search /// hollie chastain


Happy weekend! Today, collage artist Hollie Chastain and I are pretending to be at Aretha Frankenstein’s in Chattanooga TN. Ready for a giant stack o’ pancakes? Of course you are!

JC: hi hollie! oh my word, this food looks good! what are you gonna have? any recos?

HC: oh man, that’s the big question. there is usually a bit of a wait here, because it is amazing, so i have time to think and fret. i’m thinking the sodbuster omelette this morning with coffee and orange juice. but if you’ve never had their pancakes, then you have to try those.

JC: is this your usual brunch place? your kids must LOVE it here!

HC: they do love it! i don’t bring them as often as i should. is that awful? i think it is. brunch is usually my recovery, quiet, down-time with the husband or a friend after a night out when the kids are at the grandparents so they miss out. now i feel bad and i’ll have to bring them this weekend for some yummy goodness.

JC: you better! they might smell the pancakes on you when you get home! speaking of kids, you sometimes have children in your collages – are those your kids? do they represent your kids, or are they totally unrelated?

HC: some of them are my kids but i’ve only done that intentionally maybe once or twice. a few times i have unintentionally worked them into compositions. i don’t notice it at first until someone points out that it looks just like one or the other of them.

JC: so when we’re finished, what are you going to do for the rest of the weekend? art stuff? family stuff? both?

HC: i think that all of my time is a little bit of both. during the week i work until family stuff pulls me away and it’s the opposite on the weekends. i just got a fresh and wonderful batch of books so i know i won’t be able to stay away from the studio all day. i can feel those covers calling me!

JC: oh, your book covers…. i LOVE your book covers!!! do you have collages planned in your mind and then you go looking for the covers, or will finding a good one spark an idea for a piece?

HC: thanks! i really love making them. i never plan them ahead of time. when i find one i like i sit down with my scraps and move things around until something feels perfect. most of the time i will first decide what i can’t bear to cover up on the original cover and that is the beginning of the shape of the composition.

JC: where do you find all of those old books, and images that make their way into your collages?

HC: any thrift store or antique store usually has a book section and within that section a box or shelf or bin full of scrappy books. old textbooks are the best. the paper quality is heavy and sturdy because it had to survive years of constant manhandling by children. they also have the best doodles! i always try and find things that are at least a little bit falling-apart-ish but still have sturdy, straight covers. i remember being in a tiny little shop, in a tiny house, outside of nashville and  i found a ratty old newspaper from the 60s. as i was purchasing my stack i patiently listened to the owner describe in detail how to steam off the price sticker – i couldn’t manage to tell him i was going to disassemble it for the parts.

JC: ha! probably best not to break it to him! ahhh, thanks so much for having brunch with me hollie! let me get the cheque ; )

HC: you are too kind. thanks, this has been super fun!


Ah, another weekend, another {pretend} brunch with one of my favorite artists, at their favorite brunch spot! Today I’m visiting with my lovely friend, painter Samantha French, in Brooklyn at Cafe Ghia. Grab your coffee, and join us!

JC: hey samantha! so, what’s good here?

SF: i’m starting with a coffee and orange juice. they’ve got a killer waffle with seasonal toppings, so I’ll have that along with the fruit & yogurt with maple granola. Yum.

JC: ok, you had me at “killer waffle”- i’m in! so, who do you normally share your waffles with?

SF: you can usually find me at brunch with my boyfriend, aaron and our two dogs (if it’s nice enough to sit outside)

JC:  aaron is an amazing painter too! do you ever paint together, or do you have your own separate studios?

SF: he is! and he just opened a group show in NY last week.  we’ve always kept separate studios, but still frequently bounce ideas off each other – he’s my go to when i need help with a technical drawing issue or an honest critique. though we’ve never actually collaborated on anything, we’ve talked about it. our painting styles are pretty similar already so we’d probably do something out of the ordinary from our typical work, more experimental.

JC: you should! i’d love to see what you guys might come up with! so, what are you doing later? do you normally spend the weekend in the studio, or do you use saturday and sunday for other stuff?

SF: i love going to the studio on the weekends. it’s nice and quiet and seems like there is less pressure – but it really depends – if i spent all week in the studio, and don’t have anything pressing, i might just head home to relax – especially if I just ate that whole waffle by myself. plus trying to run any errands in NY on the weekends leads to chaos. i usually spend sunday evenings working on print orders that have come in over the weekend.

JC: what about swimming? do ever spend your free time swimming – without a camera!?

SF: you know, it has been a long time since i’ve left the camera at home while swimming. you never know when you’re going to need it, and i’d hate to miss an opportunity  – but I still enjoy it, so that’s all that matters.

JC: totally! i can’t believe i passed up a chance to go swimming with you in chattanooga. next time! thanks for {pretend} brunch sam… mmmm {pretend} waffles! delicious.

psst… some of Samantha’s new work ♥ …

See you next weekend for brunch in Tennessee with Hollie Chastain!

oh, hello chattanooga!

