blythe church fabric artist – new work

did i mention i like textiles an awful lot? the wonderful felt empress blythe church (who has graced this space before) has created some new pieces for the pitch of the stitch show at argyle fine art.

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someday i will own one of these pieces. someday.

see these pieces in person from april 11th – 27th, 2008 at the show if you’re in halifax. if not, see what else blythe is up to on her blog and view her fantastic collection on her website!


sixth and elm wood accessories

i think these wooden frames and boxes from toronto artist chantelle finley, aka etsy seller sixthandelm, are just lovely. the words and designs are burned on to each piece using a pyrography pen, then sanded and stained.

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purchase these items at chantelle’s etsy shop and see her website too for more info!


gordon halloran ice paintings – seen in person

do you remember when i said i would present a follow-up post on the spectacular ice paintings from canadian artist gordon halloran? please find what i saw in person below for your viewing pleasure. for some reason, i didn’t realize that they would be all frosty and frozen over until i saw them in person (duh!). when the guy came out with the blow torch to reveal the artwork’s true colors, people watched grinning, in stunned silence, as bursts of color came through one after the other.

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the exhibit is gone now, but seeing the gorgeous, original work with my own eyes was worth bearing the frigid temperatures. and boy did i get the color fix i need on a regular basis this time of year!

i really hope he is taking his show on the road to some other fortunate city soon.


textile design by anupama swaminadhan

look at these fabulous handpainted pillows from montreal-based designer anupama swaminadhan for her self-titled textile line. these cotton and silk cushions are crafted in the traditional indian kalamkari technique. they’re freehand paintings made with vegetable and mineral dyes, and they are made with care by artisans in the srikalahasti region of southern india. all the pieces from anupama have a one-off feel, since the colors are mixed by hand and are painted individually. the result is a dreamy collection with an timeless, earthy feel.

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purchase these pieces at environment 337 in new york, the spotted zebra in toronto and botanik in summerland. and be sure to go to anupama’s website to see more beautiful things.

via masala chai


james fowler abstract art – let’s chat!

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look at these abstract paintings from canadian artist james fowler. the obsessive compositions are intricately crafted and orderly and are softened by the vibrant color palettes. unlike piet mondrian, the king of neo-plasticism, these pieces are less rigid with their looser lines, and break from the traditional exclusive use of primary colors. however, similar to others in the cubist-inspired movement, they tell graphic horizontal and vertical stories, which in turn create mazes in my mind. as my eye traces those details that twist and wind around, a gateway to mysterious stories opens that i could spend hours trying to unravel. let’s have a chat with james and find out a bit more!

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q: where do you work?
a: i have a studio on queen street west, in toronto. it’s the birthplace of all that is cool in toronto.

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q: what is your background, and did you study art formally?
a: i was not formally trained in art. my great grandfather was a commercial graphic designer and a water colour hobbyist, my grandmother also paints so i was born with a silver paintbrush in hand. by age six, i was doing paint by numbers adequately and by the time i was in the ninth grade i had surpassed the standard value exercises others were doing, and was stretching 4′ x 8′ canvases. i turned to the film for university and abandoned art for the film industry for many years. by 2002 though, i had had enough of the “type a” personalities in the industry, and after a friend asked me what i would do if i could never paint again, my path became pretty clear.

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q: are your pieces made using acrylic paint exclusively or do you use some other types of media?
a: i’ve been thinking of switching over to oils. i’m currently working in acrylics, but also have another line of art that uses men’s business shirts and plaster in a low lever relief to tell stories of relationship.

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q: how large are these pieces and what is their price range?
a: the pieces range from 8″ x 12″ to the largest (to date), 4′ x5′, but i’ve painted 3′ x 7′ pieces too. i do a lot of commission work and the work ranges from $300 to $2500 with the majority being 22″ x 30″ on paper unframed for $550 – relatively inexpensive in the art world.

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q: what is your inspiration and message you want to send through these elaborately patterned pieces in these expressive color palettes?
a: i’m fascinated with the business world and what makes a strong capital market, what buildings are made of and what builds a city, who designs them and what makes good human traffic flow. i am also inspired by ancient decorative arts with a high level of craftsmanship, such as early chinese dynasty pots. there is something about steel and iron in molds too that is compelling, that frequently are used in the construction of cities or automobiles.

basically the collection consists of imagined cities from above, using color palettes to give a feeling of place or season or mood (winter in new york, paris in the spring, lost in the city, california, etc.) i’ve been doing the cities now for a while but i’m really encouraged from the attention my work has been gathering in the last six months. the work is also a lot about cities and traffic movement, about balance, a tough mix. i like to spend a lot of time away from the work and add in squares in fits and starts.

