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Experts like Sayles Livingston do Wedding Flowers Best

Tending to flowers, for some, conjures up visions of ease and leisure, grace, a slowed-pace, and long summer evenings spent arranging freshly cut roses while a cold glass of iced tea waits sweetly on the porch. Gardens can provide a relaxing pastime for amateurs and experts alike, but lets face it, when it comes to weeds, dirty fingernails, and scrawny perennials, they can send others running for the hills. And, when it comes to thinking about wedding flowers, it’s a whole different can of worms. Brides especially have a lot on their plate and little spare time for wistful days planting or planning bouquets. Tending to wedding flowers, then, becomes an expert’s job.

Sayles Livingston, the mother of Sayles Livingston Floral Design based in Tiverton Four Corners is an expert. She’s been sourcing and snipping bright, lush, and simply beautiful bouquets for weddings for over 20 years. Surrounded by wood-planked ceilings and tubs full of peonies, she laughs when recalling her own wedding; “It was sort of silly. I probably should have been mingling with guests,” she recalls. Instead she was busy tending to the flowers. That’s because flowers seem to be part of her being, Sayles Livingston is pretty serious about gorgeous flowers.

Arranging the flowers for her own wedding happened about the same time her expert eye and artistic compositions were beginning to draw crowds. While studying for a Masters in Plant Science at URI, Sayles’ home garden made an impression on her landlord who asked Sayles to arrange flowers for his daughter’s wedding. She began working out of her home as word spread about the outstanding arrangements. An outpouring of wedding offers ensued, and Sayles Livingston Flowers was born.

Twenty years after a stunning backyard garden awarded her with her first wedding gig, Sayles has opened her own shop in Tiverton and is receiving her fair share of publicity, appearing in high profile magazines like Vogue and Grace Ormonde. Most recently, her unique and glamorous flower-made flower girl dresses appeared in an article in the Huffington Post, but she doesn’t let the fame get to her head. A talk with Sayles is as relaxing as some might find the job of tending to the garden. A calm and cool Sayles is reassuring and confident about her work, bringing the stress of wedding planning all the way down to earth. That’s what keeps clients coming, she says.

The style of her arrangements is just as organic and even more enchanting, a perfect match to the beautiful rural location her Tiverton Four Corners shop. There, a generous range of work and repertoire of special events are on display in her loft space and give brides plenty of ideas to work with. Sayles and her homegrown team also provide full-service event design. Everything from linens to light fixtures can be coordinated into something spectacular.

With 20 years under her belt Sayles knows a thing or two about weddings and encourages brides to be choosy about selecting a floral designer; “Choose someone who will provide you with confidence, and then let the people who know what they’re doing do what they do best,” she says. Faith in your flowers means you have time to relax, mingle, and admire the beauty of one of the most important days, your wedding day. Sayles invites brides to come and meet her in the shop to see her work, get a sense of her style, and more importantly talk about the dirt of wedding flowers.

Learn more about Sayles Livingston Flowers at www.sayleslivingstonflowers.com.

Sunkissed Studio Makes its Debut

How does a painter paint, and paint well? What are the methods, the tricks, and techniques? These were questions answered for Libby Manchester Gilpatric–lover of light, contrast, and color– when she dove into an inspiring academic career at Lyme Academy.  Before then she had been an avid calligrapher and dabbled in watercolors, but it wasn’t until her move to New England that she endeavored to fulfill her dream of becoming a skilled oil painter. Learning under precise and diligent “American masters” she accomplished something great: a wealth of oil paintings, numerous awards, and now, her own studio in Tiverton Four Corners.

The small second-floor room on the corner of Main Road is a place of wonder. Cultured, gentle, and sultry, her realist paintings live on hand-stretched linen canvases bringing a home to spirited scenes from her imagination. Having traveled widely in her career and lifetime landscapes dominate her inspiration although, for Libby, subjects are always the most interesting. “I love to paint figures, it’s always based on something real for me,” she says. In her studio overlooking the small village you will discover a world of fishermen, hydrangeas, bedrooms, and corn fields. Her paintings range in size and appear in galleries around the state. Most recently, her work has received the worthy title “Best in Show” at the Little Compton Art Show.

