Archive | August, 2011

Yes, Virginia, You CAN Afford To Buy Artwork! ( Part 1 )

31 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

It is a huge misnomer that only the rich can afford to be art collectors or even to purchase original work.  When most of us think of an “art collector”, we tend to think of the stereotype of the wealthy patron, attending auctions at Christie’s, buying artwork for more than many of us make in a year, heck, in a lifetime.  Or maybe you’ve gone into a higher end gallery and seen a price and thought to yourself, “Self, no way you’ll ever be able to afford that.”

Well, I’m here to tell you, the times they are a changin’.  It has never been easier or more affordable to purchase original artwork and/or high quality limited editions.   No, I’m not talking about the kind of “original art” you buy at the fleamarket or from a sale in a hotel ballroom.   I’m referring to original, gallery worthy fine art.  The kind you can be proud to hang on your wall.

Here are some suggestions for finding the artwork of your dreams and getting your collection started:

Online galleries/exhibition websites– These are popping up all over the place and many of them represent some very talented artists and you can usually find wonderful work in every price point.

  • Etsy— Possibly the largest online art & handmade marketplace, complete with a powerful search engine, you’ll find a wide range of artwork available.  Many artists are using Etsy to reach a wider audience and as a way to sell their work independantly. ( Note that many of the artists with shops on the “exhibition sites” will have their links on those sites connecting back to their Etsy shops. )

Into the Mystic, photgraphic print, 8″x8″ $30

  • 20×200this New York City based website works with artists to offer limited editions of original work.   Starting at just $20 for the smallest size, 20×200 offers affordable, quality work for newbie collectors.

Well-Being I, limited edition on archival paper, 8″x10″, edition of $200, $20

  • Papernstitch— I must admit, I’m a little biased toward this one, as it is run by my friend ( and fabulous artist in her own right ), Brittni Wood.  Started as a blog, Papernstitch is a growing online exhibition site, curated monthly by Brittni and features handpicked, talented artists, designers and craftspeople.   The Papernstitch blog is still going full force and features daily posts from Brittni and a handful of other talented contributors.  Papernstitch is definitely worth a look when you are searching for something special.

  Open Space by Rachel Austin, original mixed media on canvas, 8″ x 8″, $85

  • Artwelove— Founded in 2008, ArtWeLove “offers exclusive, museum-quality art editions by today’s inspiring artists”.  A big difference with this site is it focuses on offerings from artists whose work is found in top galleries, museums and exhibitions throughout the world.  The work is curated and commissioned directly from the artist to ArtWeLove exclusively– you won’t see these prints anywhere else.  The site has a “learning engine” similar to Amazon.com, which tracks your artwork preferences over time and makes recommendations for you.

 Petal, Pixel and Stain by Nina Tichava, limited edition on archival paper, starting at $50

  • PoppyTalk Handmade–Founded in 2008 by a Canadian husband and wife team, PoppyTalk Handmade is a monthly curated and “themed” marketplace showcasing artwork, handmade and vintage goods from around the world.   Sort of an online street fair/festival, PoppyTalk provides an online marketplace to emerging and indie artists and craftspeople. 

Pillow Land, sewn print by Clare Elsaesser of Tastes Orangey, 4.75″ x 4.75″, $20

Stay tuned over the next few days for more suggestions on ways to buy original art on any budget!

Artist Diggs: Angel’s Haven

30 Aug Birds in Progress

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

There are people and by people, I mean artists, whose life and art are so intertwined that almost everything in their life looks like their artwork.  Maribel Angel is one of those people and I mean that in the best possible sense.  The minute I drove up to her home & studio in St. Augustine, Florida, I knew I was in for a treat.

Maribel’s home & studio, which she shares with her husband, Cash, dog Miss Hannah and three cats, is on a quiet street removed from the bustle of tourists in downtown St. Augustine.  Entering through a green gate with a little bell,  I am greeted with a hug from the artist and meow from possibly the friendliest cat ever, Lulu. 

Trimmed in bright colors reminiscent of her paintings, the house, studio and workshop are like sweet little dollhouses.  Maribel and Cash purchased the property, which faces a lovely canal where Lulu loves to beg for attention from joggers, as a fixer upper and have done most of the work themselves over the years.  It is apparent that this is a place created with love.