Well, I’m off {literally on a plane right this very moment} to Tennessee! It’s going to be an amazing trip. Here’s how the next few days fold out:


* Finally meet Mark Bradley Shoup! : Atlanta airport

* Start installing Beautifully Boring at Tanner Hill Gallery


* 10 am EST : Airing of interview with NPR affilate, WUTC ~

* 10am ~ 4ish : Tours of the Art & Design students’ studios ~ University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

* 5:30pm : Lecture at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


* Hang out with Leah Giberson and Samantha French… wishing Holly Farrell was with us too!

* 5:30 – 8pm : Opening of Beautifully Boring at Tanner Hill Gallery (Curatorial Talk ~ 6pm)

Oh, and one more crazy perk to this trip?! I get to meet an artist that I have loved for AGES… Chattanooga based artist Hollie Chastain will be swinging by the opening as well. Here are a few of my favorite collages by Hollie:

Sigh. I feel like I might to get wrapped up in a cozy diamond blanket when all of this excitement is over! Stay tuned – I’ll have photos of everything very, very soon!

it’s here…

1000 posts. WHAT?! Now that’s a lot of jealousy… the good kind, that is! And, by “the good kind”, I mean the kind that punches you in the creative gut, and instead of stopping you in your tracks, inspires you to get back into the studio so that you can work your artsy butt off! To put it bluntly.

I have to admit, I’m really proud of hitting 1000 posts, and so I want to celebrate! But before we do, I want to thank all of you, from the bottom of my heart, for showing up every day and reading/being jealous too! Now… how to celebrate? I reached out to a few of the lovely people that I’ve met over the past three years, and they all generously donated a little something for me to give to you. I have to be honest, I wish I could enter! But I can’t… right? Right : ( Ok, so all you have to do is leave a comment below, and on Thursday September 13th, at 12pm PST I’m going to draw one winner. Yep, one winner who will get all of these prints:

Whoa! I hope you have a lot of frames, and a lot of blank wall space! Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, I got an email from one of my readers who offered to throw in one of her very cute messenger bags:

A gnome on a wiener dog? How could I not take Amy up on her lovely offer! So there you have it. Leave a comment below, and I’ll let you know who won on Thursday… and with that, here’s to 1000 more posts!

{Huge thanks, and big hugs, to 1. Victoria Smith 2. Tali Yalonetzki 3. Hollie Chastain 4. Lisa Golightly 5.  Leah Giberson 6. Jennifer Davis 7. Alyson Fox 8. Amy Fancher} xo!

it’s a…

Happy Hallowe’en! Yep, it’s the perfect day for giving treats, and boy oh boy, have I got a good one for you! The stunningly beautiful art magazine, Fine Line, is going to package up their first four issues into a neat little box set for two, that’s right, two lucky readers! All you have to do is “like” their Facebook page, and leave a comment here {so I can draw your name/know how to give you the good news!} I’ll do the draw on Thursday November 3rd, at noon Pacific time, and announce the two winners here {leave me your email too if you’d like!} Yep, that’s it… easier than dressing up and going door to door looking for treats, don’t ya think?

Oh, and here are a few of my favorite artists, that have been featured in these first four issues {ie. a little preview of the treat!}:

{Jesse Draxler // Javier Pinon // Hollie Chastain // Amira Fritz // Jonathan Zawada}

i’m jealous of fine line… again

I wrote about Fine Line, an insanely beautiful art magazine, when the first issue came out last year. They are now on Issue 4, and it, of course, is as lovely as ever. Here’s the latest news though… they are now selling limited edition prints by some of the artists that they’ve featured. The work is gorgeous {a few pieces are shown above}, and very affordable {as in $20 affordable!}… what a perfect combination! Pick yourself up a subscription, and a print or two from the Fine Line Etsy shop.

{Images above: 1. Issue 4 cover ~ art by Nina Nolte  2. Masako Miki  3. Greg Eason  4. Hollie Chastain}

i’m jealous of jessica & cassandra

Jessica Steeber and Cassandra Smith are artists and curators – oh, and they’re also the co-creators of Fine Line, a brand new quarterly print magazine, based in Milwaukee, that just came out last week.  It’s ad and article free… in other words, it’s a whole bunch of big, beautiful, glossy, uninterrupted, art-filled pages. Um, yes, I’m jealous. If The Jealous Curator was a magazine, it would be this magazine. I love so many of the artists featured in the first issue, and have actually written about a handful of them. Sigh. Nice work ladies – it’s gorgeous.

{Artists featured above… cover ~ Christopher Gorski; Jeremy Daigneault; Sidney Pink; Blaise Pascal; Benedetta Falugi; Hollie Chastain; Van Morrison quote}

psst… you can buy issue 1 online right at this very moment. enjoy!

i’m jealous on etsy!

I have to admit, when the editor of Etsy’s blog {who also happens to be the blogger known as teenangster} asked me to do a guest post, I was absolutely thrilled, but sort of stunned. “Just throw out a theme to get the ball rolling” she said. Um, have you seen Etsy? Do you know how many thousands of amazing things are on there every single day?! Oh the possibilities! Anyway, after writing back to casually say, “Sure, no problem, this will be fun”, I had a zillion ideas racing through my head, so I decided to sleep on it… and had some very weird dreams by the way. Luckily I woke up with an idea that I was really happy with! A gallery soiree, complete with champagne {well, kinda}. Turns out it was no problem, and a whole lotta fun ; )

{The lead image in the post, seen above, is a collage by Hollie Chastain.}