step-by-step. every day.


“Drawings are like wine, they need time to develop.” Lovely words from an amazing artist … who I might just have a major girl crush on. I have loved, and I mean loved, the work of Berlin based artist/illustrator Tina Berning for years. And now, if it’s even possible, I love it even more. Tina is obviously insanely talented, but I found out today that she’s also very smart, poetic, funny… and organized! I tried not to gush too much, but “fan-girling” was the name of the game. So, let’s get on with it. You can listen right up there under that lovely washy woman, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, these are just a few of Tina’s gorgeous paintings on found paper that are currently showing at Alison Milne Gallery in Toronto {until Nov 5, 2016}:


Gah! See? How can I not fan-girl over her! Now, here’s where the smart/organized part comes in. Everything she does goes into one of three boxes: CRAP*, NOT SO GOOD, NOT SO BAD:


*CRAP not shown here … Tina assured me that there really is a CRAP box, but I can’t imagine any of her work ending up there. I love love love this system and I am totally going to implement it in my studio, and I honestly think every artist should. She comes back to the CRAP and NOT SO GOOD boxes later and uses those pages for collage bits, or as a base for new work. Truly brilliant, and a perfect jumping off point for creativity.

Next, one of my favorite projects ever, “100 GIRLS ON CHEAP PAPER”… which is exactly that:


So beautiful. This project started online, it then became a book, and then a show… and then a traveling show. Most of the girls from the original exhibition sold, so when it traveled to New York and Japan, Tina had to paint 80 new women for each show! Here are two pieces from NY and two from Tokyo:


Do you know how much self control was required for me not to post all of the pieces from this series? Very. Difficult.

So, when you work on vintage found paper, most of your work will be small… unless you use old record album slips, or stitch lots of small pages together. Yes. That’s what Tina does from time to time, and no surprise, they’re gorgeous:


The staples! I love the staples!

And finally, in the not-so-speedy speed round, Tina told me her favorite paint colors are black and red. I guess she wasn’t kidding:


Yep, two words… Fan. Girl. Oh, I enjoyed this so much, and I hope you did too. Stunning work, a lovely person, and advice that I will use forever. Thank you so much to Tina for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: But wait, there’s more… thank YOU for listening! There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Tina’s current show at Alison Milne Gallery, Toronto 
  2. Heinz Edelman


caterina rossato


Oh, be still my collage-loving heart! “Greetings” is a 5’x5′ collage by Italian artist Caterina Rossato. She gathered hundreds of old postcards, organized them into categories {mountains, water, buildings etc} and with a great deal of patience, and a whole lot of cutting, she created this! One beautiful, big, dreamlike landscape that I want to travel around in for at least three months… maybe I could even hit the slopes with that little guy in the red sweater 

marta spendowska


Gasp!  These are the washy, ethereal, absolutely stunning paintings of Polish-born, US based artist Marta Spendowska. Butterfly wings? Flower petals? An inky dream? Sigh. I’ve written about Marta before, and I’ll do it again because her portfolio is full of nature-inspired treasures. Abstract seas, dreamy botanicals, and what I like to imagine are the frothy remains of waves on the beach. Gorgeous.

{Marta’s work is available on her site – originals and prints. She also does commissions… just sayin’}

courtney mattison


Oh my. Beautiful and sad all in one glance. This is a glazed stoneware and porcelain installation by American artist/ocean advocate Courtney Mattison, titled “Our Changing Seas III”. Here are her eloquent and inspiring words about this work and her mission:

“This piece explores the rapid transition that corals throughout the tropics and subtropics are making from healthy, colorful and diverse to sickened and bleached as a result of human-caused climate change, which is putting coral reefs into the proverbial “eye of the storm.” At its heart, this piece celebrates my favorite aesthetic aspects of a healthy coral reef surrounded by the sterile white skeletons of bleached corals swirling like the rotating winds of a cyclone. There is still time for corals to recover even from the point of bleaching if we act quickly to decrease the threats we impose. Perhaps if my work can influence viewers to appreciate the fragile beauty of our endangered coral reef ecosystems, we will act more wholeheartedly to help them recover and even thrive.”


