medium /// mixed media

ajean ryan


“Dimensional drawings”… that’s how Colorado based artist/assoc. drawing professor Ajean Ryan refers to these pieces from her very extensive portfolio. There is something so fun, experimental, child-like about them. Bits and pieces from everyday life assembled into delicate, 3D “drawings”… drawings that have me convinced to drop everything and run to my studio so I can start gluing something to something else!

sophia heymans

sophiaheymans sophiaheymans2 sophiaheymans3

Now these are some serious landscapes that I would happily get lost in. These mixed media pieces, that celebrate every season so beautifully, are the work of American artist Sophia Heymans. I love them, and here’s why… first of all, they’re BIG {most are at least 5 or 6 feet if not bigger}; secondly these landscapes truly incorporate the landscape. Her materials list reads as follows: acrylic, moss, paper mâché, string, twine, prairie grass seeds, dried dill, oil on canvas. What? Amazing! And finally, perhaps the biggest feat of all… those crisp, snowy scenes are actually making me not dread the Canadian winter ahead.

ps. “Prairie Burn” is my favorite… love ♥


claire harvey


Oil paintings… tiny oil paintings on glass slides, acetate, and scotch tape! Add a little sticky tack, and voila, special little pieces that I can’t stop looking at. This is the work of UK born, Amsterdam based artist Claire Harvey, and there is oh so much more where this came from! Check out her site to see all of her tiny people living on their transparent surfaces. Love.

{Thanks to Carolina for sending me a link to Claire’s work}


sabine timm


Oh! I have just found my new happy place… the Instagram feed of Düsseldorf based artist Sabine Timm. I wrote about her teeny tiny work back in 2012, but someone just pointed me to her magical world on Instagram and I’m even more in love than before. I’ll apologize now for all of the time you’re about to spend there… little faces made from bits ‘n pieces, tiny scenes that tell some pretty weird stories. Sigh… so happy, so lovely, so tiny. Happy Monday.

“fill the whole ream”


Cactus people, tree people, folding chairs, and a bit of podcast anxiety. Even though LA based artist Ashley Mistriel was nervous to talk to me, she did it anyway! And I’m so glad because we had a great conversation about all sorts of things. One of my favorite stories was about Christian Clayton making her fill a whole ream of paper with drawings… now there’s a way to let “perfection” go! Anyway, you can listen to us chat right up there under that little cactus clan, or you can subscribe on iTunes. Here are Ashley’s “tree people” – the work that got her into the MFA program at Cal State Northridge {CSUN}:


The tree people have now led to the cactus people:


Sigh… I love those cactus people. Next, I noticed that her portfolio was not only filled with cactus people, but there were also a lot of chairs, so clearly I had to ask about that:


Lovely. Up next, a tiny peek at the thread installation that she did with a friend, artist Kristen Dikio:


So, she’s a painter, an installation collaborator, and a curator! Yep, she and another artist, Theresa Knopf, are putting together a show of collages at Good Eye Gallery in LA {November 28th 3-6pm, 4538 Eagle Rock}.

And just to call it out, this is the gorgeous piece that Ashley recently sent to me. I was so surprised and beyond thrilled… look how gorgeous it is:


Love. So much love! Up next, this is the piece she was talking about that got into American Illustration very early on in her grad school experience:


… and finally, this special piece, titled “Stanwood Drive”. Yep, it’s amazing what an afternoon out with your grandfather can inspire:


There. Just like that, it’s over. Nothing to be nervous about! Thanks to Ashley for not saying no to me, and thank you so much to you for listening! Hoping to have more art for your ear next weekend…. Bye!

Other Links/Info: 

Ashley’s Instagram feed

Good Eye Gallery show – November 28th 3-6pm, address in Eagle Rock

A few of the teachers she mentioned: Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Martha Rich, Samantha Fields


alison moritsugu


Woods on wood. Oh my… this is the gorgeous work of New York based Alison Moritsugu. Forgotten chunks of wood bound for the mulcher become the perfect canvas for these stunning, strangely traditional, landscapes {and bathing beauties!}. So smart. So beautiful. If you’re in New York this fall, her work will be showing at Littlejohn Contemporary from November 12 through December 12. I’m going to miss it by four days. Damn.

