Archive | July, 2012

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Jhina Alvarado

31 Jul

If you’ve been an Artsy Forager reader for some time, you’ve probably noticed my attraction to art with a vintage spin.  This week’s Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life is no exception!  Like Amy Pleasant, Jhina Alvarado also takes her artistic inspiration from old photographs, lending them an anonymity by “black-barring” the faces.  Love!

JoJo the Wonder Dog by Jhina Alvarado

Jhina Alvarado on Escape Into Life

Artist Takeover, Day 2: M.A. Tateishi

31 Jul

Welcome to Day 2 of our Artists Takeover Event!  Today’s artist is the only Canuck in the bunch this week, Vancouver artist M.A. Tateishi.  M.A. is an artist whose work I immediately connected with and the artist herself has become a great supporter and friend.  Our conversation gives you a little behind-the-scenes peek at Artsy Forager!

The Walls of This Old House, mixed media with resin, 36×48

M.A. Tateishi | You feature a lot of inspiring and different artists. How do you find the artists, and is there a particular reaction you have to art when you find it…like an immediate fall-in-love feeling, or does some work grow on you? Do you have to sort through a lot of “bad art” to find the good ones?

Artsy Forager | I find the artists I feature through a number of different avenues– some I’ve known through working in the industry, others I’ve found through galleries ( both visited in person & online ), social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, through other artists, through other art blogs, lifestyle blogs, even some DIY, fashion & home decor blogs will occasionally feature interesting artwork.  Really just keeping my eyes open at all times.  I try to always have a pen & paper handy, as you never know when you may happen upon something amazing!  The reaction is a little like falling in love or at the very least having a crush!  My heart will skip a beat and many times my mouth will drop open. 😉  I’ve been told I have a “great eye” and my husband used to always ask how I knew really great work from mediocre– it’s hard to describe, it’s more of an artistic intuition, I guess.  It’s funny, but many of the sources through which I find work are so full of great stuff that I don’t really have to sift through much “bad art”.  I do get emails from artists whose work doesn’t quite make the cut for Artsy Forager, though.  I always want to be encouraging to anyone who is willing to reach out and ask to be featured, but I strive very hard to keep the standard of work featured high. If I do need to “reject” an artist, I try to offer other avenues for online exposure.

Pixelated Rhythm, mixed media with resin, 36×48

MAT | How do you organize your writing? Do you have a lot of posts ready to go, or do you work on deadlines? Do you have an editor/friend to bounce things off, or do you work alone?  And how to you manage all your social media? Are you typing away on your iPhone while you’re waiting at the post office?

AF | I plan out Artsy Forager posts usually no more than a week or two ahead.  I’m a bit of a procrastinator by nature, something I’m trying to work on, so right now, that’s about as far out as I can plan & organize for the posts themselves.  Since I post to the blog Monday-Friday and my husband’s schedule can change, I’m sometimes writing & scheduling posts in advance for the days when he is off.  For instance, he’s currently working Wed-Sun, so I make sure to have all my posts completed and scheduled for Monday & Tuesday by Sunday night, so that we can enjoy time together without too much distraction.   I normally work alone, but will sometimes bounce ideas off fellow bloggers, artists and of course, my hubby is always a ready ear.  I’m still learning to smartly manage social media.. I finally signed up for Hoot Suite, which allows me to advance schedule posts to social media and has gone a long way toward helping me maintain an online presence even when I may not be physically near a computer. 😉  You may be surprised to learn that I don’t have an iPhone or even internet access on my cell phone and right now the hubby and I share one MacBook Pro between us.  It can make keeping up more difficult, but it also helps to be able to disconnect when spending time with my hubby.

Neon City, mixed media with resin, 36×48

MAT | Finally, what motivates you to do the Artsy Forager? As an artist I can see the benefits for me, and I think it’s important to bring original art to as many people as possible, but I was wondering what inspires you?

