Wendy Buiter is one of my favorite artists- her artwork is unique, vibrant, and full of life. The most fascinating part of Wendy is she is constantly evolving, expressing herself differently through her art. I do not believe she has even scratched the surface of her capabilities.
Recently, Wendy is creating abstract art, which is exceptional. I asked Wendy to tell me which artists inspire her and her current creative process. Wendy is of course inspired by some of the masters including Willem de Kooning and Matisse. As for contemporary artists, she regards Sander Steins, Lola Donaghue, Bobbie Burgers, and Conn Ryder among her favorites.
As for the process, I will let Wendy explain in her own words…
“I have been working on portraits for the last two years now. My current signature style includes capturing the eyes, focusing on lashes, pouty lips and little noses. The figure appears naïve, with a face inspired by fashion photography and haute couture fashion designer runway shows. But somewhere a long the way I felt stuck. To me, making art means being free, to do whatever feels right in the moment. Making art has to come from your gut intuition.
Recently, I had a nice chat with one of my former fellow students from the Rietveld Academy of Fine Arts in Amsterdam. We spoke about my works and what I could do to feel free again. After the conversation, I noticed I was trying to push too hard. I said to myself, I have to let go of all the rules I gave myself, just let everything go, no portraits, no goals, just play, experiment and let it come from my inner self. Let the colors come to me, make something, destroy it, and build something new again, without having to think of a specific outcome.
In the case of the referential abstractions to portraits, there is still an impulse-driven exploration to break through the boundaries of and reinterpret the obvious, but I think the original concept may nevertheless function to maintain some representational familiarity. Letting it go is the key to feeling free and autonomous.
So my latest works are from my deeper soul that had to break free from making works that I thought I HAD to create. My latest abstract works feels so liberating. All this time, I have never felt so happy as I am now. An artist to me means freedom to express myself, letting my spirit flow onto the canvas without any expectations or responsibilities- this is how to achieve the best results.” Wendy Buiter, International Artist
What is your interpretation of Wendy’s abstract piece?
Wendy’s art is so wearable as it is able to transcend from paper to clothing bringing life to the illustrations. “I want to fascinate people with my art and trigger their own creative side. I believe my signature style- fashionart, combines fine art with fashion in a seamless way” Wendy Buiter.
Make sure to purchase this shirt for the summer. It would be perfect to wear casually with jeans and sandals or dress up with a pencil skirt and heels.
This “Dancing Mom” tee is available in two styles, cap sleeves and short sleeve in 100% cotton.
This is one of my favorite looks from last night’s Met Gala! Rachel is wearing an exquisite gold, Valentino gown with strikingly bold makeup. Rachel played the game, thank you! The theme of the night was Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology. The attendees should look as though they not only follow the theme, but wear a more costume like attire. No ball gowns or typical red carpet looks here.
I am proud to announce that my friend and talented International Illustrator will be showcasing her fabulous work at the famous Art Exhibition, Art In Tent Kaiserslautern! Her gorgeous artwork pieces will be exhibited for all to see- free admission from April 26-30 10am to 8pm.
Wendy is an exceptional and versatile artist, working with mixed media. Wendy is available for commissions and brand licensing opportunities. Please feel free to contact me at [email protected] if you are interested in collaborating. For reference, review her extensive client portfolio here.
Congratulations, Wendy on a truly wonderful achievement! If you are traveling to Europe make sure to visit Kaiserslautern, Germany to see this exciting exhibit!
Last month, Natuzzi Italia opened its first mono-brand store on 321 South Street Philadelphia. The store features 16 vignettes of the “Total Living” collection and is a whopping 4,000 sq.-ft. The entire concept of this store is harmony. Focusing on the harmonious pairing between design and function.
This concept is apparent as soon as you walk through the door. There is an energy that fills each one of the vignettes whether it is tranquil and relaxing or productive and inspiring.
On my visit this past weekend, I was given a tour by the exceptionally knowledgeable Natuzzi representatives, Veronica (Store Manager) and Sarah. Both women shared with me details of the beyond reproach quality of the designs, the exceptional customer service policies, and the ability to customize certain pieces to suit the needs of your space.
