Tag Archives: Paintings

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.

The Feminine Mystique: Pam Hawkes

22 Oct

We are all guilty of over-sharing these days.  Thanks to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Four Square, etc., the world has become privy to our innermost thoughts, what we ate for lunch, how many miles we ran that day.  We scoff at reality shows detailing the daily lives of the Kardashanians, Snookis, and Honey B00-Boos of the world.  We wonder, whatever happened to the allure of mystery?  UK artist Pam Hawkes reaches back into the iconography of illuminated manuscripts and Renaissance portraiture to cleanse our palate of the modernly overexposed.

Unbound, oil on copper leaf on board, 61×104 cm

Tracing Mythologies II, oil on copperleaf on board, 62×122 cm

The stillness and serenity of Hawkes’ figures are at such odds with how we live today.  The often classical poses reminiscent of religious iconography of the Virgin Mary and other figures may at first seem foreign to our contemporary eyes.  Yet there is a softness and vulnerability in these women, as if the ancient had come alive and found itself somehow wandering about our modern world.

You Made Me II, oil, beeswax, and dutch metal on board, 30×41

Fading, oil on copper leaf on board, 122×122 cm

There is a sense of bound freedom to Hawkes’ figures, as if they are only just discovering the door to their cage is open.  We wonder why they sit so still, resisting the temptation to be free.  Perhaps they, like us, have grown fond of their cages.

Birdsong, oil on copperleaf on board, 76×122 cm

To see more of Pam Hawkes’ work, please visit her website— a great many gorgeous works to see there!

Artist found via artist Deborah Scott and POETSArtists Magazine.

All images are via the artist’s website.

The Glamorati: Anna Kincaide Horne

17 Oct

For me, gorgeously styled movies and fashion photos are a guilty pleasure and voyeuristic escape.  For a brief moment, I can imagine myself a part of a super fabulous, amazingly glamorous life.  The work of Tallahassee artist Anna Kincaide Horne offers a similar experience in her elegantly painted figures.

Blue Tights Girl, oil on canvas, 48×3

Blue Gloves, oil on canvas, 30×40

In my gallery days, I relished the chance to dress up for an opening or special event.  Something about wearing heels and a little cocktail dress makes even a work event just a bit more exciting.  These days, I ( like many of us! ) live my days in jeans and flip flops.  Events for elegant dress are few and far between.

Happy Hour, oil on canvas

Everyone Wants to be Cary Grant, oil on canvas, 30×30

Yet, life still feels glamorous to me.  Mr. Forager and are pretty fortunate, we live a life filled with travel and discovery.  Even if we’re living it casual-style.

Artist found via Stellers Gallery in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.  All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy on Escape Into Life: Lisa Beerntsen

16 Oct

The work of California artist Lisa Beerntsen seems at once cosmic and microscopic.. organic forms float as if suspended in viscous fluid.  Check out more of Beerntsen’s work my Artist Watch feature today over on Escape Into Life!

Wonderment by Lisa Beerntsen

Lisa Beerntsen on Escape Into Life

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.

Puppy Love: Clair Hartmann

10 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 November 1, 2011.  Enjoy!

PS- since writing this post, Clair Hartmann has opened a wonderful little gallery in Wilmington, NC, Sun Gallery & Gifts.  Please make a visit if you’re in the area!

OK, yes I know “pet art” has been done to death.  It seems like every artist and their brother is doing it.  But I submit to you, dear Artsies, that Wilmington, NC artist Clair Hartmann does doggy art in a wonderfully whimsical and heartfelt, yet not at all cheesy way.

Shore Leave, oil on fabric on canvas, 40×30

Whether she is doing straight-on portraits against graphic fabric backgrounds, like the one above or masterpiece inspired depictions as in the ones below, Clair always captures her subjects inherent personality and unique expressions.

Pearl Earring, oil on canvas panel, 9×12

Frida Dog, oil on canvas, 16×20

There is a wonderfully graphic and modern quality to Clair’s animal work, which to me, elevate them beyond kitsch. Her paintings of her own Jack Russell Terrier, Chumley, are among my favorites.  She perfectly captures moments of rare moments quiet rest and inner reflection ( who hasn’t wondered what their dog was thinking?! ), filled with tenderness and love for her subject.

