November 30, 2006

handmade media.

One of my favorite new blogs is fruits of imagination out of Toronto. Well written and really interesting, it's one of the blogs I check out every few days. Today they had a really interesting post about the rise of handmade stuff in the world of media (you know, crafty, just like in the rest of the world), with the above video as an example. I especially love the first part, hand-made-wise.

November 23, 2006

beauty at my door.

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When I was a little girl in California, I used to love to look for sea shells at the beach. I loved the hunt and then the true joy of finding a beautiful shell in the tide pools or as a wave receded. I get this same feeling when I'm meandering on the web and stumble across some great design or art gem. There is so much talent and accomplishment out there, and it's so fun to seek it out and then share it.

Well unlike my early days of hunting for shells, the web can also bring a beautiful gem right to your door. Every day nice people comment on my blog, give encouragement and share their thoughts. And I'm always delighted to see where they are coming from, and in the process, discover their terrific blogs or art work or design. A perfect case in point, is the lovely work of a recent visitor, jennifer krantz. I love the layered lushness of her skillfully rendered paintings of pattern, crystals and chandeliers. There is so much going on in her work that I find myself drawn in on many levels. First I find myself a bit disoriented, then I feel a general sense of opulence and glamour and finally, I notice all the diverse motifs and forms that help to make up the whole. Really great. And, how lovely to have it arrive at my doorstep, like a gift from the sea.

November 22, 2006

fisher bird.

Jf18

Not surprisingly, I really like this illustration by jeffrey fisher. Yes, I love the subject matter, but more importantly, it's the wonderful way the bird is artistically brought to life that makes it sing for me. So nice!

November 19, 2006

david korty truth.

Picture_1_4

It's funny how the images from our childhood remain powerful throughout our lives. Way before school or academic thought or the ability to intellectualize, we see stuff that makes an impression. I remember Los Angeles a certain way, through the eyes and memory of a young child. It didn't register for me at that age, that what I was seeing was the result of pollution or over crowding. It just looked beautiful to me. And I think that's why I'm so drawn to the art of david korty. His landscapes and images of LA capture how I remember it. They are beautiful and blurry with smog, glowing and sparkly because of desert inversion and millions of cars. For me, his work is the real view of my memory of LA. They are truthful and because of that, I simply love them.

November 15, 2006

carolina melis.

Bird_cm

I've been leafing through the fabulous book, the picture book, contemporary illustration, happily discovering new artists to love. Tops on my list is carolina melis' work, which totally slays me. Her illustrations, embroideries and photo collages are refined and raw at the same time. I love her confident mix of medias as well as her skilled line work, whether it's drawn, painted or sewn with a thread. I don't know which I like more because they're all so very lovely.

Emb_cm

November 04, 2006

bill samios flowers.

Spacegarden

I'm quite liking the paintings of bill samios, especially the ones of flowers, though he also has some terrific ones of birds and dogs. Very nice.

Flowerpower

November 02, 2006

still loving rex rey.

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Don't you just love rex ray? I've known his work for a while, or at least I thought I did and then I check out his site today and I'm blown away all over again. These are just perfect in my mind. Truly.

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October 31, 2006

I heart angie lewin printmaking.

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Thanks to my friend Jeff, who just turned me on to the extraordinary prints of angie lewin. I really love her design sensibility and skilled "simplification" of complex natural forms. Her work is reminiscent of charles harper's amazing birds. What a beautiful treat!

October 19, 2006

pietari posti draws nice.

Practlaw_environmet

I really like the illustrations of pietari posti. I love the color and the bubbly, bouncy quality of this particular drawing. It makes me feel happy. Thanks to josh spear for the tip.

October 15, 2006

amy helfand.

Aftertoile

I'm still liking the work of amy helfand. I've seen her rugs plenty of times, but I'd never gone to her site until today. I love her works on paper. Great color. Surreal garden like imagery. Flat pattern that feels fresh. Very nice.

Bearmountain_1

luren jenison.

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Like I said yesterday, I've been going through old mags lately, and happily finding groovy stuff to share. One such find was the textile artist luren jenison, from an earlier issue of pop life mag. I've had the torn out pages sitting around for ages. In the effort to get some order in the ever growing piles of stuff, I looked through the pile it was sitting in today and was taken, again, by how wonderful her work is. It's so very smart and her sense of color is out of this world. I really like her work a lot.

