medium /// contemporary




january #creativeUNblock : an in-progress update

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Oh my word… I LOVE THIS PROJECT! I had so much fun, and I even had a couple of ah-ha moments. {As a refresher, in case you missed the first post about this - on the first Saturday of each month, for all of 2015, I’ll be posting a new project right here. Each one is from my book, Creative Block. I’m doing all of them, and you’re welcome to join in!}

The #creativeUNblock project for January is by Trey Speegle – p.79, Creative Block. Find or draw an image, copy it 50 times on cardstock, and then alter it 50 different ways. Trey also adds, “Create your own tight parameters… then give yourself a LOT of room to play.” Ok, so to be totally honest, I felt a bit overwhelmed. Alter it 50 different ways? With any supplies I want? The possibilities felt endless… but not in a good way. I decided to take Trey’s advice and add one more “tight parameter” for myself. I chose a very limited palette, mainly neon pink/red. I grabbed my gel pens, gouache, bits of cut paper, washi tape, the spirograph set I got for Christmas, and a big cup of coffee!

In the back of my mind, as I was choosing supplies, I thought, “Maybe I should grab some paint.” Nah. I’ve decided that I’m not a painter, so no need for paint. But it kept nagging me… this is supposed to be about being free to experiment. Why wasn’t I truly doing that? I wasn’t even touching the neon gouache that I’d brought out. Then it dawned on me {and I have no idea why I’ve never put this together before}… you can’t spell painting without PAIN. Ha! Very true for me… and it actually made for a fantastic piece in this little series! I decided to stop being such a baby and face my “fears”. I grabbed the paint. Wouldn’t you know, my favorite piece from the whole day was covered in paint {the hands, above}. The thing I had to get over was worrying about “ruining” the piece I was working on. Who cares? That’s the whole point in having 50 in front of you… make make make make… that includes making mistakes – or happy accidents depending how you look at it. Oh, it was amazingly liberating, in so many ways! I’m sooooo doing this again. And again, and again! {No really, I’m going to choose a totally different image, and go again before January is over!}

If you want to share what you’re making for this project, just upload your work to instagram or twitter and hashtag it with #creativeUNblock. I’ve seen lots of you doing it already, and I hope you’re having as much fun as I am! {Just a few weeks til the February project goes up}

 





margaret kilgallen

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I am on my way to Hawaii today, clearly a perfect excuse to write about Margaret Kilgallen’s surfers… again. I have no idea how many times I’ve written about her. I love all of Margaret’s work so much, and have fallen down a ridiculous number of internet rabbit holes searching for more about her. Images, interviews, and my favorite… a handful of documentary style videos in which you can hear her talk about what/who inspired her, and a chance to watch her work. In 2001 at the age of 33 she passed away {a huge loss to the art world}, and so these videos are even more special. My favorite Margaret Kilgallen quote is from this video. Here’s the gist:

“In my own work I do everything by hand… my hand will always be imperfect, because it’s human…  If I spend a lot of time going over the line and over the line trying to make it straight, I will never be able to make it straight. You can always see the line waiver, and I think that’s where the beauty is.”

Sigh. So, so true.





ali cavanaugh

I have written about American painter Ali Cavanaugh a few times over the years. How can I not when she keeps producing work that looks like this!? They are, as she calls them “modern watercolor frescos”. Here’s the description of her process:

“Ali Cavanaugh carefully layers watercolor pigment on a wet kaolin clay surface using tiny round synthetic brushes. Her methods of layering translucent pigment on the white surface give the paintings a sense of  being lit from behind … The luminous quality is often described by collectors as being transcendent or sublime and the detail and light can only be experienced in person. She has spent the last seven years developing her inimitable process and refers to her paintings as “modern frescoes” because they are so uniquely different than what we know of as traditional watercolor paintings … The panels for Cavanaugh’s paintings are constructed by Ampersand Art Supply located in Buda, Texas. Ampersand first treats the wood panels with its trademarked ‘Archivalseal’ primer and then they coat the panels with a ph balanced kaolin clay veneer. This archival clay coating is delicate to the touch but very durable to the watercolor medium.”

Wow, right?





recheng tsang

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Oh. How amazing would it be to have an elegant porcelain installation by California based artist ReCheng Tsang in your home?! Usually I post images of gallery exhibits, but I love that these gorgeous pieces are shown in dining rooms and hallways. She specializes in site specific work… aaaand now I’m imagining those white and gold ovals in a specific site… my living room. Love.





dana holst

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Oh. So. Good. These are the strange, beautiful, monotone portraits {oil on paper, and encaustic/oil on paper} of Canadian artist Dana Holst. She also paints crazy scenes and intense portraits in extremely saturated color palettes, but these black & white beauties were calling my name… sort of like a classic movie that you watch over and over and over again… even if it scares you a tiny bit.

{This was another artist sent to me by Jessica G. Thanks, Jessica!}





darlene cole

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I think I had this dream once… there were bears in a rose garden, horses, carousels, and I had a little grey bunny that lived on a fancy chair. And then I woke up. Sigh. I can almost smell the roses and peonies in these strange and lovely, dream-like paintings by Canadian artist Darlene Cole. I really hope I have that dream again.

{Thanks to Jessica G. for sending me a link to Darlene’s work}





huntz liu

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Layers… oh, so many layers of gorgeous cut paper stacked on top of each other! This is the paper-cutting mixed media work of LA based artist/graphic designer Huntz Liu. I love those side shots that reveal the lovely depth he’s created, and that give us a closer look at what’s going on with each piece… granted, I have no idea how to do this myself {nor the patience}, but I’m so happy that he does! Happy weekend, everyone.





adalberto ortiz

I love the excitement and bright lights of a big city, but my heart belongs to the quiet of a small town… enter the simple, candy-hued paintings of Puerto Rican born, US based artist Adalberto Ortiz. Summer day. Small town. Count me in.

{via Saatchi Art}





megan whitmarsh

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I may never look at another book or magazine the same way again! Oh, I would love a stack of these hand sewn, fabric art books/magazines by American artist Megan Whitmarsh on my coffee table. And I know this post is not about me, but have to say it… how insanely cool would it be if she made “Creative Block” out of fabric, foam, embroidery thread, and markers!? Speaking of which, I wonder if these are the markers she uses:

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Maybe!





caroline larsen

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Detailed woven tapestries, right? Nope. Oil paintings! Ok, I know you’re not supposed to touch art – that’s what those velvet ropes at galleries are for – but I really, really want to touch these paintings by Canadian artist Caroline Larsen. I seriously thought they were vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors in woven form when I first saw them, but no… they are vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors made up of thousands of tiny strokes of oil paint. Sigh. Must. Touch.

{Found at General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto}

ps. I love her series of rocky, cacti gardens too… 

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Love.