Archive | October, 2012

Utopian Geometry: Melissa Manfull

31 Oct

I am continually fascinated by what inspires each artists.  It seems that the more unique the work, the more intriguing the inspiration.  Los Angeles artist Melissa Manfull takes her artful cues from the beliefs of Southwestern utopian communities of the 1960s and 70s.

Interior, ink on paper, 42×56

Diffusion, ink on paper, 16×18

According to Manfull’s website, these communities held a strong affinity for geometric forms and patterns and “just as the polygonal forms of minerals and the cellular structure of plants formed perfect complex systems, the growth patterns of these communities often resembled fractals in which a single shape repeated itself until a complex, organic cluster was formed.”

Web, ink on paper, 16×18

Dome ( Soleri Meet Gaudi ), ink on paper

The artists work embraces these affinities by beginning with a simple grouping of geometrical shapes which then build upon one another to form a fantastical structure, linking the architectural world with the natural one.  To see more of Melissa Manfull’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via her representing gallery in Los Angeles, Taylor de Cordoba Gallery.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Mathilde Aubier

30 Oct

I’m a closet Francophile.  I loved my two years of high school French and think everything sounds better in a French accent.  I could watch Amelie every day.  The collages of French artist and illustrator Mathilde Aubier are so sophisticated and cheeky and French, I couldn’t resist featuring her in my Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life today.  Voir l’art ici!

Sous La Neige by Mathilde Aubier

Mathilde Aubier on Escape Into Life

Intuitive Scenes: Julie Schumer

30 Oct

To paint the feeling of a person or place, rather than a representation of your subject can be quite the task.  An artist must be able to interpret their impression into nothing but line, texture, color and form.  Through her abstract work, Los Angeles artist Julie Schumer gives us fleeting glimpses into the world around her.

Crowdscape, mixed media on canvas, 84×64

Through her use of color, expression, and texture, each canvas is given a sense of place.  You can feel the swish of people rushing by, feel the shade between the canyon walls, sense the warmth of the sun beating down.

Landscape Composition 21, mixed media on panel, 42×36

Canyon Suite 3, acrylic and cold wax on panel, 30×40

Just as music can abstractly transport us to another time and place, so can art like Julie’s.  It speaks to us visually, perhaps not in a language we speak, yet one that can understand.

Canyon Suite 1, acrylic and cold wax on panel, 40×30

To see more of Julie Schumer’s work, please visit her website.  Her work can currently be seen at several galleries across the country– see her website for more info on one near you!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy Around Town: Hwy 62 Art Touring

29 Oct

It seems like every Fall when the Open Studios and Art Tours gear up we seem to just miss them.  So I was elated to know we would be able to spend a Saturday checking out some of the local work Joshua Tree and the surrounding communities have to offer.  A day spent seeing new places, meeting artists , getting a peek inside their studios and process– what could be better?!  Wanna go along for the ride?  Buckle up.  Safety first in the Artsy mobile!

Not MY Artsy mobile, but someone else’s spotted in Joshua Tree

Our first stop took us down a few long, lonely dirt ( OK, sand, really ) roads.  We hoped the trek would be worth it.  And when we came upon Judy Wold’s studio, something told me it would be.

Outside Judy Wold’s studio

Judy and her husband Bob live in Santa Monica, but the desert keeps drawing them in, allowing them to enjoy the best of both worlds.  We were greeted warmly and with mimosas ( my favorite kind of hello! ).  Her little abode/studio is tucked away from the rest of Joshua Tree, overlooking an undeveloped valley and a spectacular view of the mountains to the north.

Views around Judy Wold’s studio

Mr. Forager and I fell hard for the painting in the bottom right above.  My photo doesn’t do it justice– it was full of color, depth and texture in person.  We’re contemplating a purchase..

