Roberto Burle Marx Landscapes

Monteiro garden
Monteiro garden

Classic Roberto Burle Marx Landscapes

I have been studying photos I shot of Roberto Burle Marx landscapes. They tell the story of a renaissance man mining inspiration, from modernist art and the deep roots of Brazilian fauna and culture.

Sitio front door
Sitio front door www.mickhales.com/architecture

Roberto Burle Marx landscapes design gave him international recognition. He was the first landscape architect to have a retrospective show in Museum of Modern Art, 1991.

Pianist, plant collector, painter, garden designer and much more

But Burle Marx had a lot of other creative interests that he excelled in. He painted on canvas, wood and large swaths of cloth in a modernist post cubist style which had bold colors and tropical forms. He worked in ceramics and tiles. He was a pianist and trained singer. He was a plant collector and would dive deep into the Amazon region searching and learning about the rich Brazilian fauna. He was strong, energetic, forceful and a great entertainer. His birthday’s were celebrated with ornate sculptural decorations which he would actively direct and adjust.

Front door reception room
www.mickhalesphotography.com Front door reception room

When Denise Otis, House and Garden editor, and I visited him to photograph his home and creative retreat, Sitio; it was scheduled close to one of his birthdays. There was lots of pre party activity, with different floral sculptures of Brazilian style being created throughout the property.. The extraordinary New York florist Ronaldo Maia, also Brazilian, a good friend of Burle Marx, facilitated our visit as well as the beautiful preparations.

Front garden Fountain
Front garden Fountain www.mickhales.com/gardens

Roberto had project of various kinds going on all over the property. There were extensive collections of plants he had collected and was propagating. High above the house and garden was the a collection of stones and pillars. Roberto was hoping to make a temple like folly with a wonderful view across a broad valley. There were easels set up with canvases in the process of being painted; stacks of tiles of various strong colors for a wall piece he was creating on. Ever so often he would stop at an old grand piano standing in the reception lounge and play.

Preparations for birthday party
Preparations for birthday party www.mickhales/interiors

The photos are all part of my present work to make them available to the public and collectors. My print site is growing and represents some wonderful gardens around the world, many of which are no longer existing.

Mad for Tulips

Looking at the heart of Tulips
Looking at the heart of Tulips
Looking at the heart of Tulips https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

Tulip Mania

I can understand why the Dutch in 1637 were mad for tulips. Initially they were mad because they loved them so much, that tulips were selling for more than gold.

The bulbs, which originated in Persia and Turkey, were being hybridized by the Dutch into new forms and colors. The Dutch were so successful at creating the desire for these new bulbs that everyone went mad for tulips. Anyone that is who had the money to buy them. Sadly, also many people who did not have the money, were spending the equivalent of a years wages or the cost of their homes, to buy a Tulip bulb.

First Financial Bubble

Tulip Bellona. Single early Cadmium yellow
Tulip Bellona. Single early Cadmium yellow

Investors assign this ‘Tulip Mania’, to be the first financial bubble and as a prime example of people getting carried away while their investing and ending up with out a real asset. Within a week many people became bankrupt when the bubble burst. Then people were mad for Tulips, because they lost everything. They had been a symbol of wealth which faded very quickly.

Tulips are very reliable bulbs and the Dutch are still bringing great flowers to the market. Tulips have a strong form and color and can be predictable in their blooming time. They are loved especially in municipal plantings to provide great blocks of unified color. I especially think of the beds on the central divide of Fifth Avenue in New York city, with strong splashes of vibrant colors. Or the round fountain garden in the Conservancy Garden of Central Park with the huge plantings of tulips.

Strong Colors and Reliable

Tulip Flaming Parrot
Tulip Flaming Parrot https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

Tulips, are also wonderful individually. They bring such a strength of color that I decided to photograph some for fun in 90s and Galison Books created notecards with them. As I am going through my archives of photographs during lockdown these jumped out to me. I am going to start a new section on my ‘prints page’ of flower portraits so large prints of them are available for wall decorations.

Finding images for large wall prints

Going through old four by five film brings to mind all the wonderful opportunities I have had to capture and record beautiful gardens and homes. I am excited to now be able to share those images in another form as wall hangings rather than books and magazines. Beautiful large prints are beautiful especially for private and commercial spaces. I hope you enjoy watching www.mickhalesphotography.com, the print site grow.

