shelley davies

shelleydavies

Gorgeous! These mixed media pieces {painting and paper-cutting} are the work of Canadian artist/illustrator Shelley Davies. I had to double check with her about these covers… were they real New Yorker covers? I know she’s created work for the cover of Uppercase Magazine before, and she had a long career in TV, film, and animation working with some very cool clients/people. Clearly I had to ask. Turns out they weren’t final covers, but the story of their creation is just as cool. This is a chunk of the email Shelley sent back to answer my question:

“My New Yorker covers were made a few years ago for New Yorker art editor Francoise Mouly’s site ‘Blown Covers’, which she started around the time her book of the same name was published. Her office was filled with art from all her illustrators (for any given cover, she sends out a theme and they all deliver an idea or five, she picks one for the cover and then finished art is produced), and she put all the rejects into a book, with anecdotes to go with. On her site, she asked the world at large to submit ideas for her chosen weekly themes, just as her own illustrators do. It was a privilege to get my work in front of the High Priestess of art direction, and she even chose a few of mine to highlight. Alas, no real cover came from it, but I had a ball, I got really good at creating their masthead (every week I cut out a new one, in paper and by hand, life-sized).

Love. Ok, so now the only thing left to do is get Shelley on the real cover… what do you think New Yorker?





sean william randall

seanwilliamrandall

Um, I love these paintings. Is it bad that I find them funny? Explosive crashes, moments away from sure disaster? Perhaps it’s their Thelma & Louise-ness that’s making me smile… I hope so because if not, I have some major issues. This is the large-scale work of Canadian painter Sean William Randall… and yes, I fell in love at first sight. Those tranquil landscapes, beautifully painted cars, and obviously, the best acrylic on canvas flaming explosions I’ve ever seen. Fantastic.

{You can find his work at Ian Tan Gallery in Vancouver, and Mayberry Fine Art in Toronto}





lisa congdon

lisacongdon_swim

Ready to dive in? Me too! “The Joy of Swimming”, by Portland based artist/illustrator Lisa Congdon, hits shelves today! Gorgeous illustrations, beautiful hand-lettered quotes, and really interesting facts/stories about all things swimming. Lisa brings passion to everything she does, but this project is near and dear to her heart, because she’s been a swimmer since she was little … see:

lisacongdon_swimBIO

Aw, so cute! Congratulations Lisa… I’m so thrilled that you had a chance to totally jump into this project {see what I did there?}.  If you love swimming – or water, or beautiful artwork, or Lisa – pick up this lovely book. Oh, and Lisa is going on the road with this one so if you want to meet her/have your book signed, you can find her right here:

April 26, 7-9 pm California College of the Arts (San Francisco)
May 8, 2-4 pm 
Strand Books (NYC)
May 11, 7-9 pmPowerhouse Arena (Brooklyn, NY)
May 13, 9-10:30 am Creative Mornings (Minneapolis)
May 17, 7-9 pm – Broadway Books (Portland)
May 24 7-9 pmUniversity Bookstore (Seattle)





rachael grant

rachaelgrant

Stacks of weird stuff beautifully hand-cut and layered perfectly… yep, that’s my jam! This is the collage work of Tennessee based artist Rachael Grant. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to cut out mushrooms and fish for the rest of the day. Happy Monday.





“organizing the fray”

sarahgeemiller1

I am very excited about this. Vancouver based artist Sarah Gee Miller is one of my most favorite people in the world. She is so talented (and self-taught by the way), incredibly generous, one of the only people I truly feel comfortable talking to about my own work… and she bakes a mean blueberry muffin. Sarah and I cover everything in this interview – from a life-altering accident she was in at 15, to finding her way to an art career decades later. A lot of you have been asking me to make these episodes longer, so Sarah and I just kept talking and talking! I loved every minute of this conversation (but be warned, there are a few bleeped out swear words in there… shocking, I know.) You can listen right up there, under that perfect circular drawing, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Alright, let’s get things started with the first of Sarah’s work that I ever saw… big, beautiful, perfectly-cut circles of paper:

