29.4.11

Jewelry Designs: Shape + Texture + Colour

With Mother's Day around the corner I wanted to put together a collection of jewelry pieces that are as unique as they are elegant and hopefully give you some gift ideas in the process.  I don't know a woman who doesn't love buying or receiving jewelry.  It's a great purchase not just because it will last forever but because it can really make you feel good.  Beautiful jewelry is the same as beautiful art only in smaller doses; it's an extension of your tastes.  It can accentuate everything about you, your appearance, your personality and above all your confidence.  So, why not have fun with it.


These beautiful Capiz Earrings you see above were made from capiz shells and vintage brass by a mother and daughter team from Turkey.  Their shop, Star of the East, is available through Etsy.  I personally love the golden shades overlapped on the sheer white background. 


This red coral necklace from Nest Jewelry is such a beautiful statement piece that I would be happy wearing it with a plain black t-shirt.  It's so large and chunky I don't know how anyone could walk down the street without someone commenting on it.  It is beyond gorgeous.  Nest Jewelry is designed by Janette Wilkinson and Jana Erwin and is available through Neiman Marcus.


I love the use of green in jewelry and this pretty and elegant ring is so refined and feminine.  I love the oval shaped peridot dome and the floral silver that wraps around it.  Made by a Texas-based designer this ring is available by order from Thirty Six Ten just contact the designer.


The combination of pink and green in these earrings is perfectly balanced and stylish. I love the glass look of these and the shape of the stones. They're made by Amaia a designer from the Basque region of northern Spain. (One of my favourite places in Spain by the way; I love San Sebastian)...



I have a soft spot for amber jewelry because I grew up wearing it.  And this bracelet from Water Waif is so rich in colour it's almost like gold.  I love the layered teardrop shape and the overall thickness of the bracelet.


Well, these gold dipped hammered hoop earrings sure made an impression on me when I first saw them.  I love their gold and shiny design, I think they would look amazing with dark hair.  Made by L.A. designer Devon Leigh they're available both from her website as well as from Neiman Marcus.

Leave it to Marquis & Camus to turn something so simple into simply stunning.  I love the emerald green in these gorgeous Red Carpet earrings.  I think they would complement any skin tone.  Plus they're so subtle you can even wear them casually.



The above pair of pink earrings from Larkspur & Hawk are just gorgeous.  Designed by Emily Satloff, they have a stunning antique element to them but with a modern touch.  I love the combination of white, pink and grey colours; these earrings are so ultra feminine.  You can find them at Barneys.


I can't say enough good things about this stack of seven rings. The idea is brilliant and it looks so cool and chic.  I love the hammered texture of each ring and all the natural colours.  I also like how you can pick and choose how many you wear and in what order.  Made in Buenos Aires by Gabriela you can purchase these through her Etsy shop India y la Luna.


These beautiful earrings are another great find from Anthropologie.  I love how their greyish-blue interior is delicately wrapped in gold plated brass.  The best part is the lava-like shape of the agate that apperas so naturally flowing inside.  It's incredible that this stone is so organically found.


This is some chunky loveliness from Vera Wang.  With a rhinestone necklace that looks this good, you almost don't need any of her dresses.  But of course if you can afford either or both then you're certainly lucky.  This necklace is impeccably glamorous and just another example of how in my mind, Vera Wang can do no wrong.  Available from Neiman Marcus.
I probably should have checked the price of these earrings before including them on here but by then it was too late, I was already in love.  Made by Olivia Collings these diamond cluster earrings are to-die-for (if you can afford them, that is.)  They're available from Barneys New York.


This sterling silver wave ring from Etsy shop Naamonet was designed by Israeli designer Naama Elharrar.  The textured quality gives this ring such an elegant look.  It almost looks like ivory to me and the pattern is stunning.



These lovely pair of flower earrings made from brown timber were designed by Australian designer Angelene McMullen.  They have a brilliant large shape and the colour of these would be ideal for anyone with either blond or red hair.  I would probably be tempted to paint these white so the shape would stand out with my dark curly hair.



