medium /// painting

david pirrie


Q. What is more fitting on Canada Day than paintings of Canadian mountains, by a Canadian painter?

A. Nothing.

If I have an excuse to write about the absolutely gorgeous work of David Pirrie, then I’ll take it! I have seen his paintings in person {at the Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver} and they’re stunning… just like his majestic, mountainous, Canadian subject matter! Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canucks … I’m on my way to climb a mountain, and then I’m going to jump in a lake. Seriously.

amanda happé


I have written about Toronto based Amanda Happé quite a few times {she’s also the artist that painted the cover of my book, Creative Block}. I was poking around on her site the other day, and look what I found! A new series called “Runes Water” … a departure from her usually text based work, but I love them just as much! Tanks of water, chunks of rainbow here and there, and those little bits of wood… LOVE.

silja selonen


My high school math teacher told me that even if I was an artist, I’d need to know math. I didn’t believe him. Luckily, Finland based artist Silja Selonen knew better! Ah, yes… her paintings are a beautiful marriage of art and science {in the form of oil & gesso on wood}. Here are her words about these works:

“When studying in Art-Academy I did my written thesis about art and science, and this theme follows me. To me, those beautiful mathematical shapes represent the invisible world – time, energy, matter, gravity – but also emotions and awareness.”

Lovely. Happy Monday… to you too, Mr.Keane.

“on the other side of pop culture”


Episode no. 5 : Kansas City based artist Peregrine Honig. I “know” Peregrine, but only through email, so I was very excited, and a little nervous, to finally speak to her in person. We talked about her experience as a reality TV cast member {for real!}, helpful procrastination tips, and her latest body of work {no pun intended} that could have gotten her arrested in China. Everything in this episode is shown here so that you can follow along while we’re talking. Most of it won’t make sense unless you listen, so just click ‘play’ right up there {see, just under those beautiful boys}, and you can also subscribe on iTunes. Alright, first things first… reality TV meets art:


Yes. Reality TV and art… that might literally be my own personal heaven. Did you watch Bravo’s Work of Art? I sure did… and Peregrine was on it! {that’s her above, in silver, just below the “of”}. I loved this show, and Peregrine was my favorite all the way through so it was VERY exciting to finally ask her all of my fangirl questions! The images above are from her final, fantastic, absolutely gorgeous show. Sigh. Love. Ok, so after I obsessed over that for awhile, we moved on to talk about her latest series, #hoteldrawings:


Gorgeous, and I love that she didn’t create them in her usual studio space! She then took this sassy series to a new level via an incredible printmaking residency in China, just this past spring:


Yes, that’s the master calligrapher she mentioned… an inspiring collaboration, and “so sexy” as the girls would say! {This work will be shown in September 2015 at Red Star, Kansas City MO.} As we were finishing up with the “speed round”, I asked if she had any strange final stories to share… she did:


What!? The glass crown by Kate Clements that I wrote about {right here}, the day before Peregrine and I did this interview… and look where it lives?! Crazy.

Oh, and I said that I would include her first answer from my book, Creative Block. All of her answers were like poetry, but this Q/A was my favorite:

JC: Do you remember the first time you felt like “an artist”?

PH: I remember drawing in the sun on my mother’s apartment porch when I was four. My hand was cooperating with my mind. A Belgian man and his girlfriend were staying downstairs. He was smoking near me. He looked at what I was drawing and told me I was too good to draw on both sides of a sheet of paper. The memory of this moment is fresh- the airborne dust, the smell of tobacco, the texture of the wood under my paper. I had never been praised in the form of advice.

Ah, lovely. And with that, I will say a huge thank you to Peregrine for taking the time to do this with me, and of course a great big THANKS to all of you for listening/looking! The next episode will be filled with art and ready for your ears next Saturday.

melissa loop


Whoa. I want to go to there. I am in love with the explosion of color in these magical, mountainous landscapes by Minneapolis based artist Melissa Loop… but wait… she’s no ‘one trick pony’! Melissa does beautiful things using only one color too:


Ahhh, blue tropics. I want to go to there too… Melissa did: “This series is based on the photos, mis-memory, and fantasy around my research trip to the French Polynesia.” 

jason middlebrook


Oh. My. Found wood and colorful, intricately painted lines? Yes, please! I absolutely love this series of work by American painter Jason Middlebrook. After moving from Brooklyn to Hudson New York, now out of the city and into nature, Jason started painting on chunks of discarded wood – adding contemporary design to the already gorgeous work that Mother Nature provided… a perfect collaboration.

{via My Modern Met}

johan barrios


Graphite and watercolor. Oh, and paper. That’s it. These mixed media drawings are the gorgeous work of Colombian artist Johan Barrios. Perfectly drawn portraits, on washy/loose fields of paint… I’d like to write more, but instead I’m just going to stare at these in awe. {Drawings!?}

amy spassov


TV sets, rainbows, old toys and cassette tapes… sigh… these mixed media paintings by Seattle based artist Amy Spassov are whisking me right back to my pre-teen days! And, because my sister and I had rosebud bedding for our entire childhood/adolescence, Amy’s rose-covered backgrounds are ridiculously comforting and familiar to me… I totally just aged myself, didn’t I?

*All of these pieces are from her most recent series, titled “Inside Out”.

“good luck with that”


Episode no.4 … I’m starting to get the hang of this whole podcast thing! Today I’m talking to New York based artist Trey Speegle … and yes, that’s him with First Lady Michelle Obama. That’s just how Trey rolls. Everything we talk about in this episode is shown here so that you can follow along while we’re chatting. Most of it won’t make sense unless you listen, so just click ‘play’ right up there {see, just under Trey & Michelle}, and you can also subscribe on iTunes. Ok. Here we go…


Trey’s paint-by-number work.… and paintball-by-number™, of course! These pieces are the title pieces from a few of his solo exhibitions {and that’s his trusty little dog, Lamont}. Oh, and look down there… it’s Andy Warhol’s gravestone that Trey accidentally designed:


And if you want to see the grave right this very minute, Trey told me that there is an Andy Warhol grave-cam. He wasn’t kidding. And, look what else he pointed me to! The photo above was taken with Trey’s camera at a party in New York, Hallowe’en 1988… Trey is second from the left on the bottom, and Keith Haring {yes, THAT Keith Haring} is second from the right. Crazy.

And then of course, there was the whole discussion about my invite onto the boat in Miami, but we’re both a little concerned about sharks. This is the photo we were talking about:


And finally, the most gorgeous #tbt photo I’ve ever seen… Trey, in drag for Hallowe’en, on a rooftop in New York:


Ah-mazing. Such a beautiful photo {look at those legs!}. Thanks so much to Trey for always being so fun! He’s a busy man, so I was very honored that he took the time to do this with me. Thanks to Saatchi Art for sponsoring the first four episodes of ART FOR YOUR EAR, and thank YOU for listening! There will be a new episode up next Saturday.

seth smith


These paintings by American artist Seth Smith are like beautifully painted, circular reminders of every hot summer road trip that my family ever took. First question from the sweltering backseat… does the motel have a pool!? Fingers crossed that the answer was YES. Perhaps that’s why I love these four pieces so much… four paintings, four pools! {I’m going to assume that the “Pacific Motel” has a pool!}

Happy weekend!