Archive | March, 2012

The Artsy Home: Modern Whimsy

25 Mar

Have you ever fallen in love with a wonderfully strange work of art but had no idea how to design a room around it?  Interior designer Fawn Galli hits the mark with her contemporary fairy tale room designed around a painting by Anne Siems.

Designed by Fawn Galli, artwork by Anne Siems

See more from this fantastic fantasy meets contemporary NYC home, visit House of Turquoise or House Beautiful.  And when you’re finished drooling, visit designer Fawn Galli’s website for more inspiration!


Artsy Fodder: Speaking of Branches

23 Mar

Since we’re on the subject of tree branches today, have you seen these necklaces from Lovisa Lindstrom’s Etsy shop, marukiko?

Lovisa Lindstrom

I am completely in love with them.  One would be the perfect tree-gazing accessory!

Friday Faves: Branching Out

23 Mar

Hubby and I are treehuggers.  Not in a holier-than-thou, I-always-recycle, never-ever-use-plastic-grocery-bags kind of way ( though there may be a little of that ), we’re more the Babe!-did-you-see-the-size-of-that-tree, doesn’t-that-tree-trunk-look-like-the-Venus-de-Willendorf, oh-I-want-to-hug-it variety.  As the days get longer and the weather gets slightly warmer, we’re beginning to plan lots of treks into the woods to do some tree-gazing.  One of our favorite things to do is lay on the ground and look up at the trees and their branches.  So to get you in the mood for perhaps a little tree-gazing of your own, here are a few artists who share our woodsy love!

Rumis Ladder by Adam Shaw, oil on canvas, 64x70

Rusted by Liz Ruest, digital collage, prints available

All Things Great and Small by Angie Renfro, oil on panel, 30x24

Eastern Redbud II by Susan Goldsmith, white gold leaf with pigment print, oil pastel, oil paint & resin on panel, 36x36

Adam ShawLiz Ruest | Angie Renfro |Susan Goldsmith 

So how about you, Artsies?  Any tree-hugging plans this weekend? 🙂

Featured image is The Truth Calls Us Into Being by Adam Shaw, oil on canvas, 70×50.  All images are via the artist’s websites, linked above.

The Artsy Everyday: Is That Your Art in My Coffee?

22 Mar

I always get a little thrill when I get a tiny foam work of art in my coffee.

Inner Illuminations: Tamara English

22 Mar

The creative minds of artists are an unending source of fascination for me.  They way they each devise their own visual language in order to express to the world what they find most important and intriguing amazes me.  Sharing a common human nature, we often see overlapping meaning and ideas, yet the method by which those views are interpreted and conveyed is as unique as each artist.  In her work, Portland artist Tamara English explores how our own inner atmosphere informs the way we experience the world, but she does so in a marvelously distinct fashion.

Pomegranate Laughing, oil on canvas, 40x30 ( via Portland Fine Art )

From the artist:

“The paintings integrate the visual vocabularies of quantum physics, Islamic tile-work, illuminated manuscripts, and abstracted forms derived from the natural world. In particular the multi-layered paintings reference the rhythm and movement of the decorative elements found in mosques, Turkish dervish lodges, and medieval European books of hours, which for me evoke the unseen energies that move in our lives.”

The Promise of Spring, oil on canvas, 40x30

Through the use of abstract texture, forms and movement, English references the “ocean of particles in constant motion informing the physical and subtle world” which characterize her take on quantum physics.  Her use of naturalistic elements associated with Islamic tile-work and illuminated manuscripts manifest for us those physical symbols of inner life.  Within each of us exists that same push and pull, our conflict between the wonder of either our faith in or the possibility of the divine and the concrete certainty of what we can see with our own eyes.

Now the Nightbirds Will Be Singing, oil on canvas, 24x24 ( via Portland Fine Art )

Presence, oil on canvas, 72x60 ( via Portland Fine Art )

To see more of Tamara English’s work, please visit her website.

Featured image is The Queen’s Birthday ( detail ), oil on canvas, 18×18,  All images are via the artist’s website unless otherwise noted.

The Artsy Home: Does Jill Ricci Live Here?

21 Mar

Doesn’t this room bear a striking resemblance to Jill Ricci’s work?  It’s as if her mixed media has jumped off the canvas to cover every surface.  And I love it!

Photo by Emily Gilbert, The Brooklyn Home Co featured in the Fall 2010 issue of The New York Observer HOME

Miss RI by Jill Ricci, mixed media on canvas, 30×48

Anticipated Moments: Shaun Downey

21 Mar

We all know what it is like to wait.  Wait to grow up.  Wait in line for coffee.  Wait on hold for customer service.  Wait for a new life to come into the world.  Sometimes it seems that life is a series of transitioning from one type of waiting to another.  Toronto artist Shaun Downey captures fleeting occasions of expectancy in his subtly emotional scenes.