Let’s go into the studio.

Sunlight streams through the windows, filling the diminutive studio with light and warmth. 

Every artist’s studio needs a comfy chair.  A place where an artist can curl up with a cup of coffee and read or dream about where inspiration will take them next.  Finished artwork or works in progress are all around the studio– like these sweet little horse paintings ( below ), which were big sellers during the MOCA Studio Tour a few weeks ago. 

The studio floors are reclaimed hardwood, which came from a local horse barn.  Maribel theorizes that perhaps the floors are subconsciously leading her to paint horses!  Whatever the cause, these equestrian inspired pieces are hard to resist.  However, I am even more in love with a new series Maribel is working on– inspired by the Anthropologie catalog! 

I told Maribel how much I loved these and when she told me her inspiration source, I was downright gleeful!  There is just something about Anthropologie that we artsy girls love.  Ask anyone who has ever been in one with me.  I get this joyous, glazed over look in my eye, which I’m sure is very similar to the look I had upon leaving Maribel’s.

On the opposite side of the room, are the quintessential elements of any artist’s studio– easel, work table and of course, stacks of works in progress.   See the horses?  I think the floors are working their magic. 

Ever wonder how Maribel creates those wonderful, collaged layers in her work?  First, she makes a color copy of the inspiration source, whether it be a textile pattern, page from a book or other ephemera, then soaks the copy in a medium solution which allows her to peel the transparent image from the paper.  The transparency allows for background paint and other elements to show through and using this instead of the paper itself will be more permanent and chemically stable. 

I can’t wait to try this out on my own.. I already have a few ideas!  If only I was as prolific as Maribel.. there is artwork and inspiration everywhere you turn in her studio.

Don’t you love the rustic window paned doors?  Maribel has definitely created a space that warms the heart and nurtures the soul.  I was there for less than an hour and came home incredibly inspired and ready to create!  I hope our visit to Maribel’s studio has done the same for you.

To see more of Maribel’s artwork, visit her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her own website.

Going Along Swimmingly: Samantha French

29 Aug 46936_144258768942575_144142035620915_191148_2451201_n

Please enjoy this oldie but goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

Swimmingly [ swim-ing-lee ]
–adverb-  Definition:  without difficulty; with great success; effortlessly.
‘Tis the season for swimming.  If you’re in Florida at least, maybe if you’re elsewhere ’tis the season to dream of swimming.  I recently came across the paintings of New York ( by way of Minnesota ) artist, Samantha French, bathed in sunlight and clear blue water.
Reminiscent of summers spent on Minnesota lakes, French’s work seeks to recapture those fleeting, carefree days of summer.  Days spent in the water, underwater, by the water.. nothing compares to the lovely worn-out feeling of a day spent swimming and relaxing in the sun.
The swimmers and sunbathers in French’s work are reminiscent of days gone by.. of colorful convertibles, hotdog picnics, the days of Hepburn and Tracy.

French has a show titled “Open Swim” opening at the Left Bank Gallery in Essex, CT this Thursday.  To learn more about the artist, visit her website and be sure to fan Samantha French Art on Facebook!  Prints of her work can be purchased through her Etsy store.

Perfect for summer, yes?

Friday Forager Faves: Shutterbugs

26 Aug Night Wheel

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

I can’t believe it is the end of another week already.  The time is quickly flying by as George and I prepare to make our way to the West Coast.  I plan to take LOTS of photos both on our trip and once we have arrived.  But alas, I am merely the point & shoot type.  Oh, I try to compose a nice shot or get all artsy with the angles and such, but I have a long way to go.

I took a few photography classes in high school and college and well, let’s just say I never did quite get the hang of it.  I am mechanically challenged to say the least.   I have such respect for fine art photographers, because I know how difficult getting that perfect shot can be.  So today’s faves feature some of my favorite photogs!

 Doug Eng

 

Amy Carmichael Smith

 

Thomas Hager

 

Pamela Viola

 

Heather Blanton 

 

Matt Sawyer

 

Have a great weekend, Artsies!  Get out and take some cool pictures.

 

Artist Diggs: Foard Above

25 Aug Work in Progress at Christina Foard's Studio

Please note that unfortunately, Christina is no longer in this studio.  She is actively created from her home studio– but I loved this insight into her creative world.

