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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carambatack illustrations

(ed.note: hey, everybody! 500th post!)

i could get swept away in these illustrations from norwegian artist annette mangseth. i love the colors she uses and the serene tone she sets with her dreamy images.

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she has a combination of original pieces, little one of a kind art cards and prints available. everything is clean lined and orderly, which makes it much easier to get lost in imagination, don’t you think?

purchase annette’s work at her etsy shop and see her flickr stream too for more lovely things.


mark orr found object sculptures

i appreciate seeing recycled elements in art, don’t you? talented michigan artist mark orr definitely does. he uses interesting found objects and salvaged architectural pieces to create these wonderful wooden sculptures. ravens are very intelligent birds who (like me) are attracted to shiny things to decorate their nests. for mark, they represent the scavenger of found goods from his past.

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i love the inviting energy they give, and love seeing all the unexpected objects that are incorporated into his collection.

purchase these and other pieces through mark’s website. he is also available for custom work.

via bb-blog


print of the month club at indiefixx

i love the idea of a piece of art being delivered to my house every month. do you? if you do then why not buy the art print of the month series as a gift for an art lover or even for yourself? each month the folks at indiefixx will select one print, festively wrap it and mail it off to you. you never know what you’ll receive ahead of time, which is part of the fun!

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i say two thumbs up!

subscriptions start at $64. purchase them and lots of other fun things right here.


an artist a day website

if you do not already, i encourage you to look at this interesting website called artist a day. they feature one new emerging artist per day in the hopes of creating more exposure for them and art in general, everyday. the people featured work in a variety of media, and a few words about themselves and their vision are included along with one or two images. what a great way for creative people to create additional internet presence for themselves!

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local artist gisela insuaste

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boston illustrator ria brodell

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portland photographer corey arnold

i love this and i love what they are doing, but i want to see more – much much more and more types of media please! they feature wonderful high quality talent here (including the brilliant jennifer maestre and mark khaisman recently), so whoever here among us is making the beautiful things, please go and submit your work for review!

thanks for the tip dear husband!

via joshspear


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!


suzi blu art

i like this girly heavily textured art from new jersey artist suzi blu. she’s using a combination of acrylic paint, mica powder, colored pencil, ink and beeswax to create these folksy outsider compositions.

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i like the scratchy surfaces, bright colors and positive messages she conveys.

see her blog to find out what she is up to, and check out her flickr stream, video log, ebay or print shops to see much much more!


pugilist round up

i’m not quite sure why i keep doing these round up posts, and yet i am still compelled. maybe it’s because i like looking at them in other blogs? anyway, please enjoy this random boxing theme (and i don’t even like boxing!)…

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photograph from the future hype collective’s etsy shop

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mini gloves pendant from montreal’s roadkill

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velvet embroidered boxing gloves from hello craft lovers! (via craft)

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nat fleischer’s mid-century boxing guide on ebay

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metal boxer sculpture from the art exchange’s etsy shop

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vintage lady boxers photo on ebay

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limited edition boxer print from byvikink’s etsy shop

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stencil painting at mark traughber’s etsy shop


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