October 14, 2006

fawn print.

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A sweet print from alena hennessy of birds in flight fame.

October 13, 2006

one week of art video.

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Oh my, check out this incredible video, one week of art. The drawing/graffiti is so fabulous, the journey of the week fascinating and entertaining. I wish they'd make a book of the various stages of artwork throughout the movie. Each iteration, before it's covered by the next, is so beautiful unto itself. Plus it's a great study in the power of black and white. Ok, and a dash of color at the end. Wow!

October 12, 2006

robert ryan couture.

Robertryan_dress

I love, love this one-off, cut paper dress by the wonderful artist robert ryan that I found in a recent british vogue issue. It's not a real dress that anyone could actually wear, which is too bad, because wouldn't you just love to if you could? Totally fabulous, as is the rest of his amazing cut paper work!

Robryan2

October 11, 2006

crow love.

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I love crows. And linocuts too. So I was very happy when I found this wonderful linocut of a crow by dale clifford on shopscad, an online shop for the savanah college of art and design. Truly a remarkable piece and what a cool way for a college to feature the work of their faculty and students. Much thanks to hide and seek for the terrific link.

October 08, 2006

french dot wallpaper love.

Wallpaper_1

I'm loving this wallpaper by karen combs for nama rococo. Yep, loving it a ton! It's a bit spendy at $180 for a 25" x 38" sheet, but how cool would it be to get just one sheet and frame it up. Fabulous.

"not so good" art love.

Rose_1_3

We all want to love good art (and to figure out what "good" actually means). Sometimes though, we also want to love "bad", amatuerish art because of all the good intentions and effort it implies. The creative urge, without much talent to support it, is noble and sweet and also a bit sad to me. I found two wonderful examples of "not so good" art this weekend. "Not so good" art that I still had to own. Yes, they were cheap and yes, I can get rid of them without any guilt, once I tire of them. But still, it's funny how much I found myself really wanting to get them. They kind of made my heart ache. So I took them home and I'll get some groovy frames and I'll keep them for a while, to love and marvel at how noble and sweet and sad they really are.

Rose_2_1

October 07, 2006

sweet find.

Pitcher_plant

We went to an estate sale today and found this small book from 1951 called Wildlife in Color by Roger Tory Peterson, sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation. I particularly love the wonderful illustrations of all the plants and animals they use to reference the ecosystem of a given geographic region. Pulled from the context of a scientific guide, these illustrations are quite amazing as pieces of art in their own right. What a sweet find for $3!

Swamp_rose_1

October 04, 2006

walking on jaq.

Jaq_2

One of my favorite artists is jaq chartier. So of course, I was very happy to see the limn commissioned, jaq chartier rugs in the October issue of dwell. Totally cool. Plus I do love the blurriness between art and design that this represents. I'm not saying that all art translates to design or visa versa. But when it does, and it's done well, I say hurray.

acid bloom.

Acid_2

I came across the book acid bloom by Ninagawa Mika again the other day. I'd seen it a couple of years ago and loved it then. Saw it yesterday and remembered how much I loved it. This book of her work in particular, is very inspiring to me. From the subject matter of course, to her photographic approach and signature color point of view. I love the blown out, oversaturated colors of her images as well as the bug's eye view that frame up her compositions. I realized yesterday how much I look at my garden and the flowers there in a similar way. I don't have anything close to her amazing technical skills (I'm a digital camera point and shoot kind of gal) but even so, I like the blurry, not so perfect, in motion approach to garden photography. It's not still in real life so why should all your finished pictures feel still and perfect?

October 02, 2006

al souza patterns.

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I was lucky enough to see the amazingly intricate work of the artist al souza this weekend. Truly remarkable. The pieces are created by cutting shapes out of different media (newspapers, maps, weather charts etc.) and then layering them, one on top of the other. Random, visual patterns emerge from the meticulous, obsessive process and the resulting "images" are absolutely breathtaking. I pinched a really terrific catalog of his work produced by the galveston arts center, so give them a holler to get one for yourself, if you so desire.

john rombola love.

