medium /// embroidery




summer camp 2 : the first mark

Hey there, Campers! Welcome to week 2 of 15 at AFYE Summer Camp… but before we dive in, I want to show you just a handful of images created by some of you for last week’s art project (hashtagged #AFYEcamp). They were all so good! This was an Instagram-a-Day project, with an assigned prompt for each day. There were HUNDREDS of images taken because, well, you guys are amazing. Here are just a few from each prompt (photo credits at the bottom of this post) :

Day One : Vintage

Day Two : Wood

Day Three : Make

Day Four : Blue

Day Five : Boat

Day Six : Nature

Day Seven : Snacks

 

Love, love, love (and even a little nod to Twin Peaks). If you wanna see what everybody’s doing, or contribute your own work, just use the hashtag #AFYEcamp. Alright, time for today’s episode:

Art Project No.2 

Collaboration-Nation : “Ruining” perfect white paper can be terrifying… so let someone else do it! Ask a friend or family member to make the first mark (their color and medium of choice) on a white page or on that perfect canvas you’ve been avoiding, and then you take it from there! Work around their mark, over it, whatever. ps. I also suggested having more than one piece (and maybe more than one friend making marks) on the go. This idea is thanks to the wonderful advice from this week’s featured artist…

Artist Example: 

Ah yes, Lola Donoghue. She loves working on BWCs (Big White Canvases) which, quite frankly, seems like a nightmare to me. Here is some of Lola’s work, along with a few studio shots so you can see how many big canvases she manages to fit into her lovely studio in the Irish countryside:

Look at all of those glorious happy accidents and creative potholes!

And finally, I promised these images too. Marcel Duchamp as his alter-ego, ‘Rrose’, photographed by Man Ray:

You’re welcome.

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 continues next weekend… but until then, be sure to hashtag your ‘first mark made by another’ on Instagram with #AFYEcamp. Have fun, and embrace those happy accidents!

Other links:

  1. Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk, by me
  2. Secret Lives of Great Artists, by Elizabeth Lunday
  3. Lola Donoghue on AFYE : Episode 50

*Photo credits from Project No.1, in the order they appear above:

Vintage: 1. @septemberwren  2. @caballo_rosa  3. @vanittasr  //  Wood: 1. @catseatdogsmakes  2. @alabamathirteen  3. @cindymcd  //  Make: 1. @celkovich  2. @thejealouscurator  3. @flyonthewall602  //  Blue: 1. @juliehamiltoncreative  2. @mariko_koda  3. @stephillo  //  Boat: 1. @bababeloco  2. @taytayshenaynay  3. @meganwoodardjohnsonart  //  Nature: 1. @neotimes  2. @emilyezarse  3. @tara.axford  //  Snacks: 1. @vanittasr  2. @modernfibre  3. @heathersundquist

 





nuria riaza

Portraits, ballpoint pen, and embroidery… I could not think of a better way to kick off a Monday. Sigh. This is the work of Spanish artist/illustrator Nuria Riaza. I just discovered her last week via The Sketchbook Project {Brooklyn}… the second I clicked over to her site I went down the rabbit hole and got completely lost in her beautiful navy blue and blush pink world of weirdness. Happy Monday.





susanna bauer


Collections of connections! Sigh… I am never not in awe of German born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer. If you happen to be in Geneva Switzerland at the moment {lucky you} you can see Susanna’s new solo show, titled “Connections”, opening tonight at Le Salon vert {runs until June 10, 2017}. And, speaking of connections, I had to include part of her artist statement because it’s almost as beautiful as her work:

“There is a fine balance in my work between fragility and strength; literally, when it comes to pulling a fine thread through a brittle leaf or thin dry piece of wood, but also in a wider context – the tenderness and tension in human connections, the transient yet enduring beauty of nature that can be found in the smallest detail, vulnerability and resilience that could be transferred to nature as a whole or the stories of individual beings.”

Lovely, on so many levels.

*photos by art-photographers.co.uk





rhian swierat

rhianswierat

Ooooh! Painting and drawing and thread and sequins! I’d love to see these gems in person, but an extreme close-up or two is going to have to do for now. This is the mixed media work of New York based artist/graphic designer Rhian Swierat. Does she have a plan going into each piece? Yes – ish. Small stitched sketches get her going, but then she lets go and the whole process becomes very organic… perhaps that’s how those spider webs and flowers made their way in there.

“My process takes precedent over any drive towards a preordained composition. Sewing has no short cuts, you need to make every stitch to fill a space. This process becomes meditative as I work to recall each memory and distill it into a physical representation.”

Beautiful.





xuan chen

xuanchen

Damn. I wish I thought of that. Today marks the 8 year anniversary of ‘The Jealous Curator”, so what better way to celebrate than with gorgeous art that takes my breath away. These pieces are from a series by China born, USA based artist Xuan Chen, titled “Light Threads”YES! Colorful thread that looks like magical shafts of light cutting its way through neon geometric shapes on aluminum panel. So. Good. That thread is the kind o’ thing that makes me want to write posts for 8 more years! Love.





meredith woolnough

meredithwoolnough

Thread. WHAT!? Yes. Coral and lily pads made from thread.  This is the stunning work of Australian artist Meredith Woolnough. How you ask? I have no idea, so I’m going to let the ‘about’ section from her portfolio site do the talking:

“… Through a delicate system of tiny stitches she creates intricate and complex openwork compositions that are then carefully pinned in shadowboxes, just like preserved specimens. 

