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hollie chastain

holliechastain

SUMMER! I want a homemade popsicle while I sit in a tree with my friends! Sigh, good times. I always love the work {mixed media collage on vintage book covers} by American artist Hollie Chastain, but when I saw these summery beauties, well the kid in me freaked out a tiny bit. Love.

{All of these pieces are available as insanely affordable prints in her Etsy shop, and even more beauties can be found in the shop on her site.}





hollie chastain

holliechastain

Vintage meets contemporary, and they fall madly in love! Found images, bright pops of color, and simple/modern compositions… hm, I think I’m madly in love too! These four collages are the work of Chattanooga based artist Hollie Chastain. They were in my show at the Bedford Gallery in California – what an absolute thrill to see them in person. The show came down yesterday, and I’m feeling a little bit sad… but you know what’s cheering me up? I just added these four pieces as prints {insanely affordable prints … $25!} to my online gallery! There are only a few of each so pop over now if you want to scoop one up. Happy weekend!





i’m jealous of hollie chastain… again





Yes, I need someone to massage my head too… I am totally overwhelmed by how much I love these book cover collages by American artist Hollie Chastain. I wrote about her ages ago, but when I came across a few of these new pieces, clearly I had no choice but to write another post! LOVE

{ps. I am so thrilled to say that Hollie is one of the artists that will be featured in my book, and you better believe that these book covers will be in there… YAY!}





i’m jealous of hollie chastain

holliechastain

Sigh. More amazing mixed media. I’m always so impressed {ie. crushed by jealousy} when an artist can do something so simple, using only a few elements, and still make their work feel special/unique. Chattanooga based artist Hollie Chastain is one of those artists. Finding her was quite unique as well… I was writing another post when my browser window popped up with her work on it {via Papernstitch}. Seriously. I don’t know where or what I accidentally clicked on but I sure was happy when her work dropped in my lap. Thank you Art Gods. I owe you one.





summer camp 3 : unconventional and absurd

Unconventional and absurd? Yep, that pretty much describes my “s’moreo” photo for the day 7 prompt {“snacks”} from the first week of camp {combined with a photo of me, age 6}. And yes, you better believe I have a fresh s’moreo sitting right beside me at this very moment! So, before we get started on week 3 at AFYE Summer Camp, I want to show you just a handful of images created for last week’s art project (hashtagged #AFYEcamp). “Collaboration-Nation”, indeed! I did it too {posted below} by getting my husband and son to each make marks on a scary wooden panel I’ve been nervous to “ruin”… and I love it! Red marks made by my son Charlie, orange marks by my husband / amazing AFYE producer Greg, and the final piece by me:

 

Ahh, finally, that wood panel has paint on it… the title: “The rainbows and candy-colored chaos gave it away – Suzanne was hashtag blessed.”

And, of course, here are just a few of the many, many fabulous pieces you all collaborated on {photo credit links are at the very bottom of the post} :

So fantastic! Speaking of which, let’s get on to this week’s challenge:

Art Project No.3 

Shopping List : Yep, we’re heading to the grocery store for our art supplies this week {feel free to buy ingredients for s’moreos while you’re there!}. Using unconventional, AND CHEAP, materials can help bring back that fun, childlike joy in making. Paper plates, bags of macaroni, lunch bags, plastic bags from the bakery dept, pie tins, potatoes for potato stamps… whatever you can find! And if you want this to be super duper cheap, ie free, just raid your recycle bin!

Artist Examples: 

Here are three artists who don’t use the usual go-to art supplies for their work. First, American artist Hollie Chastain. She uses old book covers in place of canvas:

UK based artist Claire Brewster works with old maps and atlases:

Lydia Ricci uses, well, everything:

And finally, a few images of the absurdity embracing Eva Hesse:

Love!

Ah, another week of camp done… another s’moreo eaten! Thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting summer camp, and thanks so much to you for listening! AFYE camp will be back on Saturday June 17th … until then, be sure to hashtag your unconventional material piece {or pieces!} on Instagram with #AFYEcamp. Have fun!

