Artisan and Vintage Pieces from Mimi Dee ArtwearMimi Dee Artwear

Mimi Dee Artwear

Signed Studio Sterling Silver Spiral Ammonite Dzi Bead Long Necklace
March 7, 2016 - 12:25 am
Artists : Jewelry : Necklaces

Signed Studio Sterling Silver Spiral Ammonite Dzi Bead Long Necklace



...will be my title of a future self help book...especially since I just love, love, love alliteration!


Earlier, a call came through from a lady...we shall name Miss JW...who entered the antique silver jewelry market about four years ago.  We discussed the ups and oh-the-downs of the antiques business...such as prices, trends, what is selling and what is not!

Four years ago she felt that the antiques biz was to be a genteel business for a lady to enter as it had been for many decades past.  She had a very interesting and hilarious way to describe it as it really is now...and when I get her permission...will quote her here...

Having been buying collecting and selling vintage / antique collectibles for more than 30 years...much has cyclically happened during that time.  In years past...before the last long sad seven years...when "things got bad" for short spells and folks "sold off their stuff"...dealers were able to buy and hold for a short time until "things got better"   Perfect! more!  It is very different now.  That happy hopeful horizon seems to have disappeared...  These discussions have arisen among Trocadero jewelry dealers from time to time.  There is so much more thrown into the mix these days.   Still, I encouraged her to join us as a Trocadero dealer. 

As baby boomers...we are the in $...collectors and curators of all things we find beautiful and worthy of keeping in "the original condition".  Most of us would abhor the melting of beautifully hand made silver jewelry and would never dream of selling to those four page newspaper advertisers / collectors from faraway lands...

I have suggested to any who would listen...that rather than end up as dealers just buying and selling to each other...why not drag as many millenials as the hand to shows and teach them the art of collecting...then "make them" start collecting!  Better that than continuing to  consume so much junky throw away new stuff!  Threaten to take them off the will...if they continue to ignore all the beauty of the past!

For those of us who "make" with our trigger fingered deformed hands...this is true much more so.  As I have been fond of saying these last few years...what will be left of my signed metal hand hammered work...after certain donations are made... will NOT be "marked down" for sale...ooooh nooooo...horrors!

I would rather "King Tut it"...ha!   Or maybe take it out to the middle of a body of water and let future generations find blood sugar is droppin' and I am beginnin' to...   I am rushing to make dinner...pop a a few chocolate covered potato chips...don one of my 70+ hats...and bid a fond fare thee well to the last episode of Downton Abbey...sniffle...sniffle...getting my Victorian hanky ready for that event.

So Miss JW mentioned that there should be a support group for antiques dealers having the problems we discussed.  She laughingly added that half the group may wish to drink during the meetings.  I added...ah yes...I will make the martinis!

...then I said, "we'll call it Dealers Driven to Drink" !    She liked that and I made her promise that we should write that book together...


Regarding the "One Of" hand hammered sterling long necklace with modernish Dzi beads and ancient Ammonite ...signed Mimi seen above:  this author will write about it within the next few days.  In the mean time please visit:    ......   then search: dzi


All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without permission.  Mimi Dee (c) March 6, 2016

Signed American Original Acrylic Landscape Olive Tree Painting Dalia's
February 19, 2016 - 4:14 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Acrylic

Signed American Original Acrylic Landscape Olive Tree Painting Dalia


you heard of method about method painting?

Only Lebanese food was consumed while painting this commissioned work of a very old olive tree and a 900 year old medieval church built in Byblos...where Dalia and Rony were married.  The scrumptious food was prepared by my patron and restaurant owner's family of Dalia Fahkry at Yalla Mediterranean Grill located in Methuen, MA.

Mediterranean food has long been relished by this painter and writer.  In fact, while very spicy food has been the staple favorite...when feeling a bit peevish and seems that only non spicy healthy Med cuisine is the favored comforting cure.

A weekly dose of this Med cuisine has long been a delicious habit.  However while painting this for them, I ate only their if to imbue the textures and tonalist palette of hummus yellow and tabbouleh greens onto this canvas titled: Dalia's Dream.  This by no means was torture...but just pure heavenly!  Dalia's dream cookies made with sesame seeds were quite the boost.

It began on one of our weekly visits to her family's new restaurant, when I brought her an announcement of two upcoming fall art featuring my original oil of a tree titled: Omega Winter to be entered at North Shore Arts Fall Exhibit.

With a big cheerful smile she readily accepted and said that she liked my painting as she loved the "arch" of the weeping beech I had painted.  Then she turned her tablet around to show me "her olive tree" growing on the grounds of St John, the medieval church mentioned above.

I squealed like a child with excitement!  For years I have sketched many trees similar to that one...having never seen one like this except in my mind.  Dozens and dozens of similar trees with twisted trunks and limbs have obsessed me!

The Olea europaea - symbol of peace and plenty - has pushed my subconscious pencil and brush for years...never understanding why...  They are known to live up to 6000 years to display graying / tan to dark, unusually pitted trunks (perhaps from the many wars fought there through the centuries)... with exposed roots and growing to massive proportions.  

How I wish to grow one here in frigid New North America, only in Florida and California can one attempt or accomplish such a feat.

We decided that a painting was a must.  Rather than depicting and copying the modern scene, my suggestion was that the scene be "centuries old".  That is to paint the historic building far away in the background and move "her present olive tree" up onto the foreground.  She liked my unusual tree sketches and other oil paintings of mine. 

Her only instruction: no blue sky.  Wow! Because my favorite skies are often a soft buttery yellow with dawn or dusk was a match!

This was a challenging journey.  To remind my formal art education nor oil / acrylic workshops have been part of my I have labored alone for years practicing over and again...destroyiing and discarding many, many works.

Leaving that aside, there were no photographs made available to me for reference...only two glimpses of her tablet...between her taking numerous food make a quick sketch of her tree.  A week later the 6X8" study was brought for her palette and composition approval.  One of the tricky trunks was quite twisted with a knobby area just above an old amphora shaped terra-cotta urn.

After three weeks of painting and repainting the sweeping curved limbs while waiting for a reference none became available...finally with her permission...I took a photo of her screen and made the best of it.

A well equipped electronic expert, I am not...resorting only to primitive yet effective means to "get it done".

It was a demanding delicious expedition!   Aaaaah...that delicous food from her kitchen was quite inspirational...


All images design content concept text are solely owned by Mimi Dee (c) and may not be reproduced in any manner without express consent.  February 18, 2016


Dalias' Dream is on permanent exhibit at Yalla Mediterranean Grill - 169 Merrimack Street - Methuen MA


To read more about this please visit:    

Signed American Oil Landscape Painting Southwest
November 14, 2015 - 2:43 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Oil Landscape Painting Southwest


...reared out West yet exhibiting in the Northeast - which should one paint?


Two modernist painters who did so come to mind.

At least two who fell in love with New Mexico's expansive western skies and monumental mountain vistas...not to be found anywhere else in the US...yet painted those memories while residing and exhibiting elsewhere.  As if those elusive mountain memories needed to be put down on canvas regardless of the artists' present surroundings.

Why would one feel compelled to make pigment records of local scenes while ignoring the longed for non regionals?  

Could it be due to the judging and jurying process, where certain regional scenes and style... as in paaaaainterly... are preferred?  It does not seem to matter if the oil or acrylic painting results from a screen projected enlarged filled in traced photo - often touted as 'en plein air' long as it's matter how messy... with featureless people...while having strong legs to help hang the exhibit will certainly garner a ribbon every single time.  Cripples need not bother...

On the one hand making art available to tourists who want to take home a bit of the local memories by local artists will likely lead to more sales.  After all the artist needs to buy supplies and the gallery needs to pay the rent.  Business is business and everyone can understand that.

On the other hand is it so wrong to shake things up a bit?  Even in New England there are hushed homes that dare to have on their walls...horrors...modern works!  There are those who feel that a more modern approach to art... facilitates hanging works from home to home and region to region when the collectors move across country...

Regretfully not having visted Santa Fe in many years, this is second hand is said that some galleries there now offer more than the local Santa Fe scenes.

Two modernists who painted the west while residing at least 2500 miles away and the other that far plus an ocean away...were Georgia O'Keeffe and Marsden Hartley respectively.  

They were both associated with Alfred Stieglitz...she as his wife and Hartley... one of many being discovered by and given a one man show at Club 291.  Hartley hailed from Maine then spent the years  between 1912 and 1916 in Europe returning to America in 1916...finally spending 1918 - 1920 in New Mexico.  Just long enough to get those mountains rattling around in his brain.  It was when he returned to Europe the second time in 1921 that he began to paint his New Mexico recollections.

O'Keeffe's first exposure to those vast western skies was when she took a teaching job in northwestern Texas in the years prior to WWI.  She returned to New York, met and married Stieglitz and years later when that gave her marital she went to Taos NM as a guest of heiress Mabel Dodge Luhan who also welcomed D H Lawrence to her Taos Salon.  O'Keeffe's western works were shown by Stieglitz in New York City.

Point is...some have been compelled to paint and exhibit western works while living east and across the pond...

The present:  Needless to say...this painter on occasion enters Western themed oils above... knowing full well that they will stick out like a ponderosa pine in a strawberry patch!  That...not able to help at the show...and the disregard for the locally favored paaaaaaainterly approach...will win no ribbons!


Aaahhh...but one must go where the heart matter the costs...and if I can't free hand sketch it on my canvas...what's the point?


All images design concept text content are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.  November 13, 2015



Exhibit History:  

                               RAA Fall 

Signed American Oil Landscape Tree Painting Regional Omega Winter
October 1, 2015 - 10:47 pm
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Oil Landscape Tree Painting Regional Omega Winter


Painterly is not for me - simplicity is - if I wanted to convey every noisy detail - I'd use a camera...


The European Weeping Beech...Fagus Sylvatica L...with its umbrella forming draping limbs that when in full summer splendor can provide hiding places under their heavy low "weeping" branches.  Some can be pruned to form entry ways on toward the "room" around their ample trunks, while some have such heavy low reaching branches that from a distance they almost look like a giant floor length Victorian hooped skirt!