The Dream, oil on canvas, 36×24

Clair has a new exhibition now open in Wilmington at the WHQR Gallery Space– Faithful: A Series of Dog Paintings will be on display through January 13, 2012.  You can also visit her website to see more of her work and visit her Etsy shop to purchase!

Featured image is Wonky Bumbershoots by Clair Hartmann.  All images via the artist’s website and Etsy shop.

Masterworks Monday: Frida Kahlo

8 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 May 2, 2011, when the blog was barely two months old.  Enjoy!

In honor of Cinco De Mayo this week, I thought we’d focus today on the amazing Frida Kahlo.  When I was in painting classes in college, I remember there being this older Bolivian lady who was auditing the classes and she was obsessed with Frida Kahlo.  She was sweet but somewhat obnoxious.  For a long time, the fact that she was so obsessed with Kahlo managed to turn me off on her artwork.  Weird how our minds work sometimes.

But then, somewhere along the line, I let go of this irrational bias and took another look at Kahlo and her work.  And I was quickly won over.  Health problems plagued Kahlo from a young age, suffering first from polio and then being severly injured in a horrific car accident which left her in a full body cast and bedridden for three months.  Though she eventually recovered from her injuries, extreme pain would torment her for the rest of her life.

Two Fridas

Before the accident, Kahlo was studying to become a physician, but she dealt with the boredom of being confined to bed by taking up painting with her father’s watercolors.  And so, Frida Kahlo, the artist was born.

Kahlo’s work often included symbols of Mexican mythology, as well as those of Christian and Jewish faiths.  Though she is perhaps best known for her self-portraits, often depicting events in her own life, such as the accident, subsequent miscarriages, etc.

She married renown Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera in 1929 and their life together was a tumultous one.

Her work has been described as surrealist, but I think it is the unvarnished depiction of her real life pain and struggle that makes her work so interesting and relatable. We may not have all been through the kind of physical pain Kahlo experienced, but perhaps it is that we can all certainly relate to her emotional pain and the need to express it on canvas.

Be sure to check out the official Frida Kahlo website.  A beautifully designed site full of interesting information about the artist.

October Facebook Featured Artist: Margie Livingston

8 Oct

If you are a painter, you no doubt know the joy of gazing upon piles of paint freshly squeezed from their tubes.  Perhaps you’ve admired the loveliness to be found on your palette after a day of painting, when the colors have mixed together in a riotous symphony.  The work of this month’s Facebook Featured Artist, Seattle’s Margie Livingston straddles the worlds of painting and sculpture, in which the paint becomes sculpture.

Painting Folded Into a Square, acrylic, 20x20x4

Using paint both as medium and subject, Livingston’s work transforms what is normally a two-dimensional vehicle into one that exists in three-dimensions.  No longer content to merely represent an image of an object, the paint actually takes on an object’s shape.

Plank, acrylic, 97 5/8 x 1 5/8 x 3 1/2

Coiled Layered Strip, acrylic, 9x9x3

Negative Cube, acrylic, 8x14x14

Margie’s Painted Objects has taken center stage at Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle ( supported in part by a 4Culture Individual Artist Project Grant and a CityArtist Project grant from the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture ) and will be on exhibit through November 10th.  Go see it!!  I’ll be far away in California, so I can’t go, which means you MUST!

To see more of Margie Livingston’s incredible painted sculptures, please visit her website and be sure to check out her gorgeous cover image and album on the Artsy Forager Facebook page.

Featured image is 90 Color Test, acrylic and grommets, 90 squares at 8×8 each, 78×96 overall.  All images are via the artist’s website and the website of Greg Kucera Gallery.

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.

Abject Extraction: Jen Garrido

26 Sep

For many artists, the act of creation isn’t just about projecting an image onto a canvas.  Artists like Jen Garrido understand that often, it’s more about pulling a hidden entity out of the mist.

From the Rock #7

Garrido’s images straddle the line between abstraction and representation, which creates a beautiful tension in her work.  With their stark and white, yet heavily textured backgrounds, the colors and lines feel like the emergence of spring after a long winter.

Buckle, oil on panel, 12×12

Birdhole A, oil on panel, 8×8

The way she molds shapes and textures together leave her paintings with a sculptural quality, bringing them to life in a way that makes them seem almost alive.

From the Rock #10, oil on panel, 12×12

To see more of Jen Garrido’s work, be sure to check out her website.

Artist found via Anthropologie.  All images are via the artist’s website.

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