medium /// paper




sideline collective

Ahhh, what a relief… I can feel my shoulders dropping and my brain relaxing. This series, titled “Nothing In The News”, is the work of Sideline Collective – art by Joseph Ernst. Here’s the description:

“We live in a world of constant sensory overload. 24 hours a day we are bombarded with information in real time by every media outlet and platform competing for our attention, one pop-up notification at a time.

And we play ball. We invest hours on end staring at our mobile devices. We want to know what’s going on, the why and the how. We need to know. But in our perpetual quest to fill every spare minute of our time searching for something meaningful, we learn nothing. We are so busy filling every waking moment with things to watch and do, and learn and listen to, that we have forgotten what it is like to just be. To sit around and think. To switch off and be bored. To daydream.

This project offers a little respite to all this information overload.

Yes, we live in particularly sensitive times. Times where the truth really matters, and where newspapers have a more important role to play in modern democracies than ever before. But for a society addicted to breaking news, gossip, and celebrity status, to Facestagram and Twapchat, the latest trends, and the top tens, to sports punditry, conspiracy theories, cat videos, and ridiculous amounts of porn … for this cultural precipice, we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: “Nothing”. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.”

Aaaand exhale, if only for a moment. Happy Friday.

{These empty newspapers are available, while quantities last, in Sideline’s shop.}





annyen lam

PAPER. Each of these are just one piece of PAPER. My mind is officially blown. This is the elegant, meticulous, beautifully cut work of Toronto based artist Annyen Lam. Not only is she a paper-cutting artist, she’s also a printmaker. In fact, these pieces are a combination of those skills… “Lithograph, hand-cut paper, one sheet”. Mind blown. Again.

ps. so excited to say that Annyen is one of the Canadian artists who’s participating in “That Night In Toronto”, a show I curated to honor Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip. The show opens on July 8th at Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto. Put it in your calendars!





lucila biscione

Bunnies in hot air balloons, girls on stilts, and a few creatures I could only hope to see in my dreams. Weird ‘n wonderful worlds created with layers of very carefully cut paper, ink and graphite. This is the magical work of Argentina-born, Berlin-based artist Lucila Biscione. Love.





“starting from square one. again.”

jennybrown1

Today is about starting from square one, AFTER you’ve done all of the things you were supposed to do to get the life you wanted. It’s also about jellyfish alien creatures. Yes, Rhode Island based collage artist Jenny Brown in my guest today. She wrote a really heartfelt story on Facebook the other day, and I just had to get the inside scoop.  You can listen under that flowering jellyfish, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Let’s begin with a few of her recent pieces that I’m currently obsessing over:

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I would happily swim with these elegant creatures. Look at those thin beautiful lines, those perfectly cut bits ‘n pieces. LOVE.

And now, stepping back in time. A dark time. These were the large, very black, incredibly dense (and sad) pieces that Jenny transitioned to during her MFA:

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So different than her now very effervescent work. But, she pushed through and found the light again. Here are the first few pieces as Jenny began finding her way back to her “creatures”:

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Ah, that’s more like it. Although those charcoal pieces were beautiful in their own right, these are just Jenny… and she knew it.

I asked about the kind of paper she uses for her lovely colorful backgrounds, which seems like a perfect excuse for me to show a few more of my favorite “Jenny Brown” collages:

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Yep, love them all… So. Much. Color! I’m totally going to give pink card stock a shot. Beautiful.

Ok, so I found these WIP shots on Jenny’s gorgeous Instagram feed. Clearly, she’s a woman after my own heart:

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Gasp! Seriously, I need my scissors RIGHT NOW. Look at that cut-image covered table! Call me a collage nerd if you must, but my heart is racing.

What else makes my heart race? Sugar! The only thing I regret about this episode was not asking Jenny about her deep passion for donuts. All of these sweet gems are also from her Instagram feed. I want ALL OF THEM:

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Unicorn donut!    

And finally… Jenny, her cat Max, and Jenny’s perfect (apparently high maintenance) red lipstick:

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Perfection. Max must’ve been too tired to put lipstick on for this shot. Thank you so much to Jenny for sharing her story of full-circles, loops, and starting over… so inspiring. Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting another episode, and thanks to YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Bennington College
  2. Amy Sillman
  3. School of Visual Arts, NY
  4. RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)
  5. Jessica Brilli Episode
  6. Sidney Pink Episode
  7. Anthony Zinonos Episode
  8. The Philadelphia Story (Jenny’s fave movie from high school)
  9. Kirstin Lamb Episode
  10. Jenny on Instagram
  11. BUY Jenny’s work 

ps. Oops, I forgot to mention this! The sign-up page for the course I’ll be part of in VENICE is ready! Yes, two weeks this August during the Venice Biennale!?! I’ll be teaching a few classes and workshops from August 7 – 20th via the European Cultural Center’s Academy, alongside several other instructors, curators, etc. Tours of galleries, meeting with curators, art making, passes to the biennale, AND gelato? There are only 20 spots for the weeks I’m going to be there, so if you were thinking about it, pop over there asap. Hope to see you in Italy… ciao! 





cluca

cluca

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

rhianswierat

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.”

Beautiful.





linden eller

lindeneller

Dreeeeeeaaaaaamy… bits of paper and forgotten scraps of fabric stitched together to create new, beautifully composed narratives. This is the work of American artist {currently based in Japan}Linden Eller. Her color palette through her entire site has this quiet, muted, hazy feel. This is why:

“Choosing a distinctly pale colour palette together with the use of tracing paper, her pieces attempt to replicate the quiet hazy environment from which a memory is recalled.  Blending autobiographical narratives with larger collective subjects such as childhood, longing, and home, Linden thinks of her collages as field recordings from the mind.”   

Sigh. 





micaela lattanzio

micaelalattanzio

“Fragmenta” is, one of many, cut photography series by Rome based artist Micaela Lattanzio. Photographs shattered into perfect hexagons and wavy strips, then reassembled {sort of} using zillions of tiny pins. So. Beautiful. Sigh… she might have to put my heart back together this way too. 

{Thanks to Mariana Oppel for pointing me to Micaela’s work}





“inevitably, it changes”

elisemorris1

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!?}:

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Sigh. Stunning.

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

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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:

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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?

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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:

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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:

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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.





andrew ooi

andrewpjooi

Now that is some very fancy folding! This is the intricate work of Toronto based artist Andrew Ooi. I was already impressed with his precise compositions, and then I found out that there’s so much more than just fancy folding going on here:

“… Ooi’s artworks are made by hand with environmentally-conscious, specialty papers. Ooi cuts the papers into strips and units; creasing the structural components afterward. He then paints each individual piece of paper with a pattern of his devising. Ooi groups, gathers, and finally folds the painted papers along select sections, which he fits into one another by interpreting Japanese joinery and origami techniques.”

Whoa.