The trunks can be almost misshapen with gnarly twisted limbs and roots that could even look Halloween spooky, while some display a dark grey silvery smooth texture.  It forms "wound growths" where limbs have been removed or when the bark is physically compromised in some way...scars...if you will.

All this glorious showiness is best appreciated in summer...yet all seasons are promising in form.

As New England's deciduous trees undress for winter, the Weeping Beech often holds on to some of their leaves...though shriveled shut...just enough cover for protection.  Not quite deciduous...not quite evergreen...surviving for more than 100 cold New England winters.  Real hardy in zones 4-7.

Yet they have their Achilles heel underneath that splendid full skirt.  Winter snow salt splashing onto their trunk, fungal disease, boring pests and deadly carpenter ants can bring down this silver giant.

History of its arrival in America:  Under the protection of Samuel Browne is said that the first weeping beech seedling arrived in USA in 1847 from Europe...possibly the ancestor of all weeping beech trees that grace us with their discernable beauty and style.  Please visit: for more info.

About this tree painting: the lingering RN instinct in me... tried to make it look not quite as sickly as it was two early winters ago...sadly...before it was cut down the following summer.  As a painter, one does not have to show all that is is up to the viewer to decide.  

Here it is as it might have looked years ago when this one still enjoyed its twilight years...with the trunk shown smoother...still showing its latest scars...

The palette: somewhat limited, using six oil pigments plus white and the darkened tones influenced a bit by Alfred Maurer's summer exhibit...see 5th blog below...the browns, blacks, dark grays and stark whites with a touch of buttery yellow against a lilac blue sky...flat swaths of pigment...some outlines...not painterly...make this completely self learned painter...very happy.

...else why paint?

All images design concept text content are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.  Oct 2, 2015


More detailed description about this painting - please click second red links just above the blue date and time above.



This original oil titled OMEGA WINTER was shown at Northshore Arts Oct / Nov 2015.  If you saw this at  the NSAA gallery, please advice as a percentage will go to NSAA for the building restoration project.

North Shore Arts Association of Gloucester, Incorporated is a 501 (c) 3 organization.

North Shore Arts has a Go Fund Me page to facilitate your donations!  Please go to  to make your donations toward the much needed restorations..

Signed Original American Regional Cape Ann Luminous Acrylic Painting
August 17, 2015 - 6:03 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Acrylic

Signed Original American Regional Cape Ann Luminous Acrylic Painting



...painting is like cooking or making soup:  both require creative applications and the recipes may require adjustments and alterations...


When I paint I do not cook.  My brain requires a single highway these days when it comes to creative pursuits.  When it was being used to make daily decisions as an 11-7 shift Charge RN in a very busy Intensive Care Unit... many moons could compartmentalize and switch gears at lightening more.

...but that is taking more time to be methodical in problem solving is necessary when pursuing the business of teaching myself to paint these many years...alone.

So if cooking is left to others to feed the stomach and the soul...much experimentation is needed in finding fab restaurants with fab healthy food to enjoy on site and bring the rest home to make new meals!  

As a winter germophobe who never dines out during flu and cold season, I lose weight in winter - to be joyfully re-gained during the delightful dining out May - September summer season!  Yay!  What with good apps, a fab dinner, two marvelous martinis and yummy dessert, how can one not gain some weight!?  Thankfully...lost again in winter.  Here are a few places - not in any particular order - that we enjoy in late spring through late summer dining out season: 

Jocelyn's - Salem, NH... a restaurant with a mediterranean menu that is positively delish and healthy all at once!   The co owner Jocelyn, a tall leggy lady who stops at every table to say "hello", and her hubby Richard bought the restaurant from her father Gabe and now includes cousins in their midst.  Monda...with two years left of her PhD in criminal science....get-those-perps-Monda...makes a mean martini...Her sister Cassie, an ICU RN, also waits there part time and could perform a Heimlich should someone need it...gosh forbid!   Miranda the hostess always gets our weekly take out order just right during the winter take out months.  Everything there is always perfect.


 Ithaki in Ipswich  see the "Seeking Serenity...."  blog below...


Samuel's at historic Andover Inn...Jackie O stayed there when she visited Phillips Academy...offers an impeccably crafted menu, marvy martinis and courteous service.  The Brisket Slider or Crab Cakes apps are always good and the Pomegranate Short Ribs (beef of course) are toe curling.  Bob's French Martini to die for...while the fellas may like the Dark N' Stormy...finish the meal off by sharing the Peanut Butter Cup Croissant Bread Pudding...oh my....  Even though bread pudding has always been a no-no in my book...bread pudding is starting to "make good" at certain foodie restaurants these days...


Allora Ristorante in Marlboro MA, although an 85+ mile round trip for a Spring and Summer must.  The Crab Cakes app with lemon aioli is my most fave and their Rollatini is not the usual: no fried eggplant...instead, a thinly sliced eggplant piece is delicately wrapped around the Ricotta and sauce...  The Braised Beef Shortribs...must be feeling a bit anemic craving all this lean beef lately...and Lamb dishes to perfection.  

...And then there is Tom...yes...Tall Tanned Tom... who has owned a few restaurants...has an eidetic memory when it comes to his guests' martini faves... at the bi level Allora horseshoe bar..where he holds court.  His creation the Killer Bees martini is "molto buon" or as he would say "shad habor" (misspelled here - no doubt)...  while the fellas may like a briny manly martini with three blue cheese hand stuffed queen olives...yum...  You can watch Tom infuse vodka with various fruits...simultaneously take multiple dinner orders... craft any martini or invent any combination by long as it does not include St. Germain...triple sigh...  Mama mia...what talent!


For many years, in Portsmouth NH - The Library Restaurant at the Rockingham - a historic mansion built in 1785 turned hotel - now private residences...where Presidents George Washington, Teddy Rosevelt, John Kennedy, et al once slept...has been another favorite 80 mile round trip...and is always worth the drive for lunch or dinner.  At one point the renovations cost more than the entire Portsmouth Naval Yard!  Holy moly!  

While the historic dining room with its hand painted panels is a must...the Library Lounge...yes...beaucoup books to read on the walls... with the nine stool cozy historic bar which is always full.  Not to worry,...there are tables against the walled bookcases, a varied menu and courteous service to enjoy.    I have sketched my hubby sitting across from me in years past.  The martini menu is contained in a small bound notebook to make your head spin with decisions...alas...although quite capable of consuming more without a wobble...two and only two is my choice consumptiom for the evening....calories...calories...calories.  

It is still the only place to eat Artichoke-not-too-cheesy-Dip in that fabulous glorious delicious bread bowl...calories...calories...calories...extra hour on the bike...extra hour on the bike...extra hour on the bike...   Emily the bartender and Curan make it a most enjoyable visit.  How fun to own a condo upstairs and come downstairs to this historic restaurant...


Venetian Moon Ristorante and Martini Bar in Reading MA has been another favorite these past 12 years.  The Rollatini, Sauteed Artichoke Hearts and Boneless Filet Mignon never disappoint.  Praising Prociutto is not my usual, but the Venetian Carozza app with the Prociutto blanketing the artichoke hearts sitting on a bed of arugula and other baby greens accompanied by the yummy delicate drizzle of fig balsamic...yum...   Hubs liked the Fusilli Ultimo and we shared a small Salt Carmel Crunch Cake slice.

...But before all this is to be enjoyed a delectable martini starts the "date".  At times it's good to look to the bartender for menu and martini suggestions... Paul, in one of his dozens of classic Hawaiian shirts, presides over a very long well stocked bar to shake any martini the heart desires.   More than 70---yikes!  There is a lot of shaking to be heard amidst the happy dining guests.  Paul makes the best Union of Crowns, and yes with St. Germaine...yay... or Lemon Gimlet Martini and his professional attention to all this guests peppered with interesting tidbits of the day, makes for a most enjoyable evening.  The food is always delish, the owner and staff have always been most professional.   Walking distance from the Reading Art Association Spring and Fall Art Shows.


Now for the down to the salt of the earth food:  Living up here in New England, there are not a lot of cattle running around to make for real Texas BBQ.  After a few  decades of searching, only to be disappointed year...after year... after decade...even enjoying the pleasure of the Neiman Marcus mail order food catalog to provide good Texas brisket...ah can indulge in lots of delights from Neiman's Gourmet Foods Catalog...still one just craves the "smoke" in person.  

No...not grilled...not over cooked...errr charred to cancer causing proportions with propane nor noxious starter fluid... which is the usual in these parts...just the real wood smoked thing!  Brisket must be cooked low and slow with real wood...if not in a real brick smoke house out least  in a huge genuine Texas smoker capable of holding 1,200 lbs. of Beef!  It is so good that it does NOT need "a rub" nor any sauce...that is how good smoked slow cooked brisket shoud be!  No bbq pig or chicken for this gal...NEVER!

At last....Enter Goody Cole's Smokehouse 20 miles up the road to Brentwood NH.  Aaahhh...Rte 125 use to be "antiques alley" a few years back...Brentwood Antiques moved to North Hampton NH a few years ago...  Back  to Goody Coles...  For me, this is take-out-heaven only - no AC and alas No maritinis!  For the owner and his wife, a native Texan - yay - the brisket bbq had to be true...more to read on their website.   At home, left overs are perfect for a sliced fresh multicolor vegetable healthy dish topped with thin strings of their flavorful brisket.   Their corn bread is yummy too!  The staff is most friendly and efficient too.  If you are ever antiquing on Rte 101 in New Hampshire on the way to the coast...Goody Coles is for the ONLY REAL Texas Beef BBQ in all of New England!   That is if you must have Beef...not pig...not chicken.


