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!
This whole economic mess has contributed to the loss of countless galleries around the US. I know first hand what it is like to put blood, sweat and tears into one. OK, maybe not blood, but plenty of sweat and tears, I assure you! 😉 I’ve heard some folks say that the old gallery model is a thing of the past, gasping for air, dead in the water. But I believe in galleries! And today, I’m featuring some brick & mortar galleries that are out there, doing it right. These folks are hustling, marketing, selling and making magic happen for their artists and communities. Put ’em on your list to check out, whether you can do so in person or online!
**I’m so excited to finally get a chance to visit Taylor de Cordoba and all the other LA area galleries when Mr. Forager & I hit SoCal in October! Can’t wait to drag him all over Los Angeles.
I hope you’ll check out these galleries when you’re in their respective cities– well worth the trip! You can see more of my favorite artsy spots on my Pinterest board, Artsy’s Guide to Galleries. Do you have a favorite gallery? Let me know in the comments below!
When I took figure drawing in college, I recall my professor telling us that once we mastered drawing the figure realistically, that’s when the real fun begins. For once you understand the hollows and bumps of the human figure, you can then abstract your representation to your heart’s content. Savannah artist Betsy Cain’s work energetically fuses the figure with the abstract in gorgeous layers of color.
Like the work of other abstract expressionists, Cain’s work appears to be purely non-representational, but often you can detect a figure coming through the energetic fever of the canvas.
Each work consists of layer upon layer of colorful, expressive strokes which may end in a purely abstract composition yet each gives us a glimpse into the artist’s connection between her mind, the paint and the canvas.
To see more of Betsy Cain’s work, please visit her website. If you happen to be reading from North Florida, you can check out Betsy Cain’s solo exhibition, Selections at Florida Mining in Jacksonville, opening this Friday, September 7th!
Hiya Artsies! Most of you know, my hubby is a medical professional who works as a “traveler”– he takes contract assignments all over the Pacific Northwest and the West Coast. We are finally getting to use his California license and will be headed to Joshua Tree, CA in October! We’re super excited to finally spend some time in Cali, be near friends in San Diego and I can’t wait to explore all the artsiness of SoCal!
With each new place we go, I spend hours perusing the internet, looking for furnished rentals, when I’d much rather be searching for fantastic artists to share with you! So far, we aren’t having much luck in Joshua Tree– there are lots of rental options, but few are very budget friendly! 😉
So I’m asking, begging, pleading ( dramatic, much? ).. if you have any connections in the Joshua Tree area or know of anyone who may have a home in or near there for rent, please let me know!
Also, I’m taking suggestions for galleries to visit in the San Diego, Los Angeles and Palm Springs/Hi-Desert areas. Hit me with whatcha got.
Image via the artist’s website.
I can only imagine the courage it takes for an artist to create in front of a group of people. Heck, even one other person would terrify me. But at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene, ID ( our hometown for just another 6 weeks ), their new featured artist for the month gives a demo on the Saturday following their opening. It is a fantastic way to gain a real “behind the art” glimpse into the creative process! I can’t believe it took me this long to attend one, but I’m so glad I did. The work of Spokane artist Mel McCuddin is striking online, luminous up close, but to see it in progress was truly inspiring.
Each canvas begins as an exercise in Abstract Expressionism– it is all about the paint, texture and color. Slowly, as formations evolve in clouds, a figure emerges on the surface.
McCuddin thoughtfully builds his layers, alternating patches of light and dark. Deliberate smudging of large swaths of canvas give way to areas of delicate and careful application.
His finished works are often left with an eerie glow, giving them a slightly alien quality yet they are approachable and likable. His subjects stare back at us with curious wisdom. You can see a slideshow of images of Mel McCuddin in action here ( Artsy Forager now has a YouTube channel! ). His solo show can be seen at The Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d’Alene until August 4, 2012. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the area!
Featured image is Three in a Tub, oil on canvas, 48×52. All images are via The Art Spirit Gallery website.
There are some artists whose work just sticks with me. I first saw Seattle artist Victoria Johnson’s work during my art consulting days through art publisher Grand Image. I loved using Grand Image for unique, stylish, colorful work and Victoria’s paintings definitely hit all those criteria. So when I spotted a painting of hers leaning against the wall at Lisa Harris Gallery in Seattle– boom! The love for her work came flooding back to me.
Free-flowing, organic forms drift in and out of her canvases’ planes, creating enticing visual rhythm and movement.
The placement of shapes lend the idea of landscapes to these abstracts, yet their enigmatic colors and forms keep the work abstract and modern.
A warm palette juxtaposed with muted, more neutral-hued highlights create even more depth and spatial play.
To see more of Victoria Johnson’s work, please visit her website. Thanks to the Lisa Harris Gallery for reminding me of Victoria’s work!