Single tulip
Single tulip

Beyond Tennis

Ghislaine and Jamie Vinas make over a tennis house. https://mickhales.com/architecture/

Commission in Montauk

Photographing a tennis court in Montauk, seemed normal enough, until I walked into the house and knew this was beyond Tennis. I should have known with the talented team of Ghislaine and Jaime Vinas designers, I would be entering a super fun space.

Eating, lounging, table tennis are beyond the tennis outside. https://mickhales.com/interiors/

The whole project had gathered steam and became the fully kitsch, tongue in cheek, ‘Floritauk Tennis Club.’ Greens, yellows, blacks all collide into a fun mixture for a morphed Florida/ Montauk private Tennis club. The tennis house took up one side of the tennis court and sat way below the main house in the hills of Montauk, NY.

Published in Interior Design

This shoot was published in Interior Design magazine in August 2020. Mick Hales is mostly working on his archives at the moment while we are in lockdown. Pulling out stories shot for magazines or books on four by five film and converting it for digital use. This has been a dream of Mick’s to have the opportunity to bring his early photography work to be available for people to hang in their homes and offices. You can see what is already up on the site here https://www.mickhalesphotography.com.

More about Mick Hales.

Mick is also working part time as a chaplain in an elderly community in Florida, called Freedom Village. Every week he produces a video for their Sunday Vespers service which enables him to use his fun images taken with an i phone.

The Psalms illustrated by Mick Hales
The Psalms illustrated by Mick Hales

Earlier on in his photography life, Mick, always had a camera with him, no matter what. Sometimes that was a Leica, as he used to photograph more incidental street images in London. He also used a 4 by 5 a lot and built a shoulder hanging carry case to hitch hike with it around England as a photography student at the London College of Printing.

Finding Ryan’s

Ryan Gainey Poppies

Finding Ryan’s house

The cab pulled into a street in Decatur and immediately I knew which was Ryan’s house. There were flowers flowing out of the garden and climbing through the side walk in front a small busy house dripping with greens leaves. I had flown to Atlanta to photograph Ryans’ garden for House Beautiful which was published in November 1988. Finding Ryan Gainey seemed always a matter of chance, but that was the way Ryan liked it. Finding Ryan’s house was easier.

 Ryan Gainey portrait
Ryan Gainey portrait. https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

On Assignment for House Beautiful

Ryan Gainey is hard to describe because he was a man of many talents. One thing everyone can agree on is that he was creative with plants. Like pasting the whole of his living room ceiling with Magnolia Grandiflora leaves. Known for his collaboration with Tom Woodham in ‘The Potted Plant’, a successful retail venture, people began to find Ryan. He was distinctive in his thoughts, his speech, his dress, his flower arrangements, his entertaining. I remember him entering the Philadelphia Flower Show with a cape, broad brimmed hat, silk scarf and small round heavy framed glasses.

White flower arrangement
White flower arrangement on floor of the Ryan Gainey living room. https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

Ryan was very talented. He could be extremely charming or equally annoying. There was a story about everything in his house, his garden, his family and everyone he knew. Everything had a connection, a history, a relationship, a color he loved or hated.

He got to write books and magazine articles, design significant gardens, he created designs for large charity events. Everybody in Atlanta knew what Ryan was working on next. But at heart he was just a simple plantsman and a genius at it.

Ryan Gainey Poppies
Ryan Gainey Poppies. https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints
Dinner table set in the garden
Dinner table set in the garden. https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

His garden can only be described as a cottage garden, but Rosemary Veerey described it as, ‘entering a great hall of treasures’. Most of the plants were simple, ordinary in every way except how they grew, what they grew next to and how much they had been loved by Ryan.

Pulling film into the future

I got to photograph Ryan’s work in Atlanta and in France, at Anne Cox Chamber’s Provence house. I am going through my older photographs and digitizing them for my print e commerce site. Originally they were all photographed on 4 by 5 film so through this time with Covid 19 lockdown, I am digitizing my files to make them available again. Finding these pictures, is really encouraging to see, how much the work stands up today. Enjoy them all!!!

