medium /// painting

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.

carlson hatton


Acrylic, airbrush, watercolor, maybe some graphite thrown in for good measure – all of that, or a combo of those ingredients – living happily on aluminum, paper and wood. This is gorgeous work of Los Angeles based artist Carlson Hatton. It’s a like vibrant, crazy treat for your eyes – hm, kind of like LA! So much to see, so much to take in – which is precisely why I love this description so much:

“Hatton’s works humorously addresses the extinction of imagery, or at least the end of our capacity to process it all in a meaningful way.”

Indeed. I’m on my way to LA tomorrow, and cannot wait to see some of Carlson’s work in person at the opening of Saatchi Art‘s latest show, titled “Mark-Making: In House Exhibition”.  The show opens on Thursday Feb 16, 5 – 9pm in Santa Monica, and I’ll be there from 5-6pm for a little meet & greet. Come say hi! {more info/RSVP here}


“inevitably, it changes”


For months, I’ve had people asking me to invite this talented woman onto the podcast… and the only reason I hesitated? I knew she’d just had a baby and thought it best to leave her alone for a little while! Well, her baby is now eight months old, and I couldn’t wait any longer. Today I’m talking to California based artist Elise Morris. Her ethereal, abstract botanicals make me stop and breathe. Deeply. I’ve always imagined Elise lying in the grass, under a sun-dappled tree with the California breeze dancing through the leaves… I guess we’re going to find out if that’s how she works. Or not! You can listen right up there under those dreamy petals and leaves, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, her work on paper, because… well, just look at it! Graphite and acrylic {that I totally thought was watercolor… right!?}:


Sigh. Stunning.

Equally as stunning, Elise’s gorgeous paintings on canvas:


I’d love to see those up close ‘n personal … that’s why I included the closeups, so we could all pretend that we’re right in front of them.

We talked a lot about her process – from photographs of leaves and magnolia petals, to blind contour drawings, to loose color blocking – beautiful! My favorite part? That there’s no overthinking… she “just goes”. Quite appropriate that such organic subject matter is created in such an organic way, don’t ya think? Here are a few of her studio/in-progress photos, found on her lovely Instagram feed:


I want to go to there. Those colors, the scale of her work, that big lovely space. Sigh… again.

Alright, so in the not-so-speedy speed round I asked about her favorite color. Any guesses?


Yep, it was a tie between pink and green. Clearly.

I can’t believe I almost forgot to bring this up!? I’ve just “hung” the second show at my new “Fancy Schmancy” online gallery. The show is titled “Au Naturel”, so obviously I asked Elise to create a brand new original piece specifically for this show, and thankfully she said yes! I love it so much… so much in fact, that I used it as the main image for the show:


I mean, come on! Look at those pencil lines, and my goodness, I had no idea acrylic paint could do that! It’s 22″h x 24″w on paper, and is titled “Calling Dawn I.” There is only one, so go buy it right now!

And finally, Elise is the mama of two boys – eight years old, and eight months old. Those lucky boys get to have their mom’s work in the nursery, living room, everywhere:


Aw! I had to include a shot of Elise in her studio with her bebe … those cheeks! Thank you so much to Elise for using an hour of her precious studio time to talk to me; Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode; and as always, thank you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bunnie Reiss episode
  2. “The Studio Work” – Elise’s blog
  3. “Color Play” – Upcoming show at Town of Danville Gallery
  4. Upcoming show at Ann Connelly Fine Art, Baton Rouge
  5. Sorry, no Peace Corps mural photos – you’ll just have to imagine!

ps. I’ll be in LA next week doing all sorts of book events. One of those events is an art show at Saatchi Art in Santa Monica, Thursday February 17th. I’ll be there from 5-6pm for a little meet & greet, and if you have any of my books, bring them and I’ll have a pen ready for signin’! {more info here}  I’ll also be at Skylight Books, with Martha Rich, doing a talk/signing on Saturday Feb 18th from 5-6pm.