Natuzzia was founded in 1959 by Pasquale Natuzzi and has grown to Italy’s largest furniture house. Ethical and social responsibility as well as quality, luxury designs pieces are of the utmost importance. Through my research, I learned that Natuzzi has been awarded two certificates as proof to their commitment to operating with low environmental impact. They also comply with the International Year of Forests to ensure that all wood used is legally produced and comes from forests managed in a responsible manner. I was also quite surprised that most of the leather furniture options can be customized using fabric alternatives.
Quality, design, and function are important, especially when making a large investment however, customer service is key in my opinion. Every detail is placed on creating a space for your home. Veronica informed me that they will visit your home and take measurements- ensuring that all pieces of furniture fit perfectly. Some sectionals and additional modular systems can be altered as well to best suit the size of the room.
The beauty of the craftsmanship was a feast for the eyes. There was something for every taste and style. Of course looking pretty is not everything. I needed to see for myself if the design innovations were just as comfortable. The answer is a resounding yes. In fact there were some furniture pieces that I never wanted to leave, especially the Natuzzi Re-Vive designed to specifically support your back- mirroring the human spine, moves with your body intuitively, and can be customized in fabric options.
Quality check, functionality check, style check, and exceptional customer service check. Whether you are redecorating the entire home or simply need a few accent pieces, make sure to visit Natuzzi Italia!
In a recent post, called, “Supporting Ethical Brands” I introduced Jimani Collections, a company that offers employment and education within product design to some of the poorest in the world. Jimani aims to develop a sustainable solution to poverty. Women are trained and provided with the necessary skills to create well-crafted products within the jewelry and home goods areas. Women in Kenya handcraft every piece sold at Jimani. The “Meet the Women” page on the website features the touching stories of each woman working at Jimani. You can read firsthand how they are now able to make a decent living for themselves and their families through this company.
I am wearing a stunning beaded tassel necklace. The three strands includes two blue colored glass beads and one brass chain with a brass horn adornment at the bottom. I recommend wearing this necklace with a simple top so the beading work really stands out. The intricacies and details of this jewelry piece can then be appreciated. Thank you, Eunice for this gorgeous necklace. I am proud and happy to wear such a special work of art!
Today, I have the great pleasure of introducing an incredibly talented Illustrator, Wendy Buiter. Wendy’s career is remarkable and an inspiration to all women. I had the opportunity to speak with Wendy and learn about her story and professional journey. Please take a minute a read her interview below.
Please tell Sugarpeel readers how you began your career in fine art.
My career literally took off as a flight attendant where I balanced international flight schedules with long periods of leisure. I was inspired to do creative things in my leisure time, and always envisioned myself doing so professionally. One of my early passions was to make faces beautiful and people happy. This led to my decision to shift from being a flight attendant to becoming a make-up artist. I’m glad I did! I won several prizes including Cosmopolitan best make-up artist of the year.
Wanting to further professionalize my creative ‘make up’ skills, I started a company specialized in staffing cosmetics sales personnel to cosmetics shops and brands such as L’Oréal, CHANEL, LVMH, Yves Saint Laurent, MAC etc.. I also wanted to share my knowledge and inspire a new generation of make-up artists, which is why I founded a make-up and cosmetics academy as well. The company and academy rapidly grew in size, which was phenomenal, but it also implied that I became more involved with the business, losing touch with the creative aspect that initiated all this. In 2014 I made a difficult decision to sell my company after 10 years, and pursue my long desired career as a creative artist.
Tell us about your passion for and background in beauty and fashion.
I always made drawings from an early age, and when I was 12 I wanted to be a fashion designer. I also had lots of creative hobbies! I have always been involved in fashion, make up and trends. As a teenager, when school was out, you could find me at the cosmetics departments gazing at all the beautiful make-up displays.
What medium do you enjoy using when creating illustrations?
I like to mix and match various mediums and materials – I use pencil, pen, crayons, acrylics, watercolor paint and I’m really fond of Tombow markers!
As an accomplished make-up artist, how does that affect the way you create an illustration?
I always look at facial symmetry and try to emphasize symmetry in the eyes and eyebrows. Because I’ve seen so many faces in my previous career I realize that asymmetry can also look appealing. When I make an illustration I try to find the right balance between a beautifully symmetric face and unique asymmetric features. This creates a realistic face which, in my eyes, makes it more interesting to look at.
Your work tends to exaggerate the eyes and the lips. As an artist are those the most expressive features that you want to capture?
