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So what exactly is Japandi?

Full Circle in situ

Japandi is an interior design style combining neutral colors, Japanese minimalism and wabi-sabi ways, and Scandinavian practicality. It is clean lines, pale colors and bright airy rooms that produce a soothing easy look. Japandi is the harmonious interaction between gentle and clean Nordic lines merged with Japanese refinement and elegance. Above is one example from my portfolio of Japandi-inspired art.

I get a kind of deer-in-the-headlights looks when I mention the term Japandi to friends and family who aren’t familar with the word. It reminds me of this great scene from the Nora Ephron classic Sleepless in Seattle. If you are pressed for time, watch from 33 seconds in to 50 seconds. Then keep reading to learn more about Japandi:

The Japandi-style interior design aesthetic marries Japanese neutral colors and minimalism and Scandinavian hygge practicality and comfort. It is tidy, functional rooms blending comfort and coziness. Colors are light and muted. They are earth tones and a neutral color palette with accents in of darker shades of the same base color. Japandi style furniture is simple and low-profile, with simple lines. Japandi inspired home interior accessories include handmade ceramics and pottery, paper lamps, large rugs, soft cushions and simple designer accents. To create that fresh, light, airy feeling, interior decorators recommend a neutral color palette. And lighting is important, so ample windows letting in natural light, simple window treatments and lighting that blends in rather than stands out. All these elements blend together to create a relaxing and inviting environment that defines Japandi.

Where can I find examples of Japandi?

Pinterest has included Japandi as one of its top trends of the year 2021 and notes terms like “wooden bed design, modern”, “neutral color palette”, “earth tones”, “minimalist” and Japandi exploding in searches on its site. Poshmark has some great Poshers, such as @buttonesandlace, @tashtogs, and @shatrano that all feature lovely Japandi-inspired accessories in case you want to incorporate this design treatment into your own home. And a search on Etsy revealed thousands of Japandi style products listed. There, you’ll find a glorious array of accessories, prints and more in the shops of Double Kong, Aesthetics Gallery, and Apre Vous Studio to name just a few.

What’s the history of Japandi?

It’s said this style dates back to the 1950s, and examples (though arguably unintentional) include the simple one-line drawings of Pablo Picasso such as Le Chien and La Cheval. I’ve personally loved the clean, simple and airy elements of this home decorating style for decades. It started when my brother, a former Japan-based diplomat sent me over a few items from the country including a gorgeous numbered woodblock print years ago in offwhite, grays and blues.

If you’d like to learn more about the Japandi design treatment, the storied British printing company, King and McGaw have a short explanation. They also provide a myriad of nice examples of prints for purchase that fit the Japandi modern minimalist style. Home and Gardens (UK) offers five reasons everyone needs to incorporate the Japandi design aesthetic in 2021. And finally, Sara Costi of Casalgrande Pandana magazine explains in even more detail and history the Japandi style.

Is your home decor Japandi inspired? Maybe just a room in it incorporates the interior design aesthetic combining neutral colors and minimalism modern minimalist style? Share with us and check my shop for Japandi-style prints and original paintings and accessories you can incorporate into your home decor!

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Sold: Nature vs. Nurture

Nature vs. Nurture

The meaning behind it: Starting with a seed, a tree grows. Add in environmental changes and stressors, and you’ve got either a glorious specimen or a lackluster space hog. This painting reflects on that idea, with gold leaf, linear and other mark-making elements.

One of four in a series of #goldleaf abstract paintings I recently completed, Nature vs. Nuture was previewed last week and is already sold!

But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it! from notecards to tumblers and coasters, fine art prints and canvas reproductions… virtually all kinds of items thanks to modern technology. If you love the image or think someone else might, check out the reproductions and merchandise at these fine outlets.

Saatchi Online

Fine Art America

Society 6 (Note: I’m new to this shop and found it to offer some great unusual items for consideration.)

I only get a small portion of the proceeds of these merchandise and reprint sales, and if love my work and would rather support my art with a commission of something similar, feel free to do so by contacting me!

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New Painting: Change over Time

Change Over Time – Mixed media abstract painting on paper with gold leaf by Maura Satchell, Artist. Size: 9″ x 9″ or 23cm x 23cm. List $170

The dragonfly has been around for 300 million years during which time the earth has evolved dramatically. This painting pays homage to that idea and to the idea of nature in general.

Change Over Time is an original small format artwork painting in mixed media on paper. It uses acrylic paints, markers, ink and gold leaf accents and is one of a series of four paintings of similar tones and colors using gold leaf.

This original painting is available for purchase at this time. If you are interested, please reach out to me.

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Sold: Feeding Time Flamingo painting

Feeding Time: Famingo painting, sold
The original painting is sold, but reprints, including canvas ones, and accessories are available at the link in the blog post.

When we first moved to Florida in 2012, I went to town painting a myriad of Flamingos to go into our guest king suite. Well, since we’ve moved up to the Metro DC area, we no longer have room for these lovelies.

I’m so happy this fun 6″ x 12″ acrylic on canvas painting “Feeding Time” has found a new home! It’s sold, but if you love the image, compisition and color choices, there are a few ways to incorporate them, including this big as life shower curtain! The colors are different than that in the image above, and

A giant-sized #flamingo shower curtain might be just what your kid's bathroom needs!
Because a giant sized Flamingo shower curtain, that’s why! =)
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Painting: Poppies in the Rain

Poppies in the Rain is sold, but commissions for similar paintings in different sizes / colors would be considered.
Poppies in the Rain: Sold, but commissions for like paintings in different size/color would be considered.

I painted “Poppies in the Rain” and it was snatched up quickly. No wonder since It’s a pleasing composition, in neutral shades that go well with similiar backgrounds, and, of course, because it features Poppies sprawled against the canvas!

It has a new home, true, but one can purchase reprints, personal merchandise or home decor accessories using this image, or better yet, why not commission a painting of your own? I set aside slots each month for this purpose and would love to recreate something similar to this, or your own preferred floral artwork. Reach out and let’s discuss the options!

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Cool in the shade: new painting

Original painting "Cool in the Shade" - mixed media on paper by Maura Satchell. Size: 9" x 8.5", list $135
Original painting “Cool in the Shade” – mixed media on paper by Maura Satchell. Size: 9″ x 8.5″, list $135

Pretty summery markmaking and linear elements such as leaves and berries, and cool colors of light blues and purples make this painting perfect for a new seasonal accessory for your home! It can be hung on the wall or displayed on a shelf or counter, desk or bureau even.

And if you love it enough, you just might want to pick up the accompanying duvet in this print too! Look at this:

Cool in the Shade queen size duvet.

If you want more details on this fine art painting or want to buy it, it is for sale, so please reach out to me!

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New Artwork: Everyone Just Stop!

Everyone just stop! Mixed media minimalist abstract artwork on 8.5 x 11″ paper support. List: $255

Something of a departure for me, Everyone Just Stop! is a minimalist abstract painting I did in response to the tension and strife in the world. It looks like a stoplight for good reason: my hope is that we all take a breather, and evaluate what is worthwhile and important in our lives, naive as it may sound.

I think this red minimalist painting against a black support would look beautiful as in an interior with charcoal gray or black walls.

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Paris, tu as volé mon cœur! (Paris, you have stolen my heart!)

Note: I’m publishing this entry one year later since it seemed so inappropriate to do so last year during the tragic news we were encountering daily. Though we still are still in the midst of this pandemic, I’m giving myself permission to revel in these wonderful memories and ask you, the reader, for forgiveness and understanding if it remains somewhat inappropriate. My intent is to look back and share these joyful memories in hopes of lifting spirits.

For our 28th anniversary, my husband and I decided to go to Paris before flying to England to visit his children in the UK as we usually did. We had both been to Paris before, but never together. I’d worked for a French company for several years, and he, being born in the U.K., had visited several times before we married.

As it came close to our time to travel, we debated going since we knew the COVID-19 epidemic (at that time) had infected a handful of people in France. I’d been monitoring this on Twitter which came onto my radar in January when it was still only impacting Wuhan and China. By late February, my colleagues were making fun of me, especially after I bought a case of N-95 masks in the paint section at our local Home Depot. I was given a look of exasperation by my boss when I asked if our workplace had a contingency plan in case the epidemic impacted our area. “We’ll be fine,” he said. “There’s no need to worry.” I lost a whole night of sleep the night I saw a gif depicting the exponential spread COVID-19 that could wreak on an unprotected population in a matter of weeks.