Christina Foard is above the clouds– literally and figuratively.  Her new studio space sits high above downtown Jacksonville in the AT&T building.  How could she not be over the moon? This is her view, ya’ll!

Despite the breathtaking view or perhaps, in part, because of it, Christina admits her new studio was a bit overwhelming when she first moved in.   An empty office space, originally intended for row upon row of cubicles, proved challenging to figure out how to best utilize as an art studio.  But a huge advantage to so much space?  Christina has room to breath and room to create.

Ditto goes for her three kids, who are often at the studio with her, sometimes for hours on end.  There is plenty of room for them to run around, even skateboard(!) throughout the studio and Christina has set up a “living room” so that she and the kids have a place to relax while she’s in the studio.

There is also room for Christina, the artist, to “play”.  When stuck for direction or just needing to get some creative juices flowing, she can plop herself down on the floor and play with paint and paper or stand over it and do some “Pollock-style” action painting.  If that won’t get your painting mojo working, nothing will.

Christina’s work is autobiographical– each piece is about a particular time, place, person or memory and is often used as a kind of catharsis, a way of working through a particular memory and replacing what may have been a negative with a positive.   Though a lot of her work is technically representational ( centered around recognizable objects ), it is also highly symbolic.  Circles and ribbons have begun popping up in Christina’s work lately, often symbolizing the intrusion of a chaos of thought on a peaceful mind.

Just as her life is constantly changing and evolving, so too, is Christina’s work.  For this artist, it is more about the process of creating than a finished “marketable” product.  ( Though people do respond to her work and it sells quite well ).  The paintings she creates aren’t necessarily “precious”, she will often go back and not just tweak but completely rework a piece so that it hardly resembles its former self.

The pieces pictured below, for instance, are works in progress.. they may not exist as you see them a week from now.

This new space is allowing Christina to grow as an artist like never before.  She is filled with ideas and there are stacks of new canvases just waiting for paint.

The new studio is also giving her a chance to venture into collage and sculpture.  She has wiped her slate clean of exhibitions and shows until early next year, to give herself time to rejuevenate, reinvigorate and explore where her art will take her.  I can’t wait to see where the journey leads!

You can see more of Christina’s work on her Pick of the Crop page here at Artsy Forager or drop by her website.

Different.. In a Really, Really Good Way: Deborah Scott

24 Aug Talking Fish by Deborah Scott

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

I never fail to be blown away by the humility I find in amazingly talented artists.  When Deborah Scott contacted me after I posted in the Seattle Artists group on LinkedIn, I had no idea what I would find when I clicked on her website.  It thrills me beyond belief when an artist contacts me to be featured on Artsy Forager and I go to their website and find artwork that is fresh, unique and unlike anything I’ve seen before.  Goosebumps, ya’ll!!

This Seattle area born & bred artist began her professional life in a marketing career working for big brands like Betty Crocker and Amazon.com.  She would eventually leave the marketing world behind, pursuing art full force, immersing herself in arts education and copying the work of old masters.

Balance, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x69

Her familiarity with image recognition and brand iconography comes through in her narrative figural work, where she employs classical compositions and perspectives juxtaposed against modern branding instantly recognizable to our 21st century eyes.

Lucky Charms, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x60

Consumption of Innocence, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x60

Stalemate, oil and mixed media on canvas, 36x60

Like the classical masters she studied, Deborah’s work has layers of meaning, symbols abound– some obvious, others more subversive.  But the result causes us to pause and consider, truly gaze at each work, wondering what the artist is getting at.. Is she poking fun?  Is she making a serious commentary on a topical issue?  A little bit of both?

The meaning isn’t obvious.  Though realistic in style, Deborah’s work seems abstract in meaning.  A blending of the best of both worlds, if you ask me.

Check out more of Deborah Scott’s work on her website, here.  Her work is currently on display at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, WA and The Hive Gallery in Los Angeles.  She hits the East Coast next year, showing at Susan Eley Fine Art in NYC.

Artsy Shoe Love

23 Aug

Please enjoy this oldie by goodie while I spend the next two weeks camping, packing, visiting with the mom-in-law and moving from WA to OR. See you in September!

