medium /// contemporary

huntz liu


Paper. PAPER! I wrote about LA based artist Huntz Liu almost exactly one year ago to the day. Well, he’s been busy since then! Oh so many stunning, beautifully cut, colorful layers. Sigh. He’s part of a gorgeous two-person show with Michelle Benoit, titled “Dive In”, at the Muriel Guepin Gallery in New York. It opens this Friday, January 6th and runs until February 11th… so if you’re in New York, go look at those lovely layers in person! ps. Huntz will be at the opening, all the way from LA.

kazuaki horitomo


Cats with tats… I mean, come on! LOVE! Now, that final image features a phoenix, but seeing how 2017 is the “Year of the Rooster” I’m going to pretend it’s a rooster. Go with it. This is the beautiful, and funny, work of California based tattoo artist Kazuaki Horitomo. I love the cats with their final tats in place, but I have to say those “tattoos-in-progress” make me laugh out loud … alone at my computer. So good.

{via Hint Magazine}

sanda anderlon



Unicorns, shrimp rings, chandeliers!!! What better way to kick off the new year than with the next insane collage in the portfolio of Croatian artist Sanda Anderlon. I’ve written about her jungles, and her other crazy house parties before, but today is all about leaving 2016 behind and looking forward. Oh, 2017 we’re counting on you to turn things around.  Let’s start with Sanda’s “New Year’s Eve – Come As You Are” . Find this crazy piece in her shop… and just so you can see scale, have a look at this:


“hey, mama”


Aw! Those are two of my favorite photos with my mom. I’ve talked about her a lot on the podcast… she’s an artist and some of my earliest memories are of her painting at the table, getting ready for shows, and of course, letting me use all of her materials! Today, on Christmas Eve, I’m talking to Judi Cumming, aka my mom. I feel like a bad daughter because I didn’t know a lot of these stories (self-absorbed teenager), but all of that changes today. You can listen right up there under that dandelion/poncho shot, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, her show at “Delphine’s” in Vancouver when I was just a teeny tiny baby:


Love it! That’s the front window of the gallery circa 1974-ish.

From there, our little family was off to live on the other coast… from the Fraser Valley to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. There were a lot of apple blossoms in her work at that time. The only one I could find was from this set of notecards she used to sell. I’ve had this in my stash for years, and didn’t realize until taking this photo the other day that there was a little surprise inside:


A little note from me to my grandmother, Blanche (my mom’s mom). I’m pretty sure that’s a chicken head. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

This is the photo I mentioned… my mom hanging her “Life Beyond Death” show. I was probably a tween or young teenager at the time and I remember thinking what a cool mom I had. Granted, I think my dad caught her off guard in this shot, but still, very cool:


Beautiful. That’s one of the pieces from the show. It’s truly crazy to me that she thinks watercolor is “easy”. ?!

Anywho, I forgot to bring up this story, but I should have. About a year ago I was visiting a friend, who happens to live next door to an old friend of my parents. I hadn’t seen this woman in decades, so we popped in to say hello… and what was the first thing I saw on her wall. One of my mom’s paintings from the 1980’s! Here it is:


I love those little birds. I’ve always been in awe of the way my mom paints branches… a skill that was not passed down in the DNA.

Up next,  a piece from the “In Tandem” series that she did with her friend, artist/calligrapher Susan Nelson. This is the one that I own:


Ah, so dreamy. I love that we have it in our home.

Next, we talked about her foray into acrylics. Let’s just say acrylics are not her medium, but I love that she is never afraid to experiment! Needless to say, I begged her to go back to those “easy” watercolors, being sure to explain that not everyone finds them easy – she just happens to be really good! Guess what? She listened to her kid! Here is one of her more recent works, and a shot of her in action at an outdoor art show:


My mama in the sunshine! Thank you so much to my mom for being completely up for this… I’m so happy we finally had this very long overdue, artsy conversation (and thanks to my Dad for rounding up a lot of these photos!); thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To pick it up (or any other book over there for that matter) just use my link: And as always, thank YOU for listening.

Have a happy, safe, fun-filled holiday! I’ll be back with new posts the first week of January (and a new podcast episode on Jan 7th). I’m going to make lots of art, drink coffee by the fire, play in the snow, and most likely eat my weight in chips. I encourage you to do the same! See you in 2017 ~ Danielle xo

ben skinner & genevieve dionne

So, some of us just pick up a gingerbread house kit from the store… but if you’re an artistic genius, like Vancouver based artists {and married couple} Ben Skinner and Genevieve Dionne, you choose to make “Sugar Mountain” craziness instead. Take a peek, like this little fella…


See? Geniuses. Oh, and in case you’re wondering… yes, all of this is edible! ALL OF IT. Genevieve was the master behind most of the fondant and gum paste critters, but they also had some help from two of their talented friends, Sara Ryan and Morag Kydd. Merry Christmas Eve eve… see you tomorrow for one final “Art For Your Ear” podcast episode to finish off 2016!

amy friend


I can almost hear the sleigh bells in these dreamy winter scenes… oh, Dare Alla Luce, the absolutely magical ongoing series by Canadian artist/photographer Amy Friend. I’ve written about her several times, but I just had to post these twinkly winter pieces leading up to the holidays. In case you haven’t seen my previous posts about this series, here are Amy’s words about this light-filled work:

