medium /// painting



Oil pastel on paper. Oh my goodness. These beach-goers, from another time, are the work of a Montreal based artist known as Cluca. Those towels, their skin, the perfect negative space… and of course the woman in a bunny hat / mask being thrown in the air… fantastic! Happy Friday.

rhian swierat


Ooooh! Painting and drawing and thread and sequins! I’d love to see these gems in person, but an extreme close-up or two is going to have to do for now. This is the mixed media work of New York based artist/graphic designer Rhian Swierat. Does she have a plan going into each piece? Yes – ish. Small stitched sketches get her going, but then she lets go and the whole process becomes very organic… perhaps that’s how those spider webs and flowers made their way in there.

“My process takes precedent over any drive towards a preordained composition. Sewing has no short cuts, you need to make every stitch to fill a space. This process becomes meditative as I work to recall each memory and distill it into a physical representation.”


christine shields


Weird. Portraits. Hot pink… these are a few of my favorite things! All of these bizarrely beautiful ladies are from a series titled, you guessed it, “FACES” by California based artist and musician Christine Shields. Throw some black glasses on that last gal, and I may have just found my twin. Note to self: buy a green bow. 

ps. a couple of her pieces are available at Good Eye Gallery.

sally west


Oooh, yes! Who wants to go swimming in aqua-blue cake frosting?! Simple strokes, an absolutely loaded brush, and big beautiful canvases just waiting to be transformed into busy beaches as a gentle ocean breeze blows through. Sigh. I can almost smell the salty air and sunscreen! This is the plein air work of Australian artist Sally West. and yes, I’m smitten. I also want to eat cake on the beach.

{Some of her work is available through KAB Gallery}

burl vreeland


Gah!!! I love, and want, the work of California based artist (and firefighter!?) Burl Vreeland. Yes, you read that correctly. Here’s a bit of info about Burl and his fabulous work:

“Burl Vreeland is a self-taught mixed media artist who specializes in creating images from  recycled scrap. He gathers his inspiration from the places he has lived and visited, garnering materials from the natural and unnatural world. (organic/inorganic?) He begins with canvas and then incorporates his reclaimed discoveries with woodwork and painting into movable shapes and tiles.  Over the past fifteen years, Burl has hosted numerous shows exhibiting his work across California. Burl has been a firefighter for many years.  He also works in demolition, where he seeks to restore that which has been tore down and castaway into his art, proving nothing should be considered disposable and forgotten, only transformed.”

There is literally nothing about any of this that I don’t love.

ps. Some of his work will be in “Manhandled” opening at Good Eye Gallery in LA on April 8th. GO! 

“if i’m in the zone, leave me alone”


BOOM! The first time I saw the work of Los Angeles based artist Samantha Fields, I thought “Wow, amazing photographs!” … until, of course, I realized that they were paintings. Yeah, PAINTINGS. Sam airbrushes layers and layers and layers and layers of misty paint to create the most ethereal, absolutely stunning work. You can listen up there right under that sky full o’ fireworks, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, some of her latest work along with a peek into her studio/her process:


There’s Baby at work – that’s Sam’s airbrush, not my nickname for her! Wow. She wasn’t kidding about all of those layers and her minimal studio. It would have to be, otherwise all of her trinkets and plants would be covered in a thick layer of paint, eventually.

Alright, these pieces are from Sam’s storm chasing days… her poor mother.


See! Proof… Sam in the middle of a highway just lookin’ for trouble to paint!

Again, more proof. The wildfires of California that called her name every time a new blaze broke out:


Destruction and beauty, rolled elegantly into one image.

This was such a good story! When Sam set off to document the aftermath of the Mount St. Helens volcanic eruption, but instead found, well, FOG:


Gasp! Who knew fog could be so absolutely beautiful! Thank goodness for happy accidents. I had to include this close-up… it still doesn’t do her work justice, but at least you can begin to see the “wisps” of paint. When she said she “paints atmosphere with atmosphere” she meant it.

Ah, next… the rainy highway paintings. These were some of the first pieces of Sam’s I ever saw. And yes, I totally thought they were photographs:


Right!?  They make my heart skip a beat.

Now, usually I start these posts with my favorite pieces, but today I’m ending the post that way. Sam’s fireworks. Oh. My. Goodness.


I can almost smell the smoke, and hear those chest-thumping BOOMS echoing through LA’s hills. I cannot imagine being able to paint like this, let alone with an airbrush named ‘Baby’. Sigh. I’m so glad Sam was able to do this with me. She’s insightful, determined, and creative to the core; thank you to Saatchi Art for supporting episode 91; and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. Here are a few pieces from the portfolio of Sam’s very talented husband, Andre Yi:


Other links:

  1. Aaron Smith Episode
  2. Ashley Mistriel Episode
  3. Sam’s work at Good Eye Gallery, LA
  4. Cranbrook Academy of Art
  5. Beverly Fishman
  6. Cal. State Northridge
  7. Charles & Ray Eames
  8. Museum of Art & History, Lancaster (Sam’s retrospective show will be here)
  9. Traywick Contemporary (Sam’s LA Gallery)
  10. Mr & Mrs Exquisite Corpse


marion tivital


Lovely… and lonely. “Beauty can be found in very unexpected places, and it is a joy to find in shadow a gleam of light that shapes everything.” True, and these paintings are proof. This is the work of Paris based French artist Marion Tivital. Her portfolio is full of forgotten places, a lot of them industrial, but it’s her pools – or traces of pools – that I love so very much.

international women’s day


So many of my favorite artists in one spot, all working toward the same goal. Yep, in honor of International Women’s Day, Uprise Art and the artists featured {just a few shown here} are donating 100% of proceeds from this online exhibition, titled “For the Greater Good”, to Planned Parenthood. Brilliant, beautiful. #Resist

See all of the available originals in this show right here… 100% of proceeds!? Amazing.

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