Rombala

My friend mary margaret gave me the fabulous book Rombola by Rombola eons ago. It's a text-less, 1965 edition, featuring the doodley drawings of the wonderful illustrator, John Rombola. I love his line and humor and bite. After discovering the wire work of marie christophe I was reminded of this silly, great book of drawings, and had to share it with you all. In the process of doing a google search to find out more about Rombola, I did find a copy of it at hi and lo modern, so if anyone wants one for their very own, make a quick beeline there. You'll be very glad you did!

October 01, 2006

blackstock's birds.

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Have you seen the incredible work of Gregory L. Blackstock? Well I hadn't before stumbling across this postcard, featuring my favorite bird, the crow. "Gregory L. Blackstock is an autistic savant who began, at the age of 58, a successful career as an artist. He creates visual lists of everything from wasps to hats to emergency vehicles to noisemakers." His book, blackstock's collection: the drawings of an artistic savant, has over 100 examples of his original taxonomy. I love his work, and so now, another book to add to the collection. Oh darn!

September 27, 2006

beatriz milhazes book.

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Oh my, do I love the work of Beatriz Milhazes. Well thanks to Lena Corwins wonderful blog, I now plan to run not walk to amazon to get this book about Milhazes' artwork. I did not know this existed before, but now I do and I am happier for it. Can't wait!

September 25, 2006

happy doodle.

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happy monday!

September 24, 2006

signe chanel

Signe_chanel

One of my new favorite shows on TV is the documentary series by filmaker Loic Prigent, is signe chanel on the Sundance channel. The series focuses on the design, development and evolution of the Chanel fall/winter collection for 2005. Watching Karl Lagerfeld at work is fascinating. But watching the unbelievable craftspeople involved in bringing his creative vision to life is beyond anything I've ever seen. These people are artists as well as artisans. Though actually when I think about it, they seem more like magicians, as we watch them take a working sketch from Mr. Lagerfeld and bring it to dimensional, beautiful life, all by hand and under immense time pressures. For anyone who loves craft, design, fashion and story, this series is a total treat. Love, love, love it.

September 09, 2006

happy connections.

S2_mystic_flowers_1

Worlds collide and connect so much these days. Technology, and the wonderful world of blogs and virtual media it has enabled, meets up with traditional printed media like magazines, newspapers, books. You find one dot in an article you read, and then another dot to connect to it on a blog. Ping, pong, it bounces around the globe or your office or in your head. Sometimes I feel like there is a new buzzing energy, different from any other time in history happening today, because of all this new connection.

One recent illustration of this phenomenon from my little world, was around the artist/designer Petra Borner. A few weeks ago I discovered her, thanks again to one of my favorite design blogs, design sponge. I linked to her site and was thrilled by her work, her illustration, embroidery work, drawings. Happy, happy was I!

Then last week I was turned on to the wonderful book, into the nature of creatures and wilderness by Katharina Klara Jung. What a great overview of some amazing art that uses nature as an inspiration, motif and subject. And my favorite pieces in the book were these drawings that felt like textile designs, like the one above. Who did them, I wondered. I flipped to the back of the book, discovered that they were by Petra Borner, had forgotten who she was, linked to the site listed, and there I was again, on the site I'd visited just a week before. Loving her terrific work some more.

Not a particularly exciting story per se and this may be where I'm showing my age a bit. For people who've grown up with this sort of digital/virtual crossover coincidence kind of thing, this probably seems like no big deal. But I'm still amazed by it. Thrilled that I am getting access to people and things I couldn't have dreamed of only a couple of years ago. Amazed by the speed to which I can get that access. I think it's luxurious. All this connection, makes me very happy. And now I know about people like Petra Borner who's wonderful, inspiring work is some of the best I've seen in years. Life can be very good sometimes!

September 08, 2006

more illustration happiness.

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Look at this wonderful illustration by Jonas Bergstrand. Plus his truly wonderful drawings, posters, logo's and charactures, all found on his website, which is itself, a joy to behold. Thanks to core 77 for this happy link.

September 05, 2006

drawing love.

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Ok, this just makes me happy.

By the way, there are lot's of terrific sites featuring the work of many talented people who draw and make illustrations out there, of which I'm just beginning to scratch the surface. One great source is illustration mundo. I love the work of Mr. Glaubitz and lucy pepper-blogzira and ana ventura and now there's mariana massarani (who's work is pictured above) to add to the ever-expanding list of favorites. Other suggestions anyone?