Through hand-manipulated interventions I alter and subsequently re-photograph the images “re-making” photographs that oscillate between what is present and absent. I aim to comment on the fragile quality of the photographic object but also on the fragility of our lives, our history. All are lost so easily. By employing the tools of photography, I “re-use” light, allowing it to shine through the holes. In a playful and yet, literal manner, I return the subjects of the photographs back to the light, while simultaneously bringing them forward. I play with the light and use it metaphorically allowing for new readings, sometimes through heavy-handed applications and at other times delicately. The images are permanently altered; they are lost and reborn, hence the title, Dare alla Luce, an Italian term meaning, “to bring to the light” in reference to birth.

miranda lake


Gasp! Be still my house-loving, flower-obsessed heart! This is the beautiful, surreal, encaustic collage work of New Orleans based artist Miranda Lake. Oh, those tree top homes. I want to go to there.

{via Uprise Art … ps. there’s a great interview with Miranda here.}

iris saar isaacs


Yeah, that’s all jewelry! WHAT?! I know, I had to do a double-take when I saw what I assumed were simple, lovely, illustrated squiggles… which they are of course, but then Australian artist/designer Iris Saar Isaacs (aka inSync design) turns her simple gestural marks into gorgeous wearable art. That necklace, though! Santa, are you listening?

athena petra tasiopoulos


Whimsical collages that make me want to play in the studio… in a polka-dot bikini? No no, it’s too cold for that, but I still want to cut ‘n paste all day long! This is the mixed media work of Vermont based American artist Athena Petra Tasiopoulos. I’m betting Athena spends as much time in thrift shops as I do, considering she feels “lured by the mystery of found photographs – ‘instant relatives’ discarded and forgotten in musty antique stores.” Yes, I understand. Now, see those bikinis I mentioned earlier? They’re part of this artsy giveaway happening on Saatchi Art’s Instagram feed this week. Here’s all the info in case you want to play along. Good luck!

Saatchi Art Sweepstakes Info:  Ready to #stART2017right with new art? Saatchi Art is gifting one original artwork from this collection to a lucky winner every day for five days, starting today, Monday December 19th through Friday December 23rd. Follow @saatchiart on Instagram and share your favorite artwork from this featured collection with hashtags #stART2017right #sweeps for a chance to win. Fingers crossed!

“not enough hours in the day”


Maps, cut into perfect little leaf shapes and attached to the wall with tiny red pins. What?! Yeah. Today I’m talking to American artist Shannon Rankin all about maps, vellum, more maps, constantly pushing yourself, and pizza… in that order. Shannon’s currently at a residency in Roswell, New Mexico, so that’s where I called. You can listen right up there, under that gorgeous installation,  or you can subscribe on iTunes.

As always, let’s start with a few of my favorite pieces from Shannon’s beautiful portfolio:


Now THAT is some insane precision. So gorgeous.

Next, we were talking about Justin Richel… Shannon’s long time partner, and amazing artist. I’ve written about Justin before, and both he and Shannon are in my first book, “Creative Block”. Justin’s with Shannon in Roswell at the moment, experimenting with sculpture! Cannot wait to see that:


Couples that make art together, stay together! 

Alright, and now the craziness that is Shannon’s installation work. This first piece is “Germinate (5000 seeds)”. Yep, thousands of tiny pins and map dots make up this 12′ beauty:


And of course, I had to include a close up of “Matrix” from the first image in the post. I also had to include that shot in the gallery for scale. Cra. Zy.

Up next, her latest work! These are the pieces she’s been working on in New Mexico:


Embroidery, and paper, and maps, oh my!

Ok, who knows “Selflesh” on Etsy? Yep, that’s Shannon’s alias. I loooove these simpler, smaller works too. And yes, more maps:


Sigh. Right?!

The reason this episode is titled “not enough hours in the day” is because of the diverse, insane amount of work Shannon does. This leads me to her vellum work. If you couldn’t tell on the podcast, I LOVE THESE:


That’s mine! And there it is hanging in the GoCA (Guest-room of Contemporary Art)… ps. there’s an original by Justin just to the upper right of Shannon’s work. Both very coveted pieces in my GoCA collection. But wait, there are new ones that are black and white!


Swoooooon  ♥  You can buy her vellum pieces in this lovely shop.

Now, if you’re wondering where Shannon was during this chat, wonder no more! This is a peek into the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program:


And there’s Shannon in her Roswell studio. Enjoy every moment of the next four months, Shannon! There is one more “Art For Your Ear” left in 2016, and it will go up next weekend. See you then!

Other links:

Saatchi Art Sweepstakes Info:  Ready to #stART2017right with new art? Saatchi Art is gifting one original artwork from this collection to a lucky winner every day for five days, Monday December 19th through Friday December 23rd. Follow @saatchiart on Instagram and share your favorite artwork from this featured collection with hashtags #stART2017right #sweeps for a chance to win. Good luck!

  1. “Selflesh” (Shannon’s Etsy shop)
  2. Maine College of Art
  3. Shannon’s Instagram feed
  4. Roswell Artist in Residence ps. Feb 15, 2017 deadline to apply!
  5. Ali Cavanaugh – Episode No.63