since women had so few choices in life back then. In actuality, prostitution was one of very few career choices for women.

Alfredo Müller, Beatrice, c. 1899. Etching and aquatint, 25 x 19 ½ inches
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
Is there anything else you would like to mention about this show? 

 I want to give credit to Elisabeth Dean for being a fearless collector, always ready to acquire something new and interesting in order to expand and improve the collection. It has been a pleasure working with her for nearly thirty years. She has a deep understanding of French printmaking and her devotion to the subject has resulted in an extraordinary achievement. Her generosity in donating her collection to the Hammer is being recognized as one of the museum's most significant gifts.

George Bottini, Sagot's Lithography Gallery, 1898.
Color lithograph, 14 7/8 x 10 7/8 inches (37.8 x 27.6 cm).
Collection UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum.
Promised Gift of Elisabeth Dean. Photograph by Brian Forrest.
What are you working on now? 

I am working on the effects of the French Revolution on women, and specifically on the role that prostitutes played in French culture, especially in the first half of the 19th century. I have discovered that as the Inuit are said to have one hundred words for snow, the French have nearly three hundred words for prostitute...from "adoratrice" to "wagon," and I am especially fond of "fleur de macadam" and "Vénus populaire." I am compiling a list that I will publish with the rest of my findings.

Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris 1880 to 1914
January 25, 2014 - May 18, 2014
The Hammer Museum at UCLA
10899 Wilshire Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Color Code

I love color. Color can make us happy or sad, excited or drab. Some of us feel color more deeply than others, but countless psychological studies have shown that regardless of your interest level in color, it does affect mood and temperament in most people. Color is what drew me to art and a large component of how I choose art for my own collection.

So, I was recently intrigued to find (online of course) a survey called "The Color Code" (, and took it immediately.The 40+ questionnaire asks you to "truthfully" describe yourself or your behaviors as you did when you were a child and young adult. The free version of the test will immediately spit out your resulted "color," at the end, and if you want a more detailed "analysis" you can pay a fee to the site to see those results. It was quick and fairly easy, and something I thought you might enjoy.


For fun, and transparency, I cut and pasted the results to my test below. Apparently, I am a "white" in the Color Code wheel (which lists Red, Blue, White, and Yellow as the main personality types).

Basic Analysis Results


Motive [ Peace ]

Whites are motivated by Peace. They seek independence and require kindness. They resist confrontation at all costs. To them, feeling good is more important than being good. They are typically quiet by nature, process things very deeply and objectively with great clarity. Of all the colors, whites are the best listeners. They respect people who are direct but recoil from perceived hostility or verbal battle.


Whites need their "alone time" and refuse to be controlled by others. Whites want to do things their own way and in their own time. They ask little of others and resent others demanding much of them. Whites are much stronger than people think, but are not often seen for their strength because they don't easily reveal their feelings. Whites are even-tempered, diplomatic, and the voice of reason; but can also be indecisive, unexpressive, and silently stubborn. When you deal with a WHITE, be kind, accept and support their individuality, and look for non-verbal clues to understand their feelings.

Enjoy this beautiful Spring and visit the gallery soon. We are VERY excited about the upcoming May 16th show for Lisa Lala and Brandon Blane McMillan! -Christina

Monday, April 7, 2014

Access Studio: Video content as vehicle into the artist's studio

 One major change in the art world over the last decade is increased accessibility to artists. Either direct, physical accessibility through artist produced websites or exhibitions, and "open studio" shows, or indirectly through YouTube videos showing the inside of their studio and more in depth artist statements.These devices clue the viewer in more precisely to the inspiration and process behind the work. Though still mysterious in many ways, and intriguing at every turn for their immense talent and creativity, many artists have stepped out into the light, and we are grateful for it.

 Krista Harris in her CO studio

 "Promise me this" 48x48 acrylic, custom glazes, crayon on canvas (Pryor Fine Art)

One such artist that has given us a fantastic view into her studio and process is Colorado artist, Krista Harris.
Vivid and expressionistic, her paintings were already appealing to me, but now, after seeing her studio video, I appreciate the work even more. Click here to view the fantastic YouTube video featuring Krista. 

Employing mostly acrylic paint and an intuitive process, Harris successfully transfers a positive energy into each painting. Nature is a major inspiration for her work, and in the video, she describes the short walk each day from her home to her studio to be a major force in her work. 

The dichotomies in life and nature are where I find inspiration...the push & pull,
moments of calm and frenzy, passages of transparency juxtaposed with the opaque, the
elegant & awkward. It’s that play of opposites, the ever-changing nature of things that
makes life and art magical for me. -Krista Harris 

"Still Life" 44x66 acrylic, custom glazes, crayon on linen (Pryor Fine Art)

To see video content on other artists represented by Pryor Fine Art,

It is a very exciting time at Pryor Fine Art, with new work arriving weekly. 
We look forward to seeing you soon, Christina

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Atlanta Hosts DBC 2014: Olson, Salk, Fairley, Boles, Corrigan and more!

I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Design Bloggers Conference in Atlanta this week. This was the first time the event has been held in our home city of Atlanta, and my first time attending. 

(thank you to Jeremy Parzen of Do Bianchi for the great crowd pic)

The line up of speakers was an amazing cast made up of names like Corrigan (Timothy), Olson (Candice), Salk (Susanna), Fairley (Tobi), and many more. I decided to highlight a couple of my favorite speakers here.

In the Innovative category, my favorite was by far the presentation by Susanna Salk and Stacey Bewkes. Stacey's blog,, is a lifestyle blog that is entertaining and informative, showing her expertise and experience as a past Art Director in NYC shine through. The exciting part about their presentation, however, was the introduction of video content. 

My favorite was her video titled “Dogs and their Designers.” Watch out for the segment on “Teddy” towards the end. Their latest release, a tour of Timothy Corrigan’s Loire Valley estate, is also worth watching.

Speaking of Timothy Corrigan—what a dynamic and creative person.  He gave a brief synopsis of his path into the design world and how he has successfully built the Timothy Corrigan Design Brand with offices now in Los Angeles and Paris. Named one of the World's Top 100 Interior Designers by Architectural Digest and one of the World's Top 40 Designers by The Robb Report, Corrigan's empire is built upon his simple philosophy of "comfortable elegance." 

 He strives (and succeeds) with every project to truly and seamlessly blend California comfort with the high style and elegance of French interiors. I can't wait to get my hands on his newly released book,
An Invitation to Chateau du Grand-Lucé.


Last but certainly not least, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing and seeing Tobi Fairly speak on how she has used social media and blogging to expand her business. 

Out of Little Rock, AK, Tobi Fairley & Associates as a full-service consulting and design company. Tobi has built a successful business and brand by living by one purposeful philosophy—be yourself and stand behind your style. She maintains that despite her highly successful business, she does not outsource her blog to anyone. “It needs to be my voice,” she said at the conference. Admitting that she may not have as many followers as some (though let’s be honest, she has numbers in the tens of thousands), she sticks to her style—that way, she knows that those that follow her are truly interested in what she is doing, and can expect what they know and love from Tobi--which is usually bold color infused in inviting, elegant, and livable spaces.

 Thank to you to these fabulous designers that have inspired me. I hope that you find something inspiring in your day or week. We look forward to seeing you in the gallery soon, Christina