Archive | September, 2011

Friday Faves: Where The Wild Things Are

30 Sep

One of the many things George & I love about the Pacific Northwest is the wildlife.  In the 4 months we’ve been here, we’ve seen bear, elk, hoary marmots, sea lions, elephant seals, eagles, chipmunks and more deer than I can count.  This area of the country still feels incredibly wild and untamed.  So this week, I’m sharing all the wild artwork I’m, well, wild about lately.

The Beast by Shira Glezerman, oil on treated wood, 35.43x55.12

Untitled Stag With Chandelier by Miranda Skoczek, enamel and oil on canvas, 43.31x47.24

Sweaters by Jennifer Davis, acrylic, charcoal & graphite on panel, 12x16

Sheep Chaperone by Vicki Sawyer, acrylic on canvas, 14x11

Have a great weekend, Artsies!  Be sure to check out each of these artists’ websites for more beastly artwork!

1.  Shira Glezerman 

2.  Miranda Skoczek 

3.  Jennifer Davis 

4.  Vicki Sawyer 

Featured image is Climber by Annada Hypes.  All images are courtesy of artist websites.

Paper Moon Dreams: Leigh Wells

29 Sep

When I hear the word “collage”, I think back to 2nd grade arts & crafts, safety scissors and Elmer’s Glue.  Of course, my little artsy heart was dreaming of creating beautiful art, not the actual result of magazine cut-outs wrinkled from using way too much glue.  The collage work of Leigh Wells is the stuff my paper moon dreams are made of.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

Simple shapes and soft, earthly colors create striking silhouettes that invite you in to explore their mystery.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

The organic shapes seem to morph in and out of each other, creating forms that are both familiar and alien.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

Part Magritte, part Ernst, part O’Keeffe… All Leigh Wells and all beautifully elegant and engaging.

Untitled, collage and mixed media on paper, 9.5x12.75

To see more of Leigh’s work, please visit her website.  Hmm.. I’m inspired.  Think I just might dust off my scissors and glue.

All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

Assimilating Identities: Amy Sherald

28 Sep

When I first saw Amy Sherald’s paintings, I immediately loved them for their bold, graphic quality and quirkiness.  But it wasn’t until I took a closer look that I realized that these were more than just eccentric portraits.

The Rabbit In The Hat, oil on canvas, 43x54

Sherald chooses to paint the skin tones of her African American figures, not their normal beautiful brown tones, but dull grays.  In doing so, she uses her choice of paint color to comment on the push for African Americans to “fit in” with white society.

They Call Me Redbone, But I'd Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake, oil on canvas, 43x54

Having been one of only a few African Americans in a predominately white private school in the South, Sherald draws ( literally ) on her experience of trying to maintain her racial identity while feeling the need to put on certain white characteristics in order to be socially accepted among her peers.  This “performance” aspect is depicted in her work but the appearance of characters, costumes, masks, etc.

It Made Sense... Mostly In Her Mind, oil on canvas, 43x54

You can see in these works, a sense of the frustration and futility of denying your true self to fit in.  How often do we pick up our own mask or put on our own costume, when we are afraid of being rejected for who we truly are?

Check out Amy Sherald’s website for more images of her work and be sure to read her insightful artist statement.

[ Insert Art Here ]

27 Sep

Artwork has the power to facilitate change.  Most importantly, in our minds, spirits and hearts.  But today, we’re going stay in the more shallow end of the pool.  🙂  Let’s have some art + design fun and  take a look at a beautifully designed room and see how just changing up the artwork can transform the way the room feels.

For our first go ’round, we’ll start with a fairly classic, neutral room:

Look #1:  In keeping with the classic, slightly beachy style of the room, we’ll add an oceanscape by Tennessee artist Christina Baker.

The shift from mirror to artwork, in this case, is subtle, but what an impact!  Makes for a much more interesting room, yes?  Even the pup seems more pleased!

Look #2:  Though the space is gorgeous, it could use a well-placed pop of color!  So let’s see what a Michelle Armas abstract does for it..

The lovely colors and lively brushstrokes really bring the space into a shinier, happier territory, don’t they?

Look #3:  The best way to help elevate a traditional room into something with a bit more personality?  A graphic and quirky piece by Sarah Ashley Longshore from her Audrey Hepburn series.

