medium /// books




ramon todo

todo_ramon

Books… filled with GLASS. Oh my word (no pun intended), I absolutely love this series by Tokyo-born, Dusseldorf-based artist Ramon Todo. Most recently he’s been slicing rocks in half, filling the gap with bluish-green glass, but these books. Oh, these books have my heart. Happy weekend.





caitlin metz

caitlinmetz

I need to hold this in my hands, and flip those hand-made pages, and peek under the delicate layers of tissue. Sigh. This is a collage about gender – in the form of a tiny paper book – and it is the work of American artist Caitlin Metz. That suit jacket. That corset. And I’m pretty sure I can smell those roses. Love.

ps. if you’re a babe who’s into art, check out this group she runs called “babes send things” 





michelle maguire

MichelleMaguire

Hand-printed images, Great-Aunt Doll, and a beautiful limited edition book titled Salami Dreamin’ – a not-precious artist’s book about family, cured meats, pro sports, and more. Oh. I’m so happy right now. This beautiful ode to Great-Aunt Doll is the work of Ohio based couple Michelle Maguire {images} and Aaron Beck {words}. I know what you’re thinking… Who is this Aunt Doll? I’ll hand it over to Michelle and Aaron:

“Aunt Doll, age 84, has lived in Canton, Ohio, her entire life. She curses, loves cured meats, knows more about the NFL than you do, plays strip mall slot machines with her vegetarian hairdresser of 42 years, isn’t trying to be funny but is, worships the sun from her concrete-slab patio, and frets about nothing except her beloved Italian bread packing on the pounds. Aunt Doll makes the most if it. The gist of her story: enjoy every chicken wing while you holler at the Cleveland Browns on your gigantic analog TV, because we aren’t here forever.”

Love. So much love. {ps. I included a few one-off prints in there too – something fantastic about screenprints that don’t line up.} Now, if you’re wondering… can I buy this book? What about the prints? Yes, yes you can! Pop over to their shop for all of your Salami Dreamin’ needs.





lisa congdon

lisacongdon_swim

Ready to dive in? Me too! “The Joy of Swimming”, by Portland based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon, hits shelves today! Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful hand-lettered quotes, and really interesting facts/stories about all things swimming. Lisa brings passion to everything she does, but this project is near and dear to her heart, because she’s been a swimmer since she was little … see:

lisacongdon_swimBIO

Aw, so cute! Congratulations Lisa… I’m so thrilled that you had a chance to totally jump into this project {see what I did there?}.  If you love swimming – or water, or beautiful artwork, or Lisa – pick up this lovely book. Oh, and Lisa is going on the road with this one so if you want to meet her/have your book signed, you can find her right here:

April 26, 7-9 pm California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
Strand Books (NYC)
May 11, 7-9 pmPowerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 9-10:30 am Creative Mornings (Minneapolis)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland)
May 24 7-9 pmUniversity Bookstore (Seattle)





“discipline … and a bit of chance”

andreadaquino1

Found bits and pieces of wonderfulness. Today I’m talking to New York based artist/illustrator Andrea D’Aquino. She is just as lovely as her work, and almost as carefree. She talked about being disciplined in the studio {ie., getting in there and doing the work}, but she also talked a lot about happy accidents and chance. I loved this conversation and I hope you do too. Listen on the little player right up there, or subscribe on iTunes

First up, the original piece that she created for my book, Collage. Clearly she was drawn to the mustache in the starting image I gave all 30 of the artists… or the death of it:

andreadaquino2

So fun, as is all of her work! Fun and quirky and odd and wonderful… perfectly imperfect you might say. Here are a few of my favorites … oh, and when she said she’s been drawn to color since she was little, well, I was not surprised. Take a look:

andreadaquino3

Oooh, I love all of those random bits and pieces. I really do want to go for a walk around New York with her and see what we find on the street to add to a collage!

You might remember this from a few months ago. I wrote about this beautiful book, a gorgeous version of Alice in Wonderland that was illustrated by Andrea, and published by Quarto. It’s absolutely wonderful, and I love that she was able to put her stamp, or style you might say, on a classic {tough task, but Andrea nailed it}:

andreadaquino4

Sigh. The end. Well, almost… Andrea sent me a few photos of her studio! UHU stick, kinda color-coordinated piles of found stuff, and a sneak peek at the cover of her new collage book, “Once Upon A Piece of Paper”, {due out this fall}:

andreadaquino_studio

Ok, now it’s the end. Thanks to Andrea for doing this, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode {and generously giving away two VIP tickets to the Affordable Art Fair in NYC next week… enter here because I’m drawing the winner at noon on Saturday March 26th}, and of course thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next week.

