medium /// mixed media




brooks salzwedel



Gasp! That’s the sound I made when I saw some of this work, by California-born artist Brooks Salzwedel, when I was in LA a few weeks ago. These images are gorgeous, but it doesn’t do them justice if you can imagine that! They are layered and layered, and then there’s some resin, and more layers, and graphite, and tape, and and and… sigh. Stunning.

ps. Brooks’ work is part of a pop-up show, titled “Home As Art”, curated by Good Eye Gallery … that opens TONIGHT in LA!

When: Wednesday, December 4 / 5pm ~ 8pm
Where: deasy/penner&partners
. 200 S Los Robles Avenue . Pasadena, CA

pps. I might have three of my pieces in this show too. Maybe.





a very quick recap of a very fabulous night

Oh, that was fun! The opening of The Fig House has come and gone… and it was so much fun! Here’s the pre-party shot of my favorite space at Fig {perfect for evening cocktails – so pretty!!!}

Soooo pretty. Emily Henderson and her right hand-gal Ginny MacDonald did more than an amazing job! I just love it in here. Ok so… my plan had been to not forget that my phone was in my purse, to take lots of photos, and do a full recap… and then I got distracted! BUT, I can give you a few quick snapshots of how the night went down:

The amazing bar, with custom stained glass by Judson Studios:

The super duper beautiful Stephanie Vovas enjoying a “Queen’s English” with one of her stunning photographs in the background. GORGEOUS all around!

And, what party would be complete without a “fromage station”? {That’s one of Nike Schroeder’s thread pieces behind the “fromage station”}:

Ok, so to be totally clear, this is NOT Nike Schroeder {although she was there – and she’s lovely and funny and great!}… this is a very pretty girl in a purple dress who was having someone take her photo in front of another one of Nike’s beautiful thread sculptures… so I jumped in and asked if I could grab the same shot – oh, so pretty, yes?

Love! You know what else I love? Sold stickers!!!!!!

Oh, now that’s pretty! Now, I would not normally show all of these photos of myself, but thanks to some very good hair and makeup people {I’m talkin to you Aviva and Stephen} I ended up looking better than I ever have , and thought I better document it!

Sigh. It was fun to feel like a movie star for a night! And alllllllll of this was possible thanks to these people:

Thank you so much Emily for bringing me into this project, and for trusting me with the art for these gorgeous teal walls. You are so talented, and truly amazing to watch in action! And Ginny… thank you for handling every little detail – even details that weren’t yours to take care of! Thank goodness for you! And finally,thanks so much to Steve {the owner of Fig House} – I’m so happy you let me hammer nails into your walls. I loved every second of it!

Oh… and one more! Look what happens when you take a cab home with LA photographer Stephanie Vovas {I basically got a Stephanie Vovas portrait, with an iPhone, for FREE in the back of a taxi. Awesome.}


Gah! I love it! Ok, I promise… no more photos of myself… I just can’t believe I got Stephanie to take my picture!

ps. If you happen to be at Fig for an event, and you want to buy some of the art, our gallery girl on the ground is Christine Fuchs. Find her card on the bar while you’re at your event, and she’ll get you set up! {Thanks so much for everything Christine! xo}





ellen, amy, and zoe at the fig house

Portraits … shopping carts … portraits. Hm, strangely, an incredibly beautiful combination! Yep, it’s more work from the show at The Fig House:

Oh. I absolutely love these portraits by Bay Area printmaker Ellen Heck. They’re from a series called Forty Fridas… and yes, the other thirty-eight are just as fantastic! A quick break from portraits so that we can see these collage/mixed media shopping carts:

You should see these in person. Stunning!!! They’re the large-scale mixed media work of San Francisco based artist Amy Wilson Faville. I wrote about these two years ago, but seeing them in person – I almost cried a tiny bit. Ok… AND we’re back to portraits:

The only NOT California based artist in the whole show, although she is on the West coast of Canada, Vancouver’s Zoe Pawlak. You might recognize that last shot because we used it as the invite to the opening party. That aqua wall, that pink couch, and Zoe’s lovely lady with a bird on her head… magic! Ok, one more day of sneak peeks to come tomorrow, and then it’s time to party! *Again, all of this work will be for sale at The Fig House – and this is just a snippet of the work, just to tease you!





maria hergueta

Oh, that Frida! Yep, I came across that image and was instantly sold on the work of Spanish artist/illustrator Maria Hergueta… I love the feminine feel to her work {don’t even get me started on that cross-stitched illustration!}. But it’s not all about the ladies… nope, she’s got a little something for the kids and fellas, too:

… and the men:

: )





rachel denny






I hate snakes, so so so so much… but not this snake! I absolutely, crazy LOVE  this snake!

