Making Mountains: Liz Tran

2 Oct

While Mr. Forager & I are on the road, making our way to California, we’re rerunning Artsy Forager’s most popular posts.  This post originally published on February 7, 2012 and got a huge bump thanks to being featured on the Freshly Pressed WordPress feature.  Enjoy!

I love it when painters explore their 3-dimensional side.  I’m not talking about donning special sunglasses to see the latest technology driven flick.  I mean, when artists who normally work in 2-dimensions explore the world of sculpture.  The result is often magical, their paintings come to life!  Seattle artist Liz Tran ( an Artsy Forager fave ) brings her color saturated paintings to life in ceramic form.

My Rayonier, glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 19x15x9

Perhaps what draws me to Liz’s work time and time again is her obvious love for the outdoors and the way she expresses that affection in joyful color and whimsical lines.  The sculpture above, My Rainer, holds a special draw for me, as Mount Rainier is my favorite mountain.  Rainier has been the site of some wonderful memories for my husband and I, and Liz has captured its magic in such a unique way.

My Rayonier ( detail ), glazed ceramic, acrylic ink, acrylic paint

Of course, who could forget her twisting, multi-hued trees?  She mimics their shapes and winding branches in these ceramic creations.  In this form, they almost take on an alien-like quality, which I am totally digging.


Backbone Two, glazed ceramic, wood, acrylic ink, acrylic paint, 5x5x36

Then there are her Backbone pieces, which I must confess, are my fave!  They are one part tree trunk + one part stacked tea cup + one part graphic color = total wonderfulness!  How amazing would a grouping of these be in a children’s hospital?  Or tucked away in a garden?

To see more of Liz Tran’s sculptures and paintings, please visit her website.  You can also check out my feature on Liz’s paintings here.

All images are via the artist’s website.

86 Responses to “Making Mountains: Liz Tran”

  1. laurenturtonphotography February 7, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Very dream like!

    Lauren Turton

    • keatslover February 7, 2012 at 11:22 pm #

      I love it all! somehow reminds me of a few Beatles’ songs:)

      • Lesley February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am #

        Love that, Keatslover! Huge Beatle fan here. 🙂


  2. Mikalee Byerman February 7, 2012 at 10:48 am #

    VERY fun sculptures — great colors! 🙂

  3. amiarting February 7, 2012 at 10:49 am #


  4. Cathy February 7, 2012 at 10:50 am #

    These are nice 🙂

  5. valentinedee February 7, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Very colorful and creative. Great job!


  6. The Hook February 7, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    What can I say? Incredible!

  7. DoF@theinfill February 7, 2012 at 11:44 am #

    Like the acrobatic one particularly – great feeling of movement both in colour and shape. Thanks for sharing these – v interesting 😉

  8. ekhaugli February 7, 2012 at 11:53 am #

    Very interesting sculptors and fun to see mountains depicted in such vibrant colors. Clearly a place she loves!

    • ekhaugli February 7, 2012 at 11:54 am #

      I meant sculptures…. should have proofread 😉

  9. Cindy L Riemersma February 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

    Wow! I am so glad I found your blog! I love art, am an artist myself, and I Love what I have seen so far! I am going to keep looking.

  10. agroekonomija February 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Interesting! It is wonderful!

  11. snooway February 7, 2012 at 2:14 pm #


  12. Supriadi February 7, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

    Very cool post and pics 🙂

  13. mortondesignworks February 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm #

    I agree, the Backbone pieces are my favorite as well!

  14. Lesley February 7, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks for stopping by, everyone! I’m glad to see you enjoy Liz’s work as much as I do. Make sure you click through the link in the article to Liz’s websites and take a look at her paintings, you won’t be sorry!

    Lots of other fun artists to explore on Artsy Forager, as well. Welcome!


  15. Ryan February 7, 2012 at 2:53 pm #

    Cool, creative!

  16. gaycarboys February 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    How extraordinary. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

  17. cabinorganic February 7, 2012 at 4:50 pm #

    Unexpected and refreshing! May be all step outside the box in as many creative ways!!!

  18. Lulu Simawati February 7, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    Colorful ! Like rainbow. I also have a posting about the rainbow. Here is the link Please check it if you have time. Thank you

  19. batteries UK online shop February 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    great sculpture and good color!

  20. Bold Wandering February 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm #

    Beautiful colors.

  21. Jean February 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    I must admit the lst piece, I had mistakened it for a draped scarf! It’s a compliment to the artist since it looked diaphonous to me.