If you’ve ever been on an Art Tour, you know that artists not only open their studios, but utilize other spaces to create make-shift galleries.  Judy’s Airstream guest room turned gallery was our fave.  It had just the right boho vibe.  Definitely got our wheels turnin’!

Wold’s Airstream gallery/guest room

Next we ventured out to Twenty-Nine Palms to check out some work that had looked a bit interesting in the brochure.. unfortunately, the photo was very deceiving and I found the building to be much more interesting than the art inside.  Bummer.

Artsy building filled with so-so art. Art Tour number obliterated to protect the innocent.

Back to Joshua Tree we went, this time heading to the South and the studio of wood sculptor Mark Doolittle.  This artist is one of those fascinating creatives that begins in a largely left-brained profession ( biomedical research ) then transforms into a beautifully creative artist.

Symbiosis, amboyna burl and basswood with bubinga base, 32x33x6. George Post, photographer.

Mark Doolittle’s work bench and the fossils that inspire him

In talking with Mark, he related to us how he was always struck by the aesthetic beauty in microbiology.  The same quiet, patient methodology needed to work in the biomedical world equips him with the ability to spend hours carving meticulously.  Truly phenomenal work!

A few more stops, among them an installed re-creation of Western Motel by Edward Hopper, created and installed by Jenifer Palmer-Lacy and the studio of Marjorie Franklin and Janis Commentz ( click on the artists’ names to check out their websites! )  One of our last stops was the home & studio of Karine Swenson.  Her paintings of desert wildlife really enchanted me, as did her postings throughout of random facts regarding her work and her process.

One of Karine Swenson’s rabbits with a little note about her process

What I love most about this kind of outing is the conversation.  Not only with the artists, but with Mr. Forager.  Coming from outside the art world, he looks and questions with a different perspective, one that always makes me stop and think.  Hope you enjoyed this little virtual Art Tour as much as I enjoyed the real one.

Quick question for my readers– Would you like to see more posts like this in addition to artist features?

Rocks at Judy Wold’s studio

The Poetic Palette: Brianna Angelakis

29 Oct

Reading an enthralling tale comes pretty close to the joy I get from viewing incredible artwork.  Some of my absolute favorite books have been the work of “classic” female authors such as Charlotte Bronte and Jane Austen.  I still pick up my well-worn paperback of Persuasion from time to time.  North Florida artist Brianna Angelakis marries her own passion for literary characters with feminist  surrealism in work that is as wonderfully layered and moody as any Bronte novel.

God’s Orchestra, graphite and oil on canvas board, 36×24

Angelakis explores the idea of isolated femininity by placing her female subjects alone in wild landscapes and in her most recent series, Wonders of the Invisible World, we see young women falling from an unknown place to an unknown destination.

Neurathenia, graphite and oil on wood, 24×24

Modern Hero, graphite and oil on wood

Her use of a cool, limited palette add to the eery mood of Angelakis’ work.  We are caught in the midst of the story she is telling and left wondering.. and wanting to hear more.

Blind Contentment, graphite and oil on canvas board, 24×36

To see more of Brianna Angelakis’ work, please visit her website.  The painting above, Neurathenia, can be seen as a part of the Folio Weekly Artist Invitational at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens in Jacksonville, FL until December 6th.  Her work can also been seen beginning in December in Minneapolis, MN and in the United Kingdom.  More details on her website!

All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Design Finds: If These Walls Could Draw

26 Oct

Happy Friday, Artsies!!  You may have noticed that the Friday round-ups have been a bit more design oriented of late.  It wasn’t intentional on my part at first, but once I noticed it, I decided to just dive in completely!  Artsiness abounds in all kinds of places– fashion and interior design, architecture, consumer goods, you name it.  So beginning today, each Friday I’ll bring you a group of artsy design goodies that I find inspiring.  Hope you enjoy!

Secret AF tidbit: The one and only time I was ever spanked as a child was for drawing on my bedroom walls with a permanent marker.  Now, there are wall coverings made especially for coloring or you can just draw/paint directly onto your wall ( if you’re an adult & own your walls ).  Instantly artsy vertical space.

