The Art of Waiting // National Donate Life Month

Spring has been slow to arrive this year. It feels like we have been waiting a long time for the winter  to end and for warm weather to arrive.  We wait for many things, but nothing compares to the wait being endured by 122,000 people waiting for a life saving organ transplant. Being on the wait list means not knowing whether  a donated organ will be received in time.

I was reminded of the issue of waiting while visiting with a sculptor in his studio a few months ago, I was moved by this piece, Waiting for News. Christopher E. Green captures what it is like for family members to wait for news while a loved one is receiving critical care. From the moment I saw it, I felt the emotion he portrays about his experience in a hospital waiting room. “We were all waiting for news of our love ones...Waiting for News attempts to convey the emotion of those that were in limbo, not knowing whether their news would be good or bad.  Not knowing which way their emotions would go.”

My family knows this experience well. My husband Howard was diagnosed with Ideopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, an illness with no known cause and no known cure. We were told he had 5 years, at which point, he would be a candidate for a life-saving lung transplant. I wrote about this in a previous blogpost, now, I will emphasize that it is 2 1/2 years later, and we are grateful every day to his organ donor for providing him with a second chance at life. His story, and more about organ donation are on our organization’s site, Share Life.

Last spring at our Inaugural Event for Share Life, we featured the photography of Stuart Zaro, particularly this image, Waiting. This photo, taken in Grand Central Terminal, became a symbol of the long and emotional wait sick patients endure while waiting for a transplant.

When I make studio visits, I am drawn to artwork in the colors of Donate Life, the national organization that promotes the issue. April is National Donate Life Month, and groups around the country promote all things blue and green, colors that signify life and health. This Friday, April 11th is National Blue and Green Day.

Romanoff Elements, along with Share Life, supports the efforts of the New York Organ Donor Network, the New York City based Organ Procurement Organization that coordinates organ donations within New York State. Each donor can potentially save 8 lives and impact up to 50 lives with their organs and tissue. A portion of proceeds of RE sales this month will go towards the NYODN’s work. The artists I work are supportive of this issue as well. I’ve included a few blue and green artworks, prints, paintings, photographs and paintings, inspired by nature in shades of blues and greens.

Photographer Nancy Woodward captured this springtime image, First Day of May, while shooting in the woods, she looked up and “saw the canopy of skies in the afternoon sky”. The image is about light and blue and green and spring all at once!

In True Blue, painter Anne Raymond's vivid colors are inspired by the beauty around her Hamptons' studio.

I love the blues in John Duckworth's abstract photographic landscape, Bohicket Creek. It captures the serene beauty of the South Carolina coast, the ocean, sky and horizon.

This is one of Artist Kerri Rosenthal's paintings with "happy colors", 20/20 Vision, like many of her abstract paintings are filled with exuberant colors and combinations

I extend my appreciation to each of them for allowing me to show their work. I am equally appreciative to those artists I have worked with over time, for being supportive of my family and me as we go through this journey. Please browse artwork here, on the RE site, Facebook and in our gallery. Be in touch if you have any questions.

The wait for spring seems to finally be behind us. We can personally say that my husband's wait is also over, but we think about the 122,000 in the US and over 10,000 in NYS who are waiting for life-saving transplants. If interested in more information about organ donation, or to register to be a donor, please go to or to find your state’s registry.

Thank you!

Color // Hot Summer Days

Summer means different things to different people, but consistent among summer plans is to vacation, relax and enjoy the outdoors whether it's by the beach, lake or in the mountains. The days are longer in the summer months, and we seem to collectively fill them with activities and people we enjoy. The warm colors in these artworks, that range from red to yellow reflect the warmth and light of the long summer days. In the color spectrum, there's a wide range of colors between red and yellow including the many shades of orange.

Anne Raymond's Change Series l gently captures the warmer tones of these colors.

Abstract Expressionist Mark Rothko painted many Color Field works in these hues. His 1961 painting, Orange, Red, Yellow sold for a record $86,882,500 in May 2012. The New York Times reviewer said it "...can convincingly be argued to be the most powerful of all his pictures."

Color theorist Josef Albers explored the sunny colors in numerous works in his Homage to the Square series.

Referencing summer, Kelly Crow of the Wall Street Journal stated about Rothko, "The painting's trio of orange and yellow rectangles bobbing atop a cherry-red background forms a palette that's as eye-catching as a sunset or a Popsicle."