Of all painting practices mastered and spontaneous, the most tantalizing for Gilpatric is the color play. As she explains, fundamental oil painting technique limits the painter to four or so colors, the basic earth tones found in nature. “I love mixing color, I find it very satisfying to mix those colors and see how many you can make.” One look at Gilpatric’s studio and you will realize her success: a world of colors dark, deep, rich, light, fresh, fragrant, and wonderful.

“Oil paintings go through transitions; the coloring acts differently and you can’t always control exactly how it will change overtime; It’s so forgiving.”

Now beginning her own artistic transformation, Libby has the pleasure of working with the most natural light in her studio career at this new Tiverton setting. “This is the purest light you can get,” she says motioning toward the natural light pouring from not two, but three large windows around the room. After spending the first weeks setting up the studio, she it ready to get to work, and visitors can be sure with this potent mixture of unblended light, experienced passion, and oil painting prowess they will find exceptional works of art here.

Libby is a member of the SouthCoast Artists Group. You can visit her in the studio at 3879 Main Rd. in Tiverton Four Corners anytime, or stop by her website or Facebook page for updates on her work. Libby is also offering private art lessons, call her at 401-440-3974 to make an appointment.

 

Through the Lens of an Artist

In this age of digital sharing it seems just about anyone can call themselves a photographer, but only a selective few of these camera-savvy folk stand out as true artists. As Sally Swart of Cantin Photography knows all too well, capturing beautiful images takes more than the just right camera or equipment.

Her canvas-printed, mantelpiece-quality portrait shots are instead a product of her vision and artistic process, “I use photography as my palette, the camera is secondary,” says Swart amidst the warmth of her Tiverton Four Corners studio. One meeting with Sally Swart and her passion for photography comes to light, mostly through her exuberant and sometimes eccentric personality, but more deeply through a genuinely heartfelt devotion to making a portrait shot into a masterpiece.

According to Swart, there is a method to her masterpieces, and the first step: getting to know you. “Portraits tell stories, pictures do not. If I’m going to photograph them, I have to get to know them first,” she says; making heirlooms is no easy business after all. But to clients that frequent Swart’s studio the experience is a breeze. Either she spends the day with you and your family, or an hour with you in the studio, but either way Swart shared with us how personalizing the experience is one of her most precious tricks of the trade. After a session, the magic comes through the combinations, blending the right canvas and colors to make a beautiful portraits.

 

For Swart the country setting for her studio in Tiverton Four Corners was an obvious choice; it offers a “wonderful location for photography,” and sits central to the big cities of Newport, Providence, and Boston. Big city appeal and small town feel and service make her perfect neighbors to the 20 surrounding shops in the modern village each sharing a similar respect for the beauty of land and it’s people.

And Sally Swart knows something beautiful when she sees it. Swart started out photographing while sailing on the water where she met her husband. Her business has unfolded as Swart’s own life has evolved.. from sailboats to weddings, weddings to families, families to pets. She has won numerous awards for her portraiture and is a member of the Professional Photographers of America while proudly holding the title Master Photographer, and Master Craftsman. We’re not surprised.

“Everything is a metamorphosis” says Swart looking through a group of new shots for her next project: a book of portraiture from her travels to Africa, something else spectacular to look forward to from Cantin Photography. To learn more about Sally Swart and how you can get an appointment at her countryside studio call Sally at 401-624-4777 or visit her online at www.cantinphoto.com.

 

Summer is prettier on The Farm

A new corner stop is making summer just a little more beautiful in Tiverton Four Corners. It’s an outdoor agriculture center called, The Farm and it’s run by Peggy Siebrandt and Gayla Gibbons. The two women have lovingly flattered a once vacant lot with lavender, roses, shrubs, and an array of freshly cut flowers. “It’s been my dream,” says Peggy glancing at the land that stretches back into her farmhouse hidden on the hill. The Farm wraps around a small country shred decorated with foxglove and rose shrubs. 

Though just off the main road, this little oasis keeps you blissfully surrounded by fragrant florals wherever you wander on the stone path. The desire to create beautiful spaces like this one has been long-time goal for Peggy; after a career in hospitality, she cooperated to open The Chandler in Newport, Rhode Island where she soon became enchanted with the sweet solitude of nearby-Tiverton’s back roads. “This is more my speed,” says Peggy who grew up on a farm in Nebraska. Now she’s opened her backyard to visitors with the same hospitality-driven mindset, an artful eye for beauty, and now, a green thumb. Neighbors are thanking Peggy for the tasteful and graceful face-lift to the corner lot.

