sharon montrose photography

call me crazy, but somehow this minimal, soft work from photographer sharon montrose is made even more intimate by removing the animals from their natural habitats (or the zoo) and putting them all in a similar space.

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striking.

see more at sharon’s etsy shop, blog and website.

via creativadoration


louchelab paintings and illustrations

I am starting out the week today looking at the thought-provoking watercolor and ink pieces in the Etsy shop of Brooklyn’s Aya Rosen, half of the LoucheLab team. The other half is her photographer husband Ned.

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I like these animal pieces a lot and also their 2009 calendar, even though much of Aya’s work focuses on womanhood (and is more erotically inclined). No matter the subject though I will say I find it all to be quite eye-popping.

See more at the LoucheLab Etsy shop, on Aya’s website and also her blog. If you are local, she is showing select works at Vespine from November 7th – 29th, 2008.


erica sanders fabric collage

I am enjoying these fabric collages by Australian artist Erica Sanders for her line, little birdie. She uses vintage fabrics to tell personal childhood narratives by combining them on canvas. The bright colors and little stitching details remind me of my own childhood sewing projects, though they never were as nice as these.

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Purchase these pieces and more at the kindergallery where you can see more fun artwork from high quality artists.


jen hopwood’s snappy pillows

i am liking these snappy animal pillows over at mahar dry goods right this very minute. the 12″ x 20″ pillows, designed by jen hopwood, have covers are made of durable cotton canvas, come with a polyester insert and include five sturdy felt animals to mix and match according to your ever changing moods. whee! i would have had a ball playing with these in my room when i was a kid.

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bonus: they’re on sale right now – 50% off! and that isn’t the only thing over there that’s on sale either.

snatch these up and find other fun things on sale through september 8th, 2008, right here.


fauna chico keychains

i never wanted to carry a stuffed animal around with my keys until i saw these humorous handprinted keychains from new york’s salvor fauna. they’re pretty big — about 3″ x 8″ — so now i just need a purse big enough to keep it in.

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find these pieces and see their other supercute animal accessories at design public.


laura ferrara graphite drawings: miniview

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too much noise isn’t good for the soul. sometimes i try to go to my zen place when i am driving by myself, because it’s practically the only time i am by myself. it doesn’t always work, and i certainly can’t go to that deep place of contemplation in my car when the guy behind me is honking and pushing me along. no, those moments, which we should incorporate into our daily routines, are better actualized in other scenarios, like looking at these pensive illustrations from laura ferrara, aka etsy seller emersonbookcase. laura’s graphite sketches, with their soft lines and dreamy, fluid energy, are simultaneously delicate and strong. the non-linear subject matter and unusual combinations of real world objects in her triple series collection contrast so nicely against the washy graph sheets, and there’s just enough amounts of light and shadow on the paper to encourage you to slow it down, stare it down, and allow your mind to come up to the surface for a while. i needed to know more about the author of these visual chronicles, so…

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q: where do you live and where do you create your drawings? i am picturing, well, ralph waldo emerson’s study?
a: i live in lovely silver spring, maryland, a suburb of dc. my drawing/painting space is in my bedroom and takes up the whole west wall. it is not nearly as contemplative as emerson’s study or thoreau’s cabin for that matter, but i do spend some of the best moments of my day there.

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q: what inspires you to draw and paint?
a: i am inspired by the odd overheard phrase of a conversation i am not a part of, the way an old man walks in the heat, or the glimpse, out of the corner of my eye, while putting away the groceries, of a moth desperately trying to become a part of the porch light. the little things, you know, the exquisite moments when i feel completely awake and notice everything, taking nothing for granted.

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q: where did the idea of the triple series come from?
a: the idea of the triple series came one day while sitting at work. i was thinking about the world and its place in the universe. how really impossible it seems that we exist at all, given the hostile conditions off the planet. if you think about it, i mean really think, we are so vulnerable and fragile floating around in space. we really need each other, not just other humans, but the whole unbelievable variety evolution has so generously given us. the trees, the insects, the animals. we all need to be here in order to continue to thrive. so i wanted to illustrate the amazing diversity of living things and our mutual dependence, in a very simple way. the composition of three images seemed the most direct.