If you're looking for a pendant necklace look no further than this lovely concoction from Peiffer Studios.  I love the etched pieces of Sweet Assylum from the designer's garden.  The brown on white combo is so aesthetically pleasing.  Although the exact one above is sold out, the designer may be able to recreate it for you.  Please contact her for more info or you can view a similar one here.

I love the patterns on these earrings from Nervous System.  I think they're truly a reflection of the owners impeccable tastes and skills.  Made from stainless steel the designs are meant to evoke the branch like forms found in plants. 




There is nothing like a big cocktail ring to wear to your favourite occasion.  I love the use of Swarovski crystals here in all of their gorgeous colours.  This ring has a great shape too.   Available from Shopbop and designed by Kenneth Jay Lane

So, there you have it my jewelry recommendations for you, for Mother's Day or for any occasion really.  If you would like to see more please read my earlier post on Beautiful Necklace Finds.

26.4.11

Crêpes filled with cottage cheese...

I am not a fan of breakfast food; I don't like milk, I am sick of eggs and I've never liked cereal.  On the rare occasion I might eat some flax seeds with soy milk (but can you really call that a meal?) otherwise I'm at a loss as far as what to eat in the morning.  Sure, I could have a bagel with cheddar and tomato, that's one thing, but I never seem to have those ingredients in the fridge for long enough.  Blue cheese on a sourdough baguette? It sure sounds nice.  But that's usually gone in a day.  So, if there is nothing left over from dinner from the night before my breakfast usually amounts to tea.

It's no wonder I can barely focus on the Canadian election.  If I don't figure things out soon enough, I'm going to have to sell my vote.  Anyone interested?  I'm kidding of course. But while I keep writing this food post, can some please explain to me why we're having elections as frequently as the Toronto Film Festival?  Oh never mind...

Let's get back to breakfast foods.  I did some research on other food options today just to see what other people eat.  I found muffins, frittatas and french toast but all of these sound like too much work. Granola? Forget it. I need a little bit of protein in my meal otherwise I'll sleep through the entire day.  In the end, I came up with three viable solutions, sandwiches, croissants and crêpes. Sandwiches I'll have to explore some more, croissants, (well now, this isn't France but we'll see, still no protein though), crêpes on the other hand I think I can handle.  I've seen, I've made, and I've conquered them before although, it's been a while. Plus you can fill them with anything. With this simple formula from Allrecipes I think my problems are solved. Here is what you will need:

1 cup of flour
2 eggs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of butter

You mix in the eggs with the flour slowly and then the rest of the ingredients. And that's it, that's all.  For the filling I just took some cottage cheese and added an egg yolk and some vanilla sugar.  If I had some extract I would have added that in as well.  I filled the crêpes with this mixture and folded it in half and then in a quarter. Once it was ready I put it back on the pan.  You have to heat up the cheese slightly.  For the topping, although you can't see it in the picture (as I ate quite a few of these) I made a sauce out of rose petal jam and some French pinot noir.  It turned out to be a great combination and it was even better the next day.  Next time, I might try these with some brie, or even something savory.  If you want some other creative ideas check out the menu at Crêpes a GoGo.  I think until eggs make a come back in my life this simple recipe will serve as a wonderful replacement.

24.4.11

Weekend Links and Happy Holiday...



Noma made best restaurant in the world for 2nd straight year.

Everything you have ever wanted to know about Dim Sum is here:  The Serious Eats Guide to Dim Sum.

Great interview with Jennifer Eagan winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

A little bit more of Ai Wei: Ai WeiWei's Rallying Cry

A review of Rob Lowe's new book:  Stories I Only Tell My Friends.

James Frey is back:  James Frey: "I always wanted to be the outlaw".

Now that Egypt is fine, should we be worried about Syria:  No end in sight to Syria unrest...

