medium /// wood




“defiance is my favorite motivator”

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When I emailed Toronto based artist/designer Amanda Happé to ask if she’d do the podcast, she wrote me back and said “Oooh, sounds scary – so yes!”  You gotta love that. Amanda does work that speaks to the designer in me. Perfect lines, beautiful text, gorgeous palettes… sort of not surprising to learn that she’s a graphic designer by day. She has such a refreshing/smart way of looking at creativity so I was thrilled to finally talk to her. You can listen right up there under all of that GRATITUDE, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

The first thing we talked about was, of course, her text-based paintings that I love oh so much:

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Ah! I already loved them but then to find out that she doesn’t plan them on the computer first {kinda what you’d expect a graphic designer to do}, it’s all done with old school tools like pencils, erasers, and compasses! Love. Oh, speaking of love, I forgot to mention that the piece directly above, “YOU ARE LOVED”, was a custom piece that Amanda made for one of my Land of Nod collections. Love. Again.

Alright, next… yes, Amanda was the artist that I chose to paint the cover of my first book, Creative Block! And what I didn’t realize for the longest time, until I held the book in my hands and really looked at it, she hand painted the “Creative Block” letters!? Look:

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So good! What a steady hand she must have. That’s me at the opening of my show at the Bedford Gallery in late 2014. This is when I saw the original painting {that she later gave me as gift!?} for the first time. And yes, I cried a tiny bit. Oh, and I had to show visual proof of this… the Korean version of Creative Block:

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Ha! I’m going to send one to Amanda, and I’m going to give one away today too… leave a comment below and I’ll draw one name before the next podcast goes up. Good luck!

Now, these are the “doodles” she mentioned. Her marker drawings that she does just to stay loose and to keep making when the big ideas are simmering in the background. Yeah, except that now Chronicle has asked her to make a book with these!? Hello amazing surprise project!

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See, just goes to show that doing a little something every day really can get you somewhere! Ok, I also had to show you this too… so the building her studio is in was going to be sold and all 5 artists working there would be kicked out… so Amanda bought the building and now manages it. Um, ah-mazing! Here’s a little peek at “Three of Wands” {a tarot card reference}:

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This is going to be my first stop for a visit next time I’m in Toronto! And finally, I had to include Amanda’s bio photo… her amazing pink/yellow door in her old apartment:

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Let’s hope whoever lives there now kept it that way. Thank you so much to Amanda for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and thank YOU for listening… there will be more art for your ear next weekend {and don’t forget to leave a comment if you want a chance at that Korean version of CB!}

Other links:

  1. Bruce Mau Design
  2. TAXI Advertising & Design
  3. Martha Rich
  4. “Home Movies” TV show




simone luschi

SIMONELUSCHI

Collages that come right off the wall! Oh my… wood, paint, and those small branches? It was love at first sight when I came across the work of Italian artist Simone Luschi. Here is the inside scoop on his process:

Wood is the material of choice for the largest part of Luschi’s production. Material is incredibly researched, be it scrap wood collected during his travels to Japan, or timber that he buys from local lumber yards and importers. The material is sculpted as single block or disassembled and reassembled with a three dimensional collage, made to become a custom canvas that will host a second and cross-disciplinary intervention with spray paint, pigment or a mixture of glue and sawdust that is incredibly reminiscent of the ancient ingobbio technique of ceramic artists.

Amazing! He is very busy in the studio, and not one for self-promotion as far as I can tell… his site says ‘coming soon’, so for inquiries please email him here: simone@simoneluschi.com.  ps. Thanks to his supportive friend, Gianluca, for sending me this beautiful work.





claudette schreuders

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These wooden figures are the work of South African artist Claudette Schreuders. Her portfolio is full of these curious characters {made from jelutong, enamel and oil}. These selections are from a few different series going back as far as 2000. Not to pick favorites, but … that final piece, from her 2001 series “Burnt by the Sun” might be at the top of my list. Gorgeous.

{thanks to Maria of @nosideup for pointing me to Claudette’s work}





susanna bauer

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Ok. I seriously don’t even know where to start. Leaves hand-sewn into perfect cubes? Delicate embroidery that transforms leaves into doilies? It’s all just too beautiful and perfect. I wrote about the sticks, stones, and leaves {way back in 2012} of German-born, UK based artist Susanna Bauer, but wow, she just keeps pushing the leafy envelope. Stunning.

If you’d like to see these delicate beauties in person, Susanna has shows coming up this March in New York {March 11 ~ April 16 at the Muriel Guepin Gallery}, and in the UK {March 2 ~ May 26 at the Centre for Contemporary Art and the Natural World}.





sandra eterovic

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I’ve written about her before, and I’ll do it again! I love, love, love the work of Australian artist Sandra Eterovic. Wood, and paint, and hinges in all the right places… so hilarious, and so beautifully made. Oh, and that shish-kabob lady on a stick? Yep, I need that.





nic annette miller

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Well hello latest addition to my Christmas wish-list! These are the wood-cut print sculptures of American artist Nic Annette Miller. They are “hand printed from an original woodcut onto mulberry paper with oil based ink. The print is then pasted onto 3/4″ plywood and the exact image is sawed out, sanded, wired, and made ready for your wall. Being that each one is hand printed, they all slightly vary from one another.” Hear that, Santa? READY FOR MY WALL.





alison moritsugu

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Woods on wood. Oh my… this is the gorgeous work of New York based Alison Moritsugu. Forgotten chunks of wood bound for the mulcher become the perfect canvas for these stunning, strangely traditional, landscapes {and bathing beauties!}. So smart. So beautiful. If you’re in New York this fall, her work will be showing at Littlejohn Contemporary from November 12 through December 12. I’m going to miss it by four days. Damn.

{via Colossal}





keith lemley

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Wow. This striking installation, titled The Woods, is the work of American artist Keith Lemley. His portfolio is full of beautiful pieces that use light and nature in really interesting ways… but it was these graphic, clean, glowing axes paired with rough, old stumps of wood that took my breath away. Here’s a snippet from his artist statement:

“My work is about seeing the unseen – the invisible presence which exists in our minds and surrounds all objects, experiences, and memories. Working in my studio in rural Appalachia, I have developed a keen interest in being part of and observing natural systems, time and the process of life and death, and an aesthetic sensibility synthesizing the organic and the machine.”

ps. This work is in a show that opens tomorrow, October 10th at Exhibit A in Corning, NY

{via Yellowtrace}





jack hogan

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Oooh! Colorful paint squeezed from a tube… that leans against the wall on it’s own!? This is the sculptural painting work {acrylic on cut wood} by Irish architect, turned artist, Jack Hogan. The first piece in this post is titled, “Loo Lah”… and I love it more than words can say.





land of nod : fall 2015 collection!

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Ok, I know it’s July, but in the world of Land of Nod, Fall has arrived! This is my second collection for Land of Nod, and I could not be more excited about all of the gorgeous work, and talented artists who made brand new pieces for this project. Watercolor, tapestries, papier mache mobiles, paper cats… I love it all so much! Oh, and this is a cool little tidbit … those two sweet little wiener dogs, by Canadian artist Louisa Jensen, are named after my dogs, Stella & Murphy! ♥  You can find all of these, and pieces from my Spring 2015 collection, right here.