medium /// painting

abigail mccallum


Gasp! They look like close-ups, and they are, but they’re also the final pieces… sigh… oh, so many big, beautiful blooms! These large-scale oil paintings are the work of American painter (and classical ballet dancer) Abigail McCallum. She has only been painting for six years… Yeah. I know. I think we should all keep an eye on this prima painter.

Some of her work is available via Hang Art.

ps. scale, and ballet skills:


justin margitich


Watercolor, colored pencil, and acrylic on paper … figured I’d put that list out there right away, seeing as that was the first thing I asked myself when I saw the work of American artist Justin Margitich. I would love to jump into one of his magical / weird worlds, but since I can’t, I guess the next best thing would be to see them in person. If you’re in LA you can see his current show that just opened on Saturday January 14. It runs until February 25 at Moskowitz Bayse Gallery. I’ll be in LA mid-February, so that’s my plan!

esthera preda


She had me at birds on skateboards. Sigh. This is the surreal, sweet, weird work of Canadian artist/illustrator Esthera Preda. Watercolor, gouache, and ink mixed with a healthy dose of odd, and voila… stunning work! Where does she come up with her ideas? Perhaps this will shed a little light:

“As a child, [Esthera] was read Hans Christian Andersen and Brothers Grimm fairy tales every night by her mother who escaped the iron curtain. She lived across the hall from her grandmother who was prone to night terrors. Although, she had wonderful parents, one of her favorite pastimes was to pretend that she was an orphan so she could build, with her brothers and sister, multi-level cardboard houses in the summer and igloo villages in the winter. The world that her art exists in lies somewhere between those ephemeral seasons, night terrors and folk tales.”

Ephemeral seasons, night terrors and folk tales… a perfect description, indeed!

ekaterina popova


Monday, amirite? Sigh. I would love to curl up in any of these cozy, disheveled rooms. These are the candy-hued oil paintings of Ekaterina Popova. Not only is she a talented artist in her own right, she’s also the woman behind Create Magazine… a fabulous artist that supports other artists? Yep, that’s my kind o’ woman!

claire tabouret


Gasp! Acrylic and fabric on canvas. This is the stunning work of French-born, LA-based artist Claire Tabouret. Her portfolio is full of amazing work but these four very unique, feminine, breathtaking pieces jumped out at me immediately. Those strips of paint-soaked fabric? Oh, mon Dieu.

karen freedman


Oooh, aaaaah! Remember those magical kaleidoscopes from childhood? Well, say hello to Kaleidoscoptical, an ongoing series {encaustic, casein on cradled panels} by American artist Karen Freedman. I told my high school math teacher I wouldn’t be needing math because I was going to be an artist. Oops. Here is part of Karen’s statement about this work:

… I strive for each of these paintings read differently when viewed close up and at a distance; almost as if you were looking at two different paintings. I … achieve this, not by turning a dial on a toy to allow color to reflect off mirrors but by creating a motif composed of multiple shapes and layers painted with opaque and translucent encaustic paint. Varying these colors and the order in which the elements are layered allows for an unlimited series of paintings that although united by a similar matrix can, once assembled, appear unrelated. The Kaleidoscoptical series as a whole is made up of sub-sets of paintings that are differentiated by the first four digits of their title. The paintings in each of these sub-sets are generated from a design matrix that is unique to that grouping. The process, like a kaleidoscope, repeats itself over and over, but each result is unique.

Beautiful, clever, complex. Sorry Mr.Keane… you were right. Damn it.

“hey, mama”


Aw! Those are two of my favorite photos with my mom. I’ve talked about her a lot on the podcast… she’s an artist and some of my earliest memories are of her painting at the table, getting ready for shows, and of course, letting me use all of her materials! Today, on Christmas Eve, I’m talking to Judi Cumming, aka my mom. I feel like a bad daughter because I didn’t know a lot of these stories (self-absorbed teenager), but all of that changes today. You can listen right up there under that dandelion/poncho shot, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, her show at “Delphine’s” in Vancouver when I was just a teeny tiny baby:


Love it! That’s the front window of the gallery circa 1974-ish.

From there, our little family was off to live on the other coast… from the Fraser Valley to the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. There were a lot of apple blossoms in her work at that time. The only one I could find was from this set of notecards she used to sell. I’ve had this in my stash for years, and didn’t realize until taking this photo the other day that there was a little surprise inside:


A little note from me to my grandmother, Blanche (my mom’s mom). I’m pretty sure that’s a chicken head. Why? I have absolutely no idea.