  22. delightfilledart February 7, 2012 at 9:24 pm #

    Freshly pressed – congratulations. I continue to enjoy your blog! Love learning about other artists.

  23. LadyT February 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm #

    very creative and cool! im inspired to try something of my own.. congrats on being freshly pressed!

  24. Randis Silas February 7, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    Love the colors on the sculptures!

  25. Talitha February 8, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Reblogged this on My Favorite Spaces.

    • Lesley February 8, 2012 at 8:00 am #

      Thanks for reblogging, Talitha!

  26. 7theaven February 8, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    The epitome of creativity I have seen in a long time.

    Great work!

  27. whenquiet February 8, 2012 at 3:46 am #

    Totally agree that such artsy installments would be perfect for a Children’s hospital…And the one backbone scultpure idea would be cool as a pretzel….a baking pretzel idea for toddlers:-)

  28. bijuterii argint February 8, 2012 at 5:06 am #

    Nice sculptures…this is realy original

  29. shyam sundar February 8, 2012 at 7:10 am #

    good colors!!

  30. Chaks February 8, 2012 at 8:09 am #

    very creative work. The colors perfect.


  31. Distance Landaverde February 8, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    I recently been looking into papier mache and I totally agree as far as exploring the three dimensional side of art, I am currently working on a piece that is a direct result of being inspired by the works of artists such as Erika Takacs and Sergio Bastamantes and others whose work takes on a three dimensional turn. Ceramics calls out to me and I love these pieces you have here.

  32. INDIATRIPPING.COM February 8, 2012 at 9:50 am #

    The backbone piece is nice but i really love the untitled one. Great work.

  33. claudsy February 8, 2012 at 9:52 am #

    I have to admit never having seen any of this type of art, which makes for a unique experience. The colors have a child-like exuberance that one doesn’t find in most art, even that of abstract rendering. I do like Mt. Rainier and the acrobatic one. The Backbone one isn’t one I’d choose, but I can understand its draw for others.

  34. Cassie February 8, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    This is awesome.

  35. katemadison365 February 8, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    Love it when artists go beyond the canvas and Liz Tran has won me over just as Lynn Hunter has with her work (her link is below). Two rather different styles, but each speak to me. Thanks for introducing me to Liz’s work!

  36. dikalev February 8, 2012 at 10:15 am #

    Reblogged this on dikazworld.

    • Lesley February 8, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Thanks for reblogging!


  37. Eryka February 8, 2012 at 11:38 am #

    hey i love your blog i love art to check out my blog 🙂

  38. creekrose February 8, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    wow, perspective is something . . . when i first looked at the first photograph, i thought i was seeing silk/gauze hankies piled up to make mountains . . .it took a shift to see that there’s no cloth involved and it’s sculpural! pretty neat :0)

  39. Sarah Harris February 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

    Those are really cool! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely add more texture and dimension next time I make something!

    • Chris February 8, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      Pretty top notch! I was just lookin at other blogs for inspiration, but I thought that I wouls slow down and take a peek. Good work sista. I just started a new blog about 5 days ago, and I’m still figuring it out. Its a are sight dedicated to corvettes! It is clean if you wanna check it out. I’m at ‘ettevroc’ on wordpress. Thanks for takin the time! L8ter.

  40. francifularts February 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm #

    I really love the layered look of the colors, almost like layers of tissue paper! Thanks for sharing your photos, and exposing me to an artist I was unaware of! As a Washington resident, it was great to see Mount Rainier reinterpreted as a bright and color splashed form! Wouldn’t that blow our minds if we woke up one morning and Mt. Rainier actually looked like that?

    • Lesley February 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm #

      Rainier is full of color in the summertime! We were hiking there last August, loved all the wild flowers, glaciers and such!

  41. Foto Clipping February 8, 2012 at 10:21 pm #

    wow! lovely!

  42. kboehnlein February 8, 2012 at 11:01 pm #

    Wow, I love the colors she uses…she makes viewing the natural world through her eyes a very whimsical experience!

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 7:56 am #

      Love that perspective, K! Thanks for visiting!


  43. healingpilgrim February 9, 2012 at 12:36 am #

    Love this post and Liz’s artwork – especially the Backbone series, which I plan to check out on her website. Looking forward to more of your foraging 🙂
    Thanks for digging around, discovering and sharing!!

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 7:57 am #

      Please do check out more of Liz’s work on her website, AJ! She really has something very special. I could look at her work all day every day and never tire of it!