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see laura’s full collection and contact her at her etsy shop.

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thank you laura!


sara kirkpatrick softies & prints: miniview

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i think serious looking animals are whimsical, and since i like to laugh, there is something about lighthearted anthropomorphic imagery that i highly enjoy. it’s probably because i am convinced that my beloved pets are talking, reading the paper and doing card and circus tricks to pass the time when i am not around. when i look at the plush and paint work of sara kirkpatrick i know i’m not alone in my ways of thinking. sara creates imaginative felt animals and very funny and expressive portraits of bunnies, bears and other animals. there is a pleasing story behind each worried, innocent or gruff-but-loveable character and it makes me want to know more! so i asked…

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q: where do you live and where do you make your art?
a: i live in a little house in athens, ga with my husband and our very sneaky cat. i share a tiny studio room with my hubby’s guitars and keyboards, but i usually end up working on projects in my living room (often listening to this american life archives or an old friend of a movie that i’ve seen dozens of times.) my couch is perpetually covered in glitter and felt scraps and lost sewing needles! (be careful where you sit if you ever come over…)

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q: what inspires you to create?
a: i am inspired by dreams, music, stories, film, dogs with beards, cats with one eye, the sound of the wind through the trees, other people’s amazing creations… inspiration is a bit tricky and usually visits me in random spurts. sometimes i feel very uninspired for weeks at a time, and then i’m flooded with ideas. i keep a sketchbook on my bedside table and usually reach for it when i’m very sleepy. when i look back, i find i’m most attached to the little doodles that i barely even remember drawing.

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q: who is your favorite in your shop right now (we won’t tell the others)?
a: hmmm… i think my favorite in my shop right now would have to be sunny (below). i love the way the colors came together, though i am thinking of making a little birdie friend to sit on sunny’s head. i get very attached to every creature (or painting) that i make. sending them off to their new homes can be difficult. i actually cried when i sold olive (below, second photo)… i was thiiis close to keeping her for myself!

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q: who exactly is the blueberry bandit?
a: i guess you could say the blueberry bandit is me, or maybe my alter-ego. i once made a little softie (it’s my etsy and blog avatar), he was very simple and kind of sad, and i instantly felt like i had made a self-portrait in the form of a softie. the blueberry bandit is shy and timid on the outside, but secretly a bit mischievous and fierce, a quiet little creature that steals blueberries when no one is looking! (i’m not sure i’ve ever actually stolen a blueberry, but you know what i mean…)

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purchase these pieces at sara’s etsy shop (and make sure you take advantage of her two year etsy-versary (now through june 28th!) and be sure to cruise over to her blog to say hello too.

thank you sara!


susan graham sculpture: miniview

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i thoroughly enjoy the thoughtful construction and loose style of these metal animal sculptures from new york artist susan graham. her handmade menagerie is created from the idea of a three dimensional drawing, with a single continuous strand of steel or copper wire used for as long as possible for stability. special attention is addressed toward the character, gestures and expression of each animal, which makes it difficult to choose a favorite! ever curious to know more about the brains behind the operation, i asked susan three quick questions…

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q: how did you get into making these sculptures?
a:
i made a wire animal a long time ago as an art assignment. a teacher brought in a live rooster in a cage (this was in ohio, where i’m from) and asked us to use wire as a medium and capture the character of the rooster.

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q: do you have an art background?
a: i do have an art background. i had started school in chemistry at ohio state university and then switched to art-sculpture and photography – because that’s what i had always wanted to do. i moved to new york city and started a degree at the school of visual arts, but did not finish. i was afraid of getting too much in debt and not being able to afford an art studio here. i have a whole other art career besides the wire animals – i show at a gallery in chelsea called schroeder romero.

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q: what inspires you to create?
a: i am not sure what prompts my desire to create, but it is constant – a basic need. i do my art, i sew clothes sometimes, i make the wire pieces, i like to make cakes. it just seems to be built in.

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susan will be exhibiting in future tense: reshaping the landscape at the neuberger museum from may 11th – july 20th, 2008. be sure to see her etsy shop for her wonderful collection (or to commission your favorite animal), and go here to see some of her photographs from a recent exhibition she had at the philip morris branch of the whitney.

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thank you susan!


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