A Walk in the Woods

March 26, 2015

The name of the town where artist Tom Potocki lives, “Hollywood,” isn’t indicative of his life or style. Tom is someone who has lived a successful, stimulating life as an artist and has traveled extensively- although you wouldn’t know any of this unless you asked him. Quiet, grounded and contemplative, Tom has found tranquility and comfort in a woodsy, serene neighborhood with a misleading name. Tom and his Golden Retriever, Blue, led us down a leafy path behind his house to the place where the magic happens- his studio. The converted garage is naturally lit, spacious and filled with works-in-progress and sources of inspiration of past and future ideas. Among them are found object “shrines” and a large pixelated self-portrait. A true Renaissance man, Tom’s artistic talent is not limited to painting, but he excels in photography, classic figure and stencil drawing as well. These mediums overlap in his work- as components of photography are often used in his paintings and visa-versa. The result? Dynamic art that demands more from the eye than just one glance. His art might be abstract, energizing and seemingly spontaneous, but with Buddhist motifs decorating his home and natural peace at the core of his being, Tom’s personality is very different. As he said himself, “I’m a hippie!”

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Q: Your paintings vary in color from natural, serene to bright, saturated tones. How do you decide which direction you are going to go?
A: As to the color choices, I usually start with a basic color scheme – could be warm colors or cool. I wash and splash colors on the canvas to activate the surface. I keep the surface wet to actually let the colors blend in a random fashion. This beginning flow begins to suggest what direction the painting will take – or take me. I try to avoid thinking about an image at this point and let the process itself set a direction. Whatever accidental color blending that occurs, creates some interesting possibilities for further color choices.
Q: What do you like to do when you are not painting?

A: When not painting in the studio, I’m usually still thinking about art projects. Can’t really escape it, once you take the idea of making art seriously, it becomes how you relate to the world around you – everything become art – or has the possibility to become art. Of course, when my dog lets me know he needs a walk, he pulls me into his world for a while.

Q: How does living in the woods influence your mood and art?
A: Living in the woods for me is the only place to be. I grew up living in a rural area and have always felt drawn to a place where you are surrounded by more trees than people. Being closer to a natural environment charges me up more than an urban setting. I actually lived in New York City for a few years, and it does have a unique energy, but for me it’s too artificial and contrived – think of the song “Tiny Boxes”.
Q: You have done your fair share of traveling. How has travel influenced you and your art?
A: I traveled a lot when I was younger. I think I got it out of my system, because I don’t feel the need to do any major traveling. As a developing artist, I needed to see all the art in Europe – sort of retrace art history. I actually lived for a year on a Greek Island. So, I have all that experience that I’m sure influences me today. Now, I’m happy to just get to the studio and start creating.
Q: What is your favorite part about living close to Charleston?
A: My favorite things about living in Charleston are the people, places and things – always something to do – the galleries, restaurants, music, and all the wonderful creative energy.

Architectural Digest Show Weekend Highlights!

March 24, 2015

This past weekend, Tyler Hill from Mitchell Hill attended the Architectural Digest Home Design Show at Pier 92 in New York City. This annual event sets the tone for trends and inspiration in furniture, appliances, accessories and art.  Representing the brand, Tyler saw a diverse assortment of presentations by talented designers, many of whose designs are available here at Mitchell Hill.

Sunbrella designed by Dransfield & Ross- Dining by Design (indoor/outdoor fabrics)

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Arteriors Dining- featuring sconces by Laura Kirar (call us to order!)

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Kravet Inc. Dining designed by Hunt Slonem- a focus on rabbits, just in time for the approaching Easter Holiday! (come by the gallery to check out coffee table book “When Art Meets Design” by Slonem)

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Hermes Presentation

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Table created by Bronson van Wyck and inspired by the Chateau de Groussay Tole Tent

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Arteriors “Hanley Chandelier” – the perfect statement piece – call to order

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The Anthropologie Presentation- a favorite of Tyler’s!

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A seminar where Brooklyn based furniture restorer Christophe Pourny discussed his new book: The furniture bible. In Tyler’s words, “It’s a great book for anyone wanting to know more about restoring and caring for period and contemporary furnishings. Sitting next to him is the woman who wrote the forward to the book. Having designed a line for Macy’s and accomplished other impressive design feats, she got her start making pies out of her kitchen.” A real dream-come-true story.

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Our very own Tyler Hill looking dapper outside the event.

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“You Better Belize it”

March 20, 2015

On a recent trip to Belize, Gallery Director Sarah Miller had the chance to see Mayan ruins- still standing strong despite 3,000 years of wear and tear. The architectural feat alone is something to write home about- but the preserved art and inscriptions are equally as interesting. These angular, geometric shapes with ancient roots have become a stylish print on everything from modern-day rugs to clothing. Not only aesthetically appealing, these patterns remind us of the places we’ve traveled to, or where we hope to venture one day.

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Safari Table Lamp

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Zig Zag Rug Collection

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Hedda Andirons

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 Odyssey Rug Collection

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Ecko Cocktail Table

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Origami Rug Collection

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Liev Console

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To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to http://www.michaelmitchellcharleston.com/artists/

To shop items seen in this post visit shopmitchellhill.com or give us a call at 843-564-0034

Snake Charmers

March 11, 2015

Snakes are symbols of creative life force. Appropriately, the skin of these animals is a material that represents luxury across worlds of fashion and design. From python to sea snake, we love how these skins often act as neutrals, and add subtle style to any room. In both large and small doses, here are some ways to revive your reptilian decor fix.

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Large Scale Snake Printed Boxes

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Sea Snake Rectangle Mirror 

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Winslow Lamp: Snakeskin texture in metallic silver finish and mounted on clear acrylic base.

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Moss Green Snake Skin Boxes

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Perla Table

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Snakeskin and Raffia Trays

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Heath Lamp: Sculptural snake cast in iron

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To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to http://www.michaelmitchellcharleston.com/artists/

To shop items seen in this post visit shopmitchellhill.com or give us a call at 843-564-003

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Something’s Fishy…

March 2, 2015

Here in the Low-country, fishing is a favorite hobby among many. We love the sport for its calming powers and the satisfaction it brings. The repetitive motions and being encompassed in nature produce the greatest serenity. We think it is super important to engage in something like fishing as a pastime to recharge- away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and work! It is not surprising then, that fish and fishing are the sources of so many artists’ inspiration. Here are some of our favorite and most unique tributes to fish at the gallery…

Calibogue Lights by J.K Crum

acrylic on canvas 16 x 40

$650

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Dewan, Small Fish by Stevie Palmer

$350

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Flying Fish Canopy 

acrylic on wood 10 x 10

$250

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Bad Storm by Stevie Palmer 

47 x 16 inches

$450

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Trio by Ed Shmunes

archival C print, framed 17 x 23

$375

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To see more amazing art from Michael Mitchell artists go to http://www.michaelmitchellcharleston.com/artists/

To shop items seen in this post visit shopmitchellhill.com or give us a call at 843-564-0034

 

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