We had taken the time off, though, booked the flights and were looking forward to visiting family in the UK, sandwiched between two Paris legs, so, we took the plunge and on a beautiful sunny Thursday, headed out from JFK (gaff planning on my part #1) to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris March 4. We booked out of JFK in case we needed to leave our problem and anxiety-ridden dog with a son from up there while away. We’d boarded him once and vowed never again. An even better solution presented itself before we departed, however, and our younger son came to housesit and watch the dog for us, so flying from JFK was impractical. But, tickets paid for and plans made, we sucked it up and drove the 3-1/2 hours north.

The departures area at JFK was eerily empty and I met a flight attendant in the restroom who commented in her 19 years with American flying international stints she’d never seen it so empty. It was disconcerting to say the least. Close to boarding time, however, a large group of French teenage students entered the gate waiting area and it became clear the flight would not be empty. It was about 1/2 full.

And off we went. Fortunately, David and I slept some on the overnight flight as we’d intended to pack all we could into our first four days in Paris before heading to Southwest England where his kids live. I had booked our return flight to the states from Paris (stupid gaff planning #2) as we wanted to return for the last few days of our journey and celebrate our 28th anniversary there. After making all the arrangements, my brother, frequent touring musician had asked why I didn’t just pack all we wanted into a full leg in France and then depart from the UK. Sigh, you live and learn…

Paris was a joy and we were staying in an incredible Airbnb located in the 7th arrondissement only a few blocks from Musee d’Orsay, a block and a half from a neighborhood Franprix, and two blocks from a boulangerie Gosselins. It was the perfect location and I’m so thankful to my dear friend who’d recommended the place!

We managed to stay up the entire first day and after a provisions run to the local Franprix, strolled along the Seine from our place to the Eiffel Tower in a light afternoon mist. A lovely dinner there and trip back on the 69 bus, we were sated, had more wine and https://www.emergenc.com/ back at the AirBnB and settled in for a wonderful sleep.

Armed with a three day museum pass and an evening flight to Bristol, we managed to squeeze in the Picasso Museum, Musee D’Orsay, the Louvre and Centre Pompidou in our short Paris stay. We were able to connect with my former boss, a Lyon resident who worked in Paris when not working remotely, and on the first full day in the city, she gave us a great tour of the Marais district after taking in the Picasso museum together. Always able to squeeze tons in, we we walked over to Notre Dame, then on to Ile de la Cite to see Sainte Chappelle and that entire lovely area, On Ile de la Cite, my former boss introduced us to the charming and inventive retailer Pylones and I’ll never be the same!

After recuperating overnight from that hectic day, we spent the next days walking all over the city and took the 69 bus which gave us wonderful views of the Seine-based city areas as that was it’s route. When we had to go outside the 69 bus area, we took the metro, which we used a few times, including when we went to the Monmartre district to see Sacre Coeur and catch the vibes there. Many of the stops and sights we took in were recommended from Rick Steves’ impeccable recommendations from his Rick Steves Paris Travel Guide 2020 which I’m so glad I splurged on! It was our travel bible!

On March 9, as planned, we left Paris for Bristol, UK, on a Monday evening flight, after enjoying a lovely lunch at a cafe near the Bastille area and a visit to an art store nearby. Alas, Magasin Sennelier which I’d hoped to visit was not open on Mondays and taking in the Museums those other days was our top priority. We had a flight back on the 12th and tickets to take a Seine dinner cruise on our anniversary, the 14th and planned to get to Shakespeare and Company, Sennelier, and many other places before heading stateside then.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 was now declared a pandemic by WHO and at 2 a.m. (local time) on March 12, our older son and my sister called urging us to cancel our second Paris leg and return home A.S.A.P. as Trump had just announced his plan to close U.S. borders to those coming from Schengen countries. I spent 2 hours on the phone trying to get through to change our flights on American Airlines, but never got through. I tried online for hours the next day from our daughter’s home in Wincanton, U.K. with no success either. In the end, I spent $3,000-plus for two one-way tickets on Virgin Atlantic to get back to the states from the U.K. which was not part of the travel ban (yet). We ended our trip three days earlier than intended and flew home on our anniversary instead of taking in the glorious Paris skyline at night from our planned cruise. The flight home was such a relief, and Virgin is such a great, civilized way to fly anytime. Not surprisingly, it was a packed flight with many fellow like-minded individuals determined to get stateside before an eventual ban eliminated that option.

