medium /// painting




mike ryczek

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Quiet, beautiful, mundane, everyday-ness… that makes my heart skip a beat. This is the work {oil on masonite} of American painter Mike Ryczek. Sigh. Perfect for a Monday.





“a giant game of telephone… with art”

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In late 2012, I got an email from an American singer/songwriter named Sally Taylor. She was beginning to plan what she described as “a giant game of telephone, but with art”, and could I suggest a few visual artists that might be able to create something based on a piece of music she’d send them… um, YES! It sounded fun, creative, and amazing… and it was! In 2014 Consenses opened to the public in Martha’s Vineyard, and today I get to ask Sally the ins and outs of this giant project. You can listen right up there under lovely Sally, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First things first, we quickly have to talk about her parents, because:

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Yep, Sally is the daughter of American music icons, Carly Simon and James Taylor. For real. As you can imagine, I had a few questions about that too! She obviously comes from an insanely creative family {her brother Ben is a musician too} which I’m sure fueled this big beautiful project. Speaking of which, here’s a peek behind the doors at Consenses. I wish I’d been there for the opening, but my hope is to be there for the closing this coming August {if you’re anywhere near Martha’s Vineyard you should go!}:

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Ahhh, so much goodness in one spot! So basically the way it works – there are “chains” of creativity. So a musician writes a piece of music, and an artist would make a painting based on that song. Next, a dancer would create choreography inspired by the visual art. A perfumer could respond to that dance, developing a perfume that would tell the same story, but through scent. This is not one of the official “chains” but it’s a selection of work from Consenses that I LOVE:

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Amazing. {Did you see Lisa Golightly and Susanna Bauer in there?!} Each chain was then housed in a customized set designed by, you guessed it, a set designer. Seriously, just the coolest project ever. So, what do you do after you create such a cool project? A TEDx Talk, obviously:

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This is such a great talk… and she looks fabulous to boot! Apparently she only got two lunges into her backstage “get the nerves out workout”, but you’d never be able to tell. She did a wonderful job. Watch here.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never sung backup vocals on Letterman for my Dad, or hung out with Oprah and Stephen Colbert with my mom… but Sally has:

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Crazy cool! I loved her story about being on Letterman and her “Jolly Green Giant” outfit! Thank you so much to Sally for generously sharing her funny, insightful stories; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode; and big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

ps. I cannot believe I’m willingly posting these, but just so you don’t think my description was off… here’s proof. Me. Age 11. Mistaken for a boy. A lot. *note the white California glasses and yellow terry cloth shorts. Yowza:

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Other links:

  1. Consenses Documentary
  2. Mass MOCA 
  3. Consenses School Project
  4. Oprah clip
  5. Letterman clip

 





naomi okubo

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Sigh. This is the stunning work of Tokyo based artist Naomi Okubo. I wrote about her a little over two years ago and as you can see by these paintings, I had to write again. These are self-portraits… in plural. Yes, that’s Naomi at her own art show in the two top pieces, titled “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE #1” & “THIS IS NOT MY LIFE #2”. Here is her latest artist statement:

“… The ideas for my work come from an inferiority complex and my experiences in adolescence. As an adolescent, everyone starts to care about how other people think of their appearances. In my personal experiences, when I changed my own image, people changed their attitude toward me. They started to concern me, and our relationship became better. I also realized the power of fashion and the fear of other’s watchful eyes. I have been interested in appearances ever since … Although it seems like a personal issue, it is connected to greater problems and inconsistencies in society.”

Thanks to Period – Art by Women for bringing my attention back to Naomi’s work. Love!





megan hildebrand

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Mysterious monsters hanging out in magical forests… ah yes, just another day in the Canadian woods! This is the fantastic work of British Columbia based painter Megan Hildebrand. All of these pieces {acrylic on canvas} are from her series, “Giants”… perhaps that’s because most of these pieces are at least three or four feet, or maybe it’s an ode to those hairy guys living in the trees? Either way, I’m totally in love.





anna mcneil

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This is the lovely work of Anna McNeil, a painter born in Scotland, and based just outside of Barcelona. With a few simple brushstrokes, and a beautifully muted color palette she has filled these canvases with goosebump-inducing emotion. Because love is love ♥





“cute and poisonous”

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Paintings of installations, installations made from paintings, and a painted zebra rug? Yep, it’s safe to say that I’m totally in love with the work of Rhode Island based artist Kirstin Lamb. She has a library of painted “props” that she uses to create her own still life scenes… and a detailed glossary to go with it. Be still my organization-loving heart!  She has a literature degree from Brown, and a painting-focused MFA from RISD. She’s smart, thoughtful, and really into lists … so you know I’m going to love her! You can listen on the player right under that fabulous installation, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright first things first, Kirstin’s still life paintings. This work is inspired by her interest in Dutch Vanitas still life… but with a modern, weird, wonderful twist:

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Love! Those were the paintings I wrote about years ago, and yes, I still love them. I think it’s the portraits and cake… and ok, all of that meat too! So from 2D paintings that looked like 3D installations to 3D installations made from 2D paintings:

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I cannot get over how much I love this body of work. Paintings as props? So good. I told Kirstin that I really want to curate a show of her work… mainly so that I could pick from her vast library of painted “props” and then sit on the floor amongst them. That would be my happy place. Sigh. Alright, moving on. The evolution continues:

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Back to paintings on the wall, but now she’s painting the installations! Hello full circle! She’s creating her own still life set ups by first painting individual paintings, gathering props, setting it all up and then painting the scene. Beautiful, brilliant. So where does all of this magic happen? Take a look:

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Wow. I think sitting on her studio floor might be my other happy place. So. Much. Stuff! Thank you so much to Kirstin for talking to me {and inspiring me to index the meaning of everything in my studio}, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening… there will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bunker Projects, Residency
  2. Wassaic Artist Residency
  3. Portia Munson’s Pink Project
  4. “The Art of Teaching Art”
  5. Photography of Kirstin’s work {not studio} by Karen Philippi Photography

 





clair bremner

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Can you imagine walking through these magical, candy-hued forests? Sigh. This is the work of Melbourne based painter Clair Bremner. Abstract, landscape, loose drips, tiny details… and her color palette… oh yes, there’s a whole bunch of dreamy magic going on in there. Love.

{Some of Clair’s work is available through her online shop}





marc figueras

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Bikes and Barcelona… sigh. These gorgeous oil paintings, by Spanish artist Marc Figueras, make me want to pack my sandals, fly to Barcelona, and find the closest bike rental ASAP. Ok, I have to admit how I found this work. I was about to pin that top-most image to my “wanna wear it” board on Pinterest… until I realized it was a PAINTING! Mind you, I still want that skirt.





william betts

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So. Many. Dots. Yep, lots and lots and lots of tiny little dots of acrylic paint. Acrylic paint! All of these pieces are part of a show, titled Splash, that opens later this week in New York… if you can go, GO. This is the art meets technology work of Miami based artist William Betts. I don’t fully understand his process, but I do understand that I’d love to jump in a pool/go to the beach this very minute. Beautiful.

Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York {539 West 23rd Street}
June 9 – July 15, 2016
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 9th, 6 – 8 PM

 





“castle in the car”

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What!? Rachel Castle? Yep! I managed to get Sydney based artist, designer, entrepreneur, lover of wiener dogs… Rachel Castle to come on the podcast. I was so excited about this because Rachel has always been a bit of a creative enigma to me. She does so much, her work is so popular, and honestly I’m kind of intimidated by her success… success that has always seemed effortless from where I’m standing. I wanted to look behind the curtain, and I did! Turns out, she’s just a normal person. Who knew?! We cover everything from our favorite TV shows to her career in PR, over to dirty words in Australia that mean something completely different in Canada… and we did all of this from her car. For real. You can listen on the player right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, a few of her paintings {clearly you can see I like her floral pieces}:

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Ahhh! So gorgeous! These beauties sell so fast… in fact I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them without a SOLD sign underneath. Next up, you can’t talk to Rachel Castle without asking her about her felt text pieces:

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Yes! From KISS to Wham to a whole bunch of bananas in between … and yes, during the speed round I asked her preference between marmite and vegemite. Vegemite, obvi. Ok, and then of course there’s everything else she does outside of the paintings and felt pieces. Bedding, pillows, towels, sculptures, tea towels, bags, sweatshirts and more. Here’s just a teeny peek:

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Great, right? And yes, she clearly has a background in branding and marketing because, whoa, everything on her site looks FABULOUS!

Speaking of fabulous, here’s a look into her beautiful, messy, colorful studio {most of these photos came from her lovely instagram feed}:

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Yep. Love it. And thanks to her new-ish studio out of her house, her family won’t get stuck with pins that got left behind in the couch… hopefully.

So, sweet song lyrics and romantic sayings are great… but I have to admit, I kind of like the slightly ruder ones, as does Rachel:

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Turns out, not everyone agrees… not one “DOUCHE” print sold. Shame, I think it’s hilarious! And then in the speed round I just had to ask… did she have a wiener dog that looks just like mine? Yep! Granted, she calls hers a “sausage dog”, because, Australia:

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So cute! Oh, and that DAMN sweatshirt… yeah, we didn’t actually talk about that, I just really want it. That’s all.

Ok, and that’s that! Thanks so much to Rachel for talking to me for an hour in a very hot car, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend! xo

Other Links:

  1. Lucas Grogan
  2. Wayne White
  3. Roots