Drink Your Vegetables

 

Part of living a Holistic lifestyle is taking the best care you can of your mind, body and spirit.  Today our world is host to innumerable chemicals and potential toxins that we breathe into our lungs, absorb into our skin, and digest with our food.  Some of the environmental assault is unavoidable, but we all can make healthier choices to feel good so we have the energy to do good.

I feel my best when I eat foods that are gluten-free, sugar-free and organic.  Everyone’s body and nutritional needs are slightly different, so it may take some trial and error before you find the foods that make you feel terrific and energized, instead of drowsy and fuzzy-headed.

For those of us in Connecticut, there are organic cafes nearby that offer healthy, green drinks and organic, raw foods to add energy and zest to your life.  Here are two of my favorites:

 

The Stand Juice Company

The Stand Juice Company,  located in both Norwalk and Fairfield, Connecticut, serves vegan muffins, cupcakes and cookies, as well as salads, vegetarian sandwiches and of course, a large array of juices.  The “Greenie” has kale, collards, cucumber and celery; the “Freshie” is a blend of cucumber, apple and lemon.  You can find a smoothie with raw cacao, dried cherries, banana, flax seeds and almond milk (the “Choco-Cherry) or apple, banana, cinnamon, hemp protein and almond milk (the “Hempster.)

The guiding principle behind their foods and juices is that our bodies need fresh, organic, alkaline foods for optimal health.  You can find them in Norwalk at 31 Wall Street, and in Fairfield at 87 Mill Plain Road.  Or check out their website here.

Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe

Healthy Habit founders Glen Colello and Lisa Storch created the raw food and juice cafe to offer their customers a wide array of foods that cover the healthy-eating spectrum.  They offer raw juices, smoothies, and meals that sound familiar (burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, pad thai) but that are made from healthy ingredients.  The pad thai has zucchini and kelp noodles, for instance.  And the “meatballs” are meatless.

Mr. Colello trained at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in Manhattan and is certified as a health counselor.  Although he changed his eating habits in one day ten years ago, giving up meat, dairy and sugar, he understands that most people transition to healthy eating more slowly.  The shop is designed to help customers on their healthy eating journey, and appeals to all different palates.  Visit them online here.

Connecticut Green Drinks

Every month, people who are focused on green, sustainable living and who are working toward a healthier planet can meet to discuss their plans and goals at events across the state called “Green Drinks.”  Green Drinks offers a social networking venue for the eco-conscious, and most groups meet monthly.  Groups meet in Stamford (Wednesdays), Norwalk (Saturdays), Fairfield (Tuesdays), Bridgeport (Wednesdays)  and New Haven (Wednesdays).  For more information, go to ctgreendrinks.com.

I hope 2013 is the year you take better care of yourself.  Start small if you need to, by adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.  And try out some of the delicious juices offered at The Stand and Catch a Healthy Habit!  You’ll love how you feel.

 

 

 

 

 

My Blue Heaven

 

There’s no color scheme more heavenly than blue and white. Blue and white reminds me of sea and sky: from the open ocean accented with crisp white sails to the summer sky dotted with white clouds.  As many as half the people surveyed around the world said blue was their favorite color, and it’s been documented as being the most soothing, restful color, making it perfect for bedrooms.

 

 

Blue pigment from the earliest days of human civilization was prized, almost as highly as gold. A bride must have something blue.  Blue flowers are coveted by gardeners, almost above all others.

 

Objets d’art and treasured collections can be used to add blue and white accents to almost any style room.  One of my favorites is Chinese export porcelain.  These classic pieces are the quintessential blue and white collectible, and have been for hundreds of years.

 

The technique for using blue decoration on white porcelain actually began in the Middle East in the 9th Century, but cobalt blue pigment was excavated from Iran and exported to China in the 9th Century as well. Our love for blue and white porcelain today is a testament to the timelessness of style eight or more centuries in the making.

 

 

The striking blue and white porcelain quickly became popular, and through the centuries, trading routes expanded to Europe, Asia, Northern Africa, the Middle East and the Americas.  Blue and white porcelain found its way to Nantucket Island, once the center of the whaling industry, as ballast on ships or in the trunks of sea captains and sailors.

 

 

Blue and white dinner services and teaware were popular imports in the 18th Century, often shipped by private traders who rented space on Dutch East India ships. The Dutch began producing blue and white porcelain themselves, called Delftware, made in Delft in the Netherlands.   Serving pieces such as dinnerware, soup tureens, bowls, platters and tea caddies could increasingly be found on the tables of well-to-do families in Europe and America. Intricately painted landscapes were popular decorations, as shown on the bowl, below.

 

 

Traditional motifs also included botanical themes with flowers, lotus ponds and ferns, or animal themes with birds, dragons and elephants.

 

 

Blue and white china comes in many varieties. Another kind of blue and white collectible is known as Flow Blue.  Chinese porcelain was a very expensive, luxury item in the 18th and 19th Centuries, so the English developed a type of salt-glaze earthenware that looked close to porcelain, but could be sold at a lower cost. Cobalt oxide, the pigment they used, would sink into the porous earthenware and blur during glazing.  While some experts believe the blurring was accidental, others believe it was intentional.

 

 

Blue and white porcelain is particularly striking when used as a container for flowers.  Any shape that holds water can become a beautiful vase.

 

 

Bowls can also be filled to stunning effect with blue hydrangeas, or with shells collected from the beach.

 

 

Pairing blue and white porcelain with sterling silver adds a sophisticated touch.

 

 

Blue and white porcelain is often used in pairs, adding the grace of symmetry to a room.

