medium /// painting

kaetlyn able

I suddenly want to spend the day watching old Westerns … and I don’t even like old Westerns! This is the mysterious, rich, beautifully crafted work of Montana based artist Kaetlyn Able. Are you wondering how she does this? Graphite? Printmaking? I’ll let her tell you:

“I create dreamy portraits based on found historical photographs. Using tattoo needles and an x-acto blade, I etch into thin layers of black ink that I have painted onto white clay panels. Traditionally, this drawing technique is known as scratchboard, or scraperboard, but I don’t love those clinical-sounding names. They don’t do the process, which feels utterly, completely and perfectly magical, any justice at all! For me the practice is part meditation, part act of devotion. I slowly build delicate layers of marks, gradually adding more and more light and life to the image, until suddenly, a character and a story seem to emerge out of the black. It’s a surprise every time. I often layer these black and white drawings with pops of colorful elements that I paint in acrylic and acrylic gouache, creating further texture, dimension and emotional resonance.”

Tattoo needles?! What a fantastic way to get these characters to “emerge out of the black”. Love.

elyse dodge

Ahhh, British Columbia Canada… fractalized into candy-colored fantasticness! This province is my home – my heart – and I absolutely love the way that Vancouver based painter Elyse Dodge has captured the beauty of this special place. Geometric shapes, celebrating each and every color that bounces off our mountains, and those trees! I love those lovely little trees. Clearly, this is her home & heart too.

andrea soos

Abstract works on paper … that make me want to drop everything, run into the studio and start making marks… alllllll of the marks! This is the dreamy work of Canadian artist Andrea Soos. She runs a beautiful studio in Victoria, called Poppet Creative, where she helps other people find their creative genius. I am so thrilled that she’s finally showing the world what she’s been doing quietly in the background! Pop over to her brand new site to see her lovely work {PS. you might want to buy a piece or two before they all sell out, or before she realizes she should put her prices UP.} Happy Monday.

“free to be”

Well, that painting basically covers everything I had on my list of questions for British artist Pippa Young. Flat bonnet-ish hats, thin red lines {which are paint, not thread btw}, weird plastic-looking stuff wrapping her subjects – what’s it all about, because I need to know! Thankfully, she told me. We talked about being free to do whatever we like, late starts, and how I can get myself to Cornwall because, clearly, it’s a creative wonderland filled with amazing artists! Have a listen right under “Self-Doubt” – how perfect is that? – or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, some of the paintings I wrote about years ago when I first stumbled upon Pippa’s lovely/weird work:

After doing this interview, I’m pretty sure that’s Pippa’s son in, at least, the last painting above. These works also give you a little peek into the “hats” / “bonnets” I brought up right off the top. Next on my list of “what’s this about?”… tiny, delicate, beautifully painted red lines:

Gasp! Pippa told me she doesn’t do those lines freehand, she “uses masking tape”. Oh okay, super easy then. WHAT?! So precisely perfect! She explained that these tethering red lines were inspired by “The Goldfinch” – a book written by Donna Tartt, inspired by a 1654 painting by Dutch artist Carel Fabritius … now that’s a lot of inspiration. Pippa’s final painting above is, in fact, titled “Goldfinch I”. FYI… this is the cover of the book, and the painting:

Lovely. Next on my list of questions… the plastic trash bags?

Yep, there’s that plastic bag “baby” we were talking about. Her work is so gorgeous … the combination of the detailed plastic texture, with the flat hats and dresses on the girls? LOVE. It is so obvious {now} that Pippa was a graphic designer for such a long time … beautiful compositions, photographic qualities combined with flat graphic elements, and oh, that negative space. It’s all just too good.

And, ah yes, her “interventions”. I already loved them to begin with, and then to find out that these are not found images, but actually members of Pippa’s family, well, that pushed me over the edge:

Ghostly, beautiful, kinda weird… fantastic! And finally, Pippa in her studio:

Gorgeous! Quite handy to have a talented photographer brother to take cool in-studio shots, no? Thank you so much to Pippa for taking time out of her recharging break to talk to me; thanks to Saatchi Art and Create! Magazine for supporting the episode; and thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Charlotte Keates, Episode No.107
  2. Lisa Wright, Episode No.122
  3. Arusha Gallery, Edinburgh
  4. Michaël Borremans, Belgian artist
  5. Pippa on Instagram
  6. Create! Magazine – Call for Art (due Feb 28)


mando marie

To say that I have loved the work of Mando Marie since the moment I started this blog would be spot on … right down to the minute, in fact. Today, February 22nd, marks NINE YEARS since I launched the very first post as “The Jealous Curator”. Nine years? Insane. There were a handful of artists whose work I was obsessed with back then … oh who am I kidding, I still am! One of them was of course, American painter/street artist Mando Marie. I even managed to get her on the podcast not too long ago! Another artist I have always loved? American folk/street artist Margaret Kilgallen … so imagine my delight when I found the piece at the bottom of this post … one of Mando’s girls reading Margaret Kilgallen’s book, In the Sweet Bye and Bye. Perfect to mark the anniversary of this beautiful, crazy, artsy ride that I’ve been on for almost a decade. Thank you all so much for coming along with me! Sharing the work of amazing artists from all over the world brings me pure joy – whether it’s through the blog, Instagram, my books, or the podcast. Here’s to the first nine years, and hopefully decades more to come.

sara khan

Whoa. Ok, clearly I had to include all of those closeups because, well, these details are fantastic! Flowers, figures, narratives… it’s all happening! This is the work of Sara Khan. She was born in England, raised in Pakistan, and now lives in Vancouver… that’s the super quick version of her life story. Now, how about the story behind these beautifully bizarre watercolor paintings from her series titled “Ubiquitous Follies”:

I am interested in the repulsion and beauty found in ordinary spaces and situations, and question the normalcy of the seemingly mundane matters in life. For example; how a man inside a woman leads to the birth of another human; turning the woman into a mound of soil in which a human germinates like a plant from a seed, and in the process disfigures the woman to the limits of possibility.

It is in dealing with these observations that I draw them out, to find a place for things that are neither here nor there. Slowly laying out translucent layers of watercolour, I work toward pronouncing some areas, while covering others entirely, almost decoratively as if to say “you didn’t belong, but now you do, or you did belong and now you don’t.” I leave some questions to chance, answer others more definitively, hovering somewhere between restraint and complete spontaneity. The idea is to develop a space or landscape with both extremes in it; the abhorrent and the fantastic. Coexisting to form one complete picture; thriving in the gray areas, it’s a subtle dance between “is it” and “is it not”. ~ Sara Khan, 2017

Whoa, again.

teagan mclarnan

Ah, yes. Sometimes, usually on Mondays, paintings that exude a sense of quiet calm is exactly what I need. These succulents and cacti are the work of American painter Teagan McLarnan. She usually works with oil paint, but this lovely series has been created with egg tempera. Those muted colors and matte finish make these pieces even more lovely… happy Monday to you. {I need more coffee}

angela deane

Look, the heart wants what the heart wants, ok!? … And yes, my heart desperately wants these insane flowers by American artist Angela Deane. I’ve written about her fabulous ghosts before, and then earlier today I stumbled across that first rose, and well, here we are. Weird, hilarious, and fun … with just a touch of pure ‘Alice in Wonderland-ish’ terror. Happy Friday!

samantha french

Sigh. I have loved the work of Brooklyn based painter Samantha French for YEARS. Now, Sam is known for her large-scale, underwater oil paintings, which I’ve written about several times and even had her on the podcast to talk about. I’m so smitten with her aqua blue pools filled with reflected sunlight,  so I often just pop over to her website to see what she’s up to…  and this time I found these! Smaller works on paper using gouache…. love, love, love! If you’re looking for a more affordable way to add a Samantha French original to your collection, this might be the way. Also… gouache!? ♥


wayne white : new show

Ok, so, it’s no secret how much I love the work of LA based painter Wayne White, especially his text pieces. Look how brilliant that last painting is?! Those ladies from the original thrift shop painting popping up in front of his gorgeous letters. How? I don’t know. Wayne has a new show opening tomorrow night, titled  I TOOK THE MACHINE APART BUT COULD NOT PUT IT BACK TOGETHER”, at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York.

The show will be composed of five main components: his signature “word paintings” on vintage offset lithographs, as well as text-based works on paper over the Artist’s painted abstract backgrounds, mixed-media marionettes, and an installation of drawings. The fifth element encompasses the entire gallery, which is painted over with White’s personal doodles, words, and phrases, pulled directly from his notebook. 

Um, that sounds amazing. The opening reception is on Thursday February 8th (6-8pm), oh, and Wayne will be there… ie., GO! ps. The show runs until March 10th.