“yak friends”

Pink cashmere, cable knit covered deer. Sigh. I have loved the artwork of American artist Rachel Denny since way back in 2009, but today is the first time we’ve ever spoken! I had A LOT of questions, and she had lots of answers. One thing that became very clear very quickly – she is one handy woman! She works with so many materials and does it with ease. Also, she owns four yaks. I realize I sounded like a bit of a Facebook stalker during this episode, but just wait until you scroll down to see not only her gorgeous work, but also photos of her yaks playing hide n seek and tag! Now I want yaks. Anyway, listen right up under those lovely pink bucks, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, of course, her knit-covered deer trophies:

Ah, and there’s my Rosie – so gorgeous!

Speaking of gorgeous, here’s a peek into Rachel’s studio:

Amazing, yes? There’s the chenille covered moose commission she mentioned, and I’ve also included the turquoise angora-covered rabbit we talked about. Seriously, it’s just all too good.

Also, still living in her studio, this big beautiful blue buck:

Isn’t that beautiful and heartbreaking all at once? Also beautiful – her most recent commission, made for Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler BC. The first shot is in her studio, the second photo shows the deer in their new home:

LOVE!!!

Ok, and the flattened penny horse that I brought up about 1000 times (?), along with proof of her handiness when using any and all material – from pennies to matches to resin to tiny bits of mirror:

Whoa. That snake. Gorgeous, but if I saw him in my yard I would lose my mind. Here are a few things Rachel sees in her yard every day… YAKS!

Stunning. And there’s the belt bull we were talking about. Isn’t he majestic? The amount of work she puts into each piece is just mind blowing.

Alright, now here’s the non-art related reason for following along so closely on Rachel’s Facebook page! Look at these hairy beauties:

Oh my word, Tsampa in full-on frolic mode! I could look at that photo all day… he’s so happy! And finally, like so many artists, Rachel takes photos of her work, but rarely herself. I did find one, and I have a feeling this is what she looks like most of the time anyway:

Yep, covered in animals! Thanks to Rachel for figuring out Skype so we could chat; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Vernissage Gallery, Portland {her show is up until Dec 30th}
  2. Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto
  3. Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA
  4. Nanaimo bar recipe! Mmmmm

 





papirmass : give-away x 3!

Pass on some creativity… OK! Another Friday, another give away, and this time we have Papirmass to thank. What is Papirmass you ask? Well…

Want beautiful art prints delivered right to your door? Papirmass makes it easy, with a monthly subscription that selects the best in contemporary art & illustration. Subscribe to a surprise and receive a monthly art print paired with real tips from working artists and inspiring creative quotes, all shipped in a beautiful rigid mailer. 

Yep! I get this lovely surprise in my mailbox every month, and now THREE OF YOU could win a year long subscription too… A YEAR LONG SUBSCRIPTION?! I know, I can’t believe it either {thanks Papirmass!} Leave a comment below, and I’ll choose three lucky winners on Monday December 18th. Good luck, and happy weekend!

 





barbara segal

STONE. Handbags and Jackets carved from STONE. Stunning. This is the work of American artist Barbara Segal. How, when and where did she learn how to turn pink Oynx into a Chanel bag? Here is just a small chunk of her story:

In 1972, while a student at Pratt Institute, NY, Segal resolved to spend both her junior and senior years at the distinguished École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (ENSB-A), Paris, to study stone carving with teachers like René Collamarini with whom she later exhibited at the Musée Rodin. Segal then moved to Italy where she spent time over the next four years in both Pietrasanta and Carrara working at the Studio Sem, the Fonderia Luigi Tommasi and SGF Studio Scultura. She returned to New York City in the late-70s knowing she could create whatever she chose in stone. America’s evolving culture with its pop and fashion icons would prove a continuing source of inspiration.  However, to this day, what Segal chooses to create is personal; her creations provide insight into her passions, struggles and quirky wit.

