medium /// photography




jenny fine



So weird, and beautiful, and weird, and sad. Quite appropriate given that the title of this series, by American artist Jenny Fine, is titled The Saddest Day. It really was, and here’s why:

“In the throws of it, one hardly knows what to do.  It is a hard feeling to name. It’s a lump in the throat, a shortness of breath. It’s hands that tremble knowing that they must work fast. “This is it,” I kept thinking, I kept speaking under my breath, as if saying it out loud made the moment more real. She was leaving, we knew that full well, and there was nothing we could do.

I come from a family of farmers.  When my father was little my grandparents raised pigs.  On the coldest day of the year the hogs were slaughtered and their bodies were dragged to the roof of the house to freeze. One year the hogs took sick and the entire herd had to be slaughtered on the same day. It was my father’s job, together with the other children in the family, to help kill the pigs. This day was known as ‘The Saddest Day’.

This series of medium format photographs, entitled ‘The Saddest Day’, was originally conceived as a reenactment of this family narrative. However, when I arrived home that Mother’s Day weekend, I found my grandmother upside down on the couch, her head where her feet should have been. She was hurting. We rushed her to the hospital.

These photographs document the moments following our return to the farm after our first visit to the emergency room, two weeks before my grandmother died. ‘The Saddest Day’ explores my family’s collective experience of loss leading up to the death of the family matriarch: my grandmother. In this moment taking pictures seemed the only thing we could do to stop time. Putting on a costume, wearing a mask, even looking through the camera was a way to face each other, face this trauma and our vulnerability without having to look at each other straight on. ‘The Saddest Day’ portrays the beginning of our coming to terms with a looming goodbye; my father, sister and cousin dressed as pigs leading my grandmother into death.”

See? So, so sad… but at the same time, it’s also so wonderful and amazing that Jenny had that kind of relationship with her fabulous grandmother, Sarah. A woman who for years and years was a collaborative creative partner {she did this shoot when she knew she was dying – what a spit-fire, right to the end!}, and huge supporter of her granddaughter’s talent and love of art:

RIP, Sarah. I wish I had known you.





jordan sullivan





Oh my. I love this series by Jordan Sullivan so, so, so much… and then I read his artist statement and I loved it even more, because yes, I’m a total sucker for a good story:

“The Young Earth is a photo series and accompanying photonovel set in Iceland. The [fictional] story follows two Americans in the last days of their twenties, one them terminally ill, as they explore one of the youngest bodies of land in the world. The young men attempt to reconnect with the natural world while confronting their own mortality and a past love triangle that briefly dissolved their friendship. The Young Earth is a meditation on death, the end of youth, and the beauty and complications that come with love and friendship.”

Death, love triangles, and dreamy photography? Yes, please. And, if you happen to be in New York tomorrow night, you can meet him and have a copy of The Young Earth signed. You should go!

Book Signing: Jordan Sullivan’s The Young Earth
ICP Store, 1133 Avenue of the Americas
Friday, December 13, 6:00pm–7:30pm

{ps. the book is also available to purchase at photo-eye and on Amazon.com}




bernhard handick




This is the mixed media work of German artist Bernhard Handick. His photographs are sexy, strange, and gorgeous all on their own… and then he goes ahead and adds just the right amount of, well, everything! Color, lines, blurs. And those birds. Oh, I love those birds so so so much.

{via Trendland}





a very quick recap of a very fabulous night

Oh, that was fun! The opening of The Fig House has come and gone… and it was so much fun! Here’s the pre-party shot of my favorite space at Fig {perfect for evening cocktails – so pretty!!!}

Soooo pretty. Emily Henderson and her right hand-gal Ginny MacDonald did more than an amazing job! I just love it in here. Ok so… my plan had been to not forget that my phone was in my purse, to take lots of photos, and do a full recap… and then I got distracted! BUT, I can give you a few quick snapshots of how the night went down:

The amazing bar, with custom stained glass by Judson Studios:

The super duper beautiful Stephanie Vovas enjoying a “Queen’s English” with one of her stunning photographs in the background. GORGEOUS all around!

And, what party would be complete without a “fromage station”? {That’s one of Nike Schroeder’s thread pieces behind the “fromage station”}:

Ok, so to be totally clear, this is NOT Nike Schroeder {although she was there – and she’s lovely and funny and great!}… this is a very pretty girl in a purple dress who was having someone take her photo in front of another one of Nike’s beautiful thread sculptures… so I jumped in and asked if I could grab the same shot – oh, so pretty, yes?

Love! You know what else I love? Sold stickers!!!!!!

Oh, now that’s pretty! Now, I would not normally show all of these photos of myself, but thanks to some very good hair and makeup people {I’m talkin to you Aviva and Stephen} I ended up looking better than I ever have , and thought I better document it!

Sigh. It was fun to feel like a movie star for a night! And alllllllll of this was possible thanks to these people:

Thank you so much Emily for bringing me into this project, and for trusting me with the art for these gorgeous teal walls. You are so talented, and truly amazing to watch in action! And Ginny… thank you for handling every little detail – even details that weren’t yours to take care of! Thank goodness for you! And finally,thanks so much to Steve {the owner of Fig House} – I’m so happy you let me hammer nails into your walls. I loved every second of it!