So...traveling back south still on Rte get a hankering for a margarita- tinified for me thank you very much- guac and crispy thin chips...just over the stateline back into MA, there is Grande Mexico in Haverhill MA, a thriving business owned by two couples.  They take turns "minding the store" along with their respective daughters, Alix a culinary student and the other owner's daughter:  a most attentive bartender Katrina, a free spirit who makes "gem laden wire trees".  Britney and Jen are always cheerful too.  Did I mention that their food is made with...wait for it...MORE BRISKET or as they say beef tips.   Cooked to perfection!

After being naughty and "cheating" on the weekend...the rest of the week is always practically vegetarian with tiny bits of meat...No martinis (sigh)...No bread... nor chips...never... and lots of water and extra time exercising.


Take Out Weekly Must Have:

Ros Tip Thai - Dracut MA.  Just about the best Thai food in a 50 mile radius and we have tried them all as hubs loves hot and spicey!  Tahk (my spelling) the owner is the nicest lady - owner - cook anyone could ever meet and her thai food...oh my!  In the three years of Oct - May take out, not once have we been disappointed.  Veggies being important here, Tahk's veggies are alway fresh and crisp.   Although the cozy place does not serve wine nor can BYOB...and is a little out of the way on Rte 113 at the Lowell is still a little quiet gem with fresh flowers about and yummy asian hard candy treats.  

Fried food has never been a fave for me, yet her Crispy Thai Rolls are the first and only I have ever liked...are delish.  It must be stressed that when you bite into the green pepper, it tastes like green pepper!  Her generous use of Thai can really taste the basil.  Generous meat and veggie portions, while her sauces are not thick.  Each flavor is distinguisable and nothing is mushy.  Some of our favorites?  Chicken satay with that maply flavor.   Prik Khing Beef - 2 star - wow!  As a later day left over...let that sting sitting on your palate be soothed with a piece of fine chocolate!  At home, a big bowl of stemed veggies are delish when crowned with some of Tahk's flavorful food.    This is a small 2 person operation without a liquor if you like speedy fanfare... best go down to crowded, busy Boston with all its traffic turmoil.


Yalla Mediterranean Grill - Methuen MA -  Brand new as in a couple of weeks and already a busy place! licensed libations - alas no martinis!  UPDATE - see below.  Owned by John and wife Hiam, their daughter Dalia and her husband Rony... whose parents own restaurants in the old country.  What joy Dalia takes with everyone and everything that she does...and with that contagious glorious joyous laughter!  You can not see her smile, hear those peals of laughter and leave unhappy.  Although just past the counter, you can watch the chefs prepare take out after take may choose to eat in...

Some of what we have ordered out and have enjoyed:  Chicken Swarma Wrap...a weekly fix, Chicken Taouk Wrap, Beef Swarma Wrap, Baba with pomegranates sprinked on top, mini spinach pies, Zatar chips, incredible Baklava, just to name a few...and all so delish!  For our football sunday take out we order: mini spinach and mini meat pies, individual size Meatza Pizza, and any of the other Pitzas...we have had them they are tasty yet uncomplicated and with that soft flat bread...any left overs are yummy tidbits.  They also have an extensive take out menu of Pita Wraps, Grilled Paninis and so much more...  A must try new place...

UPDATE:  The girl has a liquor license now!  Spied a sangria on the counter, various wines by the glass, beers, etc...hear tell that the bar wil be installed soon...they are working on the drink menu...can not wait until my dining out season begins in May to eat in!  Will eat in...have a martini or two...and look at the painting on their wall titled: Dalia's Dream that she commissioned for me to paint!  Please go to and look for the blog that begins with "Good food was required..."



All the left over food comes home and finds its way in small amounts over beds of bountiful beautiful vegetables drizzled with extra virgin oilve oil when topped with tidbits of these left overs.

This is what feeds the stomach in small amounts...and then back to painting...


The real Goody Cole history:  somebody must have really wanted the widow's 40 acres at Hampton, NH as she was tried as a witch three times during the 1600s, dying in prison although acquitted repeatedly....  Yikes...a gabby gal like me, would have never made it up here in those days!


All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.  August 17, 2015



This original acrylic on canvas laid on board titled: NILES REPOSE was shown at North Shore Arts Association Aug 2015 - and can be seen by by clicking the second link above the image at upper left.  When making this part of you collection, if you saw this at the NSAA gallery, please advice as a percentage would go to NSAA for the building restoration project.

The commissions from the paintings sold will help with the much needed restoration and day to day costs of exhibiting and promoting fine art as it has since 1922.

Signed American Regional Oil Landscape Painting Limited Palette Marsh
August 3, 2015 - 2:22 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Regional Oil Landscape Painting Limited Palette Marsh



Painterly is just not for me...painterly means movement...painterly is a noisy tap, tap, tap on the canvas...when you have a noisy mind like mine...a quiet painting is a must...

After dropping off two of my latest regional paintings at the North Shore Arts Association for an upcoming show ...see info below... we drove back from Gloucester, through "antiques town" - Essex then on to Ipswich to dine at this Greek restaurant for the first time.  It was a most enjoyable perfect arid day.

My outings are very limited, but when we do go out, as a bit of a foodie a good restaurant is a must.  Wanting to find a good lamb, Ithaki was recommended.  It has a fab horseshoe marble bar where it was said that the owner Petros will leave the kitchen to stop and ask, 'are you happy with your food?'  The food was fab, the two martinis were primo and served by the very capable courteous Heidi.  

The Braised Beef and the Lamb Kabob apps are superb.  The latter with fabulous arugula, tiny slices of red onion, cucumber strips and what appeared to be a couple of hand made noodles or was it extruded blanched zucchini - the chef's lips were sealed...  Hubs had the open lamb sandwich and I the lamb on orzo.

We sat down...when suddenly a man entering holding a credit card, tapped me on the shoulder and asked, '...Heidi anyone?'  The bartender said, 'I am Heidi' and the man said, 'I found your credit card out in the parking lot'.

She was a bit flustered and said, 'it must have fallen out of my purse last night on my way to a silent auction fund raiser...'.  Knowing that the North Shore Arts had just held their auction, I asked, 'was it an art auction?'  She said, 'sadly no, it was to raise money for my friend who suffered a major stroke a year ago...'  

Having been a charge RN in an ICU many years ago, I asked her to tell me more.  Her  33 year old friend, a Vet Tech young mother of two, had a spill in her excercise class.  After being seen by medical personnel...she went home...went to sleep and in her sleep the hematoma in her leg caused the stroke.  It is sad enough when it happens to anyone, but to a young mother with young children...I had to offer to help raise funds for her.

During the month of August anyone from MA or NH who makes a regularly priced antique or vintage purchase will result in 30% donation or 10% on my own signed pieces to Danielle Caram-Chabot.  


All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by MImi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.  Aug 2, 2015

Permission has been granted to Heidi, and anyone wishing to help, to use this information for fund raising purposes on social media.  When placing your order, please mention her name or this blog.

EXHIBIT HISTORY:   The original oil painting above, painted with a very limited palette of three pigments plus white and titled: Minimus Marsh was shown at North Shore Arts Association Aug 2015 and can be seen by clicking the second link above the image at upper left.  When making this part of your collection, if you saw this at the NSAA gallery, please advice as a percentage would go to NSAA for the building restoration project.

The commission from the paintings sold will also help with the much needed restoration and day to day costs of exhibiting and promoting fine art as it has since 1922.

Signed American Oil Landscape Painting Father's Day
June 10, 2014 - 8:08 pm
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Oil Landscape Painting Father



A painter never knows just what or who will be the impetus for the next work...

So is the case here.  In the late 90s a few months prior to closing my last little store - studio - gallery, during a stroll through a new local riverwalk park, a father and son were seen seemingly enjoying their one on one time together.  They were walking along the river, the boy scampering about attempting to climb the big rocks, while his father held on to him.  Then they sat for a quiet momemt, as if the father was sharing some sage advice or perhaps answering a multitude of questions that children are known to ask.

There was plenty to see, sketch and photograph that beautiful day.  A young high school age couple was seen equally enjoying the new park...stealing a snuggle here and he so gallantly lifted the young lady up unto a tree branch.  Many people were enjoying that day, myself included.  Still, it was the father and son moments that tugged at my painter's sensibilities.  

It appeared to me as if they were trying to make the most of the afternoon together.  

I must have mentioned that I planned to paint scenes of the park and its visitors someday, because a few months later a call came in inquiring about the possibility of viewing the painting when finished.   The name and number were lost, the store - studio - gallery was closed and painting it was placed on hold until recently.

I hope you enjoy the results by this self taught painter...  Happy Father's Day,


EXHIBITION HISTORY: This original oil titled:  Father's Day was shown at the RAA Spring Show and Sale - 15.

It can now be viewed by visiting  and searching # 1251340 or by clicking the second link above.

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form without written permission.   June 10, 2014

Signed American Oil O/C Winter Landscape Painting
March 12, 2014 - 3:55 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Oil O/C Winter Landscape PaintingAT LAST THE MONK MAKES AN APPEARANCE AT THE ADDISON

Signed American Oil O/C Winter Landscape Painting  (<<< please click here to see it framed)

See Alfred Maurer: At the Vanguard of Modernism ending 7/31/2015 update below...

Exactly a year to the date, this agoraphobic winter germaphobe made another attempt to visit with the elusive:  The Monk  (1873) on exhibit at The Addison Gallery of American Art on the grounds of nearby Phillips Academy Andover.

This time it was not a gloomy New England day (see blog below dated March 8, 2013), but a glorious, sunny, balmy 48 degree day that brought New Englanders out in droves, some in bermuda shorts and eating ice cream no less, during a momentary reprieve from the multi feet snow days we have endured this winter.

Unable to wait and feast my eyes, after years of waiting to view the aforementioned George Inness's moody painting...the "Whistler - An American in London" exhibit downstairs was skipped for later viewing.  The Monk was waiting!  

The trip upstairs seemed to take forever.  After the elevator doors opened, standing there in the hall, The Monk could be seen holding court on the far back wall.  While standing there taking in the view from afar, it was as if Etta James suddenly strolled into my chochlea and began belting out: "At Last..."!   Not being fully familiar with the lyrics, it was the first two words and the last few that made sense to me.  