August 22, 2006

drawing with cut paper.

Sparklebomb03

I love doodles. I have hundreds of them from years of meetings. It's not that I'm not paying attention, but rather that I can't keep my hands still. So I draw. It's a lot better than shifting from side to side in my chair or annoyingly tapping my foot with excess energy.

Having said that, I love the look of doodles. Dense linework, meandering pattern, regimented texture. Well thanks to lena corwin's wonderful blog (and I mean really wonderful!) I was introduced to the amazing art of chris natrop. His beautiful cut paper pieces have an aesthetic that remind me a little of what I love about doodles, the density, the wander of the line. But to me his work also feels like there is a beautiful mystery inside. Like there is something familiar and known here, but I just can't tease it out into a clear picture. So finely constructed and conceived, this is work that's amazing in both it's crafting and overall impact. Oh, wonderful!

Landscapeblossompop

August 20, 2006

I heart Janet Julian's work.

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I love the work of the artist Janet Julian. Her pieces are very surrealistic and roughly crafted, collaged on scraps of wood, old tole paintings and cigar boxes. She uses images cut from old greeting cards and photo's as a part of her wonderfully rich and beautifully colored paintings. Janet's work feels like folk art meets found art meets dada and I think she's definitely an artist worth watching. She's launching a new site, so soon everyone can get a piece her work for their very own (I'll keep you posted as to when it goes live). Until then, here are a couple of amazing Janet Julian pieces to wet your appetite.

Endangered

August 10, 2006

more art, everyday.

There was a great article in the july/august issue of domino magazine, featuring more one-piece-of-art-a-day blogs and websites. News to me, but there seem to be many artists doing the same kind of thing that the fabulous site, a collage a day is up to. Wonderful art, created everyday, for sale, at reasonable prices. It's really cool to watch the process of an artist working through ideas and technique. I imagine the work might become less precious by doing it this way. Like exercising a muscle or practicing a skill.

There's a bit of a tension in purchasing art this way. When you find a piece you want, you have to bid fast to get it. Paying attention and acting quickly is key in this little corner of the art world. But it's definitely worth the effort. Who says you can't have wonderful, original art on a budget, while supporting an artist who is most probably on a budget themselves? And at this price, it's like DPK says: "get two, they're small".

Some of my favorite sites are:
nicolas jainschigg
Day_lily

jeremiah palecek
Neruda_landscape

justin clayton
P152_palmtrees

August 03, 2006

maija isola book.

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I just finished reading the wonderful catalogue Maija Isola: life, art, marimekko, from the Design Museum of Finland retrospective of the work of textile designer and artist Maija Isola. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in textile design or Marimekko. Ms. Isola is responsible for designing many of the archetypal prints that come to mind when one thinks of the company Marimekko. Her fresh, simple and modern patterns helped to define the graphic look of the fifties and sixties, and remain iconic to this day. In reading the book, I also discovered that Ms. Isola was an accomplished artist who saw textile design and art inextricably linked, one as an extention of the other. Much of the book is written by her daughter and has tons of great images of Maija Isola's most famous work along with many lesser known examples of her design and art. This book is really a treat.

Maija_painting

July 25, 2006

line work.

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I like artwork that's a bit obsessive. Like the art of Eugene Adolsek or the wonderful work of the recent graduate of London's Royal College of Art, Richard Sarson. Love his drawings, which are beautiful patterns and intricate studies in color, brought to life by hand with amazing percision (and somewhat reminiscent of the kid's toy, the spirograph). The results are so happily fresh and modern. Mm. Plus his poster graphics are great too.

Source: cool hunting.

July 21, 2006

in progress.

Collage_detail
This is a detail of a collage I've been working on. It's "sweeter" than I'd expected which I'm not sure about. I suspect it's because of the butterflies.

July 17, 2006

antique-fair-a-go-go

Needlepoint

It's weird but every antiques fair seems to have a theme in terms of the stuff I find. The last one was all about baubles and this one seemed to be mostly about textiles. Embroidery, needlepoint, old silk kimono printed fabric, a niave kitty toy with button eyes. The image above is a huge, hand done needlepoint piece that I'm going to make into a pillow. The pattern and colors are so groovy and the craftwork is perfect. It'd meet with approval from David Hicks' I think and will sass up the bedroom nicely. Hm, maybe I need a new utility canvas bedcover in blaze orange for a total sass up to the bedroom. Funny how the "bargains" we find at these things often turn out to cost a lot more than you planned...

