medium /// painting

javiera da fonseca


Perhaps it’s because snow is still falling in my backyard, but these vibrant acrylic paintings are making me long for warm tropical nights… you know, WITHOUT snow. These colorful beauties are the work of Mexico City based artist Javiera da Fonseca. If you want a little bit of warmth, and happen to be in Vancouver, some of her work can be seen in “AURA (A Mexican Experience)”. The show OPENS TOMORROW NIGHT, Wednesday March 8 at Back Gallery Project in Vancouver, and will run until April 1, 2017. Now, who wants a margarita?

“no excuses, no regrets… lots of beards”


Oh, that dapper man and his electric blue beard. Love. On this episode I’m talking to LA based painter Aaron Smith. I was lucky enough to meet Aaron when I was in LA a few weeks ago. He’s a good friend {and former teacher} of Martha Rich. Aaron arranged for us to come and speak to the students at the Art Center College of Design, where he happens to be an associate professor, and the associate chair of the illustration department. I liked him instantly… it might have been his warm personality, his big curly beard, his amazing tattoos, or the fact that he made me and Martha the strongest cup of coffee either of us has ever consumed. Whatever it was, I was in! I wanted him to be my friend, and what better way to make that happen than to have him on the podcast. You can listen right underneath the blue-bearded gentleman, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, I have to show you a few pieces from his “Museo” series. When he was telling his childhood backstory, he mentioned that he and his twin brother loved museums and would even set up their own museum-like displays at home. So amazing, AND it makes these pieces make even more sense:


Oh my word. His colors, those brushstrokes… sigh. {This body of work was Aaron’s first show after his three years of experimentation/break from showing that he mentioned.}

Alright, I can’t very well have Aaron Smith on the site without showing as many bearded men as I possibly can. I asked him, “Why all the beards?”, and his answer was fantastic {listen to the podcast!}:


Oh, that paint looks like icing! And look at those candy-hued colors! Very peacock-ish, yes?

Alright, here’s my favorite blue-bearded fella from the top of the post. This is the painting that took my breath away when I walked into Aaron’s house. Here he is, in all his glory, on Aaron’s living room wall:


Gorgeous! The second painting shown above is the other piece of Aaron’s work that’s hanging in his house. And yes, I also gasped out loud when I saw this one {it’s really big too!}

One of my favorite things to show in these posts, is an artist in his/her habitat … so here’s a peek at Aaron’s studio, and a little look into his office at Art Center:


So. Cool. Ok, I may have thrown those in so you could see his amazing beard. Please note the Martha Rich painting just over his shoulder. Such a brilliant gang of friends these guys have!

Alright, now you’ve seen his beard up close, time for a few of his tattoos. The not-so-speedy speed round revealed Aaron’s two favorites {although he had a hard time choosing}:


Tribal art from Papua New Guinea on his hands, and the artwork of Bill Traylor on his neck. Cool, smart, funny, generous, and passionate… yes, I want to be his friend, and I think we might be on our way! Thank you so much to Aaron for fitting me into his very busy schedule; HUGE high fives to Mrs. Mazzoni for changing the course of Aaron’s artistic life on that day in the sixth grade; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Art Center College of Design
  2. La Luz de Jesus Gallery
  3. Mark Todd & Esther Pearl Watson
  4. Souther Salazar
  5. Gallery Victor Armendariz, Chicago {Aaron’s current group show}
  6. Sloan Fine Art, LA


bri cirel


First, let’s marvel at the fact that these are oil paintings… ?! Layers of beautiful paint, lots of taped off areas, then more paint. Next, the idea behind all of this work is brilliant. I think “MY EYES ARE UP HERE” is my favorite… both of them! These are the paintings of Los Angeles based artist Bri Cirel, and this is a quote from a recent interview:

“… The realization that women and their images have been narrated by men for all of history lead me to wonder, who are we (women) really? What do we want really?…The politics and the history of sex—there’s something so dark about it,” Cirel says. “These are weird, unspoken realities that are part of our culture…” via Vice interview with Bri

The art history nerd, and the contemporary art lover inside me just jumped in the air and high-fived!

“cucumber shamu”


Cute on the outside, clever on the inside. Yum! Ok, I may have just copied and pasted every piece of art on the website of Kentucky based artist Lori Larusso. Can you blame me? I mean come on… cucumber Shamu cut from metal and then painted perfectly!? I’ve written about several of Lori’s series, and at face value they’re funny, sweet, retro-looking food art. But I knew there was more to them, and I was so excited to finally talk to Lori and get the inside scoop! Listen right up there under Shamu, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, her most recent series that will be showing {March 3} at the James May Gallery in Wisconsin, “Eating Animals”:


Those broccoli dogs. So good… and an excellent point about food consumption – kids think broccoli is gross, but if it looks like a dog it’s on the menu! Hm. Funny, weird, smart.