AF | This is a really interesting question and one I’m sure many artists are curious about.  I began Artsy Forager when I left a long time gallery/ art consultation position and was preparing to leave Florida to begin traveling the Northwest with George.  I knew that I would be bored without something to occupy my time while George was working and getting a different job in a new town every 3 months didn’t seem appealing or even possible.  I thought about what I’d loved the most about my former position, what really excited and motivated me– it was the artists themselves and their work. I’ve always loved writing, I was almost a Lit major before switching to Art History and I thought blogging would be an interesting way to fuel my passion for art, help artists succeed in whatever way I could and allow me to build and create something of my own.  What really inspires me is the relationships I’m building with artists from all over the country.  When artists come to me for advice, I am honored, humbled and inspired to do more of whatever I can to help them succeed.  Who knows where Artsy Forager may lead in the next few years.  I hope it leads to greater success, not just for me, but for every artist featured.

Champagne Pop, mixed media with resin, 24×36

To see more of M.A.’s work, please visit her website.  Taking over tomorrow:  Christina Baker!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artist Takeover, Day 1: Deborah Scott

30 Jul

I warned you, Artsies!  The Artists are Taking Over Artsy Forager this week!  While Mr. Forager & I are finding inspiration in Glacier & Yellowstone, a few of the artists featured on the blog are turning the tables on moi, asking all sorts of interesting questions about blogging, the art world and little ol’ me.

First up is Seattle artist Deborah Scott, who knocked me out with her work when she emailed me last year asking if I might like to feature her on the blog.  I was blown away by Deborah’s work and I’m not the only one.  Recently Eric Fischl ( yes THAT Eric Fischl ) recently chose two of Deborah’s paintings for his America: Now & Here national project!  Hope you enjoy this conversation between the artist and the Artsy Forager.

Without Their Permission ( File 1: Baby Bear ), oil and mixed media on canvas, 24×40

Deborah Scott | What is the most exciting part about being an arts enabler and making connections for art, artists, and art appreciators?
Artsy Forager |  So many things excite me about what I’m doing at Artsy Forager!  But THE most important and exciting for me is when I hear that it was through Artsy Forager that an artist has connected with a new gallery, a new collector, a new opportunity to promote and/or sell their work.  As noble as the art world may seem, artists have to eat and if anything I do helps an artist make a sale or get connected to a gallery, art consultant, designer or collector to generate future sales, well, that makes everything I do worthwhile.

Without a Sound, oil and mixed media on canvas, 24×40

DS |  What work(s) of art do you wish you owned?
AF | Oh wow.  I don’t even know where to begin!  Obviously, if I had the funds, I would love to own works by my favorite masters.. Picasso, O’Keeffe, Rothko, Pollock, just to name a few.  Not to be a suck-up, but I would love to own one of your pieces one day!  😉  I am finding new favorites every day, but there are certain artists whose work I keep coming back to and that both George and I really adore– which I think is very important, we would have to both love any artwork purchase.
Christina Foard— I’m very fortunate to own a smaller, earlier work of Christina’s, but I would love to be able to buy one of her larger pieces one day.  She has some new work showing at the Haskell Gallery inside Jacksonville International Airport ( along with July Facebook Featured artist, Thomas Hager! ) and I am completely coveting “Flow“.
Maribel Angel— I loved Maribel’s work from the first moment I saw it and completely regret not investing in a painting while I was getting a gallery discount. 😉  “Shangri-La” is a piece of Maribel’s that I adore.
Rachel Denny— Rachel’s “Domestic Trophies” are so fabulous and after we saw them at Foster/White Gallery in Seattle, George loved them just as much as I already did.  I would give any of them a good home!
Susan Hall— Susan’s work is incredibly soft and ethereal.  There’s a quiet intricacy to it that I don’t think I would ever tire of.  “April” reminds me of the serenity of the wildlife here in the Northwest.  I love it.
Joe Segal— Joe’s work has always appealed to me.  It bridges the gap between the raw natural quality of the wood and his contemporary vision so beautifully.  His “Cleave” series really fits our aesthetic perfectly, it echoes my hubby’s “mountain man” personality with my own more urban style.
I could go on and on!  Suffice it to say that I would love to own the work of any artist I’ve featured so far on Artsy Forager!

