Archive | November, 2011

Silent Sanctuaries

30 Nov Not Here

The world today is so noisy.  Between traffic and the techonologies we just can’t live without, we are constantly inundated with white noise.  But there are still certain feelings of complete and utter peace that come upon us in the simplest of moments.  It is these moments, in which we are free from the world, that artist Eric Zener captures in his paintings.

Cocoon, oil on canvas, 54x66

That feeling of floating ( literally ) and muffled splashes heard underwater.. like being suspended in time.  Or doing the Deadman’s Float.  One of my favorite ways to relax in the water, even while other folks are splashing around me.  It feels like being in a bubble.

How to Disappear Completely, oil on canvas, 48x38

How about that suspended in time sensation during a high leap into the water?  There is only you and the sky.. and the person holding your hand, if you’re lucky.

LOVE, oil on canvas, 14x11

Zener’s collection of work also captures the most precious of respites– slumber.  Oh sleep!  How sweet it is to rest and dream and awake renewed.

Somewhere Else, oil on canvas, 48x38

Carriage, oil on canvas, 66x54

Hmmm.. think it might be time for a little nap.  Not sure why I’m so sleepy all of a sudden! 😉  While I catch some z’s, why don’t you take a look at Eric Zener’s website?  Lots of beautiful work to be found.

Featured image is Not Here, oil on canvas, 56×46.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Harnessed Energy

29 Nov Carpe Diem

This Fall, the leaves in Oregon have been full of riotous color, bursting forth in celebration of the last days of sunshine and warmth.  But to find happy energy in the long, grey days of winter, one only need look as far as Dutch painter Guus Kemp’s work.

Just Beautiful, oil on canvas, 36x48

Thick bursts of glossy paint almost leap of the canvas, like fireworks in the sky.  This is an artist using the properties of paint– its colors, texture and sheen to bring joy to the viewer.  The works elicit emotion, excitement and energy.

Red Man, oil on canvas, 48x60

A Dutch-born artist, now a resident of Houston, Kemp began working with oils in 2008, opening up a whole new means of expression.  According to the artist, “My paintings are a reflection of who I am . . . an extrovert who takes life by the horns!”

Female Tornado, oil on canvas, 48x60

Indeed, these large scale, intensely hued works are no shrinking violets.  These are pieces that demand your attention.  And once they get it, you can’t help but be happy and energized.

Riot of Parrots, oil on canvas, 48x60

To be enlivened by more of Guus’s work, please take a peek at his website.  Thank you to Gallery Orange for introducing me to this artist, if you’re in New Orleans, be sure to check them out!

Featured image is Carpe Diem, oil on canvas, 48×48.  All images are via the artist’s website.

The Singularly Sensational Erin Cone

28 Nov debutante

To take a simple, singular subject and explore all its possibilities can be a challenge for any artist.  But it is an exercise in observation, composition and creativity that results in heightened awareness and the elevation of a simple idea into sophisticated conceptualism.  Santa Fe artist Erin Cone takes a simple female figure in a red dress and using a keen eye for design and composition, transforms it over and over into visually striking and emotionally compelling work.

Discourse 1, acrylic, 21x21

Her use of negative space and positioning of the figure so that the face is obstructed allows the viewer to wonder who this woman is, what is her story?  She seems to be searching or waiting.. but for what or whom?

Etiquette, acrylic, 48x60

The artist’s use of hard edged squares in her compositions creates an almost jarring, interesting tension between the linear quality of the squares vs. the soft, supple shapes of the female form and dress.

Assemblage, acrylic, 60x60

Adieu, acrylic, 56x44

Erin’s work seems to be a study in quiet contemplation.  The stillness of form, tranquility of space and design, the reposed manner, all lead the viewer into a sense of calm, but the use of the red dress leads us to believe that perhaps there is a storm brewing just below the surface..

Repartee 1, acrylic, 21x21

To see more of Erin Cone’s work, please visit her website. Be sure to check it out and see her other series, just as wonderful as the red dresses!  I found Erin through the amazing Lanoue Fine Art in Boston.