Kelly and the Red Dots, painting on canvas, 65x42

How many of us have consoled ourselves with the monotony of the every day while we long for the arrival of what we have been waiting for?  Even when we have no idea what or who it may be.

Last Glance, painting on canvas, 32x48

How do we console ourselves when it seems our waiting is in vain?  We wait and wait and wait, but the door never opens.

The Tooth Fairy, painting on canvas, 65x42

Perhaps we are too distracted when our awaited arrives to even notice and before we know it, the opportunity is gone.  Or maybe it remains and is just watching for us to awake to its presence.  And sometimes, once the waiting is over, the transition is bittersweet.  Because who knows what is around the corner?  More waiting, perhaps more wonderful.

The Old Apartment, painting on canvas, 18x24

Packing Up, painting on canvas, 48x48

To see more of Shaun Downey’s work, please visit his website.  I’m waiting for spring to finally arrive here in North Idaho.  What are you waiting for today?

Featured image is Packing Up, 48×48.  All images are via the artist’s website.  Found via artist Brad Kunkle.

Contemporary Retellings: Claudia Smalley

20 Mar

One of the things I loved about studying art history in college was learning the backstories and narratives behind works that seem, on the surface, simply decorative.  Throughout the history of art, still lifes have been used to convey deeper meaning through the symbolism of the objects they portray. In her Peek series, Chicago artist Claudia Smalley looks past the narrative to distill the still life into its simplest values– color, shape and light.

Still Life I, oil on canvas, 48x36

Smalley successfully interprets what some might consider a mundane subject ( not me, though! ) into exciting, contemporary abstract interpretations full of movement and texture.

Still Life 6, oil on canvas, 48x36

She captures the essence of the genre in terms of composition ( what every art student studies still lifes for! ) and that glorious chiaroscuro employed by masters of the staged vignettes.  Her canvases move and glow with the same delicate rhythm.

Still Life 5, oil on canvas, 20x24

While I was in painting studio in college, I remember my favorite instructor telling us to squint in order to see how strong our light and composition was.  Smalley’s Peeks extracts the strongest elements of detailed compositions and redefines them in an equally elegant, though much more modern way.

Fruit 3, oil on canvas, 24x36

Still Life 20, oil on canvas, 36x24

To see more of Claudia Smalley’s interpretational work, please visit her website.

Featured image is Still Life 2, oil on canvas, 36×24.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Jill Ricci

19 Mar

Special treat for your Monday!  Due to Escape Into Life website maintenance, my EIL feature ran early yesterday.  Head over and enjoy!

Love at first sight.  That’s what I felt for Jill Ricci’s work. The colors!  The texture!  The graphics!  I love it all and am sharing it over on Escape Into Life today.  Click on the link below to fall in love!

Hocus Pocus, mixed media on canvas, 20x30

Jill Ricci on Escape Into Life

Raku Pop: Karen Shapiro

19 Mar

Isn’t it funny how seeing an object from our past will immediately take us back to a certain time and place?  It seems that we have an innate sense of nostalgia within us, whether we relate our memories to a place, an object, a film, a piece of music.  Ceramic artist Karen Shapiro, after working for years as a pastry chef, now creates raku concoctions of iconic products from long ago and what will soon be past.

Animal Crackers, raku, 14.5x8.5

Just looking through the images of her work, memories come flooding back.  As a young girl, I used to love to buy Barnum’s Animal Cracker boxes.  It was like a little purse with cookies inside?!  What could be better?

Noxzema, raku, 10x10

As with any Pop Art, Shapiro puts her own spin on her recreated icons.  These effigies are literally larger than life, as you can see in the Starbucks image ( below ), just as the cultural staples often come to symbolize not just a product, but an era.  Her use of raku, an ancient process whose temperature change causes characteristic crazing or cracking, gives a nod to the temporal nature of the more contemporary icons.

Starbucks Coffee, raku, 10x14

Prozac, raku, 15x4.5

I’m quickly coming to an age where the pop culture and products that populated my past are reaching iconographic status.  It does make me wonder how future generations will look back on us and all that we have consumed.  Will it be with disdain or idyllic fascination?

Campbell's Soup, raku, 8.5x15

To see more of Karen Shapiro’s work, please visit her website.

This artist found via Daily Dolan Geiman.

PS– I still occasionally treat myself to a box of animal crackers!

Featured image is Chiclets ( wall piece ), raku, 25x11x1.75.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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