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Without Guile: Catriona Miller

15 Nov Small World

There is so much cynicism to be had in this world, that sweetness and innocence seem to get lost in the shuffle.  What drew me to the work of Scottish artist Catriona Miller is its charming purity.

Brighton Belle

Her figures gaze coyly to the side, just a hint of a smile on their lips.  It’s as if they carry a delicious secret they cannot tell.

Daisy Daisy

Small World

River Man

Isn’t it interesting how we might often feel sorry for “simple” folks,  yet how much more happy might they be than we?

Jack Jarrett

To see more of Catriona Miller’s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Drops of Jupiter and Other Cosmicness: William Loveless

14 Nov

In the book I’m currently reading, The Opposite of Fate, author Amy Tan writes a great deal about the concept of fate, how much of what happens is in our own control or predetermined or even mere chance?  In that same vein, how much control does an artist truly have in the creative process?  Yucca Valley, CA artist William Loveless takes his own chances with the action & reaction of his materials in his series of glue paintings, which I first saw ( and fell in love with ) last weekend at The Red Arrow Gallery here in Joshua Tree.

#116 ( Resonance Strategy ), mixed media on panel, 36×36

Through this work, Loveless is able to “probe the intersection where the creative act meets the mystery of creation itself. Through experimentation with materials and their various autonomous interactions, I seek an organic empathy with the complex patterns and processes of the physical world.”

#12-53, mixed media on panel, 3.5×3.5×1.5

#12-13, mixed media on panel, 3.5×3.5×1.5

Although the primary way in which the materials will react is known, what cannot be foreseen is the unique end result of every interaction.  The final result being a record of a unique synergy to be found between the materials in that one moment.

#1204, mixed media on panel, 10x10x1.5

I see these interactions as similar to the way in which we connect with the world around us.  Each moment we exist is a unique interchange between other individuals, other creatures, and the world around us.

To see more of William Loveless’s work, please visit his website/blog.  If you’re Southern California, you can see his work in Culver City, in the exhibition ELEMENTal at Fresh Paint Art and in Joshua Tree at The Red Arrow Gallery.

All images are via the Fresh Paint Art website.

Consumptive Histories: Norah See

12 Nov Portrait of Madame Y, oil on canvas, 18x24

You can take the Art History major out of college, but you can’t take the Art History major out of the girl.  Yep, I still completely geek out on anything art historical, especially when it’s done in a dynamic way.  Enter Nora See, a New Orleans artist whose Reboot series elegantly repositions famous works of art as tiny trinkets, giving us a lesson in our history of consumption.

The Loss of Man, oil on canvas, 18×24

In her take on Rene Magritte’s Son of Man, Magritte’s infamous face obscuring green apple is replaced with the Apple computer logo, showing us a link between the advance of technology and the loss of human interaction, as well as a loss of our connection to our own selves outside of our technologically driven lives.

Portrait of Madame Y, oil on canvas, 18×24

Her Portrait of Madame Y reworks John Singer Sargent’s famous portrait into a modernized version of what a 19th century trophy wife might look like– fake tan, breast implants and all.

The Cliff, oil, ink, gold leaf and enamel on canvas, 18×24

Green Wall, oil on canvas, 18×24

To see more of Nora See’s work, please visit her website.  If you’re in New Orleans, her Reboot series can be seen at her representing NOLA gallery, Gallery Orange.

All images are via Nora See’s website.

Friday Design Finds: The Light Fantastics

9 Nov Candlelier by Takeshi Miyakawa

I’m a huge fan of combining artistry with functionality.  Why should we settle for something boring when we could fill our worlds with the extraordinary?  Time to rip down that contractor’s special chandelier you’ve been hating on since you moved in.  Maybe one of these will inspire you to think outside the Home Depot box. Check out these fantastically artsy options!

Pink Octopus Chandelier by Adam Wallacavage

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Tide Chandelier by Stuart Haygarth

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Bower Bird Nest Chandelier by Tracey Barnes

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Candlelier by Takeshi Miyakawa

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Seriously, how could you not be inspired by seeing one of these every day?  What will you make more artsy this weekend?

All image sources are linked below each photo.

On the Verge: Kevin Peterson

8 Nov

You may have noticed that moving over the website didn’t happen yesterday.. things didn’t quite go as planned.  Working on it again today! 

In just a few days, I’ll be seeing my beautiful nieces for the first time in over a year.  They’ve gotten older and taller and I can tell from photos that they are on the brink of leaving childhood behind.  The work of Houston artist Kevin Peterson looks at that the journey out of childhood and into a fractured world.

Oil on panel, 27×34

Acrylic, metallic paint on panel, 36×36

As children, we’re so quick to want to grow up, we can’t wait to go on our first date, get our driver’s license, go off to college, be able to sit at the “grown-up table”.  But isn’t it amazing how swiftly we would go back to swing sets and school holidays, once we get a glimpse of the cynicism and cruelty of life among the full grown.

Bubbles, oil on panel, 27.5×31

Lovely, oil on panel with corrugated metal, 40×57

While entering adulthood has its carefree qualities ( hello, ice cream for dinner! ), there is a delicious freedom when you’re a kid that only grown-up children can recognize.