Other links:

  1. Hollie Chastain on AFYE : Episode 15
  2. Claire Brewster on AFYE : Episode 84
  3. “Eva Hesse” – Documentary by Marcie Begleiter and Karen Shapiro
  4. Book signing at Book Passage Ferry Building, SF (June 9th, 6pm)
  5. Hotbed Benefit 2017
  6. Plant Hope Foundation
  7. Venice! European Cultural Academy
  8. TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST: subscribe on iTunes.

*Photo credits from Project No.2, in the order they appear above:

1. @mary_stack // 2. @elisegedig  //  3. @nullsie  //  4. @bababeloco  //  5. @mlestudio





“hunting for paper”

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Houses, plants, embroidery thread, vintage ladies… yes, it’s very possible that Amsterdam based collage artist Hagar Vardimon is my soul sister. I’ve written about her a lot, so it was absolute thrill to call nine hours into the future, across the Atlantic to Amsterdam. She was nervous about her English, and her accent, but both are just perfect! You can listen to our collage-nerd conversation right underneath that gorgeous house bursting with plants, or you can subscribe on iTunesFirst up, this was some of the first work of Hagar’s that I ever saw… and it was love at first sight:

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Yes, we both have a thing for houses and embroidery thread! Strangely we’ve also both taken a small break from the embroidery work to play with paper… look what she’s doing with her father’s old paper punch:

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So fun! She’s been posting all of these pieces to her gorgeous Instagram feed, which you absolutely have to follow. These were the women I brought up. I love this body of work so much… the colors, the strangely beautiful shapes, the geometric embroidery, and those fantastic vintage photos:

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Gah! Love, love, love! As I said before, we both have a thing for houses. Here are a few from her “Lonely Houses” series from a couple of years ago:

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That final piece was a commission she did for a family in California {yes, she does commissions… just sayin’}. And finally, I asked Hagar to send me a few shots from her studio. It’s a collage artist’s candyland:

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Oh. I want to go to there. I haven’t told her this yet, but I laughed out loud when she sent that final photo. My clippings look almost exactly the same… except that mine are in a wooden bowl, not a wooden box. But close! Thanks so much to Hagar for talking to me {you too Liam… the youngest guest ever to be interviewed on the podcast!}. Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and for offering the $50 gift card giveaway happening at the end of February. And finally, as always, a huge thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. You can find Hagar’s lovely work for sale in her online shop.

Other links: Emily Barletta ; Hollie Chastain ; Glue I use





“i sandwich everything in that stuff”

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Another Saturday, another episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR! This time I’m talking to full-time graphic designer turned full-time collage artist, Chattanooga Tennessee based Hollie Chastain. We talk materials {there is a lot of gel medium in her world}, being an artist & mother, and she even threw in a hilariously mortifying phone anxiety love story at the very end. You can listen right up there under those lovely ladies, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the work we talked about in the order that we talked about it. Let’s start with the very first piece of Hollie’s that I ever saw/wrote about. It was the lead image in the “curated” blog post that I did for Etsy way back in the day:

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Ah, I still love that piece so much! And below is the piece, titled “Afterthought”, that she mentioned when talking about using gel medium not only as glue, but also for image transfers:

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I have to try that! Speaking of things I need to try… book covers! Oh, so many found book covers. Her favorites of course being old school text books complete with scribbles by bored children:

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Gah! Her book cover pieces are my absolute favorites! Turns out she has a studio FULL of them… see:

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Oh. Jealous! Next up, the illustration she did for The Baffler:

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Mixed media, indeed! I quickly mentioned that Hollie was one of the artists in my book, Collage… this was the fantastic original she made for the book, along with a shot of one of her double page spreads:

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Love. So. Much. And finally, we didn’t actually talk about her studio space, but I found this photo on her site and I absolutely love this crazy beautiful mess:

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Doesn’t that make you want to make something right now!? Me too. And with that, I’ll say thank you to Hollie for joining me today, and thanks so much to you for listening {and looking}… there will be another episode waiting for you next Saturday!

ps. oh, and a link to Lisa Congdon’s book, Art Inc. & a link to Dolan Geiman’s site.





art for your ear : podcast

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Yes. A podcast! After quietly writing daily art posts for years, in the spring of 2015 I thought it was time to add a little audio to the visual.