Featured image is Lady of the Lake, pigmented resin on panel, 80×20. All images are via the artist’s representing Seattle gallery, Lisa Harris Gallery.
As I mentioned before, there were certain shows I knew I wanted to see while we were in Seattle last weekend. I’ve loved the work of Seattle artist Anne Siems since first seeing it online and was excited to get my chance to see her work up close and personal. Her solo show, Guidance is showing at Grover Thurston Gallery, just up ( or down? Still don’t have my Seattle geography down pat ) the street from Foster/White, so away we went.
Siems’ inspiration behind the show was the evolution of her daughter from childhood into adolescence and the idea that wild animal spirits may help children navigate their way through this transition. In each of us there is a wild, animalistic-like spirit that, as we grow up and grow older gets buried under years of suppression and training in proper behavior.
In Siems’ work, we see children taking on historically grim expression and formal, constricting garb, reminding us of centuries of children whose innocence is lost all too soon. Children whose natural wild spirits may fight against the constraints of social tradition and custom.
I was particularly drawn to Bison Boy ( above ), perhaps for the way the figure is isolated starkly against the white paper background. He has been taken out of his environment, out of his element. His garments are in the somewhat effeminate style of his era, yet his bison head & skin seem to be reminding us to not forget the wildness within.
George’s favorite work in the show was Lynx Cap ( below ), as this figure retains a sprightly, little girl expression in contrast to the other figures’ more suppressed, even haughty countenances. She is still an innocent.
I could go on and on about these and talk about every one– they are so interesting, visually and spiritually. If you’d like to see more of Anne Siems’ work, please visit her website. If you’re in Seattle, I highly recommend a visit to Grover Thurston to see these in person, a truly stunning show.
Featured image is Heart Branches, mixed media on panel, 30×30. All images are via the artist’s website.
A gallery that takes advantage of a beautiful space, displays a wide range of interesting work in a well-designed and thoughtful way AND feels comfortable and unpretentious? These kind of galleries are my happy places. Foster/White Gallery in Seattle definitely qualifies for a spot on that list. Thanks to our time in Seattle being super limited and the tiny brain melt in which I somehow forgot that almost all galleries are closed on Monday, our only full day there and the day I’d planned to do lots of gallery hopping, I had to narrow down my galleries to visit to A) shows I really wanted to see and B) galleries that were close together. So we took a few hours before leaving on Tuesday to visit Greg Kucera Gallery, Grover Thurston Gallery ( more on that show next week ) and Foster/White Gallery, which was by far our favorite overall gallery experience.
Foster/White has been on my list of galleries to visit for quite a while and when I saw that they were showing Rachel Denny’s work, it quickly went to the top of the list for our time in Seattle. But I’m one of those people that saves the best for last, so while I saw Rachel’s work out of the corner of my eye upon entering the space, there were so many other wonderful works around each corner that I made my way around the whole gallery before I spent some time with Rachel’s amazing sculptures.
Speaking of amazing sculptures, these bent wood pieces by Paul Vexler were exquisite. The way the grain of the wood caught the light from the window drew attention to those beautiful curves. As impressive as his work was ( and there is a large hanging piece in the F/W lobby that is to die for ), Cookie the elephant by Shay Church both delighted me and drew me in.
Cookie is part of Church’s Wet Clay series, site specific installations consisting of a wooden armatur covered with clay and sand. In this series, Church focuses on elephants and whales, gentle yet imposing creatures who must survive long migrations. With each passing year, those migrations grow more and more dangerous and daunting for these animals. Cookie leans into the wall for support, seeming to struggle to stand. As the clay has dried, it has begun to crack and fall, adding to the emotional impact of the piece. We are watching Cookie deteriorate before our eyes.
Another installation that caught our eye was Bone Yard by Evan Blackwell. The white clay pieces, pinned to the way may appear to be fragments of bone, but upon closer inspection, we see that they are actually broken pieces of model jets. Perhaps a commentary on our military policies? Or our desensitization to such destruction?
The abstract, colorful reflection of Staccato Surface by David Alexander had unbelievably lovely gestural movement and a gorgeous palette. Photos do not do it justice! Finally we made our way over to Rachel Denny’s work. I’ve been a huge fan of her work since the very first time I saw one of her Domestic Trophies online and have been looking forward to finally seeing her sculptures in person. I was blown away by just how intricately constructed they are, their palettes & construction perfectly designed to catch and direct the viewer’s eye. I was just as delighted by her work as I’d hoped to be.
To see more of each artist’s work and more of the amazing work on display, please visit the Foster/White Gallery website. If you’re in Seattle, Rachel Denny & Casey McGlynn’s current shows will be up until April 28, 2012. I highly recommend a visit!