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Silent Visages: Courtney J. Garrett

1 Nov

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.

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.

Historical Bent: Frohawk Two Feathers

18 Oct

‘Tis election season in the US which for many ( including myself ) = the season for cynicism, frustration, and the eventual choosing between what we hope will be the less destructive of two not-so-great choices.  Throughout history many a nation has had a habit of creatively reinterpreting their own backstory to slant history more to their favor.  In his work, Los Angeles artist Frohawk Two Feathers calls out the ridiculousness of such reinvention, echoing the growing dissatisfaction with the political status quo.

He Dead. Amen! LaDonna, inventor of the hot comb and widow of Andre I of Hispaniola Maitresse of Mambo Erzulie Freda Dahomey, 30×44

Two Feathers’ ( born Umar Rashid ) works are a fictional retelling of periods in history, his latest series being a fictionalized version of the conquest of Haiti.  The overall style of his work bases itself in traditional colonial portraiture yet the artist tweaks it to tell his own version of the story.

Let Me Upgrade You. A farewell embrace for Duke Tarik Ibn Rashid and the Duchess Josefina of Margarita and Tortuga. Tarik was called to Frengland to Tirain the artillery corps by Lord Protector Casimir Theroux of the Republic of Frengland. Josefina is running shit for real man, 30×44

The Spanish Main 1794 (3BB) Blanca, the motherfucking Queen of Spain Jacinta, Queen of the Tairona (Deceased) Carlota, Queen of Santo Domingo (Deceased), 60.5×44.75

While the works are satirical in nature, I can’t help but think that they aren’t that far off from how our own histories have been subtly reshaped over time in order to gloss over certain ugly facts or to push a powerful group’s agenda.

Solid. Solid as a Rock Lord protector Casimir Theroux of Pomerania (Poland) and his wife Helen Sidney of London, 30×44

To see more of Frohawk Two Feathers’ work, please visit the website of his representing gallery, Taylor De Cordoba.  I’m not sure how much time I’ll have to explore LA galleries while we’re in Joshua Tree, since I’ll be heading to Florida for a month in November, but seeing this work in person at Taylor De Cordoba is high on my list.

All images are via the Taylor De Cordoba website.

Taking Elemental Chances: Laura Gurton

12 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 8, 2012.  Enjoy!

Life, in any form, is unpredictable.  Sometimes we like the result of a chance taken, sometimes we don’t.  Yet each step of faith is a step in the right direction.  New York artist Laura Gurton takes a gamble each time she begins a new work, never knowing how her materials will react with one another.  But it is that tempting of fate which results in these spontaneously speculative paintings.

From the Unknown Species Series #48, oil and alkyd on linen, 11×14

The artist takes advantage of the unpredictable reactions of layers of oil paint and alkyd resin to create work that uses the elemental properties of both to mimic cellular forms– our most basic building block of life.

From the Unknown Species series #49, oil and alkyd on linen, 18×18

The shapes morph and float as cells or micro-organisms under a microscope, taking on ghostly abstract forms that can seem often friendly or fiendish.

From the Biomorphic Dream series #13, oil and alkyd on canvas, 30×40

I find fascinating Gurton’s use of such basic chemistry to produce beautifully composed, intricate abstract work that reminds us of the beginning of life.  Just as each of us are all made of the similar cellular building blocks, yet we are each unique, so are each of these works beautifully singular.  It’s almost as if each one could be a glimpse into the molecular network of an individual.

From the Unknown Species series #15, oil and alkyd on canvas, 18×24

To see more of Laura Gurton’s work, please visit her website.

PS– Welcome to all of our new Artsy Forager subscribers!  I’m so glad you enjoy the blog.  Make yourself at home and be sure to take a peek around, there are lots of goodies to explore!  If you haven’t already, use the tabs on the right to connect with Artsy Forager via Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Featured image is From the Unknown Species series #50, oil and alkyd on linen, 18×18.  All images are via the artist’s website.

The Uncommon Familiar: Shaun Kardinal

3 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 April 23, 2012 and got a huge bump thanks to being featured on the Freshly Pressed WordPress feature.  Enjoy!

Do you have any idea how bummed I was to miss out on Shaun Kardinal’s show, Connotations, while we were in Seattle?  So very very bummed.  But time was not my friend on this trip.  Two half-days and only one full day just isn’t enough to fit in time with friends, every gallery show I wanted to see and one on one time with the hubby.  But I know I’ll be back and I have a feeling Shaun’s work is going to continue gaining ground while I’m gone.

Connotation No. 18, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.75×6.5

Kardinal increases the complexity of his collages with this new series.  Beginning with a foundation of vintage ephemera, he embroiders each piece with a geometrically intricate design carefully placed to compliment the retro imagery.

Connotation No. 25, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9×6

Kardinal’s work feels like sophisticated folk art and I mean that in the best possible way!  It is approachable, yet thoughtful.  Highly designed using common materials.  Love.

Connotation No. 24, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11.75×11.75

Connotation No. 19, hand-embroidered paper collage, 9.25×8.25

To see more of Shaun Kardinal’s work, please visit his website.  If you’re in Seattle, do what I couldn’t– go see his Connotations show at Joe Bar Cafe.