Plummet, oil and mixed media on canvas, 24×40

DS: What is your art world pet peeve?
AF:  I hate it when artwork isn’t credited along with other sources.  I’ve seen some gorgeous work on blogs and in magazines and often every element in the room except the artwork is credited down to the paint on the walls, often not for lack of trying on the designer’s part.  One of my favorite artists recently had his work featured as part of a home design in House Beautiful and although the designer lobbied heavily for him, his name was still not listed among the source credits.  It just devalues the work of the artist as not as important as, say, the sofa or a table lamp.  It’s so irritating!

Into Flat Space, oil and mixed media on canvas, 24×40

To see more work from Deborah Scott, please check out her website.  Tomorrow’s Takeover Artist:  M.A. Tateishi!

All images are via the artist or her website. 

Friday Finds: In the Swim

27 Jul

We are in the dog days of summer and it’s days like these I long for complete freedom to lounge around in the water all day.  But since responsibilities and being an adult ( yuck! ) don’t allow me to do so, I’m living vicariously through today’s round up of bathing beauties!

Pretty Swimmer by Tracey Sylvester Harris, oil on canvas, 60×48

Breathing at the Surface I by Samantha French, oil on canvas, 20×20

Falling Pleasure by Sarah Harvey

Some of These Days by Nina Nolte, acrylic on canvas, 63×39

Tracey Sylvester HarrisSamantha French | Sarah Harvey | Nina Nolte 

Have a fantastic weekend, Artsies!  Be sure to check out the websites of these artists, linked above.  Don’t forget, the Artists Are Taking Over next week!   Will be a bit of a change around these parts, but one I think you’ll enjoy!  Mr. Forager and I will be taking off on Sunday to spend 10 days camping out in Glacier National Park & Yellowstone, so I’ll be responding to comments and emails upon my return.

Tracey Sylvester Harris found via Skidmore Contemporary Art and Sarah Harvey found via isavirtue.

Featured image is At the Shore by Tracey Sylvester Harris, oil on canvas, 12×9.  All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

Home is Where..: Paul Davies

26 Jul

This traveling thing can be tough in many ways, but perhaps the most wearying is always living in someone else’s home.  As hard as I work to make each place feel like ours, we always end up feeling a bit like house crashers.  But then again, in some cases, we find ourselves caring for an otherwise empty, lonely house.  Like the dwellings in Australian artist Paul Davies’ work, we are sometimes greeted by a sad shell.  It is only when a house is occupied and filled with love that it truly becomes a home.

Seidler House, Sunset, acrylic on canvas, 122x153cm

Modern Home, Empty Pool, acrylic on canvas, 153×122 cm

Many of the houses Paul chooses to paint seem devoid of life.  There are furnishings, but no people to be seen, pools with no water in which to swim.

Night Pool Copy, acrylic on canvas, 76x76cm

Like Davies’ abodes, a few of the homes we’ve occupied were crying out to be cared for.  The one we rented in Coeur d’Alene was a particularly sweet little cottage that seemed so neglected due to its rental status.  Any improvements were done on the cheap.  What a lovely home it could have made for the right family, if only it were given the chance!

Seidler, Tree & Pool, acrylic on canvas, 122x153cm

Peach Sky + Modern Home + Pool, acrylic on canvas, 122x153cm

Does anyone else see an empty house and think of how much happier it would be if it were cared for and loved as a home?  Just me?  What does your own home say about you?

To see more of Paul Davies’ work, please visit his website.

Featured image is Empty Pool + Modern Home + Palms, acrylic on canvas, 122×122 cm.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Guest Foraging: Artsy Forager on curate 1k!

25 Jul

Like most art lovers, I’m a collector on a budget.  Not quite a “ramen noodles every night” budget, but I would gladly eat peanut butter sandwiches all the time if it meant owning work by my favorite artists.   So when Norah Guignon of curate 1k asked me to guest curate for her this week, I jumped at the chance!  Each week on her blog, Norah or her guest curator rounds up a collection of artwork that together totals less than $1,000.  Seriously affordable, accessible and beautiful work!  For my week, I curated a little “Sand & Sea” collection, as hubby and I have been landlocked here in Idaho for almost 9 months and are seriously missing being on the Coast.