23.4.11

Book Review: Birthing The Elephant

If you have ever considered leaving your job and starting your own business this book is a great introduction. Not only is it filled with real life success stories of entrepreneurial women but it also highlights the emotional stages you're bound to experience while launching a new venture. Throughout, the book illustrates the tactical solutions and creative strategies you can employ to ensure you're ready for the challenge. And while the book might be geared for women its advice is essentially universal.
I still remember when I first discovered this book. I was having lunch with a co-worker at a local cafe not far from my office. We were both having a tomato basil soup that was incredibly good and a perfect antidote to the chilly weather. A couple tables away from us was a woman sitting alone, eating her lunch and glued to this book. I could only make out the title and the elephant on the cover. But as soon as I got back to the office I looked up the name that I saw. I located it at the library and ended up reading it in two days. It was a quick and easy read and exactly what I needed at the time. In hindsight, it almost seems like fate that I found it in the first place.

I was really miserable at my workplace and I thought I'd be stuck there forever. The years just kept on passing by and each year I couldn't help but think, well here we go again, nothing has changed, I'm still at the same place, doing the exact same thing, and not moving forward with any area of my life. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has ever felt stuck before, but knowing how to get out of this situation and enact some sort of change is always easier said than done.

It takes so much time and energy to figure out what you want to do.  And then you have to decide to do it.  Even once you muster up the courage and commitment needed what usually happens is that you either become discouraged or you simply abandon the idea mid-way.  It's so much easier to fall back on the status quo.

What I liked about Birthing the Elephant is that it really explores the bouts of doubt and anxiety that are an integral part of the start-up process.  And once you embrace the experience as a learning opportunity you're well on your way to success.  After all, nothing can really hinder your progress unless you let it.  While this philosophy might seem obvious to some, it's quite another when you're trying to juggle a whole new set of demands on your time and money. 

This book will teach you some of the pitfalls to avoid while running your business as well as the importance of staying true to your vision.  You will hear about women who have launched a variety of start-ups including ones in baked goods, interior design, make-up, maternity wear as well as in pet foods. Ultimately, what this book does best is it teaches you to be open and adaptable to the unforeseen set-backs that will undoubtedly arise. For some this book might be a refresher course; but for others it just might be the inspiration that you need to get started on your own.

19.4.11

René Gruau: Fashion Illustrations

It's funny how you can have one thing planned and then get completely derailed by something you see or read. Well, that's how jolted I was when I came across these beautiful sketches by René Gruau in The Telegraph today. The artist who is best known for his work with Christian Dior will have several of his pieces up for auction at Christie's tomorrow.  I am including a few others here to showcase the breadth of his talent.   


One thing you notice immediately about Gruau's sketches is how timeless they are. Their fluid brushstrokes, contrasting use of colour and patterns make for some unusual fashion illustrations. In fact, they go beyond mere illustrations. They're really works of art.



There is an element of Andy Warhol in some of Gruau's work that is on display here.  While his images are taken from the fashion world rather than from celebrity there is a glamour to them that suggests both opulence and flair.  Part fantasy and part invention these sketches epitomize the women of haute couture as they existed during the artist's life.  Ironically, they are as relevant today as they were at the time they were unveiled.  And one can't help but notice a similarity in his style of illustration and its swiftly drawn approach to that of some of today's design houses with Hermès being one example.


There is a painterly quality to René Gruau's work that is as equally modern as it is stylish and feminine.  I think the writer Drusilla Beyfus described his technique quite succinctly in her article on the artist when she said:  "Using a broad, flowing brushstroke, pen, Indian ink and gouache, he would create a motif on a ground of flat tone. He drew on many artistic influences, such as Japonism, which was in the cultural air, the kabuki theatre with its emphasis on make-up and masks, and on Japanese woodcuts especially." (The Telegraph)


Born on February 4, 1909 in Rimini, Italy, René Gruau changed his given name, Renato Zavagli Ricciardelli, to his mother's maiden name after moving to Paris.  And it was in France that he first gained recognition for his talents in drawing before quickly catching the attention of the international press.  It is not surprising that his work gained so much momentum in the fast-paced and driven world of fashion.  For if there is one industry that can catapult an artist into the limelight faster than any other it's fashion.