The work maps the frameworks of the various veining systems found in nature to create work that explores the balance, harmony and connectivity of life on Earth. Inspired by the patterns, structures and shapes found in plants, coral, cells and shells Meredith’s embroideries represent both the robust beauty and elegant fragility of life.

Robust beauty and elegant fragility of life… love.





“simply complex”

janedenton1

Simply complex, indeed! Beautiful colors, clean designs, and perfect stitching. Today I’m talking to New Zealand artist Jane Denton. As always, Jane and I have “known” each other for years, but today is the first time we’re talking. We recorded this just before Christmas so it was cold and snowing in my Canadian backyard and Jane was boiling hot on holiday at a lake in New Zealand! Well, even though we were on opposites sides of the world, I was still able to ask her all of the questions I’ve had for years. Ready? You can listen right up there under Jane and her gorgeous work, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

As usual, let’s start with a few of my favorites:

janedenton2

Sigh. The designer in me, who’s also obsessed with embroidery thread, is smitten. I mean, those colors, come on!

So, it turns out that Jane and I have a friend in common… the always fabulous LA based designer and stylist, Emily Henderson. She loves Jane’s work as much as I do, and in case you need proof, here are some images from Emily’s site. Oh, and first image below is the cover of Emily’s book, STYLED. Look to the far top right… oh hello, Jane Denton circles:

janedenton3

Gah! That light pink X and O in Emily’s nursery might be one of my favorites of Jane’s. Lovely, lovely detail and that delicate pink thread is killing me. So continuing with this artsy connection, Emily and Jane just did a “maker collaboration” together. Here’s the simple, yet complex, design that resulted:

janedenton4

Beautiful! I love how much texture Jane’s pieces bring to a gallery wall. {All of the photos are from Emily’s site, on the post she wrote about this project.} 

This is a perfect segue into these next few images. Circles. Tricky on a square grid, yes? Um, yes:

janedenton5

… yet somehow Jane makes them look simple. Ahhhh, gorgeous. I had wrongly assumed that Jane went to design school – wouldn’t you think so with these beautifully composed pieces? Yeah, me too. Nope, business school. Hm. Perhaps that’s why she’s so good at the whole marketing thang.

Up next, the two pieces I was a little bit involved with. The top piece was the pointy triangle piece that I brought to New York for a maker event, and the bottom piece {triptych on the far left} was her contribution to my Land of Nod collection:

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Dreamy. All of it. And that’s that! Thanks so much to Jane for taking time out of her family holiday to do this with me; thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; and of course, thank you so much for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other Links:

  1. Jennifer Pudney’s kits
  2. Emily Henderson Collaboration
  3. Framebridge
  4. Jane’s online shop
  5. My new art site
  6. Susanna Bauer, Episode No.40
  7. Flight of the Conchords

ps. This is my 4’x4′ “Type A” button piece I mentioned, along with photographic proof of how “organized” my thread jar is:

janedenton7

Yeesh.





“not enough hours in the day”

shannon_rankin1

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:

shannon_rankin2

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:

shannon_rankin3

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:

shannon_rankin4

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:

shannon_rankin5

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:

shannon_rankin6

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:

shannon_rankin7

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!

shannon_rankin7b

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:

shannon_rankin8

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

 





nicoletta daríta de la brown

nicolettadelabrown

Forgotten plastic bags that have been embroidered into unforgettable works of art. This is a series from 2013, titled “El Barrio Bodega”, by Baltimore based artist Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown. Why embroidery on old bags? Here are Nicoletta’s words on exactly that:

“Embroidered corner-store grocery bags. Rescued from the gutter; blowing down the street like city tumbleweed. I reclaim and elevate what once was discarded by creating embellished art objects. Growing up in Brooklyn and Harlem I’d visit my block’s bodega daily, with pennies in hand, and leave with priceless treasures. More than just bags, they reflect a sense of pride for my neighborhood and are a symbol of my cultural identity.”

Beautiful, in every way.





per fhager

perfhager

Yeah. That’s right… CROSS-STITCHED VIDEO GAMES! This is the meticulous work of Swedish artist Per Fhager. I had to include that image of Per in action so you’d believe that these are embroidered pieces, not screen-grabs. Insane. Here’s a bit more about why he does what he does:

Per´s choice of material, technique and color gives us a perfect example of how traditional crafts can receive a new expression and context in the modern world. The embroideries differs largely in texture, technique and color density, these differences are important in the process of producing the needle point works. The handmade pictures arrives from video game stills where composition, narrative and memory plays its role.

It really is kind of crazy how close a pixel is to a cross-stitch. Hm. And with that bit of amazingness, I will wish you a happy Friday. Mic drop.