Tag Archives: Drawing

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Zuzka Vaclavik

6 Nov

Last weekend, after our day spent art touring, Mr. Forager asked me to explain how to draw.  What a loaded question!  I hoped what got across to him the most was that it isn’t always how proficiently you do something, but the way in which you do it that makes you unique as an artist.  While the work of Zuzka Vaclavik may appear to be elaborate doodles, the lines, patterns, and forms show an artist’s eye at work.  Check out more of her work on my Artist Watch on Escape Info Life today! ( See it here and linked again below ).

And There are Vibrations by Zuzka Vaclavik

Zuzka Vaclavik on Escape Into Life

Artist found via Emily Amy Gallery.

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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.

Psychedelic Precision: Louise Despont

23 Oct

Although I’m a pretty detail-oriented person, my own drafting and drawing style is much more intuitive than precise.  Architectural drafting was torture for me.  So the exquisitely elaborate and deliberate compositions of Brooklyn artist Louise Despont leave me speechless.

Dancer, graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 49.5×81

Small Performers, graphite, watercolor, and colored pencil on antique ledger pages, 58.4×40.6 cm

Despont creates these intricately graphic drawings on the pages of antique ledger books, providing a natural grid upon which to weave her compositions.  Reminiscent of Persian rugs and other ancient patterns, the artist is creating her own “abstract language of symbols”.

Couple With Clock Tower, graphite on antique ledger book pages, 50.5×55

These are works to take in as they were created.. slowly, deliberately, and with careful attention.  You wouldn’t want to miss out on any of the delicious details.

The Bodhi Tree, graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 170.2×174.6 cm

Jester Inversion, graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 54×82.5

To see more of Louise Despont’s work, please check out her website, where you can see close-ups of these wonderfully complex drawings!

Artist found via the Honey Kennedy blog.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Nicomi Nix Turner

9 Oct

It takes a highly skilled artist to simply draw.  Using nothing but a graphite pencil and paper, Oregon bred artist Nicomi Nix Turner creates stunningly detailed compositions utilizing just those humble tools and of course, a healthy does of imagination.  See her work in my Artist Watch over on Escape Into Life today! ( link below )

Hunger’s Demand by Nicomi Nix Turner

Nicomi Nix Turner on Escape Into Life

Lost in the Aviary: Fran Giffard

27 Sep

I’ve admitted it already, I can be a bird-brain.  Not in a ditzy way, in an I am completely fascinated by birds kind of way.  When we go out for evening walks, especially here at the lake, many times I’ll stop just to gaze at a lovely bird or try to catch a glimpse as one flits from tree to tree, trying to avoid the approaching humans.  London artist Fran Giffard takes ornithological study to an artsy degree as she draws these fine-feathered illustrations on the pages of old moleskin diaries.

U, O for Ornithology series, graphite pencil and aquarelle, 26×21 cm

Her latest series, O for Ornithology, features birds drawn within layouts similar to those of Mondrian’s paintings.  The birds “perched” within the grid seem to be peering in on us from a windowsill or perhaps peering out from a cage.

U, Old Paper Alphabet series, graphite pencil and aquarelle, 26×21 cm

F, Old Paper Alphabet series, graphite pencil and aquarelle, 26×21 cm

Giffard’s use of old diaries as substrate create an interesting juxtaposition between the beautifully rendered fowl and quickly jotted notes about every day life like grocery lists and appointments.

G, O for Ornithology series, graphite pencil and aquarelle, 26×21 cm

To see more of Fran Giffard’s work, please visit her website.  Looking forward to seeing lots of lovely new birds while we are in Joshua Tree, CA this Fall!

Featured image is P, Old Paper Alphabet series, graphite pencil and aquarelle, 26×21 cm. All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Joe Sinness

18 Sep

There is something so intriguing about an artist who chooses to focus on drawings on paper.  It seems like such an introspective type of expression.  Today in my Artist Watch on Escape Into Life, I’m featuring artist Joe Sinness, whose quiet works scream for your careful attention..

Shinola, colored pencil on paper, 28×22

Joe Sinness on Escape Into Life

Organic Entanglements: Yellena James

13 Mar

Isn’t it amazing to think that there are worlds all around us that we can’t see?  Worlds invisible to our eyes, buried beneath the sea or simply found deep in our imaginations.  Portland artist Yellena James fashions her own worlds filled with shapes and organisms both familiar and alien.

