Tag Archives: Landscapes

The Illuminated Landscape: Marla Baggetta

21 Jul

I am extremely blessed to be living in one of the most dramatically beautiful areas of the country.  Around every mountain pass is another scene, ripe for immortalizing in paint.  As I’ve sketched here in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve realized how difficult it would be to truly capture the sheer, magnificent beauty that is all around us.  To portray not just what the eye sees, but what the heart and spirit see.

Fables and Fantasies by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 48x48

It is this, seeing the landscape through heart-colored glasses, that draws me again and again to Marla Baggetta’s work.  She may be an Oregon artist, but I was a fan of Marla’s work long before making my home in the Northwest.  When I worked as a Project Manager/Art Consultant in Florida, posters of Marla’s work were always project favorites due to their prismatic serenity.

Prelude to Spring by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 36x36

Her work takes the viewer on a journey, drawing them into a world that is at once familiar and extraordinary.  The landscape of daydreams, illuminated with brilliant light and color.  It is what the world looks like through eyes full of hope and love.

The Sounds of Color by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 48x48

Marla’s work gives color and light to our emotions, bathing a foggy landscape in a warm, yellow glow.  Reminding us of the joy of a blue sky after a long winter.

Serenity Found in Blue by Marla Baggetta, oil on canvas, 36x36

I hope to always see the world around me as this artist does.  Full of beauty, loveliness and wonder.  Even in the midst of a rainy Northwest winter.

To see more of Marla Baggetta’s work, please go to her website.  If you’re lucky enough to be in the Northwest, you can see her work up close & personal at Riversea Gallery in Astoria, OR.

Friday Faves: City Slickers

15 Jul

We are headed to Seattle this weekend, one of my favorite cities in the world, the city where George and I fell in love.  And while I was falling in love with G ( I was probably a little in love with him when we were friends in FL, but that’s a story for another time ), I was also falling in love with Seattle.  I adore visiting cool cities– the urban landscape and architecture fascinates me.  So it carries over that I would adore the art of the cityscape.

For this Friday Fave round-up, I’d like to share some of urbanist artists whose work I’m crushing on lately:

Hill Houses 2 by Brin Levinson

Passing 1 by Jason Webb

Solitary I by John Duckworth

Loew's Hotel, 33rd Floor, Philadelphia by Sara Yeoman

Miyami by Darra Crosby

Great Tortoise Hostel, Seattle by Robin Weiss

Boulevard Windows by Sharon Dowell

Looking forward to bringing you more from these artists soon!  In the meantime,  take a gander at their websites..

1.  Brin Levinson

2.  Jason Webb

3.  John Duckworth

4. Sarah Yeoman

5. Darra Crosby

6. Robin Weiss

7. Sharon Dowell 

Are you taking it to the city streets this weekend?  What’s your favorite city for artsy inspiration?

Art Inspired Design: Modern Reflections

11 Jul

I love art.  I love design.  Why not put the two together on the blog?  There was a time in my life when I thought my career path lay ( Thank you, Suzanne Decuir for the grammatical help ) in Interior Design.  I took courses, devoured design and shelter magazines.   As often happens in life,  circumstances got in the way and the path detoured.  But that’s a story for another time.  Let’s focus on the fun stuff today!

One of my absolute favorite things while designing ( OK, it was THE absolute favorite thing ), was creating moodboards.  To begin with an inspiration and build a room or facility around it was thrilling to my color, texture and pattern lovin’ soul.  And for me, it always began with the artwork.  While doing project management/art consulting, I worked with a lot of designers and many ( but by no means all! ) viewed the artwork for a design as an after-thought.  Like adding sprinkles to a cake.  Still a cake without the sprinkles, but oh, if we add them, won’t that be pretty!  But if we don’t have sprinkles, it’s OK.  It’s still a nice cake.  Instead, I think of the artwork as the frosting– not just smoothed across the top, but spread between the layers and all over.  It is what holds the cake together and gives it the extra texture and sweetness that keeps us going back for more.