As for the name, The Farm, Peggy says that’s been her go-to phrase for years, it’s where she’s always gone back to, and where she’s always came from. Don’t miss your chance to stop by The Farm, just across from Milk and Honey Bazzaar on Main Rd, for gardening advice, landscape planning, or a fresh walk in a countryside garden.

The pace here is as leisurely as a warm summer day.

K Lovell a New Town Favorite

Surrounded by paint and inspired by nature, Kathrine Lovell has created a unique space to honor the two in her bright and open gallery in Tiverton Four Corners. Here you will find clean and contemporary works, a bold fusion of the graceful natural world and sharp geometric slices of color. 

Kathrine moved her studio to Four Corners from Barrington last year after becoming enchanted with the “amazingly supportive” artistic community along the south coast– or FarmCoast— region. Her rustic studio overlooking Tiverton farmland is also a perk. Katherine quickly became an active participant in this arts community, taking her place as a member of the T4C Merchants Association and bountiful group of South Coast Artists. She organized a new showing of art at the Tiverton Four Corners Grower’s Markets so that visitors can preview of the work of one SCAs while filling bags with local veggies. 

But mostly since she’s been here she’s been painting. Captivated by the subjective way we  see, her work is an energized interpretation nature. “We don’t see nature by itself anymore,” she says, referring to the many filters humans extend onto the natural world; whether it’s experience, technology, buildings, or cityscapes the geometric patterns represent this human influence. Even so, Kathrine’s generously sized acrylic and watercolor works portray a fruitful world in the midst of our meddling. Kathrine graduated from RISD with a BFA in painting and a rich resume of teaching art to all ages. She hopes to share this passion with the Four Corners community and beyond.

We are looking forward to some wonderful nature-inspired works this fall with Kathrine’s bird series, Birds of a Feather, beginning September 8th through the 22nd. This exhibit will include a smattering of local artists and their renditions of “Birds of a Feather.” A portion of all proceeds will benefit the Tiverton Land Trust. If you have a painting or collection you’d like to exhibit contact Kathrine at www.kathrinelovell.com.

Art is sprouting up in Tiverton like our summer gardens and we couldn’t be more pleased. 

Studio by the Sea is a Coastal Gem

A sparkling glass pendant known as the Fleur de Moi is jeweler Peter Tirpaeck’s latest project, but it’s certainly not his only one. A steady stream of work finds this established jeweler in his new studio in Tiverton Four Corners, where he custom designs men’s and women’s jewelry and fashion accessories while repairing, cleaning, and re-purposing old jewelry-box gems.

Miles above mall-store quality, you won’t ever find two of the same things here, “I make it better,” says Peter, and a well-trained eye would agree. Everything at Studio by the Sea is custom made in the shop in a wide range of styles, sizes, and volume.  An exquisite spacial, dimensional, and almost hypnotic quality to his work no doubt stems from his unique life perspective and a reflective mentality; “I like to go into another dimension” says Peter. He studied at RISD, and the Gemological Institute of America, but according to Peter, his greatest influence has been the multitude of artists he’s observed and absorbed. You can’t make it all up by yourself,” he says of his inspirations, “you’re not supposed to.” Still, years of metal work and mental precision combined with a jovial passion for finding his true calling make for stellar works of gem and metal art.


 

Since Peter moved into Four Corners in May, he’s spent his time coming up with new products –like the mandala-inspired “spinner”– as well as generating a generous inventory for the cozy second-floor shop. His pieces are products of a delicate process, “Whether it is the carving of a wax to cast a mold, or the setting of a stone ,or restoring a family heirloom, the attention we afford a piece always provides us with a different perspective from that which we started with,” says Peter. Detailed as a jeweler’s work can be, Peter works to capture each piece as part of a larger whole. The Fleur de Moi, for example, is a pendant belt but also a metaphor for a deeper self-awareness; positioned on your third chakra, the mica-speckled pendant is meant to symbolize dedication to self and an awareness for other’s respect for themselves. Peter spends time thinking about the life of his work long after it leaves the shop, with a graceful blend of mastery and utility.