Photographer Elisa Keogh captures that kind of intense summer sky in Long Beach Island, NJ (red-orange) from her Horizons series.


Crow adds that, "Auction specialists say collectors historically pay more for works that are red and gold, as opposed to gray".  Red is the color most associated with joy and well-being, so its no surprise that we surround ourselves with the joyous color.

Joyful and summery describes Kerri Rosenthal's colorful, energetic artwork, including Pretty Wings with a golden citron color, that's on the green side of yellow.

Images of the ocean and beach evoke great memories and associations for many. Bramasole Photography  captures inviting images of her favorite beaches. (I blogged about a recent exhibit of Christine Wexler's work.) In Surf Camp, the surfboards in Montauk are ready to go!

Some prefer summer walks or hikes in the mountains.  Feel the breeze in Elena Lyakir's, Laughter.

Time in or by the water - ocean, lake or pool is summer to many. In Turning, from a series of underwater photography, artist Andrea Bonfils' conveys the weightlessness and welcome of the water.

Xanda McCagg's abstract painting, Vast, captures the fun and the energy of this spectrum of warm colors.

Thinking about the different meanings of hot summer days...I can say for me, I love the warmth of the sun, the sound of the ocean and the feel of the sand. Artwork allows us to reflect on a feeling or a sense of place. The colors of these pieces - yellows, oranges and reds convey and take us to the warmth and energy of summer.

There are a few weeks left for us all to enjoy...

GREEN // The Color of Spring

In New York, it's trying very hard to be spring, it feels like it's taking a long time to warm up and change seasons.  In my last post I talked about organ donation, at the same time I sent an eblast with various artworks that to me, represent spring. Green is the color that symbolizes spring.

I received lots of great comments and compliments about the art I selected to represent spring, so I wanted share some of the artworks and acknowledge the artists. I was drawn to nature when thinking about spring, and when I worked with my good friend and graphic designer, Sandy Shekel, to edit the images and create the layout, the greener the better...and there's a reason. Green symbolizes life, new growth, the environment , ecology, recycling and nature.

The lush foliage in COBAMONG BOAT, by Stuart Zaro 

LAUGHTER, by Elena Lyakir

It also represents tranquility, health and luck. We used it for the Share Life logo, to inspire good health and sharing, through organ donation.

Green is also thought to reduce stress and is recommended for a work environment. I'm not sure I'm ready for a return to green walls, but I would love to look at these paintings,

LINE-ING_12"x12", by Xanda McCagg 

and combined with warm colors that evoke a combination of nature and calm, WATERFALL_60"x48", by Anne Raymond   

Christine Wexler's photograph, THE WAVE,  of 3 boys waiting to surf, captures the warmth and spirit of the spring and summer seasons.

There are other artists that come to mind when I think color, and light and spring. Wolf Kahn creates beautiful paintings that evoke nature. I pinned SPRING GREENS on my Pinterest board recently, and it was 're-pinned' and 'liked' many times.

Photographer Bonnie Edelman captures the extraordinary colors of nature in her SCAPES series.

Color theorist Josef Albers explored the relationship of colors and perception in his series of over 1000  geometric paintings, HOMAGE TO THE SQUARE.  One of his green paintings, SOFT SPOKEN,

We will be seeing a lot more green in 2013 since Emerald green was selected by Pantone as the Color of the Year. Versions of emerald will find its way into many products this year.

The spring RE eblast, with the variety of inspiring green artwork was created and sent in support of National Donate Life Month. Thanks to President Obama for making it official and acknowledged throughout the country. My family and I are involved in a number of events during the month to help raise awareness and the profile of the dire need in New York State and throughout the US to increase the organ donor registry. Romanoff Elements will be donating a portion of sales to the New York Organ Donor Network and their work on behalf of increasing the donor registry.

I'm hoping that the sun starts to shine more, and we can all enjoy spring;  the warmth, the natural and beautiful colors, and the new energy that comes with it!

Romanoff Elements // Providing Access to Art & Artists

RE works with clients to find art that appropriately reflects them and suits their space. We work with both designers and clients to select art and design elements that work within their budget and are an extension of their taste and the way that they live. Everyone has their unique taste and style, a vision for their home and work environment. There are a number of reasons why they may choose to work with a consultant or designer. Time is a huge factor today. With time limited, days of visiting galleries and shopping in general, is less than it used to be. It's helpful to bring someone in to help realize their particular vision. Mara Solow of Mara Solow Interiors was familiar with Bonnie Edelman's photography after seeing several of RE's exhibitions of Edelman's work . Solow and her client worked with RE to select this abstracted landscape photograph to provide color and contrast in a quiet and serene master bedroom.

