Archive | July, 2011

Friday Faves: Sugar & Spice

29 Jul

Maybe it’s the little girl inside me.  Maybe it’s a way to relive the days when my imagination was unshackled and my days were carefree.  Who knows.  Whatever the reason, I am always drawn to whimsical, fanciful imagery of girls.  The kind fairy tales are made of.  These Friday Faves are everything nice.

Boundlessness in Bloom by Duy Huynh

Migration by Shannon Richardson

4 Keeps by Wyanne Thompson

Wildflowers by Rene Lynch

Stay tuned for features soon on each of these artists!  In the meantime, be sure to check out their websites!

1.  Duy Huynh ( featured image is also by Duy Huynh )

2.  Shannon Richardson

3.  Wyanne Thompson

4.  Rene Lynch 

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, filled with fantastical fun!

These Bucks Are BUCK: Rachel Denny

28 Jul

Is the adjective buck actually used in the common vernacular?  Or do only So You Think You Can Dance geeks like myself know what it means, thanks to Lil’ C?  He uses it as slang for something that is crazy good and cool.  Which is exactly how I would describe the sculptures of Portland artist, Rachel Denny.

Red Buck, polyurethane foam, wool and wood

On my morning walk with George today, we came upon a deer munching on flowers in a neighbor’s yard ( one of the things we love about the Northwest ).  So when I came across Rachel’s work this morning, I connected with it instantly.  Her work explores that surprise of the unexpected wildness of nature in urban settings and every day life.

Young Buck, merino wool, polyurethane foam, thread and wood

Young Buck and Red Buck, both above, are part of her Domestic Trophies series, which while appearing at first to be whimsical and playful, actually seem to be making a commentary on how we try to justify our own violence or antipathy against nature.  The head of an animal that was once a living, breathing creature, killed for sport and mounted as a trophy gets “domesticated” and rendered impotent by blanketing it in a warm and colorful wrap of fuzzy wool.  It is now rendered to be merely a decorative object instead of a wild beast.

The Lion and The Lamb, polyurethane foam, wood and wool

Or perhaps the artist is comforting these poor creatures.  Covering their eyes and shielding them from a future of staring down at the same scene day after day.  Or maybe she’s just having a little fun by creating something beautiful out of something so symbolically grotesque.

Teal Doe, polyurethane foam, wood, wool, paint and thread

Whatever Rachel Denny is doing, I am on the bandwagon.  These pieces are fanciful and fun and if there is a deeper message behind them, so much the better.

Go to Rachel Denny’s website for more of her sculptural work– the ceramics are great, make sure you check them out!

All images via

It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Hilary Williams

27 Jul

The world(s) created by Hilary Williams, that is.  But really her work is no more absurd than the world we see around us every day.  A San Francisco printmaker, Hilary takes elements of urban life, the natural environment and their inhabitants and repositions them into surreal landscapes.

Song and Dance for a Laugh

Haunting images of leaning buildings and ghostly figures are juxtaposed with decorative motifs and child-like doodles.  Echoes from the past haunt the present, creating a commentary on how far we’ve come, but perhaps, how little we have truly gained.

Herding Out Saturday Night

The dark, eeriness of the iconic architecture contrasts with the light and cheerful colors and patterns to create an absurd dichotomy.  Not unlike many recent trends that look to the past while still trying to find a place in the future.  Such irony is not lost on this artist and conveys the struggle of humanity to co-exist within the urban and natural landscape.

Adventures in Coasting

Hilary’s work is heavily layered which gives it a visual depth and complexity that draws the viewer in.  There is so much to see and figure out.  My husband George & I first saw Hilary’s work in The Pines Art Gallery in Hood River, OR.  We fell in love with her work and George could not stop looking at it.  A true testament to the power of the work!

The Front Porch by Hilary Williams

Check out more of Hilary’s work on her website, I think you’ll love it as much as George & I do.

Organic Perspicacity: Deb Haugen

26 Jul

Addendum:  If you like Deb Haugen’s work, prints will be available via One King’s Lane beginning August 5, 2011.

Organic is a hot word these days. It’s everywhere in the grocery store, pharmacy, heck just googling “organic” yields 430,000,000 hits.  When most of us hear the word today, we think of pesticide-free, naturally grown food.  Just as the organic food we eat is allowed to develop naturally, so is the Organic Art of Deb Haugen.


Deb sees the world through the fundamentals of nature, those microcosmic worlds that are happening unseen right before our very eyes.  She is using her paints intuitively, creating not a visual representation of the reality of the appearance of nature, but rather the emotionality of our response to the natural world around us.

La Lumiere de Vie

The artist’s response to those “atmospheric memories” is sketched out on paper and canvas in loose, biomorphic shapes that float within a watery universe.  These are the painterly representations of the feeling of dipping your toes into a frigid, running river, the scent of the woods after a summer rainfall, the movement of a snail along the forest floor.

Organic Mama by Deb Haugen

As one who does a lot of looking down while hiking ( serious klutz, party of one ), many of Deb’s paintings remind me of the intricate story that is being told beneath our feet.  There is so much to witness, if we would only take the time to stop and notice, truly experience the miracles taking place all around.

She's So Complex

Don’t just make due with eating organic food.  See with organic eyes.  Really get to know the natural world around you, even in your own backyard.  There are stories it would like to tell you and wonders to show you, if you would only stop, look and listen.

If you’d like to see more of Deb Haugen’s work, check out her website, The Organic Artist.

What are your favorite “atmospheric memories”?

Hello? This is Art calling.

25 Jul

Do you remember the days when we didn’t carry our phones around with us, but had to actually seek out that communication tool known as a phone booth?  That small, 37″x37″ box where you could look up a number, dial and have a conversation all for just a 25 cents?  OK, a dime if you’re really old experienced.

Seattle photographer Todd Jannausch saw in an old phone booth, not a relic of the past, but the blank walls of a would-be gallery.

Gallery ( 206 ), Occidental Park, Seattle, WA

Gallery ( 206 ) in Seattle’s Occidental Park, contains artwork by over 206 Seattle area artists, 18 artists are represented on the “walls” of the booth by original works on plexiglass.  This littlest gallery is part public art installation, part exposure vehicle for artists not represented in area galleries.  ( 206  is the area code for the Greater Seattle area ).  It provides not just an artwork display but an entire experience for anyone willing to step inside for a more private conversation.

Inside Gallery ( 206 )

Inside, lighting is provided by a solar-powered installation overhead and yes, there is still a telephone inside. If you pick up the receiver, you won’t be able to make a call, but you will be rewarded by the music of Dave Abramson.

When is the last time you actually used a phonebook?

Taking a peek inside the Gallery ( 206 ) “phonebook” and you’ll find more 206-area artists, showing examples of their work and contact information.  Not since the days of Superman has entering & exiting a phone booth been so much fun.

Addendum to the original post!  Thank you to artist Troy Gua for sending me a photo of his ceiling installation in Gallery ( 206 ).  The overcast weather that day ( in Seattle, imagine that! ) didn’t allow me to get a decent shot myself.  So here it be!  Truly cool.  Check out Troy’s website and Facebook page for more of his work.

Troy Gua installation

To find out more information, visit the Gallery ( 206 ) website.  If you’re in the Seattle area, stop by Occidental Park and see it for yourself!

Friday Faves: Eat. Drink. Be Artsy.

22 Jul

The hubby and I love food.  Eating food.  Buying food.  Cooking food.  Talking about eating, buying and cooking food.  We plan trips around where we will eat.  For us, food is more than just a way to provide energy to our bodies. ( Although, we take that pretty seriously ).  Food doesn’t just nourish our bodies, it is a feast for the eyes and the soul.  The best times are those spent lingering over wine after a delicious meal with friends.

For centuries, artists have seen the beauty and sensuality in food.  Gastronomical still lifes have long been the fare first of students, then of masters like Cezanne.  For this Friday’s round-up, I’m featuring some selections from an artsy menu.  Here are some of my favorite artistic comestibles!

Falling Seeds #8 by Gustavo Castillo

Opaque Cookies by Kim Frohsin

Tower by Justin Richel

Hot Sauce Spill by Carlos Lopez

Strawberry PB&J by Duane Keiser

After you wipe the drool off your keyboard, be sure to check out the websites of all these grocery-lovin’ artists.  Hmm.. I think maybe it’s time for lunch.

1.  Gustavo Castillo

2. Kim Frohsin

3. Justin Richel

4. Carlos Lopez

5. Duane Keiser

Any other foodie Artsies out there?  Have a favorite eatery or foodie artist?  Do tell!

The Illuminated Landscape: Marla Baggetta

21 Jul

I am extremely blessed to be living in one of the most dramatically beautiful areas of the country.  Around every mountain pass is another scene, ripe for immortalizing in paint.  As I’ve sketched here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve realized how difficult it would be to truly capture the sheer, magnificent beauty that is all around us.  To portray not just what the eye sees, but what the heart and spirit see.

Fables and Fantasies by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 48x48

It is this, seeing the landscape through heart-colored glasses, that draws me again and again to Marla Baggetta’s work.  She may be an Oregon artist, but I was a fan of Marla’s work long before making my home in the Northwest.  When I worked as a Project Manager/Art Consultant in Florida, posters of Marla’s work were always project favorites due to their prismatic serenity.

Prelude to Spring by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 36x36

Her work takes the viewer on a journey, drawing them into a world that is at once familiar and extraordinary.  The landscape of daydreams, illuminated with brilliant light and color.  It is what the world looks like through eyes full of hope and love.

The Sounds of Color by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 48x48

Marla’s work gives color and light to our emotions, bathing a foggy landscape in a warm, yellow glow.  Reminding us of the joy of a blue sky after a long winter.

Serenity Found in Blue by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 36x36

I hope to always see the world around me as this artist does.  Full of beauty, loveliness and wonder.  Even in the midst of a rainy Northwest winter.

To see more of Marla Baggetta’s work, please go to her website.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the Northwest, you can see her work up close & personal at Riversea Gallery in Astoria, OR.

Emancipation of Me, by Mimi ( Williams )

20 Jul

A bad night’s sleep does not sit well with me.  Ask George.  And last night, I did not sleep well.  Tossing and turning, waking up every hour to toss and turn some more.  A restless night = crabby blogger this morning.  But do you know what will turn my frown upside down?  Wonderfully fun and happy artwork.  While crabbing around this morning, after bearing too many Facebook statuses, links, etc re: um, odorous exports from bodily orifices, accidentally smearing blackberry jam on every article of clothing I’m wearing and falling up the stairs, one image kept coming to mind.  This one, by Olympia, WA artist Mimi Williams

What A Dandy Day by Mimi Williams

Was it my mind being cyncial & sarcastic?  Maybe.  Or was my subconcious trying to remind me that no matter how the day is going, that my life is, indeed, dandy?  Or maybe it was the universe reminding me of Mimi Williams’ work and nudging me forward to feature her on the blog.  I’m thinking it was a combo of those last two.

Kitchen Confidential by Mimi Williams

Whatever the case, it gives me great pleasure to present Mimi’s wonderful linoleum prints to you.  Seriously, these make me smile, so it is doing much for my mood just to peruse her website.  Unlike a painting, which can evolve over time, a linoleum print must know what it will be from the beginning.  The artist must decide the composition, the positive and negative spaces and such beforehand, because once you start carving into the linoleum, there’s no going back.

Flying Free by Mimi Williams

So it is no wonder that I am marvelling at how free and fluid these pieces seem to be.  They flow with narrative detail, unlike most linoleum block prints I’ve seen, that are more, well, block-y.

Cup of Joe to Go by Mimi Williams

There is something about the nature of her visual storytelling that seems both nostalgic and modern.  Kind of in the way that Mid-Century design fits in so smoothly with contemporary design.  Perhaps it is the way the design and colors remind me of groovy 1950s barkcloth.

Anything is Possible With the Right Partner by Mimi Williams

The compositions suggest the capturing of a moment in time, almost photo journalistic in style.  Almost like they could be screen-shots from an old movie or those wonderful old photographs found in your grandmother’s closet.  Back before laptops and internet and smart phones, a slower, simpler time.  A time when riding in the back of a truck was okay.  Feeling the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, an open road before you.

Wishing I'd Brought a Hat by Mimi Williams

If you’d like to see more of Mimi Williams’ work ( and I heartily suggest you do! ), check out her website.  Now that I’m smiling, maybe I’ll indulge in some more happiness inducing activities.