To see more pics of textile finds from the fair check out craft, textile, pattern on my flickr site.

July 08, 2006

shadow art.

Mmb_shadow

Here is a (not so great) photo of a shadow of bamboo on my hall wall with Mary Margaret's wonderful monotype "repeating" that shadow like feel, in the distance. I like these random coincidences and repetitions. It's not planned but there they are.

patterns and crows.

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I really like this painting by James Aldridge a lot. I've been saving this torn out page of his work from an ancient (note dark spot from unknown source) Wallpaper magazine because I really like how it feels like a textile design that would never be printed. With some searching I found him at the david risley gallery where there are some great examples of his latest works including this wonderful piece called a murder of crows which, not surprisingly, makes me quite happy.

Murder_of_crows

June 10, 2006

nature in art

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I really like the work of the artist Phillip Taaffe. I love the repetition of natural motifs he uses to create his powerful and compelling paintings. In a former life I made my living as a textile designer and I will always love pattern. The power of the repetition of things always attracts my attention, so not surprisingly, I think Mr. Taaffe's work is fabulous. To see more of his work, look for one of the many wonderful catalogs of his work available through the Gagosian gallery.

Starfish_phillip_taaffe

June 03, 2006

rare birds.

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We saw a great show on Thursday night at the Compound Gallery in Portland. Heather Amuny-Dey's show "I Love You" was fabulous. Really fresh and fun. Her work is reminiscent of the great graphic design work of the 50's and 60's, though at the same time, unmistakenly expressing a very modern, sophisticated point of view. Heather's work is beautiful conceived and crafted, resulting is art you want to have in your life. I bought two pieces and am considering painting my kitchen a different color just so I can showcase her work a bit better.

Beyond the work on paper, Heather is also featuring a series of carved birds that she concieved and her father carved. That story alone makes me happy but there is more. One piece, not for sale, was made out the harvested wood from a tree Heather and her father had planted when she was a child. Ok, so now I'm moved and jealous. The tree became diseased and had to be taken out so they turned it into this deeply rich and meaningful object that carries the story of their history and love within it. The resulting forms are perfect unto themselves but the deep story held within them, make these birds a very rare breed indeed.

May 13, 2006

magic language indeed

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Eva Zeisel is 98 years old and still producing wonderful work. Known for her iconic, organic ceramics and industrial design, she has recently paired up again with James Klein and David Reid of kleinreid to produce this pair of limited edition prints. The hand silkscreened prints are called Magic Language 1 and 2 and they make my heart sing. I love the bold confidence of the work and the pitch perfect use of color. And beyond the beauty of the designs themselves, the work is also a wonderful testament to the contribution creativity and curiosity give in living a long and productive life.
Kleinreidmagiclanguage2prin_1

April 25, 2006

2 is better here.

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Ok, so the food was horrendous at the auction last weekend but the art wasn't. This is a piece I got in the silent auction by Jeffrey Baker and Ariana Marinelli. What's cool about it beyond the art piece itself, is the fact that it was created collaboratively. Kind of an "open source" approach to art. Mr. Baker did the tea soaked, mixed media background and Ms. Marinelli did the wonderful botanical images on top. I absolutely love this piece. I think the images are actually stamens of flowers, or maybe they aren't. Maybe they are Dr. Suessian renditions of plant-like forms. Whatever they are, I really like the graphic, silhouetted quality of the line work in contrast with the "raw", hand-done feel of the background. There is a great tension and yet also a synergy at play here. Which I like to think comes from the collaboration of two very different people working together to make something wonderful. In this case, two is definitely better than one.

April 05, 2006

not so bad

10_yo_bird_painting
Ok, so I know I'm becoming a little obsessed with the "bird as subject" thing and will work hard to give it a rest over the next few weeks. But before I do, I wanted to share this not so great photo of a little painting of a bird that I saw in the Burbank airport of all places. They have this great display of artwork from a local art school program and this little gem was a part of the show. And it was done by a 10 year old! Now that really makes me very happy. Bird as subject, painted by a pretty talented kid. Very nice.