Thank you, thank you, thank you Dr. Allen, what a parting gift you left us all.  While this was a thoroughly joyful visit, I was sorry to hear that he is no longer the Director at The Addison.  What a loss for MA.  He is now the VP at New York City's Historical Society Museum.  Lucky NYC!  

I was extremely fortunate to have sat in on a lecture of his two years ago, which "transported" me to the art lecture halls and gave me "a taste of what could have been", had a BFA been the choice instead of becoming a registered nurse so long ago.  Although there are no regrets, as the natural sciences continue to hold my interest, an art degree program might have been a kinder way for me to pursue the business of art instead of the daily struggle of attempting to teach myself about painting...

BACK TO THE MONK:  This painting is the reason the American painters of the 19th century became known to me.  Without the benefit of a formal art education, the content of my self-learned body of art knowledge was woefully thin.  After reading about this painter, his works, and those of his American predecessors and contemporaries, my quest was to learn more about our American painters.  I have been "in love" with them since, foresaking all Europeans except for a handful of Romantics.

Although The Addison has owned The Monk since 1956, this is probably the first time in many years that he has been on exhibit for this length of time.  Alas, although it was known to me that he was upstairs since September, my infrequent outings just made it impossible until this last week-end.  Worth the wait.

This is a large oil painting that exudes emotion and is all "seelenvoll" in its depiction of a mysterious lone figure in a white robe amidst a dark green foreground that encompasses almost two thirds of the canvas.  The dark umbrella shape trees, at the Italian Villa shown, seem to stand guard just in front of the fabulously warm, yellow, hopeful distance.  Some could say, 'it is so darrrk'.  Yes...but wait...beyond, the light awaits...

This juxataposition with the four other "light and dark" paintings on the same wall is spellbinding.  Again, thank you Dr. Allen and curators.

To the left hangs another Inness tonalist painting titled The Coming Storm 1879, delicious warm greens, yellows and browns.  Immediately to the left of it hangs the large Washington Allston's Italian Landscape (1805).  This too depicting large dark green trees set instead against a dazzling display of white clouds and blue sky.  Ohhh and then to the immediate right of the somber Monk, hangs the jubilant Alvan Fisher's Covered Wagons in the Rockies (1837) with the sublime peachy sky, the perfect balance as if yes, there is still something out there.  To the right of that Alex Helwig Wyant's Landscape (1880).

What a bountiful balance of light and not so light, all assembled there to enlighten the visitor.  On the wall to the left of those five fabulous paintings, thankfully Homer's The West Wind (1891) remains with the whitest white surf set against the dark dunes surrounding the waiting lady with the billowing skirt.  It was all about "The light" in that gallery.  While in another gallery R A Blakelock's (there is a sad tale) Sunsent Evening Silence (1892) for more light against darkness, as could be found in his paintings and personal life.

This exhibit also includes fabulous large Thayers (another sad fellow whose bio moves me), including works by Bellows, Benton, Bierstadt, Chase, Church, Copley, Durand (one of his works positively moved me to tears while on display in Salem MA a few years back), a couple of Eakins, Heade, more Homers (I admire his time spent painting), a couple of Hoppers, to name just a few.  There is also a collection of ARTFUL POSES on the same floor.  All belonging to this fine gallery of American art that we here in MA are so lucky to find in our own backyard.

After standing for as long as I could while staring at "The Light" paintings, then promising myself to return before this exhibit ends next month, a trip downstairs to view nearby Lowell's own son Whistler was in order.

On the wall you can read the following: "AN AMERICAN IN LONDON: WHISTLER AND THE THAMES was organised by the Addison Gallery of American Art, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, and the Freer Gallery of Art /Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

Through generous support provided by Edward P Bass (Phillips class of 1963) on his 50th reunion, in honor of Brian T Allen (by the Bass Foundation); Thomas C Foley (Class of 1971) and Leslie Fahrenkopf Foley; Leslie G Callahan III (Class 1968) and Barbara Keenan Callahan; David Carter (Class of 1941) and Louise Carter; The David L Older Fund, the Keamy Family Foundation; The Lunder Foundation and others". 

We thank them all for their generosity in bringing such art exhibits to the Merrimack Valley, as if to our own backyard.

The house of his birth still stands as a museum in nearby Lowell MA.  I must say that he pretty much clicked his heels, left MA and never looked back, living most of his life in England where he went broke after suing Ruskin the critic who did not speak well of Whistler's work.  Aaah those pesky critics.  ...those who can, do, those who can't, criticize...?  This bit of gossip, however, is not included in the info shared by The Addison.

There is however a copy of a letter Whistler wrote to someone describing a painting he was finishing, which was giving him trouble while attempting to paint his golden haired mistress (one of a few).  Many, many lines ended in an exclamation point!  That ole boy liked those "!!!"  There is so much to see and enjoy, so go visit and make new memories.

ABOUT THIS BACKYARD PAINTING:  A year ago, while disappointed in not finding the aforementioned tonalist ...(please read blog  below Mar 8, 2013), I painted Fallen Birches, a colorful attempt to console myself...  

Two months ago while visiting an elderly lady whose house was being prepared for sale, a visit to her backyard became my muse for this painting.  It was in the single digits not counting wind chill with two feet of backyard snow, therefore notes, photos, & sketches were made from a higher window.  Using a very limited palette of three, this warm and cool toned winter backyard woods scene is of that freezing cold cloudy day: when suddenly the sun, as it was making a fleeting appearance under the cloud cover, shot a few golden - russet rays onto the mid section of some trees for a short minute at most.  It soon got quite dark.  Then the last visitors could be seen...a cardinal and a pair of doves taking their last bite before the roost...

After viewing The Monk, I was able to continue working on this painting... 

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  March 8, 2014

...and yes, I went to see "him" one more time before the exhibit ended.

Spring - July 31, 2015 Alfred Maurer UPDATE:

Hurry, as this Addison Gallery of American Art - Alfred Maurer: At the Vanguard of Modernism exhibit ends July 31, 2015...

Don't forget to stop by the gift shop to acquire the fabulously delish accompanying exhibit catalog by Stacey B. Epstein with a forward by Susan C. Faxon.  All color plates!

Venturing out to the Addison Gallery of American Art, a littler later than usual for one of my infrequent outings especially after our nine foot snowfall in New England this past winter, was a joyful experience once again.  Without any formal art instruction, the Alfred Maurer - Alfred Stieglitz connection was vaguely known to me, so the expectation was that the exhibit would be all modernism... which would be just fine.

Oh to have the ability and to live long enough to produce at least three styles in three stages of one's life!  Imagine my surprise to view his figurative work, having only known about his fauvist landscapes and expressionist still lifes.

As I write this, knowing that I am not an art critic nor do I play one on TV... coupled with my lack of art education...these descriptions and opinions are written as a result of a novice who just appreciates the art that this precious museum brings to our community.

The first 13* paintings, his figuratives, were seen with the eye of my previous experience as an art to wear fiber artist... when I still had my little store studio gallery...therefore fashion colors rather than the artist's palette will be used to describe them.  That was his treatment of the fashion and clothing his models wore, presumably from his own collection of fashion and accessories of the late 19th century and the early 20th... that caught my eye.  Most of these paintings, while painted in delish rich dark browns, rich and "rum raisin" again a fashion color description...blacks, and brilliant whites... many superbly juxtaposed with small splashes of brilliant red!

Yes, one should see Whistler - born a few miles from here - in Maurer's palette, but all I could think about was the stark contrast of the white surf in Homer's The West Wind (1891) in the Addison's permanent collection...which can still be enjoyed along with Hoppers, Homers and Twachtmans in another gallery.  Interestingly, on page 31 of the aforementioned book, Miss Epstein writes that Homer and Eakins among three others judged Maurer's  An Arrangement (1901), the 10th painting at this exhibit, to win the gold medal at the Carnegie International.

As an avid collector and wearer of hats, how could these earlier works not appeal to one who use to make fiber art to wear...

The first of his figuratives: Woman in Pink (Portrait of Roselle Fitzpatrick) 1902... if you stood there long could almost hear the rustle of the pinkish peachy taffeta, against a lot of brown wall and floor. He repeats this similar pinkish peachy color with the 13th and last in this group titled The Peacock (Portrait of a Woman) 1902.  Here, a good third of the painting consists of a very long printed robe on a woman perhaps taking one last look at herself in a smallish oval wall mirror before retiring... and an open door to her left... The other third is taken up by a wall with a partial cast shadow of her body.  The hues, again with the eye on fashion colors, are just yummy.

In between the first and the 13th painting, you will find: At the Shore (1901).  Then The Rendezvous (1905) with rich darks against an expansive mushroom color half wall which takes up half of the painting, with two people wearing colorful hats one blue and one red at the far right and over on the lower left... a woman in all black with a black poodle wearing a bright red bow.

Followed by Le Bal Bullier (1900-01).  Blacks, browns white...and there it is...a red hat!  Then Le Bal Au Moulin Rouge (1902-04), more or less the usual palette accented with a woman at mid left guessed it....a bright red far mid right a woman's bright red purse and red accented hat, adds "that pop" as current fashion celebrates.  

Just when you are enjoying all those delicious little bright red accents...comes the large portrait of Jeanne (1904), all dressed in white, cigarette in hand... with her pasty white complexion and a black sash against a dark background.  Looking for the customery happy bright red...all you can see just over her feathered boa...I am afraid... are her lips framing a dull vampiric sneer and her dark, dark eyes....staring at the viewer. 

This followed by The Cafe (1904).  Then Carrousel (1901-02) the bright red returns in the form of the carrousel awning just at the top edge of the painting.  

Yay!  The bright red hat does not disappoint in Model with a Japanese Fan (1902-04).  Here Jeanne, all dressed in black this time, thankfully has recovered a healthier complexion and staring once again at the viewer...