Art For Guys

19 Jul

Today I was stuck on what or who to feature on the blog.  Nothing was jumping out at me.  Desperate,  I asked my husband.  His first ( joke ) repsonse was “Thomas Kinkade”.  Hardee har har.  His next suggestion was “Guy Art”.  I was like art featuring guys?  Art by guys?  No, art guys like.  Oh!  I asked if the blog was becoming too girly.. he said no, but I have my doubts.  There’s been a plethora of pink around here lately.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But my taste in art isn’t always so feminine.  I like a bit of edge and irony, too.  So in honor of my hubby, whose own appreciation for art is growing every day, here are some examples of art that any guy would be happy to hang in his swingin’ bachelor pad.

Martyr by Alwin Jackson

Alwin Jackson is a painter.  He doesn’t put up a front of pretentious, artsy bullsh**.  Maybe that comes from having been in the corporate advertising world for twenty years.  His images are clean and bold and I think most guys would appreciate their no-nonsense attitude.  This girl certainly does.

Untitled ( History Painting ) 2011 by Tony Rodrigues

Tony Rodrigues’ work takes an introspective look back at icons from childhood and pop culture.  What grown man doesn’t have memories of playing “cowboys and indians” when he was young?  His sentimental take on figures and themes take us back to the “good ol’ days”, but leave us wondering, how good were they, really?

Beats in Paint by Robert Leedy

It is a truth universally acknowledged that most guys wish they were musicians.    ( My hubby will attest to this fact, though I think he’s a better guitar player than he gives himself credit for ).  How many rockstars started out by picking up an instrument as a way to meet girls?  I bet Robert Leedy’s Beats in Paint make you want to wail on a drumset like you’re Keith Moon.

Building Faces- Crown Fountain Juxaposition, Chicago, IL by Doug Eng

Boys love to build stuff.  It’s why Erector Sets and Legos have been around for so long.  Many men have contributed to the architecture of great cities like New York and Chicago.  Doug Eng captures a glimpse of humanity among the concrete and steel, reminding us that these buildings are built for, built by and filled with, people.

Freedom by Steve Williams

Teddy Roosevelt was a man’s man president.  A boxer, a soldier, a hunter and outdoorsman, embodying his ideology to “Speak softly and carry a big stick”.  Artist Steve Williams pays his due to this former president in his Currency series.

Stoic by Brian McGuffey

For those guys who want to show off their bagged game, but not actually, you know, kill a beautiful wild creature just for the bragging rights, Brian McGuffey’s Stoic is just the thing.  I don’t know, this deer looks seriously ticked off for having been decapitated. I wouldn’t cross him if I were you.  Just nod gently and let him be.

Remember that thing about guys wanting to be rockstars?  Is there a rockstar cooler than the gravelly-voiced Tom Waits?  Seriously.  John Duckworth renders his steely glaze perfectly.  And yes, there’s some pink in there.  Duckworth and Waits aren’t afraid to rock the pink.

Tom Waits by John Duckworth ( #2 of triptych )

Friday Faves: City Slickers

15 Jul

We are headed to Seattle this weekend, one of my favorite cities in the world, the city where George and I fell in love.  And while I was falling in love with G ( I was probably a little in love with him when we were friends in FL, but that’s a story for another time ), I was also falling in love with Seattle.  I adore visiting cool cities– the urban landscape and architecture fascinates me.  So it carries over that I would adore the art of the cityscape.

For this Friday Fave round-up, I’d like to share some of urbanist artists whose work I’m crushing on lately:

Hill Houses 2 by Brin Levinson

Passing 1 by Jason Webb

Solitary I by John Duckworth

Loew's Hotel, 33rd Floor, Philadelphia by Sara Yeoman

Miyami by Darra Crosby

Great Tortoise Hostel, Seattle by Robin Weiss

Boulevard Windows by Sharon Dowell

Looking forward to bringing you more from these artists soon!  In the meantime,  take a gander at their websites..

1.  Brin Levinson

2.  Jason Webb

3.  John Duckworth

4. Sarah Yeoman

5. Darra Crosby

6. Robin Weiss

7. Sharon Dowell 

Are you taking it to the city streets this weekend?  What’s your favorite city for artsy inspiration?

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