Featured image is Connotation No. 2, hand-embroidered paper collage, 11×11.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Gavin Lavelle

2 Oct

While I adore abstract expressionist work full of large, sweeping strokes, I do occasionally want to gaze upon work that you really need to consume.  Work so full of rich layers and details that makes you want to study it, taking in every symbol and nuance.  So of course, when  Irish artist Gavin Lavelle emailed me his work, it felt so rich, so Bosch-like, I couldn’t wait to share it.  Lavelle is featured in my Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life today, so head on over there and gaze awhile.  You’ll be mesmerized!

Eden 85 by Gavin Lavelle

Gavin Lavelle on Escape Into Life

Friday Finds: Word Up!

28 Sep

Happy Friday, Artsies!  Please forgive my 1980s one-hit-wonder reference.  I can’t help it.  My mind just automatically defaults to songs from my teen years.  It seems like the written word is experiencing an artsy renaissance of late.  Not since the days of illuminated manuscripts have words and art become so intertwined.  Here are a few of the wordy works I’m loving this week!

Why Can’t You Just be Nice by Trey Speegle

Everything in its Place by David McLeod

FS2679 by Cecil Touchon

Thought & Pleasure by Squeak Carnwath

Sounds Like Some Hippy Shit by Dwayne Butcher

Trey Speegle | David McLeod | Cecil Touchon | Squeak Carnwath | Dwayne Butcher

Have a great weekend, Artsies!  Remember to use your words. 😉

All images are via the artists’ websites, linked above.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Larissa Haily Aguado

25 Sep

I do love a fabulous collage.  And these creations from Argentinian artist Larissa Haily Aguado immediately caught my eye when I spotted them over on The Jealous Curator.  The artist seamlessly blends disparate found images to create the spectacularly simple but striking work.  Check out more of her work over on my Artist Watch at Escape Into Life today!

Pinky Esmeralda by Larissa Haily Aguado

Larissa Haily Aguado on Escape Into Life

Urban Existentialism: Nicola Lopez

25 Sep

It often feels like there is no place left in the world untouched by technology.  Even in some of the most rural areas, you’ll still find yourself within technology’s reach.  The work of Brooklyn artist Nicola Lopez explores the idea of how the saturation of technology is shaping the way we experience the world.

Water, etching, carborundrum collograph and collage, 41×41

Beyond the brilliant depictions themselves, Lopez utilizes the creative process to mirror the transformation the landscape goes through as it is built upon.  From her website– “I use the language of printmaking to address the processes of automation and mass production that have brought today’s world into existence. The specific media of intaglio, woodblock and drawing that I choose to work with, however, are still closely linked to the artist’s hand and allow the work to be about my own attempt as an individual to come up with a system of navigating this overwhelming landscape instead of simply consuming one of the pre-fabricated, mass-produced and -marketed versions, of which there are so many.”

Excerpt from the Flood I, lithograph on paper and mylar, 30×44

Half-Life 7, woodcut and photolithography on mylar collage, 36×48

“As with the evolution of the human-built landscape, there are moments in the construction of my world where the building proceeds according to plans that have already been laid and there are moments when the building precedes its own planning, expanding unpredictably and organically towards an order of a very different sort. Our world is full of the tension between just this order and disorder.. “

Boneyard, woodcut, photolithograph, silkscreen on mylar collage, 22×22.5

To see more of Nicola Lopez’s work, please visit her website.  If you happen to be in Florida, be sure to stop by J.Johnson Gallery in Jacksonville Beach to see Lopez’s show, Multiplicity, which can be seen at J.Johnson until November 2nd.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Alien Nation: Fidencio Martinez

24 Sep

Living the way we do, Mr. Forager and I are no strangers to feeling like outsiders in a new place.  We try to make a new town home every three months.    I can only imagine how difficult it must be to move to a completely new country, where perhaps you don’t even speak the language or where you noticeably stand out due to the color of your skin.  The work of Mexican-born Memphis artist Fidencio Martinez deals with such feelings of social alienation, assimilation and isolation.

Clandestino, acrylic paint and newspaper, 12×12

Although Martinez’s figures tend to be Latino or indigenous, we’ve all likely experienced some level of isolation.  Yet do we really have any idea what it might be like to be live in a place fraught with danger, one you flee in order to be able to live your life free of fear?

A Coup Beneath Meek Flores, mixed media, 12×12

Nos Caimos Como Balas, mixed media, 12×12

What if, when all you wanted was to be able to live a quiet, happy life in your new world, you were constantly met with hate and prejudice?  Would you be able to accept such treatment with a sanguine attitude?

La Cosecha de Su Vida, mixed media, 24×36

Can you relate to Martinez’s work?  When do you feel like an outsider?  You can see more of Fidencio’s work on his website and be sure to check out his Etsy shop for his available work for sale!

Artist found via Clair Hartmann.  Featured image is Teal Fields in Skin Seas, mixed media, 12×12.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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