Thursday, October 20, 2016

Mike Tesch: Ad Man or Artist?

The answer?  Both!!

You might remember the award winning ad campaign that put FedEx on the map, "When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight."  We have Mike Tesch to thank for that clever TV spot.  We can also applaud Mike Tesch for his involvement in some very memorable Dunkin Donuts and Tonka Toys ad campaigns.

Tesch has won over 500 awards and was voted to ADWEEKS All American Creative Team.  His work can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute and more recently, his work has become available to the public!  His artwork that is!  

Three of Tesch's abstract paintings - each 36"x36" - available for purchase.

After his departure from the advertising world, Mike Tesch picked up his paintbrushes and seemingly never put them down.  His abstracts have been exhibited at galleries in Wynwood (Miami) as well as Art Basel Miami. His affinity for Folk Art can be seen in some of his pieces and more recently, his love for animals has manifested in his newest company endeavor: TeschPets.  You send him a photo of your beloved pet, and he paints it! 

In addition to TeschPets, some of his works have become available to the public - and they're moderately priced!  You can now own a piece of original "Mad Man" art!  If you're interested, you can contact Billie Vilano Taylor at for more info.

Click on the image below to see more of his works:

"Talking Heads" paintings - 24" x 24" - available for purchase.
Talking Heads Painting, "There are 3 kinds of people, the haves, the have nots, and the have-not paid for what they haves."
24" x 24" - Available for purchase.
Talking Heads Painting, "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken."
24" x 24" - Available for purchase. 
Talking Heads Painting, "Be sure to taste your words, before you spit them out."
24" x 24" - Available for purchase.
Two of Tesch's abstract paintings - L 36" x 48" | R 48" x 60" - available for purchase.
Abstract Painting - 48" x 60" - available for purchase.
I believe there are 12 paintings in the Quote Series. Seen here, 3 of the Quotes - 24" x 24" - available for purchase.
From the Quote Series, "Egotist; A person more interested in himself than me."
From the Quote Series, "When you take stuff from one writer it's called plagiarism; when you take it from many writers it's called research."

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

For Your Eyes Only

About a month ago, I went to the optometrist for my annual eye exam.  So when it came time to pick out a new pair of glasses, I knew I wanted to do something fun and different from what I've done the past two years, i.e. Ray-Bans.

Please excuse the cell phone selfie...

So, I shopped around for a bit and thought I knew what I wanted - Blonde Tortoiseshell Cat Eyes.  But I stumbled into an eyecare shop near our house that flipped my optical world upside-down: Eye Contact West

Family operated business service South Florida for over 30 years.

The shop is set up like a jewelry store - that's right, jewelry for your face! - so initially I had the inclination to turn around and leave because I didn't necessarily want to work with someone just to try on glasses.  But boy am I glad I stayed!  The staff is so friendly and knowledgeable and they genuinely love assisting people to find the perfect pair of glasses.  Plus they carry an amazing selection of high end, boutique designer frames. 

I truly must have tried on 150 pairs of glasses!  And during the process I learned that my current Ray-Bans don't actually fit me properly at all!  They have a poor temple fit and are also ill-fitting throughout the temple.

After spending roughly 2 hours playing dress-up, I narrowed my selection down to 5 frames.  No easy feat, I must add.  I tried on Dita, Wissing, Roger and so many other brands including the following five finalists:

Amanda from Collection No 1 by MYKITA

From MYKITA: COLLECTION NO1 is the home of calm and collected forms. It lays the foundations for the MYKITA range, which now comprises around a dozen lines. The stainless steel frames are cut out of sheet metal and, in similar style to the Japanese principle of origami, then bent and folded to become a three-dimensional object. The openly displayed snap-hinge system, which supplied the innovative principle for all subsequent collections, symbolises the fundamental design principle of MYKITA; the technical solution must at the same time be an aesthetic one.

Voice from Prada

From FramesDirect: Prada glasses are the perfect fit for people who appreciate the blending of modern technology and contemporary design. Quality and constant product innovation are among the hallmarks of Prada’s eyeglass design ethic, bringing contemporary luxury to people of strong character and unique style.  Prada eyeglasses are distinctive, not only for their high quality standards, but for their forward-thinking approach to style. If you’re looking for a non-conventional interpretation of fashion that embraces technology while respecting tradition, then look no further than Prada’s distinctive line of eyeglass frames.

Not the pair I wanted, but similar pair from Patty Paillette

From Eye Candy Optical: With love and passion, Patty Paillette creates a beautiful product made in Italy all hand made by artisan people.  The creativity and energy that is a Patty Paillette frame becomes a bright and magical piece of eyewear that will generate a plethora of complements from friends and strangers.

Bocca Sixties S4 from Face a Face

From Face à FaceFar from standardized fashion diktats and conformist trends , each collection  asserts its artistic temperament , drawing its inspiration from the sources of Modern Art, architecture and contemporary design.  Face à Face frames are developed within the design studio directed by Pascal Jaulent resembling small subtle pieces of architecture, playing with volumes, shapes, material and textures.


Rose and Navy Frames from Dior

From Eyewear Brands: Dior eyewear can seduce anyone who comes across them. Thanks to their sophisticated lines of vintage style and couture trimming, Dior has managed to remain at the top as a fashion legend. Dior Glasses pay attention to detail, lavish use of layers of expensive materials which is considered to be extremely extravagant. Dior Glasses have a unique colour palette, the styles define elegance and accentuate all face shapes. The brand keeps its luxurious heritage to heart.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

"Heavy as a Horse!"

Last night, I was browsing through the local estate sales online, and came across a sale which seemed promising.  Since moving to Florida, Josh and I have only been to one sale where we found some good items, and to be honest, we struck gold!  We bought 9, yes 9, “Lord Yo” chairs for $90.  That’s $10 a piece for indoor/outdoor chairs designed by Philipe Starck for Driade.  Insane!  But I’ll save that story for another post…

So anyways, we set our alarm this morning (not too early, who are we kidding) and had some coffee and buttered biscuits before hitting the road.  The sale was down in Pinecrest, a “Suburban Village” just South of Miami, and took us about an hour to get to. 

The whole reason we wanted to go to this sale was because the listing said there’d be folk art for sale.  And obviously we’re total nerds for folk art.  So we get there (mind you 2.5 hours after the sale started) and went immediately into the house to find the pièce de résistance…a Jimmy Lee Sudduth alligator painting.  We didn’t see it and figured it had been sold, but asked a sales-girl if she knew anything about it.  She didn’t, so we asked another woman and that started a whole whirlwind of activity and discussion!

Long story short, all of the folk art being sold at the sale belonged to one of the sales-girls, but she didn’t actually have any of it at the house, save for an amazing primitive horse salvaged from an old carousel which was a tad out of our price range.  So after discussing a couple of the pieces we had seen online, we agreed on some prices and she left the sale to go get them for us.  Meanwhile we were just hanging out in the front of the house like total creepers waiting for her return, when it started raining.  We decided to head back in the house to shop around some more. 

My mom was with us too and she went in to look at some jewelry while we were checking out a beautiful hand crafted frame that looked to be from the late 19th century.  For $20, we decided it was a good buy. 

Detail of Frame | Handcrafted Frame with Portrait of Young Boy
My mom found a great beaded necklace that she was purchasing as our girl, Billie, returned.  She came in with the two pieces we were so excited about in addition to other items she thought we might like. 

The first piece was an amazing whirligig from the 1890’s.  It depicts a woman washing clothes and is fully functional.  It’s missing a blade and possibly a clothes drying rack, but it’s in great shape otherwise.

Unsigned Whirligig - Woman Washing Clothes.
Detail of Whirligig.
Detail of Whirligig.

The second piece was an awesome painted sheet metal dog.  Depicting a Boston Terrier, there's a stake welded to the bottom so he can sit in the yard, but of course we will not leave him outside.  The piece is unsigned, but I believe Billie said her husband, the accomplished artist and famed ad man, Mike Tesch, created the piece from scrap metal he found up North, but I need to verify that.

Front and Back Views - Painted Sheet Metal Folk Art Dog.
As we were digging through the additional items she brought for us to see, my mom walked up to us and hands the primitive carousel horse to Josh and says, “Merry Christmas!”  We were shocked!  The sneaky little devil bought us the horse while she was "buying a necklace" and we were none the wiser!

Antique Carousel Horse.
The horse came from a small carousel ride and is estimated to be from the mid to late 1800’s.  It’s hand painted, handcrafted solid wood construction and heavy as a horse.  Hehe!

Antique Carousel Horse.
At this point, I was so excited!  Aside from the Jimmy Lee Sudduth, we now had everything we had come for.  But as we sifted through Billie’s other boxes, we picked out a hand painted bird from Africa (kind of broad, I know, but I don’t know anything else about it).  We also bought a contemporary South African telephone-wire woven glass bottle, crafted by Zulu people.

Hand Painted Bird - African.
Telephone-Wire Woven Bottle - South African.
And as a thank you, Billie gifted us a small hand painted nativity set she had gotten in India.  She was such a sweet and gracious person and we feel blessed to have met her.  We exchanged numbers and we look forward to meeting her husband and hopefully acquiring some of his artwork in the future.

Hand Painted Nativity Scene - India.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Dog and a Preacher Man

While checking out a local Antique Mall recently, I came across an R A Miller "Preacher Man" tin cutout.  At the time I felt the dealer had it priced a little too high, so I decided not to purchase it.  However, that quirky little cutout kept pestering my thoughts.  I began looking online for more of his work and came across an awesome auction house in Georgia - located not 20 miles from where we used to live!  The auction house had quite a few pieces by R A Miller, and hundreds more by the likes of Bill Traylor, S L Jones, Herbert Singleton, Purvis Young, Howard Finster, etc. etc. etc.  But best of all, the Slotin Folk Art Auction would be holding their semiannual art auction in just a matter of days!

So after getting over the initial annoyance of not having known of the Slotin Folk Art Auction House while living in Georgia, I prepared myself for the day of the auction and waited patiently for my lots to come up.  If you've ever bid online during a live auction, you know how nerve-wracking the process can be!  

In addition to the R A Miller lots, there was a Howard Finster piece I had to have, but as expected, all of his work was closing for much higher than my pocket book could afford.  And by the time you add taxes, commissions and shipping, you're in for much more than you want to be anyways, so I passed on the lot.  Then, much to my dismay, the R A Millers were closing higher than they ever had historically!  So from an investment standpoint, it didn't make sense to move forward on them either. 

The auction was a bust.  I was really bummed out that we wouldn't be hanging any new folk art anytime soon.  But! Coincidentally, the Hillsboro Antique Mall began advertising a 15th Anniversary Sale through November 15.  So yesterday, I decided to head back over there to check it out.  The particular dealer I was interested in was offering 15% off, so the price was right on the Preacher Man and I decided to get it.  After seeing how high everything was going at the Slotin Folk Art Auction, I ended up getting a pretty sweet deal.  Plus, I only had to pay taxes.  No commissions.  No shipping fees. Score!

And in addition to the Preacher Man, the dealer had a Dog by R A Miller that was offering a 15% discount as I got it too!  What a difference a day makes!  I am elated!

Dog and Preacher Man by R A Miller

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Paint! Paint! Paint!

This weekend, we took advantage of Sherwin-Williams' Four Day Super Sale and bought 7 gallons of paint and a handful of painting supplies.  If you're in the market for paint, this is a great deal - 40% off paint and 30% off supplies!  All-in-all, we spent under $200 and have enough paint to cover 2,500 square feet.  For now, we're only painting the dining room, the hallways and all four bedrooms.  We'll get to the rest of the house later...

From left to right on paint paddles - SW 7030 Anew Gray, SW 6470 Waterscape, SW 6878 Animated Coral, HGTV Home White Interior Paint, SW 6479 Drizzle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guest Bedroom Makeover

Generally speaking, I have an eclectic eye for style.  But that being said, I can tend to get caught up in a single design idiom for long periods of time and then find myself trying to mash-up items I already have to create a cohesive, well balanced space.

Now that we're all moved into our new house in South Florida, we've been working on getting all of our rooms up to par.  There's tons of work to be done all throughout the house, but we are going to focus on the bedrooms first, since those will require the least amount of effort.

First up, Guest Bedroom #1.  This room is pretty basic.  Other than the king size bed and the little library, there isn't much else going on in here besides a small chair and two "side tables".  We don't have to do too much to this room, but we are going to add crown molding and drapes after we paint the walls and a ceiling fan - an essential down here.  And I think it goes without saying, the vertical blinds have to go!  We'll also be adding a few more pieces of art to the room once it's all buttoned up as well as a lamp or two.

As a quick little study, I threw together this design board to see how everything we already had in the space (or will have soon) would work together.  Right now, the only thing I'm waiting on is the Marimekko Kivet duvet cover - which will be here Thursday!  As you can see, the palette is pretty modern, so I'll  need to find some fun little antiques to throw in here to keep the vintage modern vibe we've got going on throughout the rest of the house.
1. Blue-Green Sheet Set  2. Panton Chair 3. Coral Painted Wooden Side Table 4. Marimekko Kivet Duvet Cover 5. B&B Italia "George" Low Table 6. Alias Tamar Tables 1 & 3
I also photoshopped some down and dirty images to help us make some decisions concerning the drapes and a headboard.  Excuse the crappy executions, and give me your thoughts.  I think we're leaning towards the white drapes and a tufted headboard, but in white instead of black as shown below.

1. Gunmetal 2. Coral 3. White
1.Black Tufted 2. White French Provencial

Friday, September 14, 2012

What's Your "Design Idiom"?

I was just working on my next blog post when I made a reference to my design idiom and realized that I have yet to identify my design idiom on here, nor have I offered to define "design idiom" in general for those of you who aren't quite sure what it means.

I guess I've put off doing this for so long because I'm no etymologist and I've yet to find a definition online that I could plagiarize - I mean "reference".  Joking! 

So I guess I'll give it a shot.  Here goes:

Design Idiom: A language one uses to describe their design aesthetic.

Or in other words, your design philosophy - or style.  For example, if you want to create a space that evokes images of the industrial era, but you want to maintain a sense of warmth and livability, you might define your design idiom as "Industrial Chic".

Via Desire to Inspire.

Via Curated Style.
Via Restoration Hardware.
Other popular design idioms are: Art Deco, Spanish Colonial, Shabby Chic, Mid Century Modern and so on.  But most of us tend to marry one or more styles together, creating our own unique aesthetic.  So, I ask you, what's your Design Idiom?!

Mine?  Well it's pretty eclectic.  Maybe you'd say, Vintage Modern.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just Like Christmas!

After renting for the past two years where most of our artwork and furniture was in storage, I've felt like a kid on Christmas uncrating everything!  It's so exciting to see all of the pieces we've collected over the years again and although our new house is as vanilla as it gets - beige walls, beige floors, beige doors, beige cabinetry - it's already starting to feel like home with all of our furniture out and some of our artwork hung.

The Sitting Room - We still have to wrap up some styling in here and need some artwork to fill in the empty frames and a frame to finish off the George Washington, but it's getting there.
The Dining Room - We're thinking about doing a Nelson Bubble Lamp over the table, but that's still up in the air.
The Kitchen (with the Living Room in the foreground) - Where to begin? We need a breakfast light fixture...etc.
Over time, we will replace the original beige tile and carpet in our home with hardwoods and the outdated kitchen will be gutted and revitalized with modern cabinets/appliances, but in the meantime, we'll start adding character to our house with a bit of color on the walls and updating light fixtures and window treatments.  Our house was built in 1991, and while the original owner meticulously maintained the home, e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is original! 

Stay tuned for updates and photos as we make progress...