After spending over four years in business at a studio in Little Compton, Peter is enthusiastic about the new wave of customers and business in Four Corners; “this is a true village,” he says, and visitors to Peter’s zen-like studio space will feel right at home.

No project is too big or small, Peter repairs everything and welcomes visitors for free cleaning, and design consultations. You can find him upstairs at 3879 Main Road in Tiverton, whistling while he works Wednesday through Sunday 11-5pm.

A Fresh Face for Summer in Four Corners

Tiverton Four Corners is proud to announce a handful of new shops and events to the neighborhood this summer, along with the usual store and event favorites you wont want to miss. Recently welcomed to the village, Perfectly Twisted Yarn and Studio by the Sea are both settled in at 3879 Main Rd next to the Provender. Just up the road, artist Katherine Lovell will enjoy her first summer in Four Corners at her studio in the Mill Pond Shops (south of the light). This Saturday June 9th  is the first growers market of the season! Expect to see your favorite quality vendors, musical performances, childrens activities, demonstrations, and more all summer long.

After you browse the market, head across the street to the new shops. Peter Tirpaeck is the owner of Studio by the Sea. Having moved his jeweler’s shop from Little Compton to Tiverton Four Corners, he hopes to create a more vivid and lively space for doing business. Partners Kate, Karen, and Maureen are excited to be a part of the T4C community at their new shop, Perfectly Twisted Yarn. They will be open daily 12-5 carrying yarn and knitting accessories and featuring lessons plus plenty of light-filled space to sit and knit. Katherine Lovell has been in Four Corners since January but looks forward to a busy summer in the studio where she’ll offer children’s art classes and lovely works of nature-inspired art.

Stay tuned for in-depth introductions to all three wonderful new small businesses!

 

This summer in Four Corners will also feature concerts, films, studio tours, demonstrations, and workshops. Enriching and picturesque Four Corners has a lot to offer this summer. Come “discover Rhode Island style” in Four Corners and let us know what you think!

 

A sweet pairing just in time for the Holidays

Milk and honey go together like Cathi and Gerry Fournier, the new owners of Milk and Honey Bazaar who’ve spent the last year packaging up a long list of new and wonderful products for the small cheese shop in Four Corners. This year, the couple is celebrating the new and improved success of Milk and Honey, a popular neighborhood stop for all things sweet and savory.

“It’s everything we’ve expected and more,” says Cathi of their recent adventure. After leaving a career in accounting to fulfill their shared dream of being small business owners, Cathi and Gerry are now busy bundling colorful gift packages and platters for happy and hungry customers. “We’ve got back the local base,” she says, and after just a year’s time the locals have something back too: the corner shop they’ve always loved. Milk and Honey now carry over 100 varieties of gourmet cheeses and all the extra bits too; crackers, crisps, cookies, jams, and cutting boards, not to mention fine oils and a generous assortment of local honey.  

An exciting addition to the shop this year is Florida’s native Tupelo Honey, a beautiful and delicate golden honey brought in from the only place in the world where the white Tupelo plant grows in abundance. The honey is rich in vitamins and minerals and its superior flavor makes it a popular favorite for who ever can get their hands on it. This stylish sweetener comes in festive bottles, and makes a fashionable and delicious addition to the table or pantry shelf.

While tempting edibles come from far and wide, the Fournier’s first priority remains vested in supporting businesses right in their neighborhood. They buy from local cheese and dairy farms, represent local artists, and spend quality time meeting specific needs of their customers. They are the modern one-stop mom and pop, where you can shop for fresh dinner ingredients, a party platter, or just a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, and a wedge of cheese. Don’t forget to stop in next time you’re passing through and taste for yourself what’s new at Milk and Honey. Call to put in an order at 401-624-1974 or visit them online at www.milkandhoneybazaar.com. Happy Holidays from T4C!


Inside an Illustrator’s Mind

Open up an illustrators mind, and you find a flowering pictorial greenhouse. Anthony Russo, a self-described translator, is a professional illustrator and Tiverton resident who thinks in black and white, red, and simple shapes, not words. Honing a sophisticated vocabulary of pictures, Russo says he’s “a caveman in a high-tech world.” Yet, his so-called cave-man qualities of the mind are what has landed him an over 30-year career as an editorial illustrator for world-famous publications such as Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. Popular book covers, magazine spreads, and news pages have all been marked with Anthony Russo’s steady hand at some point over the recent years.

