medium /// painting

ali cavanaugh

I have written about American painter Ali Cavanaugh a few times over the years. How can I not when she keeps producing work that looks like this!? They are, as she calls them “modern watercolor frescos”. Here’s the description of her process:

“Ali Cavanaugh carefully layers watercolor pigment on a wet kaolin clay surface using tiny round synthetic brushes. Her methods of layering translucent pigment on the white surface give the paintings a sense of  being lit from behind … The luminous quality is often described by collectors as being transcendent or sublime and the detail and light can only be experienced in person. She has spent the last seven years developing her inimitable process and refers to her paintings as “modern frescoes” because they are so uniquely different than what we know of as traditional watercolor paintings … The panels for Cavanaugh’s paintings are constructed by Ampersand Art Supply located in Buda, Texas. Ampersand first treats the wood panels with its trademarked ‘Archivalseal’ primer and then they coat the panels with a ph balanced kaolin clay veneer. This archival clay coating is delicate to the touch but very durable to the watercolor medium.”

Wow, right?

dana holst


Oh. So. Good. These are the strange, beautiful, monotone portraits {oil on paper, and encaustic/oil on paper} of Canadian artist Dana Holst. She also paints crazy scenes and intense portraits in extremely saturated color palettes, but these black & white beauties were calling my name… sort of like a classic movie that you watch over and over and over again… even if it scares you a tiny bit.

{This was another artist sent to me by Jessica G. Thanks, Jessica!}

darlene cole


I think I had this dream once… there were bears in a rose garden, horses, carousels, and I had a little grey bunny that lived on a fancy chair. And then I woke up. Sigh. I can almost smell the roses and peonies in these strange and lovely, dream-like paintings by Canadian artist Darlene Cole. I really hope I have that dream again.

{Thanks to Jessica G. for sending me a link to Darlene’s work}

adalberto ortiz

I love the excitement and bright lights of a big city, but my heart belongs to the quiet of a small town… enter the simple, candy-hued paintings of Puerto Rican born, US based artist Adalberto Ortiz. Summer day. Small town. Count me in.

{via Saatchi Art}

caroline larsen


Detailed woven tapestries, right? Nope. Oil paintings! Ok, I know you’re not supposed to touch art – that’s what those velvet ropes at galleries are for – but I really, really want to touch these paintings by Canadian artist Caroline Larsen. I seriously thought they were vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors in woven form when I first saw them, but no… they are vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors made up of thousands of tiny strokes of oil paint. Sigh. Must. Touch.

{Found at General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto}

ps. I love her series of rocky, cacti gardens too… 



geoffrey johnson

New Year’s Resolution No.1 … spend more time in New York! When I saw these gorgeous oil on wood panel pieces by New York based painter Geoffrey Johnson I kept flipping back and forth between wanting to pack my bags for New York, or Paris, or New York, or Paris… and then I read his bio and it all made sense:

“Johnson draws much of his inspiration from his travel experiences and first-hand observations. Using a monochromatic palette of sepia hues, the artist says he strives to reproduce the places that inspire him. Johnson’s work is strongly evocative of the French Impressionists’ depictions of city life, interior spaces, and equestrian scenes. From Gustave Caillebotte’s steely, atmospheric renderings of foggy Paris streets and dusky rooftops to Degas’ spindly-legged racehorses, the influence of these artists upon Johnson’s painting is readily visible.

Well there you have it… maybe I’ll pack for both, and then see where 2015 takes me! Happy New Year, everyone!

{Thanks to GregoryWest for pointing me to Geoffrey’s work}

pippa young

Oh. Yes. You know how I feel about portraits, right? I LOVE them. You know what else I love? Perfect, detailed painting mixed with “unfinished” lines. Oh, and I also have a thing for antlers… so needless to say, all of this adds up to the fact that I really, really love the work of UK based artist Pippa Young. A lot.

{via Saatchi Art}

happy holidays!

I hope all of you have a lovely, restful holiday… I’m going to take the week off to snuggle in & get cozy with my boys, but I’ll be back next Monday with lots of amazing art! Merry merry to you and yours {This perfect painting by New York based artist Will Cotton}

emily winfield martin

Ah, the sweet, yet slightly strange, work of Portland based artist/illustrator Emily Winfield Martin {they have a bit of a Wes Anderson vibe, no?} I absolutely love these new additions to her portfolio, and thought they’d be perfect images to leave you with this week… I’m going to take a little break to spend some cozy, snowy time with my boys. May your holidays be filled with warm sweaters, blue-eyed kittens, and children in animal masks. Hm, or maybe just good friends & family!

I’ll be back bright and early next Monday morning with a whole bunch of new art to share with you… until then, merry merry to you and yours xo

amy bennett

Miniature dioramas that have been meticulously set up, and then photographed… yeah, that’s what I thought too! Nope, they’re miniature dioramas that have been meticulously set up, and then painted! They’re oil paintings. Gasp! All of these pieces are from a series titled “At the Lake” by American artist Amy Bennett. I wrote about her waaaaay back in 2009, but clearly, I shouldn’t have waited five years to write again! {Thanks to Jenni for reminding me about Amy’s work}

ps. here’s a peek into the magic that is her studio: