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Carmen Gillis
San Francisco Interior Design Firm
Carmen Gillis is a Commercial and Residential Interior Designer in San Francisco who enjoys the research and appreciation of all things creative, embraces the design process, and then delights in successful spaces that capture the spirit of their owners.
Recent Activity
Installation by Tokujin-Yoshioka for Hermes Artists The world contains many an artist, Who knows not the technique of art; Who knows not the tricks of the rhymer, And yet is a poet at heart; Who knows not the use of the chisel, Nor the deftness of eye or of hand, But whose spirit is filled with a longing He never can quite understand. There are painters who never touch canvas, Musicians who ever are still, Who have not the gift of expression, Lack adequate training and skill. There are men with the dreams of the masters Who never are known... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
Another of the great artists featured in this years "San Francisco Fine Art Fair" was Carole A. Feuerman. It is an awesome experience to walk through aisles and aisles of fabulous canvas and bronze pieces and then - - -there you are - - - in front of a full scale, technicolor swimmer laying in an inter-tube! It takes a moment to realize that the person in front of you is not breathing and that the water dripping down her arm is frozen in time forever. Once you make it past that point you realize that all of the textures... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
It is summer somewhere, not in San Francisco, but somewhere! It has been overcast big time this summer and so I am inspired to look at every spectacular piece of art reminiscent of what a summer should be. This is for those of us swimming in the fog and all of my friends in the heat of New York, may they feel the fantasy of cooler days just by seeing the clear, vivid waters created by Eric Zener. When I attended the "San Francisco Art Fair" this year, the Hespe Gallery of San Francisco had many fantastic pieces featured, but... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
"When I choose a color it is not because of any scientific theory, it comes from observation, from feeling, from the innermost nature of the experience in question". Henri Matisse Color begins with nature. Every color is under and including the rainbow for us to view and embrace. Nature is what all our memories and color responses ultimately have in common. Green is calming and restful because it is reminiscent of green fields, fresh new growth, and landscapes. Blue is expansive, airy and watery like the sky and the sea. Yellow is warming and positive like the golden sun. Red... Continue reading
Posted Jul 25, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
Whistlejacket by George Stubbs National Gallery, London The Horse Our first lesson in perfect proportion As a child my drawings went directly from stick people to horses and I know I am not alone. These hoofed creatures enthrall us all, and at a very early age their gallop and trot, whinny and neigh, captured our imaginations - and our hearts. I wonder how many 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teachers have displayed various childlike versions of these proud animals on their bulletin boards - the art of young admirers; my guess would be in the thousands. They are magnificent creatures... Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
When opening their downtown San Francisco office, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc. sought a timeless design that would take advantage of the Bank of America Building's spectacular views. Their priorities were for a space that would promote production, provide comfort and flexibility and create a visual impact for their clientele. We worked in collaboration with their employees to strategically deliver a high quality, innovative and sustainable space. We integrated warm-toned wood paneling, dark green marble details and luminous lighting elements to construct an environment with striking architecture, rich materials and brilliant hues. Reception Desk Generous corridors were designed to... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
I'm sending a Happy Father's Day to all of you great Dad's with a few very valuable paintings from San Francisco's own Robert Bechtle. "I am interested in how things look; I am also interested in a painting that is based upon how things look. I like to see things the way they are rather than thinking of how they can be changed. The richness and range of the visual world constantly thrills and amazes me. I am most particularly interested in using the part of our world which we seem to notice least...that is, our everyday surroundings as we... Continue reading
Posted Jun 20, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
Few artists of unusual ability could remain undiscovered for long, Liz Fracchia is one of those artists. I had an incredible experience when Liz invited me for a visit to her private San Francisco studio. The moment I stepped into her sunny space filled with canvases, brushes and paint, I could feel the energy of an artist who is willing to take risks with her subject and ready to try new techniques to achieve an emotional response. Every artist is on their own individual journey. Liz's journey reveals an elegant quest to touch viewers through the limitless possibilities of color,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
There are rhymes and reasons for how we select our special places. Places where we escape for a while. Places that are an expression of ourselves. My husband and I love everything about boats and being near the water. We were married on a boat, lived on a boat and our favorite place to work is on our boat. It brings us closer to nature. I believe that nature is the most beautiful and bountiful inspiration of all with new creative insights just waiting to be found. All of our color palettes, shapes and textures are derived from some aspect... Continue reading
Posted Jun 12, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
I have been lucky enough to have visited and worked on some of the most remarkable country clubs in the United States. I would like to share one with you now: the Honolulu International Country Club. Though I helped weave its tale to make it reality many years ago, it will always be indescribably special to me because it represents a pivotal moment in my life. It introduced me to the splendor that is Hawaii and to many more projects in the wonderful world of Hawaiian Hotel and Hospitality Design. A hidden oasis in the heart of the city, The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 5, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
I have client's who own several Di Paolo paintings and whether we place them in their contemporary office settings or within their beautifully appointed traditional home, the Di Paolo paintings complement each and every room with strength and presence. As John Di Paolo has said: "Painting is about the soul and that's what people see in it more then anything" Hanging Garden 31, Oil on Canvas, 68" X 84", 2008 John must paint with the same soulful depth that one feels when playing great jazz. When you view his large canvases in person, you can feel the energetic and explosive... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