Gruau was lucky enough to work with many fashion houses during his career but it was at Christian Dior where he collaborated the most.  He created some of Dior's most iconic images and when looking at them today you cannot help but appreciate their stark beauty.  There is much symbolism and meaning in his sketches, and particularly in his swan work for Miss Dior:  "A white swan outlined in sweeping black brushstrokes is shown sailing over calm waters and sporting a black bow - a Dior insignia - and a pearl necklace. The couturier kept swans at his country estate, Le Moulin du Coudret. Moreover, in the decor of 18th-century France - a period revered by the couturier - the swan represented renewal. Miss Dior was aimed at a new generation."  (The Telegraph)


What René Gruau's work does best is it captures a certain mood in fashion without so much as even referencing a specific trend or period of time. It is in this way that he conceives a certain image and hence the reason his designs appear entirely stripped of historical identification.        



The difficulty in trying to classify Gruau's work is that it belongs as much to the art world as it does to the world of fashion.  And I think it is this overlap and distinction that separates him from other fashion illustrators.  Gruau favoured and combined the use of ink, pen and guache in his art and with the the right amount of skill he achieved something quite sophisticated.  In the process, he elevated himself and his work in a way to ensure a lasting appeal.



His use of bright colour highlights the spirit of movement and effortless beauty that is synonymous with French fashion.  Light and airy his female figures move as though they are as much influenced by beauty and design as they are by the playfulness and pleasures of life.


There is much humour in Gruau's work as one can see in this sketch below.  What exactly René Gruau had in mind when painting these two paws remains a mystery.  I cannot help but laugh, what is it here that's so sexually suggestive: woman as tigress or an innocent taming a wild beast?


René Gruau's work and female images appeal to us because they're just as alluring as they are beautiful.  They can be executed simply yet they remain sophisticated.  Here, Gruau plays with colour and contrast and he captures so well the essence of a woman's beauty and expression; all the elements work brilliantly together.


Consider the following work and the ways in which the artist translates the fashion world into something a little less ordinary.  I love the exaggerated turban, the large bows and the tassels on the belted figure.  All of the details in this work are so well-executed.


And is there any item of clothing more quintessential and evocative of French style than a red beret? Perhaps, but consider how effective it is here.  The heavily accentuated and curved eyelashes complement the checkered coat without appearing rigid or geometric.  As a result, Gruau's lush brushstrokes and curved lines dispel structure and conformity.  His style is limitless and he crafts it to perfection.


René Gruau's work is consistent throughout and his familiarity with fashion coupled with impeccable taste is evidenced throughout the classic sensibility that he portrays.   His adoration for timeless designs become his signature look.  Less is definitely more and nowhere is this more illustrated than in Gruau's subject matter.  


The aura of fashion, its mystique and luxury is held with careful regard and calculated effort in these works.  It is clear that Gruau admires fashion as an art form and his illustrations epitomize the idea that this is the way we should really look at fashion.  For there is beauty in placement and detail as well as skill in the application of colour in all the elements of a work of art as there is in fashion.  At least that is what I think René Gruau tried to suggest.


17.4.11

Weekend Links

Monaco

Parisian Chic: French Lessons from Inès de la Fressange

A profile of Chinese artist Ai Wei: It's Not Beautiful

A blogger's attempt to curb Russian corruption: Alexey's Navalny's War

How to Get a Real Education 

Essay by Gabrielle Hamilton author of Blood, Bones, and Butter in Bon Appetit Magazine 

If you're a pasta fan you'll love watching this: Pasta Porn: 101 of American's Most Delicious Noodles 

Is sugar toxic?

