We all need a special place. Not so much to find balance at this time in our lives, but a sanctuary in which to explore the terrain of our creative landscape ~ Annabelle Graham ~ Free Spirit & Explorer
What comes after the balancing act that we, as women, have been performing for years? Once the ‘balance beam’ of a hectic life, filled with a pyramid of responsibility, has been traversed – where do we find ourselves?
I like to think that the artist re-emerges within us. I read that as children we are all creative, but as we age, some of us lose touch with our creativity. Now, as the pace of our lives shifts, we have the opportunity to re-engage with our inner muse and allow her the space in which to expand. Creating a space for our muse is a reflection of the inner vision of our selves. If we are so lucky to have an entire space, or a tiny spot in which to make our muse feel at home we are opening up to a vast horizon of new possibilities.
I am surrounded by artistic souls and design mavericks. Some create in the back room of an abandoned house; others have transformed a home garage into a Paris Atelier, while others move the furniture in the living room to create the open area for their newest canvas. The space can be the spare bedroom, now converted into a writer’s studio to breathe life into the day dreams or the walk-in closet housing not only the clothes but also the inspiration of creativity. It can even be a trailer parked on barren land.
The following designers have found their spots, and their creativity shines through like a beacon to the rest of us to find our passion. I am blessed to call all these women friends.
~ Jaquelynne Mauvais ~
Jaquelynne Mauvais – Fine Artist – What would you do if you found a purple orangutan in your living room? Of course you would paint a bit of green foliage into the background for him to eat. Jaquelynne takes a white canvas and weaves the exotic into the familiar with her unique vision and blend of water colors. Her gift is the ability to draw you into the painting, be it rare animals, ethereal flowers or the vista of a foreign landscape. It is when you gaze into the eyes of her tribal chieftains and queens dressed in the textiles of their lands, that you are in awe of her uncanny ability to reveal the essence of her subjects. She is a master of the water color technique and a connoisseur of the soul.
I become so immersed in my subject that I am transported to another realm while I am painting. I am always amazed at the results – always ~ Jaquelynne Mauvais Jaquelynne Mauvais site
~ Carol Capek ~
Carol Capek – Designer, Haute Couture/Bespoke Riding apparel – If you love the scenes in Downton Abbey when the fox is being pursued by ladies riding side saddle in flowing skirts, fitted jackets, a lace cravat and top hats! You would be a fan of Equus Couture, a successful component of the International Horse Show circuit. This design maverick has pursued her dreams with style and talent that Ralph Lauren would be envious of on all levels. Her street wear is equally captivating with bustle back jackets and dresses with decorative ties at the waist, that when pulled will raise the hem. If her muse has a name, it is Diane Keaton at the 2014 Golden Globe awards. For those lucky enough to have a Carol Capek original, it is most likely found hanging in the living room as an art piece.
Inspiration usually comes without warning and is a demanding task master until heard ~ Carol Capek
~ Brenda Holzke ~
Brenda Holzke. Ceramicist. Jewelry Designer. Mixed Media Artist – Where does one create “urban decay” – where else but in an unused, somewhat abandoned guest house. The space is the perfect setting for Brenda’s one of a kind ceramics, jewelry designs and mixed-media canvases. Small urban treasures, flea market finds, old coins and military metals from the back alleys of Hong Kong, all find their way into her art with the unmistakable mark of one versed in the philosophy of yin and yang. The irregular shapes of hand thrown and glazed pots bring forth a primitive quality which belies the fact that it is new. It is here that the art and the artist merge with a seamless blend of the struggle that exists between creative expression and conformity.
A continuous thread throughout my work is the marriage between color, pattern and texture.
Life is beautiful and I covet what I see ~ Brenda Holzke
~ Cynthia Granado ~
Cynthia Granado – Architectural Space + Interior Design – How do you coax grapes into wine in a mostly arid region of Mexico? You hire a designer with the vision and talent to create an architecturally perfect environment that encompasses all aspects of the wine making cycle. Planting, harvesting, bottling and tasting, all live up to their surroundings in this award winning winery. On another project turning a space from a small coffee shop into the sophisticated Los Olivos Café & Wine Merchant, a favorite stop along the “Side Ways” tour of the Santa Ynez Valley, had its challenges. Number one challenge, how do you showcase a vast inventory of 5000 bottles of wine? You design a 50’ long custom library-like cabinet, with a unique twist on stacking the bottles. Team it with the poured concrete bar and custom wrought iron lighting, and voile! Now you have the perfect setting for a great movie about food and wine and a perfectly designed Café in Los Olivos. On a more personal project for her home in San Miquel de Allende, Mexico, Cynthia combined the best of traditional Mexican craftsmanship, with modern building components to create a one of a kind sanctuary for her family.
Experience is my number one creativity booster and exploration [cultural immersion is huge!] But also things that make me feel good, happy, challenged.
There is a confidence and bravery that comes in and lights that inner fire and the creativity begins ~ Cynthia Granado
~ Suzan Mischer ~
Suzan Mischer – Entrepreneur – Knit Designer –
When entering this room you are immediately intrigued by what is behind all the custom cabinetry. It is not until your eye is drawn to the window with the built in desk and surround of cubbies loaded with skeins of colored yarn; do you realize that you are in a creative haven.
It is from this desk that Knit Café and the book by the same title were conceived. It is from this desk that the trend of knitting on a movie set or in front of the TV set was neutered. It was here, in this walk in closet, that original knit designs found the way out of cubbies and into the fashion scene, and a trend was born.
I have always been drawn to anything that allows me to stay inside my head and dream. It began as a way to calm my anxiety in a bumpy childhood and it evolved into a pleasure palace of colors, textures, fibers and design ~ Suzan Mischer
I can retreat inside myself and just knit ~ SM
~ Ellen Friday ~
Ellen Friday – Custom Ceramic Designer – This talent has seen the shelf in the family garage, the white tent with a fan, the trailer parked on barren land to be sold; to the current palatial studio above the 4 car garage. When you are married to a custom home builder – you never know where your next creative space will be. What is carried from space to space is the consistency of talent. It is the talent to translate a customer’s vision and personality into a custom work of art. Every piece is a reflection of the artist intuitive ability to interpret each new creation, with a unique personality and no two being alike.
Everyday I am blessed to have the most amazing people come to me and request a special gift for someone they love. I am creatively rejuvenated and inspired with each new design ~ Ellen Friday
I am forever in awe of the caliber of the women in my life. They are all so accomplished. Some are artists, like those featured above, others are entrepreneurs, educators, corporate executives, mothers and sisters. All have a spirit that has brought them to a special place in their lives today. Almost all of these woman run the full range of the baby boomer generation. We are the trail blazers, we are the generation that marched for civil rights, women’s rights, social equality. And now we need to speak up for a new paradigm in aging. Once again, it is up to us, the Platinum Boomers, to forge a new path to the next outpost of life. For years we have celebrated the arrival of the Age of Aquarius, an age of possibilities and enlightenment. Let’s all find our inner muse and allow her the space to expand within ourselves and our amazing friends.