medium /// mixed media




lisa congdon

lisacongdon_swim

Ready to dive in? Me too! “The Joy of Swimming”, by Portland based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon, hits shelves today! Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful hand-lettered quotes, and really interesting facts/stories about all things swimming. Lisa brings passion to everything she does, but this project is near and dear to her heart, because she’s been a swimmer since she was little … see:

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Aw, so cute! Congratulations Lisa… I’m so thrilled that you had a chance to totally jump into this project {see what I did there?}.  If you love swimming – or water, or beautiful artwork, or Lisa – pick up this lovely book. Oh, and Lisa is going on the road with this one so if you want to meet her/have your book signed, you can find her right here:

April 26, 7-9 pm California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
Strand Books (NYC)
May 11, 7-9 pmPowerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 9-10:30 am Creative Mornings (Minneapolis)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland)
May 24 7-9 pmUniversity Bookstore (Seattle)





rachael grant

rachaelgrant

Stacks of weird stuff beautifully hand-cut and layered perfectly… yep, that’s my jam! This is the collage work of Tennessee based artist Rachael Grant. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to cut out mushrooms and fish for the rest of the day. Happy Monday.





“organizing the fray”

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I am very excited about this. Vancouver based artist Sarah Gee Miller is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is so talented (and self-taught by the way), incredibly generous, one of the only people I truly feel comfortable talking to about my own work… and she bakes a mean blueberry muffin. Sarah and I cover everything in this interview – from a life-altering accident she was in at 15, to finding her way to an art career decades later. A lot of you have been asking me to make these episodes longer, so Sarah and I just kept talking and talking! I loved every minute of this conversation (but be warned, there are a few bleeped out swear words in there… shocking, I know.) You can listen right up there, under that perfect circular drawing, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s get things started with the first of Sarah’s work that I ever saw… big, beautiful, perfectly-cut circles of paper:

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So gorgeous! Photos don’t do them justice. They’re really big, and really bright, so seeing them in person takes your breath away. Here are the two “city block” pieces she was talking about (there’s a bit of a glare because she had already mounted them/put plexiglass on them before taking the photos):

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Oh. I love them so much. And because I just can’t get enough of her circles, here are a few recent pieces in progress/moments before they were shipped off to shows:

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I love those studio shots… pre-mounting, just hanging out on her sunlit floor. Ok, now, moving on to the drawing machine! Yes, Sarah built her own revolving drawing machine, and luckily for me, she invited me over to try it out:

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So fun! I wish I could take credit for the drawings above, but alas, those ones were created with Sarah’s expert hand. I made a few that were ok… I was just happy to get out of there without being sick (that machine makes you dizzy!). I left there with the pieces I made AND that beautiful piece she gave me as a gift (that now sits above my fireplace beside “Rosie”, my pink doe by Rachel Denny)

Next, the pieces she’s been working on lately. These ones aren’t paper, but styrene (a type of plastic), that she cuts and then paints:

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So much work. So much careful work. We talked about how meticulous her pieces are, and the fact that she works on the floor… both of which sort of blow my mind considering the devastating accident she was in as a teenager. But, she tells me that being on her knees and working on the floor is much more comfortable than standing or sitting. Whatever works, Sarah, whatever works! I think her story is so inspiring. She’s overcome so much, and even though she suffers from chronic pain she is such a joyful person. See…

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Jumping over art and drinking champagne on the floor. That’s how you do it! And finally, in the speed round I asked her to clarify a myth about cats. I think she lied to me though. Note the proof I found on her Instagram feed:

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Ah-ha, I knew it! Cats do lie on your supplies/work! Busted. Oh well, they’re cute so we’ll leave that alone. Thanks so much to Sarah for taking an hour and a half (?!) out of her day to do this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other Links

  1. Jessica Bell
  2. Ben Skinner
  3. Zoe Pawlak
  4. Wayne White
  5. Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto

 





dan levin

danlevin

Wow, these are a big deal. Get it? Because they’re cards. Ok, this is the work of California based Dan Levin. I’ll let him tell you how this happened:

“I had these vintage decks of cards and I was fascinated by the history of them. I started cutting through them, kings’ and queens’ faces, but there was something missing. Almost by accident, I turned a deck upside down and looked at the patterns and said ‘wait a second’.”