This is the photo I mentioned… my mom hanging her “Life Beyond Death” show. I was probably a tween or young teenager at the time and I remember thinking what a cool mom I had. Granted, I think my dad caught her off guard in this shot, but still, very cool:


Beautiful. That’s one of the pieces from the show. It’s truly crazy to me that she thinks watercolor is “easy”. ?!

Anywho, I forgot to bring up this story, but I should have. About a year ago I was visiting a friend, who happens to live next door to an old friend of my parents. I hadn’t seen this woman in decades, so we popped in to say hello… and what was the first thing I saw on her wall. One of my mom’s paintings from the 1980’s! Here it is:


I love those little birds. I’ve always been in awe of the way my mom paints branches… a skill that was not passed down in the DNA.

Up next,  a piece from the “In Tandem” series that she did with her friend, artist/calligrapher Susan Nelson. This is the one that I own:


Ah, so dreamy. I love that we have it in our home.

Next, we talked about her foray into acrylics. Let’s just say acrylics are not her medium, but I love that she is never afraid to experiment! Needless to say, I begged her to go back to those “easy” watercolors, being sure to explain that not everyone finds them easy – she just happens to be really good! Guess what? She listened to her kid! Here is one of her more recent works, and a shot of her in action at an outdoor art show:


My mama in the sunshine! Thank you so much to my mom for being completely up for this… I’m so happy we finally had this very long overdue, artsy conversation (and thanks to my Dad for rounding up a lot of these photos!); thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To pick it up (or any other book over there for that matter) just use my link: And as always, thank YOU for listening.

Have a happy, safe, fun-filled holiday! I’ll be back with new posts the first week of January (and a new podcast episode on Jan 7th). I’m going to make lots of art, drink coffee by the fire, play in the snow, and most likely eat my weight in chips. I encourage you to do the same! See you in 2017 ~ Danielle xo

kyle skor


Whoa. I feel like I just woke up from a really weird dream … and I wanna go back to sleep so I can wander around in there a little longer! These are the paintings of American artist / children’s book author & illustrator Kyle Skor. I already wanted to be friends with him when I found his beautifully bizarre work, and then I read his bio…

Kyle Skor grew up playing in the prairie snows and forests of the upper midwest, which nurtured in him the spirit of the wandering mystic. At one point he went to Williams College and studied art history and psychology, and chose somewhat prematurely to enter a doctoral program at Harvard at the age of 22. As a graduate student, he spent more time skipping class to read poetry and sketch at the museums of greater Boston and Cambridge than not, an awareness of which ultimately led him to drop out of school and assume a variety of odd jobs, working by candlelight on his “work”. Between 2005-2013, the fruits of most of these efforts found themselves consigned to various landfills around Asia and California. 

See? Now I really want to hang out with him! Happy Friday.

lindsay arnold


Um, can we all collectively agree that these acrylic paintings on panel are insane? PAINTINGS. I’ve written about Canadian artist Lindsay Arnold and her painted doilies before, but she has recently kicked it up a notch by adding pins, and clothes pegs, and trinkets, oh my! All of these pieces are from her ongoing series, titled Tedium. Here are her words about this work:

“In my grandmother’s time the doily was required for protecting surfaces, concealing imperfections, ornamenting surroundings, and measuring status. Today doilies are found in abundance at thrift stories, auctions and forgotten linen closets. Hours of female labour are represented in these worn, stained and unfashionable objects. The imperfections which have rendered the doilies unusable for their original purpose inspire narratives which are further explored through interactions with objects such as scissors, pins, and utensils. The doilies are stretched, torn, and misshapen, such as we are by marriage, illness, motherhood and more. “Tedium” is way to honour the difficult experiences which leave us worn, acknowledge thankless repetitive labour, and reveal a part of the anonymous doily maker’s story.”

Amen, sister.

andrea hooge


I am totally in love, and a tiny bit scared. These pieces, from a series titled “Dolly”, are the work of Vancouver based artist Andrea Hooge. Oil, ink, and handmade scratchboard on wooden cutout. Wooden cutout! That means I could have one of these weird ‘n wonderful doll heads floating on my wall! {I’m wondering if this has something to do with my “Cabbage Patch” obsession as a kid? Hm.}

* Some of her latest work, a show titled “Toy Babies”, will be showing in Vancouver at Hot Art Wet City in February… Feb 3 ~ 25th 2017