Here’s the idea behind ART FOR YOUR EAR: When I studied art history in university, my favorite part was, well, basically the gossip. I loved hearing why artists did certain things. What was going on in their personal life, stories about other artists they knew and worked with. ART FOR YOUR EAR is exactly that… inside-scoop stories from amazingly talented contemporary artists. Each episode is just long enough for you to listen while drinking your morning coffee, or during a weekend run, or while working in the studio. Ultimately it’s a chance for all of us to get to know these successful artists, who also happen to be regular people with hilarious stories, before they’re in the art history books. I post episodes every Saturday so that you can start your weekend with a bit of art… for your ear.

TO SUBSCRIBE:  CLICK HERE

TO SPONSOR: Art For Your Ear is currently sponsored by Saatchi Art. If you’re interested in sponsoring as well, we’d be happy to send rate sheets. Please email: contact@thejealouscurator.com

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EPISODES

105. SUMMER CAMP 5 : bad art ’n good snacks
104. SUMMER CAMP 4 : captured through collage
103. SUMMER CAMP 3 : unconventional and absurd
102. SUMMER CAMP 2 : the first mark
101. SUMMER CAMP 1 : au naturel
100. MANDO MARIE : see you through it
099. ZEMER PELED : suitcase full of shards
098. NETTIE WAKEFIELD : bit of a pencil snob
097. MEGHAN HILDEBRAND : m is for mysterious
096. BRIAN DONNELLY : fire, failure, and fatty snacks
095. ANNA HOYLE : humor, how-tos, and hindsight
094. MOLLY HATCH : an opportunistic optimist
093. CAT SETO : a cat in paris
092. JENNY BROWN : starting from square one. again.
091. SAMANTHA FIELDS : if i’m in the zone, leave me alone.
090. AARON SMITH : no excuses, no regrets … lots of beards
089. LORI LARUSSO : cucumber shamu
088. NAOMI VONA : a fearless act
087. ELISE MORRIS : inevitably, it changes
086. JAY DART : greetings from yawnder
085. NATALIE BAXTER : warm guns ’n bloated flags
084. CLAIRE BREWSTER : more love, less fear
083. JANE DENTON : simply complex
082. JUDI CUMMING : hey, mama
081. SHANNON RANKIN : not enough hours in the day
080. TREY SPEEGLE : changing the rules
079. ESZTER BURGHARDT : lands of wool and cake
078. BUNNIE REISS : a disciplined free spirit
077. LISA CONGDON : imposters, egos, inner critics … LIVE in portland
076. KRISTEN MARTINCIC : a passion for process
075. TONYA CORKEY : experiments, risks … and dryer lint
074. ASHLEY GOLDBERG : patterns ’n positive passwords
073. MARTA SPENDOWSKA : starting in the background
072. MARTHA RICH : arma-dino
071. TERRENCE PAYNE : pastels, perfection, and prince
070. JIM BACHOR : ancient art … and potholes
069. RYAN HESHKA : pinups, pulp, comics, and canadiana
068. TINA BERNING : step-by-step. every day.
067. KATE ROHDE : don’t discount small opportunities
066. SANDRA ETEROVIC : i guess i better be an artist now
065. CATHERINE GRAFFAM : cheesiness aside, art gave me purpose
064. AMANDA BRAZIER : red bank red is from my yard
063. ALI CAVANAUGH : modern frescoes and micro evolutions
062. REBECCA LOUISE LAW : painting with flowers
061. EMILY BARLETTA : art. therapy.
060. KATHARINE MORLING : drawing with porcelain
059. REBECCA CHAPERON : magical portals and secret painting parties
058. ERIN M RILEY : comfortable in my skin
057. JAIME ROVENSTINE : jellyfish in a trifle
056. GUNJAN AYLAWADI : take your pleasure seriously
055. SALLY TAYLOR : a giant game of telephone … with art
054. KIRSTIN LAMB : cute and poisonous
053. RACHEL CASTLE : castle in the car
052. SCOTT LISTFIELD : astronauts and dinosaurs
051. ZOË PAWLAK : chance favors those in motion
050. LOLA DONOGHUE : lola, don’t be precious
049. ARIS MOORE : big mouths, ukuleles … but no chins
048. AMANDA HAPPÉ : defiance is my favorite motivator
047. BROOKS SALZWEDEL : who doesn’t like a dinosaur
046. SARAH GEE MILLER : organizing the fray
045. JOËL PENKMAN : it began with biscuits
044. NIKE SCHROEDER : nothing is a mistake
043. ANDREA D’AQUINO : discipline … and a bit of chance
042. CAMILLA ENGMAN : distant friends
041. STEPHANIE K CLARK : painting with thread
040. SUSANNA BAUER : i’m a bit impatient
039. XOCHI SOLIS : paper nerds unite
038. SAMANTHA FRENCH : ebb and flow
037. HAGAR VARDIMON : hunting for paper
036. CASEY ROBERTS : nature nerd
035. KIANA MOSLEY : late one night …
034. LEAH GIBERSON : hello, me?
033. AUTUMN REESER : soul of a rose, skin of a rhino
032. MARYANNE MOODIE : textiles, treasures, and a new tribe
031. HAPPY HOLIDAYS : the best gift ever …
030. WAYNE WHITE : hoozy thinky iz
029. BOBBIE BURGERS : welcome to boburg
028. ESTHER PEARL WATSON : ufos, diaries, and underdogs
027. SIDNEY PINK : what charms you
026. JESSICA BRILLI : big salad
025. ASHLEY MISTRIEL : fill the whole ream
024. JESSICA BELL : you can’t make art in the cracks
023. MICHELLE KOHANZO : a nod to creativity
022. KATE BINGAMAN-BURT : make piles of crap
021. DEBRA BROZ : a really slow magician
020. KELLY PUISSEGUR : almost happy
019. JAIME DERRINGER : design milk by day & sketchbooks by night
018. TIFFANIE TURNER : blossoms & burlesque
017. KATE WOODROW : a pitch on a silver platter
016. MAX WANGER : photography was not in the picture
015. HOLLIE CHASTAIN : i sandwich everything in that stuff
014. RACHEL RYLE : latte foam, goop, and gumption
013. LISA GOLIGHTLY : if it scares you, do it
012. MARK BRADLEY-SHOUP : walk the walk
011. ROBERT NOVOGRATZ : how much for the tape measure?
010. LISA CONGDON : push through the messiness
009. VINCENT SERRITELLA : painted into a corner
008. MARY KATE MCDEVITT : you’re in cider town
007. BEN SKINNER : equal or lesser value
006. AMANDA SMITH : girls are my vocabulary
005. PEREGRINE HONIG : on the other side of pop culture
004. TREY SPEEGLE : good luck with that
003. STEPHANIE VOVAS : comfort zones and lack thereof
002. ANTHONY ZINONOS : if it buckles, it buckles
001. MARTHA RICH : meat and cake and lobsters and wigs





COLLAGE: a peek & a project

It’s here! After two years of work, COLLAGE finally hit shelves on Wednesday! I love, love, love collage which is probably why Chronicle Books asked me to do this! I chose 30 very talented collage/mixed media artists from around the world, but I didn’t want to just show their amazing work… this book needed a little twist!

