medium /// embroidery




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.





jessica wohl

jessicawohl

Have you seen the movie, “Fur:An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus”… I absolutely loved it, and these sewn drawings by American artist Jessica Wohl make me want to watch it over and over and over again. Alright, that last piece {titled “Sparkle Face”} wouldn’t quite fit the fur theme, but it was just too good not to include in the post. Love!





“art. therapy.”

emily_barletta1

Oh boy. The work of Brooklyn based artist Emily Barletta blows my mind, and has for years! She is a very talented woman, with an incredible story that I really want to share. Emily was diagnosed with a rare spinal disease when she was in her early teens, and was in a huge amount of pain for years – both because of her back, and because of the bullying she experienced. We’re talking about alllll of that today, but I will slip in a spoiler – yes, she used art to push herself through to the other side. She’s incredibly inspiring, just like her work. If you are a teenager, or if you have a teenager, I think this is a really important episode. You can listen right up there under that insanely beautiful embroidered mound, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s take a peek at the work we talked about. Here are some of Emily’s crochet pieces from a few years ago {this is the work I discovered her through}:

emily_barletta2

That first piece is “Pelt” which we mentioned. Isn’t it all so amazing? Art and science falling madly in love!

And then one day she decided to embroider on paper. Excellent decision, Emily:

emily_barletta3

So beautiful! Still mainly red, still mainly hump-like. And her work continued to evolve from there. Brace yourself because these are crazy amazing:

emily_barletta4

Whoa. I wish I could show you how stunning these are in person. Yes, the photos are lovely, but in person, my goodness! I happen to know this because out of nowhere, Emily sent this to my house:

emily_barletta5

Oh. I love it so much! She mentioned how crazy the back of her work is so I took a photo so you could see. And that final image is the pin she has for sale in her shop that totally reminds me of my gorgeous piece [pause in writing] Ok, I just popped over there and got one! YAY!

And finally, her latest work. She talked about “drawn white lines”… they’re kinda drawn, but then embroidered around leaving her lines as un-embroidered negative space. Here are a few final pieces, closeups, and in-progress pieces so you can see her process in action:

emily_barletta6

Stun. Ning.

And finally, Emily herself! Here she is with a brand new pixie cut, working on her couch {probably watching bad TV as she creates}, with one of her two tiny pooches by her side, and her “block blanket” behind her. The “block blanket” is one of the most brilliant things I’ve ever heard of! Whenever she was stuck/not feeling it when working on something, she’d take a break and go crochet a few rows of this giant, colorful blanket until she worked her way through the block. LOVE. I may have to take up crochet just for that!

emily_barletta7

Thank you so much to Emily for sharing her story. I added a little bit of our “post-interview” conversation in there because she talked about the bullying she suffered through in high school, and the fantastic way she handled it – I just had to share. I know there are teenagers out there who feel alone, but just know that it does get better. Emily is proof.

Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to you for listening {high fives to everyone who has left a rating or review over on iTunes… I appreciate those so much!} There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Stumpkins {My craft obsession as a kid}
  2. John Cage’s “Some Rules for Students and Teachers”
  3. True Blood {TV show}
  4. “Mind Over Matter” {Emily’s upcoming show in Florida}
  5. ps. sorry for all of the chip talk – I must have been hungry!

 





severija inčirauskaitė-kriaunevičienė

Severija

Actual helmets – from various wars and several countries – that have been hand-embroidered with delicate flowers. This series, titled, “Kill(ed) for Peace”, is the powerful and beautiful work of Lithuanian artist Severija Inčirauskaitė-Kriaunevičienė. I got chills when I saw them, and this is why…

I have been so overwhelmed by, well, the general state of world. I feel nauseous every time we have to come up with a new hashtag to #prayformorevictims. I’m not sure what to say, how to say it, when to say it. I’m Canadian so I can’t make my voice heard by voting in the US election {I would if they’d let me, so if you can PLEASE DO}, and I can’t call a US Senator about gun control {I would if they’d take my call}. But the main thing I can’t do is this… I cannot even begin to make sense of the terrible attacks that are bringing heartache and pain to so many cities, families, and communities. You come here for art, I totally get that, but sometimes my artsy posts seem so frivolous in the social media news feeds compared to the shocking, upsetting, and absolutely devastating events that are taking place all over the planet. Yes, I want to deliver happiness, beauty, and the work of talented artists, but I also want to take a moment to say how much my heart breaks every time a horrific piece of news is reported.