( Wow, anyone else craving cake now? )

So you’ve purchased this beautiful painting by Christina Foard.  You love it, it speaks to your heart and reflects your style and everything you love about life.  But maybe you live at the beach and are unsure how to design a room around it.  Aren’t all beach houses supposed to be full of palm trees & seashells?

Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard, oil on canvas, 60x48

This piece to speak more to the feeling of being on the beach just after a storm, while the skies are still a bit gray but the sun is beginning to peek through, warming up the sand to both the eye and the touch.  So let’s take our cue from that and begin with soft, grayish tones, layering on the warmth of the sun in our accent chair, rug and window coverings.  An important component in Christina’s work is texture, so we’ll make sure there are plenty of interesting surfaces to draw our eyes in, just as Christina’s painterly build up does in her work.

Modern Reflections, a beachside home for a contemporary art lover

Have you ever designed a room around a piece of artwork?  Or bought a piece of artwork not knowing where exactly to hang it in your home but you couldn’t live without it?  Have a beloved piece of art sitting in a closet somewhere because you don’t think it “goes” or can’t figure out how to incorporate it with your current furnishings?  Um, yeah, me too. 🙂

Sources:  Painting:  Seaside Reflections by Christina Foard; Paint color ( board background color ): Skimming Stone by Farrow & Ball; Sofa: Charlotte Collection by Mitchell Gold Bob Williams; Chair & Ottoman:  Rhys Chair & Ottoman by Anthropologie; Rug:  Festival by Anthropologie; Coffee table:  Monarch Coffee Table by Anthropologie; Lamp:  Malaya Large Coral & Zinc Lamp by Arteriors Home; Round side table: Riveria Side Table by Ralph Lauren Home; Mirror:  Venus Mirror by Anthropologie; Square side table: Duotone Side Door Table by The Painted Cow Furniture Co. on Etsy; Window covering:  Coqo Floral Curtain by Anthropologie;  Bowls:  Tatara Zukuri Bowls by Ashes & Milk      

Cardboard Kaleidoscopes: Candace Fasano

5 Jul

Candace Fasano is a painter and a poet.  Where the paintings end and the poetry begins is not always distinctive.  According to Wikipedia, “poetry primarily is governed by idiosyncratic forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses.”  Substitute words for images and you’ve hit just the beginning of what makes Fasano’s work so interesting.

Topographical Remembering, mixed media on canvas, 48x48

Like poetry, Fasano’s paintings abound with symbolism and rhythm, their ambiguous nature often leaving them open to interpretation.  Though they may have been created with a certain narrative in mind, the visual elements expressed are more suggestive than overt.

OMGGMO, oil on canvas, 96x72 diptych

Just as Candace the poet plays with words, Candace the painter plays with paint.  Building up texture, leaving whispy washes of color and sketchy lines contrast with typographical verbiage.

Balancing Act, oil on canvas, 30x36

Layers of imagery create layers of meaning.  Objects within the works are often rendered realistically, but are not necessarily resting in their reality.  They may become transparent, weaving in and out of the composition like the ghostly marks left behind after an pencil eraser has done its work.

Warmth, oil on canvas, 66x56

imaginary landscapes attract 

pictures from our collective mythologies.

text or fragments take hold like scaffolding

constructing and deconstructing

realities into temporary truths

revealing fragile limitations 

of growth and decay –

viewed through a cardboard kaleidoscope

–c.fasano

To see more of Candace Fasano’s work and to read more of her poetry, visit her website and blog.  If you like her work as much as I do, please fan her Facebook page to keep up with all her latest news.  If you’re in the North Florida area, be sure to visit the Cummer Museum‘s “The Neighborhood As Art” show, which features one of Candance’s pieces.

The Poetry of Shapes: Susan Melrath

29 Jun

“Rich colors draw me in, patterns guide me through, and flat, poetic shapes allow me to rest.”  — Susan Melrath

It is just these rich colors and flat, poetic shapes that drew me in to Susan Melrath’s work.  Susan takes complex forms like flowers, architecture and figures and condenses them to their most basic shapes.

