medium /// mixed media




“i sandwich everything in that stuff”

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Another Saturday, another episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR! This time I’m talking to full-time graphic designer turned full-time collage artist, Chattanooga Tennessee based Hollie Chastain. We talk materials {there is a lot of gel medium in her world}, being an artist & mother, and she even threw in a hilariously mortifying phone anxiety love story at the very end. You can listen right up there under those lovely ladies, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the work we talked about in the order that we talked about it. Let’s start with the very first piece of Hollie’s that I ever saw/wrote about. It was the lead image in the “curated” blog post that I did for Etsy way back in the day:

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Ah, I still love that piece so much! And below is the piece, titled “Afterthought”, that she mentioned when talking about using gel medium not only as glue, but also for image transfers:

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I have to try that! Speaking of things I need to try… book covers! Oh, so many found book covers. Her favorites of course being old school text books complete with scribbles by bored children:

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Gah! Her book cover pieces are my absolute favorites! Turns out she has a studio FULL of them… see:

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Oh. Jealous! Next up, the illustration she did for The Baffler:

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Mixed media, indeed! I quickly mentioned that Hollie was one of the artists in my book, Collage… this was the fantastic original she made for the book, along with a shot of one of her double page spreads:

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Love. So. Much. And finally, we didn’t actually talk about her studio space, but I found this photo on her site and I absolutely love this crazy beautiful mess:

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Doesn’t that make you want to make something right now!? Me too. And with that, I’ll say thank you to Hollie for joining me today, and thanks so much to you for listening {and looking}… there will be another episode waiting for you next Saturday!

ps. oh, and a link to Lisa Congdon’s book, Art Inc. & a link to Dolan Geiman’s site.





jean faucheur

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Dizzying collages, with an absolutely dreamy palette, by French artist Jean Faucheur. Um, does anyone know where I can get scissors to cut perfect circles? Thanks.





albert ruiz villar

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I wrote about Spanish artist Albert Ruiz Villar, just over two years ago… his work has evolved from looser compositions into these lovely mixed media “structures”. I kind of wish I could walk around in them, from “room” to colorful “room”.

{His work is available on Saatchi Art}





anna maria bellmann

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Oh my. Delicate, floral, paper-cuts by German artist Anna Maria Bellmann. These gorgeous pieces were a lovely surprise when I went to look at her portfolio. I actually found her on Pinterest because of these blue beauties:

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… also delicate and floral, but not paper-cuts! These are called cyanotypes. Here’s the deal, in Anna’s words:

The cyanotype is an old precious printing method, also called Prussian blue print. 1842 discovered by Sir John Herschel, one of the greatest scientists of his time, it was initially used predominantly, to blueprints – create – technical drawings for architectural, engineering or shipbuilding. The cyanotype uses the light sensitivity of certain iron salts that form insoluble crystals under UV irradiation. Is exposed in the sunshine, developed with running water, the result is the beautiful color tone, the “Prussian blue”. Photograms of this kind allow a very fine representation of floral structures – as a symbiosis a gift from the sun, blue sky and botanical beauties.

Ah, so, so lovely… all of it!

{Blue pieces found via Lisa Congdon on Pinterest}





oliver hickmet

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Dramatic landscapes, and exposed pink stretchers? Um, yes… love. I found these pieces, by London based artist Oliver Hickmet on Artfetch… their description of this series fills in all of the blanks:

“Our sense of the world’s sublime, great natural beauty spots are often overlaid with our expectations, fed by slick travel photography and tourist guides, reduced to the size of a postcard, or the screen of a smartphone. As consumers of marketed and packaged tourist experiences how do we find the kernels of truth hidden within? Oliver Hickmet began with researching and exploring these questions while on residency in rural Piedmont, Italy, and the result is a series of pieces that form his understanding of where reality lies within the making, creating and consumption of these tourism fantasies of a place. Beginning with the saturated colour images from postcards of the Dolomite Mountains he scans them overlaid with actual soil from the local countryside and prints the results onto supple silk. Draped across candy-floss pink stretchers these art objects are somewhere between the real and the imaginary, a unique plane that exists for digital era tourists.” ~ Artfetch

So interesting, and gorgeous… I think I need one of these.





sammy slabbinck

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Must find scissors immediately. Gah! The portfolio of Belgian collage artist Sammy Slabbinck is full, and I mean FULL, of bizarre scenes that have been brought to life through clever cuts and precise pasting… but, clearly, something about those surreal soups and sleepy mountain girls were speaking to me. Loudly ♥

{via Saatchi Art}





mapping memories

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Oh, washi tape… I love it so much, so when Sara Barnes of Speckled Canary {she was the woman behind the Collage Scrap Exchange that I wrote about last year} asked if I wanted to take part in this creative challenge, called “Mapping Memories”, I said ‘YES’! She has teamed up with a Canadian shop called Omiyage that are alllll about washi tape, and here’s what they want you to do. Create pieces of art, based on personal memories, completely out of pretty, cut or torn, washi tape! Ok, if you want to draw here or there, or add a tiny found image you can, but try to collage the whole thing out of tape!  Here’s the deal:

“Memories are a powerful thing. Sometimes, they’re so clear that we can recall how something looked, smelled, or even tasted. Speckled Canary’s latest project celebrates this phenomena and invites you to recollect memories with washi tape!

Lovely. If you want to play along, just sign up by August 16th. It’s $15 for a starter kit of washi tape, but if you already have your own stash {that would be me!} it’s $3. At the end of all of this, there will be a big interactive map of everyone’s memories from around the world, including yours… oh, and there will even be some prizes from Omiyage and Speckled Canary! Can. Not. Wait. Have fun exploring all of your colorful memories! All details re: submitting your work etc can be found at Speckled Canary. *All images above from Omiyage’s blog.





“walk the walk”

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Oh, I love the work of Chattanooga, TN based artist Mark Bradley-Shoup. Not only is his work fantastic, but so is he. So kind, so smart, and a fabulous teacher/lecturer at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. I love this episode because it’s so full of great advice! Listen right up there under the abandoned gas station, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, you can look at the work that Mark and I talked about, in the order that we talked about it. Oh, and at the beginning, when he mentions me having a shaved head and 5 o’clock shadow, it’s because I use my husband’s skype account, and so it’s his bio photo that shows up… apparently it’s quite strange to hear my voice and see that face! Anyway let’s take a look at a bunch of Mark’s work – from architectural paintings, to abstract, to collage:

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Gorgeous. And so talented… what a range of work! Up next, a couple of shots from the “beautifully boring” show that I curated in Chattanooga in February of 2013. In the photo below: Samantha French, Me, Mark, Leah Giberson, and in front of us, Angela Usrey the gallery director {we missed you Holly Farrell!}

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Ah, that was such a fun week in Tennessee! Below are a few images of Mark’s pages in “Collage”:

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… and some studio shots {these are actually from his old studio, but they give a sense of his process… notice the HUGE mound of tape!}

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We also talked about his most recent exhibition in Nashville at the David Lusk Gallery. Here are a few installations shots:

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And finally, making Mark’s dream come true! He has always {since his teens} wanted to design a skateboard, surfboard, snowboard – I think his architectural pieces, or his collages would be amazing on any and all of those surfaces. After all, if Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst can do it, why not Mark Bradley-Shoup!

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If you do such things, reach out and let me know… let’s make this happen! Ok, thank you so much to Mark for putting up with my time zone issues, to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next Saturday.





pippa young

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I wrote about UK based artist Pippa Young‘s paintings last year… and those bonnets made a lasting impression on me I guess, because today as I was scrolling through Pinterest {as you do first thing in the morning over coffee} I saw these lovely little interventions. I knew immediately that they had to be Pippa’s work… those bonnets again! Sigh. And now I want to finish my coffee and rush off to the thrift shop to look for old images to paint on. Gorgeous.





art-a-porter : a group show … kinda

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You guys, this is crazy  {I’m not very good at keeping secrets, and I’ve managed to keep this one since last winter… #miracle}. I’ve curated shows for galleries, created online collections, and now I’ve curated an art-inspired clothing collection. What?! Yes. So, so crazy. Last winter, Montreal based fashion house Art-A-Porter reached out and asked if I would curate an exhibition, that instead of hanging on a wall, would be displayed on clothing. Originally I said no, I was too busy {and nervous that there were no walls involved} … but I couldn’t control myself… it just sounded too fun! And so they gave me a huge folder of artists to choose from and off we went. This lovely, limited edition collection is the result, and I’m so proud of it! Here is my “curatorial statement”, and then a peek at some of the artwork/pieces:

From collage, to painting, to mixed media – the work of Joe WebbMonica Trastoy, J.D Doria, Niki Hare, and Erin Case is very different, yet all of the individual pieces come together beautifully, creating one unified collection that is dreamy, modern, black and white – with just the perfect pop of vintage-inspired color. I chose these pieces because, well, each one is stunning on it’s own, but when brought together the combination of organic shapes and geometric lines was something I couldn’t resist – amazing on a gallery wall, and even more exciting when you can actually take this exhibition off of the wall, and wear it.

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Gah! I love it all! And there is so much more to the collection… see it all right here. Thank you so much to AAP for giving me this bizarre and wonderful opportunity to curate on something other than a wall, and thank you so much to all of the amazing artists who are involved… it was an honor working with your art!

{Artists in order of images above: Monica Trastoy // Joe Webb // JD Doria // Erin Case // Niki Hare}

*A great article about AAP and this idea of wearable art came out yesterday. Read it here.