medium /// embroidery




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”

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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}:

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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:

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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:

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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}:

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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:

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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:

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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

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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

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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”

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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:

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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:

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

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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:

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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”

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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.”

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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

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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}.





lisa smirnova

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Seriously. How beautiful is this? Wearable art, indeed. This is a beautiful combination … fashion and the embroidery work of Moscow based artist Lisa Smirnova. Here’s the full story:

“Artist At Home” –  A new collection from Olya Glagoleva’s eco-friendly brand GO in collaboration with Lisa Smirnova. Artist At Home is a story about the creative process of an artist which has been told through the language of textile. Fabrics used in the collection are cashmere, organic Indian hemp & cotton, 80’s denim jeans and vintage towels sourced from London’s famous Portobello Road; as well as plaid blankets from Flea markets in Wales. The collection tells the story of a painter whose studio and her home is a single space, where both home and work clothing mix together. The story of the creative process will captivate you and transport you to the artist’s parallel reality. Every garment is made only once, each decorated with hand embroidery in the unique style of Lisa Smirnova. The clothes themselves are pieces of art, lovingly created in a process that spans up to 100 hours each. In keeping with the GO tradition, every piece will be packed in a separate box made from recycled wood with detailed information about the item and a small book included with the full story of the creation.

Love.





“hunting for paper”

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Houses, plants, embroidery thread, vintage ladies… yes, it’s very possible that Amsterdam based collage artist Hagar Vardimon is my soul sister. I’ve written about her a lot, so it was absolute thrill to call nine hours into the future, across the Atlantic to Amsterdam. She was nervous about her English, and her accent, but both are just perfect! You can listen to our collage-nerd conversation right underneath that gorgeous house bursting with plants, or you can subscribe on iTunesFirst up, this was some of the first work of Hagar’s that I ever saw… and it was love at first sight:

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Yes, we both have a thing for houses and embroidery thread! Strangely we’ve also both taken a small break from the embroidery work to play with paper… look what she’s doing with her father’s old paper punch:

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So fun! She’s been posting all of these pieces to her gorgeous Instagram feed, which you absolutely have to follow. These were the women I brought up. I love this body of work so much… the colors, the strangely beautiful shapes, the geometric embroidery, and those fantastic vintage photos:

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Gah! Love, love, love! As I said before, we both have a thing for houses. Here are a few from her “Lonely Houses” series from a couple of years ago:

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That final piece was a commission she did for a family in California {yes, she does commissions… just sayin’}. And finally, I asked Hagar to send me a few shots from her studio. It’s a collage artist’s candyland:

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Oh. I want to go to there. I haven’t told her this yet, but I laughed out loud when she sent that final photo. My clippings look almost exactly the same… except that mine are in a wooden bowl, not a wooden box. But close! Thanks so much to Hagar for talking to me {you too Liam… the youngest guest ever to be interviewed on the podcast!}. Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and for offering the $50 gift card giveaway happening at the end of February. And finally, as always, a huge thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. You can find Hagar’s lovely work for sale in her online shop.

Other links: Emily Barletta ; Hollie Chastain ; Glue I use





dorris vooijs

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Mysterious, elegant, and just the right amount of odd. This is the mixed media work of Netherlands based artist Dorris Vooijs. She is one of the artists I chose when I curated the December issue of Fresh Paint Magazine… I’m sure you can see why!