Crimson Kiss, acrylic on canvas, 36×36

By doing so, the viewer becomes more drawn in by the emotionality brought to the surface through her use of vibrant color applied to the forms, rather than by the subjects themselves.

 

Cafe, acrylic on paper, 11×19 framed

Though I love ALL of Susan’s work, it is her Garden series that speaks something to my soul.  Perhaps it is how I am amazed by the flora to be found here in the Northwest.  ( Wildflowers!! )

Out of the Blue, acrylic on paper, 22×22 framed

She takes what could be a mundane subject and with the use of pattern and color creates something extraordinary.  It’s a little bit Pop-Art, a little bit Fauvist, kind of Cubist without the hard edges ( Cone-ist? ).The flowers seem to be underwater, floating in a happy haze of pattern.  Or maybe it’s drizzly rain?  We ARE in the Northwest..Sometimes it seems that we are seeing the flower’s shadow, rather than the plant itself, looking through the shadow to the play of patterns and light beyond.  Which makes the work groovily mysterious.

Moonflower, acrylic on canvas, 24×24

Susan created a floral series called “Bloom” for a recent Art & Sustainability show at the Sightline Institute in Seattle, integrating technology and traditional painting, posting a mobile tag by each painting providing more insight and information about each work of art.  You can see the progress of one of these works and hear Susan speaking about the work here.  And because I always personally find these things to be so much darn fun, here’s a time-lapse video of Susan completing a painting.  What’s up next for Susan after her technology driven show?  Unplugged, artwork created during a one-week period in which artists went without TV, internet, social media and texting.  Because great art is always about finding balance.

Be sure to check out Susan Melrath’s website to see more of her work and learn more about the artist.

Pick of the Crop: Heralding Hager

23 Jun

In this digital age, it seems like you can’t spit without hitting a self-proclaimed “photographer”.  I don’t begrudge anyone a creative outlet– if you want to take photos with your digital SLR, slap ’em up on Facebook and call yourself a photographer, I guess that’s your beeswax.  But for me, there is a point where photography ends and artistry begins.  There are photographers who are truly artists of their craft and Thomas Hager is a master.

Tom takes the simplest of forms, like the sweetgum pods above and isolates them and infuses them with a ethereal quality.  These are no longer those annoying, sharp little balls that litter the sidewalk, they are now magical spheres where fairies reside.

A simple floral stem becomes a beanstalk for a boy named Jack.

Shore birds become ghostly apparitions in a watery tableau.  Are they really there or are our eyes playing tricks again?

Is the water moving or is it the earth?  Where does the reflection end and the reality begin? Does it even matter?

Check out more of Tom’s work on his website and be sure to stop by the site for his brilliant limited edition line, Town Editions.  Oh and did I mention he has a show opening tonight at the University of Maine Museum of Art?  Now I just have to get him out here on the West Coast..

Art in Astoria

14 Jun

Last night, as my hubby was catching up on my blog posts ( he reads them all, even if he has to sit and catch up on a week’s worth at a time, such a good hubby! ), over his shoulder I re-read my In Search Of post from last week and man, what a whiney little whiner!  To save you all from more self-pity-filled posts from me, sweet George took me on a day trip to Astoria, OR on Saturday, in the hopes of helping me feel a bit more connected to the 3-dimensional art world.  You know, the one that doesn’t live inside my laptop.

Astoria, Oregon

Despite the gray day, my spirits were sunny.  Astoria’s main claim to fame is the movie, The Goonies, which was filmed here way back in 1985 ( yes, we made a children of the 80’s pilgrimage to The Goonies House ).  But movie history isn’t the only draw to Astoria.  Its downtown area is super charming, filled with a mix of restaurants, coffee houses, shops and YES, some very interesting and diverse galleries.

Our first stop was Lightbox Photographic, a wonderful little gallery dedicated to the photographic arts.  Their current show, Plastic Fantastic II, features images created using plastic toy cameras.  Absolutely beautiful, emotion-filled images.  Be sure to check out their website to see images created their member photographers.

