Archive | January, 2012

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Casey Matthews

31 Jan

I absolutely love watching the evolution of an artist’s work.  And the latest round of paintings from abstract painter, Casey Matthews blew me away.  They are unmistakably hers, but she continues to grow in her use of color, elegance of form and sophistication.  So it thrills me to feature her today on Escape Into Life!

Thank Goodness You Said It First, mixed media on canvas

Casey Matthews on Escape Into Life

Divine Delights: Olga Antonova

31 Jan

I’m a firm believer that anything you eat will taste better served on pretty china or a lovingly decorated table.  The work of Russian born artist Olga Antonova celebrates these every day objects, elevating them using her technical prowess tinged with a hint of charm and whimsy.

Stacked Cups With Yellow Top, oil on canvas, 22x24 ( via Selby Fleetwood Gallery )

The delicate porcelain vessels are stacked, one on top of each other, creating dainty monuments of indulgence.  Tea or coffee sipped from colorful china induces us to have a seat, slow down, have a leisurely chat.  Antonova’s work does the same, creating a calm sense of elegant consumption.

Red and Blue Teacups, oil on canvas, 16x16 ( via Gallery Henoch )

Her depictions of the smooth, shiny surfaces and colorful patterns make me want to fall down a rabbit hole and crash a tea party hosted by a bunny with a crazy chapeau.

Composition With Dragon Pot, oil on canvas, 20x20 ( via Gallery Henoch )

Composition With Pink Cup, oil on canvas, 28x26 ( via Gallery Henoch )

To see more of Olga Antonova’s work, please visit her website or the websites of her representing galleries or check them out in person, if you can at — Gallery Henoch in New York, Selby Fleetwood Gallery in Santa Fe, Beth Urdang Gallery in Boston, Gardner Colby Gallery in Naples and Rice Polak Gallery in Provincetown, MA.

Featured image is Composition With Cups, oil on canvas, 30×15.

Complexity of Simplicity: Gigi Mills

30 Jan

Dance is one of the few art forms requiring no materials, only ourselves.  Santa Fe artist Gigi Mills, a former dancer now self-taught painter, transfers her dancer’s fluidity and grace into her compositions.

Girl With Dog and Boxes, oil on panel, 24x18 ( via Watts Fine Art )

Mills’ work focuses on simplified forms, figures and shapes are reduced to their simplest outlines, planes and colors, so that the viewer is instead caught by the emotional power present.

Girl With Plaid Dress and Bird Dog, oil, crayon, paper & charcoal on paper, 11x14 ( via Gallery Orange )

By keeping her color palette neutral, her use of the occasional bright color takes on a much more powerful significance, it becomes the staccato highlight, delightfully drawing the viewer’s attention.

Girl With Striped Dress and Birthday Cake, oil on panel, 30x24 ( via Gallery Orange )

Resting Spot With Birds, oil on panel, 18x24 ( via Gallery Orange )

Gigi Mills doesn’t currently have a website, so check out her work online at representing galleries: Gallery Orange in New Orleans, Watts Fine Art in Indiana and Selby Fleetwood Gallery in Santa Fe.

This artist found via Gallery Orange.

Featured image is Ocean With Sea Birds and Yellow, oil on canvas, 60×36.  All image sources are noted above.

Friday Faves: Street Cred

27 Jan

Henry David Thoreau said, “This world is but a canvas to our imagination.”  Street artists take that idea quite literally, by taking art out of the isolating artistic environments of galleries and museums, bringing the art to a public that might not otherwise be exposed to it.  Check out these examples of art full of street cred!

Alice Pasquini


Ben Wilson

Juliana Santacruz Herrera


Keep your eyes peeled for street art while you’re out and about this weekend!  Would love to see some examples from your community!

Featured image by Alice Pasquini.  Click on each image to view the source.

Becoming a Wallflower: Cecilia Paredes

26 Jan

As many of you know, my husband and I are currently living in a new locale every three months.  Each new place has its own personality and part of the excitement ( and scariness! ) of our journey is to find where we fit within each community.  Peruvian-born artist Cecilia Paredes‘ work explores, what to me, are very personal themes of displacement and relocation.

Parades uses make-up, body paint and costume to visually blend into intricate backgrounds.  This visualisation of our desire to fit, to be a part of who or what surrounds us resonates with me, not only as someone not currently rooted, but also because I am in many ways, still learning who am I apart from what or who surrounds me.

In each image, though her figure is well disguised, we are still given a hint to her presence, whether it be through her hair or the whites of her eyes.  She is hidden in full view.  Blending in, yet waiting to be discovered.

Normally, this is where I would direct you to the artist’s website.  Cecilia Paredes does, indeed, have a website, but unfortunately, at the time of this posting, it doesn’t seem to be working.  You can find her on ArtNet or check out any number of reviews that come up on Google.  I found her via Lost at E Minor.

All images are via Cecilia Parades’ feature on My Modern Metropolis.

Salvaged Surfaces: Valerie Roybal

25 Jan

When was the last time you wrote a hand-written letter?  Or read a book made of paper instead of on your Kindle?  Wrote a check? As we shift closer and closer to becoming a paperless society, it seems that by foregoing that physical connection with common materials, we are losing some little part of the soul of our humanity.  Albuquerque, New Mexico artist, Valerie Roybal takes the forgotten ephemera of the past and resurrects it, giving it a new life through her work.

