What is your favorite AK product and why?
Hmm...all of it?! I wear the sandals every day in the summer. I am collecting them! My purple iPhone case makes me happy and I dream about the Hollye crossbody in army green with a bright color inside - maybe yellow?? I am also crazy about the Mercury bag....
What are your latest obsessions?
- My growing collection of art and photography books. I go to bed every night with at least four and get inspired. All of the Slim Aarons books are so much fun - what a stylish era. Definitely inspiration for my work....
- My Smythson calendar which I splurge on every year. Forget the iPhone calendar. I like the act of writing and my calendar acts as a diary. I write everything in it.
- ITALY....The food, the beauty, the language. I was a fellow at an art residency in Puglia last summer and a day doesn't go by that I don't think of those heavenly two weeks working, seeing, and of course eating and drinking Rosato which is served in these fabulous ceramic pitchers.
- My sketchbooks from all of my travels. I try to keep a sketchbook wherever I go. I went to Burma with Indagare last spring and love going through the sketchbook - such beauty in that part of the world.
- Vintage slides and photographs mostly from the 60's and 70's. I find them on eBay and junk stores and they constantly inspire my work. I am working on a black and white series and I have found such great images.
- I cannot live without my family. My 15-year-old boy/girl twins and my 11-year-old daughter are always inspiring. The teenagers have not turned on me yet! My husband's 6 year fight with brain cancer is beyond admirable. I could never be as strong as he continues to be!
- I am obsessed with my son's "wave" painting that he made when he was 10. It stays in my studio in Quogue and it makes me smile always.
- Cire Trudon Abd el Kader candle. Nothing smells better.
- Wrap bracelets from Tendenza in Nolita, NYC near my studio. I wear at least three at a time. Some of them have quotes in Italian engraved on them. La vita è bella! Life is beautiful.
- Pintrest! For a visual person it is heaven. Eye candy.
- Notes left to me by my children - they leave them in plenty and I love them...even have one in a frame!
Who or what inspires you and why?
Besides my collection of books and hundreds of slides that I pour through daily...I am inspired by all of my artist friends. My studio mate, Ellen, and the photographer/writer Margaret Reid Boyer always are there to bounce ideas....I try to visit a variety of art shows/galleries weekly and I always find inspiration in other artists.
Do you have anything in the works now? Any sneak peeks?
I just had a show in Quogue that got some very good press. It just came down this week. As much as I love color I am currently working on a series of black and white paintings from old photographs. Of course the black is made from red, blue and green so there is a lot of depth. I am hoping to show some of these pieces in a show this fall in Milan. Another excuse to get to Italy....
Where is your favorite place you have traveled to and why?
Hands down Tanzania and Zanzibar with the family. There is absolutely nothing like Africa and hearing the sounds of the animals at night while sleeping in a tent. (Granted, the tent has hardwood floors and bathrooms). You are always surprised and in awe on safari and how incredible to have shared it with the kids.
What are your beauty essentials and secrets?
I love this question because I am a product girl. I prefer oils. I use the Santa Maria Novella body oil in melagrano or rose. You can buy the products here (Blue Tree in New York sells them) but I prefer to go there in Florence. An amazing apothecary started by monks in the 15th century.
For the face I also use oils - Clarins makes a serum called Generation 6. It makes your face glow. Eve Lom Eye Cream is great too.
My only secret is the perfume that none other than Alexandra Knight shared with me....I wear it every day and can't bare to share the info. Everyone wants to know the name of it and I am not as generous as Alex! I do love the Bergamote 22 from Le Labo.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Easy. Key Lime cupcake from Sprinkles in the summer. And salted caramel cupcake in the winter. Yum.
What are you doing this summer and what are you reading?
I am spending the summer in Quogue on Long Island....Not really a "Hampton." I have a studio here and I paint daily. I also try to swim in the ocean everyday if it isn't too rough. I do a lot of yoga and tennis. I like to think I cook a lot but actually I pretty much just eat tomatoes, mozzarella and basil! And too much Rosè. I am now reading "SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A NUT" by Jill Kargman thanks to her Style File and Alex's recommendation!
What is your favorite art piece?
An Elizabeth Peyton etching of "Nick" that I basically put on "layaway" with my dear friends the Lasrys who own Two Palms Press. It was my first big art purchase and it is still my favorite. They make incredible artwork with incredible artists. Elizabeth Peyton, Richard Prince, Peter Doig, and Chuck Close to name a few.
How did you get into art?
The supplies of course...who doesn't love new art supplies?! I was given a little Prang water color box 35 years ago and I still have it! I started painting at age eight and we still have one of my first landscapes that I copied from a calendar my parents had.
How does one buy your art and do you do commissions?
My website is a good place to browse. I am always TRYING (key word "trying") to keep it up to date - not easy. Also, my talented dealer Blair Voltz Clarke handles the commissions.
What is on your T.V. and what shows are you loving?
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼Justified (love it!), The Killing, Mad Men, Top of the Lake is meant to be great but I haven't watched it yet. Some of the VEEP episodes were hilarious. Girls is also entertaining - I love Lena Dunham. Her movie Tiny Furniture is a favorite.
What is on your nightstand? Any must read books?
My Italian dictionary, "I Am a Camera" - a Saatchi photography catalog, A Luigi Ghirri photo book, the latest Indagare black book, La Seduction (thank you again Jill Kargman), a book on Anselm Kiefer, and Cote Sud magazine. A must read book - "Just Kids" by Patti Smith. Her prose is lovely. My son is reading it now and is as enamored as I was when I read it two years ago.
Favorite iPhone Apps?
iTranslate (for my Italian class)
AfterLight - photo editing
How to Cook Everything (vegetarian and regular) (Mark Bittman) - you can look up something to cook at the store and the grocery list is right there. Very easy for a last minute meal idea. Which is me every day. I walk into Whole Foods, find a dish on the app and buy the ingredients. Easy.
NY Art Beat - great coverage of all shows in New York. Great way to find out what is still up at museums...and galleries.
Top 5 Prized Possessions.
A Temple St. Clair bauble on a leather strand that my husband picked out. Perfect!
A collection of large format photographs of the children taken through the years by Margaret Reid Boyer. My Books! I especially love the ones signed by authors/artists I admire.
My white beach cruiser bike that I ride daily in the summer.
Buoy our 5-year-old cocker spaniel/poodle mix - funny funny spoiled dog who is a fan of fancy linens....
Who is Holly Cunningham and why do we love her?
Holly Cunningham is one of those girls you can connect with immediately. She is creative, generous, curious and authentic. She is a fighter and the hand that will grab for yours when you need it. A true steel magnolia with a chic New York edge; Holly is a fabulous mother, champion of a wife and a beyond talented artist!
Born in Roanke, Virginia, Holly earned a B.A. in Art History/Studio Art from the University of Virginia. Her work is inspired by her surroundings and her passion for plein air painting is evident in her classically inspired pieces. Her attention to color is translated into conceptual abstractions that capture her own environment in a special and timeless way.
"I am constantly exploring the language of photography through my painting," Holly says. "Snapping a picture is instantaneous, yet turning it into a painting is a slow and meditative process."
Holly currently resides in New York City with her three children (Reid, Charlotte and Eloise) adoring husband (Jack) and her dog (Buoy). Do yourself a favor and pick out your favorite photograph and get her to paint it! I look at mine everyday and nothing makes me happier!