Wait a second, indeed! Happy Friday

ps. If you want one of these beauties, visit his shop.





lorna simpson

lornasimpson

Oh. Lorna Simpson. Her hair collages make my collage-loving heart skip a beat … brilliant, beautiful, and this time a little bit rocky. These pieces are part of a series of 12, exclusive to Vogue.com. Here is Vogue’s description of this fantastic work:

Now, her subjects are more liberated than ever… in a new exclusive series for Vogue.com, Simpson has lifted the faces of 12 women from “very mundane” ’60s and ’70s advertisements in Ebony magazine—the culture and politics monthly she grew up with that “informed my sense of thinking about being black in America”—and paired them with illustrations of geological and astrological forms from a 1931 textbook. Stripped of any fundamental context, the women provide no origin story and no identifying characteristics. The geometric shapes replacing their hair weren’t chosen for their resemblance to, say, Nefertiti’s crown or Erykah Badu’s emerald head wrap—references that may spring to mind as you look at them—but rather for the same reason you might cut, color, or change the texture of your hair: simply because, says Simpson, “I thought they were beautiful.”

Sigh… I do too.





“nothing is a mistake”

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Time-consuming, candy-hued, magical. That’s what comes to mind when I think of the work of this artist. Today I’m talking to LA based German artist Nike (pronounced Nee-ka) Schroeder… I have to add that because for years I thought her name was Nike… like, you know, Nike. It’s not. It’s Nike (Nee-ka). Ok, now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about her absolutely stunning work. Miles and miles of thread, porcelain, sometimes a bit of paint, and more thread. You can listen right up there, or subscribe on iTunes

First things first… one of my faves… this installation, titled 34°North 118°West :

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Ah-mazing… and the photos don’t even close to do her work justice. I’ve seen them in person and they’re so so so beautiful. The way they move in the slightest of breezes… magical. Next, these pieces are from an older series, titled Fundamental Reports. This is what she was making when I first wrote about her work in 2012:

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You can tell she reallllly wanted to start playing with that dangly thread! Speaking of which, this is the custom piece she made for interior designer/stylist Emily Henderson… here’s the installation of this colorful, ten foot beauty:

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Ah! And there it is featured in Domino Magazine… not too shabby! I want to take full credit for this piece, because I introduced Emily to Nike’s work. Yep, this love affair started at The Fig House – a gorgeous event space in LA that Emily designed. She asked me to curate the art, and Nike was one of the ten artists I chose. Match. Maker. Just sayin’.

Next up, Nike’s latest show where she went back to some of her figurative work… this time with paint… porcelain, and of course, THREAD. This was shown with her primary gallery in LA, Walter Maciel Gallery:

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So. Good. And now, brace yourself… Nike’s amazing, light-filled, downtown LA studio:

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So. Much. Thread! And those windows {and of course, those great shoes}. Oh. Such beautiful work, and another episode that I loved. It never fails… in every single episode there is a moment when I get chills, and when Nike said “nothing is a mistake”  – that those layers and layers gives your work depth and wisdom because they have learned – yep I had a little shudder of excitement. Sigh. And with that, I will thanks to Nike for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and as always thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next week.