sarahgeemiller2

So gorgeous! Photos don’t do them justice. They’re really big, and really bright, so seeing them in person takes your breath away. Here are the two “city block” pieces she was talking about (there’s a bit of a glare because she had already mounted them/put plexiglass on them before taking the photos):

sarahgeemiller3

Oh. I love them so much. And because I just can’t get enough of her circles, here are a few recent pieces in progress/moments before they were shipped off to shows:

sarahgeemiller4

I love those studio shots… pre-mounting, just hanging out on her sunlit floor. Ok, now, moving on to the drawing machine! Yes, Sarah built her own revolving drawing machine, and luckily for me, she invited me over to try it out:

sarahgeemiller5

So fun! I wish I could take credit for the drawings above, but alas, those ones were created with Sarah’s expert hand. I made a few that were ok… I was just happy to get out of there without being sick (that machine makes you dizzy!). I left there with the pieces I made AND that beautiful piece she gave me as a gift (that now sits above my fireplace beside “Rosie”, my pink doe by Rachel Denny)

Next, the pieces she’s been working on lately. These ones aren’t paper, but styrene (a type of plastic), that she cuts and then paints:

sarahgeemiller6

So much work. So much careful work. We talked about how meticulous her pieces are, and the fact that she works on the floor… both of which sort of blow my mind considering the devastating accident she was in as a teenager. But, she tells me that being on her knees and working on the floor is much more comfortable than standing or sitting. Whatever works, Sarah, whatever works! I think her story is so inspiring. She’s overcome so much, and even though she suffers from chronic pain she is such a joyful person. See…

sarahgeemiller7

Jumping over art and drinking champagne on the floor. That’s how you do it! And finally, in the speed round I asked her to clarify a myth about cats. I think she lied to me though. Note the proof I found on her Instagram feed:

sarahgeemiller8

Ah-ha, I knew it! Cats do lie on your supplies/work! Busted. Oh well, they’re cute so we’ll leave that alone. Thanks so much to Sarah for taking an hour and a half (?!) out of her day to do this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode, and great big thanks to you for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other Links

  1. Jessica Bell
  2. Ben Skinner
  3. Zoe Pawlak
  4. Wayne White
  5. Mayberry Fine Art, Toronto

 





dan levin

danlevin

Wow, these are a big deal. Get it? Because they’re cards. Ok, this is the work of California based Dan Levin. I’ll let him tell you how this happened:

“I had these vintage decks of cards and I was fascinated by the history of them. I started cutting through them, kings’ and queens’ faces, but there was something missing. Almost by accident, I turned a deck upside down and looked at the patterns and said ‘wait a second’.”

Wait a second, indeed! Happy Friday

ps. If you want one of these beauties, visit his shop.





laureen marchand

laureenmarchand

I have a soft spot for botanicals, but they’re usually not dead/dying… however, these lovely paintings {oil on board} have managed to capture these roses at a perfect moment in time. Taking note of beauty in the everyday warms my heart, as does the work of Canadian artist Laureen Marchand.





cayce zavaglia

caycezavaglia

Brace yourself… embroidered portraits. Yep, insanely detailed embroidered portraits by American artist Cayce Zavaglia. I have loved her work for years but never wrote about it because, well, everyone else already had! You know what… I don’t care! Look at this embroidery, these beautiful color choices, and all of those lovely faces. It’s like impressionism, but with thread. STUNNING. Sigh. There, I feel better.

{Thanks to my friend Melinda at Good Eye Gallery for reminding me about Cayce’s work}





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.





nicki crock

nicki_crock

“Dream House” … indeed! This stunning paper installation {yes, PAPER}, is the latest work from American artist Nicki Crock. I wrote about her series Tessellate in early 2015, but clearly this dreamy installation had to be shown too. Here are her words describing this lovely project:

A dream house is something to aspire to and long for. What better form could a daydream take shape in, than with something that we, as humans, already use to fulfill our imaginations: clouds.

Happy Monday.