  44. Not Just A Mummy February 9, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    love the colours, im doing sculpture at the moment and really enjoying it

  45. cravencreativity February 9, 2012 at 6:05 am #

    This is amazing work! I have myself recently transitioned from 2-D painter to 3-D yarn artist and have really been having a good time experimenting ‘painting with yarn’! I combine color and texture in my yarn creations the same way I did through my paintings, its aroused in me new creative perspective. This is a great blog you’ve got and I look forward to following along with it!
    PS. Congrats on being freshly pressed 🙂

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Thanks, Karen! Glad you found Artsy Forager through Freshly Pressed and good luck with your new venture into 3-D!


  46. rumahsangguru February 9, 2012 at 6:06 am #


  47. gamerankman February 9, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Great post, really nice images

  48. The GroundHog February 9, 2012 at 9:29 am #

    Reblogged this on Talk Art2me and commented:
    Here’s a great article about Seattle artist Liz Tran who works ceramic in wonderful, ways. Good read.

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      Thanks so much for reblogging! Going to check out Talk Art2me! ( Great blog name, by the way! )


  49. star girl February 9, 2012 at 9:34 am #

    Reblogged this on star girl and commented:
    Love love love this.

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 10:28 am #

      Thanks for reblogging, Star Girl!


  50. Sinta Jimenez February 9, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    That is very very cool, the entire process must be so satisfying, so many textures and dimensions to think of!

  51. lizpurdy February 9, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    My Rainier is beautiful! Love it.

  52. Birthday in NYC February 9, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    One of the great things about this type of branching out by an artist is that you sometimes reveal a talent that has previously gone unrealized. I am a huge fan of 3D art in general, and love to see a painter take it to the next level. I was introduced to some 3D concepts originally at Union Square here in NYC, where some street chalk artists had created some magnificent works of art in the style. Then, I saw some 2D artists make the transition to sculpture, adding colors that I had not previously seen before. Now, I’m in love.

    This Mt. Rainier sculpture is beautiful – ever done any exhibiting in NYC?

    • Lesley February 9, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      Birthday, you can check Liz’s website to see if she’s exhibited in NYC.. Thanks for stopping by!


  53. gypsy February 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm #


  54. Krysta Marie [Purple Pond] February 9, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    beautiful! love the bright colors and form.

  55. butterflyacres February 9, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

    I love how whimsical the mountain is.
    It reminds me of the children’s story ‘The mountain that loved a bird’ illustrated by Eric Carle

  56. odisumantri February 9, 2012 at 8:37 pm #

    Good writing, on a mix of beautiful colors

  57. Web development Hyderabad February 9, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    Great Picture and nice blog

  58. helliumworks February 10, 2012 at 1:03 am #

    wow..!! very nice color 🙂

  59. The Background Story February 10, 2012 at 3:01 am #

    Wow! These are amazing!
    I also would like to see how sculptors (or those who works in 3D) paint/draw. Should also be interesting 🙂

    • Lesley February 10, 2012 at 7:56 am #

      Great idea, Background Story! I’m sure that will come up as a feature soon.. 😉


  60. septic tank emptying essex February 10, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    I never think of 3-dimensional art, I always think of the typical canvas work but it is awesome and every piece is unique. Got to have a good spot for it in the house though 🙂

  61. Hoe February 10, 2012 at 6:53 am #

    She can help God to create mountains!

    • Lesley February 10, 2012 at 7:55 am #

      Haha! Love that.


  62. icelandic safety stirrups February 10, 2012 at 7:11 am #

    Love this artwork! It would be perfect in my front room.

  63. Pickyourbrains February 11, 2012 at 6:17 am #

    Amazing! Love the shapes and creativity! Thanks for sharing

  64. redroomboulevard February 15, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    wow this look so amazing!!

  65. The Stamping 'Roo February 15, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    These are gorgeous!

    • Jada Jasper-Stewart April 23, 2012 at 8:11 am #

      I know right have you ever done anything like this before

  66. 2 bhk apartment for sale in bangalore February 19, 2012 at 12:11 am #

    wow superb… i really like it….Awesome collection………..

  67. olga66 March 20, 2012 at 9:53 am #

    Truly amazing works

    • Lesley March 20, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      Glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for stopping by!

      • olga66 March 20, 2012 at 10:50 am #

        You are welcome 🙂

  68. sunnychance0207 October 4, 2012 at 10:32 am #

    Reblogged this on sunnychance0207.

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