This look works because what’s more classic than Audrey Hepburn?  That’s right, nothing.  So her iconic image keeps with the traditional vibe, but the bright colors and pop-style of the painting add a punch of the unexpected.

Hope you enjoyed our little peek at how varying styles of art can change a room’s personality!  What’s your home’s art-style?  Do you change things up or keep your favorites up ’round the clock?

Be on the lookout for future installments of this new Artsy Forager feature, [ Insert Art Here ]!

Featured room image via House of Turquoise, architect James Cullion and interior designer Eileen Marcuvitz, photographed by Robert Benson.

Good Enough To Eat: K. Henderson

26 Sep

Today’s artist is a painter whose collection of candied still lifes are so sweet, you’ll get a cavity just looking at them!  New Mexico artist K. Henderson creates fabulously graphic paintings of the sweetest treats.

Gumballs and Crystal, oil, 6x6 Liquorice All Sorts, oil, 24x18

Part of the appeal of these candy coated canvases is not just the subject matter ( who doesn’t love candy?! ), but the way the artist has juxtaposed the brightly colored sweets against a rich black background or graphic-pop black and white stripes.  Old fashioned candies appear fresh and modern.

Liquorice All Sorts, oil, 24x18

Any artist who can make licorice look delicious has my vote.  I mean doesn’t that look scrumptious?  And I normally hate licorice, but I think I might be persuaded by the pretty colors and textures.

Red Tootsie, oil, 8x10

Peanuts and Gumballs, oil, 24x18

To see  drool over more of K. Henderson’s work, please visit her website.

The featured image is A Kiss.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

Friday Faves in 3-D

23 Sep

Happy Friday, Artsies!  If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you have probably noticed that it’s a little painting heavy.  Painting as a medium is my first love, ooey-gooey globs of paint on a canvas will always be the first thing to catch my eye. I hate that it seems like sculpture is the red-headed step child of the art world.  I do love beautifully rendered sculpture and have vowed to feature it more here.  So as I work on some sculptors to feature soon, here’s a round-up of some three dimensional work that I am especially drawn to.

Vanilla Driftwood by Treg Silkwood and Candace Martin, AKA Silkwood Glass

Seedpod, Nested by Eric Moss

Pod, burnished earthenware and soluble metal salts

Nest by Michael Roco, mixed media

Do you have a favorite 3-d artist?  Do tell!  Have a fantastic weekend, Artsies!  To see more of any of the above sculptors’ work, please visit their websites:

1.  Silkwood Glass

2.  Eric Moss

3.  Mark Goudy

4.  Michael Roco 

All images are courtesy of the artists’ websites.

Portrait Of My Dreams: Ann Marshall

22 Sep

Confession:  I kind of have a list of artists who I would love to have paint my portrait.  These are artists through whose eyes I want to see myself.  Is that weird?  Wait, on second thought, don’t answer that.  Anyhoo… right now, near the top of the list is Ann Marshall, only behind Deborah Scott, who was the one to introduce me to Ann’s work in the first place.  This is an artist who is able to capture the essence of her sitter’s soul and bare it onto the canvas in a strong yet soft way.

Sunshine and Molasses, pastel and paper collage on paper, 39x55

Her detailed surfaces and the way the figures are incorporated into their surroundings give her work an ethereal, haunting quality, yet they still feel fresh and modern.

Katherine, oil and collage on canvas, 30x40

I definitely see a contemporary take on art nouveau and some fabulous Gustav Klimt-ish layering of pattern.

Garden, pastel and paper collage on paper, 39x55 and 19x55

Then there’s the Pre-Raphaelitish influence of some of the compositions and poses, which give the work a wonderfully romantic, Brontesque quality.

I Used to be a Southern Belle, pastel and paper collage on paper, 55x39

Her figures are rendered with stunningly quiet power and vulnerability.  Which, I think, as women is exactly how we might like to see ourselves.

To see more of Ann Marshall’s work, please visit her website and Facebook page.

Featured image is Wait by Ann Marshall.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Ann Marshall’s feature was written to music by She & Him.