Let's say ciao to D&G:  The end of D&G; Long Live Dolce and Gabbana

Saudi Arabia and Iran Wage a New Cold War 

What ever happened to?  Christo without Jeanne-Claude 

Manet is resurfacing:  Edouard Manet:  Symphony in Off-White

16.4.11

Elin Kling at Home in Sweden

When I first started this blog I thought I would write more about interiors but it never happened. For some reason I felt there was very little for me to add because there are so many incredible blogs out there already devoted to this field. Still though, interior design remains a huge passion of mine and if there is one area of my local bookstore that I always gravitate to it's the interiors section. I can never get enough of interior design magazines especially Australian Vogue Living which is simply my favourite. It always has such a nice mix of interiors, fashion and art. So this morning, I decided to indulge a little and feature the interior space of fellow blogger and fashion phenomenon Elin Kling.


Kling's home has the sort of white space that exudes the Swedish aesthetic.  It's simple and crisp with just the right amount of luxury and softness to still make it feel like a home and not a gallery space.  It's also completely unpretentious and instead focuses on the bare essentials without sacrificing comfort or quality.
 

I always appreciate a clutter-free home where accessories are kept to a minimum.  It's easier on the eyes and much more calming. And I think this must be a great place to come home to especially for a creative professional who is probably oversaturated with all things design related and all things fashion.


I initially found this home on the Norwegian blog, fine ting og sjokolade and the more I looked at it the more it grew on me.  It's a living space that, quite frankly, makes a lot of economical sense.  It's ideal in that it provides enough space for what two people could ever need but it also gives you enough room to build on. 

I'm not sure whether that's real fur on the floor or not (I would would probably choose something faux personally) but I like how it's sitting right underneath the dining room table so it can shelter your feet from the cold wooden floor.  This is not an intimidating home; instead it's casual and relaxed, and in many ways remains to be defined.


I couldn't help but add this pic of Kling's small shoe collection to show a glimpse of her sartorial tastes.  Somehow I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg; I wonder where she keeps all the rest.  Perhaps there's another room we don't know about.  But I suppose some things should remain a mystery.

All photography by Andreas Lundberg

14.4.11

Movie: Amal

True kindness is really rare it seems, except in the case of Amal Kumar the central character of this film, whose noble intentions and good will set off a string of events that crisscross the lives of so many.  Based on a short story by Shaun Mehta, this Canadian production set in New Delhi captures the many disparate faces of India together with its bustling population and confronting poverty. It is precisely this backdrop of unique characters and the country's blatant social stratification that makes it such a fascinating setting for the film.  Everyone here co-exists without any real connection to each other, that is, until Amal, the eternally caring and tender rickshaw driver, manages to touch their lives in a swirl of selflessness thereby setting off a chain of tragic events.

You can never quite predict what will happen in this film for it is at once filled with so much hope and promise that's it's almost hard to digest the moments when it turns dark and ugly.  Just when things seem to be getting better we are met with yet another surprise that somehow manages to punch us sorely in the stomach before finally drawing to a quiet yet somehow unfinished conclusion.  Perhaps the only element that remains steadfast and consistent however is Amal's contentment with his occupation.  Being a rickshaw driver is hardly an enviable occupation but it gives Amal a sense of pride and dignity that is often lacking in those around him.  His rickshaw, inherited from his father, is also a symbolic reminder of the man who once shared the same profession.  

Rupinder Nagra as Amal Kumar
Amal's integrity quickly begins to affect those around him and it is a single encounter with a wealthy passenger that leads him to inherit a considerable fortune.  While the affected family members bicker over their father's will they are left to unravel Amal's identity and whereabouts.  As a scrimmage for the proceeds ensues it is Amal's character who brings to our attention the ways in which everyone in the film is ultimately related in one way or another.  Perhaps the film's greatest achievement is the healthy balance it strikes between its sentimental and dramatic undertones which is quite remarkable for a first time director.  This is an impressive debut which certainly deserves more credit and recognition.  It will be interesting to see what more director Ritchie Mehta will have in store for us in the future.  See it for yourself and let me know what you think.  I doubt that you'll be disappointed.

