images of springtime, courtesy of etsy

i put a post up for the photographers of etsy team blog earlier this week, saying that I’m yearning for spring with all it’s soft freshness and optimism, and then i thought why not do a little something like that right here in this space too, because you can never get enough positive inspiration…

photographers_of_etsy_poe_team_original_photography

in order, top to bottom:

  1. marigolds and the picket fencebricolagelife
  2. picadilly lace by jennifer squires
  3. partly cloudykristybee
  4. dark eyed juncomuddy river photos
  5. in the morningschamka
  6. plum zenmelissa beach
  7. lilies of the valleydiana brennan
  8. blue birdsgroovinpop
  9. i can feel you breathemichelle campbell-zurek
  10. greenvaleria h

     

     

 

 

 


the art of misty mawn

i think these heavily textured paintings with their substantial layers and sensitive motifs from virginia artist misty mawn are so very beautiful. i see restrained exuberance, and graphic details that for some reason don’t feel that noisy. how does she do that?

 misty_mawn_art_collage_paintings

say hi to misty on her blog and be sure to check out her flickr stream for more artwork and photography.


kristen neveu mixed media: let’s chat!

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_neighbor_house

There is something about the perspective in the collection of the talented Kristen Neveu that makes me so inspired. I don’t mean necessarily the perspective within a specific piece; I am talking about the big picture here. Besides using deliciously tactile materials in the textural pieces she creates, there is so much that is inviting in Kristen’s beautiful work. There is a deeper mystery and emotion that is silently hidden away, waiting patiently to be discovered. It intrigues me. And I also find the fact that she works in both large and small scale to be equally fascinating. She doesn’t necessarily limit her imagination to a standard size, which makes me wonder why should you or I do it either? It unfolds before my eyes in each piece, that liberation. Let’s have a chat with Kristen and find out more.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_blue_skieskristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_leaving

Q: Where do you live, and where do you create your art?
A: Los Angeles (Studio City/North Hollywood).  I’ve been here a year after living in Chicago for 14 years. I work out of one of the bedrooms in our apartment.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_i_know_something_about_love

Q: Did you study art formally? How did you get from that genesis point to making assemblages?
A: I didn’t study art formally. In college I had a communications major and an anthropology minor. I didn’t start working on art until about 6 years after college. I started making collages only from old magazines, and then started adding the paint and found materials… I worked with found wood from alleys in Chicago instead of canvas at first. In the last couple of years I’ve started adding my own photography to the mix as well – slicing up photos I’ve taken into the collages.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_trio_photo

Q: On your website, you say that your work is heavily influenced by time passages. Can you tell us a little more about how this provides inspiration and why its interpretation is meaningful to you?
A: I have a taste for nostalgia, and also I’m fascinated by the patterns that time creates. The future has a way of repeating itself again from past experiences. A sort of step-forward-and-then-a-step-backward type of momentum.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_it’s_a_strainkristen_neveu_mixed_media_b16_powermatic

Q: You moved from Chicago to Los Angeles recently. Have you noticed any difference in that way you approach your work, now that you have changed your surroundings?
A: My work has become more colorful out here, and more influenced by nature – I’ve been inspired by blooming plants and flowers, and also the beaches. In Chicago, I was really influenced by the details of the city and there were more rustic and worn textures in my work, and also more muted tones.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_chicago_2

Q: One of the things that intrigues me so much about your work is the way that you seamlessly blend masculine and feminine elements into one piece, e.g., a vintage car cut-out pressed against lace trimmings. Do you have a balanced attraction to both?
A: Yes; I hadn’t really thought about the masculine and feminine qualities, but you’re right… I do have a balanced attraction to the kinds of textures and meanings behind these types of elements. I think it’s also about the material icons (classy cars for example) of the past and relationships between women and men too.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_england

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_day_todaykristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_honest_look

Q: What is your favorite part of the process when you create a new piece for your collection?
A: The late beginning part of the process where I’m past the blank canvas, and into the layering and patterns. I tend to work more intuitively, and this stage is when I reach that “aha” moment where I figure out where I’m going.