Featured image is Debutante, acrylic, 72×48.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Being Thankful

24 Nov

may your table be blessed

with bountiful plenty

with dear friends

with beloved family

may blessings rain down on you like butterflies

Enigma of my Memory by Honora Jacob, mixed media, 15.5x21.5

may you all know how very thankful I am for you

Happy Thanksgiving, Artsies!

PS– I’m taking a little break on Thursday & Friday to spend some lovely time with my sweet hubby.  See you back here on Monday!

The Artsy Home: Gather ‘Round the Table

23 Nov Thanksgiving

There will be lots of gathering of friends and family around our dining tables this Thursday.  Grandma’s china comes out of storage, the crystal sparkles and the silver shines.  For some dining rooms, this is the most action they see all year!  We eat in the kitchen, over the sink or on the couch in front of the tv.  But this gathering place is not a room to neglect!  It’s a place, to quote Simon dePury, “Be bold, be amazing!” ( Are you watching Work of Art?! )

The dining room, even if not a formal, separate space is the spot to make a big statement.  So in this edition of The Artsy Home, I’ve gathered up some images of inspiring spots, a feast for the eyes!

Want to have fun dinner parties?  Make sure the art in the room reflects your cheeky style!

Via Sketch42blog.com

Via Apartment Therapy

Via Belclairehouse.blogspot.com via Coastal Living

Or maybe you want to throw ultra-cool and hiply intellectual soirees?  Add some graphic punch with your artwork.

Via 2.bp.blogspot.com

Via Apartment Therapy

Or maybe you like to keep things fresh and elegant?  Let oversized artwork shine, so if guests need a break from conversation, give them oversized artwork to get lost in.

Via Traditional Home

Via Timothy Whelan

Want to be really bold?  Paint the walls a deep, rich color and let simple, graphic artwork be the star of the show!

Via Elements of Style blog via Elle Decor

Via Rue Magazine

Via Lonny Magazine blog

Wouldn’t even a frozen pizza seem like a gourmet meal in an artsy environment?  Pass the parmesean!

Abstractions of Atmosphere

22 Nov Susan Goldsmith Brandy Creek

This year, autumn has been a completely new experience for me.  Having never experienced a full autumn outside of my home in northeast Florida ( short trips north don’t really count ), one of the things I was most looking forward to this year was enjoying a cool and brightly colored Fall.  And Southern Oregon did not disappoint!

For me, there is just something about this autumnal time of year that makes the natural world more evident and magical.  Things slow down, trees and animals prepare for the long winter ahead.  Blazing sun is replaced with fog and clouds, making the amber colored leaves that much more striking.  California artist Susan Goldsmith captures the essence of the natural beauty of autumn in her mixed media work.  I want to buy one so that I can gaze at it in the middle of summer, dreaming of the return of cool days and warm colors.

Brandy Creek Falls I, oil, oil pastel and resin on panel, 20.5x20.5 ( via Davis & Cline )

In her work, Susan uses digital photographic prints as the base layer of her paintings, applying them to the surface then enhancing them with paints and/or pastels, so that the resulting effect is not one of merely an embellished photograph, but rather the impressionistic reinterpretation of the original composition.

Redbud, oil, oil pastel and resin on panel, 40x20 ( diptych, 20x20 each, via Davis & Cline )

What the viewer is left with is a lovely sense of atmospheric abstraction, light and mood, that bursting forth of vibrant color against grey skies which is so characteristic of autumn.

Hachiya Persimmons II, mixed media and resin on panel, 17x17 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

No. 153, mixed media and resin on panel, 24x24 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

I first caught glimpse of Susan’s work at Davis & Cline in Ashland, OR, but have sense discovered her connection to another favorite gallery resource, Lanoue Fine Art in Boston.  Of course, you can also see her work on her own website.

Featured image is Brandy Creek I, silver leaf with pigment print, oil, oil pastel and resin on panel, 61.5×21.5 ( overall size ).  Images are via Susan Goldsmith’s representing galleries, as noted.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Laird

22 Nov CPHACE series by Laird

Check out my Escape Into Life post today featuring Laird, a Northeast Florida photographer whose work can be seen at Florida Mining.  You may remember his work from my Gallery Spotlight post featuring FM.  This new work is stunning!