Other links:

  1. Quarto {Publisher of Andrea’s books}
  2. Stefan Sagmeister

 





susan o’malley

Thank you so much to everyone who entered yesterday’s give-away! This is such a beautiful book/project, with partial proceeds going to the Susan O’Malley Memorial Fund for the Arts, so if you didn’t win feel free to pick up a copy via Amazon,  Chronicle Books or in any major bookstore. Ok, enough suspense… the winner is… Jess Carter {Jess Carter ceramics}! Congratulations Jess, and again, thanks to all of you for amazing comments and allowing this story to touch your heart. And remember, ART BEFORE DISHES!

susanomalley_book

Beautiful, funny, inspiring, and unfortunately, heartbreaking. This gorgeous artsy book, titled “Advice from my 80-year-old- self”, officially hits shelves today … and now I’m not sure what to say. I’ve been sitting here for about five minutes staring at the screen trying to write about this project, and the woman behind it, American artist Susan O’Malley. She’s an artist known for her text-based work that is filled with color and positive messages. Very sadly, while she was working on this project, early in 2015 Susan died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 38. She was less than a week away from giving birth to her twin daughters, Reyna and Lucy, who also passed away. Devastating. This book was already filled with amazing, inspiring advice – from 100 people ranging in age from 7 to 88 – but now it seems like these words of wisdom are even more important. “Try new things, it’s ok to make mistakes” ~ Emilia, 12 ; “This is your life, love it” ~ Alicia, 37  ; “Art before dishes” ~ Lea, 62… and of course, “Live each day as if it’s your last” ~ Abdul, 73. It’s a tragedy that Susan left this world far too early, but we can listen to these beautiful lessons and apply them to our own lives. For Susan.

Chronicle Books will donate partial proceeds from this book to the Susan O’Malley Memorial Fund for the Arts. You can find this book on Amazon, or at Chronicle Books… and keep your eye out in bookshops all over the world.

ps. I have one copy of this beautiful book to give away… just leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name tomorrow, Wednesday January 13th at 9am PST. Good luck xo





“hoozy thinky iz”

waynewhite1

Hoozy Thinky Iz? Wayne White, that’s who. Ok, let me start by saying that Wayne is one of my favorite artists ever. I tried to be cool, but alas, I spent the first quarter of this episode having a fan-girl panic attack, and I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to tell. So, to make it more entertaining for yourself, please feel free to take a shot of tequila every time I say, “WOW!” or “relaxed”… (sigh)… yep, embarrassing – but not the beautiful kind. You can listen to our conversation right up there, under that embarrassingly beautiful painting, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

So, I could have talked to Wayne for five more hours, I had so many questions. I wish I’d asked about his amazingly talented/creative wife, Mimi Pond (pictured below hugging Wayne in a giant LBJ puppet head). I didn’t even get to the part about his work on the Smashing Pumpkins Tonight, Tonight video or Peter Gabriel’s Big Time video… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Oh well, just go watch his film, Beauty is Embarrassing (directed by Neil Berkeley) and you’ll get the gist. Oh, and try not to cry. This is one of my most favorite movies of all time, so that’s where I jumped in:

waynewhite2

It really is such a great documentary. Yes, it covers his work and his life, but it also hits all sorts of nerves about getting burnt out, self-doubt (hoozy thinky iz), and finding your way to a place where you’re just creating work that makes you happy. Yep, I cried at least three or four times as I thought, “Yes! Me too!” … and don’t even get me started on Mrs. Stoddard, or when Wayne’s dad starts crying. Yeah, you’re going to need a tissue.

Ok, now for all of you kids from the 1980s, you’ll remember this from Saturday morning TV … Pee-wee’s Playhouse! Wayne was part of the team from the beginning – designing sets, puppets, and he even did a bunch of the voices (Dirty Dog, Randy, one of the flowers, etc etc). Hello, childhood flashback:

waynewhite3

Oh, Pee-wee. Good times. “Beauty is Embarrassing” covers all of this so well (including the pre-cursor to Pee-wee’s Playhouse, a Nashville Kids’ Show called Mrs.Cabobbles Caboose)… so again… go watch this movie!

And of course, Wayne’s thrift shop landscape word paintings that I love more than I can say. He does all sorts of amazing things (sculptures, puppets, drawings etc) but these paintings have definitely become something he’s known for:

waynewhite4

So hilarious! I have a thing for funny art, probably because it’s pretty hard to find. I just love that he’s taken these forgotten landscapes and turned them into beautifully painted text pieces… text pieces that allow him to say whatever the hell he wants to say! You know, things like “all that fake laughin for nothin”, “just a picture / shunned by scholars / now it costs ten thousand dollars”, and one of my favorites… “just leave the awards on the kitchen table / i’m back here paintin a fuckin masterpiece” … Ha! That makes me LOL, as the kids say.

