Functionality as ART

A well made piece of furniture is functional for the purpose it serves. But can furniture be considered a work of art as well as a functional household item? OF COURSE IT CAN!! Take Chippendale furniture or the craftsman furniture as an example. Both of these styles are extremely collectible. They are collectible not only for their functionality, not only because they are solid and made to withhold the test of time, but because they are beautiful to look at. Details from dovetail joints to the finish; the grain of the wood and complex or simple structures are all details which make a functional household item into a piece of art.

Edgar Lamas contemporary custom cabinet

This contemporary custom oval cabinet by Edgar Lamas combines beauty and function, is designed for the art collector or homeowner with the most discriminating tastes.

Whether looking at his wall art paintings or his amazing modern home furnishings, Edgar Lamas is one of those craftsmen who takes a simple idea from functionality and transforms it into a stunning artistic statement.

Another beautiful custom cabinet by artist/designer Edgar Lamas.

Another beautiful custom cabinet by artist/designer Edgar Lamas.

Edgar’s works can span the range from brilliant sparkling Kandinsky style graphical multimedia paintings to colorful abstract pieces embellished with his unique hand metal work. In the area of design, it may be a decorative pedestal or a bar; a cabinet or a bookshelf. Either way, the work will always be a culmination of art, design and exceptional craftsmanship. Edgar Lamas has an extraordinary gift in bringing all these elements together into a bold artistic statement.

Edgar Lamas' abstract modern art

Edgar Lamas combines exotic woods with metal work (typically stainless steel), automotive grade paints, hand etching, and sometimes adds Swarovski crystals to his creations. I say creations because it’s almost insulting to call his work just art, furniture or cabinetry because it’s so much more.

Each of Edgar Lamas’ creations combine functionality with elegance. Engineering with design. It is art. It is furniture. It is creativity. It is a piece of beauty.

Edgar’s work is very limited in availability due to the high demand and extensive labor intensive nature of his work. Edgar’s works can therefore can be found exclusively at Hallmark Gallery in La Jolla, California.

Rothko Vrs. Pollock

Repent! The world is coming to an end! And so it would seem that the abstract expressionists like Pollock who looked at their world and saw the cold end coming turned their art into manifestations of that world-view. The nuclear age from 1945 till his death in 1956 influenced his output. Nothing really had permanence or meaning; everything was hidden. Nothing would last. Stand above the canvas and drip and flick and then extrapolate meaning and give it to the art world then starved for something new and iconoclastic. I look at a Pollock and worry that experts see a real meaning where he himself saw nothing.

No form, no space, no color. A bleak canvas with lines going anywhere and nowhere gleaning interpretation from a crafty, greedy art world duping its patrons with lofty expressions of the insight only it could provide. So-called experts fooling themselves and fooling others into accepting such drivel as precocious work only the cognoscenti would see revealed. A charlatan playing the pipe for wannabes.

Rothko, on the other hand, saw a similar evil world but used form and space and color to interpret that evil into an epitaph at once revealing its emotion and tugging at the viewer, drawing that viewer into the work with both eyes and heart. One cries when looking at the work. And cries even more when the realisation sets in that the richer the color, the further down the hole of empty depression Rothko sank. An inglorious but inevitable end to a life wasted as a human being but ever-living as an artist. No meaningless drippings here! Rothko presents the viewer with his soul.

This editorial was written by Peter Melonas, a friend of the gallery.

Art Collecting Tips and the Fine Art of Collecting Art

Art collecting is as varied as the art which is collected. Whether you are a beginning art collector, or an experienced art collector, one thing remains the same COLLECT WHAT YOU LIKE.

You don’t need a lot of knowledge about art to collect art. You don’t need a Masters Degree in Fine Art to know what you like. If you see a piece of art that you keep coming back to or a piece of art that stirs some kind of emotion inside of you, that’s all you need. (Of course you will need a means to purchase when you begin your collection or are augmenting your existing art collection).

Although art collecting is as varied as the art collected, the reasons for collecting art vary just as much. If you are buying art to fill a blank wall, then you are not collecting, you are just decorating. If you buy art for this purpose, you will no doubt fall into a trap. The trap being that after probably several months of looking at that piece of art hanging on the wall which used to be a blank wall, you’ll get tired of it and probably decide the blank wall wasn’t so bad after all.