Then the celebrated An Arrangement (1901), for which he won the much coveted Carnegie International gold medal, that both Homer and Eakins judged.  The model, whose back faces the viewer,  wears a white high collared blouse and a huge bouffant black skirt that encompasses almost 2/3 of the canvas.   Although the painting is not huge, the skirt's folds seemed to have been painted with a huge brush or maybe even his hand!  Because my mind is a very noisy mind, and even though I prefer to paint "quietly" , Not painterly with rare the use of red... Maurer's brave, bold, strokes were admirable and seemed to take a life of their own.

Aaaahhh, then the positively delish, delightful palette of Young Woman in Kimono (1901) with the different tones of browns and tans, with the bright red kimono front trim and around its edge rounding out in front of a chair and the table's scarf also accented with bright red and just a bit of bright blue.  This was stunning!  Then next to the last, Girl in White (1901) does not disappoint with the whitest of white dress and black shawl...and red here...

After the fashion parade which I thoroughly enjoyed, enter the next gallery with his very bright and boldly painted Fauvist flat landscapes and still lifes.  I begin to  imagine...As if he may have said to his successful Currier & Ives traditional painter father Louis, "okay, been there, done that...I proved that I am very capable of handling figuratives and a well managed is the time to relax and have fun..."  Wow!  Did he ever experiment!  Lacking the art knowledge to describe these to you the reader...please go and enjoy them in person.  Particularly the 12 smalls.

In another gallery, you will find his continued flat planes and abstractions among which you will find Still Life with Calla Lily and Roses (1925-26).  Hmmmmm...where in my studio are the callas that I painted years ago....   In Still Life with Pears (1930 -31), he brings back his brown, black and white palette, but this time no bright red to be found...instead he tints it to make pink.  

Then on to his cubist ladies with the elongated Modigliani necks, big huge eyes and cloissone black outlines.  How he may have disappointed his traditional painter wonders...

He successfully pursued different styles of painting...the last to suit himself.  

In 1932, a few weeks after his father's death, Alfred hung himself.


Please visit the Addison Gallery of American Art on the grounds of the historic Phillips Academy in Anodver MA - where the curators have done an impressive job making Maurer's  paintings tell us a story to remember.  

Visit the gift shop to purchase the accompanying book, enjoy this exhibit, then walk across the street as we did for a delicious meal at Andover Inn's Samuels...don't forget to try one of Bob's enticing martinis...


After my visit, feeling encouraged in my studio...a tonalist "quiet" limited palette of three - landscape painting is beginning to emerge...Will share that with you at a later date.  

Mimi --June 2015


*CORRECTION:  I had to return once more to visit this exhibit before it closes July 31.  There are 15*, not 13 paintings in the main gallery which include two smallish ones titled:Rockaway Beach and Rockaway Beach with Pier both dated c.1901.  

I have also read some harsh posts on one site or another about Maurer's work and about modernism being a poor excuse to make art,...which got me thinking...what if he was already going against the grain while producing his early tonalist realist works?    Why else would he add bright reds to his tonalist works?  Personally, I loved the contrasts, again...looking at them with style and fashion in mind...rather than "art rules to be followed"

PS: there is also a small exhibit just past the library curated by art students, which includes Homer's Eight Bells.  There were other works from the Addison's permanent collection, but a small one on a far back wall caught my eye.  It is Joshua Shaw's After the Storm.  I chose to look away from the wreckage and concentrated on that glorious pinkish hopeful sky beyond with optimistic golden touches.  This exhibit demonstrates such maturity on the part of the student curators.  Don't miss this!

Mimi -July 2015.



Winter - Dec 2014 TONALIST UPDATE:  Hurry, as this Addison Gallery of Amercian Art exhibit ends Jan 4, 2015...

There is a fabulous, fabulous Tonalist exhibit which includes The MONK.   More Inness works, a Blakelock, an Alex Wyant, some Twachtmans and several limited palette oils by Dwight Tyron who painted in South Dartmouth MA for 40 summers, which can be viewed at The Addison.  This all thanks to the new director, Judith F. Dolkart along with curators Keith Kauppila and Susan Faxon.   What a brilliant start for Ms. Dolkart as the Addison's new director!  

The Addison Gallery of American Art exhibit: Dwight Tryon and American Tonalism, curated by the independent scholar Keith Kaupplia, is an eye opener for those of us without an iota of an art education.  I am sorry that I missed his lecture this past September.  

To read about this painter, his art and those who brought his work to us, please visit:  to learn more about the passion it takes in bringing important American paintings to enlighten those of us who may have never otherwise had such an opportunity to experience.    

No question that my love affair continues with Inness, my first tonalist, but Stilly Night - 1917 by Tryon was a small vision to behold!  Here Tryon indulged in some red "greenery"; and oh that glow that warms the viewer from across the gallery!   Although the Tryons are on loan for just a short while, The Addison's permanent collection is always a comforting friend to visit again and again...


Exhibition History of the oil featured above:  The original oil snow landscape painting titled: Backyard Winter Glow, was shown at the  North Shore Arts Association Gallery Exhibit I  and can now be viewed by visiting and searching # : 1242270.

All text content is original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form - December 1, 2014

Signed American Oil Hommage Ala Palette de M. Gauguin
December 25, 2013 - 1:49 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed American Oil Hommage Ala Palette de M. GauguinI NEVER WENT TO TAHITI


Starting at around her mid to late teens a young woman was often heard to say, "I am afraid that my headstone will read, I Never Went to Tahiti".

Well, that is certainly not the case with M. Paul Gauguin, as he made two trips to Tahiti, his second when he left France for the last time in July 1895, dying at his island paradise alone on May 8, 1903.

During one of my coveted infrequent outings, while attempting to enjoy viewing various paintings at a gallery, one rep's voice was heard describing a painting, "... a cute one with all the crisp lines like an illustration..."  This from a young female who had just "done her walk of shame" certainly not demonstrating any crisp lines in her apparel.

Hearing her remarks caused a few questions to cross my mind.  How much could she possibly know about art history?  Still pondering...another thought came to me, "why...I have Neiman Marcus Christmas catalogs older than her."  My mental Qs continued...does she even paint?  No...her hands did not appear to have ever held a paint brush and judging from her askew 28 hour old eye make up, apparently more recently, not even a make up brush.  Tsk.  Tsk.

It was time to study a bit of art through the ages.  Bottecelli, Leonardo, Ingres, Bingham, Hopper, Okeeffe, Parrish, Wyeth to name just a few have been known to indulge in an occasional crisp line or two.  These painters were no slouches neither then nor now.

Monsieur Gauguin certainly laid down some crisp lines, at least after he left France and away from his fellow French painters of the late 19th century.  The Tahitian ladies in his later work even demonstrate black "cloisonne outlines".  

Yes, styles come and go.  The "painterly thing" can so often get out of control and then may be frequently overrated.  So what is wrong with a few crisp lines I ask.  Perhaps from time to time they may contribute to the comfort of that painter when often the only control to be had is at the end of a paint brush.

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  Dec 25, 2013

Signed American Oil O/C Landscape Painting Road
November 29, 2013 - 2:16 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American


Signed American Oil O/C Landscape Painting Road  

This has the makings of another 'when I was younger and fearless' account, made more poignant now that I am often afraid of my own shadow.

It is said that during his second European visit Marsden Hartley lamented, 'the farther away I travel from the New Mexico mountains the more they elude me...' or something along that vein.  This before he handily captured Dogtown Cape Ann depictions on numerous canvases without being tormented so.  Was this because this neck of the woods up East is less challenging to paint than that vastness out West?

Would that this had been the scene as in this painting when I found myself driving alone on NM 53 at or near 35* 2' N 108* 21' W, during a most treacherous, white knuckle drive that November night so long ago.

That devilish drive comes to mind on this November night without a single snowflake in sight here in New England, as New Mexico just got walloped with wild whiteout conditions that can occur as early as October and as late as May.  The images conjure up as if it were just yesterday.  

Starting out in the area where Billy the Kid is rumored to have died in hiding of old age, what should have been a 50 minute drive to Grants, turned into a 5 hour drive.  There were no villages nor towns along the way.  White all around me... nothing... nothing else... but darkness against all that maddening white.  Not a single street nor road light to break the dark night.  There on NM 53, visibility came to a screeching halt at hood's end, as the enormous fluffy snowflake clusters raced horizontally across into the windshield, mesmerizing me into an almost spellbound trance while I struggled to keep my wits about me and my car on that narrow desolate often windy road.

Panic was present and my temples pulsed knowing that the nearest telephone was 20 miles away.  No cell phone at my side.  Although a family member owned a Motorola mobile ala Miami Vice, I had to wait until the 80s to own my first mobile phone.  That night, there were no radio waves way out there in the darkness to keep me company.  

I was alone.

In my car was a camera loaded with what would be pictures of the Southeastern quadrant of the Northwestern quadrant of New Mexico.  Pictures that were meant to assist in what were to be hopefully, future paintings depicting the magnificent mountains of New Mexico.

The fastest speed possible was 10 - 15 MPH, slipping this way and that as I stared ahead whispering, 'five more miles... five more miles... five more miles'... knowing full well that it was more like 40 miles which included crossing the Continental Divide and attempting the wild curvy road up ahead around the Bandera Crater and Ice Caves.  Yes... that part of the road that many named...Dead Man's Curve.  Indeed it seemed so, especially that night in such a powerful snowstorm!

Not another single soul in sight the entire time.  I was alone.

Approaching and inching my way on Dead Man's Curve around the Ice Caves, I glanced nervously to the left of the road at the invisible nearby stretch of Zuni Mountains where Mike Todd crashed his plane, The Lucky Liz,  just over two decades before.  No consolation there.  I was determined to keep the car on the road.  I was not going to die there alone.  I was going to paint New Mexico someday.  Nov 28, 2013


Simply said most gemstones, precious and otherwise, are formed deep in the ground by extreme heat and pressure, yet often found on the surface after being expelled by volcanic forces or natural disruptions.  At the Bandera Crater and Ice Caves area, kids of all ages may just find amethysts, emeralds (while some red beryl in at least two mountain areas in the state), sapphires, topaz, obsidian, fossils and other natural stones to delight rockhounds of all ages.  Nowadays, bags of sand can be purchased so that kids can do some sluicing and just maybe bring a gem home to mom.