LETT by Heiberg Cummings selected these three mixed media artworks by Andrea Bonfils to compliment the elegant living room and incorporate the long wall into the beautifully designed space. The selection was made after the designer visited  the artist's studio.

It's helpful to look at digital images, and narrow down selections online, but following up with home and office visits provides our clients the option to see the artwork in person, see the colors, textures and experience it in their home or office.

Painting by Anne Raymond in a Hampton's home.

Paintings on paper by Anne Raymond

We also work with home furnishing retailers to provide artwork for customer’s to see in the context of a home decor environment. When shopping for furnishings and accessories, a customer can relate to seeing a painting or fine art photography above a dining table or within a beautiful vignette.

Xanda McCagg's striking abstract canvas provides great color and composition among the artisanal furnishings at Comerford Collection in Bridgehampton.

McCagg's Blue Moment, was recently  featured in Elle Decor in a beautifully designed Hamptons home by Robert Stilins Interiors.

Interior designers work with RE to bring art and artisanal products that are selected specifically with their client's in mind. We come to understand a project and how the art will compliment the design and the rooms and suit the client.

At times a project results in a commission specifically for a client. We are currently working on a site-specific representational landscape painting for a panelled wall. Due to the dimensions and design of the panels in a client's grand foyer, an artist is creating a custom painting based on her work that our client likes.

This horizon image was selected by a client after a long search, to compliment the natural stone wall and running creek in her country home. It looks beautiful and suits the organic environment.

Recently, I have begun working with representational artists, after a number of years with primarily abstract works and fine art photography. Mother and Daughter and seascape pastels by Tracy Burtz were suitable for a Mother's Day event at Table d'Hote, a tabletop and home accessories store in Armonk, NY.

We work to bring in artworks that suit the space, whether it's a home, office or a retailer and their customers. Encaustic mixed media works compliment the classic contemporary home furnishings at Nest Inspired Home in Rye, NY.

Consultants are used to provide access to artists that a client, designer or retailer wouldn’t otherwise have. There are many remarkably talented, creative people producing work that isn't out and visible - isn’t in stores and galleries or online. Some artists show at local or regional art shows, some in galleries - many have developed a group of collectors over the years, both private and corporate, who return periodically to add to their collections.  RE and other consultants spend time finding and learning about many artists and their bodies of work to introduce to their clients.

I have always been surrounded by artists and creatively inspired people.  I enjoy bringing them and their artwork together with those who will love and appreciate their work and enjoy living with it.

The Color of February // RED in art & design

The color red is filled with meaning.  It’s found in nature - in red roses and robins. It's spiritual -  the symbol for luck and it's the first chakra in Sanskrit.  It has history and special meaning in various cultures around the world.  It’s political - as in the red states, and it's emotional, symbolic of both anger and love.  The red or root chakra provides stability, groundedness and trust, red symbolizes power and strength, it encourages action and enthusiasm. In addition to the inferred meanings, the color red has a significant visual impact  when used in art & design. Artist Anne Raymond, on red and her red paintings,  “Red is strength, it’s the pigment of passion and confidence. Red is energy known, felt and intended.”  Anne spoke with me about the appeal of her red canvases and how some naturally gravitate towards it and others may choose it in small doses.

For those who love it,

or with white, negative space and additional colors, for a quieter canvas, named for the red pigment, Cirrus Cadmium

Photographer Bonnie Edelman captures the natural beauty of red in a stunning sky

Abstract Expressionist  Barnett Newman often used red and other strong flat primary colors in his noted Zip paintings, as in “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue”

I love the contrast of the flowing red scarf in William Wegman’s, “Red to Head”, one of his Weimeraner photographs

Red has found a place in many familiar idioms, Seeing Red, Red carpet treatment, Caught red-handed, Red flag, Red tape and In the red are just a few. It’s pretty interesting to focus on this and see how this color, and the word are in our everyday experience.

Red is in the name of many iconic brands: for a cause - Bono’s (Red), The American Red Cross, in sports - Boston Red Sox, to signify energy - Red Bull, for achievement - Red Ribbon.