Last Wednesday, Russo spoke to members of the FarmCoast community at The Meeting House in Four Corners about his career and life’s work of translating experiences. “It’s about communication with images…and how basic that is to our nature,” Russo says. Alternating between narrative and conceptual drawings, portrait and design assignments, Russo’s work is to fetch images out of the well of his mind and translate them into vivid and emotional descriptions–often to correspond with writing he has never read.”It’s my job to set up the emotion,” says Russo, and the words are someone else’s job. After receiving an assignment, Russo has days and sometimes just hours to sketch a drawing, but the results never disappoint. The artistic process is still slightly mysterious to him, but involves a large visual vocabulary and dedicated effort; “sometimes you have to be deliberate to be spontaneous,” he says.

His drawings have a strong and balanced perspective often composed in black and white shapes and sharp figurative lines. The drawings appear frequently throughout monthly and even weekly publications, and serve their purpose of attention-grabbing well.  Even the most basic illustrations capture the essence of human emotion with honesty and integrity.”I like to strip things down to the essentials,” says Russo, “I like to get to the heart of the issue.”

Anthony Russo’s background is in fine arts, and was inspired at an early age by German Expressionists. His first job was a drawing for The Real Paper for $35, and he’s gone on to win national illustration awards. He has also taught at both RISD and Parsons in New York. Russo has developed a masterful connection to imagery and continues to build on his unique vision of the world through his valuable work, available for viewing at a newspaper near you.

To see Russo’s full portfolio visit www.russoart.com. Some works are also on display at The Cottage in Four Corners.


A Fitting Arrangement

There’s something new downstairs from Gallery 4…not to mention something old, borrowed, and blue. Arn Krebs has recently taken up shop, alongside Susan Freda, in a new space devoted to their fine jewelry creations, making heads turn and newly-wed hands sparkle. In their shared, full-service jewlery shop, Arn makes beautiful custom wedding and engagement bands in a variety of styles and metal combinations that can only be described as beautifully…handsome.

Downstairs at 3848 Main Road, the sound of grinding metal and faint smell of sawdust attest to the hard work of something handmade, while the luster of the final products show off Arn’s years of metal and goldsmith talent. The Colorado native has spent over 10 years as a metalsmith, the last 4 of which have been on the East Coast, traveling between Boston and Tiverton, RI. As an artist of an extremely specialized craft, Arn has mastered what it takes to be, simultaneously, creative and utilitarian. His work is unique and precise, and his jewelry “clean, natural, organic, and elegant.” 

Arn works with mostly reclaimed metals as well  as a colorful selection of rare and luminous gemstones that he and Sue hand-pick in Tuscon, Arizona each year. Diamonds, moonstone, sapphires, labradorite, and opals are just some of the gemstones shining around the shop these days. One of the more unique and symbolic metals he uses is called mokume gane, a beautiful fusion of several precious, layered metals. The modern method of preparing mokume into functional pieces is borrowed from an ancient japanese sword-making technique where metals such as platinum, gold, steel, or silver are combined into a multi-layer billet and then manipulated with heat and pressure into highly choreographed designs.“If you cut the billet in half, it’s a mirror image,” says Arn, a perfect symbol of a symmetrical bond. Partnering with Sue Freda, Arn’s creations likewise represent a harmonious blending of masculine and feminine symmetries.

Arn is a skilled sculptor, carpenter, and designer with both a BFA and MFA in sculpture, and will continue to work with a variety of mediums. But for now he enjoys making wedding jewelry because of its intimate process; “designing with people…finding what’s important to them and trying to manifest that into something that’s meaningful” is his specialty. As a full service shop, Arn is on hand for repairs and custom orders; he can make or fix just about anything. And, “if we don’t have something, we can get it,” says Arn.

Arn is in the gallery most days, making jewelry, resetting stones, resizing rings, engraving, and experimenting with new designs. Both Sue and Arn are available for consultation by appointment, and will be appearing together in Trade Shows around New England this fall. Bring your jewelry and your friends!