{via Colossal}

“you can’t make art in the cracks”


Oh. Jessica Bell. She is one of the most lovely people you’ll ever meet, and someone that changed my outlook on my own artwork in one magical, caffeine/chocolate filled afternoon. She’s smart. And determined. And a self-taught artist who just finished her MFA. Yep, she has an undergrad in Art History, started making art on her own, got a teeny tiny studio space with a tarp instead of a roof {for real}, worked for years, applied for her MFA and then rocked it out. I was so excited to talk to her that, well, we just kept on talking! After we “hung up” I kept recording, so if you want to listen past the BEEP, please do. You can listen right underneath Jessica installing her thesis show, or you can subscribe on iTunes. First up, some of her mixed media work from a few years ago:


Ah. Paint, paper, tape, fabric, thread. And color. I absolutely love her sense of color. Now, as if finishing her MFA wasn’t momentous enough, she’s also just been nominated, for the second time, for the RBC Canadian Painting Prize {the winner gets $25,000 and their work in the RBC Collection… so yes, it’s a pretty big deal!} In 2013, as she was driving from Vancouver to Ottawa to start her MFA she had just been nominated, and two years later as she packed the moving truck to leave Ottawa and head back to Vancouver… you guessed it, she was nominated again! The two pieces are very different, yet you can absolutely see Jessica in both of them:


The winner {there are only 15 finalists} will be announced at the Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver on November 18, 2015. Good luck, Jessica… we’re cheering for you!

We talked a lot about her MFA experience. Turns out, quite a few of her final paintings were inflatable. Yes, I said inflatable:


I want to hug a painting! So, jumping back to the speed round, I purposely asked a question that would lead to this answer because I really wanted to show you the knitted wall hanging she made for me. I thought she was sending one of these smaller pieces {which would have been wonderful too}, but no, she sent me a huge, heavy, beautiful piece that gave her carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s hanging in my living room right now:


Love. So much. And with that, we finished things off. Jessica is exhausted after her MFA, so I suggested she take a nap for the winter. Look, she can do it on one of her inflatable paintings…


Shhhhhh. Thanks Jessica. And thanks to you… see you next week for another episode. xo


Other links mentioned: Sarah Gee Miller, Ben Skinner, Being Boss podcast, Heather Craig {Heather was the artist who told Jessica, “You can’t make art in the cracks.” That might be my new most favorite saying}, and Initial Gallery in Vancouver. ps. Conan… Jessica is waiting for your call.

anna collette hunt


Portraits and ceramics in one… I might be in love. This is the work of UK based artist Anna Collette Hunt, from a series titled Newstead Odditites. Here is the behind-the-curtain statement about this work:

“The Newstead Oddities is a collection that features marble statues as ‘characters’, who are found on research adventures to museums and galleries. Anna’s first characters came from Newstead Abbey in Nottinghamshire. She often visits Natural Trust Houses and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London especially to meet new characters and find fresh faces. It might be particularly eccentric hair, or a mysterious sparkle in their eye that capture Anna’s attention and imagination. The artist likes to playfully assign heads to different bodies. Marie Antoinette’s clothing and body can often be spotted with a different head. What’s odder still is that sometimes the heads have a striking resemblance to the artists’ face- Anna likes to see if anyone will notice.”

Hilarious! There’s a photo of Anna on her contact page… see if you recognize her on any of these pieces!

#creativeunblock no.10


Here we are, the first Saturday in October… project 10 of 12. {If you missed the other projects, no problem, you can catch up right here.} This project is from American artist Jesse Draxler. I’ve wanted to try this one for ages… ps. I added my own extra little twist at the end:


#creativeunblock // october // by jesse draxler, pg.155


“Find some objects you have around your apartment, home, studio, etc. (the more unique the better) and organize them in different ways. Stack them, rest them upon each other, arrange them in a pattern, etc. I find this to be a great exercise in composition – something that is integral in all art forms.

Secondly, photograph the compositions- several shots from several angles to capture things that normally would not be taken note of; the make up of the arrangement, the structure, the physics of why the arrangement is working.”


Love this… and here’s what I want to add. So, once you’ve photographed your compositions, you can stop right there, OR,  you can use those photographs as the inspiration for a painting, drawing, collage, short story… or all of the above! If you’d like to share what you make, just put it up on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag it #creativeUNblock. Have fun!

art with heart auction


If you’re in Toronto you should absolutely check out Art With Heart. It’s an art auction, now in its 22nd year, put on by Toronto’s Casey House, an organization that cares for people suffering from HIV. This fundraising auction is filled with absolutely gorgeous work {a few of my favorites shown here}, that will benefit a number of Casey House’s initiatives including sending skilled teams of registered nurses and workers into clients’ homes, providing rehabilitative care and recreation therapy at the hospice, and bringing specialized HIV nursing care via partner clinics to marginalized people who lack access to treatment. Donor generosity enables additional services at Casey House to address the complex health needs and isolation that many clients experience.”


The Carlu / Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Reception 5:30 pm / Live Auction 7:00 pm

TICKETS … $175 {buy now}

{Artists shown above: Sarah Letovsky / Janet MortonMegan Ellen MacDonald / Kim Dorland / Kris KnightKeita Morimoto}