April 02, 2006

portrait

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A bird portrait by Ron Van Dongen.

March 31, 2006

art therapy

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In the March 17th New York Times art section, there was a small article by Ken Johnson, about a show at the American Folk Art Museum called "Obsessive Drawing", which closed on March 19th. The article featured an image of a piece of work from the show by the artist Eugene Andolsek, which was amazing. Apparently, Mr Andolsek would come home each night from work and draw and draw to relieve his anxiety and persistant fear that he was going to be fired from his job as an office worker. He did not think of his work as art, but fortunately did save the many hundred meticulousy rendered, beautiful drawings he had created over the years. Thank goodness for us.

I love the density of the linework, use of color and profound crafting of his pieces. There is a hypnotic, seductive quality to the few pieces I've seen. And I want to see more. Though they are frentic and worried, I can also imagine that doing them was a calming, contemplative process and once done, the work itself was such a testament to being alive and having a bit of control in life. These feel like theraputic doodles taken to a high art form.

In a past life, I was a textile designer and something about these pieces also reminds me of an intense, unprintable textile design. Like any good croquis, these feel like they were punched out of a larger piece of unending pattern. Man I love these!
Afam_1451

March 19, 2006

art or science?

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Jaq Chartier's abstract paintings speak to a contemporary mix of art and science. I've seen a few of her paintings in person at the Elizabeth Leach gallery and they were amazing. There is a luminescent, translucent quality to her work that feels luxurious, mysterious and very rich. But these aren't just pretty paintings. They are also studies of the qualities of fugitive dyes and stains, charting "scientifically" how they "leach, bloom, merge and mutate." The catalogue, Testing describes the influence of recent genetic and genomic research on many artists work including Jaq Chartier's. It feels clear, when looking at Chartier's work, that these visual explorations are deeply relevant to the times we live in. Times that are seeing unprecedented scientific advances while at the same time, deeply impacted by disease like AIDS, the fear of global pandemics and the threat of biological warfare. Unchartered and sometimes very scary times indeed, but with Chartier's voice in the mix the results are both stunning and very modern, nonetheless.
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March 18, 2006

art of the moment

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Anyone who has read my blog knows how much I love this kind of thing. Its cool to see what happens as a city intersects with commerce, art and tidying up. I don't know why I love this stuff so much but I do. This example feels as good to me visually as most paintings. I love the colors. Plus I know that if I went back to see it again, there would be something more added to it, or something taken away, making it become its next iteration.

March 14, 2006

fragile nature

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Another artist that I absolutely love is David Kroll. I was lucky enough to see a show of his work a few years ago and was totally blown away. Kroll's exemplary craftmanship and masterly use of materials is breathtaking. And of course, I love the subject matter of birds, flowers, insects, fruit, china and landscape combined in a way that reminds me of the romantic painters from the 19th century. But Kroll's works also feels very modern in their use of color and subject matter. In his artists statement, he talks of creating "refuges" from urban society, that balance "quiet and calm" with "beauty and fragility". When I saw his work in person though, I actually felt more tension and anxiety than his words would convey. I don't know if it was the color of the background landscapes or the delicacy of the subject matter itself, but for me there seemed to be an ominous, forboding quality to his paintings, like something bad had just happened, or was about to happen in the near future. Of the intention of his work he says, "I want to add a sense of balance, order and beauty to a world that is weighted in the opposite." Ok, so maybe I was just in a dark mood that day. Regardless, I walked away that day knowing that David Kroll's work is undeniably remarkable and something I would always love.
D19_butterflies_bowls

March 12, 2006

botanical surrealism

My office at work is stacked high with tears from magazines, to the point that at times it seems like I might be swallowed up by them. So I purge and organize and restack every couple of months, just to stay ahead of it all. Some images I keep for years, moving them from one pile to the next because I don't exactly know what to do with them but I just can't bring myself to toss them either. They've just captured my heart for some reason.
Armstrong_1_3
This was the case with the 2002 tear above. The work is by the artist L. C. Armstrong, who uses bomb fuses to scorch the canvas and create the stems for the exotic flowers she depicts. I love the mix of the randomness of the burns, the classical, finessed landscapes rendered in surreal colors that are then layered with these bold, almost photorealistic flowers. The artist talks about her use of bomb fuses to "find a way to make a line that has content because of the way it was made". Not only are the images themselves layered but so to is the meaning of line, paint and color. I love the clash of influences. I love the tension. It's all very provocative and intiguing.
Armstrong7

March 08, 2006

maximal beauty

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I really love Beatriz Milhazes work, pure and simple. It is so rich and powerful and exuberant. Her masterful use of color and layered shapes create a maximalist celebration of pattern and geometry. I think her paintings are modern and fresh and seductive all at the same time.