Well it really just happens! The eyes are the soul of the artwork as it is in a human face so that’s where I want to draw the attention to. And everybody knows; luscious lips are always appealing and complement the face. I want ‘my girls’ to be beautiful, but definitely not ordinary 😉
Does a particular beauty or fashion trend draw you to a project?
I’m scouring the internet (and Instagram) looking for new creations from fashion designers that are very appealing or distinguishable. Several fashion designers/brands such as Giambattista Valli, Prada, Chanel or Oscar de la Renta highlight unique features that I can incorporate in my art. I’m always looking forward to the upcoming runway shows and create an artwork that stands out. I like it when their fashion is exaggerated, it’s so much fun to make my own interpretation of bold dresses and lots of embellished items like the SS2016 show from Dolce and Gabbana!
Where would you like to see your illustrations being viewed and utilized?
Oee, I can name a few! But my goal is really to create beautiful things that puts a smile on other people’s faces. How can we put a limit to that ambition!? I´d like to reach as many people as possible with my art!
I would like to believe that my art is universally applicable in various campaigns (as visuals for beauty/fashion companies and their products, in shops, product packaging etc.) and as editorial art in fashion magazines.
It’s really an honor to create art that people like to collect and display in their homes or offices. But ultimately ´my girls´ on the cover of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar would be a dream come true, that would be sooooo amazing!
Wendy was kind enough to create original fashion illustrations for Sugarpeel with me as the inspiration! This is only the beginning as she will continue to collaborate with Sugarpeel and is available to commission original artworks. I am absolutely amazed by her beautiful creations and am so grateful to Wendy. Make sure to visit her website where her originals and prints are available for purchase. Please contact Wendy for more information [email protected]
Over the weekend my family and I visited Longwood Gardens, A Longwood Christmas. I only visited once before many years ago and barely remember, which made this weekend all the more special, as if I were seeing it all for the very first time. The entire exhibit was a beautiful feast for the eyes and a truly special attraction.
The crowds were in awe as we walked through the Conservatory filled and decorated with breathtaking displays. The magic of Christmas and the holiday season was palpable. If you are having trouble finding the spirit this year, I recommend seeing this stunning landmark. Collectively the entire group experienced the beauty together, oohing and aahing, smelling the fragrant flowers, snapping photographs, and singing along to a beautiful organist playing Christmas music in the ballroom.
Each room is more picturesque than the next with themes like the gorgeous red including winterberry holly and amaryllis. Perfectly shaped and groomed pine trees adorned with twinkling white lights and poinsettias. The trees appeared as though they were floating on top of a shallow pond of water with mini fountains throughout; a truly spectacular sight.
The winding conservatory showcased one lush garden after the next, each with a different group of species. Draping ferns created a dreamlike tunnel- I almost expected fairies to fly out of the hanging pink poinsettias. The temperatures of the greenhouses varied from crisp to humid depending on the natural environment of the plants and flowers. Roses, pansies, lilies, cacti, orchids, ferns, birds of paradise, the trickling sound of fountains created a sensory overload.
The Longwood grounds were lined with manicured trees garnished with lights. As dusk approached the trees were lit and shining brightly. Blue, red, green, and classic white twinkled, lighting your way.
A Longwood Christmas will be open until January 10th. I strongly suggest purchasing timed tickets at least a week prior to your desired date. You will not want to miss this dazzling exhibit. Also, make sure to check the weather forecast as you will be walking outside quite a bit. Grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee to keep you warm as you are walking!
Last weekend was Mother’s Day and what better way to spend it than to take Mom to see a risque musical?! One of our favorite films is Kinky Boots based on a true story (and book) of a man trying to save his father’s shoe factory. Kinky Boots was turned into a play featuring all new original music by the one and only Cyndi Lauper.
I will not spoil the show for you. All I can say is it is worth seeing! High energy, lovely message, amazing music, wonderful performances, and the costumes were fabulous. I was able to see this beautiful show at the Forrest Theater in Philadelphia from the Kinky Boots tour. This weekend was sadly the last in Philly, but tickets are still available for Broadway.
