bd graft

Charcoal, oil pastel, acrylic, cut paper … I love everything about the work of German born, Netherlands based artist BD Graft. His color palettes, compositions, line quality, subject matter, EVERYTHING. I haven’t used oil pastels since I was a kid stealing them from my mom’s art studio, but now I need some. Immediately. Here is a little more about BD discovered via Uprise Art:

“Graft’s focus primarily lies on exploring concepts of ownership and the deceptively decorative. His collages combine found imagery and his own painting, referencing images from art history, landscape, architecture, and nature to craft pared-down scenes that viewers can imbue with narrative.” ~  via Uprise Art

mickalene thomas

Oh my word… all hail New York based artist Mickalene Thomas. Patterns, women, jewels, glitter, more patterns! All of her work is so rich, not only with visual treats, but also with power and meaning. Here is a perfect description found on her “about” page:

“Mickalene Thomas makes paintings, collages, photography, video, and installations that draw on art history and popular culture to create a contemporary vision of female sexuality, beauty, and power. Blurring the distinction between object and subject, concrete and abstract, real and imaginary, Thomas constructs complex portraits, landscapes, and interiors in order to examine how identity, gender, and sense-of-self are informed by the ways women (and “feminine” spaces) are represented in art and popular culture.”

YES! And those “feminine” spaces are FANTASTIC! If you ever get a chance to immerse yourself in one of Mickalene’s installations, DO IT. Here’s a little peek:

Love. Happy Monday.

“petrified and totally excited”

Embroidery. Yes, everything except that lovely pink background is done with thread. THREAD. Cayce Zavaglia is an American painter who now uses stitches instead of brushstrokes – although, paint has recently come back into her arsenal. In reverse. Huh? Well just listen right up there under “Florence”, or subscribe on iTunes, and it will all make sense very soon.

First, a handful of Cayce’s insanely beautiful embroidered portraits… brace yourself for the realism:

Yeah, thread. Teeny tiny perfect little stitches, all coming together to create absolutely stunning portraits of Cayce’s friends and family. I mean, WHAT!?

So creating this work is exciting enough, but then she started flipping her pieces over and VOILA, the “Verso” series:

Messy but beautiful… just like life.

Well, why stop there, right? Might as well be “petrified and totally excited”! Here’s what happened when Cayce decided to pick up her paints again:

Gasp! Verso paintings! And wait until you see them in context {especially that last piece above}:


Double gasp!

And finally, I have to show you some of Cayce’s process shots… found, of course, on her dreamy Instagram feed:

Love! And there she is in action. Seriously, I could NOT do what Cayce does. Thank goodness for that little ball she squeezes while stuck in traffic so that her hands stay strong! Thanks so much to Cayce for doing this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode; and BIG thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Sarah Ball, Artist
  2. Alex Katz, Artist



nazario graziano

Pink cheeks, bold text, and a bubblegum bubble! This the collage work of Italian artist/illustrator Nazario Graziano. I wrote about him YEARS ago {early 2010, I think}, and since then he’s been very busy with clients like MTV, Fast Company, New York Magazine, National Geographic and the list goes on! I have to say though… I have a soft spot for his personal analog work. Yep, cutting and pasting gets me every time. Also, googly eyes. Happy Friday.

deedee cheriel

Kicking things off with “When Brown Chicks Take Over The World”, finishing with closeups of “Here’s to Extravagant Futures”, and a whole bunch of goodness in between! This is fabulous work of LA based artist Deedee Cheriel. Popping by her site is always a good idea, because there is always something new to see… AND you find out about things like this: Deedee’s latest show, titled “Cosmic Connections” opens at KP Projects, LA in a couple of weeks. Saturday, October 6th, 7-10pm to be exact. To attend, RSVP to {guest list at the door}. The show is up until October 27th.

toshihiko shibuya

“My land art fuses with the environment and aims to play freely. To live together not as opposed to nature but as close as possible.”

Delicate white mushrooms that have a subtle neon glow… except that they’re not mushrooms at all. They’re thumb tacks. LOVE. This installation, titled “White Mushroom Breeding Project”, is a 2014 project by Japanese artist Toshihiko Shibuya. So perfect, magical, and weird… hence the LOVE.

hilary white

I want to touch that unicorn hair. This is just a tiny glimpse into the beautifully bizarre portfolio of American artist Hilary White. Gorgeous compositions, delicious colors, and material lists that look like this: paint, resin, glitter, leather, cloth, spikes, hair and the list goes on. LOVE! Also inspiring… this description of her work by Paradigm Gallery:

“Inspired from her work with children within the Foster Care system, White’s latest series of truly original, eye-popping sculptural wall pieces meet at the crossroads of theology, science, and wholly imagined realities. Employing a range of mediums from hand-cut wood, plastic, and paint to resin, glitter, and even hair, White creates tangible manifestations of faith, and what she refers to as the healing process through art making.”