And so here we are today. When I found Severija’s work, I wanted to share it immediately. Sometimes it feels like there’s not much I can do from my tiny corner of the world, but I know that sitting here silently isn’t doing anything at all. I can be one voice that says, ENOUGH. We are smarter than this. We are better than this. We are all human. Enough.





“castle in the car”

rachelcastle1

What!? Rachel Castle? Yep! I managed to get Sydney based artist, designer, entrepreneur, lover of wiener dogs… Rachel Castle to come on the podcast. I was so excited about this because Rachel has always been a bit of a creative enigma to me. She does so much, her work is so popular, and honestly I’m kind of intimidated by her success… success that has always seemed effortless from where I’m standing. I wanted to look behind the curtain, and I did! Turns out, she’s just a normal person. Who knew?! We cover everything from our favorite TV shows to her career in PR, over to dirty words in Australia that mean something completely different in Canada… and we did all of this from her car. For real. You can listen on the player right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of her paintings {clearly you can see I like her floral pieces}:

rachelcastle2

Ahhh! So gorgeous! These beauties sell so fast… in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them without a SOLD sign underneath. Next up, you can’t talk to Rachel Castle without asking her about her felt text pieces:

rachelcastle3

Yes! From KISS to Wham to a whole bunch of bananas in between … and yes, during the speed round I asked her preference between marmite and vegemite. Vegemite, obvi. Ok, and then of course there’s everything else she does outside of the paintings and felt pieces. Bedding, pillows, towels, sculptures, tea towels, bags, sweatshirts and more. Here’s just a teeny peek:

rachelcastle4

Great, right? And yes, she clearly has a background in branding and marketing because, whoa, everything on her site looks FABULOUS!

Speaking of fabulous, here’s a look into her beautiful, messy, colorful studio {most of these photos came from her lovely instagram feed}:

rachelcastle5

Yep. Love it. And thanks to her new-ish studio out of her house, her family won’t get stuck with pins that got left behind in the couch… hopefully.

So, sweet song lyrics and romantic sayings are great… but I have to admit, I kind of like the slightly ruder ones, as does Rachel:

rachelcastle6

Turns out, not everyone agrees… not one “DOUCHE” print sold. Shame, I think it’s hilarious! And then in the speed round I just had to ask… did she have a wiener dog that looks just like mine? Yep! Granted, she calls hers a “sausage dog”, because, Australia:

rachelcastle7

So cute! Oh, and that DAMN sweatshirt… yeah, we didn’t actually talk about that, I just really want it. That’s all.

Ok, and that’s that! Thanks so much to Rachel for talking to me for an hour in a very hot car, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend! xo

Other Links:

  1. Lucas Grogan
  2. Wayne White
  3. Roots

 





tina berning

tinaberning
tinaberning2

Oh. Tina Berning. I wrote about this fabulous Berlin based artist years ago… um, why haven’t I written again!? Well, I am fixing that right now. She creates beautiful illustrations for magazines etc, but her “diary” is what I can’t get enough of. It is filled, and I mean FILLED, with so many beautiful things. Found paper, inky lines, lovely women, strange groups of people that I want to know more about… and I just noticed a bit of embroidery! Sigh. So beautiful. Happy Friday.





cayce zavaglia

caycezavaglia

Brace yourself… embroidered portraits. Yep, insanely detailed embroidered portraits by American artist Cayce Zavaglia. I have loved her work for years but never wrote about it because, well, everyone else already had! You know what… I don’t care! Look at this embroidery, these beautiful color choices, and all of those lovely faces. It’s like impressionism, but with thread. STUNNING. Sigh. There, I feel better.

{Thanks to my friend Melinda at Good Eye Gallery for reminding me about Cayce’s work}





“painting with thread”

stephclark1

Sigh. Yet another artist whose work I’ve loved for years and years. I’m talking to American artist Stephanie K. Clark. Right off the bat she answered one of my questions almost poetically… how does she describe her work? She “paints with thread”. Love. We talk about art vs. craft, our love of houses, and our shared fascination with peeking into people’s windows at night … don’t judge us. You can listen to our conversation right up there under that lovely blue house, or you can subscribe on iTunes

Let’s start with a few of her fantastic houses. The plan had been to pick two or three… but clearly that was impossible:

stephclark2
stephclark2b

Gah! I love them all so much {and ps. she does commissions… in fact, she quit her day job because so many people want their homes “painted in thread”}. It’s really hard to tell from the photos, but a lot of these are shadow boxes, so you really can look into the windows as the pattern you see is actually a couple of inches back. Did that make sense at all?