10.4.11

Interview with Artist Justyna Dulny-Olszowy

At the heart of Justyna Dulny-Olszowy's work is the expression of the female nude.  The artist captures the vulnerability and contours of the female figure by exploring the dynamic poses of the body.  In each painting there is an inherent sense of mystery, a shadowed sense of self that confronts an equally potent sexuality.  The female body is both hidden and seen; the face, nameless; it abides by the same rules of the body.

Safe Heaven, 2009
The painted figures exude a sense of power and seduction over the viewer.  Nothing is left to chance and we are meant to treat the subject matter seriously, removing at once whatever ideas we might have about the easy consumption and disposal of female beauty.  Justyna Dulny-Olszowy rejects the ideation of beauty and form and instead highlights the layering of the body by carefully blending it (and at times, distorting it) with the background.  Her female figures take careful possession over their environment and their essence confidently permeates throughout the artist's works.

Admiration, 2009
These are not innocent images; in fact, sensuality is on full display here.  The female figures do not participate in a narrative but rather dictate it.  What emerges is a woman who takes an active role, a dominating role even and urges us to do the same.  The artist wants us to take pride in the female body because it is ours to discover and also because it is a vehicle for personal empowerment. 

Warning II
After studying and living in Canada for many years Justyna Dulny-Olszowy now resides in Warsaw, Poland.  Over the past several months I had a chance to interview the artist about her creative process, her influences as well as her life in general.  Here is the interview that followed: 

1.    You mentioned photography as a direct influence in your work. Can you tell us how that came about?

When photography was first shown in 1834 it revolutionized the way painters saw the world. Since then, photography has had a profound influence on many prominent painters from that period including: Degas, Caillebotte, Courbet etc. The camera’s influence is apparent in the visual characteristics of paintings, the subject matter, and the powerful direction in which artists were able to fuel their creative visions. These days photography for me has a similar dimension and forms the basis of my work. Thanks to the possibility of freezing the moment through the camera, I am able to treat photography as a series of sketches. It’s a great tool to manipulate with light.  The term “photography” means: “drawing with light”, because at first it was considered simply a drawing aid. This definition for me is still very present. I consider photography as a fusion between science and the creative eye of an artist, and it gives endless creative possibilities that I can transform into painting.

Irony, 2009
2.   When you begin a painting do you have an idea of what it will look like or does it change as you proceed?  What is your creative process like?

I work from my own photos. This allows me to stay and create alone in a space of my own imagination. In other words, the presence of the model in the studio as an extra energy somehow restricts my own. I need total disconnection from the external world while I’m working.  As I have already mentioned, I treat photography as a “sketch” and then I subjected it into the process of painting. In other words, what I see in my photographs is what I try to filter through with my imagination and then transform it onto a flat surface. I like to work in a series because I like to develop several pieces at once. Rotating from one to another while they are in process helps me to figure out what I am looking for with each painting. When I work I let myself be guided in terms of visual appeal and dynamic impact while always aiming to address what it means to be a woman.

Vacant, 2009
3.    The primary focus of your work is the female body, which appears both erotic and sensual at the same time.   What do you want your audience to understand about the female nude and sexuality in your paintings?

Painting for me is an affirmation of life, the delight of existence. My only desire is to encourage the viewer to some sort of reflection, to commune with my art. I would describe it as a kind of intimate conversation between the viewer and myself.

4.    Do you consider your work autobiographical?

Yes, I consider my work very autobiographical. My paintings are related to many of my personal experiences. From time to time I see differences in the perception of the world around me and this perpetuates in my paintings primarily through colour.

Thoughts, 2010
5.  How does space and colour figure in your work?

With color I define a mood, illusions of space, the aura of the figure or a psychological portrait and depth of image.

6.  At what moment do you find painting the most challenging if at all?

Every time I stand in front of an empty canvas it’s a challenge. The concept of an image, which begins to live in my mind, will suddenly come alive on the canvas.  Feelings of uncertainty accompany me and whether the final result will be what I aimed for at the beginning.

