Evocative of spontaneity, light, and, air, the medium of watercolor naturally lends itself to painting outdoors. We commissioned our favorite artist, our mother, Anne Adams Robertson Massie, noted artist and nationally recognized watercolorist, to do our very first cover when we began in 1991. She has graciously painted all of our original covers since. Our first “payment” was to have our parents get rid of all of their existing outdoor furniture and replace it with early McKinnon and Harris; pieces they still have to this day. We loved the feeling watercolor brings to a garden scene and it just made sense to ask her to do it, after all, she’s one half of the pair who planted the seeds of McKinnon and Harris in the first place.
c. 1991, artwork for our very first cover.
This painting shows the Gothic Two-Seater Bench (a piece now retired) inside an arched porch. Our mother had been painting in the Umbrian region of Italy with Anne and this arch was partly inspired by architecture in Perugia. The following year, she had a painting win the Gold Medal at the American Watercolor Society’s Annual Exhibition in New York, considered the highest award in the world of watercolor.
c. 1996 Cover art
The setting of an arcaded porch was inspired by John Singer Sargent’s painting “Breakfast in the Loggia”, one of our family’s favorites in the collection of the Freer in Washington, D.C. When we were little we would wait in line for hours with our mother to get into the blockbuster exhibits that the Washington museums hosted. What a treasure to have them so close by!
This painting featured pieces from the McNeill Collection and continued our unintentional theme of porches in dappled sunlight. How very Southern!
c. 2001 Stylebook Cover
Painting of the Beaufort collection on the terrace with loggia in the background at Virginia House in Richmond.
c. 2006 Stylebook Cover
duVal Club Chairs with Moorish Backs against a fabulous mosaic tiled wall at Landmark Theatre, Richmond, Va. The broken pieces of color reminded us at the time of the work of Edouard Vuillard and Maurice Prendergast, two artists our mother has long admired.
c. 2008 Stylebook Cover
Beaufort Collection at Millford Plantation, Sumter County, SC. This quintessentially Southern plantation was the site of our first photo shoot outside Virginia. She painted this in a high key palette which lent itself to this elegant setting awash in sunlight.
c. 2010 Stylebook Cover
duVal Club Chairs with the Wyatt Coffee Table at Virginia House, Richmond.
c. 2012 Cover Art for Specifications Guide
The Otey Collection under the loggia at Virginia House, Richmond. (looking in the opposite direction from the previous cover)
We think one of the best things she ever taught us is to pay very close attention to things. To not just “look” at something, but rather to truly “see” it.< Back