 

 

I’ve repurposed blue and white ginger jars into lamps, giving antique pieces new life, and adding historic interest to a room.

 

 

A display of Chinese export porcelain adds both beauty and authenticity to homes on Nantucket, making the porcelain more popular than ever on the island.

 

 

Blue and white together lightens the somber tone blue can take on by itself; a little blue can go a long way.  Even in nature, blue is often paired with other colors: blue jays are splashed with white, the peacock is mixed with green, and for the blue footed booby, Mother Nature decided blue feet were enough!

 

 

Whether the blue is sapphire or navy, the white ivory or alabaster, the beauty of blue and white transcends seasons and years.  Heaven to me will always be the peaceful charm I find in my seaside homes.  There I turn to face the azure sea, watching white-capped waves roll to shore, and I am inspired by blue and white, once again.

 

 

 “If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if the simplest things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.” –Eleanora Duse

 

 

 

 

The World as Jinsey Dauk Sees It

Part Two in an Occasional Series on My Favorite Artists


If you’ve ever wondered what a bee sees when he’s buried deep within the folds of a flower, surrounded by color and bemused by fragrance, then you shouldn’t miss the fine art photography of Jinsey Dauk.   An artist with an eye for the smallest of sensuous details, Jinsey uses a camera to capture what’s most miraculous about life.  Then she presents her vision to all of us who are hurrying past a frisson of flowers or a riot of raindrops without really seeing them at all.

Jinsey’s love for photography began early. As a very young girl, when a friend of her mother’s became ill with leukemia, she picked up a Minolta camera for the first time to take pictures of the woman’s son.  An innate talent for seeing the world in striking detail was quickly apparent.  Jinsey captured the boy leaping with a basketball in his hands, sunlight in his eyes, and his mother posted the photos around her hospital room.  Soon visitors and friends were asking who took the photos, and her career began, first by taking black and white portraits of children for whom she babysat.

Fast forward a couple of decades.  Jinsey spent time working as a Ford and Elite model, then launched a career as a documentary-style wedding and portrait photographer, primarily in black and white, before turning her camera toward the beauty of nature in full, glorious color.

Once again, serendipity intervened in her life.  She began simply, by photographing flower arrangements on the sunlit windowsills of her Tribeca apartment to thank the friends who had sent them; before long, those friends were insisting she create large-scale art pieces and offer them for sale.  From that point, she branched out into shooting more than flowers, and she quickly gained a following.

Today, Jinsey’s work is available as metallic prints, without frames, pressed under a quarter inch of plexiglass.  Although many collectors prefer the large version, and collect them as diptychs, triptychs or quadtychs, (sometimes even as a series of six), Jinsey happily custom-sizes her pieces to fit a particular space in home, office or boutique hotels. She is also happy to work on commissioned pieces and will travel to photograph whatever a client chooses, whether it’s a beloved rose garden or another cherished item.

Using macro lenses and micro filters from the 1960’s and blending those techniques with today’s sophisticated digital photography is how she creates her work, but it doesn’t begin to explain her vision.  She describes her first foray into photographing flowers as a journey she undertook, albeit one with camera in hand.

“I traveled through those flowers and ferns and bouquets, traveled through a whole different universe.  Each turn of my focusing ring was escaping into another world,” she says.  “Photography changes me.  It’s a private experience.  I’m six foot one, but in this world I’m all scrunched down, into something the size of a thumbnail.  Every single one of my senses gets touched upon when I photograph something. I hope that viewers of my work will have the same experience.”

Jinsey grew up in Rowayton and Darien, Connecticut.  Her mother still lives in Darien,  in a matriarchal home owned first by her mother’s grandmother, then her mother’s mother, and now it belongs to her mother.  Jinsey’s photographs hang in rooms that overlook Long Island Sound, next to traditional, older oil paintings that have been in the family home since the turn of the last century.

“My art mixes so well with those old paintings,” Jinsey explains. Perhaps it’s the constantly shifting colors of the ocean outside the windows, or the way the light falls on the nature-infused colors of Jinsey’s work, but her photographs transcend a single definition.  She’s proud to see her work hang in offices and homes with many different styles.

Erika Del Priore, of Erika Del Priore Interiors, describes her work like this:  ” The colors, while bright, recede into the photo – pulling us in. Once in, colors and shadows reveal small nooks and passages that take us … I don’t know where, but it is warm and calm.”

Warm is the way to describe Jinsey, too.  She’s enthusiastic, outgoing and the kind of person you feel like you’ve known forever.  When renowned photojournalist Andre Kertesz said that “you don’t see things you photograph, you feel them,” he could have been talking about Jinsey. Jinsey says she is inspired by his work, as well as the black and white photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and George Brassai; her color inspiration comes from Georgia O’Keeffe, Paul Gaugin, Henri Rousseau, and images from her own work.

Whoever’s work inspirits and inspires Jinsey, she’s always an artist who sees things her own way. Jinsey creates her pieces to embody the feeling of flow and fluidity, which is why she presents her work not only as individual pieces, but as a series.  According to a friend and client, her pieces create connections through “color, form, light, eyes and smiles.”  It’s the world as Jinsey sees it, and we’re lucky to share the view.

To contact Jinsey Dauk Fine Art Photography, call 212-243-0652, email Jinsey at info@JinseyArt.com, or visit her website at www.JinseyArt.com. An installation of 21 metallic fine art prints with rotating images is available for viewing in a beautiful Tribeca office space.  Call to schedule an appointment.  Scroll down for more of Jinsey’s work.