Inside Lightbox Photographic

Astoria was definitely starting out with a bang!  We continued our walking tour of downtown, stopping for coffee and treats along the way.  Right across from the Astoria Coffeehouse, was Lunar Boy Gallery, whose quirky-look caught my eye.  And LunarBoy definitely brought the quirk.  June 7th was Astoria’s Official Goonies Day, so Lunar Boy was exhibiting a special show of Goonies-related work.  Fun!

This Is Our Time Now! Goonies Show at Lunar Boy

Landscapes by Nicholas Knapton at Lunar Boy

After lots of cool art & laughs at Lunar Boy, we perused a few bookstores & other shops ( it can’t be ALL about me ) before finding RiverSea Gallery.  This contemporary gallery features a wide variety of work by artists from the Northwest and beyond.  I was thrilled to find that their current show, The Fabled Landscape, featured the work of Marla Baggetta.

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Since my days of specifying art for the corporate & healthcare industries, I’ve been a fan of Baggetta, her landscapes bring that perfect combination of happy color and peace, perfect especially for healthcare.   Her work is even more lush and gorgeous in it’s original state than her reproductions even begin to show.  I was in awe.

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Artist, Marla Baggetta

Though seeing Baggetta’s original work was a highlight for me, RiverSea had many other artists whose work caught my eye.  Like…

Maple wood sculpture by Michael Hampel

Encaustics by Paula Blackwell

Figurative work by Shannon Richardson

Wonderful urban landscapes by Brin Levinson

George had his favorites, too– like the work of abstract mixed-media artist, Charles Schweigert ( told you he was loving abstracts now! ) and kooky sculptures by Pamela Mummy.

Namikaze by Charles Schweigert

A Lot on His Mind by Pamela Mummy

Our little day trip to Astoria was just what the art doctor ordered.  I was able to peruse some lovely, unique galleries and found some really interesting artists to share with you.  We even spotted a couple of empty storefronts that would make great galleries.. you know, just in case.

Friday Forager Faves: Rooms With a View

10 Jun

Yesterday I went out searching for some artsy inspiration in the area around Aberdeen.  I’m sorry to say that, though I visited a couple of galleries in Ocean Shores, I found only one artist’s work that caused me to take a second look.  Unfortunately, most of what was there was pretty touristy, not-great-art-but-there-must-be-a-market-for-it kind of stuff.  So I came home feeling a tiny bit defeated.

To give myself a pick-me-up, I watched an episode of So You Think You Can Dance ( guilty pleasure confession time! ).  While the commercials were playing, I found myself glancing out of the windows of my office/studio and found myself inspired.  So I started sketching– for the first time in a long time.  It turns out I did find some artsy inspiration yesterday, from a surprising combination, the view of Aberdeen out of our windows and my own inner spirit.

So today, we’re celebrating other artists who’ve inspired me to make the most out of my current view!  On with the show!

Vertical Horizontal Break I by Hamish MacEwan

Early Morning Breeze by Camille Engel

Windowpane by Sharon Sprung

Parthenon I by Lisa Ernst

Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!  Take the time to enjoy your view, whatever it may be.

Museum Hopping

7 Jun

Though our time in the cities we visited on our cross-country tour was short, we managed to hit a couple of wonderful, yet very different museums along the way.  In Tulsa, we spent a few hours exploring the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Front facade of the Philbrook Museum of Art

My Jacksonville readers will be familiar with the Cummer Museum of Art in Jax.  The Philbrook is, to me, like the Cummer on steroids.  Like the Cummer, the Philbrook was once a private residence, which was donated to the city of Tulsa by its owners, oilman Waite Phillips and his wife Genevieve.  Once we entered the museum doors, we found ourselves in a gorgeous, domed center hall, light streaming through the oculus in the center of the dome.

Center hall at the Philbrook

Philbrook oculus

Just walking the halls of this Renaissance style villa, built in 1927 and designed by architect Edward Buehler Delk for the Phillips as “a place where there two children could entertain friends” ( Imagine the sleepovers you could have! ), is a pleasure in itself.

Corridor at the Philbrook

The museum houses a varied and extensive permanent collection of art, ranging from African & Asian collections, Native American art to Italian Renaissance and a surprising and delightful modern collection.