To see more of Kevin Peterson’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Art to Inspiration: Linda Monfort

7 Nov The Other Side by Linda Monfort

I’ve been out to lunch Art to Inspiration-wise lately.  I love this collaborative exercise, but alas, there just wasn’t time for it last month with our moving 1300 miles south and all.  But this month’s inspiration piece is so lovely, I couldn’t resist!  The inspiration artwork for November, The Other Side by painter Linda Monfort, is full of the vibrant color I’m longing for after my first few weeks of living in the desert.

The Other Side by Linda Monfort

I’ve put together a gallery of work of varied styles that tie in beautifully with the palette, texture, and energy of Monfort’s piece.  I give you, Color Riot!  Hope you enjoy!

Glow One by Liz Tran

Love Me Two Times by Kirra Jamison

Avant Garden by Karen Klassen

Square ( Equipose ) by Michael Velliquette

CUBEN series by Simon C Page

Liz Tran | Kirra Jamison | Karen Klassen | Michael Velliquette | Simon C Page

To see more from each artist, check out their websites, linked above.

You can find more information on Art to Inspiration here and if you would like to participate in the next Art to Inspiration, just fill out this form! Follow me and all the other Art to Inspiration bloggers on Twitter by subscribing here.  Let the inspiring begin! 

A Luminous Grace: Jennifer JL Jones

7 Nov Ojai, mixed media, 60x60

An artist I met recently regaled me with tales of how she painted with “glow in the dark” paint.  While I can certainly understand the desire for work that glows, I prefer to see the luminosity achieved instead by the deft use of color, layering, and a way of revealing light in a more natural, less neon-sign kind of way.  Case in point, the work of Atlanta artist Jennifer JL Jones glows gracefully, as if lit from within.

Bluebird, mixed media on wood panel, 48×48

Taking her cues from nature, Jones builds layer upon layer of material, creating a canvas as ever changing as the scenes they reflect.  As the seasons change, different aspects of the landscape advance and recede.  So too, in Jones’ work, as we gaze upon it the elements in each work seem to float and fluctuate in a delicate dance.

Radiant Flux I, oil on wood panel, 40×40

Prelude to Spring, mixed media on wood panel, 40×40

These paintings have an ethereal mystery to them, like a wooded lake shrouded in mist or standing behind the veil of a waterfall.  What we see isn’t quite clear, but we know there is beauty.

Ojai, mixed media, 60×60

To see more of Jennifer JL Jones’ work, please visit her website.  If you’re in the Atlanta area, don’t miss her show Wet Ink with fellow artists Courtney J. Garrett and Kathryn Jacobi at Alan Avery Art Company.  I’m looking forward to seeing what new work Jennifer has at Stellers Gallery when I go home to Florida in a few days!

All images are via the artist’s website or the website of her Santa Fe representing gallery, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary.

November Facebook Featured Artist: Susan Melrath

5 Nov Melrath_flora

There are some artists whose work I’ve been following and admiring long before my blogging days.  I first spotted this month’s Facebook Featured Artist, Susan Melrath’s work in print form during my art consulting days in Florida.  I was always drawn to the beauty in her limited palette and the way her distilled compositions were powerful in their simplicity.

Party Table, acrylic on board, 22×19

Charger, acrylic on board, 12×12

In her Figurative series, Susan takes those quick little moments that often pass by unnoticed, capturing the sweetness of this particular day, that particular party.

Landscape, acrylic on panel, 30×25 framed

Although her shapes are simple, Susan uses color and pattern to create depth and visual texture, especially evident in her Garden series ( although she’s now playing with pattern in her Figurative series as well! ).  Her use of floating, layered patterns give her florals a colored gossamer effect, leaving them distinct yet beautifully distorted.

Memory of Magnolia, acyrlic on paper, 20×26 framed

To see more of Susan Melrath’s work, please visit her website and be sure to check out her gorgeous cover image and album on the Artsy Forager Facebook page.

All images are via the artist or her website.

Silent Visages: Courtney J. Garrett

1 Nov The Awakening, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 48x48

There is something in the eyes of an animal that connects with us.  Their faces full of trust, loyalty and hopefulness can bring us peace in the midst of so many storms.  In her Equine & Herd series, Atlanta artist Courtney J. Garrett captures the tranquility of domestic animals, showing us the gentle spirit behind the bucolic.

The Little Foxes Turned and the Fields Stopped Bleeding No. 14, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 48×48

The Awakening, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 48×48

What is it about the presence of another species that seems to make life more bearable?  While we were living in Northern Idaho, a simple walk up to our mailbox, passing by the horse corral was enough to lift my spirits, as the horses trotted over to investigate.  Or even spotting a small bird flitting around city streets will instantly calm me.

The Little Foxes Turned and the Fields Stopped Bleeding No. 12, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 36×36

Perhaps we are envious of the simplicity of an animal’s life?  How they are provided for, whether by their human guardians or by the natural world surrounding them.  They’ve no need to fret over the presidential election, car payments, or forgetting to call on Mother’s Day.  They are happy merely to exist.

Free, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 60×60

Reconciliation No. 5, mixed media oil on birch wood with resin, 24×24

To see more of Courtney J. Garret’s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via Exhibit by Abersons, her representing gallery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Utopian Geometry: Melissa Manfull

31 Oct Interior, ink on paper, 42x56

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.

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