Allusion, pen & ink on paper, 8x10

Growing up in the south, the land of kudzu, I’ve always been fascinated by vines and roots.  The source of nourishment and strength, they also entangle and envelope all around them.  The worlds James creates share these same contradictory characteristics.  Bright colors and seemingly whimsical shapes float about yet become entangled by tentacle-like forms.

Flutter, pen & ink on paper, 7.5x7.5

Bold patterns and forms catch our eyes, drawing us into a delicate, intricate world.  A darkly mystical universe, a playground for elves and fairies.

Twine, pen & ink on paper, 7.5x7.5

Wouldn’t you like to go inside these worlds to explore?  If I could, I would miniaturize myself to float and flit among these microcosmic terrains!

Spring, pen & ink on paper, 7.5x7.5

Origin, pen & ink on paper, 7.5x7.5

To see more of Yellena James’ work, please visit her website.  Her Etsy shop is full of gorgeous, affordable prints and be sure to check out these amazing bracelets she’s collaborated on with Morphik!  I’m personally coveting the Dulcet piece, which looks fantastic with the Taupe cuff!  ( Just in case anyone is taking notes.. I do have a birthday coming up! ;-))

Featured image is Mothership, pen & ink on paper, 21×16.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Friday Faves: Firebugs

3 Feb

Fire is fascinating.  At once necessary and dangerous.  Delicately beautiful and vigorously potent.  It lives and breathes.  It is no wonder that artist’s embrace its beauty and harness its power.  Take a look at these artists who are using their firepower for good.

Fire by Daryl Bunn

Deai Series by Etsuko Ichikawa

Flower Imprint by Steven Spazuk

Towards Another Theory #6CP by Geoffrey Short

Raining Fire by Steve Shubert ( via My Modern Met )

Daryl Bunn 

 Etsuko Ichikawa 

Steven Spazuk

Geoffrey Short 

Steve Shubert

Springing Forth

29 Mar

WINTER TRANSITIONS;  SPRING STORMS is R. Roberts Gallery’s celebration of the transition from the grey, dreary days of winter into the fresh bloom of spring.  The show features the work of three very different artists, mixed media artist Madeline Peck-Wagner, sculptor James Oleson and encaustic painter Kathleen Wobie.

As you enter the gallery, you may almost miss James Oleson’s tiny bust sculpture.  This diminutive piece, made of repurposed metal, will definitely make you stop and take the time to really check it out.  I couldn’t believe I walked right by it when I first came in!  Beyond the bust is one of Oleson’s horse sculptures.  With its stilt-like legs and flowing tail, this equine could be right out of a Tim Burton movie.  Oleson also has some much larger scale sculptures that are interesting in their own right. 

Speaking of equines, Madeline Peck-Wagner’s mixed media works were defnitely, for me, the star of this show.  She takes subject matter that could be trite and cringe-worthy ( think cheesy Southwestern art ), but treats it in a unique, contemporary and elegant way.

These are delicate line drawings possessing an intense presence and power, much like the impressive animals depicted.  The cross-hatching & precision of the lines are reminiscent of architectural drafting, giving the figures depicted a strutctural, landscaped quality.  Conversely, blots and washes of brightly colored paints call to the spiritual significance such animals, both living and decayed possess.

Just as the delicate, bare branches of winter transition into the full, heady blooms of spring, so we move from Madeline Peck-Wagner’s graceful lines into Kathleen Wobie’s encaustics, thick with wax, paint & color.   Kathleen’s pieces, in the context of this show, seem to depict spring at its height– full of pastel tones and sunshiney warmth.

For me personally, I found the larger, abstract piece below to be Wobie’s most successful of this show.  This piece, rather than being the literal translation of winter to spring that the piece above is, instead represents more the feeling of spring– of rebirth, renewal and the joy of being alive.

As we in North Florida transition into spring ( though some days lately, it feels as if summer is already upon us! ), take the time to drop by R. Roberts to see how these artists make the switch and enjoy this last show in the gallery’s current space.  R. Roberts is doing some transitioning of their own, can’t wait to see the bountiful blooming that is sure to be in store!

R. Roberts Gallery is located at 3606 St. Johns Ave in historic Avondale, in Jacksonville.

Winter Transitions; Spring Storms will be on display through April 23rd, the gallery is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm.

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