Art
Art isn’t just limited paint on a canvas or carved marble.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love shoes, so these babies by Israeli born designer Kobi Levi won me over at first glance.  Amazing stuff!  I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did!

 

Happy Shoesday, my friends!

 

Pick of the Crop: Meet Miss Maribel

22 Aug Bohemian Blossom

It’s been such a grey, gloomy week here in North Florida, that I thought we could all do with a little sunshine!  Maribel Angel’s work never fails to make me smile.  Maribel grew up in a Spanish speaking family and their influence definitely comes through in the vitality and liveliness of her work.

Maribel’s work tells a story, one that comes from within her own imagination and world of dreams.  A place filled with festive color, galloping horses, flying bunnies and fanciful birds.

As Maribel’s work symbolically explores the effects of layers of time and history, so her treatment of her mediums are often a layering of paper, images, paint, text and symbols.

It is in these details that Maribel’s graphic design background comes through.   Not only in the use and placement of text, but also in the juxtapositions of color and pattern.  Actually, I’ve always thought she could be a very successful textile designer.  I would totally buy a fabric or wallcovering in the design of “Bohemian Blossom”  ( pictured below ), wouldn’t you?  I’m picturing a this on a full skirt with a crisp white shirt and floppy straw hat!

So, Maribel Angel.. Painter-Graphic Designer-Future Textile Designer ( if I had my way! ).. let’s see, any other hyphenates to describe this multi-talented artist?  Oh, that’s right–she’s also a sculptor!!

Maribel takes found objects and gives them new life in her assemblages and I must admit, I find every one of these “Cuckoos Nest” birds absolutely charming.   Seriously, I’ve never met one I didn’t completely fall for.   Maribel was sweet enough to give me a wonderful miniature guy and it is one of my favorite possessions.

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting acquainted with Maribel’s artwork.  I’m looking forward to sharing more with you soon!  In the meantime, you can check out more on her “Pick of the Crop” page here at Artsy Forager or on her own website. Her work can usually be seen in person at Plum Art & Design in St. Augustine, FL, Southlight Gallery in downtown Jacksonville or if you’re near Sarasota, see her work at Bolivar Art Gallery.

Savage Beauty: Madeleine Peck-Wagner

19 Aug An Empty House

Madeleine Peck-Wagner has a way of taking subjects that could be trite and making them extraordinary.  Her latest series features mythical wolves and horses, but in Madeline’s hands, they are treated in a way that is contemporary and elegant.  The cross-hatching & precision of the lines are reminiscent of architectural drafting, giving the figures depicted a strutctural, landscaped quality.  Conversely, blots and washes of brightly colored paints call to the spiritual significance such animals, both living and decayed possess.

Fighting Hessians

Russian Winter II

Wolves At The Door

We Are All Tragedies

To see more of Madeleine’s work, visit her art blog, Art Isn’t Rocket Science or visit Jen Jones Art Consulting.

Friday Faves: Wax On, Wax Off

19 Aug Crossroads

Encaustic painting is a favorite medium of mine.  Their waxy, frosting-like texture sends me over the moon.  Every time I’m in a gallery, I will be drawn to the encaustics, guaranteed.  So for this Friday round-up, I’m sharing with you some of my favorite waxy painters.

Why Stream Upstream by Mary Farmer, encaustic on canvas, 40×40

Whirl #1 by Wendy Franklund Miller, encaustic on wood, 12x12

River's Edge by Paula Blackwell, encaustic and oil on wood panel, 12x12

Interplay by Nancy Natale, encaustic with fiber, oilstick and oil paint on birch, 24x24

Do you have any favorite encaustic artists I should know about?  Do tell!  To see more work from these fabulous encaustic artists, please visit their websites.

1.  Mary Farmer

2.  Wendy Franklund Miller

3.  Paula Blackwell

4.  Nancy Natale 

Featured image is Crossroads by Nancy Natale.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s websites.

PS– As the hubby and I prepare to move from Aberdeen to his new assignment in Grants Pass, OR AND enjoy some camping and a visit from my mom-in-law, Artsy Forager will be rerunning some older posts over the next two weeks.  Hopefully, this will give new readers a chance to see some artists that were featured back when the only people reading were my family and friends. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: