Artist in Residence Posts

5 Atlanta Artists That We Believe In

By: Stephanie Andrews

Art is an integral part of great design, and local art makes a space especially meaningful. Over the years we have featured dozens of local Atlanta artists in our studio gallery in Candler Park, but there’s always more we want to share. Here are five of our current favorites.

Briana Gordon

Photo Courtesy of bngordon

We get inspired by Briana Gordon’s art each day we pass by our designer Melody’s inspiration board. Briana’s portraits of black women are beautiful, colorful, and deeply expressive.

Yoyo Ferro

Photo Courtesy of Yoyo Ferro

Yoyo Ferro’s artwork is especially personal to me because my son went to The New School, whose exterior was transformed by the artist into a joyful, colorful masterpiece. Each painting, whether on a canvas or a brick wall, brings happiness to its environment.

Carl Linstrum 

Photo Courtesy of Carl Linstrum

A professor of art at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Carl’s mixed media paintings feature intriguing colors, textures, and layers with a focus on foliage and Portuguese tile inspired backgrounds. (Plus, he’s a neighbor to our Candler Park studio!)

Kat Denson

Photo Courtesy of Kat Denson

Years ago, we helped Kat Denson renovate her historic Druid Hills home and have been enamored with her art ever since. Whether she’s painting animals, abstracts, or florals, it’s her modern impressionist brushstrokes and color palette that delight us in each piece.

Helen Ferguson Crawford

Photo Courtesy of Helen Ferguson Crawford

A trained architect and artist, Helen Ferguson Crawford (another Candler Park neighbor) mixes expressive, energetic linework with vibrant and intense color blocking. Her abstract paintings are surprising and invigorating.

Atlanta’s ever-growing art scene is constantly evolving with new and exciting talent. Seen someone you think we need to know about? We are always looking for unique pieces that move us! Reach out and let us know at

Dave Lasker

by Stephanie Andrews

As we begin our focus this month on home love, we wanted to share a local artist that we really admire.  As designers, we love to introduce our clients to talented local artists and craftsmen to build their personal collections.  We were recently introduced to Dave Lasker’s sculptures and were blown away by their beauty.  In particular we loved these pieces, “White Bird Forms”, hand carved and painted in gesso, mounted on 100 year old beams.  Brought together, they take the shape of a heart.

When asked about his inspiration behind the piece, the artist noted: ‘”White Bird Forms” are inspired by nature, beauty and simplicity.  They are the bare essence of the form. Their gracefulness speaks to our harmony with nature, while also representing unique individuality.’

These beautiful sculptures are on display at Emory Hospital in Atlanta in the cardiology wing.  What an honor it must be, to be able to use your work to uplift so many people throughout the day.

Photo courtesy of Dave Lasker


Fall Opening: Collaboration with artist, Penny Treese

We are truly excited to share with our friends, family and community our Fall Open house.  This event is next Friday, November 15th from 7-9 pm.  We hope that you will be able to join us for art from award winning artist, Penny Treese, our new winter collection, food, drinks and fun.  Balance Design relishes the opportunity to infuse our designs with local and emerging artists.  Please read on to learn more about artist Penny Treese.
Balance Design Tell us a bit about you, your background and how you got into art?
Penny Treese I’ve been inspired to create art since age 5, and the passion to devour and craft multiple art forms is simply in my DNA.
The decision seemed to be made when I was born. My parents nurtured my love of art and provided me with every type of lesson from local artists throughout my youth. They encouraged art school and supported every move that brought me closer to living my dream of being a working artist. A 10-year career in design and advertising before diving into full-time fine artistry gave me the backbone to withstand the drastic highs and lows of this life-path.
I’ve been blessed with the rises and falls of the “artist-life tide”. I truly see the highlights as delicious icing and yet the struggles are where I’ve grown most exponentially. I’m proud to have been one of the six original artists who formed the Fine Arts Workshop Atelier under masters Michael David and Thomas Swanston. The mastery, synergy, and discipline significantly changed me as an artist and human being. I’m grateful to have won awards, been juried into exhibitions and sold many works, however my most glowing moments occur while I’m teaching art and helping others find joy and self-love.
BD-What are some of your primary inspirations for your art?
PT– I’m moved by nature and memory. Healing waters of the ocean, sweeping prairies of my home-state of Illinois, vast skies and stillness. I aspire to help others, as I heal myself in terms of feeling true self-acceptance and self-love, embracing imperfections as the unique and beautiful essence that defines us all.
Within the past 15 years, I’ve been inspired to study the delicacy of the female form, reflecting on our self-acceptance as we age. I earn to cast aside culture’s definition of beauty and celebrate the eternal essence shining through from within.
BD- I know that you teach encaustic painting, why do you enjoy that?
PT- The love of teaching came as a surprise to me. My parents are both retired teachers and worked incredibly hard yet made very little, which left me steering clear of the path of education as a career. However, after my first teaching art-session, I was hooked! It felt like pure magic to see the glowing smiles on beginner’s faces as they melted colorful wax with a blowtorch, and watched it meld into creations that healed their souls. I hope to teach for as long as I’m able, and incorporate meditation and self-healing into classes, allowing guests to discover their “true selves” and embrace the process as more crucial than the final painting. However, most students leave my sessions with “masterpieces” that speak straight to their hearts.
BD- Tell us about that incredible award you recently won?
PT-Last month, I was honored to have one of my paintings juried into ADC (Art Design Consultants) annual exhibition in Cincinatti, Ohio. Suddenly, while seated in the audience of a large auditorium, filled with talented artists from around the country, I heard my story being read. I had to pinch myself as ADC owner, Lisa Spanos announced that I’d won their The Emerging Artist of the Year award and received a gallery contract with Buckhead Art & Company. Over 3,000 works of art were entered this year, therefore it didn’t seem possible that I’d been chosen. I was literally shaking as I crossed the stage, as an image of my artwork was projected across a 20-foot screen above me. Gratitude for this honor pulsed through my every cell as I felt incredibly supported by each of the artists that joined me in celebrating that evening.
BD-Why do you think people are so attracted to your art?
PT-In keeping with the notion that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” I believe that viewers see a beloved aspect of themselves when observing my artwork. Whether they relate to my “Ephemeral Figures” which have been distressed with rainwater, wine, or tea or my abstract paintings that attempt to capture a moment of true enlightenment, I imagine that they are looking into a proverbial mirror. Some are brought to tears by a work, yet struggle to articulate the reasoning behind the emotional connection. I paint what’s in my heart to heal my soul and that seems to resonate with certain art appreciators. I’m happy when it does and so very grateful to be living an authentic life, doing what I love and sharing it with the world.

How Art Influences Interiors

By: The Balance Design Team

When viewing art, it can sometimes be easy to see how one movement influences the next. But what about across mediums? Does sculpture influence graphic design? Does painting influence woodworking? Yes, yes, and more yes. As designers, we draw inspiration not just from our colleagues and predecessors in our own field, but also from the talented artists and makers in other areas.

Alex Calder and the modern mobile

Photo courtesy of Artsy.

Alexander Calder’s mobiles are sculptural embodiments of the passage of time and the movement of air. Simple geometric shapes combine with visual and kinetic movement to create inspiring art in motion.

Photo courtesy of ATY Home Decor.

Modern mobiles have taken many forms, from sophisticated nursery decor to innovative lighting. The impact, however, remains the same: an intriguing fixture of tranquil movement.

Georgia O’Keeffe and the beauty of simplicity

Photo courtesy of Widewalls.

Her flower paintings are iconic, but Georgia O’Keeffe did more than just magnify a part of nature — she took things we see every day (but may not stop to really look at) and gave them a powerful presence.

Photo courtesy of Lekker Home.

In design, it’s our job to bring out the potential in a room. Looking at a simple piece of furniture, we see not only its practical use, but also the way it relates to the environment around it. As Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.”

Giulio Aristide Sartorio and imaginative color

Photo courtesy of Arte Liberty.

Sartorio, an Italian symbolist, drew inspiration for his paintings from dreams and visions. In a time when depicting your subject as realistically as possible was the standard, he instead focused on his own imagination.

Photo courtesy of Elle.

We channel our inner Giulio Aristide Sartorio in each design by challenging the status quo, often through color choices. An updated color palette can revamp an entire room and create an entirely new mood, like a stately deep green built-in bookshelf, or invigorating deep blue dining room walls.

Betty Anglin Smith and mixed genres

Photo courtesy of Betty Anglin Smith.

Anglin’s expressionist brushwork and vibrant color create a modern interpretation of the the French impressionists’ landscape paintings. Looser strokes and bolder hues capture the essence of her native Charleston’s coastal light patterns.

Photo courtesy of Katie Considers.

Similarly, in interior design you don’t have to start from scratch to modernize a classic piece. Showcase your beloved antique by updating it with bold new fabric, pops of color, or both! This mix of old and new keeps the vibe relaxed and fun, yet elegant and elevated.

All of your tastes are interconnected and influence one another. For some, this means your style is cohesive and streamlined. For others, things can get a little more eclectic. Regardless of where you fall, embrace it! Get curious about why you’re drawn to something, and look at it in the larger context of your likes and dislikes. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your overall sense of self and maybe find that there’s a common thread linking everything together.

Color Palette: Helen Frankenthaler

By: Danielle Clockel

A female pioneer of the somewhat male-dominated abstract expressionist movement of the ’50s and ’60s, Helen Frankenthaler’s color field paintings often look like fluid watercolors. In actuality, they are oil or acrylic paint diluted with turpentine. This “soak stain” technique creates ethereal yet saturated compositions that are still modern, soft, and bold all at once.

Photo courtesy of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

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