Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I love ewe

A while back, I wrote about a painting I saw at the DC Design Show House. It was a strikingly beautiful image of a sheep. It was huge. It was delightful. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

I'm not the best at talking about art the way collectors do. I do know what I like and John Matthew Moore's work makes me happy and excited.

Photo courtesy of Washington Spaces Magazine

Emboldened by an article in DC Spaces about collecting art, which encouraged newbies not to be intimidated by it, I emailed John Matthew Moore. His reply confirmed what I knew: the painting was gone. However, a carrot was dangled. Prints could be made!

This past weekend, I decided to go into Moore's gallery in person. I had been in the area for work and tacked on a day to do this. Kind of silly in light of the fact that he sells plenty of work by email, but I felt it was important. The windows had some of the work many people recognize from magazines - his flowers and shells. As I walked into the gallery, I was struck once again by a sheep.


iPhone picture from the gallery

The man in the gallery greeted me and I started by explaining that I was interested in a print of the painting from the show house. I was surprised to find out that the man was John Matthew Moore. A little star struck, I tried to take mental notes as we talked.

I was particularly charmed by Moore's understanding of and willingness to work with people who might not have the budget of an art collector. He shared the thought that frames were like furniture, which I hadn't heard before. He also told me that it was possible to frame things nicely without spending a fortune (this is when my boyfriend make a comment about Michael's and horrified me, but Moore was pretty funny about it).

We were so happy to learn that he has dogs. He completely understands that dogs are like children for many of us and he has even done a few commissioned dog portraits. I'm always at ease when I realize someone loves animals as much as I do. He grew up on a farm, which makes sense when looking at his work. Maybe this will sound silly, but enthusiasm for his subjects really comes through. He's also moving his store from Chevy Chase to a great location in McClean.

Oh, and there was a moment when my boyfriend and I both grinned at each other as if to say "this is definitely happening". Moore said that his subjects were ewes, female sheep. Marc and I write "ewe" instead of "you" in notes to each other. I'm not sure how we started doing this, but it might have something to do with a song we like that has a line about buying a loved one a ewe.

The ewe from the show house is named Olivia, by the way. I'm emailing Matthew to see what the next step in this purchase is. With some luck, she might be home by the holidays!

Some more pictures of Moore's work:




And here's a blog post about an event Moore hosted at his gallery. Peek behind the people and look at all the beautiful art on those walls! Another DC design blog, My Notting Hill, featured a room from the CharityWorks Greenhouse show house that included a piece by Moore. The designer of that room is Victoria Neale. Looking through her portfolio, you'll see quite a few John Matthew Moore pieces!

I have to say that I'm so, so happy that I went into the gallery in person instead of leaving everything to email. In person, these pieces are quite striking! The person who took the photos of the design house and the shot from Eddie Ross' portfolio captured something that I think is lost in the picture of Neale's room (possibly because the paintings are off center and a little far away from the camera?). Anyway, it was a wonderful experience and while I was still a little intimidated, Moore put me at ease.

I hate to say it, but looking at Moore's tulips has me thinking that my bedroom art really isn't quite right. :)


*As usual, I am not a sponsored blogger. I write about topics, businesses, and products that interest me.*
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12 comments:

  1. Jeannine - I love this! I can't wait to hear whether you go for it (I hope you do!). I just might need to pop in his gallery...I do love that egg painting!

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  2. I love that piece! I hope that it ends up working out for you!!

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  3. It's whimsical, but serene. Very pretty!

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  4. Love this post! I too love the egg painting! Will be interested to see what you decide.

    Also... I nominated you for the Kreativ Blogger award today in my post!

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  5. So pretty! I've seen that one picture on Eddie Ross' blog and love it.

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  6. Hi,
    That cute sheep makes me thinking how it really is important to know a customer (in case you are a interior designer) to make the things as best as possible. Without that picture it would be nicely decorated suitable color-chosen part of house...but with those custome-arranged components a house is getting its soul.

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  7. Beautiful. Ewe should go for it!

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  8. hi. mathrew is my son and his mother and i are very proud of him. he started painting at around five years of age. william moore.

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  9. Who knows why we are attacted to a piece of art? I attended a gallery opening where one of the most beautiful pieces was a quilted beet. A beet. It was gorgeous and one of the first pieces sold. If you're interested, go for it. It's speaking to you for a reason.

    Clarosie

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  10. I recently worked with Matthew for the CharityWorks GreenHouse as well and he was SO wonderful! He painted a series of Antique Children's Toys for our Mudroom and Agaves in Faux Bois for our Powder Room - all for our Family Vestibule! From the painting itself to the mat and framework it was astonishing! I'm looking forward to seeing his new studio in McLean - be sure to go visit it!

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  11. Great post! I have a similar adoration for Greg Osterhaus' cow portraits. I eagerly went to a gallery opening in my neighborhood and chickened out when there was a moment to catch the artist and tell him how I've been coveting his cows for years. I wish I had made that personal connection. And I still long for one of his portraits...

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