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_clear_sighted

Q: Where can we go to see your collection?
A: My Etsy shop and website. I also have some work available at Hazel in Chicago. I am happy to arrange visits to my studio in Los Angeles too! I’m applying for the Beverly Hills outdoor art show this spring, and hope to be in that!

kristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_surfacingkristen_neveu_mixed_media_art_ashes

Thank you Kristen!


eveline tarunadjaja illustration

This richly detailed, feminine styled and themed illustration work by Australian-based artist Eveline Tarunadjaja is making me dizzy. I want to trace all the lines in some of these pieces back to a single genesis and get lost trying to do it. It is simply lovely.

eveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_boy

eveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_lilypad

eveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_ice_creameveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_paper_plane

eveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_vices

eveline_tarunadjaja_illustration_light

You can see more work from Eveline on her blog and website. Her shop is closed for a few weeks (until November 23rd, 2008), but if you need to purchase right away, you can pick up some of her prints at modamuse.


urban lamp by david raine

Oh how I love the juxtaposition of materials in this sculptural Urban lamp from UK artist David Raine for his company alkamie.biz. It has a wonderfully non-tippy base of concrete with perspex insert, and is topped with a stunning, shredded (and fire-resistant) silk shade.

david_raine_alkamie_urban_lamp

David also offers his beautiful, organically-shaped lampshades separately.

david_raine_alkamie_asymmetrical_lampshadedavid_raine_alkamie_flower_lampshade_silk

To me this is like wearing a fancy sweater with a plain skirt — it’s special and very stylish without being too overdone.

Purchase the lamp and shades at the Hidden Art shop and see more from David on his website.


dana robson collage works

i am buzzy doing blog maintenance, working on my special creative project and caring for my big doggie who is having trouble walking post-seizure, so i cannot write much today but i wanted to show you the beautiful works of san francisco artist dana robson. i love the gorgeous handwork here; the stitching onto vintage papers and maps, the goccoing, the nature motifs and while we are at it let’s not ignore the frame crafting either. the pieces give off a flowing, soothing energy which my whole house could use right now.

dana_robson_collage_art_seeing_the_forest

dana_robson_collage_art_a_tale_for_retelling

dana_robson_collage_art_making_a_mark

purchase these pieces at the beholder and see dana’s website for more.


shalene valenzuela ceramics: let’s chat!

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_ironing_things_out_armed_and_dangerous

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_the_grindshalene_valenzuela_ceramics_the_grind_2

i like to see pretty and edgy put together in art, and if it’s bright, ironic, feminine or makes a contemporary statement about society, i am all for it. you can imagine why my head nearly flipped off with delight then, when i saw the humorous and intriguing ceramic collection of shalene valenzuela. at first glance i admired shalene’s skillful command of her chosen medium, her layered style, and all the vintage shapes and molds she uses. after gazing for a little while longer though, the forms fall away to reveal secrets, histories and legacies which tell very strong, up-to-the-minute stories. let’s have a chat with shalene and find out a little more…

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_glued_to_herself

q: where do you live, and where do you create your art?
a: i currently live in missoula, montana. i lived in oakland, ca for several years (i am a california native), and moved up here to start a long term artist residency a year ago. i will be in missoula for at least another year, then we shall see!

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_pink_readers

q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i have a BA in art practice, and a MFA in ceramics. i have been an active studio artist for several years, and have taught many classes, mainly in ceramics.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_science_kitshalene_valenzuela_ceramics_science_kit_back

q: what is it about clay as a medium that appeals to you most? and (without giving away any secrets of course!) can you tell us a little about the techniques you use?
a: i love the transformative qualities clay has. there’s such a wide variety of work that people have executed using the very same materials that i do: we all speak the same technical language, but the aesthetic range is amazing. my work is mainly slipcast, and i draw/paint using underglaze, and sometimes use screenprint transfers in my works, using underglaze as the printing medium. my work sort of borders on the trompe l’oeil aesthetic, but in more of a “cartoonish” manner. i want the object to be recognized, but my illustrations compose it into something else entirely. for the most part, i make my own molds, unless of course, i run across a commercial mold that is way too ridiculous to pass up.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_woolite