Paint by Numbers mural created by Katie Blair for her son Max’s little art studio


Wallpaper by Jonas Carlberg


Colour in Wallpaper by Jon Burgerman


Frames Wallpaper by Graham & Brown


Audrey Hepburn wall mural by Ben Slow


Don’t these make you just want to draw all over your walls?

All images sources are linked above.

October Art Associations Contest Winner: Athena Roth!

25 Oct

Athena’s board was dark & moody and we loved it!  Doesn’t she have a great eye?

Athena Roth’s Winning Art Associations board

I mean, those scarves, that ring and the Vivienne Westwood bag are gorgeous!  Not to mention the fantastic artwork she included.  It all worked together to beautifully compliment Kate Farrall’s work.  See the rest of Athena’s winning board here!

I’ve already notified Athena of her win and she’s super excited.  Want to be inspired and maybe win free artsy stuff?  Art Associations back next month with new art and another giveaway!

In the meantime, follow all the artsiness here on Artsy Forager and over on my Art Association partner Erin’s blog, artsocial.

Flashbacks & Snapshots : Diego Gravinese

25 Oct

There are some artists whose work I respond to on a visceral level, visually.  I see it.  I love it.  I don’t have to know what it’s about or the super secret story behind the meaning of each piece.  The paintings of Argentinian artist Diego Gravinese grabbed me when I spotted one on Pinterest last week.

The Love of Renault and Burritoes Obsequious ( diptych ), acrylic and enamel on canvas, 79×51

The artist’s earlier work ( such as The Love of Renault.. & In the Future.. ) are conglomerations of painted memories.. scenes from childhood and current memories mix with nostalgic elements to give us visual tales of how each experience builds on the ones that came before it.

Milk Girl, oil on canvas, 40×27.5

The Method, oil on canvas, 71×47.2

Mimesis, oil on canvas, 71×47.2

His more current work, ( Milk Girl, The Method & Mimesis, above ), leave behind the nostalgia, focusing instead on fleeting everyday moments.  Painted in a photorealistic style, the palette of each painting seems carefully selected and limited, so that not only do we get a sense of situation and place, but the resulting image is arrestingly graphic.

In the Future, We Will Colonize the Exterior Planets, acrylic on canvas, 75×39.5 ( overall )

To see more of Diego Gravinese’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Guest Foraging for UGallery: Curated Persona: Zombie Attack Survivalist

24 Oct

It’s that time of the month..  for a little guest foraging over on the UGallery blog for my Curated Persona series.  I’m not a fan of super scariness, but I love art that’s just a bit spooky.   Check it out my Curated Persona: Zombie Attack Survivalist post here!

Girl by Ryan Pickart

Under an Urban Sky: Jennifer Seymour

24 Oct

I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but it makes me crave a big city.  A city with bustling sidewalks and tall buildings.  Mr. Forager and I are still trying to figure out if we’re urban or small town people.  The work of British Columbian artist Jennifer Seymour definitely has me leaning toward big city life.

Oscillations, mixed media on panel, 48×24

Seymour’s works begin as photographs she’s saved and collected over time and are then reworked with layers of charcoal, pastel and glaze resulting in pieces that glow.  It’s as if all those reflective surfaces and city lights are caught in one hurried moment after another.

Jump Start, mixed media on panel, 24×24

Distant Constellation, mixed media on panel, 48×24

These mixed media works capture what I love most about urban centers– the energy, that glimpse of mountains or river just beyond the skyscrapers, the feeling of endless possibility and opportunity.

Skywalk, mixed media on panel, 48×24

To see more of Jennifer Seymour’s work, please visit her website.  I’ll be here in yet another small town, dreaming of a more metropolitan life. 😉

Artist found via one of her representing galleries, Sopa Fine Arts.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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