New Mexico, with its numerous ancient volcanic activity areas, can provide the rockhound plenty of opportunities to find gemstones of all types and colors to delight the jewelry collector in all of us.  

If hiking and a little spelunking makes the perfect holiday, then the area mentioned here could be just the ticket.  There have been some tourist friendly improvements made since my last visit, when all this non-outdoorsy girl could manage was a quick visit to the minty green cool ice cave and crater area, during a perfect summer day and not during the harrowing drive mentioned above!   December 1, 2013

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and many not be reproduced in any form.  Dec 1, 2013

EXHIBITION HISTORY:  This original oil painting titled Road Out West and another oil titled Out West II  were shown at the Reading Art Association 2014 Spring Art Exhibit and can now be viewed by going to and searching #: 1183868.

Signed Oil O/C American Painting Magnolia Tree
September 5, 2013 - 7:44 pm
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed Oil O/C American Painting Magnolia TreeLIFE INTERRUPTS LIFE

Signed Oil O/C American Painting Magnolia Tree  (<<<please click here to see new frame)

Just when you think that Spring is taking you on to a fine Summer.  Smack!  Snap! Crack!  Those are the sounds of breaking bones. 

In the Spring you can't miss it.  The magnificent magnolia in Methuen's Memorial Park, is just glorious as its blossoms burst out beckoning to be noticed, warning the passerby that the blossoms will soon be gone - just as in life - and that one may wait a long year to enjoy its majesty once again.  Alas, no painting could "do it justice."

This magnolia is in The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument Park in Methuen MA, an 1888 gift of Charles H. Tenney, who along with Nevins and Searles, "the three fathers of Methuen", built multitudes of monuments, "castles" and stone buildings during the turn of the last century that give this town its flavor.  Nearby stood the George Washington Monument by sculptor Thomas Ball commissioned by the eccentric Edward Francis Searles.  

In later years, with the Hopkins millions, he built for himself one heavily walled "castle" here and another one up the street in Salem, NH named for his family name.  

After his humble beginnings, the story goes that he did not relish living his life as a mill worker in any of the many mills that were built in town.  So, as a young man in the 1800s off went Searles to New York City to be an antiques dealer and designer.  During the course of his job, he met and later married the very rich much older widow Mary Frances Sherwood Hopkins of railroad fame.  She hired him to interior design her "Barrington cottage" in Western MA.  

Mrs Hopkins had the railroad money and he had the penchant for interesting decor, the perfect combination to fill the little mansions with some fine furnishings.  She proposed and he accepted.  How could he not?   

Together with her money they built and built.  At one time their property extended from here in Methuen MA across the state line up to North Salem, NH.  After a short four year marriage without issue, her death was fraught with whodunnits.  The widower later left the Hopkins millions to his unmarried "secretary", Arthur Walker.  Those grey stone walls can still be seen about on both sides of the state line.  

The George Washington statue was sold to make room for a building, a decision this town must still surely regret, and now stands far away in Forest Lawn Cemetery in CA.  How Searles turns in his nearby grave!   Seen in the background is the First Congregational Church which boasts a fine expansive stain glass window by John LaFarge.  It was rebuilt in the 19th century, still  with a cornerstone dated 1689.  There, across the street,  you will find the magnificent magnolia which for some may possibly remain a beacon to a better day.

Creative license was taken by not including telephone poles, sidewalks, crosswalks, parking signs, a fire hydrant, a cannon, headstone, etc. allowing more nature and stonework.

EXHIBIT HISTORY:   This original oil titled: Magnolia was shown at RAA - Reading MA - Spring Show and Sale - 15

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  September 2013

Signed Oil O/C Landscape Painting, 3, Bluebonnets
May 17, 2013 - 11:32 pm
New Century : Paintings

Signed Oil O/C Landscape Painting, 3, BluebonnetsMISSING LUPINUS TEXENSIS IN NEW ENGLAND

What is the point of painting if one is not to indulge one's imagination from time to time, I ask.  

The mad race commences in mid March. much as a race can be when accompanied by a cane, not age but a missing right ACL, to the snow covered bulb garden anxiously awaiting the oh so short-lived appearance of the "Purple Gem" Dutch Iris Reticulata, a native of the Caucasus Mountains.  It produces a top heavy bloom that is larger than the plant stem.  Of over 1000 bulbs I planted over a decade ago, this teenie "good news early bird" can make many a winter weary heart sing!  

So bravely and in such a cheeky manner, pushing and straining its tiny 4 - 6" stature through the snow at or around Saint Patrick's Day, often beating the neighboring Early Snow Glories (chionodoxa forbesii) and Early Snow Drops (galanthus woronowii) and even before The Giant Crocus, followed by the perky Blue Grape Hyacinth (muscari armeniacum).  Aaaah those sweet little muscari...that when I squint my eyes...I pretend they are teenie tiny Lupinus Texensis... my beloved Texas bluebonnets!

Doting over a half dozen Phalaenopsis indoors during the winter, tides one over until the Iris Reticulata arrives in the March New England garden, followed by a multitude of other colorful bulbs, including the sea of sweet Lilly of the Valley and later the oh so expressive Arum Italicum.  Dicentra dancing in the breeze, the Vinca Minor under the Azaleas and Anemones everywhere.  Wood Hyacinths too and here come five Peonies with all those pesky ants, followed by a multitude of still more colorful lilles.  Still...every spring, after all these heart yearns for the sight of Texas bluebonnets!

Waving my brushes, as if Merlin, wishing millions of bluebonnets to appear, to march no matter how unlikely to my doorstep...

Flowers: They have been seen in paintings and jewelry as symbols since humans began to express themselves.  That is after the documenting of game on cave walls became the passing rave and yesterday's fad.   Then womanhood began to decorate!   You but have to search: flower.  Flowers everywhere!  Here at Trocadero 3683 items will appear.  The Victorians and their language of flowers...books have been written on the subject.  Button collectors can tell you about them too.

Now to the generic iris - not my sweet reticulata- the artist Philip Hermojenes Calderon, an English painter of French birth, painted an iris in his 1856 and third work Broken Vows as he patterned the painting symbolic styles of the Preraphaelite artists.  An ancient belief is that the iris delivers a warning to be marked, as it was named for the messenger of Olympus.  It also punctuates images of hushed grief for girls led into the hereafter.  It is also the Fleur - de - Lis emblem of France.  As time goes on, other meanings may be attached to it.

Oh those orchids...who but Heade could paint an orchid?  Remember the Antiques Road Show episode of the lady who found one in her Boston area home?  A family member of mine knew her to be quite happy with that find!  Orchids are everywhere these days, in pots and on canvas.  Painting orchids my way, has been a joy as well.

No sense in competing with, nor trying to imitate Mother Nature...enter the camera...when I can paint it just the way I like it.

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  May 2013

Signed Mini Oil Landscape Painting 4 Beach Boat Birches
April 18, 2013 - 9:29 pm
New Century : Paintings

Signed Mini Oil Landscape Painting 4 Beach Boat BirchesTO PAINT OR NOT TO PAINT ON CANVAS BOARD

The interesting outcome about being self learned, is that one may often miss key experiences along the way.

My first two self learned oil paintings were completed on what were for me ambitious 19 3/4" X 15 5/8" size wooden panels that I prepared with coats of gesso.  Why not...wood is good yes?  The next several were painted on stretched canvases of varying sizes.

After moving on from wooden panels to stretched canvas, all was going fine... then an art critic or appraiser on some show was heard to say that painting on canvasboard was a "no no"!  Horrors!  Why, they were only for students to dabble.  If this is so, has this sentiment caused or will it encourage art dealers to refrain from using "canvas board" in describing their inventory?  Will they state "board" generically to avoid the negative?  Will one ever know what kind of board was used?  It seems, not all boards are created equally.

Confusion arises...have not many decades old canvasboard paintings been priced and sold for thousands?  The appraiser continued with,  'canvas board paintings were undesirable and serious art collectors would steer away from them.'   Really?

Well... ladies and gents... Not quite aspiring to be a contrarian nor wishing to miss out on that joyful experience of applying oils onto humble canvasboards, several were ordered and I began to paint on them with such a passion, that the results went from larger oils on wood and stretched canvas to many small CBs!  Still... wishing to provide archival results for the collector, they have since been mounted on the highest quality non-warping archival hardboard panels.  Check that off the list...there...tis done!

While painting on those firmer CB surfaces, it was rediscovered that they, like wooden panels, still offers the painter a safer support to pursue, and that making one's own surfaces by cutting and laying or mounting canvas onto archival non warping hardboards can give some painters the preferred safer-feeling less yielding surface.  Still enjoying the give and take of some stretched canvases, 100% Belgian linen on archival nonwarping hardboard has become my newest fave.

A bit of history:  Long before the 19th century landscape painters had pre-made tubes of paint for their en plein air work,  they made use of the more portable watercolor sketches for color reference notes that they would then bring back to their studios, before attempting the larger oil paintings.  Once commercial tubed pigments became available and they could paint their oils outdoors, watercolors almost went out of fashion for them.  It is for this reason, that for years their watercolors were not valued nor considered completed paintings and would often fetch less at auctions and galleries.  Of course, it is known that watercolors can be a difficult medium for some and that they can sell in the thousands of dollars.  Good for WCs!  They too have earned their bona fide place in the art world.

Coming back to the present, after having painted acrylics and watercolors which were too comfortable for me, the more demanding oils are still my fave.  While not having a choice attempting to paint alone and without instruction, this can produce maddening lacrimal events...oh yes...enough to chop off one's ponytail in utter frustration; there is still a certain, delicious, languid feel of the oil between the surface and the brush...