Red is used visually  to create strong brand identitly

for New Yorkers, the fun and much adored Milton Glaser designed symbol,

Artists and designers use red to fill an entire canvas, a product, or room -  when the goal is a bold statement to elicit a strong emotional effect or they use it as an accent to provide a stroke of contrast and energy.

In fashion, like art, red is classically used to make a statement.

Charles Louboutin red soles are iconic. The NYTimes, recently refered to”The Little Red (Litigious) Shoes", The company is suing the YSL brand claiming that their red shoes infringe on the trademarked, “Red Sole Mark”.

Louboutin red,  from classic

to outrageous

Designer Donna Karan is identified with clothing that empowers - red from her Spring 2012 advertising campaign

Double red, Reese WItherspoon on the red carpet in a striking red Zac Posen dress

The use of red in home and furniture design provides impact whether used in large amounts, or sparingly. Iconic modern furniture combines strong silhouette and color.

The Egg Chair, by Arne Jacobsen

The Miniature Verner Panton Heart Chair

Heller’s, Marilyn BOCCA sofa, 1972

A bold use of color in a room, walls painted with a saturated deep red, Benjamin Moore’s, Million Dollar Red and red upholstered furniture in a classic room, by designer, Bibi Monnahan

or red as a dramatic and effective accessory, chairs and wall decor in a fresh Hamptons home by Ilene O’Neil

Why RED?  because it’s February and the color is synonymous with Valentine’s Day - red roses and the celebration of love.

Exhibiting in Times Square for the holiday, a 10 foot tall installation with 400 LED acrylic tubes around a big red heart.

“the interactive art piece pulses with a glowing red luminosity whereby, people's interaction with one another intensify the beating of the brightly, burning heart”

and classic RED - 75 gorgeous red roses












Tangerine Tango // Color of the Year 2012

Last week, Pantone, Inc. announced that Tangerine Tango #17-1463 will be “The Color of the Year 2012”. This was big news and cause for lots of review and discussion in the design worlds.

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. This robust color was descibed as a “spirited reddish orange”, and will “provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward”.

Eiseman continued, “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”Pantone Inc, the NJ company, began as a source for printing guidelines. It has evolved to create standardized color palettes for a number of industries, including graphics, fashion textiles and interior design. PMS, the Pantone Matching System, enables color to be consistent across industries, from paints, to printing ink to textiles to lipsticks.The selection of a particular color is a thoughtful process. Pantone “literally combs the world looking for color influences....including the entertainment industry, art, artists, technology, sports and socio-economic conditions..”  The color chosen will subsequently impact many industries and individuals.Oranges and reds are warm colors associated with nature, with daylight or sunset. Color Theorists describe the usual strong reactions to orange, more so than other colors, it's a “love it or hate it” color. It radiates warmth and energy. Bonnie Edelman’s photograph, Campo Sunset, comes to mind with the description of the energy of the red hues.

and Golden Campo is on the other side of the spectrum, the warmth of yellow.

When I was a textile stylist, creating colors and patterns for fabrics for men’s clothing, I eagerly awaited the trend reports, forecasting the colors of the season to incorporate into our seasonal fabrics. This is true for stylists and designers across creative fields. The result is a consistent theme for the seasons, and it starts here - with the selected colors by Pantone.

According to Apartment Therapy, Tangerine Tango, “.... is a highly-usable color for interiors. It's very easy to incorporate into a room as an accent, although the full wall treatment is absolutely an option for those willing to take the plunge.”.  It has always been a good color for interiors, it works as a standout accessory against neutrals.  Apartment Therapy showed these examples, from a complete orange wall, to a bold orange sofa in a neutral room.

and acessories, a way to introduce a small accent of the warm color to any room

Apartment Therapy

Judy Ross Textiles, a favorite pillow source,  has a beautiful group of hand-emboidered pillows with the uplifting color - perfect for accessorizing

The same is true for clothing and make-up. When my husband wears his orange sweater, (instead of his usual black!) he feels lighter and brighter and the color elicits a smile from others. Expect to see more of this reddish orange in the coming year.