Oh, Rachel Denny. I’ve loved her work for years… and she just keeps getting better! Mirrored snakes, howling wolves, waxy woodpeckers, and of course, her signature deer heads! What I love almost as much as her final pieces, is the glimpse that she gives into her Portland home studio. Boy oh boy, I’d love to spend a day in there with her just makin’ stuff! Well, last year I did the next best thing… I got Rachel to make stuff for me! Yep, I bought a hot pink, cashmere doe to hang above my fireplace. Her name is Rosie, and I love her very very very much:

ps. Rachel is one of the artists featured in CREATIVE BLOCK. Her work looks amazing as a full page spread, and her interview is fantastic!

pps. the other two lovely pieces hanging there are by Ben Skinner {text/wood}, and Sarah Gee Miller {circle drawing}





frances berry




Well, hello there. Are you dizzy? Quite the scroll to get down here, wasn’t it!? That’s all thanks to these very looooooooong, very cool images by American artist Frances Berry. They are from her series titled “Memory Extended”. You know I love a good vintage photo, and I love it even more when something contemporary has been done to it!

ps. Check out her portfolio – she has so much good work, and it’s all slightly different. Like these two amazing works on paper, for example:





agata krolak

Oh my. I wish I had a shelf FULL of these plants! They are the work of Polish artist/illustrator Agata Krolak… so simple, and oh so lovely! I’d also take a few things from this part of her portfolio too:

Gah! Now I want some “chipsys” and a strawberry shake!!! Yeah, I know that’s yogurt, but yogurt wouldn’t wash down my chipsys very well. Ok, I should probably stop there… I won’t though, because I also found these:

♥ … now I’m finished.

{A few of her prints can be found in her Society6 shop, and some of her beautifully illustrated books can be found here.}





ana teresa barboza



Oh my word. So good!!! I wrote about another embroidery artist last week, and in the comments field someone {aka Kelsey from The Tarot Nook} suggested I take a look at the work of Peruvian artist Ana Teresa Barboza. Yep. I loved it. I’m quite sure that an audible little ‘gasp’ snuck out of me when I clicked through to Ana Teresa’s site. Some of her work is so simple, and other pieces are incredibly complex – but all of them have so much feeling – and some of those feelings are pretty uncomfortable, especially in those last two pieces! Ouch.





CREATIVE BLOCK (my book!)

I don’t even know what to write… this has been hush-hush for so long… but finally, I can tell you all of the ins & outs of my book that has just been released by Chronicle Books {available in stores all over the world?!!} Let’s start with the title. It’s called CREATIVE BLOCK, and here’s what it looks like (an instagram taken with my very old phone, but you get the idea):

*The cover was designed by Dinah Fried at Chronicle, and then painted by Toronto based artist Amanda Happé. I love it so much and am proud to have had such talented people working on this project.

SO, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:

I came up with the idea for CREATIVE BLOCK for myself, just as much as for all of you. I wanted to make something beautiful – a contemporary art book filled not only with inspiring images, but also inspiring words, advice, and tips to help amateurs and professionals alike, find their way through those days when the ideas just won’t come. Because everyone who dabbles in something creative feels that way at some point – right? Right. I wanted to write this book to show you that if you’re feeling this way you’re not alone either. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts about successful, working artists who seem to have this whole “creative thing” figured out. But surely they have blocks from time to time? How do they get through them? Where do they find fresh inspiration? How do they handle negative feedback? Does it stop them in their tracks? Now, these full time artists don’t have the luxury of not finishing, or giving up on a project – not when they’ve got a gallery or art buyer waiting on them! So how do they push themselves through those moments when the ideas just aren’t there? Or when the ideas are there, but their hands or materials will not cooperate.

THE ARTISTS:

Finally! I’m thrilled to reveal the list of 50 amazingly open, honest, witty, thoughtful, funny, talented artists that allowed me to interview them about their own creative blocks, insecurities, and inner-critics. Not only did they give us a candid view into their creative process, but each of them wrote a “creative unblock exercise” to help shake us out of our own blocks. Amazing? YES!

Gah! Almost 300 pages of stunning contemporary artwork, insightful advice, and creative-unblocking tips. It’s soooo good, all thanks to that amazing list of people who have been such a huge inspiration to me. I’ll hope, actually I know, they’ll inspire you too!

WHEN & WHERE:

The book is now on shelves, all over the world, as of March 2014, and online via Amazon, Chronicle Books, and several others. Check the side bar for upcoming book signing events! See you there!

ps. Thank you so much to Jerry Saltz, Brené Brown, and Faythe Levine for writing endorsements that will appear on the back cover - I love that you love it!




i’m jealous of alexandre ciancio





Oh, yes! Flat, graphic collages with a definite design-quality to them… you might even describe them as “architectural”. Hm. Perhaps that’s because they are the work of French architect Alexandre Ciancio. AND perhaps that’s why I want to pack up my things and move right into one of these ideal little worlds. I pick that pink world with the fancy kiss… minus the baby running away.

{thanks to Pauline for sending me a link to this work}