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  April 2013

Antique Canio Metal Picture Button PARIS A P & Cie
April 18, 2013 - 7:48 pm
Antiques : Decorative Art : Metals : Brass


What are one of the oldest most antique items to collect?

We come upon Adam and Eve who are just seen tip-toeing, looking side to side, darting from behind one bush to another trying to hide.  They have just been kicked out of paradise with only a fig leaf to their names and no way to keep it on!

What would you say is one of the most antique items that man had to make first?  A fastener for the fig leaf or a weapon to bring down game?

Fellas, the answer is quite obvious.  You just know Miss Eve batted her eyelashes and began something like this, "Adam darlin', please make me something really cute to keep this on.  I can not be seen traipsing around in this old thing falling off around my ankles.  I'll be the laughing stock!  Make me something really stylish, pleeeeeze.  Besides, look at need to protect yourself from those nasty brambles!"  Yikes!

He may have tried to counter with something like, 'First things first Eve, I have to kill something to eat'.  She would bat them again, argue and cajole with, 'Who needs food?  I gotta hide these hips...does this make me look fat?'

Please, stay with me and indulge my daily daydreaming:  The Design House of Adam was born!

A Bit of History:  Buttons or fasteners have been made for various purposes these last 4600 years as they have been found at bronze age sites in Europe and Asia.  The earliest ones were most likely made from bones and old clam shells and although the first may have been used as seals, their ornamental value was to follow into the Renaissance Era.

Every possible material has been used to make buttons: most shells, pearls, ivory, horsehair, coconut, papier mache, gutta percha, gems, glass, cut steel, metals both precious and otherwise, woods, ceramics, fabric, all manner of synthetic or man made materials such as bakelite, lucite, celluloid, cinnabar; they were painted, enameled, stamped, engraved, pressed, hammered and the never ending list goes on.

As with jewelry, they too were made by artisans who employed the same jewelry making techniques to embellish and to demonstrate self expression.  Makers looked to the visual arts for inspiration which included those used in the making of sculpture, ceramics, metalworking, painting, weaving, filigree, intaglio, passemeterie, miniature portraits, Satsuma ware, to name so few.  It would take a book to explain...  Oh wait...someone else has already done so.  The BBB!

All images and text content solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  April 2013

Signed Oil Linen Painting Landscape Birches Lake Boat
March 8, 2013 - 3:07 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed Oil Linen Painting Landscape Birches Lake BoatMILDLY AGORAPHOBIC AUTODIDACT MISSES "THE MONK" --- AGAIN

Signed Oil Linen Painting Landscape Birches Lake Boat  (Please click here to see updated results)

The cold wet gloomy New England winter day could not keep this near recluse away from a "date" with The Monk, the object of my first love affair with one of the 19th century American landscape painters.  

Because of that painting, the Americans, the tonalists and the Hudson River Valley landscape painters became alive to me.   Sadly, not having had a formal art education, silly me I thought the 19th century belonged solely to the well celebrated European painters.   Who knew?

Even the best of days can be filled with anxious moments for someone who does not relish venturing out, but this was really special...worth tackling a few phobias...finally a long awaited feast for my eyes. He was due to be on display only for a few more days, not to be seen again until who knows when!  

Only my favorite fiber art - by moi - ensemble, careful maquillage, leopard print cane assist with my right missing ACL... and a hat would do.  You'd think I was having tea with the Queen. It was time to muster up the most energy possible to visit the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Andover Academy.  

This little gem of a museum of American Art, which owns thousands of works, is a delicious cozy place to visit and view at one time or another works by Eakins, Copley, Homer, Church, Bierstadt, Durand, Bellows, Calder, Nagy, Cassatt, Cropsey, Whistler, Marin, Sloan, Heade, O'Keeffe, Dove, Hartley, La Farge, Hopper, Sargent, Thayer and Stella, to name just a few.  

At long last George Inness's moody tonalist landscape was mine to see.   Aaah...the mystery and "the why" to discover...

There is nothing American about the painting, in fact it is set in Italy and painted during Inness's second visit to Europe, but it was painted by an American.  That is what most matters to me.  Feeling just plain giddy, I could not wait to get up to The Addison's home collection where he has been displayed, depending on tours, since he was acquired in 1956. Then a tall gentleman with a British accent approached us and said, 'I am sorry but The Monk is not here...'.  

What...but the website said so and the museum's brochure said so.  I whispered excitedly,  'Oh no...not again!   Where is he out on loan again?'   He carefully added, 'well he is here, just not here on display'.   Imagine, a grown woman feeling like a disappointed kid again, wondering when will I want to get out again?  My disheartened look was evident.  It was time to regain some composure already... with a sigh...followed by a quick smile and...'well then, I shall drown my sorrows in a cup of hot tea!'

As it turned out, it was a cup of hot cocoa and a deadly heavenly doughnut that did the trick.

Later, still sorry that viewing the elusive painting was not to be, the paint brushes danced with the oils on my palette producing this WIP, a place to ponder, to visit, to hope and wonder when...when.  Colorful, some solace, and a complete contradiction of the moody tonalist capture in The Monk.  Until we finally meet...

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  March 2013

EXHIBITION HISTORY:  This and two other oil on linen paintings were exhibited at the Reading Art Assn 2013 Fall Show and Sale and can now be viewed by going to and searching: #1191173 to see it framed with changes.

Signed Oil OC Painting Casa Grande Vermejo Park NM
February 16, 2013 - 2:55 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed Oil OC Painting Casa Grande Vermejo Park NMTHE JOCULAR BONE HAS GONE MISSING - - - AGAIN

Nothing like a couple of weeks of blizzard prognosticating migraines to throw the jocular bone out of joint.   A few years ago I mentioned to a therapist friend how I preferred to avoid people unless my perky, peppy, funny self was at its best.  Why expose them to less?  

She asked, 'why do you always have the need to make others laugh'?   The reply was mumbling something about it being a good question for a therapist...  Besides, when my store was still open, my clients depended on leaving happier than when they arrived!

As a child, besides drawing bejeweled evening gowns, I liked cubes, boxes and houses, leading a teacher to wonder, 'ahhh a future architect perhaps'?   Some houses appeared in my dreams, and on paper but not even with the proverbial stick people that kids are known to draw.  Kinda odd since the company of others was very enjoyable and a shy child I was not! people with the houses...there's another one for analysis...

This house:   This is a partial view of Casa Grande from an arch of the Casa Minor, or the other way around, located at Vermejo Park Ranch Raton, NM.  If memory serves me correctly, during one of my stays at Casa Minor, I was told that these grand old homes did not have built in kitchens in order to avoid a repeat of a fire that had destroyed one of the mansions.   All guests dined in a separate main dining hall building.  Improvements, renovations, and new buildings have since been erected to modernize them and make current guests more comfortable, as the rates now show it!

The living room at the then - not available for public view -  Casa Grande was quite "grande".  Leggy  for a 5' 3" gal, I pace measured the Persian rug in the center of the large room and remember it to be 20 - 24 paces.  There were still at least 6 feet around the "grande" rug.  Many, many sofas and ivory color wooden chairs upholstered in an ivory golden striped silken fabric could be found among the huge marble based floor lamps.  In the center of one of the living room's sitting areas you would find a large square blue ottoman with several ivory, blue and russet pillows piled in the center of it.  This ottoman could have comfortably accommodated several seated people.

The Casa Grande was not "rented out to paying guests", but available only for the Pennzoil executives' personal use.  I have photos of the old bath tubs that were fitted with sterling or heavily silver plated handles.

One of the earlier Vermejo Ranch owners was a William Bartlett who was said to have cornered the wheat market in the late 1890s.  Will have to find my notes on the buying and selling history to continue.

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.   February 2013

Signed Studio Sterling Bracelet Cuff Purple Goldstone
January 27, 2013 - 5:12 am
Artists : Jewelry

Signed Studio Sterling Bracelet Cuff Purple Goldstone


Okay so no monk was harmed in the making of this signed studio sterling cuff bracelet, but it has been said that an accident resulted in the making of aventurine glass or goldstone in Venice during the 17th century.

Rumor has it that a monk carrying a container of copper shavings, stumbled forward casting the copper shavings onto a vat of molten glass while working in a Venice factory.  My imagination conjures up that maybe the poor fellow had interned at a wine making factory earlier that day, then later while moonlighting at a glass factory, he was feeling the glow... he began to dance...he lost his footing.  oops

Lucky for antique jewelry lovers, the man made copper color aventurine art glass stones were cut, faceted and used early in the 19th century as a glittery base for Venetian micromosaic flower jewelry, made as only the Italians did and still make.  The Victorians loved this sparkly glass in their personal adornments as well as in buttons, cufflinks, fobs, etc.  The best and oldest display a deeply saturated sparkly effect.

The original was copper color, but now one can enjoy blue, purple and even green "goldstone".   Although a guarded secret, as to the process, it is said that copper is used to make the coppery color glass, cobalt to make the blue, manganese for the purple and chromium oxides to make the green ones.  The purple glass when used for Russian made pieces is often called purpurine.

All yummy and real sparkly.  Some more than others.  Why is that?  As the molten glass crystallizes and hardens, the center of the mass or batch has the most sparkles, while the outer portions less so and may even have unattractive veins.  Horrors!  It is broken up and "cut" or made into beads, sash pins, bracelets, figurines, and even remelted to make canes for glass bead makers.

Now...when this fabulous sparkly art glass meets signed studio sterling metalwork, well... you get magic...

To view antique jewelry or buttons (some Paris back) please search: goldstone.  Then view often each and every image, as there may be multiple items per listing, added weekly.  The best and oldest from 1830s show a deeply saturated sparkler effect.   

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.   January 2013

Signed Oil O/C Painting Landscape In Bison Enclosure
January 18, 2013 - 6:31 am
Fine Art : Paintings : Oil : N. America : American

Signed Oil O/C Painting Landscape In Bison EnclosureWHY DANCE WITH WOLVES WHEN YOU CAN ROAM WITH BUFFALO

Kevin may have danced with wolves, however I roamed with buffalo - but not in the buff - at Vermejo Park Ranch in Raton NM.  Take your boots off, pour yourself a tall one, cause this could be a long one.