Other links: Jack Fischer Gallery





what goes around … at nahcotta

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Oh! Get it… oh… circles… anyway. These are 7 of 34 pieces in Nahcotta‘s latest exhibition, “What Goes Around”.  Yes, 34 artists – many of whom I’m slightly obsessed with – have created 12″ circular pieces of art. From Jeremy Miranda, to Jennifer Davis, to Leah Giberson {who hinted about this piece during our podcast interview a few weeks ago} – the roster is just fantastic! This was the inspiration for the show:

Choosing a particular selection of 34 artists, predominantly from the gallery’s significant stable, Nahcotta challenged them with the task of creating work on a twelve-inch circular panel. Since Greek antiquity and making resurgence throughout the Renaissance, circular works of art, called “tondi” (“tondo” when singular) have been made in architecture, sculpture, and paint. Botticelli and Michelangelo, for example, both painted and sculpted more than a few scenes utilizing this form. Deriving from the Italian word “rotondo,” meaning “round,” the shape very much informs the context and narrative of the art itself, so “What Goes Around” promises an incredible range of work launching from the same dimensional foundation.

It’s a gorgeous show, so if you can make it to the artist reception/opening – which is TOMORROW from 5-8pm – well, you should! It will be up from April 1 until May 1, 110 Congress Street, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Now, if you can’t make it to the show, all of these pieces are available for purchase online… but hurry because a few of them are already SOLD.

{Artists shown above: Jeremy Miranda / Timothy Wilson / Michelle Morin / Travis Hetman / Jennifer Davis / Laura Berger / Leah Giberson}





vivienne strauss

viviennestrauss

Oh, this is a woman after my own heart… I have literally cut out those plants from the same book… so, where can I get those birds, cars, and giant bottles of booze? These are the whimsical and wonderful collages of American artist Vivienne Strauss. The only question I have now… how have I never written about her before? HOW!?

{ps. all of these pieces can be found in her online shop}





“discipline … and a bit of chance”

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Found bits and pieces of wonderfulness. Today I’m talking to New York based artist/illustrator Andrea D’Aquino. She is just as lovely as her work, and almost as carefree. She talked about being disciplined in the studio {ie., getting in there and doing the work}, but she also talked a lot about happy accidents and chance. I loved this conversation and I hope you do too. Listen on the little player right up there, or subscribe on iTunes

First up, the original piece that she created for my book, Collage. Clearly she was drawn to the mustache in the starting image I gave all 30 of the artists… or the death of it:

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So fun, as is all of her work! Fun and quirky and odd and wonderful… perfectly imperfect you might say. Here are a few of my favorites … oh, and when she said she’s been drawn to color since she was little, well, I was not surprised. Take a look:

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Oooh, I love all of those random bits and pieces. I really do want to go for a walk around New York with her and see what we find on the street to add to a collage!

You might remember this from a few months ago. I wrote about this beautiful book, a gorgeous version of Alice in Wonderland that was illustrated by Andrea, and published by Quarto. It’s absolutely wonderful, and I love that she was able to put her stamp, or style you might say, on a classic {tough task, but Andrea nailed it}:

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Sigh. The end. Well, almost… Andrea sent me a few photos of her studio! UHU stick, kinda color-coordinated piles of found stuff, and a sneak peek at the cover of her new collage book, “Once Upon A Piece of Paper”, {due out this fall}:

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Ok, now it’s the end. Thanks to Andrea for doing this, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode {and generously giving away two VIP tickets to the Affordable Art Fair in NYC next week… enter here because I’m drawing the winner at noon on Saturday March 26th}, and of course thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next week.

Other links:

  1. Quarto {Publisher of Andrea’s books}
  2. Stefan Sagmeister

 





ben skinner

benskinner

My friend/idol Ben Skinner is at it again. This is a new series he’s working on. Paint? No. Holographic transfer foil. Yeah, that’s how Ben rolls. But he doesn’t stop there, oh no, a holographic foil plant would not be complete without the illusion of a chainlink fence created with engraved Plexiglass. Sigh. 

I did a little poking around on his Instagram feed to get those “in progress” closeups, but let’s be honest, photographs just don’t do these pieces justice… here’s a little video that I also found during my snooping researching that really gives you a sense of this work (pre-engraved plexiglass fence):

A video posted by Ben Skinner (@benskinnerart) on

Magic.