medium /// contemporary

terhi tolvanen

Gorgeous, organic, sculptures … that you can wear. Yes, these are all brooches!? They are the work of Finnish artist/jeweler Terhi Tolvanen. Of course she makes rings, necklaces and earrings as well, but these little sculptures for your lapel made my heart skip a beat. Ok, and I also need this ring:


sonia pulido

Oh, the work of Barcelona based artist and illustrator Sonia Pulido. Love. I’ve written about Sonia’s ceramics before, and so today my plan was to focus on her 2D work… but then a bunch of porcelain bird ladies got in there! I couldn’t help myself, they’re just too good.

liz robb

Gasp! This is the stunning work of Los Angeles based artist Liz Robb. The beads, the dyes, the weaving… seriously I’m having a hard time catching my breath. And, if all of these beauties aren’t enough to be excited by, from what I can tell via her site and her Instagram feed, I’m pretty sure Liz makes a lot of her own dyes! CAUTION: DO NOT EAT POKE BERRIES.

karine léger

Annnnnnd exhale. These gorgeous mixed media paintings are the work of Montreal based artist Karine Léger. Pebbles in a river, ocean shells, the night sky… or maybe just a little bit of all of that. Here is a description of the way Karine works:

“In the studio, bits of torn and cut-up paper and photographs form a growing stack on the work table. Individual pieces from the pile will be meticulously selected for color, texture and shape, to be arranged and rearranged, assembled and reassembled, in a quest for the right balance.This slow, deliberate, creative process is how Karine builds the foundation of her next work. Nothing is rushed, nothing is forced. She stops only when that balance has been achieved.”


ps. Her work is available via Lanoue Fine Art, Boston and Simon Breitbard Fine Art, San Francisco.

peter adamyan

Gorgeous, cheeky, and absolutely making a point. These hexagonal pieces are the work of California based artist Peter Adamyan, and this is why he does what he does:

“Post Consumerism imagines a world where humanity has returned to a way of life closer to the land. In this world people hunt and gather their food and cultures are based around the brands we worship in our own time. In this work I try to explore our replacement of cultural identity with brand identity and humanity’s disconnection with the natural world.”

Chills… which may have also been brought on by the final image above. Shudder.

myriam dion

Gasp! This is new work by Canadian artist Myriam Dion. I’ve written about her before, and I’ll do it again! In fact, I’m including her story and work in my upcoming book… how can I not?! Working slowly and carefully, Myriam meticulously transforms heavy front page headlines into delicate lace. Beautiful. And speaking of beautiful, here is one of her quotes from the book:

“I conceive my work like a gift of my time. I wish to give that tranquillity to viewers, that they can use this time to contemplate with attention and let themselves sink in the act of observation.” ~ Myriam Dion, 2017

janna watson

Oh my word. This is the dreamy abstract work of Toronto based painter Janna Watson, and if you happen to be in Vancouver, you can see it in person. Her new show, titled “Light is Heavy” opens this weekend at Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. The opening reception is on Saturday January 13th from 2-4pm… go if you can! I’ve been lucky enough to stand in front of Janna’s large-scale beauties, and they are absolutely breathtaking.

ps. Show runs until January 27th

thirza schaap

“Plastic Ocean” is, unfortunately, an ongoing series by Thirza Schaap. While her compositions and palettes are beautiful, her supplies are tragic. Here is her statement about this important project:

“As a child, I would walk over beaches and through fields and forests to collect beautiful shells, shimmering stones, feathers and funnily shaped branches. Much later, after I had moved from Holland to South Africa, I found myself doing the same thing. Only to discover, that I started filling my pockets with trash instead of treasure. Plastic from the Ocean – colourful and beautiful in its own tragic way. 

‘Plastic Ocean’ is an art project, which I started to create awareness around pollution to try and prevent (or at least reduce) the use of plastic. In making artistic sculptures out of the objects I find, I try to evoke an emotional response  from my audience by creating a contradiction – a clash between initial aesthetic attraction and after a second look : repulsion and the realisation of the tragedy  trash causes. Our beaches are covered in plastic confetti and there really is nothing to celebrate.”


ps. You can follow along on Thirza’s Instagram feed. Again, beautiful and tragic all in one breath.

john holcomb

This is the work of American painter John Holcomb. This series of crazy colorful flowers and pattern-covered vases were inspired by the old Dutch Masters. John’s portfolio is full of all sorts of other lovely work – scenic, art history, cultural portraits – but the pure joy in these pieces seemed like a perfect way to start the week. Happy Monday.

“ugly beautiful”

Drips, spikes, blobs, sploots and sparkly crystals. Yep, that can only l mean one thing… I got Texas based artist Dan Lam on the podcast! She {yes, Dan is a woman and we’ll get to that right off the top} is amazingly talented, hilarious, and just as sweet as her gorgeous color palette. Listen right up there under that iridescent beauty, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, these were the spiky, gum-like “blobs” I wrote about a few years ago:

Yum! Well, those guys evolved into these guys, aka “drips”:

Gorgeous, and how insanely beautiful are Dan’s color choices? And her newest evolution, which might be potentially known as a “sploot”:

LOVE! But wait, there’s more! Here’s the video of the sprinkle-covered sploot that over 15 MILLION (!!!!) people liked on Instagram:

A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Don’t you want to poke that? Me too. Now these bad boys… oh, I just want to watch them dance in the sunlight all day long:


A post shared by Dan Lam (@sopopomo) on

Gasp! That video! These Swarovski crystal covered drips are gorgeous, but still photos just don’t do them justice.

And finally, at the very end of the episode Dan mentioned that she was going on a winter holiday to several national parks in Utah… apparently she brought a few friends along for the ride:

How fantastic is that!? Sigh. Thanks so much to Dan for talking to me about all things ugly beautiful; thanks to Saatchi Art and Thrive for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Dan on Instagram (@sopopomo)
  2. Left Field Gallery
  3. Spoke Gallery – SF & NY
  4. The Hole, NYC