I absolutely love found image collage, and could spend hours looking through old books in thrift shops. When I find an image that I love, it only takes me a second to make a cut n’ paste plan in my head – but what would other collage artists do with that same image? People like Jesse Draxler and Xochi Solis? Enter the twist! Not only did I feature 8 to 10 plates of each artists’ work, I also gave all of them the same starting image – a mustache-clad accordion player and his little bearded cowboy brother – and asked them to create a completely new, totally unique, original collage using all or some of that photo. And they did…

Gah! So good, right?! In some of them you have to work pretty hard to find the original image, and in other pieces it’s the star. I love that every artist took this image and completely made it their own. And so, I want you to be able to do it too! Here’s the photograph {which, by the way, is my dad and my uncle in 1958!}… Right click on it / Save it / Print it / Make a collage!

ps. Thank you to Chronicle for inviting me to do this, and for designing such a beautiful book! Thank you to the 30 amazing artists who made this book into a gorgeous collection of contemporary art.  To my dad and Uncle Bill for letting us use this hilarious picture, and for not making us pay any royalties! And, I absolutely have to send some love to UK based collage artist Anthony Zinonos. Not only was he one of the featured artists, but he also wrote the funny, touching, inspiring foreword… xoxo!

{work above by 1. Me  2. Hollie Chastain 3. Jesse Draxler 4. Bill Zindel 5. Xochi Solis 6. Anthony Zinonos}





16.03.2013

Happy weekend! Today, collage artist Hollie Chastain and I are pretending to be at Aretha Frankenstein’s in Chattanooga TN. Ready for a giant stack o’ pancakes? Of course you are!

JC: hi hollie! oh my word, this food looks good! what are you gonna have? any recos?

HC: oh man, that’s the big question. there is usually a bit of a wait here, because it is amazing, so i have time to think and fret. i’m thinking the sodbuster omelette this morning with coffee and orange juice. but if you’ve never had their pancakes, then you have to try those.

JC: is this your usual brunch place? your kids must LOVE it here!

HC: they do love it! i don’t bring them as often as i should. is that awful? i think it is. brunch is usually my recovery, quiet, down-time with the husband or a friend after a night out when the kids are at the grandparents so they miss out. now i feel bad and i’ll have to bring them this weekend for some yummy goodness.

JC: you better! they might smell the pancakes on you when you get home! speaking of kids, you sometimes have children in your collages – are those your kids? do they represent your kids, or are they totally unrelated?

HC: some of them are my kids but i’ve only done that intentionally maybe once or twice. a few times i have unintentionally worked them into compositions. i don’t notice it at first until someone points out that it looks just like one or the other of them.

JC: so when we’re finished, what are you going to do for the rest of the weekend? art stuff? family stuff? both?

HC: i think that all of my time is a little bit of both. during the week i work until family stuff pulls me away and it’s the opposite on the weekends. i just got a fresh and wonderful batch of books so i know i won’t be able to stay away from the studio all day. i can feel those covers calling me!

JC: oh, your book covers…. i LOVE your book covers!!! do you have collages planned in your mind and then you go looking for the covers, or will finding a good one spark an idea for a piece?

HC: thanks! i really love making them. i never plan them ahead of time. when i find one i like i sit down with my scraps and move things around until something feels perfect. most of the time i will first decide what i can’t bear to cover up on the original cover and that is the beginning of the shape of the composition.

JC: where do you find all of those old books, and images that make their way into your collages?

HC: any thrift store or antique store usually has a book section and within that section a box or shelf or bin full of scrappy books. old textbooks are the best. the paper quality is heavy and sturdy because it had to survive years of constant manhandling by children. they also have the best doodles! i always try and find things that are at least a little bit falling-apart-ish but still have sturdy, straight covers. i remember being in a tiny little shop, in a tiny house, outside of nashville and  i found a ratty old newspaper from the 60s. as i was purchasing my stack i patiently listened to the owner describe in detail how to steam off the price sticker – i couldn’t manage to tell him i was going to disassemble it for the parts.

JC: ha! probably best not to break it to him! ahhh, thanks so much for having brunch with me hollie! let me get the cheque ; )

HC: you are too kind. thanks, this has been super fun!