medium /// sculpture




rachel denny






I hate snakes, so so so so much… but not this snake! I absolutely, crazy LOVE  this snake!

Oh, Rachel Denny. I’ve loved her work for years… and she just keeps getting better! Mirrored snakes, howling wolves, waxy woodpeckers, and of course, her signature deer heads! What I love almost as much as her final pieces, is the glimpse that she gives into her Portland home studio. Boy oh boy, I’d love to spend a day in there with her just makin’ stuff! Well, last year I did the next best thing… I got Rachel to make stuff for me! Yep, I bought a hot pink, cashmere doe to hang above my fireplace. Her name is Rosie, and I love her very very very much:

ps. Rachel is one of the artists featured in CREATIVE BLOCK. Her work looks amazing as a full page spread, and her interview is fantastic!

pps. the other two lovely pieces hanging there are by Ben Skinner {text/wood}, and Sarah Gee Miller {circle drawing}





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 andreas engesvik



Oooh, a forest of glass! And those gorgeous colors… modern, but with an oddly familiar feel. I’m sure my grandmother had objects around her house in exactly the same palette. Anywho, I digress. This beautiful work is titled “The Woods” by Oslo based artist/designer Andreas Engesvik, and was created in collaboration with Norwegian design studios StokkeAustad. I love this description:

“The inspiration was found in the forests and the lights of the North. A tree changing colours and transparency through the seasons is a fascinating process which was captured in this glass object.”

Kinda makes you want to see Norway in all four seasons, doesn’t it? Hm, well I can’t give you that, so the least I can do is show you a tiny bit of the process behind these pieces:

Sigh.

{via The Art Cake}





i’m jealous of gemma smith



Ok… this is certainly not new work by Australian artist Gemma Smith, but it’s the first time I’m seeing it. It’s safe to say that I love these pieces right now, just as much as I would have loved them when they were originally shown {2008 I believe}. Giant, colorful, perfectly precise, acrylic gems perched on white pedestals, light bouncing off and through them. Amazing… then, and right this very second!





i’m still jealous of carolina antich





These are the porcelain sculptures of Argentina-born, Venice-based artist Carolina Antich. I wrote about her paintings last year {they are fantastic!}, and just included some of that work in a guest post on SF Girl by Bay that went up today. While I was finding images for that, I stumbled across these lovely, white, kinda bizarre ceramic pieces… and obviously had to write about them too!

{Images of the work are from Carolina’s site, and the studio shots are from a post on SF Girl by Bay, via Llamas Valley.}





i’m jealous of joseph noderer



Who wants to go for a walk in an eerily quiet, yet absolutely beautiful forest? Me too! And I’ll bet that Austin based artist Joseph Noderer will meet us there with his oil paints! {All of these pieces are at least 2 feet x 3 feet, and some are up to 4′ x 5′!! Gorgeous!}

ps. If you’re in Austin, Joseph has a show on at Tiny Park Gallery until October 19th, with scupltor Jamie Panzer.





i’m jealous of willy verginer… again



Whoa. I never cease to be amazed by the work of Italian sculptor Willy Verginer. Wood. Carved into this. Amazing. I wrote about him in 2010, and thought that I couldn’t love anything more than that body of work {because it’s stunning}, but I just popped over to his site to see if he had done anything new, and boy, had he! Wooden blooms sprouting from smooth, dreamy full-size wooden figures… and oh my word, that navy & cream palette… perfection.





i’m jealous of amy santoferraro… again



“BaskeTREE”… get it?! Ha! Not only is the title of this series hilarious, but all of the pieces are just so fun! Thrift-shopped bits n’ pieces, and what I assume are chunks of pink floral-arrangement foam, assembled into the weirdest little bonsai tree-ish things I’ve ever seen. This is the work of American artist Amy Santoferraro. I wrote about her years ago, and when I stumbled on this work the other day {over on Artsy Forager} it was time to write again… obviously. And now, it’s time to go to the thrift shop, and maybe the plant store… obviously.





i’m jealous of michelle mckinney



I’m not quite ready for summer to be over yet, but these somewhat autumnal installations are slowly easing me in. Who knew that ultra-fine woven metal could be this organic looking… well, I suppose UK based artist Michelle McKinney had a hunch. The leaves, the butterflies… but those orangie-pink circles {aka “money plant”, “honesty”, or “silver dollars”} are my absolute favorites. So delicate, and oh so beautiful. If she had a few “chinese lanterns” and I might actually be ready for fall… maybe.





i’m jealous of aganetha dyck




Ok, this might be one of the most amazing artistic collaborations I’ve ever seen… Canadian artist Aganetha Dyck, and a whole bunch of bees! I’m going to let Aganetha describe this project, because she can do a much better job than I can:

First, a clarification; I am not a beekeeper. I rent the colonies of honeybees, bee hives, and apiary space from a qualified beekeeper. All my work with honeybees is overseen by a scientist and is always completed under the direction of a beekeeper. The beekeeper takes care of the bees. I am an artist interested in environmental issues and in inter-species communication, specifically interested in the power of the small. My ongoing research asks questions regarding the ramifications all living beings would experience should honey bees disappear from earth.

….

To begin a collaborative project with the honeybees, I choose a slightly broken object or damaged material from a second hand market place. I choose damaged objects because honeybees are meticulous beings, they continuously mend anything around them and they do pay attention to detail. To encourage the honeybees to communicate, I strategically add wax or honey, propolis or hand-made honeycomb patterns to the objects prior to placing them into their hives. At least I like to think my methods are strategic. The honeybees often think otherwise and respond to what is placed within their hive in ways that make my mind reel.

At times, the honeybees encourage me to add or delete honeycomb after they have worked on an object. As an example, by overextending their honeycomb, the honeybees encourage me to sculpt into this mass of waxed cell construction and return it to them for further consideration.

Amazing.