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_artist_portrait

q: i see throughout your collection a very strong theme of women in contemporary society. has your work always had feminine motifs? how has it transformed since you started making art?
a: my work always had some element of a feminine motif in it. i have always tried to combine humor with a deeper message in it, and i think as i have grown older, i have gained more of an understanding why these topics and image styles interest me. i use “dated” imagery, yes, but these images conjure up many issues that are still pertinent today, not only for women, but for society as a whole.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_goldilocks

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_goody_two_shoes_jumbleshalene_valenzuela_ceramics_goody_two_shoes_beach

another thing i was thinking about recently… i loved to draw at a very young age, and as my character rendering skills developed, i noticed even the male characters i drew had a soft feminine edge to them, so i sort of gave up on drawing guys. even now, it takes a bit more focus for me to draw the male characters i may put in some pieces.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_pechee_folder_greenshalene_valenzuela_ceramics_pechee_folder_yellow

q: what is the price range of your collection?
a: from as little as $15 for ceramic teabags to about $3999 for my largest piece – 99 bottles of beer. but most of my stuff is in the “affordable” range – reasonably priced functional items, and most my sculptures are below $500, unless they are large or complicated.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_99_bottles_of_beer

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_99_bottles_of_beer_detail

q: what is your inspiration for these works? do you have a message you want to send through these pieces?
a: i’d like to think that my body of work consists of quirky pieces that reflect upon a variety of issues with a thoughtful, yet humorous tone. i am inspired by the potential of everyday common objects. i reproduce these objects in clay through handbuilding, slipcasting, or a combination of the two, and illustrate the surfaces with a variety of handpainted and screenprinted imagery. i primarily obtain my imagery from remnants of the past (instructional guides, advertisements, family photos, tall tales), and reconstruct the images in order to convey my narrative. these narratives generally deal with topics ranging from fairytales, urban mythologies, societal expectations, etiquette, and coming-of-age issues. stylistically, much of my imagery is pulled from sources around the 1950’s era. through advertising, common objects were embraced in the most royal fashion, and through television and print, images of the “perfect americana life” were portrayed. i use these images in a manner that can deal with ageless topics.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_tea_for_two

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_easy_fun_potholders

q: where can we go to see your collection in person? are you currently exhibiting in any shows or is there anything else meaningful you would like to tell us?
a: my studio is currently at the clay studio of missoula in my studio and our sales gallery, but i am in several shows and whatnot now and coming up. in missoula, i will have wall works in a solo display at bernice’s bakery in the month of june, a piece in the missoula now! show at the ceretana in september, a solo show at the clay studio of missoula in october, and a solo show at the catalyst in december. elsewhere in montana, you can find small works at b civilized in livingston.

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_thinking_outside_of_the_box

back in the bay area, i currently have work up in a group show at the grand theater center for the arts in tracy, at the natsoulas gallery in davis. i will have a piece in a group show at ruby’s clay studio in san francisco starting in late june, and will have a solo exhibit and sale at cricket engine studio and gallery in oakland (this is my former studio, where I used to serve as gallery manager). also, i am excited to be in two consecutive shows at santa fe clay in new mexico – the first is bling, opening this week (may 23rd – june 21st)! the best bet is to always check my site for updates. i do have several things in the works, and try to make updates regularly!

shalene_valenzuela_ceramics_what_little_girls_are_made_of

thank you shalene!


natasha preenja paintings

these acrylic paintings from indian artist natasha preenja are making me dizzy in the best way. i love the patterns and lines combined with soothing color schemes and the strong feminine subject matter.

natasha prenja_painting_goddess

natasha prenja_painting_2natasha prenja_painting_3

natasha prenja_painting_goddess_2

wah – i hunted around but found no website for natasha. i found these pieces on pav’s lovely blog, though, and you can click over there to see more of natasha’s work and more cool things!


next page »