medium /// painting

emily fromm

These are the comic book inspired acrylic paintings {paintings!?} of San Francisco based artist Emily Fromm. Her color choices are stunning, her subject matter is fabulously kitschy, and I cannot get enough of her hand-painted signs! And, I hope she doesn’t mind me making the comparison, but there is a touch of Margaret Kilgallen in some of her pieces {who happens to be one of my most favorite artists of all time.} Here are a few words from Emily’s site about why she paints what she paints:

“Having been raised in the outskirts of Los Angeles, she was heavily influenced by the over-the-top yet seedy aesthetic of the American West, and often highlights signage, architecture and the iconic style of the region in her paintings. She applies a graphic style that is familiar and nostalgic to these settings, incorporating imagery that is mundane and often low brow, to contrast these grandiose scenes with everyday life.”

… and so  you can see the ‘grandiose’ scale of some of her work:

*This image is from a show at Mighty Box Gallery, SF

shawna gilmore


Ahhh, such a pretty game of hide & seek. These paintings {acrylic on cradled wood panel} are the work of American artist Shawna Gilmore from her series, “Chameleon”. I’ve never been much of a wallflower, but I’m suddenly inspired to give it a try!

{These paintings are exclusively available at Gallery 360 in Minneapolis}



Oil pastel on paper. Oh my goodness. These beach-goers, from another time, are the work of a Montreal based artist known as Cluca. Those towels, their skin, the perfect negative space… and of course the woman in a bunny hat / mask being thrown in the air… fantastic! Happy Friday.

rhian swierat


Ooooh! Painting and drawing and thread and sequins! I’d love to see these gems in person, but an extreme close-up or two is going to have to do for now. This is the mixed media work of New York based artist/graphic designer Rhian Swierat. Does she have a plan going into each piece? Yes – ish. Small stitched sketches get her going, but then she lets go and the whole process becomes very organic… perhaps that’s how those spider webs and flowers made their way in there.

“My process takes precedent over any drive towards a preordained composition. Sewing has no short cuts, you need to make every stitch to fill a space. This process becomes meditative as I work to recall each memory and distill it into a physical representation.”


christine shields


Weird. Portraits. Hot pink… these are a few of my favorite things! All of these bizarrely beautiful ladies are from a series titled, you guessed it, “FACES” by California based artist and musician Christine Shields. Throw some black glasses on that last gal, and I may have just found my twin. Note to self: buy a green bow. 

ps. a couple of her pieces are available at Good Eye Gallery.

sally west


Oooh, yes! Who wants to go swimming in aqua-blue cake frosting?! Simple strokes, an absolutely loaded brush, and big beautiful canvases just waiting to be transformed into busy beaches as a gentle ocean breeze blows through. Sigh. I can almost smell the salty air and sunscreen! This is the plein air work of Australian artist Sally West. and yes, I’m smitten. I also want to eat cake on the beach.

{Some of her work is available through KAB Gallery}

burl vreeland


Gah!!! I love, and want, the work of California based artist (and firefighter!?) Burl Vreeland. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s a bit of info about Burl and his fabulous work:

“Burl Vreeland is a self-taught mixed media artist who specializes in creating images from  recycled scrap. He gathers his inspiration from the places he has lived and visited, garnering materials from the natural and unnatural world. (organic/inorganic?) He begins with canvas and then incorporates his reclaimed discoveries with woodwork and painting into movable shapes and tiles.  Over the past fifteen years, Burl has hosted numerous shows exhibiting his work across California. Burl has been a firefighter for many years.  He also works in demolition, where he seeks to restore that which has been tore down and castaway into his art, proving nothing should be considered disposable and forgotten, only transformed.”

There is literally nothing about any of this that I don’t love.

ps. Some of his work will be in “Manhandled” opening at Good Eye Gallery in LA on April 8th. GO! 

“if i’m in the zone, leave me alone”


BOOM! The first time I saw the work of Los Angeles based artist Samantha Fields, I thought “Wow, amazing photographs!” … until, of course, I realized that they were paintings. Yeah, PAINTINGS. Sam airbrushes layers and layers and layers and layers of misty paint to create the most ethereal, absolutely stunning work. You can listen up there right under that sky full o’ fireworks, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, some of her latest work along with a peek into her studio/her process:


There’s Baby at work – that’s Sam’s airbrush, not my nickname for her! Wow. She wasn’t kidding about all of those layers and her minimal studio. It would have to be, otherwise all of her trinkets and plants would be covered in a thick layer of paint, eventually.

Alright, these pieces are from Sam’s storm chasing days… her poor mother.


See! Proof… Sam in the middle of a highway just lookin’ for trouble to paint!

Again, more proof. The wildfires of California that called her name every time a new blaze broke out:


Destruction and beauty, rolled elegantly into one image.

This was such a good story! When Sam set off to document the aftermath of the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption, but instead found, well, FOG:


Gasp! Who knew fog could be so absolutely beautiful! Thank goodness for happy accidents. I had to include this close-up… it still doesn’t do her work justice, but at least you can begin to see the “wisps” of paint. When she said she “paints atmosphere with atmosphere” she meant it.

Ah, next… the rainy highway paintings. These were some of the first pieces of Sam’s I ever saw. And yes, I totally thought they were photographs:


Right!?  They make my heart skip a beat.

Now, usually I start these posts with my favorite pieces, but today I’m ending the post that way. Sam’s fireworks. Oh. My. Goodness.


I can almost smell the smoke, and hear those chest-thumping BOOMS echoing through LA’s hills. I cannot imagine being able to paint like this, let alone with an airbrush named ‘Baby’. Sigh. I’m so glad Sam was able to do this with me. She’s insightful, determined, and creative to the core; thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting episode 91; and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. Here are a few pieces from the portfolio of Sam’s very talented husband, Andre Yi:


Other links:

  1. Aaron Smith Episode
  2. Ashley Mistriel Episode
  3. Sam’s work at Good Eye Gallery, LA
  4. Cranbrook Academy of Art
  5. Beverly Fishman
  6. Cal. State Northridge
  7. Charles & Ray Eames
  8. Museum of Art & History, Lancaster (Sam’s retrospective show will be here)
  9. Traywick Contemporary (Sam’s LA Gallery)
  10. Mr & Mrs Exquisite Corpse


marion tivital


Lovely… and lonely. “Beauty can be found in very unexpected places, and it is a joy to find in shadow a gleam of light that shapes everything.” True, and these paintings are proof. This is the work of Paris based French artist Marion Tivital. Her portfolio is full of forgotten places, a lot of them industrial, but it’s her pools – or traces of pools – that I love so very much.

international women’s day


So many of my favorite artists in one spot, all working toward the same goal. Yep, in honor of International Women’s Day, Uprise Art and the artists featured {just a few shown here} are donating 100% of proceeds from this online exhibition, titled “For the Greater Good”, to Planned Parenthood. Brilliant, beautiful. #Resist

See all of the available originals in this show right here… 100% of proceeds!? Amazing.