John Neumann of Neumann Studios, San Francisco And now for one of the most rewarding aspects in all design: working with those who make design possible. Working in collaboration with clients and artists to create unique pieces which express the client's personal style and taste, their values, and the quality of the lives they lead. When unique ideas call for a custom piece, gifted artists use their talents to fashion something special: a "one of a kind" piece that has no formula and no right or wrong, it just reflects what is right for that person and their personality. It... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
The field of design is incredible. The thrill of creating is as exhilarating when designing a wine label or menu as it is when detailing and furnishing a Country Club. When you work with client's, other designers, artisans and architects, the process becomes even richer since everyone brings fresh ideas and concepts to the table with the intent of building a better design solution. I have enjoyed this process for more years then I will share, but it has provided a lifetime of study, observation, and an unending pursuit to create the most successful and gracious interiors possible. It has... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
Friends have asked that I write about Interior Design. This is taking on a very large subject, but my favorite subject and so I will dive in.........and try to share as much as possible with the hope that on occasion I will provide some educational thoughts and ideas. I think I will begin with a Beach House that I love and had the honor of working on for an incredible friend and family. It is located at Stinson Beach and has vistas of the ocean, sand dunes or mountains from every room. As the owner explains, "It's a fabulous indoor-outdoor... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Design
I am going to share flowers with you once again, but I must, it is Mothers Day. And aren't flowers the most delicately beautiful gift of all. Artists must believe this, because many artists at some moment in their creative life have been captivated by the majesty of a single flower in a glass. From Monet to Van Gogh, the fascination with the elegance of a flower and the sparkle of a glass has been a creative essential. Happy Mothers Day! David Ligare Amy Weiskopf Mark Adams Guy Diehl Guy Diehl Jeffrey Ripple Dona Phipps Dona Phipps Manet created an... Continue reading
Posted May 9, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
I am one day late for May Day, but we will celebrate anyway with a basket full of beautiful flowers from Sandra Sallin. While May Day means a celebration of Labor in some countries, it evokes a meaning of spring's passion in others: In France, it became a tradition started by Charles IX for the Ladies of court to receive a gift of Lilies of the Valley and it was also tradition for the Lady who received the spray of flowers to give a kiss in return. In America, May Baskets filled with flowers and treats are left on someone... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
Cars are a stunning art form appreciated by all ages, young and old. This morning 70 vintage automobiles started out on the "California Mille", an annual driving event for 1000 miles through the splendor of Northern California. Drivers will travel through Tomales, Glen Ellen, Calistoga, Oakville, Pt. Arena, Boonville, Mendocino, and Ukiah and conclude their journey in beautiful Sonoma. The "California Mille" is celebrating it's 20th Anniversary this year from April 25th to the 29th. The "California Mille" is a re-creation of the Italian Mille Miglia that ran from 1927 until 1957. Participating automobiles must be at least 53 years... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
A heartfelt thank you to a dear friend who shared a most extraordinary celebration of spring with six of her friends. We delighted in a day of beautiful flowers and magnificent art at San Francisco's de Young Museum. The 26th annual "Bouquets to Art" is a five day event from April 19th through April 24th, 2010. One hundred and fifty floral designers create magnificent arrangements that pay homage to works of art within the permanent collection galleries. Organized and produced by the volunteer members of the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums, and with generous support by community... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
I'll never forget the first time I saw Manuel Neri's exhibit at the Hackett Freedman Gallery, March, 2003. The figures were so majestic in their beauty, it was as though they held within their form a combination of all of the disciplines, from music to poetry from acting to dance, they controlled the audience. Manuel Neri's works include colorful paintings, drawings, and prints, but I want to take a moment to feature his primary quest for beauty in his unfinished figures. His sculptures often appear to be emerging from the stone or plaster as though they were the birth of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
Red and Yellow Robe, Aquatint on digital color print, 17 3/4" X 25 3/8", 2005 The rain is falling again here in San Francisco and so we are having one of those rare but luscious mornings spent in our robes with cups of coffee and a newspaper. A few weeks ago we were invited to the open house of a friend who plays squash with my husband, and to my joy there on the wall was a Jim Dine bathrobe. I just love this series by Jim Dine. They are robes with attitude. The Red March Forward, 2005 Jim Dine... Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
This Easter Weekend is a nice time to look at Wolf Kahn's landscapes of radiant color. Wolf Kahn was born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1927. He was the son of the conductor of the Stuttgart Philharmonic. He fled Nazi Germany for England at the age of 12 and moved to the United States in 1940 where he studied art under Hans Hofmann in New York City. He later obtained his Bachelor's Degree in less then a year from the University of Chicago to become one of the most important colorists in America. At the age of 80 his vision was... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
It has been said that "Art is subjective" and means something different to every person. When I look at Todd Hunter's paintings, I see delicious colors and since he denies us literal rendering, I choose to think of gorgeous roses in bloom. This may be far from his intent for his style of painting reflects great tides of energy with the power of light swirling us into another realm. But his rich voluminous colors bring me back to the Garden every time. Caravan, Oil on canvas, 183 X 160 cm, Todd Hunter This Perfect Day, Oil on Canvas 173 X... Continue reading
Posted Mar 27, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
Dog raising for "Dummies"
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Saturday, March 20, at approximately midnight - It's Spring! - the official first day of spring for 2010 in the Northern Hemisphere. On that same day, the Southern Hemisphere observes the Autumnal Equinox, which is the equivalent of the start of Autumn. In general, as soon as the sun crosses the equator, we can say "It's Spring" in the North. The four seasons present extraordinary variety in our lives and Spring has to be one of our favorites, it certainly was for Claude Monet. I know when Spring has arrived just by looking at my favorite tree, it is in... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2010 at Carmen Gillis Studios
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Mar 16, 2010