Wednesday, March 23, 2011

about Design on a Dime... Getting Started with Art! The Work of Babette Herschberger.

For anyone who has ever dismissed abstract or color block paintings with an offhanded "I could paint that," I present Exhibit B: the work of Babette Herschberger. Babette was the very first to say yes to donating an item to my upcoming room vignette for Design on a Dime, and these are the works that I am delighted to consider as my jumping off point.

Her canvases are deceptively simple... they command a room from far away, gorgeous blocks of color, strong and vibrant. Up close, they are layered, interesting, and with bits of colorful surprises. Subtle geometry reveals itself as you come closer, and the surface is remarkably worked, just as captivating from inches away. The pieces seem built to their current (considerable) depth from layers of color, and are remarkably narrative, despite their simplicity. They are (mostly) happy, but never frivolous.

Her palette has always pulled from her lovely tropical surroundings and a life lived among Miami Beach's deco treasures. When I see Babette's work, I see tropical skies (sunny, and afternoon shower), Ocean Drive neon reflected in dark waves, turquoise swimming pools, and the heart of a friend who has long supported and inspired me, and has become a great ambassador for the South Florida art community.

She's also created a series she call "Tidbits," found, worked and painted paper assemblages. And in her infinite generosity, has offered me, and the Design on a Dime shoppers, a Tidbit as well.

Our paths crossed in past lives when we shared Graphic Design as a profession, and Babette's work then, like her canvases now, was nuanced, chock full of thought, carefully considered, and always offered reward for the reader or viewer's extended attention.

She is a vibrant, hilarious, bubbly woman (we'd often get laughing too hard to work) and I am beyond thrilled we have stayed in touch, and that her work will grace my room vignette. I can think of no better work, energy or person with which to start this design journey.

Ah, but which one?? Stay tuned!

Which one would you choose, to build a room around? And which canvas would you pair with which Tidbit?


  1. All are beautiful! I love the first painting. I also love that you guys laughed too hard to work.

  2. Fiona! Yes! And it was like Diet-Coke-out-the-nose kind of laughter!

  3. I totally suggest "Linescape #48" I'm in love with the subtle color of the piece. Reminds me of a well worn blackboard.

  4. Def Waterworld with Tidbit #36! I feel the ocean in these pieces. Colors, textures, etc. Like a smooth inner conch shell with its rough exterior. It's all about "feeling nature" for me.