Colored Urn in Flower Garden
Colored Urn in Flower Garden https://www.mickhalesphotography.com/buy-prints

Saint-Gaudens:Revisiting

Revisiting published locations during Covid 19: Saint-Gaudens

Mick Hales is revisiting photographs of Saint-Gaudens for his print gallery. Mick photographed the Summer home of Augustus Saint-Gaudens for a story published by House and Garden magazine Dec 1985. Saint-Gaudens was an American Sculptor, active at the end of the nineteenth century and part of the Cornish Art Colony. He developed relationships with the architects Stanford White and Charles McKim and also the painter/ decorator John La Farge. They collaborated on many projects together.

Gardens and studios

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Lower Garden Terrace with bench with pair of Zodiac heads. MickHalesGaudens2

Mick Hales is now adding to his new print site. Many of these classic published photos are available for people to hang in homes and offices.

Collecting Images for Print Site

Mick Hales enjoys revisiting his Saint- Gaudens images because the Covid 19 virus makes travel very difficult. Spending time digitizing images has its benefits. Photography has changed in so many ways since large format film but it still involves timing and a talented eye. Shooting in the misty mornings and through the late afternoons into dusk, is still the way to go.

History

Saint-Gaudens’ parents moved from Ireland to New York, his mother being Irish and his father French. His father started a footwear business in New York. As a young teenager Augustus starting learning from a French stone cameo cutter Louis Avet. Later, the French influence in his life drew him between living in Paris and New York. He was also influenced by the French artist in Paris Henri Chapu and Italian Donatello. In 1868 he entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, until the Franco Prussian war when he moved to Rome. There he began to sculpt in earnest and completed his early work of ‘Hiawatha.’

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Amor Caritas, Angel of Charity, by Augustus Saint-Gaudens MickHalesGaudens3
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Pergola infant of the studio has grape vines growing above it. MickHalesGaudens5

The Neoclassical style of the mid 19th century started to change towards the more naturalistic Beaux-Art and Saint-Gaudens followed. Some of his notable commissions were Abraham Lincoln, The Puritan, Amor Caritas, Robert Louis Stevenson and the Sherman Monument. President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned him to redesign the 10 and 20 dollar gold pieces in 1905. Saint-Gaudens work is recognized internationally, on the very small coins or up to his larger monuments.

MickHales.Gaudens
Plaster Caste from the Parthenon depicts mounted horses. MickHales.Gaudens
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Pan figure stands over a fountain beneath birch grove.
MickHalesGauden6

One of the striking features of Cornish is the ever present form of Mount Ascutney. It’s eye catching shape is an important terminating feature in views and landscape design of Cornish houses. The life style of outside activities; dances, poetry readings and social gatherings always have Mount Ascutney in view. The light hearted ‘play time’ feeling at the colony is still alive. Mick’s photographs successfully show the spirit of the place where an ‘Arts Renaissance’ was underway; introducing a naturalist freedom within Classical boundaries.

The Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, the sculptor’s gardens and studios in Cornish, are open to the public seasonally. There are Covid 19 restrictions to be aware of.

Renaissance Man

Bedroom view

Renaissance Man

Stef Albert Bothma is a designer, painter and musician and works on the international scene. He is frequently in New York and used to live in the city with a view over the North end of Central Park. He has now settled in the Tuscany town of Lucca, Italy, after working to decorate part of a Palazzo in excellent style and taste. New York Cottages and Gardens magazine features the story in their
December/January 2019 issue.
A breath taking place to be.

Recently Published in Hamptons Cottages and Gardens Magazine Sept/Oct Issue

The Sept/Oct Issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens has a story of a Spec House make over by Blaze Makoid Architect.

The Hamptons have some wonderful residential architects to work with and certainly there are developers ready to speculate on building houses. Creating a 10,000 square foot house as economically as possible but not have it be bone ugly can be a challenge.
Photographing a house on a very grey day, one could say ‘bone ugly’ again, was also a challenge. That is what happens sometimes and you make the most of it.

Schools back and we are open for business.

Please let me know if you have any projects you would like to get photographed this autumn.

