medium /// mixed media

counting down to…


Oh, I have been dying to announce this! Earlier this year the fabulous curator at Saatchi Art, Rebecca Wilson, reached out and asked if I’d like to curate a show in LA. Um. YES! I decided on a “California Girls” theme and chose six, very talented LA based female artists. In exactly two weeks from tonight I’ll get to stand in a room, with a glass of wine in hand, surrounded by the work of these amazing women. It’s feminine, strong, and just a little bit sexy. Ok. A lot sexy. If you are in LA you should absolutely stop by! Here’s all of the info, and then a tiny peek at some of the work:

Opening reception: Thursday September 24 6~9pm / Saatchi Art at Helms Bakery District : 8745 W Washington Blvd, Culver City {RSVP  here}

Show runs: Tuesday September 22 ~ Tuesday September 29 / 10am ~ 5pm / Monday to Friday / By appointment Saturday & Sunday


So. EXCITED. See you in two weeks, LA.

{Erin Tenquist // Laurie Raskin // Stephanie Vovas // Jill Sykes // Kelly Puissegur // Ophelia Chong}

jen stark


To say that Jen Stark‘s work blows my mind would be a major understatement. I’ve written about her before, and I’ll write about her again. Her attention to detail, her color choices, her unique way of making you look at her work… and INTO her work in the case of those insanely stunning pedestal pieces. Sigh. Yep, all of this colored paper and perfectly “drippy” paint has me wishing that I was going back to school today.

scott gardiner


If you happen to be in Sydney between September 9th ~ 13th, you should stop by Booth A16 at the Sydney Contemporary. There you’ll find the gorgeous work of New Zealand based artist (and surfer) Scott Gardiner. These striking mixed media pieces (pigment ink print, acrylic, gloss and matt varnish on canvas) are from his latest series, titled Three Oceans. Here’s a bit about this project:

… The three locations of the project, Sri Lanka, Sydney and Gisborne all represent significant points in my life and development, places I have forged meaningful relationships with the environment and its people, centered around and reliant upon the ocean. In these instances the ocean became a powerful familiar environment, allowing me to connect on a deep level to a new and unfamiliar locale. During the project I wish to examine this complex relationship through my own personal experiences, understanding these are universal issues that relate to all human beings and our  sense of place and belonging, an awareness of our mortality and a connection to something beyond ourselves…

{all images are courtesy and copyright the artist and Palmer Art Projects.}

#creativeunblock no.9


September. Whoa. Project 9 of 12. {If you missed the other projects, no problem, you can catch up right here.} This project is from American artist Aris Moore. I really don’t love the idea of doing a self portrait… but this one is all about embracing the imperfect self-portrait. Now THAT I can do. Ready?


#creativeunblock // september // by aris moore, pg.27


A collage self portrait // Do blind contour drawings of your eyes nose and mouth. If you are likely to erase, draw them in pen. Choose the ones you feel best about and collage them together. Draw your face around them and your neck shoulders and clothing if there is room. Look closely in a mirror and shade your individual features and your hair using what ever materials you like with as much detail as you need.   After you feel good about your portrait, not because it looks exactly like you, but because there is an honesty in it, begin writing. Surround your drawing with text, beginning each sentence with if you really knew me you’d know…. Writing can be legible or illegible whatever you need to be truthful. Lastly, remember that this is a drawing of you for you there are no rules, just suggestions. Play and have fun.”


Ok, let’s do this! I love Aris’ work above, so I’m thinking I might take her lead and house my self portrait within in a found image. Do whatever works for you… let loose, have fun, and remember, it should not be perfect. In fact, it’s literally impossible for it to be perfect! Just enjoy a chance to think about yourself for an entire afternoon. If you’d like to share what you make, just put it up on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag it #creativeUNblock.

rbc canadian painting competition… a few finalists!

Oh, this annual competition is such a fantastic supporter of Canadian artists! Here’s the deal:

Since 1999, the RBC Canadian Painting Competition, with the support of the Canadian Art Foundation, has been a unique initiative, which helps bridge the gap from emerging to established artists. The RBC Canadian Painting Competition is RBC’s cornerstone RBC Emerging Artists Project property which focuses on supporting artists at the early stage of their careers. More than just financial support, this program offers mentorship, exposure to audiences and more.

So, so great … and $25,000 to the winner, $15,000 to the next two finalists, and $2,500 to the other 12 isn’t bad either! There are 15 finalists: 5 from Eastern Canada, 5 from Central Canada, and 5 from Western Canada. The winner will be announced on November 18th at the Vancouver Art Gallery… but until then, here are just a few of my personal favorites, although it was really hard to pick:

west: robert taite, mixed media



central: caroline larsen, oil painting



east: hangama amiri, mixed media


Ah, makes me proud to be Canadian… but I’m really glad that I’m not a judge {how could you decide!?} Good luck to them, and good luck to all of the finalists!

“i sandwich everything in that stuff”


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:


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:


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:


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


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


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:


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:


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


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


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


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:


… 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


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.