Rhythm of Discovery: Susan Morosky

21 Sep

It has been a while since I’ve featured an abstract painter.  Maybe it’s because I see so much abstract painting that is good, but not exceptional.  Completely nonobjective abstract work looks like it’s easy, but in actuality it is very, very difficult to do well.  ( I know, I tried in college and the results were, well, not so good.  Maybe someday I’ll be brave enough to try again ).  That being said, Susan Morosky’s work is definitely of the exceptional kind.

Big Grass Creek, acrylic on canvas, 46x68

Susan’s brushstrokes, while seemingly frenetic, are essential to her sense of composition.  They lead the eye in, out, up, down and around.  There is a sense of movement, yet the work feels peaceful, not chaotic.

Canyon River, acrylic on canvas, 36x36

Her work is an abstract inspiration of the properties of water, fields and their boundaries.  It is from this beginning that the finished pieces find their organic rhythms.

Creekside Spring, acrylic on canvas, 36x36

Night River, acrylic on canvas, 36x36

Layers of paint, some left piled onto the canvas, other layers extracted from it, create an undulating surface as vibrant and lively as a rushing river.

To see more of Susan Morosky’s work, please visit her website.  If you’re in the New Orleans area, you can see her work in living color at the fabulous Gallery Orange.

Featured image is Belle Island Shore by Susan Morosky.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

PS– I often listen to music while writing artist features and usually try to choose a musical artist that inspires me in the same way that the art does.  Susan Morosky’s feature was written to Tiger Lily by Natalie Merchant.  Thought it would be fun for you to know my “soundtrack” for artists.  Is it fun?  Do you care?  😉

Not Your Average Photo Realism: Leslie Parke

20 Sep

So there’s really nothing average about photo-realistic painting.  Being a lover of abstract work,  I usually find photo-realistic work to be, well, a little boring.  Yes, it takes tremendous skill and talent ( I certainly can’t do it ), yet something about it typically leaves me cold.  BUT not so when I saw the work of Leslie Parke!  Not only does she possess a spectacular name ( if spelled incorrectly *grin* ), she also has a fantastic way of presenting realistic work in a unique and interesting way.

China In The River, oil on linen, 20x28

For instance, China In The River ( above ) takes everyday objects and places them in an unusual circumstance.  China is floating in the river– how did it get there?  Shipwreck?  Flood?  The light glistens on the surface of the water and on the floating cups and saucers as they are carried downstream.

Janet's Shelf, oil on linen, 40x60

A collection of glassware becomes a box of sparkling jewels.  She finds the beauty in the thrown away and disgarded.

Not From Concentrate, oil on linen, 60x42

Please visit Leslie Parke’s website and Facebook page to see more of her work.  Her work will be on display at Gremillion and Co. Fine Arts in Houston, TX, November 10- December 10, 2011.  If you are in the area, check it out!

Vibrant Earth: Deanna Marsh

19 Sep

After three months in the cultural dead-zone that is Aberdeen, WA, it feels good to be living in a town with an active arts community.  Grants Pass, OR isn’t exactly Portland or Seattle, but it is a welcome change.  Last weekend, I was delighted to tour the current show at the Grants Pass Museum of Art , Vibrant Earth, featuring the glass sculptures and tapestries of California artist Deanna Marsh.

Gone Rogue, kiln-formed glass and steel, 36x36

It is really no surprise for artists to be inspired by the Western landscape in all it’s dynamic diversity.  Deanna Marsh’s fused glass and metal sculptures capture the essence of the rushing rivers and steep mountain slopes.  Recalling the wild spirit that still resides throughout so much of this landscape.

Golden Geodesy, brazilian geode, kiln-formed glass, copper and steel, 48x18x3

Deanna’s work is beautifully wrought and large in size, making her ideal for corporate & healthcare placement ( *hint, hint, to all my art consultant & designer readers!! ).

Accommodating Land by Deanna Marsh, kiln-formed glass and steel, 64x30

So if you happen to be anywhere near Grants Pass, Oregon, A) Let’s have coffee! and B) visit the Grants Pass Museum of Art before September 30th to see the work of this talented artist in person.  If you can’t see it in person, please make sure you visit the artist’s website to view more of her work.

Featured image is Choose Your Path by Deanna Marsh.  All images are courtesy of the artist’s website.

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