Oh… and one more! Look what happens when you take a cab home with LA photographer Stephanie Vovas {I basically got a Stephanie Vovas portrait, with an iPhone, for FREE in the back of a taxi. Awesome.}


Gah! I love it! Ok, I promise… no more photos of myself… I just can’t believe I got Stephanie to take my picture!

ps. If you happen to be at Fig for an event, and you want to buy some of the art, our gallery girl on the ground is Christine Fuchs. Find her card on the bar while you’re at your event, and she’ll get you set up! {Thanks so much for everything Christine! xo}





max & stephanie at the fig house

Tonight’s the night – opening party at The Fig House {I might just wear my fancy shoes all day! Ok, no… that might really hurt.} So, all week I’ve been showing you all of the paintings, drawings, prints, and collages hanging at Fig, but we also have two totally amazing LA based photographers in the show – Max Wanger and Stephanie Vovas:



Very California, yes? Yes! Ok, time to put my party hat on… let’s do this!

{I’ll be back tomorrow with an instagram report of the opening!}
*Polaroid by Max




jim naughten




I wrote about Jim Naughten and his ongoing series, titled Re-Enactors, three years ago. In an almost painterly fashion, he photographs people who “step out of their routine daily lives and transform into historical characters from the First and Second World Wars, often with such vigor and obsessive attention to detail that it’s hard to imagine them in contemporary settings.” I thought this work was very appropriate for today… lest we forget.





frances berry




Well, hello there. Are you dizzy? Quite the scroll to get down here, wasn’t it!? That’s all thanks to these very looooooooong, very cool images by American artist Frances Berry. They are from her series titled “Memory Extended”. You know I love a good vintage photo, and I love it even more when something contemporary has been done to it!

ps. Check out her portfolio – she has so much good work, and it’s all slightly different. Like these two amazing works on paper, for example:





tOmi scheiderbauer

Austrian artist tOmi Scheiderbauer is currently living in a beach town on Italy’s eastern coast. Well, clearly that’s reason no.1 to be jealous of him! Reason no.2 … his knack for seeing special objects and moments in every day life… which he then photographs, crops into this fantastic shape, and labels in a poetic, and sometimes hilarious way. He does all of that in a beach town on Italy’s eastern coast. I mentioned that already, right? Sigh. Jealous.

THIS JUST IN! Look what tOmi did for me after he saw this post! I love it soooo much!





CREATIVE BLOCK (my book!)

I don’t even know what to write… this has been hush-hush for so long… but finally, I can tell you all of the ins & outs of my book that has just been released by Chronicle Books {available in stores all over the world?!!} Let’s start with the title. It’s called CREATIVE BLOCK, and here’s what it looks like (an instagram taken with my very old phone, but you get the idea):

*The cover was designed by Dinah Fried at Chronicle, and then painted by Toronto based artist Amanda Happé. I love it so much and am proud to have had such talented people working on this project.

SO, WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT:

I came up with the idea for CREATIVE BLOCK for myself, just as much as for all of you. I wanted to make something beautiful – a contemporary art book filled not only with inspiring images, but also inspiring words, advice, and tips to help amateurs and professionals alike, find their way through those days when the ideas just won’t come. Because everyone who dabbles in something creative feels that way at some point – right? Right. I wanted to write this book to show you that if you’re feeling this way you’re not alone either. I’ve written hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of posts about successful, working artists who seem to have this whole “creative thing” figured out. But surely they have blocks from time to time? How do they get through them? Where do they find fresh inspiration? How do they handle negative feedback? Does it stop them in their tracks? Now, these full time artists don’t have the luxury of not finishing, or giving up on a project – not when they’ve got a gallery or art buyer waiting on them! So how do they push themselves through those moments when the ideas just aren’t there? Or when the ideas are there, but their hands or materials will not cooperate.

THE ARTISTS:

Finally! I’m thrilled to reveal the list of 50 amazingly open, honest, witty, thoughtful, funny, talented artists that allowed me to interview them about their own creative blocks, insecurities, and inner-critics. Not only did they give us a candid view into their creative process, but each of them wrote a “creative unblock exercise” to help shake us out of our own blocks. Amazing? YES!

Gah! Almost 300 pages of stunning contemporary artwork, insightful advice, and creative-unblocking tips. It’s soooo good, all thanks to that amazing list of people who have been such a huge inspiration to me. I’ll hope, actually I know, they’ll inspire you too!

WHEN & WHERE:

The book is now on shelves, all over the world, as of March 2014, and online via GREAT.LY, Chronicle Books, and all of the other usual suspects. Check the side bar for upcoming book signing events! See you there!

ps. Thank you so much to Jerry Saltz, Brené Brown, and Faythe Levine for writing endorsements that will appear on the back cover - I love that you love it!




i’m jealous of alexandre ciancio





Oh, yes! Flat, graphic collages with a definite design-quality to them… you might even describe them as “architectural”. Hm. Perhaps that’s because they are the work of French architect Alexandre Ciancio. AND perhaps that’s why I want to pack up my things and move right into one of these ideal little worlds. I pick that pink world with the fancy kiss… minus the baby running away.

{thanks to Pauline for sending me a link to this work}