But, I have had trouble finding many examples of her work in the past. And I've looked. There is no book about her art that I am aware of and I have searched the web for catalogs from her shows to no avail. But this months Elle Decor thankfully has a wonderful article featuring the artist and her work, so it may be easier to find more examples of her paintings in the near future. I am hopeful of that because this woman's art makes my heart sing!
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February 21, 2006

modern wildlife

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Charles Harper's stylistic, simplistic, modern, beautiful images of birds and other wildlife are featured in this months Dwell magazine. I remember seeing his designs in a magazine many years ago. But I then lost the mag and never learned who had done this breathtaking work.
Barn_swallow
What a wonderful treat to find out about him again! And luckily too, his work is still affordable and available on ebay, so you can own poster or print of your very own, if you are so inclined!

February 18, 2006

who's that girl?

Girl_head
I've been noticing these silhouette portraits cropping up in magazines and stores lately, like this one by the artist Carter Kustera from Domino magazine and the one below from Elle Decor. The cynic in me says that it is all one stylist working for a bunch of publishers but I don't think it is so. Too much of a coincidence, even for today's groovy interconnectedness.
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I do know that Jonathan Adler is also a big fan of the artist Carter Kustera who will do custom portraits for you through Adler's store. I saw a few when I was in LA like the one below from his new book My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living and I have to admit that I absolutely loved them.
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I've even found this great letterpress card from egg press with a fabulous silhouette portrait of a dog, below. Too cool. I'm thinking I like these things so much that, though it may be a bit pet obsessed, I just might have to make a portrait of my own pooches, Sir Poops and Flora! We'll just have to see about that, so stay tuned.
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February 12, 2006

lovely flower drawings

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I love these drawings. Flowers rendered in pen and ink, meandering, frenzied, almost psychedelic in nature. I just discovered the artist, Simone Shubuck, in a terrific article about new "botanicals" in this month's Domino magazine. So very cool!
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January 27, 2006

now and then

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I like these illustrations by Derek Aylward. They feel so contemporary and yet early 60's-ish all at the same time. I love the bold, graphic, hand done quality of his work. They remind me of illustrations from books I read as a child. Nostalgic moment.
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December 23, 2005

Mr. Glaubitz

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Charles Glaubitz's work is amazing. I had the wonderful opportunity to see a show of his work last February in Monterey and was blown away. It feels like he uses wax and paint together (though I don't know if he does) to create a rich layering and intense depth of color. In the show that I saw, each of the pieces were a part a collective narrative illustrating a part of a fantastic, beautiful and scary story. These images are a couple of the "lighter" illustrations in the story. To check out more of his work go to his rep Jennifer Vaugn's site.
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December 18, 2005

controlled randomness

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Here's another artist who's work I really like. Her name is Amy Mayfield and I just discovered her while wandering on the web. I like her use of color as well as the focused and fantastic illustrations she's integrated into the free form drops of paint. Her work has an interesting tension between the random and controlled.
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There is a biological, scientific character to her paintings, as well as an illustrative, playful one. They feel serious and fun all at the same time. For me, her work touches on a number of key currents happening in the world today: animation meets obvious material expression meets illustration meets biology meets craft meets innocence meets sci-fi. Whatever the reason, they feel very cool to me.
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December 01, 2005

stunning monotypes

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My friend Mary Margaret Briggs is creating some of the most breathtaking monotypes I've ever seen. Truly wonderful. I love her sense of color, her bold compositions and her confident use of plant forms in conjunction with plain geometric fields. The quality of the monotype process plus her subject matter is reminiscent of Karl Blossfeldt's working collages. And then there are the ones that are just geometric forms. Her work slays me.
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October 02, 2005