Transmutation, mixed media

Just as much of the joy of a handwritten card comes from the process– the choosing of just the right design, taking the time to sit down and write, the physical sensation of putting pen to paper, walking it to the mailbox– so is Roybal’s work process-driven.  From her artist statement, “Order, association, and reverence emerges from the sorting, arranging, and placement of each accumulated piece into a whole.”

Transmutation 4, mixed media

In her “In the Library” series, the artist uses that process of sorting and arranging to create compositions reminiscent of stacked book spines.  There is a kind of random orderliness to these not unlike a library of treasured collections.

In the Library 14, mixed media

Through her work, Roybal also explores natural physiological processes such as cell mutations.  The resulting compositions possess the seeming precision of scientific illustrations, but with the bursts of life and color that remind us of the wonder of the organic world.

A Brief History 3, mixed media

Transmutation 5, mixed media

To see more of Valerie Roybal’s work, please visit her website.  Thanks to Hillary at Stellers Gallery Ponte Vedra for introducing Artsy Forager to this artist!

Featured image is Transmission, mixed media.  All images are via the artist’s website

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Lee Price

24 Jan

My post this week on Escape Into Life features an incredibly amazing artist with a poignant story to tell.

Blueberry Pancakes II, oil on linen, 31x64

Don’t miss out on Lee Price’s work.

Lee Price on Escape Into Life

Artsy Fodder: Art Gets Bejewelled

24 Jan

Artists and designers have been inspiring each other for centuries. Whether we realize it or not, much of the clothes we wear, jewelry we sport and objects we use are a result of the symbiosis between art and design.  And I for one, love to celebrate such connections!  For this first feature in the new Artsy Fodder series, let’s have some fun with artfully inspired jewelry designs.  These pieces may not have directly influenced each other, but there is an unmistakable resemblance.


Friday Night 27848 by John Duckworth


Kate Spade, City Lights Idiom Bangle


Oceanic Series by Thomas Hager


Anthropologie, Jumbled Loops Necklace


Untitled by Amy Pleasant


Paige Novick, White Howlite Cuff


Yin and Yang by Jennifer Bain


Jill Schwartz, Mosaic Pin


Screen ( Barn Owl ) by Kevin Appel


M. Missoni, Chain Necklace

Do find yourself buying pretty baubles that remind you of your favorite artwork?  Take a look inside your own closet or jewelry box and I’ll bet you’ll see some similarities!

Friday Faves: With Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies

20 Jan

Each year, Pantone announces its “Color of the Year”.  The color authority combs the world looking for influential color and its Color of the Year proclamation affects design decisions in fashion, interiors, products, packaging, you name it.  This year’s color is a bold and vibrant reddish-orange, Tangerine Tango.  Artists, always ahead of the curve, have been embracing orange for quite some time.  I know it’s always been one of my own favorite hues.  Take a peek at some of these lovely examples of tangerine dreams!

Orange Ocean Edge by Christina Foard

An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds by Luke Stephenson

Spring Flowers by Susan Melrath

Clickety Clack by Pamela Viola

Without You by Margaret Glew

Any orangey hued works you’re loving lately?  Would love to hear about them!  Have a great weekend, Artsies, and if you’re snowed in and in need of some warming, check out today’s featured artists’ websites!

1.  Christina Foard 

2.  Luke Stephenson 

3.  Susan Melrath 

4.  Pamela Viola 

5.  Margaret Glew 

All images are via the artists’ websites, noted above.

Collecting Glances: Kris Lewis

19 Jan

George and I are people watchers.  Sometimes when the hubby and I are stuck in a public place with time to kill, we love to watch the people go by, making up stories about who they are, where they are going.. Occasionally, in the course of observing, we may make eye contact with a stranger.  Just a glance, but in the moment, there is a recognizable connection between souls.  Los Angeles artist Kris Lewis shares his own experiences in human observations with his wonderfully moody portraits.

Scintillating Venuses, oil on wood, 24x23

If you’ve read the blog for a while, then you know I’m a sucker for interesting portraiture.  Lewis follows in the footsteps of portraitists that came before him, his figures are beautifully drawn and rendered.  But what sets his work apart is the capturing of the fleeting emotion of a moment, whether conveying a sense of vulnerability, power, sadness, even resolution.

Destruction Period, oil on canvas, 24x24

The faces portrayed often seem decidedly modern, but when juxtaposed with costumes of another era and surrealish landscape backgrounds, as one blogger put it, the result is “modern spooky”.  These aren’t prosaic traditional portraits to hang above the fireplace.  They are explorations of experience, revelations of hidden narratives.

Fire Tower, oil on wood, 12x16

Low Tide, oil on board, 24x36

It’s almost as if, in carefully observing his subjects, the artist sees them in another life.  A life previously lived in a different time and place.

Red, oil on wood, 20x24

Which makes me wonder.. how would such an artist depict me?  Or you?  Wouldn’t you love to know?!  Visit Kris Lewis’s website to see more and while he’s in the process of updating it, you can find his latest work on his Facebook page.  Speaking of Facebook, have you “liked” the Artsy Forager Facebook page?  If not, you may be missing out on all sorts of fun & interesting tidbits not shared on the blog!

Thank you to Christine at Bijou and Boheme for introducing me to this incredible artist!

Featured image is Weathered Oak, oil on wood, 24×20.  All images are via the artist’s website.



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