Apr 15, 2016
Claude Monet, one of the Western world’s best loved painters, was a founder of Impressionism.
It’s difficult, in the 21st century, to appreciate quite how radical this school of painting was in its day.
The conservative Academie had quite a hold on the Arts in Paris at the time, and it rejected works
by Monet, Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley. They broke away from the Academie to exhibit independently,
and it was a painting of Monet’s – ‘Impression, Sunrise’ - in their first show, in 1874, that gave the
movement its name.
Monet loved to paint outdoors, and to paint scenes of modern life, including bridges and train
stations. He painted some wonderful views of London, Venice and other places he visited and
lived to escape the Franco-Prussian war. Yet perhaps his best known works are the many
paintings made in his fabulous garden at Giverny in Northern France, where he later settled.
In particular those of the pond and Japanese style bridge he created, and the water lilies that
he cultivated there in marvelous profusion.
In his later years Monet developed cataracts; his paintings at this time reflect his failing sight
(later restored by surgery) and have a particular beauty. There are a great many paintings of lilies,
and some of the largest and most beautiful are very impressively displayed in Paris in L’Orangerie,
constructed especially to hold them. Also well worth a visit are the house and garden at Giverny,
now open to the public.
His iconic images are an inspiration and a joy.
Mar 29, 2016
We are delighted to welcome Mary Johnson to the team at Sonya Winner Studio here in Hampstead.
Mary has extensive experience in the interiors industry, where she has built excellent client relationships while working in Chelsea Harbour. ‘I love helping a client by providing a solution to a problem, whether that is one of design, budget, lead time or just inspiration!’
A keen visitor to art galleries, she has also enjoyed pursuing her life long interest in art, and her favourite artist is Matisse! Like us, she loves his bright colours and vibrant compositions, which is what drew her to Sonya’s distinctive contemporary rug designs.
Mary recently moved with her family to Ingatestone in Essex, where she is involved in the refurbishment of her own home. She comes into town for work and pleasure, with frequent trips to Tate Modern followed by a wander along the South Bank to the amazing food market at Borough. Mary is quite a foodie and she says ‘Borough Market is a bit of a Mecca for me!’.
Mary is looking forward to helping our customers to select beautiful rugs to incorporate into their designs, whether for themselves or their clients. If you contact us with queries, you may well find yourself getting to know Mary, who will, we are sure, go the extra mile for you.
Mar 4, 2016
Many of you will know that every year, Pantone select a Color of the Year. These colour experts spot trends in the use of colour in fashion and interiors. They, in turn, influence colour trends around the world. For the first time, in 2016, they have chosen two colours and blended them together. Pantone says that Rose Quartz and Serenity ‘reflect … a soothing sense of order and peace… as an antidote to modern day stresses.’ When the powdery blue and the dusky pink merge they form patches of tranquil mixes reminiscent of orchids.
We love colour at Sonya Winner Studios, and are famed for our vibrant, exuberant palette. While many of our best selling rugs, such as After Matisse and Bubbles use strong colours, we also have in our range a number of designs for those who favour more muted tones.
In their article about this year’s new Pantone colours, we’re thrilled that magazine Round & About features our Prism Pastels rug as an example of this softer colour zeitgeist. We are delighted to offer one of these stunning rugs as a prize in the competition they are running.
Inspired by refracting light, the Prism Pastels is an irregular shaped, modern area rug made up of a variety of colours including dusky pinks, mauves, yellows and greens. It will work well to bring some life and interest into a muted interior scheme.
To enter the competition email us the Pantone colors of the year 2016 and your name and address to email@example.com
Take a look at the full range of rugs, including both vivid and muted colours here.
Feb 19, 2016
I often get asked about my watch. I have been wearing the same one since since my eldest daughter was born 19 years ago and love it as much now as I did then. Named Vivianna, after its Swedish designer Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, it was created for the design house Georg Jensen.
Torun was born in 1927 and became the first female silversmith to achieve international fame. Her designs were edgy and, in many ways, anti-establishment. As well as the watch which shares her name, she is also known for other iconic designs such as her ‘dew drop’ series the Möbius bangle and Hidden Heart pendant.
Early in her career she said that she "didn’t want to design jewellery for the wives of wealthy men to keep locked up in private"; instead she created what she called ‘anti-status jewellery’. Her work was inspired by natural shapes such as flowers, moulding metal into seemingly flexible and fluid forms.
The Vivianna watch has no numbers or straps and every surface is mirrored. Torun said "Back then, watches were only chronometers – measures of time. I wanted to free people from the slavery of time. A watch should not make us prisoners of time, but liberate us."
She led a fascinating life. Leaving her native Sweden after studying she moved to Paris and Cannes where she met Picasso, Braques and Matisse, who all admired her work. Married and divorced three times, to men of different nationalities, she lived and worked in Sweden, France, Indonesia and Germany and Denmark. Her work was bought by high end clients such as Brigitte Bardot, Billy Holiday and Ingrid Bergman.
Her work can be seen in the Museum of Modern Art in NY, and the Louvre in Paris, and can still be bought from Georg Jensen around the world, now in many different variations from the original Vivianna first designed!
Jan 14, 2016