Half a lifetime ago, younger and fearless, I convinced a Pennzoil Co. VP, who was then this ranch's operations officer, to allow me entrance into the multi acre enclosure so that I could pose with the buffalo.   The 12 foot or so tall fence post enclosure, which housed about 27 bison, just would not look good in my photos!

He was nervous and looking paler than pale as he unlocked the gate, but what could he do?  I was a repeat paying guest, which at that time was a paltry $150 single per night, these days more than thrice that since the media mogul current owner has had to update the retreat ranch's accomodations.  The anxious short wait ended when a thunderous sound was heard and a cloud of dust began to form miles away as far as the eye could see.   The closer they got...the louder the hoofs...the paler the VP got.   Poor guy!  

There they were, "mammoth" bison, the big bull always placing himself between me and the cows.  Like a 5' 3" female could harm them!  When it looked like my guide could have a myocardial infarction, I put him out of his misery and asked, 'okay, did you get any good pictures?'   That herd probably consisted of the great, grand sires of bison served today at a famous grill owned by a media mogul and current owner of the ranch.

VERMEJO PARK RANCH located in Northeast Colfax County, New Mexico is more than half the size of Rhode Island.  At one time it had well over 1.4 million acres made up in part of an 1840s Spanish/Mexican land grant which through marriage to the orginal grant's co-recepient's daughter, ended up in the hands of Lucien B Maxwell, thus changing the name to the Maxwell Land Grant while adding significantly to its acreage.  The original, slightly smaller acreage had been named the Miranda Beaubien Land Grant.  Marriages, wars and later interesting ownerships helped shape this magnificent ranch's history.

Lucien Maxwell's daughter Paulita was known to have "kept company" with Billy the Kid, a charming orphaned rogue fluent in Spanish, and a friend of her brother Pedro Maxwell, who in turn was not quite his "friend" and may have been the one who told Sheriff Pat Garett where to find The Kid.

When Pennzoil Co owned it and the ranch was up for sale for about $70 Million, I had the distinct pleasure of being allowed access to the Casa Grande, to take notes and pictures, knowing somehow that one day paintings and musings would result from my visits.  Since the late 1990s, the Casa Grande has been a private residence of Mr. Ted Turner when he acquired the splendid nature retreat.  Twenty years later one can only imagine how much he paid Pennzoil Co for the ranch!  Tis late, shall continue at a later time or on another blog about this ranch...

PS: I couldn't resist, please enter my imagination repository:  Don't the three bison on the left look like they are discussing, 'shall we squash her like a bug, or do think she's going to feed us?'   A straggler, 'what's going the food here yet?'   While the one leaving on the right as if saying, 'move along...nothing to see here...'

Please keep in mind that there are not many bison roaming here in New England, leaving me to memory, poorly taken instamatic produced photos and quick sketches for reference.  PS, the hair reeeeally looked like that and was often mistaken for a wig!  Not a hair out of place.

That shirt is the only western shirt worn by moi and it took me more than 8 hours to finish pearl snap buttons and all, using a Vogue pattern no less!  No Simplicity pattern for this gal!

All images design concept content text are original and solely owned  by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  January 2013

Vintage Signed Peruzzi Sterling Silver Bracelet Ring
December 30, 2012 - 4:20 am
Vintage Arts : Decorative Art : Jewelry

Vintage Signed Peruzzi Sterling Silver Bracelet RingPERUZZI PARENTI CINI SILVERSMITHS BOSTON BOUND

Sing with me please: 

Don't know much about Peruzzi his-toe-ree

Can't tell you much about Cini his-toe-ree

Know even less about Parenti his-toe-ree....

Get the picture?  Even after years of collecting and selling dozens of the above named silversmiths' fabulous silver jewelry, sometimes I feel as if less is known or at least have become more befuddled the more I read about or try to research their history and work.  However, more often than not, I can quickly identify one or the other correctly.  They are all known to have left Italy in the 20s and 30s and settled in Boston where they produced their fabulous silver work.  It is only by holding and examining their work, or that erroneously attributed to them, does one hope to expand our wealth of knowledge, so the search continues.

PERUZZI:  Gino M., opened and operated the Peruzzi Jewel Shop - 252 Boylston St. - Boston, MA - Tel: KEN -2822 somewhere around the early 30's, then was said to have sold his business to Aldo Fioravanti in 1945, who then closed up shop in the early 80s.  

The demi parure shown here was selected because it is the least likely to resemble his work most familiar to us, looking more like Hobe as in the multi layer rose buds, yet it is simply stamped: PERUZZI while the ring is stamped: HANDMADE STERLING.  That just adds to the confusion when one considers that there have been hundreds of erroneous comments on the net by vendors who say 'he moved his shop from Florence to Boston'.  Rubbish!  The other Peruzzi branch, if even related at all, had been merrily making fab 800 silver work as well for several generations up into this century in Florence. More on them later.  Some vendors, to add to the confusion, even indiscriminately used the first name of one man and used it with the last name of the other!  

Back to Gino.  His sterling pieces were sometimes theatrical with renaissance, mythology infused motifs (but so were Cini's and Parenti's in Boston, oh no more confusion), dragons, putti, horses, crosses, works with pierced jadeite and interesting custom pieces. They are often marked: PERUZZI BOSTON or on a triangle shape mark with his last name and what looks like a Fleur de Lis.  Hmmm.  Isn't the Fleur de Lis on the Florence made boxes....?  Some of his work resembled some of the Florence work, so maybe there was a familial influence...

The bracelet ring set pictured here has little of what is seen on his other pieces.  Except maybe the big leaf seen on other work by same and the ribboned bow which has been seen on 800 Florence work and on USA Parenti work.  This is one of the most labor intensive work of all the several dozen pieces examined by this set of eyes.  Why, each station has approximately 50 applied pieces.  Five stations, not counting the links, plus the ring is starting to look like more than 300 applied pieces in all!  Seen are the Hobe-like small double layer flowers with a ball center.  Could this have been made after he sold to Fioravanti?  Is the later work looking more like Hobe?  Was there a cross over in styling?  With a Peruzzi in Boston, the others in Florence, Cini and Parenti in Boston all working in similar fashion, can you see how confusion can arise, or is it just me?  Then throw in a little Hobe-like accents and one may have the making of a life long study in futility.  

A collector at has shared that he and his bride had their rings "made there in Boston" in the 50s and he added that Cini, (oh no more confusion because Cini moved to California in 1957 and made jewelry there with several different marks - I preferring his earliest Boston shield mark), 'moved his shop next door to the Peruzzi shop' and competed agressively with him and his designs or the new owner's perhaps.  Fortunately for the collector, that may explain why both have produced big, wild, unusual pieces.  Some of the same motifs show up on both and for that matter on Parenti's work.  Whew...more on them later, I hope.  Will continue this at a later date and more infomation may be added as more is discovered.

In the meantime, you are invited to examine all 3 silversmiths' works, to view, to collect the available pieces and to study those which have already been collected by clicking the link just above this image that reads:  Vintage Arts: Decorative Art:  Jewelry or by going to, clicking past the homepage to first catalog page, look to mid left and click: Vintage Arts: Decorative Art.

All images and text content which is original are solely owned by MImi Dee.  December 30, 2012

Sterling Cut Steel Antique Button Necklace Earring Set
December 25, 2012 - 5:43 am
Popular Collectibles

Sterling Cut Steel Antique Button Necklace Earring SetCUT STEEL JEWELRY AND BUTTONS THEN AND NOW

Steel has been around since the flood, well maybe not quite, but had it been so, you know Mrs. N would have said, "Noah darlin' put down those ducks, and don't forget to pack my 2 pair of steel earrings!"

Steel jewelry has been found to have been made as early as the 1500s.  During the Mid Georgian Period, it celebrated great popularity because that highly polished, faceted work was made to mirror, pardon the pun, the reflection of diamonds, although not as sparkly. It is for this reason that Victorians deemed it more acceptable for daytime wear.  Its collectible popularity continues today.  The current low-cost mass production, as precious metals' prices continue to rise, allows little imagination and exclusivity in design.

Both England and France contributed perhaps the finest examples.  Not all of it is equal and neither are all antique steel buttons created equally.  One has to but look at books or visit an antiques mall like Trocadero and search "cut steel"  to study simply sublime examples of this early to late Victorian highly coveted jewelry.  The currently, mass-produced necklaces and earrings, not so much.  Just as with those magnet reactive "gems" of old, the same expertise, time and care was taken to produce these buttons.

Buttons:  They too, followed the same popular production periods, for are they not ornaments as well?  They of course, carry the dual purpose of form and function.  How to date:  The earliest cut steel rivets had 15 facets, later 12 (as in the case here) and later still into the 20th century with factory methods making the push, the rivets no longer had to be individually cut and polished but stamped out in sheets!  Horrors!  Still some fine work continued.

Through the ages buttons have been made in any shape, from any material possible and with as many motifs as the mind allows.  That is the beauty and popularity of button collecting.   Besides other materials, there is so much to choose as cut steel was riveted through pearl, horn, wood, glass, brass, more steel, well you get the picture. You can collect them, hoard them, place them on cards, compete at conventions, wear them on clothing, have them made into jewelry; here this purist leaves them intact.  Back full circle to my earlier pieces...

Show them off as personal adornments or remove them from their modern sterling silver or golden frames and put them back on cards. Guilt free wear!  Somewhere along the line I took the button hippocratic oath.  Listen carefully... out there somewhere...sighs of relief can be heard from NBS conservation devotees!

PS: Hopefully in the coming months several hundred pieces, that have never seen the internet light of day as they were boxed for decades, will be made available and shared with new and seasoned collectors.

All images design content text are original and solely owned by Mimi Dee and may not be reproduced in any form.  December 2012.