Laird on Escape Into Life

Vintage Pop: Melody Postma

21 Nov An Afternoon With Whitman

Vintage photos and ephemera, bright colors against faded backgrounds, pop culture iconography.. these are a few of my favorite things and they can all be found in the work of Melody Postma.

Absolute Beginners, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

This Clearwater, FL native and graduate of SCAD shares my own fascination with old photographs, utilizing their documentary/slice-of-life style and pop culture graphics of years gone by to create work that calls to us from the past.  We see our parents and grandparents in these faces, recalling memories of favorite games, candy, the way of life as we like to remember it.

Languishing in the Calm, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

Looking at these images and icons leads me to wonder.. Will audiences in the future be impacted as emotionally when they look back on today’s culture?  Will we see artists exploring the good ol’ days of the 00’s, the digital revolution, reality shows and social media?  Will the cultural phenomena of today hold as much charm as other decades?

Might Cause Double Vision, mixed media on panel, 42×42 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

Or is it just that we always look back with nostalgia at times that held precious memories or periods that we’ve idealized?  Maybe it’s the 21st century cynic in me, but I’m just not sure we’ll look back on the current era quite as fondly.  Or maybe it’s that most of us didn’t live through the eras we’re most nostalgic about.  And perhaps that what Melody Postma is getting at.

A Memory Hard to Ignore, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

There’s Treasure Children Always, mixed media on panel, 36×36 ( via Lanoue Fine Art )

To see more of Melody Postma’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can also be viewed at Lanoue Fine Art in Boston, Hubert Gallery in NYC, Gallery Brown in L.A and Trudy Labell Fine Art in Naples, FL.

Featured image is An Afternoon With Whitman, mixed media on panel, 36×36.

Friday Faves: Technologically Speaking

18 Nov Mark Wilson

Technology is taking over ya’ll.  Almost every aspect of our lives is touched by technology in one way or another.  The art world is no different.  For today’s round-up, take a look at a few artists embracing the digital revolution:

Andy Gilmore

Mark Wilson

Carole Boyd ( all done in Microsoft Paint! )

Jason Fort

Now have some hi-tech fun and check out these artists’ websites!

1.  Andy Gilmore 

2.  Mark Wilson 

3.  Carole Boyd 

4.  Jason Fort 

Featured image is by Mark Wilson.  All images are via the artists’ websites.

Fashion Fragmented

17 Nov Amanda Clyne - Painting
Mirror Mirror

If you were around for artsyFASHIONWeek, you may already have an inkling of my interest in the relationship between fashion and art.  Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about the influence of the fashion industry, what the clothes we wear say about our personalities and just the general psychology behind the fueling of the fashion industry and the choices that we make.  Toronto artist Amanda Clyne examines the influence of fashion upon our psyche in her paintings, in which she  “examines the image as a mirror of our desires”.

Double Take ( diptych ), oil on canvas, 68x49

Amanda finds inspiration for her work in the pages of art history books and fashion magazines, seeing similarities between fashion photography of today and historical portraits of the elite.  They both carry with them the same fascination with beauty, wealth and transformation.. “images intended to fuel a spectacle of desire with feigned promises of intimacy and truth”. ( Amanda Clyne via her website )

Looking Back, oil on canvas, 55x39

The artist fragments her subject, creating an elusive illusion, much like a hall of mirrors.  Our eyes deceive us, all isn’t as it would seem.  An important point to remember when gazing longingly at those $300 shoes that will make us beautiful and desirable.  ( Um, not that I’ve ever done that.. )

Losing Face, oil on canvas, 35.5x44

Stripped, oil on canvas, 30x58

The way she uses fragments of images to create the whole could be an interpretation of the illusionary aspects of fashion advertising and photography.  The images we see are the composition of designers, photographers, photo editors, art directors, etc. They represent an idealized portrayal of only one aspect of our being.

Looking Glass ( triptych ), oil on canvas, 60x54

To see more of Amanda Clyne’s work, please visit her website and Facebook page.  If any of you Canadians out there are in Toronto, be sure to check out her latest show opening December 8th at p|m Gallery.

Featured image is Mirror, Mirror ( diptych ), oil on canvas, 72×36.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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