If you buy art because you love it, because it moves you, because it reminds you of something or someone…whatever the emotion is that is stirred inside of you, you will find yourself loving it more and more as time passes. When you collect a piece of art and hang it on the wall, you will never think to yourself that the wall is better off bare.

The best advice that I can provide the beginning art collector is this: go to your local library and pick up some art magazines and begin looking through them (you don’t need to go out and buy new art magazines…save your money for that first piece of art). You’ll start developing an eye for what you like and what you don’t like. Then start going to art shows, sign up for gallery receptions and attend one or two a month. You’ll begin to know which gallery’s carry what you are more drawn to and which gallery’s really don’t cater to your taste. These techniques are teaching you to develop your eye for art. You’ll begin to notice what you are drawn into and what you really just don’t care for.

For the experienced art collector, I think it is important to subscribe to art magazines, keeping abreast on the latest trends in the art market. Also signing up for gallery receptions. Gallery receptions are a great way to blend into the background. Typically there are a lot of people walking around so you can see what the different gallery’s are offering in terms of the artists they carry. You can decide to purchase something at the reception, otherwise go back the next day and ask your specific questions of that particular artist and the piece of art that caught your eye. This also doesn’t waste your time with a consultant following you around the gallery talking to you about every single artist you happen to be glancing at; and, the consultant’s time is not wasted on you when they can instead be assisting somebody who really does have a question on a specific piece of art.

Keep checking back frequently to our Hallmark Gallery website for featured articles and our unique collective work which changes from time to time.

Meet Our Glass Artists This Saturday

California Glass Artists Reception This Saturday

Saturday, September 13th, 2008 from 6 to 9 PM - Meet two incredible contemporary glass artists, Tom Marosz and Jack Storms.

Jack Storms’ meticulously hand-sculpted luminous crystal sculptures combine dichroic glass with pure optic lead crystal - a cold glass process known only by a handful of artisans throughout the world. This unique sculpture process takes up to ten weeks to produce each piece. Each brilliant sculpture is a rare object d’arte… as valuable as diamonds!

Tom Marosz’s gem-like sculpture carries a simplicity of design and contrasting elegance that makes one marvel and keep glancing back for a resolution to their intriguing form. Color, polish, and varied surface lamination culminate into an architectural form that spans from desktop to the monumental. Tom’s spectacular works account for his increasing popularity and cultivation of collectors. Don’t miss this!

Together, the works from these two contemporary fine artists make this a “Must See” exhibition at Hallmark Fine Art Galleries of La Jolla. Gallery is located at 1162 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037. Call 858-551-8108 to RSVP or for more information.

Frogman, Tim Cotterill’s Bronze Frogs

Drake, by Frogman, Tim Cotterill

I first learned about Tim Cotterill (or Frogman as he’s commonly known) and his bronze frogs, geckos and koi, at Hallmark Gallery in La Jolla, California.

Frogman creates very vibrant, whimsical bronze pieces that catch the eye immediately and captivate the heart without skipping a beat.

Frogman uses a lost wax technique created thousand of years ago by the Egyptians. Each of Frogman’s bronze sculptures vary in size from miniatures to monumental pieces. Each sculpture has a uniquely hand applied patina, it’s own name, it’s own character and distinct facial expressions.

I should know. I’ve got a gecko, a miniture frog, and a medium size frog sculpture appropriately named “Out on a Limb”.

Out on a Limb by Frogman, Tim Cotterill

Frogman was recently highlighted in Western Art & Architecture publication, Summer/Fall 2008, edition. Although this publication is North American, Frogman and his bronze sculptures are known world wide.

Frogman, Tim Cotterill, is not only a talented artist, but is also a humanitarian. His love of frogs inspires him to sculpt, but his love of mankind inspires him to make a difference in the world. In 2005, Frogman started a non-profit organization for humanitarian efforts globally. Most recently, Frogman paid for the construction of an essential surgical unit at Bwindi Community Health Care in Southwest Uganda.

Here in La Jolla, and specifically at Hallmark Gallery, we are proud to feature Frogman as one of our permanent artist’s along with the fine art of many talented and well respected artists in the world wide art community.

Come visit us or give me a call if you would like to add these whimsical beautiful creatures to your collection.

Christine Molina is the Art Consultant at Hallmark Galleries La Jolla.

Dogs Playing Poker as Fine Art

by Michael Hajdaj

Dogs Playing Poker

Working in the Fine Art field, in the La Jolla gallery district, of San Diego, California, I noticed a trend in art buyers: the doubt in one’s own taste when buying fine art for his/her home.

It amazes me, sometimes, when a person falls in love with a painting (oil or prints), a piece of sculpture, or fine art photograph, then doubts whether the artwork will work in their home. Some people look to the advice of a designer to justify their owns taste.

My best advise to this is: If “Dogs Playing Poker” makes you happy, then buy it. It’s your home. Surround yourself with fine art that inspires you and lift you up. Your home environment should be filled with fine art that makes you happy after a long day. Your walls are the one area of your home that can express your thoughts and feelings.

You work hard to enjoy the finer things in life so buy the fine art that touches you. Hang that painting of Dogs Playing Poker in your home and enjoy it!

Michael Hajdaj is the Gallery Director of Hallmark Galleries, in La Jolla, CA

What do artists’ wedding decors look like?

Artists are such talented and compassionate people. Ever wonder what their wedding decor looks like? Well, we have the inside scoop to what is going on next week in glass artist David Patchen’s wedding plan.

David Patchens Glass Center Piece for His Wedding

David Patchen's Glass Center Piece for His Wedding

And the details…

Detail of this Master Piece

Detail of this Master Piece

Let me introduce you to David Patchen’s work. There are many amazing hand-blown glass artists out there, but David’s work is definitely up a few notchs. Here is how David Patchen describes his technique: my current work is an intensive exploration of detailed patterns, colors and transparency created through multi-layered cane and murrine—colored rods and patterned cross-sections of glass. Here are some snap shots of how the magic takes place:

Before any glass is blown, David composes the piece by designing a mosaic of cane (rods of colored glass) and murrine (cross-sections of patterned glass) that he had made previously. This design is carefully arranged on a ceramic plate for heating in a furnace.

The complexity and delicate design of David Patchen’s work are the results of the multi-stage process, thoughtful creativity and precise execution.

The result of this process is a piece of art with so much detail that it boggles your mind.

Amazing Detail of David Patchen's Glass Work

For the series of photos that shows the entire creative process of David Patchen’s hand blown glass, visit the following link at the gallery:

Here are some of my very favorite works of his:

Complex Murrine Resistenza by David Patchen

Complex Murrine Resistenza by David Patchen

Rainbow Resistenza


Resistenza Series

La Jolla, a Village in San Diego California, is Home to Art Galleries, Restaurants and Top Notch Accommodations.

La Jolla Cove - #1 Tourist Destination in San Diego, California

San Diego California is one of the most beautiful travel destinations in the world; about this there is no doubt. I first came here in the early 1980s serving in the US Navy. I immediately fell in love with San Diego, but for various reasons, I was not able to fully settle here until the year 2000 when my kids started school.

Shortly after this time, I purchased an art gallery in La Jolla; Hallmark Galleries of La Jolla. La Jolla is an absolute jewel of a place that must not be missed on any journey here; it, also is a work of art (see some of the photos I have attached to this post). The first time I saw it and felt its charm, I was hooked and knew this would be the place where I would grow from.

Hallmark Galleries - a fine art gallery located in the heart of La Jolla village, the number one tourist destination in San Diego, CA

Hallmark Galleries - a fine art gallery located in the heart of La Jolla village, the number one tourist destination in San Diego, CA

Many of the very best restaurants and lodging can be found here and scenery second to none! Don’t miss it, and as long as you are here, definitely come by the gallery and say hello. We want to meet you personally. We carry some of the most incredible artists who are handpicked for the value of their art and not specifically for commercial value as is done by so many art galleries these days.

We are a family run gallery but also have an amazingly well trained and educated staff. Usually, either Michael Hajdaj (hi- dye), the gallery director is working to assist you, or Christine Molina, our top art consultant. We treat our customers and staff like family and have a business model of working with our collectors for many years into the future. We are also multilingual in Spanish, French, Mandarin Chinese, Taiwanese and English, so don’t be too shy if English is not your first language ;-)

Let us know if you are coming in advance and we’ll give you a few ideas on how to make the most of your trip;-)

In my next article on this post, I will address some of my favorite restaurants in La Jolla that you can try during your stay with us.

Rob Mitchell is the gallery owner, art collector and is a full time Investment Advisor.

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