And with a bio like that, I have to include a photo of Barbara in action:

Whoa.





kristy blackwell

Oh my goodness… these are just a few new works by Toronto based artist Kristy Blackwell. I’ve written about her gorgeous paintings and drawings on mylar before, but now… well, two words: GOLD. LEAF. Stunning.





dinara kasko

Cake!? I don’t think I’ve ever written about cake as art before, but look at these creations – how can I not?! These delicious masterpieces are the work of Ukrainian architect turned pastry chef Dinara Kasko. Geometrics, spheres, kinetic-inspired amazingness all filled with chocolate, cream, and fruity goodness. I know you’re wondering… HOW? Well, each of her works of art begin with a work of art. Dinara designs custom molds and then makes them using a 3D printer. And then, you know, just makes insane cakes in those molds. Mind. Blown. (FYI: she sells her molds!)

ps. here’s a peek behind the curtain, revealing these beauties … pre-icing





new spring by studio SWINE

Ok, I was already experiencing some serious FOMO about not being at Art Basel Miami this weekend… and then I found about this interactive piece showing at The Temple House. “New Spring”, by Studio SWINE (Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers : a collaboration between Japanese Architect Azusa Murakami and British Artist Alexander Groves). Delicate blossom bubbles, filled with floral-scented mist, fall gently from a white, chandelier-like tree. The bubbles pop on contact… unless of course you’re wearing the special gloves provided. Seriously, watch this video and tell me you’re not knee-deep in FOMO too:

Video found via Golem13





paper pusher : calendar give-away

… and the THREE winners are… DREW AUSTIN, SHANDRA SMITH, and COCO SPADONI! Thanks to everyone who entered, and if wanna pick one up anyway, this beauty is only $24 Canadian and you can BUY it right here. Thanks to Jp King for being so generous with this give-away! xo

Well, it would not feel like December if I didn’t have a gorgeous, sustainably-produced, Risograph calendar from Paper Pusher to give away! Jp King is the artist behind this annual beauty, and he’s done it again {actually, I should have him on the podcast}. Anyway, leave a comment below and on Monday December 11th I’ll draw three, yes THREE, names and each of those people will be able to spend their 2018 looking at these gorgeous artworks … good luck!

ps. If you don’t wanna take your chances with the draw, this beauty is only $24 Canadian. Just sayin.





jana rayne macdonald

Hm, even that closeup doesn’t do a good job of proving that these are paintings – PAINTINGS!? This is the acrylic on canvas work of Canadian painter Jana Rayne MacDonald, from her series titled “Portraits”:

“We all speak many more languages than our mother tongue. Without conscious thought, we tell people how we feel and communicate who we are with facial expressions, gestures and, least appreciated but just as important, the language of clothing.  And the clothes we wear often speak first.”

I wonder what my pajamas are saying about me right now?





natalie baxter

What do you do when your artwork causes crazy people to come out of the woodwork? Turn their horrible online comments into soft sculptures, of course! Oh, how I love this new series, titled ALT CAPS, by New York based artist Natalie Baxter. I had her on the podcast last January to talk about her droopy Warm Guns and tassel-covered Bloated Flags, and she admitted both series get some pretty nasty comments from time to time. Well, instead of allowing those rude words to stop her, Natalie decided to spend a good part of 2017 turning those trolly words into a whole new series … brilliant and hilarious. Mic drop.

ps. Natalie is another of the contemporary artists featured in my upcoming book. Seriously, with work like this, how could she not be!?





sheila hicks

Oh my word. This stunning fiber based installation was one of my favorite things at the Venice Biennale this past summer, and yes, it probably has something to do with my current obsession with pom poms. Granted, these are not pom poms at all. They are “pigmented acrylic fibre” wrangled into large soft orbs with some kind of synthetic netting! This gorgeous piece {that you were NOT allowed to jump on even if you really wanted to} was part of the “Color Pavilion” at the Arsenale, and is the work of American-born, Paris based artist Sheila Hicks. Watch the video above to see Sheila talking about this piece… so beautiful on so many levels.

ps. a bit of proof, basically to remind myself that I really was there – because sometimes it feels more like a crazy dream.