I grabbed these shots from Lori’s Instagram feed, so you can truly see how cool they are. Cut metal, beautifully painted and floating on the wall … or sitting on her table, depending how far along they are!:


Next, yet another of her ongoing series that I’m totally in love with – “It’s Not My Birthday, That’s Not My Cake”:


Love! And of course, the aftermath. A few of my favorites from Lori’s “Afterparty” series:


“Broken Heart, Plastic Plate”. Oh my word, I love it so much.

Alright, moving on to the first pieces of hers that I ever wrote about. These beautifully cut {um, jigsaw goddess!} interiors are part of Lori’s “Shapes” series:


Aaaah! I loved them years ago, and I love them just as much now! Ok, I had a lot of saw questions mainly because I’m pretty scared of power tools. She does have a few pieces that she borrowed a laser cutter type thing for… the drippy ice cream, and that apple peel for example:


Yeah. If she did that with a jigsaw… well… I don’t even know.

Now, brace yourself. Hopefully you won’t be offended by what you see next:


Yes. That’s a cigarette beside that half-eaten cupcake, and cup o joe. Gasp!

Moving on to something a little more tame. BUTTER. So. Much. Butter:


Yay! So glad I asked her about this, because the butter is no longer on her site. I’ve remedied that – she promised she’ll put the butter back on. And there is Chef Tanya at the University of Kentucky who made one of Lori’s butter paintings into a delicious little yellow cake. YUM!

I totally set Lori up for this not-so-speedy speed round question too, mainly just so I could show you the paintings from her “Bourbon” series:


Oh those cherries, the orange twists, the reflections on the glassware! I know Lori says she likes her bourbon ‘neat’, but those garnishes are fabulous, no?

And finally, she couldn’t track down the photo of herself {at age five} dressed as an artist for Halloween, but that’s ok because look what her mom sent through!


Awwww! Little Lori and her 3rd birthday cake. And because we were both deprived sugary treats when we were little, I thought I’d surround that photo with her favorite accessory… maraschino cherries! HA! Thank you soooo much to Lori for telling us the stories behind her work; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; and high fives to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Golden Paints
  2. French cleat (how-to!)
  3. University of Kentucky show
  4. “Eating Animals”, March 3 at James May Gallery, WI
  5. KMAC
  6. Porter Contemporary, NY
  7. Jordan Faye Contemporary, Baltimore
  8. Skidmore Contemporary, Santa Monica


gregory euclide



Just imagine getting lost inside of this relief piece by Minnesota based artist Gregory Euclide. Magic. I wrote about him waaaay back in 2010, and here we are again. Now, just in case you’re wondering what I was wondering, here is Gregory’s very exciting/impressive materials list:


You’re welcome. Happy Friday.

tracy kerdman


I wrote about New York based artist Tracy Kerdman in 2015, but when I saw a few of her latest pieces… well, I had to write again! I’ll be totally honest, it was that lovely lady and her lashes that won my heart.

{Some of Tracy’s work, including that lovely lady and her lashes, is available on Saatchi Art}

xuan chen


Damn. I wish I thought of that. Today marks the 8 year anniversary of ‘The Jealous Curator”, so what better way to celebrate than with gorgeous art that takes my breath away. These pieces are from a series by China born, USA based artist Xuan Chen, titled “Light Threads”YES! Colorful thread that looks like magical shafts of light cutting its way through neon geometric shapes on aluminum panel. So. Good. That thread is the kind o’ thing that makes me want to write posts for 8 more years! Love.

marija verde


Ahhh, a little bit of fashion, a little bit of nature… lovely combination! This is the washy work of Milan based artist/illustrator Marija Verde. Now, who do I speak to about getting one of those bird hats?

dan-ah kim


Underpants, tropical house plants, and a couple of tigers. Perfection. I don’t think I could choose a favorite from these mixed media pieces by Seoul-born, Brooklyn based artist Dan-ah Kim… BUT, if I had to pick, I’d go with “Fighting Stance” at the top of the post – because if you’re going to fight, you should always fight like a girl. #ShePersisted

{Some of these pieces are available in Dan-ah’s shop.}

ieva baklane


LOVE. Yes I do! This post could not be more perfect for today. It’s Valentine’s Day (love), I’m on my way to Los Angeles (palm trees ‘n beach houses), AND these acrylic paintings are the work of a fellow Canadian, artist Ieva Baklane. See? Perfect.