For my makeup, I wanted to create a berry kissed look. I am wearing the lightest shade in the Mineral Fusion eyeshadow trio from the Density palette. This gorgeous peachy bone shade is long lasting and crease free, with age defying ingredients like pomegranate and white tea. For my cheeks, I wanted a flushed stained look. I chose the Mineral Fusion 3 in 1 color stick in Berry Glow. I applied a small amount with my fingertips and kept on building the color. The consistency is smooth and creamy, incredibly lightweight, and easy to blend. As with all of the cosmetics from this line, it is talc, paraben, gluten, and cruelty free!
The beginning of the 187th Philadelphia Flower Show opened this past weekend and I was amazed and grateful to see such a beautiful exhibit. This year’s theme was Lights, Camera, Bloom with heavy emphasis on Disney and Disney Pixar. Entering Hall B was so exciting as all the guests walked in, mouths agape, eyes wide, on a red carpet. An enormous old fashioned marque decorated with light bulbs and flowers was the first display, that read, “Welcome to the Flower Show.” In the spirit of a movie theme, the room even had a popcorn stand and giant projection screen with a montage of famous film clips.
I should probably back track a bit before I give the rest of the details. There were additional exhibits within the PA Convention Center including the “Butterfly Experience,” courtesy of SkyRiver Butterflies. A room filled with over 1,000 butterflies of all sizes and colors. Giddy is the adjective I would use to describe the experience. I cannot even tell you how happy I was to have one land on my wrist and remain comfortably until the sweet employees gently grabbed it at the door and carefully placed it on the wall.
The next exhibit that I saw was the Gene London collection, filled with dresses! Not just any dresses, costumes from Hollywood’s Golden Age. The room contained over 50 costumes worn by the likes of Vivian Leigh and Audrey Hepburn. The infamous white lace dress with black trim that Audrey Hepburn wore during the horse race scene in My Fair Lady was just as glamorous in person.
These are just two of the wonderful nine daily happenings, not to mention, guest appearances like Dan Aykroyd on March 6th and Princess Sunday catered to children to dress as their favorite Disney character.
Back to the main event! My head could not swivel fast enough to see all of the displays. There was no order to my movements, I simply walked towards all of the eye catching flower displays. Frozen, Cinderella, Aladdin, and Finding Nemo were just some of the many fabulous and elaborate tributes to the theme.
I could image myself throwing an outdoor summer party with The Lion King landscape masterfully created by EP Henry.
My favorites included the playful Ratatouille themed display complete with real bread and vegetables, fake rats, and place settings with the famous french dish, Ratatouille. Orange and red were the prominent colors of this elegant and playful theme created by Flowers By David.
Another mini red carpet was constructed with individual floral displays representing the most popular Disney and Disney Pixar Princesses. Cinderella’s slipper sat on a pillow of pink carnations, while Jasmine’s flying carpet was woven with intricate floral arrangements.
Let us not forget The Nightmare Before Christmas. I love this movie and have since it first debuted. This creepy, Tim Burton masterpiece, created by Schaffer Designs and collaborated with multiple partners, resonates with so many of all ages and this particular display had a long line waiting to enter the inspired model. Giant pumpkins adorned the landscape made of orange roses by Passion Growers from Miami, Florida.
A haunting mural of the town landscape was created by Christian Kanienberg from Wish Painting.
As for the plant and flora species. Cacti, orchids, hippeastrum, streptocarpus, paphiopedilum, tulips, and hyacinths were potted and displayed in rows to showcase the ribbon winners of the show.
Miniature Bonsai trees from Rosade Bonsai Studio and the Pennsylvania Bonsai Society. These works of art depend on proper care and curation and were featured in minimal settings allowing the mini trees to shine.
Over 200 venders are also a part of the Flower Show in the PA Convention Center. Kremp Florist was selling gorgeous and fresh bouquets of a full range of flowers including whimsical glitter sprayed roses.
The D. Landreth Seed Company, the oldest seed house in America, had a range of heirloom seeds from the traditional tomato to the lesser known Thai Elephant Ears.
Each person, I believe will have a different takeaway from this event, whether their favorites include the landscaping displays, floral arrangements with a nod to Disney, or the plant and flora winners. There is so much to be seen and experience at this exhibit that if you have the opportunity you may want to plan for two trips. Movies, fashion, flowers, gardening, this event had a little something for everyone. It was certainly a feast for the eyes with colors galore and large scale displays that were so detailed they required time to absorb. Make sure to buy your tickets!