art · luxury

Classical Art Sale at Sotheby’s London

Sotheby’s is having an Old Masters Sale on December 7th, and I must admit, I would love to own one of these incredible works. After attending the Drawing Salon at the National Gallery of Art, I discovered a new level of appreciation for classical works. As a result, I am always interested in the Old Masters and all manner of classical art.

I love all art with Black faces, especially classic art. So I was delighted to see this one, even if the Black woman depicted is a servant. I’m amused that the Princess of Zanzibar (an archipelago of Tanzania, an African country) is a European woman. I would think that the princess of any African country or region would be a woman of color, but I digress.

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(Portrait of The Princess of Zanzibar with an African Attendant by Walter Frier)
During the drawing salon that I attended, we studied the significance of the Madonna paintings. So I’m partial to any rendition of the Virgin and Child.
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(Virgin and Child with a Pear by the Workshop of Joos van Cleve)
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(The Madonna and Child with the Infant Saint John the Baptist by Antonio del Ceraiuolo)
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(Madonna and Child by School of Bruges, second half of the 16th Century)
These paintings are expected to fetch between 10,000 and 90,000 GBP (approximately $13,000 and $121,000 USD). It’ll be interesting to see how well these sell in a couple of days!
The sale will be held at Sotheby’s London. Oh how I’d love to be there when this sale occurs!
art · style

Barbie Has Come a Long Way

I’ve collected Barbie dolls since I was a child, mainly because I couldn’t get enough of the glamour and fantasy that the Barbie brand epitomized. As an adult, I purchase both for nostalgia and for the beauty of the dolls. I don’t care if I ever get a financial ROI (by selling them at a later date); I enjoy them NOW, and every purchase gives me an immediate emotional ROI.

It doesn’t seem like this would qualify as an art post BUT the skill and artistry involved with creating Barbie is undeniable.

Check out some of the Barbies that will be available in Spring 2018. I’m drooling: I can’t wait to buy some of these!




(all photos courtesy of Mattel)



Artist to Know: Lina Iris Viktor

I regularly mention my love of art in my posts, and one of the highlights of my art experiences came this year, when I attended Neneh Ada Yang’s first U.S. Art Exhibition. Now, I’d like to discuss Lina Iris Viktor, an artist that I find fascinating and incredibly talented.

You can check her out at her website, but for the sake of getting a quick preview of her work, look at photos of one of her hauntingly beautiful paintings. This one is Syzygy (2015).

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Lina’s works are striking combinations of black, white, 24 kt gold leaf, and Majorelle blue (a shade closely resembling Yves Klein’s preferred shade of ultramarine blue). Obviously, I have a thing for Majorelle blue, too (check out the handbag on my Current Wish List to see what I mean).

Lina’s paintings have an indescribable, otherworldly quality. There’s something so luxe yet approachable about her creations. I’m inserting an interview with Lina below. I really enjoyed hearing her discuss her preferred color palette, thoughts on the importance of art, and her personal opinion about “starving artists”.

Lina currently has an exhibition in London (unfortunately, it ends today). I’ve signed up on her website so that I can get updates as she releases new exhibition information. In the meantime, I’ll browse through her online gallery (you can access the gallery here). You all should check her out! In fact, I’ll add another video for your viewing pleasure!


art · beauty

Time for Costumes . . .

Yay! It’s Saturday! I’ve been waiting for this day all week!

Halloween is upon us, so you can expect a lot of people to be out and about as they gather some last minute items.

In the spirit of the season, I’m posting links to incredible Halloween makeup tutorials. Even if you don’t celebrate, you’re bound to find something fun that you can incorporate into your everyday look. Enjoy!




art · culture · international

Haitian Embassy Tour

Back in May, I participated in the Around the World Embassy Tour event in Washington, DC. This is part of the annual Passport DC event, which allows visitors to tour various embassies during the month of May. Generally speaking, the first weekend of May features African, South American, Caribbean and a couple of Asian embassies, the second weekend of the month is the European Union Open House weekend, and the following weekend is the Festival of Asia.

I’d never toured the Haitian Embassy before, so I was excited to visit this year. Funny enough, I’ve been to Haiti when I cruised with Royal Caribbean in the past, and I always loved the island. In fact, I’ve stated on multiple occasions that Haiti is my favorite Caribbean island. So it’s a marvel that I’d never gone to the Haitian Embassy until this year. In any case, I was eager to go. And the embassy DID NOT disappoint.



I think the thing that I found most incredible was the prominence of Black mermaids in Haitian art. As a born-and-bred American, the mermaid image I see most frequently is the Disney version, with porcelain skin, red hair and blue eyes. Seeing the Haitian depictions of Black mermaids was deeply moving. These depictions are far more accurate to the creatures that Christopher Columbus reported seeing in his travels, and they also predate Hans Christian Andersen’s tale. Of course, practically every culture has stories of merpeople, but seeing the image of magical brown-skinned beings was surreal.

The embassy is a stately, breathtaking building, and the art that lines every wall is stunning and memorable. It looked more like an incredible museum than a political office space! It has multiple floors, and, sadly, I only toured one level.

My biggest regret? Not allowing more time to tour. But no worries: I will return next year!


art · culture

Return of the Drawing Salon at The National Gallery of Art


(image courtesy of ClipArtPanda)

Recently, I shared that the National Gallery of Art hosts Writing Salons, to assist all interested in getting in touch with their inner author. However, the Writing Salons have a counterpart that is equally as, if not more, popular: the Drawing Salons. NGA has finally began accepting reservations for the Drawing Salons, and I’m here to tell you all about it, both as an art enthusiast and as a former salon attendee.

Similar to the Writing Salons, the Drawing Salons are hosted monthly and the salon topics vary for each session. The Drawing Salons also run from now into the springtime, though they end one month after the last Writing Salon session. There are also only 5 Drawing Salon themes, as opposed to the 6 Writing Salon themes available this season.

The topics being explored during this season of the Drawing Salon are as follows:

American Impressionism

Cézanne’s Landscapes

Picasso’s Palette

Rodin’s Sculptures

Matisse’s Cut-Outs

I attended one of the Drawing Salons in 2015, and thoroughly enjoyed it. NGA provides supplies and is well equipped for each group of budding artists. I found that the art instruction was solid and appropriate for any skill level. I liked that the groups were small enough that the art instructor could provide each attendee a measure of one-on-one attention. But the most impressive part of the session was the art history lesson provided to attendees: the historical context deeply informs the sketch that attendees create during the session.

So, much like the Writing Salons, if you have a chance, GO! You won’t be disappointed!

art · culture

Return of The Writing Salon at The National Gallery of Art

One of my favorite museums in Washington DC is the National Gallery of Art. It’s technically not part of the Smithsonian Institute, but the museum has an awesome art collection and lots of superb activities and events.

Each year, the museum hosts Writing Salons, which use art as a focal point when discussing different writing techniques. I am excited to see the lineup of Writing Salon topics for this upcoming season! 

The topics that will be explored during this Writing Salon season are:

  • Memoir: The Power of Metaphor
  • Historical Fiction: Reimagining the Past
  • Point of View: Narrative Choices
  • Poetry: The Rhythm of Color
  • Character: Exploring Identity
  • Flash Fiction: Building Tension


The events occur monthly, from September to April (except during the month of December). The event page lists when the tickets are available (usually one week before the event starts). This is a great opportunity to received specialized writing instruction in an intimate setting. The tickets are free of charge but they go fast, so you must quickly register if you’d like to attend.

I’m thinking about taking a few of these courses: I love writing and can always use more instruction and experience. Have any of you attended a National Gallery of Art event? Let me know in the comments below!