medium /// embroidery




i’m jealous of stephanie k. clark



Houses, trailers, AND embroidery thread. Say no more. I’m in. Speaking of “in”, yes, I’d like to live in that A-frame …  but I don’t want to play favorites … I love all of these homes {most of which are from a series titled “Dwellings”} by American artist Stephanie K. Clark. Oh, oh! But wait  - we can’t leave out this sweet little piece that she made for a baby girl’s nursery:

Yep. A great white shark themed nursery. Kinda awesome.

{Thanks to her lovely/supportive sister, Staci, for sending me a link to Stephanie’s work!}





i’m jealous of hannah stephenson

Ah, poetry & art… a perfect combination! This is a beautiful book of poetry, written by American poet Hannah Stephenson. She is an amazing writer/editor/teacher, with a great love for visual art. In fact, a lot of her poems are inspired by art… sometimes even work that she finds here! For example, after seeing the ceramics of Caroline Slotte, Hannah wrote this:

Great Migration

Patterns on china have begun

to show evidence of a great migration.

Waves roll out to a plate’s edges,

drop off, are absorbed into carpet.

In the stock-still water, feeling no wind,

cranes panic and launch, beat their wings

with such force that nearby villagers

mistake them for dragons.

Smaller birds leave their nests in the trees,

head for the dark, unporcelain woods.

Lovers no longer come here

to sit on the grass together,

discovering speechless ways to speak.

They stay away from this place.

The land here isn’t fed by any source.

Parents shield their children’s eyes,

pull them close when passing the pond.

Someone should do something, they mutter

and leave the land to its calm disintegration.

Whoa. Her newly released book, In the Kettle, The Shriek, is filled with beautiful poem after beautiful poem… but I also wanted to share something that isn’t in this book. Now, you know I realllllly don’t like showing my own work, but… last year I had a show at Seattle’s Assemble Gallery. Hannah saw one of the pieces, wrote a poem, and sent it to me. I almost cried. I could not be more honored… and I love the poem so, so, so much… I love it so much in fact, that I’ll even show you my work that went with it, titled “Jeremy Brown jumped over this at a bush party.”

Living Daylights

To find that part of me
still flickering,

to chew and exhale flames,
a dragon with a mouth
crammed with Bazooka Joe,

to use my heart
as a flashlight,

to meet my ghost
as a dance partner,
spinning away from me,
and back toward me,

to sift out the glowing shards
with unshaking hands
and swallow them back down,

to greet my fiery shadow,
saying, here is our bed,
our mirror, we can learn
one another again.

LOVE! Thank you so much to Hannah for this amazingly creative gift. Ok, now let’s all go buy this book : )

{cover art by Aron Wiesenfeld}





sneak peek: art show at the fig house

Oh, you guys. This is gonna be good!

So, just to refresh your memory: I’ve been asked, by the lovely Emily Henderson, to curate a show in LA at The Fig House, a new event space that Emily is designing/styling. I received zillions {literally} of submissions and I want to thank you all so much for that! Now, I’d like to say that made my job easier, but it really just made everything a whole lot harder… there was sooooooo much fantastic work to choose from, and I had the tricky task of getting it down to TEN ARTISTS! Impossible? It felt like it a few times. Well, after much back and forth, I’ve got a truly amazing group lined up. Yes, there was really great work by lots of people, but this came down to finding pieces that will work well together, and work well in the space that Emily is creating {art deco meets the 80’s. For real, people.}.

Here is a little taste of what will be on the walls when The Fig House opens this fall:

YAY – I love it all! As soon as I know the exact date of the opening party, I’ll let you know. See you soon, LA!

{1.(and right *) Stephanie Vovas 2. Kai Samuels Davis 3. Jaime Derringer 4.Ellen Heck 5. Clare Elsaesser 6.(and left *) Emily Rickard 7. Max Wanger 8. Nike Schroeder 9. Amy Wilson Faville 10. Zoe Pawlak}





i’m jealous of aníbal vallejo

Ok. Fine. Planking is kinda over. You know what’s not kinda over… these amazing pieces by Colombia based artist Aníbal Vallejo! Now, these are from 2011 so he made these gorgeous pieces {industrial embroidery and acrylic on canvas} smack dab in the middle of the meme. All five of these pieces are from a series titled “Ten variations about planking after Freud”. You can go and check out his site for the other five. Oh, and while you’re there have a look at everything he makes: paintings, drawings, embroidery… but alas, nothing to do with the Harlem Shake, or Grumpy Cat. Hm, maybe one meme per artist is enough.

{Thanks to Valentina Espinosa Muskus for this one! She commented on one of my Instagram shots, and suggested that I look up Aníbal’s work – you were right Valentina – I love it!}





i’m always jealous of hagar van heummen

So, I was working on my art roundup post for the lovely Emily Henderson {which is up today btw}, with a plan to feature “houses”. Now, because I’ve written about Hagar van Heummen, an artist based in Amsterdam, a couple of times, I knew she had some great houses in her portfolio. But when I got to her site, I found all of this amazing new work! Houses, yes, but those plants! I love these pieces oh so much… and the icing on the cake … they’re crazy affordable! {originals range from $150 – $570, and her prints are only $30… I got the bottom most piece! Can’t wait to frame it.}





i’m still jealous of jose romussi

You might recognize this as the work of Chilean artist Jose Romussi

Gorgeous, yes? I’ve gushed over his Dancer series, as have countless other bloggers, and pinners, and tweeters… BUT… it was only recently that I saw these pieces:

Embroidery, and sewing machine on photographs, from a series titled String Figures. Oh my word, I love them so, so much… especially the message being “held” in that first piece. Kinda makes you want to just exhale, and let a few “mistakes” happen.





i’m always jealous of emily barletta

Drawings? No.  Prints? No.  Embroidery on paper? Yes.