If you happen to be in Philadelphia next week, you can see her latest show/series, titled “Seeing Impossible Color”, at Paradigm Gallery. The opening reception is on Friday September 28th, 5.30-10pm. The show runs until October 20th.

zhuang hong yi

… and now a whole bunch of closeups, just because!

Ceramic? Nope. Plastic? Nope. Fine rice paper and acrylic on canvas? Yep. This is the work of Chinese born, Netherlands based artist Zhuang Hong Yi. As if these “flowers” aren’t mind blowing enough, somehow he has painted/arranged these delicate little petals so that the color changes depending on the angle you’re looking at them from… click PLAY on that Instagram video above to see what I mean! Sigh… so beautiful, as is this description of his work via HOFA Gallery, London:

“The flower motif dominates Zhuang Hong Yi’s work – a significant image in Chinese culture which carries countless meanings and emotions yet with equally strong associations with the Netherlands, world famous for its flowers – and he works patiently and religiously on this subject year after year, intricately crafting his works with care and forethought. Zhuang’s well known and highly collected ‘flower bed’ works are crafted from delicate pieces of painted rice paper, which he has bent and folded into hundreds of tiny buds.”

{Thanks to @melaart for pointing me to this crazy beautiful work.}

“everything shiny”

Sparkly stars, rainbows, mermaids, and a land full o’ fairies! Today I’m talking to California based artist, teacher, and restorer of all things magical … well, at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland, anyway! Shannon D. Taylor is a very busy woman, but that doesn’t stop her from adding a little bit of magic to pretty much everything she does. Listen right up there under “Southern Star”, or subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, first things first, a few of Shannon’s pieces that I’ve written about before:

See? Too good not to show again!

Next … ping pong paddles and saws, because when you do an art residency in a giant warehouse filled with thrifted goods, this is the kind of thing that can happen:

Oh, those tigers. And do you see what I mean about her sparkly starry skies? So dreamy!

Now not only is Shannon a talented painter, she’s also REALLY good at finding vintage frames to house her gorgeous work. Look at this:

Gasp! They’re all so fabulous, each one filled to the brim with Shannon’s weird & wonderful worlds. Also, I really need to go thrift shopping with her. A lot.

So, when Shannon isn’t making her own work, she’s teaching at the California College of the Arts … and I desperately want to be in her six hour sketchbook class! Here is a tiny peek into her sketchbook:

Ha! And a lovely self-portrait too! You is beautiful, Shannon.

Alright … and when she’s not making her own work, or teaching, she’s restoring the magical bits and pieces at Children’s Fairyland in Oakland! This is the super fun event at Fairyland we were talking about:

… and that’s the piece I made for it! 10″x10″ wood panel, complete with chunky gold glitter paint because when you make something for Fairyland, YOU ADD GLITTER. If you can go to this party, GO! Artists making art in front of your eyes that then sells for $40/piece? Yeah, GO!

And finally, you thought her work was magic… wait until you see her studio:

Ah-mazing! I wonder if any gnomes or fairies share that crazy-cozy space with her!?  And yes, that’s Shannon’s latest self-portrait… kickass kimono included. Thanks so much to Shannon for fitting me into her crazy schedule; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and of course, thank YOU for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. California College of the Arts
  2. Children’s Fairyland, Oakland California
  3. Tickets for “Drawn Together” : Friday September 28th, 2018  6-9pm
  4. Bedford Gallery, Walnut Creek CA
  5. Shannon on Instagram, aka magicmakerdreamweaver 
  6. Discount Universe {home of that awesome kimono}


jennifer davis {new show}

Strange new world, indeed! This is the latest work by Minneapolis based Jennifer Davis, and all of it’s hanging side by side right at this very moment. “Strange New World” is currently at Artspace in Raleigh, North Carolina and will be up until October 27th … in other words, wait for Hurricane Florence to make her way through, THEN pop in to see the show. Safety first, art a very close second. Happy Friday … stay safe, east coasters.