Bougereau at the Philbrook, a favorite artist of the Frenz's

Lovely little Picasso at the Philbrook

Fabulous modern design collection at the Philbrook

While the museum collections are enjoyable, it is the museum grounds that really steal the show.  Though we visited on a gray and rainy day, it didn’t stop us from exploring the extensive gardens behind the museum.  The original formal gardens extend from the rear colonnade of the museum down to the tempietto.  Let’s take a little walking tour..

Rear collonade at the Philbrook

View from the colonnade down to the tempietto

Wonderful stepped fountain

Beautiful, naturalistic water feature

No formal garden is complete without a koi pond!

View from the tempietto back toward the museum

Yours truly in the tempietto ( wouldn't this be a romantic spot to pop the question? )

Contemporary sculpture walk beyond the formal gardens

Let’s switch gears now, fast-forward through another 12 hour day on the road and pay a little visit to Denver.  While in the mile-high city, we spent some time downtown including a tour through the Denver Art Museum.  While the Philbrook is classically ornate, the DAM’s Hamilton Building, where we spent our time, is splendidly contemporary.  Designed by Daniel Lubeskind, the structure represents the Rocky Mountain peaks surrounding Denver.

Denver Art Museum

We started at the top and worked our way down, discovering lots of fun & interesting contemporary work along the way.

Noguchi sculpture and Motherwell painting **Sidenote: Motherwell was born in Aberdeen, WA, the town where we are living for the summer.

Ceramics at DAM

Did you notice in the pictures above how the walls are slanted?  The angled walls created a very interesting visual space, especially in the 4th floor gallery where they were prominent.   They were a bit disconcerting when walking down the main stairs, though!

Artist: Mark Tansey

We were all fascinated by the piece above, by Mark Tansey.   Another highlight was the Fox Games installation by Sandy Skoglund.  I first saw Skoglund’s work in Jacksonville and am always fascinated by the environments she creates.

Fox Games by Sandy Skoglund

And there was just something about “Minotaur with Brushstrokes” that appealed to us.  What can I say, we like work that makes us smile.

Minotaur With Brushstrokes by Richard Patterson

Speaking of making us smile, George & I also loved the piece below, although I’m sad to report that I don’t recall the name of the artist.  But it reminded me of spring in the Northwest.

Kicking myself for not writing down the title & artist for this piece! Anyone have any clues?

The museum also boasts an impressive Western American Art Collection, as well as African, American Indian, Oceanic, Pre-Columbian and Spanish Colonial Collections.  We toured through the current special exhibition, Cities of Splendor: A Journey Through Renaissance Italy, but alas, no photography allowed in the exhibit, so you’ll have to check out the DAM website for a taste.  As you can see, our art experiences on this trip were widely varied and we are looking forward to more such experiences here in the Northwest.

Masterworks Monday: Edward Hopper

25 Apr

Happy Monday, Artsies!  Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday weekend.  This week’s Masterworks Monday artist is one of my all-time faves, American Realist painter Edward Hopper.   A feeling of melancholy tends to pervade most of Hopper’s work, but maybe that is why they appeal to me.  His scenes seem so very real, not just in their sense of time and of place, but in the capturing of a moment.  Early mornings in small towns DO feel desolate, being an attendant at a gas station on a far off country road WOULD be lonely. 

Early Sunday Morning by Edward Hopper

Image via Whitney Museum of American Art

Gas by Edward Hopper

Image via Museum of Modern Art

Don’t you want to know what’s going on with this young blonde movie usher?  Is she sad?  Is she contemplating making a change in her life? 

New York Movie by Edward Hopper

Image via Museum of Modern Art

Despite the lone figures or desolate landscapes, Hopper’s images are filled with light and in that, create a sense of hope within the isolation.  Early morning means it is a new day.. light coming in a window means that there is an escape from the darkness.  Whether this is what Hopper intended or not, it is what I personally take from his work.

 Morning Sun by Edward Hopper

Image via The New York Times

How about you?  What do you see in Hopper’s work?  How does it make you feel?

 

 

 

 

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