And finally, this is the book we mentioned a couple of times. Designer Todd Oldham loves Wayne’s work too, and one of the results of that is this beautiful book, “Maybe Now I’ll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve”:

waynewhite5

And that’s that. I am so thrilled that I got to do this with him… and I hope you enjoyed all of your many, many tequila shots. Next time I’ll be super cool. Maybe. Thanks so much to Wayne for taking the time to do this, and thanks to you for listening. There’ll be a special holiday podcast next weekend, but until then, please sit back and relax to this little gem that came out of the good old speed round… the first song that Wayne ever slow danced to: “Poor Side of Town”. Enjoy.





mr. dog’s christmas at the hollow tree inn… and a GIVE-AWAY!

Thank you to everyone that entered the draw for this lovely, heart-warming, made with love storybook! I could only draw one name, and that name is… MEGAN CARTY! If your name isn’t Megan Carty, you can still buy this beauty directly from the Cordes family. Visit their site, right here.

*Stay tuned because I’ll be giving away a little something, via my Facebook page, every Friday between now and Christmas!

mrdog

I don’t know about you, but I am in desperate need of a happy, feel-good story… this is it! All of this started with a decades long holiday family tradition, reading a story that is over 100 years old. This tale, titled “Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn”, was written by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898. The Cordes family has been reading it on Christmas Eve for generations. Such a shame that it has long been out of print… and so they decided to take it upon themselves to change that! Betsy Cordes, an art director with ideas, business savvy, licensing expertise, and a love of working with artists reached out to American illustrator Adam McCauley {really interesting video here with Adam talking about his traditional “crow quill” ink drawings}. With a lot of love, a truckload of hard work, and a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, they brought Mr.Dog and his friends at the Hollow Tree Inn back to life! Take a look at this video of Betsy and her dad, Jim, talking about the sweet story behind this sweet story. ps. This was their Kickstarter video from 2014, which they finished with flying colors… so no need to pledge. Since this video they’ve printed a second, limited edition, run. Ok, now you can watch it…

Ah, Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn … I just got a copy when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! Red linen, gold foil, Adam’s illustrations! Want one? Of course you do! Leave a comment below and I will draw one name on Monday November 30, at noon PST…. and if you don’t win this give-away, you can still order one right here. But be quick… Betsy and her family were only able to print a limited number for this holiday season.





helen, lourdes, and liz

lourdes_helen_liz

Oh. My. I love this so much. The work of Brooklyn based artist Lourdes Sanchez {who I just wrote about a few weeks ago}, hand-in-hand with the best-selling book, “Big Magic” by Elizabeth Gilbert. This is the creative brainchild of art director Helen Yentus {fyi – she has designed so many beautiful books, including the now very famous cover for Eat, Pray, Love}. For this project Helen dug through Lourdes’ extensive painting archives and chose 250 pieces. She then made 250 totally unique covers for “Big Magic”. Sigh. Magical, indeed. Lourdes emailed to tell me about this fantastic collaboration, but instead of blowing her own horn, she wrote this:

“I just want to really stress that it was Helen Yentus’ vision – then rolling up her sleeves and figuring out how to make it happen – that brought this to life. My artwork being on the covers was one section of a much larger circle, {it was all work that I had done over the years, that Helen dug up from my archives} and I feel the star of  this particular story is Helen. But, it’s also interesting to me that the work of three people: a writer, an art director, and a painter – who have all been honing their craft for awhile – came together for a moment in time.

Wonderful. On every level. These special one-of-a-kind pieces can be found here.





art place japan

artplacejapan

Can you imagine a place like this? Well you don’t have to, because it’s real:

Every three years, three hundred square miles of land in northwestern Japan are transformed into the most ambitious and largest-scale art installation in the world: the Echigo-Tsumari Art Field. One hundred sixty of the world’s best-known landscape artists, sculptors, and architects create artworks in two hundred villages that dot the mountains and terraced rice fields of the Japanese countryside, with the intent of rediscovering relationships between nature, art, and humanity, forging collaborations between global artists and local communities, and connecting people to each other and the land.

Half a million people make the annual pilgrimage to witness this unique art project. Art Place Japan offers an exhaustive full-color catalog of the eight hundred artworks created during the past fifteen years. For those lucky enough to visit, this book, the first in English on the subject, also offers detailed information on how to visit the often-remote sites, with travel information and a newly commissioned map that locates the projects throughout the Niigata Prefecture.

So there you have it! And if you can’t get yourself there, this lovely new book – Art Place Japan: The Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the Vision to Reconnect Art and Nature by Fram Kitagawa – can help you at least pretend!

artplacejapan_cover

{1. Harumi Yukutake (Japan), Restructure, 2006-ongoing; Image credit: Masanori Ikeda  / 2. Kyota Takahashi (Japan), Gift for Frozen Village, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 ; Image credit: Osamu Nakamura / 3. Antje Gummels (Germany/Japan),
 Traveling Inside, 2009
; Image credit: Isamu Murai   / 4. Chiyoko Todaka (Japan),
 Yamanaka Zutsumi Spiral Works, 2006; Image credit: Hisao Ogose}

Available at: Amazon / Barnes & Noble / PAPress / IndieBound