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Top of Aspen Mountain.

Top of Aspen Mountain.

Few of us have the opportunity to get an extended, windowless aerial perspective on the world, to hover above its cacophony and bustle and, released from that ceaseless din, perceive the patterns and beauty the singular perspective of being aloft can offer. Los Angeles photographer Gray Malin, however, succeeds in both perceiving and capturing these uncommon, charming, and colorful perspectives on park loungers, beach lovers, ski disciples, city dwellers, and single swimmers. He does all this from the cockpit of a roving helicopter, no less. (sidenote: there are loads and loads of fun shots of his feet dangling from the door of a moving helicopter.)

Gray's high-contrast, vibrant photographs reflecting the unique beauty of New York, Australia, Bolivia, Italy, Greece, Namibia, Cape Town, Antarctica and then some, adorn the walls of countless designers and photography bon vivants (and his best-selling images are emblazoned on beach towels and umbrellas, bikinis, aprons, and Iphone cases, lest you prefer Gray Malin photos-to-go). 

We first stumbled upon his photography several months ago while attending an animal rescue gala here in Los Angeles, where one of Gray's photos was up for auction. We quickly joined his awe-inspiring Instagram following of 149,000 fans and are beyond thrilled he was willing to be featured in our Lily Spindle SHAPERS series!

xx - Rebecca + Deb

Your photography vibrates with color, joy, and life, whether it’s capturing the populous of Aspen mountain skiers or the understated humor in a pair of llamas adorned with balloons. Is your attitude relatively joyful when you’re capturing these images? And when you look at them later, framed and hung in new and different environs, what emotions do they conjure for you?

I definitely aspire to create artwork that evokes joy, so it’s accurate to say that my attitude while shooting is positive. I love seeing the work in it’s intended home, the walls of one’s home, so it’s always a happy moment to see it truly come to life in client’s homes.

Gray Malin + Stella, his beloved rescue dog.

Gray Malin + Stella, his beloved rescue dog.

You and your husband have a dog (of course). Can you tell us a bit about how she came to you - how old, name, et cetera? Is she a fabulous model for your photos?

We adopted Stella about 5 years ago, and she has been brought nothing but happiness to our home. And, yes! She’s a great little model. We’ve worked together a few times..haha!

Central Park Lawn. 

Central Park Lawn. 

Maroubra Bay Swimmers.

Maroubra Bay Swimmers.

Who are your three favorite photographers and could you describe each of their bodies of work using two adjectives for each?

1) Slim Aarons - Classic & Luxury

2) Cristo and Jeanne-Claude - Forward thinking and structural

3) David LaChapelle - Editorial Fine Art

If you could have breakfast with one famous person, living or dead, who would it be? And what would you order?

I’d love to meet Martha Stewart.  We’d share something delicious inspired by one of her recipes, perhaps a quiche and talk decor and entrepreneurship.

Carry-on Cocktail Sprinkle Kit? Get one  here .

Carry-on Cocktail Sprinkle Kit? Get one here.

Velvet or Mohair? Stripes or Polka Dots?
Velvet. Stripes.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?

Is there such a thing as a late morning person? I’d have to say I’m a bit more of a morning person, as I love to get in exercise before hitting the ground running for the work day.

What's currently on your bedside table?

A yummy smelling candle I got from Collette in Paris, while I was there for an event last spring.

What would we be surprised to know about your design proclivities?

Not sure if it’s much of a surprise, but I love fresh flowers. Whenever possible, I like to incorporate into decorating as they just add that extra pop of color and softness to a room.

Hamptons Lone Swimmer.

Hamptons Lone Swimmer.

La Dolce Vita; Positano.

La Dolce Vita; Positano.

Lily Spindle’s SHAPERS profiles the people whom we consider to be remarkable movers and shakers, doers and dreamers, trailblazers and big thinkers, the people who are doing things a little bit differently and unconventionally, with immense heart, passion, and authenticity in what they do. Artists, designers, writers, philanthropists, iconoclasts, artisans, heroines, voyagers, and all kinds of extraordinary extraordinaires will be interviewed in our SHAPERS series. Enjoy!

Happy National Dog Day!

As you well know, we are fervent devotees of animal rescue and do what we can to help speak up for the voiceless. We also have a whole lovely pack of goofball dogs between us, each of them rescues of varying ages and sizes, but of equal cuteness. For National Dog Day, we're celebrating our wonderful knuckleheads and featuring Deb's super magical dog (one of three), the one and only LILY (yes, she's partly the inspiration for our name).

We strongly suggest reaching out to your local rescues, spay and neuter programs, shelters, and intervention programs to affect change. Every effort, collectively, can make a huge impact and we, day by day, dog by dog, cat by cat, bunny by bunny,  can change the overpopulation, neglect, and abuse of animals. Foster, donate, adopt, rescue, volunteer! They're worth it. WE PROMISE!

with love,


You and me and everydog we know

“A really companionable and indispensable dog is an accident of nature. You can’t get it by breeding for it, and you can’t buy it with money. It just happens along.”
- E.B. White

And that’s how all seven beloved Lily Spindle dogs came into our lives . . . they just happened along.  They crossed our paths at that perfect moment when our hearts wrestled brief control from our rational minds (always questioning if we really need another dog – UM, OF COURSE!) and in they came. Every stinky, silly, frustratingly perfect one of them!

So when this little painting happened along we immediately fell in love with it, too!  We delighted in the way the artist’s adept brushwork captured the sturdy alertness of a terrier (of which we each have many), while the solitary vulnerability of the wee pooch grabbed our heartstrings and tugged hard! The artist’s undeniable sensitivity to dogs brings a quiet emotion to her painting that we don’t often see in canine portraits.  And although a contemporary work of art, the beautiful luminosity of the color palette and the abstract approach to landscape recalls some of our favorite mid-century Bay Area Figurative painters like Bischoff and Diebenkorn.

Tiny terrier painting
Tiny Terrier detail


Fortunately, there need not be a struggle in your heart or mind about bringing this petite dog painting into your life and home. The framed 5” x 7” oil on canvas gem can be yours for $250 by emailing me at  Hurry before this pup painting goes up on our website!

And remember, ALWAYS ADOPT!

-- Debra