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...

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.

Her Haven // Designing a difference for others

Her Haven grew from Carey Dougherty’s vision to combine her interior design skills, and business experience with her desire to help women in need. With the driving passion that a “home can enhance one’s well-being and bring families together, and the recognition that women are often selflessly serving their families and their communities with little time for themselves, she wanted to give these women the gift of a ‘haven’.

Her Haven is a nonprofit organization that performs volunteer design services for deserving and inspiring women in the community.

Carey then brought her organizational and networking skills to coordinate the efforts of various people and organizations. The first two Her Haven projects were a partnership with Fairfield University's Interior Design Program and Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County.  11 design students from the program worked to redesign and furnish the living and dining rooms of two new Habitat homeowners, Nordia Black and Elizabeth Bosques, both of Bridgeport, CT.

The projects have elicited strong community support, from local businesses, supplying materials, trades, design skills and volunteers who have all helped see the projects to completion.

Another outcome of Her Haven's beginnings was a course at Fairfield University , developed by Dr. Catherine Giapponi, associate professor of management at the Dolan School of Business (DSB).“Managing Nonprofits Organizations". The course introduced students to careers in nonprofits, while helping to develop a business plan for Dougherty.  “There are many connections between entrepreneurship and starting your own nonprofit,” Dr. Giapponi explained, “And with entrepreneurship gaining interest around the world, this class gives students the skills to put together a complete plan that could be applied to nonprofits and for profit ventures.”

Her Haven has plans to expand its partner programs with additional design schools to provide both hands-on practical experience for it’s students with meaningful community work.

I was moved when Carey described a response to both projects. The women, who's home was renovated and furnished,  separately said, the best part of their new spaces was having, for the first time, “a dining table, a place to sit with their family”.

Her Haven is realizing Carey Dougherty's mission, helping women to create homes for their families that they would not otherwise have. Carey has in the process been bringing together diverse groups, from other non-profits, to  businesses, designers and educators.

Table d'Hote , table top and home accessories store, and Romanoff Elements are hosting an event Dec. 5th, with the artwork of Andrea Bonfils and Tulah Jems jewelry.  A portion of the evening's sales will help support the mission of Her Haven, Designing a Difference!









Its been wonderful to learn more about Carey's vision and organization that is effectively reaching out and bringing together resources and people who understand the value of a well-designed and comfortable space for all women and families.

An Artist's Perspective on Nature // from painting to photography

Andrea Bonfils loves the beauty in nature and as an artist works to capture the beauty and interpret it in her unique style. She has been creating mixed media works and paintings that reflect the outdoors, nature and the animals she loves and is now offering edited collections of her photography of nature. Andrea has been exhibiting and developing a following for her unique artwork. She has developed techniques using layers of oils, encaustic wax and photography combined with a great color sense which adds even more depth and dimension to her works.

The methods, like the subject matter are organic - they have evolved over time for Andrea. The encaustic wax melts and blends to create works that are individual and impressionistic. Her works are tactile - I was surprised to feel the smooth, glossy finish.

Andrea has always been photographing the subjects she loves as well. She spends time in CT and also in Sante Fe, NM - so her images combine the beauty of the east; the coastline, the snow and also the unique feel, with the textures and colors of the southwest; the flowers, sunsets and the wild horses that Andrea loves to spend time with and capture in her photographs.

“They are majestic, regal and powerful yet sensitive, engaged and vulnerable. Being in the wild with them and following their routine is one of the most enjoyable activities in my lifetime. If I can photograph and relay even a minuscule portion of that joy than the experience can be cherished repeatedly” and she adds, “Who does not loves horses?”

I have to agree...I have found that most people have extremely warm and positive response to beautiful and powerful images of horses.

Andrea photographs wild horses in two sanctuaries near her home in Sante Fe. One is private and the other is on the BLM (Bureau of Land Management, government funded and managed land) where they are protected from slaughter. Many are "3 strike horses" and lucky enough to be saved, much like kill shelter dogs. The politics and work involved in protecting the wild horses is limitless and there are many good people working on their behalf  - but still much needs to be done.

“...the wild horses are just another miracle of what inspires me in our fantastic natural world ...that which is my ultimate playground!”

These beautiful images in Andrea’s collections of horses and the other photographs of nature are a great new addition to her body of work.  They're available in a variety of sizes and framing options for  different finished looks; framed in hand-welded steel

printed on canvas

mounted in plexi

and framed in barnwood

Andrea's talents allow her to interpret the world of nature that she's drawn to -  her work continually evolves, whether in paint, mixed media or through her photography.

Intro to LA art - Part l // Bergamot Station

On a recent visit to LA, we spent two afternoons enjoying art in LA. Day l we visited Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and afternoon 2 at LACMA. Bergamot was a very different art experience than our last LA visit when we toured the Getty.  My brother-in-law Neil, who we were visiting, planned the two days, and besides the unusual, searing over-100 degree weather, both days were terrific, and different. Bergamot Station in Santa Monica is a gallery complex that opened in 1994. The train station dates back to 1875 when the Red Line trolley ran from LA to the Santa Monica Pier. Both the Pier and the gallery site retain their original rustic and industrial feel.

First stop at The Frostig Center, to see their 2012 Collection. The 60 year old Center is an internationally acclaimed school for students with learning disabilities. When the Frostigs founded the Center, they created an ongoing series of sculpture and art, annual collections by LA artists that would help support the program. Ray Turner created these 9" sq. paintings on glass of each of the Frostig artists.

Sculptor Ken Price created this small series as a set. Unique for this collection, as he typically works much larger. We saw the Price exhibit at LACMA and learned more about his much acclaimed works.

a Frank Gehry sculpture

Leslie Sacks Contemporary had an exhibit of Charles Christopher Hill's graphic paintings. The linear paintings have "endless layers of acrylic varnish" that create depth and a beautiful texture.

Earlier works combine layers of mixed media, cloth and thread.

Loved the contrast of the next exhibit, Bill Barminski's work at the Robert Berman Gallery. Barminski, an LA artist and adjunct professor at UCLA creates work as a statement on pop and consumer culture. Barminski comments on the "nostalgia people feel towards 'classic' products in the post-war era".

A replica of the surfboard the artist had at 13 from K Mart.

Cardboard Air Jordan's.  I'm familiar with the classics - and have a limited understanding of their place in sneaker history, thanks to my son Brett.

The Lois Lambert Gallery had an interesting exhibition, Dress Code, by Gwen Samuels. Samuels creates replicas of clothing and shoes, using digital images on transperency and then hand-stitched together. She uses mixed media, combining old and new. Loved the corset...

and shoes

Then two photo exhibits. Toshio Shibata at Gallery Luisotti. These powerful images of nature are at once abstract and detailed.

Peter Fetterman Gallery specializes in 19th and 20th century black and white photography, with an emphasis on human imagery. There were two terrific exhibits, Photos de Cinema with a number of images of Jean Seberg  filming in Paris.

and Grace, by Elizabeth Sunday. For 26 years, Sunday has created beautiful images that reflect traditional life in Africa. She uses a flexible mirror to photograph "reflections that blend and dissolve the boundaries between her figures and their environment".

I was thrilled to see an iconic photograph I love in their collection, Girl in the Window, by Ormond Gigli. In 1960, Gigli envisioned this photo as he watched an East 58th St. brownstone being torn down - he placed 47 formally dressed models in the windows the night before it was demolished.

We throughly enjoyed walking through the galleries at Bergamot Station  - in the few hours we were there, we saw very diverse collections, giving us a great introduction to LA art.


Picture Perfect // Bramasole Photography at Nest Interiors

Christine Wexler’s photography collection, Bramasole, looks and feels like summer. I met Christine in the winter, and as soon as I browsed through her work, it brought me right to summer - the waves, the warmth, the beach.  And now that it’s July, its great to see her work exhibited at Nest Inspired Home. The home shop in Rye is a great spot for Christine’s work, it fits their mix of easy, classic contemporary home furnishings and accessories. Bramasole in Italian means, to yearn or long for the Sun.  Umbrella's captures the colors and light on the Italian coast.

But most of Christine's photographs are more local, taken in the Hamptons, of surfer life.  She has exhibited in the Hamptons for many successful summers.

This will be the Westchester resident's first time showing locally.

Christine captures the splendor of the ocean in all it’s moods and those of all ages who come to experience the surf and the beach.

and the beauty of the ocean

Like Christine, I  love the beach and ocean.  Cliffs reminds me of a very memorable day when my friend Billy and I hiked and navigated our way from the lighthouse at the eastern most tip of LI, along these cliffs, to see the beautiful Stanford White mansions along the coast.

Christine's words of inspiration will resonate for those, like me,  who share her love of the summer and the sea;

“I credit my father for my love and appreciation for the ocean. The strength I gain when I stand in front of a vast sea is rejuvenating and overwhelming. The smell of the air and sound of the waves is empowering. 

As a child my father taught me to respect the force of the water and its gifts, to use the open space of the beach to clear your mind... To embrace that every wave is different and every sky is new.

I began photographing a special beach about six years ago. Montauk is considered "The End "of the Island... but it is always a new beginning for me. 

I started with a focus on the landscape of the cliffs and beach. I soon found myself drawn to the people. People surfing, walking, just being. Watching them contemplate, prepare, envisioning the ride... I found how glorious the human spirit can be. At first I felt that I was intruding on sacred space and without disrespect, I began photographing from a distance.  

My inspiration, my surroundings, my motivation has grown into my attempt to capture moments of peace and serenity so easily lost in our everyday lives. A true reminder to ground ourselves in a time of such uncertainty.

Just watching each individual pay their respects to the ocean... stare out to an endless sea of possibilities... I realized I am not alone in my addiction/love for the beach. Many of us long for it, some of us are fortunate to have it everyday. Many have said my work is a reminder of their time with the sea.

On July 9th, Nest is partnering with County Harvest, a Westchester-based organization that collects and brings food to Westchester’s hungry. There will be a food collection at the store during the week and a cocktail event on the 9th from 6-9. 10% of all sales of the evening will go to County Harvest.

Hope you can stop in to this Picture Perfect evening - or another time through the summer to see Christine’s photography ...