In the wind's eye, 2008
7.  What has your work taught you about yourself as an artist?

Painting is constantly teaching me how to communicate with reality and also the ability to establish contact with the world

8.  How did your studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design shape your development as an artist and future career?

Every art school has a tremendous impact on any artist’s life and subsequent work.  Having the opportunity to study at OCAD I learned how to perceive, read and translate the visual world into personal forms of pictorial expression and representation. This school defined me as an artist.  By the very first year I knew that I wanted to concentrate on figurative painting.

Humility, 2006
9. Which artists were you most influenced by and which would you like to be associated with?

I'm inspired by a desire to live and to make penetrating observations of the world. In the world of painting there are a few works which cause me a great deal of reflection for me however I treat these very selectively. I don’t recall any specific artist who has made a huge impact on the progress of my creativity.  I do, however, collect these moments when an artist’s work has activated my admiration.

11. What do you want people to know about you as an artist?

I believe that the artwork is the most important aspect the viewer should focus on. What kind of person the artist is, is a separate issue. I think the artist should stay in the shadows of one’s artwork, so that it can be freely appreciated or not appreciated.
 
12. What is the best part about living in Warsaw?

I’m a city person, and living in a small town is out of my imagination. Warsaw fulfills everything that a big city should offer. We have a wide range of cultural events here such as: art exhibitions, film festivals, happenings, concerts. The city is developing very much in the right direction. It’s a pleasure for me to witness the process.

Uncommonly, 2006
13. When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

I believe that no child is born with the conviction that she or he wants to be a musician, painter or sportsman. A child doesn’t know yet what it means to be a musician or a painter, or a sportsman, how much time and practice must be devoted and what type of lifestyle it requires. It is only when that interest begins to consciously realize that we then start to deal with a living passion. It’s that passion that decides what we do in life, what choices we make and what direction we go in. It’s this passion that I chose to follow in my life and that’s how I began as an artist.

14. If you could do anything else what would you do?

Life outside of any kind of art is an abstract concept for me. I can’t imagine such a situation… I don’t want to consider such a future.

15. What direction would you like your work to take in the future?

It is important to properly set a hierarchy of your own values. The most important thing in my life is satisfaction and the development of my own personality. I want to create art in a way that ensures that whatever success I have in my work it will never weaken whatever hierarchy of values I have set for myself.  A career has never been an indicator in my life, I just want to follow my passion.

Challenge, 2006
16.  What three works of art would you love to have in your home?

Wind from the Sea” made by Andrew Wyeth,  “Walking Man”  made by Alberto Giacometti,  and one of the latest works made by Seraphine de Senlis.

17.  Who are your favourite writers, your favourite books and films and your favourite foods?

It is easier for me to answer that all these forms of art have fundamentally influenced my sensibilities. I love to read biographies, diaries, journals and any type of literature that relates to real life. I don’t need to be taken into someone else’s imagination by reading fantasy or science-fiction, because my own imagination is very vast.  When it comes to cinematography, I must admit I’m a huge enthusiast! There are several movies that to this day remain in my heart. I also admire documentaries and independent films, and I follow film festivals ever year.  Food?  I’m a vegetarian. I love Thai, Indian, and Turkish cuisine. When I travel I always try to discover new flavors in the country that I’m visiting. I think that having the opportunity to live in such a multicultural city as Toronto has made me very open to a variety of cultures which I love discovering.

18.  What are your favourite things to do and see in Warsaw?

Warsaw has an undefined energy that stimulates your quest through the city.  I love to stroll around the city with my camera, stealthily watching people around me. I also have my favorite coffee-houses where I often contemplate these moments.


Justyna Dulny-Olszowy was born in Poland in 1973.  After immigrating to Canada she completed her education at the Ontario College of Art and Design, Ryerson University and at the International Academy of Design and Merchandising in Interior Design.  Upon completion of her studies she continued painting full-time.  Her work is exhibited internationally and can be found at Saatchi Online as well as on her own personal website JDO.