JFK’s international arrivals area on March 14 was bedlam to say the least as were many other major international airports around the U.S. We landed around 2:30 p.m. and did not get out of the airport until after 9:30 p.m. All that time we were intermingled with and lined up with fellow travelers who had come to the states from or visited the Schengen countries within the past two weeks. Of course that included us. For six and a half hours, we were in queues with no distancing and with no one wearing masks. We had our N-95 masks on for part of the time, but it got so hot and uncomfortable in those tight quarters without water or access to toilets we took them off an hour or so into the wait, taking our chances. I remember we stood in line next to a group of high school students and their teachers and chaperones from East Tennessee and commiserated with them during this uncomfortable ordeal. They were to have caught a connecting flight to Knoxville, but of course were forced to miss it. I reached out to one of the teachers by email later and learned they’d been forced to stay in a hotel overnight before catching a different flight to Knoxville the next day.

When we were finally into the customs interview area, at about 9 p.m., it was mercifully quick, only a few questions, obtaining of our contact information and we were on our way. Though we had a son who lived not too far from there, we were eager to get home and opted to drive to suburban Maryland that night. The drive was hell as we were so tired, but we made it around 1:30 a.m. Fortunately, another son, who’d been at the house watching our dog, had prepped for our arrival with EmergenC tablets and drinking water at our nightstands. I was never so happy to land in my own bed as I was that night!

In retrospect, like the song goes, I have no regrets. I am so glad we went to Paris when we did! It was far less crowded than it would have been at other times, and we got into the Louvre — into all the museums we visited — with no wait at all! And the restaurants we frequented were appreciative of our business. Still, we missed celebrating our anniversary there and hope to return next year if the pandemic is over with by then to do the things we missed doing together this time. I’ve heard from my boss there from time to time, but my last email, sent a few days ago, has not yet been answered. I hope to hear from her soon and will edit this once I do.

In closing, I hastily put together a video for our anniversary recapping our visit. It’s viewable here: https://youtu.be/eHE1AvxGiig . Enjoy!

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New Painting: Nature’s Promise

"Nature's Promise" is a fine art abstract painted by Maura Satchell.
Nature's Promise - mixed media abstract on paper - 8" x 5.75" - List: $145
Nature’s Promise – mixed media abstract on paper – 8″ x 5.75″ – List: $145

I love this little gem of a painting! I love the markmaking, the soft, pastel colorway, and I love the way a few subtle birds float around on the surface among grasses and whatnot. And the gold fluid paint that accentuates a couple of spots here and there… I hope you love it too! To me it screams “spring”!

I realize I am always so enthusiastic in each post about the new artwork, and part of me feels it’s wrong to do so. It’s the whole modesty protocols thing. But then, when you think about it, each new work of art is like a child and I wouldn’t speak positively about it if I didn’t think it was lovely, like a newborn I gave birth to.

I’m curious on your take. Feel free to drop me a line or leave a comment on your thoughts about “Nature’s Promise.” And if you enthusiastically love it and must have it, the original is for sale, and I invite you to contact me to discuss the possibility of adding it to your own home decor, either as wall art or perched on an easel on your bookshelf.

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New Artwork: Flowers and Butterflies vibrant or muted

Flowers and butterflies: Original mixed media small format artwork painting by Maura Satchell. 7.5" x 5.5" List: $135
Flowers and butterflies: Original mixed media small format artwork painting by Maura Satchell. 7.5″ x 5.5″ List: $135

Pssst… need a small punch of color for your neutral color palette home? Or a thoughtful gift for Mom, Grandma, or a dear butterfly-loving friend? Flowers and butterflies may be just the ticket! It’s a small sized original painting filled with colors and textures to brighten any space.

And we’re talking color! This painting features shades of red, pink, green, yellow, peach, blue, black and teal and hydrangea, chrysanthemum and poppy flowers. And again, those beautiful butterflies!

For earth tones or neutral shades homes, it really does add color as a great little interior decor accessory, either perched on an easel on a shelf or as wall art… but wait, there’s more!

Choose from accessories in either VIBRANT or MUTED option. Here, have a look at the difference:

If you love the design but would rather go for something more practical, consider an imprinted accessory such as one of these examples of the vibrant image below, available via my Pixels site. If you prefer the muted, here’s the link for the same accessory options.

They say go big or go home and if you’re looking for a dramatic punch of color for your own home interior design treatment, why not a large gallery wrapped canvas or fine art print? Get yours through my gallery at Saatchi. Here are a couple of examples of this lovely print as large sized wall art:

Again, though, if you’d love to purchase the original fine art painting, which comes in the muted tones, it’s easy. Reach out to yours truly! Thanks for stopping by!