I have seen a strong and positive response to orange in artwork, from the sunsets above to the color-soaked paintings by Janet Mait and Anne Raymond below. The bold color makes an impact, and as the description of Color of the Year says, they are strong and in turn provoke an emotional response.

to the natural sky of Nightlight, by Stuart Zaro

Tangerine Tango, is an early 2012 prediction...and there will be many more in the next few weeks as the calendar rolls to the new year. Pantone Color Institute selected a color  of nature that is warm and has a positive energy - as they suggest, to help recharge and propel us into 2012.

de Kooning at MoMA // on a Saturday afternoon

MoMA on a Saturday?  I wasn't so sure I was up to weekend crowds. Alexis, my daughter and I had been wanting to see the much talked about Wm. de Kooning Restrospective since it opened in Sept.  She and I often explore musems and galleries together, but this week, my son Brett, uncharacteristically offered to join Saturday it had to be. The Museum of Modern Art exhibit is the largest retrospective of deKooning’s work.  de Kooning, an Abstract Expressionist, is considered among the most important and prolific of the 20th century. The show spans his early work after arriving in NY from the Netherlands in 1926 through his more recognized abstract paintings in the 80’s. An exhibition of this breadth gives the opportunity to follow an artist as they evolve and transition from one stage to another. Since the exhibit opened, I have read and talked about it.  Exhibitions of this significance inspire those from the art and design worlds, from interiors to fashion. I’ve discussed de Kooning’s work with several painters I presently work with. Each artist has their unique style;  Anne Raymond's nature-inspired color studies. Tracy Burtz's beautifully executed figurative women and Janet Mait's bold color statements. Each spoke about how this exhibit was inspiring to them,  how wonderful it is to see the colors and compositions of de Kooning's original works.

Interiorconnector, a site for "haute home furnishings", wrote that, "de Kooning's work not only incites us to experiment more with color and shape in our homes, but the paintings themselves inspire us to go bolder with the artwork we purchase", and goes on to make recommendations for art and furnishings that will provide a touch of de Kooning's "spirit and attitude".

Interiorconnector, The Spirit of deKoooning Lives at MoMA

The perspective of my two children and the conversation added yet another dimension to the art, as we walked the exhibit. Alexis commented on this still life, done when he was just 14 years old. The composition is similar to those done by all young art students, including herself, and today would be part of a college portfolio.

In the early abstracted works, he often mixed figurative imagery and abstraction, mixing both within one composition.

The black and white compositions in the late 40’’s were the first of his exploration of little or no color. de Kooning played with color, as well as the compositons, putting many elements into many of these paintings. “I’m not interested in ‘abstracting’ or taking things out or reducing painting,” de Kooning said in a 1951 New York Times interview. “I paint this way because I can keep putting more things in it: drama, anger, pain, love, a figure, a horse, my ideas about space.”

de Kooning returned to figure paintings, mostly women, at different times, painting them both figuratively and abstract throughout his career. Brett, not having the patience to read the wall tags, went to his phone as he’s accustomed to, to deKooning’s Wikipedia page to read and learn about the artist and his art. He wanted the facts - he was Dutch, 1907-1997.  At auction, Pink Lady sold at Sotheby’s in 1987 for $3.6 million, the value of his works have increased. Steven A. Cohen recently bought Woman lll from David Geffen for $137 million.

In the mid-50s, he painted abstracted urban and pastoral landscapes. Once outside of the city, these paintings were lighter, warmer, more color...both strong and pastel. We drive on the Merritt Parkway often, so to see what deKooning reduced the familiar landscape to led us to a good discussion about form and color.

The same thing with L.I. - there were several Montauk paintings in the 40s and again later on when de Kooning, along with Jackson Pollock, Lee Krasner and other Abstract Expressionsists lived and worked in the Springs in East Hampton

We walked the galleries talking about the different period of his life, color, and the changes in de Kooning’s work as he transitioned from a loft on West 22nd st in 1937 drawing figuratively.

loft on West 22nd St., 1937

to a studio in the Springs on L.I. in the 80’s surrounded by bold and colorful and accomplished abstract canvases.

Studio with Late Abstract Paintings, Springs, 1981

We ended our visit in the Architecture and Design Exhibit, where there was something for each of us. Alexis, an art director at a digital agency, was interested in the Gotham exhibit - a visual display and description of one of the most successful new typefaces, created in 2000 by Jonathan Hoefler and Tobias Frere-Jones. The font is inspired by NYC urban signage. It was the font used in President Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign and also the identity of the new One World Trade Center.

and Brett found new folding chairs to add some modern style to his tailgates at the NY Jets football games, Meeting Chairs by Lauence Humier.

and for me, it was a great day finally seeing the de Kooning Retrospective and walking through MoMA with my two kids on a Saturday afternoon.