Here’s a little taste, but be sure to head over to curate 1k to see it all!  Each day a new piece debuts, so make sure you check back for the rest of the week!

Sea0014a by Thomas Hager

Candied Graffiti: Line Juhl Hansen

25 Jul

I have a weakness for the pairing of feminine and masculine elements.  Like pairing a flimsy, flowing sundress with a motorcycle jacket.  The mixed media work of Line Juhl Hansen shows off characteristically male and feminine abstract elements in a way that results in work that marries the graphic and expressive beautifully.

Graphic typography, scribbles and liberal touches of black temper the happy, candy colored swaths of painterly texture.  These evocative details lend weight and gravity to each canvas, inviting us in for a closer look.

Like the strength of a woman, these touches are lingering just below the surface, peeking in and out.  We catch a glimpse of the resilience behind the sweetness and beauty.

To see more of Line Juhl Hansen’s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Diana Delgado

24 Jul

Bright vibrant color? Check.  Painterly drips and texture? Check.  Expressionistic composition?  Check.  The work of Diana Delgado encompasses all my favorite abstract art elements.  Check out my Artist Watch feature on her work over on Escape Into Life today!

She Could Drape it in Color, oil, enamel, tape and acrylic on canvas, 72×48

Diana Delgado on Escape Into Life

Enigmatic Entities: Jenny Brown

24 Jul

One of the benefits of our rural home for the summer is the large garden our landlords maintain on the property.  For the first time in my life, freshly picked vegetables and berries are mere steps from my door.  Pulling up fresh spinach for our salads a few nights ago got me thinking about roots.  And so does the artwork of Providence, RI artist Jenny Brown.

Untitled Yellow, ink & found collage on paper, 8.5×11

As people, we, in the same way as plants, are growing our roots and reaching for the sky at the same time.  The roots provide nourishment and hold us steady, while our very nature and soul fights against their pull as we stretch toward who we are meant to be.

Untitled #1, ink, gouache, pencil and collage on paper, 8.5×11

Flowering Crab, ink, gouache, pencil and collage on paper, 8.5×11

Some people, like smaller plants, don’t grow far vertically, keeping very close to their roots.  But others, like giant redwoods, soar to unimaginable heights far above their rooted beginnings.  Yet, it takes incredibly strong roots to steady one whose reach is so high.

Untitled #3, ink, gouache, pencil and collage on paper, 8.5×11

To see more of Jenny Brown’s work, please visit her website.

Featured image is Untitled #1, ink, gouache, pencil and collage on paper, 8.5×11.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Stranger Rememberings: Amy Pleasant

23 Jul

There is a wonderful phenomenon that happens to me from time to time.  I call it “name serendipity”.  Every so often when I search an artist’s name on Google, I happen upon the work of another talented artist by the same name!  Which is exactly how I happened upon the work of Seattle artist Amy Pleasant.

Free Spirit, mixed media, 36×36

Like Amy, I too, have a collection of vintage photographs from my grandparents’ collection and they are among my most treasured possessions.  In her latest series, Lost and Found, Amy was inspired by the discarded memories of strangers.  Namely old family photos found in thrift shops and antique stores, now being sold along with old tablecloths and broken lawnmowers.

Three Graces, mixed media, 40×30

Kindred, mixed media, 40×30

Captured moments of past lives now cast away like any other piece of household paraphernalia.  Pleasant rescues these memories that have been tossed aside, giving them new life in paint.

Night’s Nest, mixed media, 36×36

In them, we see not the memories of strangers but our own ancestral rememberings staring back at us.  To see more of Amy Pleasant’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can be seen in her show, “Looking For the Coolidges” opening August 2, 2012 at the Shoreline City Hall Gallery in Shoreline, WA.  And on August 1st, she  will be the featured artist (along with Dutch artist Janneke Van Leeuwen) at the Visual Thinking Strategies European Symposium in partnership with the Rijks Museum and will be showing at a gallery on site at a large hospital in Amsterdam(! ).

Featured image is Three Graces, mixed media, 40×30.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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