Now, onto her dreamy clouds… thread with just a bit of pastel in the background:

stephclark3

Sunsets, not sunrises apparently … the speed round revealed that she is not a morning person! Up next, her tiny but gorgeous little rugs:

stephclark4

Oh. I love them… all 3 inches of them! These are a few of the pieces she’ll be showing this coming May at Good Eye Gallery in LA (Eagle Rock). And of course, after all of the talking about her red hair, I had to show you what a hot mama Stephanie is:

stephclark5

Look at her, doing it all! Baby in arms, fabulous hair, holding up a magazine featuring her beautiful work. Not too shabby!

And with that I will say thanks to Steph for taking a break from her incredibly busy life to chat with me, thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode and as always, thank YOU for listening {and if you feel like leaving a rating on iTunes that would make me so happy}. Ok, happy Saturday… see you next week when there will be more art for your ear.

Other Links: UMOCA  //  Flight of the Conchords





“i’m a bit impatient”

susannabauer1

So I wrote about German-born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer about two weeks ago. She sent me a quick note to say thanks, and she also mentioned that she liked listening to the podcast… obviously I wrote her back immediately and said, “Great! Wanna come on?”  Luckily for all of us, she said yes. I loved every minute of this almost hour long call {yes I kept recording after we said goodbye… again}. Not only is her work lovely, so is she… and don’t even get me started on her Bavarian/British accent! You can listen just below those leaf cubes, or you can subscribe on iTunesOk, so you can picture the woman who goes with this lovely voice, here is Susanna in her Cornwall studio:

susannabauer2

Look at all of those leaves just waiting for a turn on Susanna’s table! I wanted to hear all of her secrets and tricks, but apparently the only trick is being Susanna… slow, careful, with a delicate hand. That’s why when she said, “I’m a bit impatient”, I laughed hysterically and then immediately had a title for the episode. How can you do work like this AND be impatient?! Hilarious.

Now, before she worked with leaves there were some very beautiful, and very cozy, sticks and stones:

susannabauer3

Oh. I love them so much. She’s taken a little break from sticks and stones, leaves being her main focus for the moment. Speaking of leaves, she sent me a photo of the first leaf she ever worked her magic on:

susannabauer4

Wow. Beautiful. There is real genius at work there. Next up, this is the piece I mentioned… many leaves being connected in the middle. In fact, much of her work is about connection. We didn’t go into that, so I wanted to add a note she sent me, after we talked, on exactly that:

“The ‘how is it done’ element of my work, I guess, is a first and immediate connection point for someone who sees my work, but what I find far more interesting is what can happen next, when the work draws a viewer in, slows someone down to look closely at the detail of how it’s made, but also how intricate, delicate and fragile the leaf and nature as a whole really is. And also how fragile we are as human beings, subjected to the tensions and pulls in our connections and relationships, where I think the making technique of crochet becomes a nice metaphor as it is all about tension. 

For me it’s a new way of having a dialogue with the natural world and opening up a new way of looking at our relationship with it, paying attention to the very small. I have often seen people walking past my work with a quick glance, but then doing a double take, turning back and taking the time to look. And sometimes they walk away with a smile or start a conversation about what it makes them feel and a connection has been made. And if it makes someone walk a little bit slower and look a little bit closer at what surrounds them, even better….and my work is also a daily reminder for myself to do just that.”

susannabauer5

Ah, so so beautiful. I felt like I made a connection today too… a connection with a kindred spirit. Thank you so much to Susanna for taking the time to do this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and you guessed it… giant high fives to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk about the “elusive creative genius”
  2. Her upcoming show in New York at Muriel Guepin Gallery {two-man show with Leigh Anne Lester}
  3. Another show currently hanging in the UK, titled ‘Leaf Works’, at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World 

 





susanna bauer

susannabauer

Ok. I seriously don’t even know where to start. Leaves hand-sewn into perfect cubes? Delicate embroidery that transforms leaves into doilies? It’s all just too beautiful and perfect. I wrote about the sticks, stones, and leaves {way back in 2012} of German-born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer, but wow, she just keeps pushing the leafy envelope. Stunning.

If you’d like to see these delicate beauties in person, Susanna has shows coming up this March in New York {March 11 ~ April 16 at the Muriel Guepin Gallery}, and in the UK {March 2 ~ May 26 at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World}.