11/21/2012 6:00:00 AM Gail Pittman displays newest designs
Renowed artist and businesswoman Gail Pittman showcased her holiday designs at Kademi during the Third Thursday sales promotion downtown. She also gave a sneak peek of her upcoming design. Pittman is no stranger to Philadelphia.
Renowned artist and businesswoman Gail Pittman signed her newest design for visitors during the Third Thursday promotion on the square last week. She is no stranger to Philadelphia.
Pittman, of Gail Pittman Designs, signed Christmas ornaments at Kademi and gave a sneak peek at her upcoming new design.
"I design pieces of art," she said. "Every piece is handmade and hand painted."
Pittman, who has been designing patterns for 32 years, said she likes to use bright colors, because "there's just too much dull in the world. Life's short and you need to enjoy it."
Of her 32 years as an artist, Pittman said it was "a lot of pottery under the bridge, a lot of mud under the deck."
The patterns for her work come to her mainly during her travels.
Noel, one of the pieces she showcased at Kademi, came to her after she wandered into a cathedral in Paris.
Another piece, Tango, was inspired by an article of clothing she saw while visiting Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley.
"I saw these colors starburst on an outfit," she said.
No matter what design she comes up with, Pittman notes one particular fact: that color is an emotional response.
"People see my work and become happy," she said.
Pittman said she couldn't choose a favorite from her many designs.
"It's like picking a favorite grandchild," she said. "The newest is always the favorite because you're explaining it to people and present it more often. Each pattern is like my child."
While at Kademi, Pittman gave a sneak peek at an upcoming line titled "Out on the Horizon." It will feature a white background with neutral colors.
Pittman also expressed her pleasure at visiting Kademi.
"This is a fantastic store," she said. "There are things here that I've been looking for that I saw when I walked in. Philadelphia is fortunate to have a store like this. I would definitely come back."
While this is Pittman's first event at Kademi, it isn't her first time in Philadelphia.
Her grandparents were the late Walker and Lena Byrd Jones, who lived on Pecan Avenue.
"I would spend summers at their home," she recalled. "I would go one week to the Methodist church Bible school and then the next the Baptist church.
One of her favorite memories is climbing the cedar tree in her grandparents' front yard.
"The stickers would get all over you," she said. "I also remember playing in their big backyard. It seemed so big to me."
Pittman is also the great-granddaughter of the late Adam Byrd of Philadelphia who served in the U.S. Congress.