Mick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise,
at House and Garden magazine.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales

City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. Abrams

Photographing two Hamptons houses published in HC & G Architecture Issue

Photographing two fabulous modern houses, published in the Architecture issue of Hamptons Cottages and Gardens, was helped by years of experience of the photographer and editor.  One designed by Audrey Matlock and the other by Roger Ferris, both houses are very site specific and original in design.

I have worked as photographer with Audrey Matlock a number of years ago and was very excited when I was commissioned to photograph this house by Kendell Cronstrom, of Cottages and Gardens magazine. Audrey Matlock has an extremely clean sense of design and the building lines interact with each other forming intricate layers of space and form.  Even small movements around the house would create very different visual images.

Photographing modern houses can be very fulfilling because a lot of what a photographer is doing, is highlighting the building’s form and the ideas the architect has created, utilizing natural light. The initial walk through with editor Kendell Cronstrom, decided what aspects of a house are worth capturing and what styling they may require. Then the decisions as to where to start and what to photograph when throughout the day are crucial to a shoots results. Having a good idea as to what the weather is going to do through the day determines what the light will be like in the different rooms and on the exterior of the building. Often a grey day can be as useful as a very bright day, sometimes it works well to have both, which is what happened when we photographed Audrey Matlock’s design.

 

The Roger Ferris house was designed for a young family which wanted to keep the sense of living in a meadow. The barn like vernacular was created by there being three building blocks arranged conversationally together and slightly separated with horizontal wood cladding which extend into the roof surface. When seated in the living room a panoramic view of the meadow was achieved by three walls of windows. The simplicity of the buildings and their grouping made a strong reference to agricultural life even though they are set close to a very busy Hamptons town.

Only partial story lay out is shown here for both houses.

Recently Published in CT Cottages & Garden, gardens issue

CT Cottages and Gardens May Issue features a Japanese influenced retreat garden designed by Chris Zaimer and the owners, photographed by Mick Hales.

Approaching this garden one is confronted with an enormous Rhododendron round set conventionally in a sloping lawn, however, the recent addition of a Japanese styled garden hidden on one side of the house is where the owners’ heart lies. The designer Chris Zaima collaborated with the owner to create a peaceful retreat which incorporates several Japanese garden elements but still feels it is rooted in the Connecticut countryside.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales
City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. AbramsMick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise, at House and Garden magazine.

Recently Published in New York Cottages and Gardens April Issue, Crow Hill, a fabulous Palladian house photographed by Mick Hales.

 

 Superb Palladian style American Country house of Lynn St. John combines, art, color, whimsey and architecture to die for.

Set on the crown of a hill above the Kinderhook river in Columbia County is the fabulous house of Lynn St. John, a former NYC advertising and editorial photographer, who got a start through working for Irving Penn. The strong eye of a photographer shows through with the decor and design of the interiors. The house dates back to 1839 with tall windows and high ceilings, allowing wonderful daylight to fill the rooms.

Photograph your projects in their Prime

Mick Hales was born in England and grew up in Pakistan and Nigeria. He studied photography at the London College of Printing and moved to New York in 1982. His first commissions in New York were for Oscar De La Renta’s wife, Francoise, at House and Garden magazine. Since then he has worked with many major book publishers and most of the shelter magazines. His photographic style comes from studying how daylight is affecting a garden or building and being at the right place at the right time.

A Selection of Books Photographed by Mick Hales
City Green: Public Gardens of NYC.  Jane Garmey, Monacelli Press. 2018
New York Living: Reinventing Home. Rizzoli Books. 2017
Living Newport: Houses People Style. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Glitterati Press 2014
Bouquets with Personality. LucindaRooney. Mick Hales Stewart Tabori and Chang. 2009
Gardens Private and Personal. GCA book. Mick Hales. Abrams 2008
Flower Arranging the American Way. WAFA. Mick Hales. Abrams 2009
Private Newport: At Home and in the Garden. Bettie Bearden Pardee. Bulfinch 2004
New York Apartments: Private Views. Jamee Gregory, Charles Davey. Rizzoli. 2004
Antique Garden Ornaments; Two Centuries of American Taste. Barbara Israel. Abrams
Photograph your projects in their prime. Call Mick Hales and he will photograph your projects where ever they are. 518 672 0014

Mick Hales.