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q: are you currently exhibiting in any shows or is there any other meaningful information you would like to mention?
a: you can see my work in the march 2008 issue of canadian house and home magazine, the special condos issue. it can also be viewed at toast restaurant and in stores on queen street east in leslieville. my new website is up, and i have a flickr stream as well.

thank you james!

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gordon halloran ice paintings

there is magnificence, tragedy and drama in ice, and canadian creative gordon halloran feels so akin to it that he has created his series paintings below zero using it as a medium. gord believes that his heritage gives him a unique insight into and relationship with this extreme natural material. he sees the beauty in it, which tempers its relentless extremes. gordon found his affinity to ice as a child. he would eagerly create hockey rinks in his backyard only to be disappointed when people would begin to skate on them and ruin the glistening smooth surface. years later as an adult, he visualized entire rinks awash with planes color, and a zamboni as an etching tool. that’s when he began creating his abstract public art installations, and a larger sense of purpose for arenas and parks all over canada.

since gord is asked to do installations around the country (and was also invited to represent his country in the 2006 cultural olympiad at turin), he devised a way to use modular aluminum refrigeration plates in assorted combinations to crate, maintain and move the large works, ensuring their integrity. the installations and paintings alike are an enormous, impressive undertaking, and he uses quite a variety of techniques to create them: airbrushing, pebbling, carving, and creating smaller mosaic pieces in freezers that are later added to the final designs.

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gord has also created a series of permanent ice paintings which have been carefully captured in a digital format and reproduced in giclee form. these pieces can be as large as 3′ x 6′ and are developed using a special process that showcases the layering of colors in the ice pieces.

i love the grand scale of these works and how inclusive they are to the general public. and i love the vivid colors he chooses to cut through the intense wintry medium too. his dedication is to be applauded for working in conditions that are not necessarily ideal for creating art.

i am so excited to see the 95 foot long wall of ice (his largest installation to date) that gord will be showcasing here in my city – for the first time anywhere in the us! millenium park will play host to all of it when the museum of modern ice comes roaring in on february 1st, where the installation will remain until it melts february 29th.

look here for more info on this fantastic exhibition, and don’t worry – i plan to write an addendum with actual photos from the park to show you even more after it opens!


val̩rie parizeault Рwitty workshop art

the very lively colors and light, whimsical tone of these fun prints from montreal artist valérie parizeault are calling me like the sirens right now.

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i don’t know about you, but i find the themes of innocent childhood dreams so appealing, especially in the winter. i jump into a temperate, quiet, happy place in my mind when i look at these pieces.

bonus: a buy one print and get one free sale! impossible to resist i tell you!

see the full selection of prints here . the sale ends january 27th!

also be sure to see multi-talented valerie’s personal blog, business tip blog and jewelry shop too. she writes in both english and french, which is helping me to brush up on my languages in such a lovely way!

via kiddlins


marc johns watercolors

(ed. note: welcome first-time readers! if you enjoy this article about marc, please click on the other categories to the left to enjoy even more posts about other talented artists and designers. better yet, feel free to be impulsive and click on subscribe to the right, and i will bring the good stuff to you instead! thank you for visiting!)

it’s monday and already time for a hearty laugh, so let’s look at these terrific watercolor pieces from canadian artist marc johns. marc believes that truth can be found through humor, and strives to create a minimal style of art that reaps maximum impact on the viewer. it’s too spare not to make me howl with laughter!

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i love the frugal styling and colors and of course the slightly surreal and whimsical humor in every single one! i think i like worship me best, but his i prefer pucci really offers us a sneaky glimpse into the mind and the ridiculously playful stream of consciousness where ideas are born. to hold those thoughts and get it out on paper is quite an accomplishment.

purchase originals and prints on marc’s website, or buy his pieces in greeting cards form at moo. and be sure to check his blog and flickr stream for other wonderful illustrations!

via bb-blog


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