birds, drawings and groove

AFFAIR @ THE JUPITER HOTEL
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Yesterday was a rainy Saturday. We had no plans, which is how I like it, as mentioned before. We had a small adventure yesterday, which is the category where I initially thought this post should go, but it soon turned into me blathering on about the art I liked at the 3 day art fair event Affair @ the Jupiter Hotel. At first I was a bit skeptical about even attending the event. Maybe I wasn't sure about going because the title was offputting, so cute in it's use of multiple double entendre's. Or maybe it was the fact that it was titled at all. Like the ongoing penchant for news stations (and the government for that matter) to title invasions into foreign lands or natural disasters or tragedies, as if they are some kind of communications strategy, rather than actual events with staggeringly real consequences to people, places and things...oh, wait, maybe that's exactly what they are...but I digress.

Suffice it to say that I wasn't even sure I wanted to go, synical, snotty person that I can be. But, in the end, we thought we'd try it regardless, and much to our surprise, it was great. Really great. Fun, unexpected and interesting. Each room in the hotel, a different gallery and different art. A lot of it good art, too. A lot of it was whimsical, dark, cartoony, innocent/not so innocent drawings and paintings. Most of it very well done. Some of my favorites were from jack hanley gallery including a couple of wonderful drawings by Shaun O'Dell. Beautifully rendered, they are deeply political in nature, expressed in a hand drawn, yet somehow "official information graphic" style that belie their message. I was attracted at first to the hand and the "charty", geeky nature of his work, and then drawn in to the politics of his message. I don't necessarily agree with all that he is saying, but I do love that his intriguing visual hand, forces one to listen to his thoughts and ideas.

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WHAT'S ORIGINAL?
Another great gallery, the art palace was from Austin Texas and again, mostly drawings were featured. They showed some work done by a collaborative group of 3 artists. The idea is that they pass a piece of original art work between them to work on individually, and then on to the next person to add, modify, subtract from the piece. They were great but I've lost their name...dodo head me. On a side note, I saw this interesting article in Ready Made magazine recently, that talked about buying some garage sale art and adding to it to make your own "original" art. This all seems to fit when you think of the mix and mash culture we are now living in. What exactly is original any more?

Another good piece was by the artist Nathan Green who's work had a textile design, "before it's produced", croquis kind of feel to it. Very hand done, layered and crafted.

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PERFORMANCE ART I ACTUALLY LIKE
It was cool how much video art was also featured. One of my favorites was a piece done by the artist Thomas Baumann and represented by the howard house from Seattle. Saying that I am not a huge fan of performance art is a total understatement to say the least, so to find a piece that was really interesting was a real treat. The piece was showing two "dancers"/athletes moving, performing together and seperately, with and without a skateboard. It was a fresh view into sport and movement as art.

BIRDS EVERYWHERE:
There were lot's of bird images throughout the show. I loved the piece by Carlon Ellis, who is represented by motel gallery from Portland, Oregon.

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Another cool example of the bird theme was a piece done by Rebecca Bird who is represented by the bucheon gallery from San Francisco. I can't remember if this exact image was shown yesterday since there was so much art to see, it can all kind of blur, but I did pick up the postcard. One of her other drawings, a birds nest, was definitely there. But here is the bird image from the postcard anyway.

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It was exciting too, to come across some pieces, both watercolors and oils, by the artist Darren Waterston. He is a truly remarkable painter, one of which I wish I could afford to buy. George, a great friend, was smart enough to get piece many years ago when it was still relatively possible to afford one. But now, well let's just say it's not a possibility in the immediate future. Maybe it is something to aspire to. But in the meantime, I did discover a book of his work at the greg kucera gallery space. The book is titled "Darren Watertson", published by the St Ann's Press, ISBN: 0-967 1744-6-5 and it is amazing. It is a very special book to have found, celebrating the work of a really amazing contemporary artist. High recommendations.

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There were tons more pieces to see. As said before, most were very good. Check out the site for the event to link to other galleries to see more affair @ the jupiter hotel. It's cool to see how much art is still relevant to people's lives both in the doing and going to see.

August 31, 2005

I like this painting

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I like this painting alot. The artist is Gabe Fernandez. I really love the mundane, everyday subject matter, rendered with such elegance and care. Here's his website to see more.