I think I’ve written about every series that New York based artist Emily Barletta has ever done. And every time I think “Wow. That’s amazing. I can’t get more jealous than this.” … and then, she gets me again. Look at this work?! Embroidery on paper. Crazy, detailed, meticulous, perfectly chosen bits of colored thread {how does she get them to almost fade in and out of each other?!} working together to create beautifully bizarre mounds and hills that make me say, “Wow. That’s amazing. I can’t get more jealous than this.”

ps. Emily is one of the artists in my book, and I could not be more thrilled, and honored, that she is involved!





02.03.2013

Good morning!

So, let me explain what we’re doing here on the weekend! There are so many artists that I’d love to hang out with… especially over french toast and a latte. Ah yes, two of my most favorite things. Art, and brunch. Now, I can’t fly around the world every Saturday morning, so I’m gonna fake it. Enter this new series – “weekend brunch” – a five question interview with one of my favorite artists, “at” their favorite brunch place.

Up first, Seattle based artist Shaun Kardinal. I asked Shaun to choose our destination, and he picked “Oddfellows Cafe” in Seattle… looks like a lovely place to me! Ok, grab your coffee, and let’s do this:

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

JC:  hi shaun… what are you gonna have?

SK: eggs benedict, a mimosa, a coffee, and a water, please. i partied a little hard last night–three liquids are essential. what about you?

JC: hm. same, hold the mimosa. i’m a light weight. so, thanks for having brunch with me! … who do you usually have brunch with?

SK: you know, i haven’t actually been out to brunch in a long time! i’m a bit of a homebody by day (definitely not a morning type), and find myself more inclined to plan ahead for a meal at home, should i expect a big breakfast on the horizon. that said, in the past, brunches have almost always been group affairs, with friends meeting again after partying the night prior.

JC: what are you doing later? do you normally spend the weekend making art, or do you use saturday and sunday for other stuff?

SK: oh my god – there’s no way i am getting anything done today. being a freelance designer, i don’t so much subscribe to weekends, so i take days off when my body requires them, and  getting out into the world for brunch was enough for today with this foggy head. afternoon movie on the couch?

JC: which movie?

SK: there are a lot of recent releases i’ve been hoping to see lately, but today i definitely need something light, not too conceptual. probably an old favorite like “stranger than fiction” or “royal tenenbaums”. maybe a woody allen flick, ideally one with diane keaton! if i really can’t pick, i’ll just put on a half dozen episodes of “arrested development”.

JC: ok, well after you recover, do you want to go {pretend} searching for old postcards? i’d love to see where you find all of the amazing bases for your work!

SK: that sounds fun. in fact, my supply is dwindling so a hunt is definitely in order soon. there is a great antique shop down on the waterfront that has a big stack of postcards i love to dig through. they also have an awesome collection of LIFE magazines, and every issue of playboy since the early 70s, should you want to grab your birthday issue – i already have mine!

JC: nice! i do have a thing for vintage playboys (seriously). ok, so this is no secret but, i LOVE embroidery on found images. how did you learn to sew so precisely? do the mimosas and coffee help with a steady hand?

SK: simply put: practice. there are only so many ways for the thread to pass through paper, and against itself, and with each piece, each pattern and with many different weights of paper, i’ve learned better and more efficient ways to solve every puzzle.

…and yah, sometimes a drink ain’t so bad either : )

JC: ah, so fun! thanks for breakfast shaun… i’ll pick up the tab this time ; )

SK: much obliged.

……………………………………………………………………………………

And that’s how we do it! A fake brunch with one of my favorite artists… I really could go for some REAL eggs benedict, a coffee, and a little vintage postcard shopping with Shaun though. Come back next Saturday and join me in another restaurant, in another city, with another fabulous artist. Happy weekend to you!





i’m jealous of ella robinson

I’ve tried embroidery on paper… but never on a chunk of driftwood! These are the lovely works of British artist Ella Robinson. In the top and bottom images, she has used cotton thread. For the other two, it’s colored plastic lacing that is weaving so beautifully in and out of those holes. Oh boy, and now I want one in the corner of my living room. A lot.

{via Poppytalk’s Pinterest board}





i’m jealous of lisa kokin



Found images, AND thread? Oh, be still my beating heart! California based artist Lisa Kokin is killing me with this work. Here are Lisa’s words about these images, from her Sewn Found Photos series:

Sometimes there are inscriptions on the back (“Susie, 7 years old”) but more often they come to me stripped of all identity. I sit in my studio and speculate about the nature of the photographed people’s lives. I will, of course, never know the truth, so I feel it is my job to give them new lives and rescue them from the obscurity they would be headed for were it not for me, humble servant of the arts. I try to invent an altogether different identity for them but of course, in the final analysis these works are more about me than any of the hundreds of anonymous individuals who appear in my work.

I am intrigued with other people’s photographic recording of their lives both for the generic quality they possess — the family and social rituals, studio portraits, vacation shots — and for the feeling of sadness and nostalgia that acquiring other people’s memories provokes in me. I feel somehow that it should be illegal to own them, yet since they are for sale it might as well be me who buys them.

… and this is literally only a fraction of her portfolio. Just wait til you see what she does with old books!

{I found the first image in the post on Pinterest, via Artsy Forager}