{Thanks to Mariela Di Nardo for pointing me to this work.}

pete nawara


Mirror faces… oh, we’ve all got ’em! Apparently {according to sources who live in my house} I do a pouty lip thing when I’m checking out my reflection. Luckily for me, Chicago based artist Pete Nawara isn’t on the other side of my mirror to capture that embarrassing moment in his gorgeous series, titled “The Mirror Conspiracy”. Those close-ups? So gorgeous. I’d love to see these beauties in person.

kai samuels davis


Ah, the work of California based artist Kai Samuels Davis… perfect for a rainy Monday. I have loved his paintings for years and just stumbled across that dying rose {which I hadn’t seen before}, and down the Kai Samuels Davis rabbit hole I went! I thought the rose went particularly well with the scotch and dizzying portraits. Sad, beautiful, lonely.

{All of these pieces, and more, are available in his shop}

“don’t discount small opportunities”


So, my plan had been to title this episode, “Reimagining Natural History”, which is the way Melbourne based artist Kate Rohde describes her work {as you can see from that fantastical blue display case up there} … but we just had so many great bits of conversation around the idea of just ‘saying yes and figuring it out later’ that I just had to kick things off with that thought! I wrote about Kate a few weeks ago, but last week’s guest, Sandra Eterovic, told me I had to reach out to Kate. So I did. And she said YES. Now, she’s not alone on this call. Her four month old baby boy was along for the ride! So sweet. You can listen right up there, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Let’s start off with a few of my candy-colored favorites from my recent post about Kate:


Yes! Remember those? So good.

Next, here’s an installation, titled “Chateau Fatale” from 2005 that truly does “reimagine natural history”. I would happily spend the day in this super weird museum:


Fantastic! {Photos by Harry Fatouros}. Now, speaking of fantastic, I quickly mentioned Kate’s pieces under glass … mainly so that I had an excuse to put these images in the post:


That is a whole lot of colorful craziness… very different than the “brown and green” Australian landscape that Kate grew up in.

Up next, an insane collaboration with Australian fashion label Romance Was Born. They created custom textiles using collaged images of Kate’s work, and she made bizarrely beautiful resin accessories {yes, including horns}. This collection is called “Renaissance Dinosaur”, which might be the best name I’ve ever heard in my entire life:


Oh. My word. It’s like a crazy dream that I wish I could have every night. This project led Kate to making more jewelry… candy-hued, translucent, chunky jewelry that I would have a really hard time not licking:


Sigh. Stunning. ps. You can find Kate’s jewelry at Pieces of Eight, which also happens to be where I found these images.

One of my favorite bits of this episode was when we talked about lulls. Oh, lulls. You’d think they’d be a nice time to rest and recharge, but because we can’t predict the future lulls can feel more like THE END. Good news… they’re not. Not as long as you keep making stuff. During Kate’s lull she made vases. They don’t look like a lull to me! Now, we didn’t actually talk about this collaboration, but it’s just so beautiful I had to include it:


Now THAT is how you show off vases! Kate collaborated on this shoot with Melanie Stapleton from a floral studio in Melbourne called Cecilia Fox {that’s Melanie on the left, and Kate getting things just so on the right}. GORGEOUS! 

And finally, Kate in her home studio. She lives upstairs and works downstairs:


Love it… and of course, I love that chunky bracelet! Thank you to Kate for taking time to do this with us, and HUGE thanks to Tristan for letting me distract his mama for almost an hour. He did so well  ♥ Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and thanks to for making my new book into an audio book! To preorder a copy for FREE {or to pick up any other book you might want} just use my link: Finally, and as always, THANK YOU for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Sandra Eterovic episode
  2. Kate’s work on SaatchiArt
  3. National Gallery of Victoria
  4. Romance Was Born Collab.
  5. Kate’s upcoming show, “Luminous Realms” at Craft Gallery, Dec 9 – Feb 2017
  6. Kate in her studio: Photo by Tobias Titz


laura manfre


I am so not into this whole Pokemon Go thing, but if I could hang out with that pink-haired girl and her cat while eating Pikachu donuts… yeah, then I’d be all in. This is kind of a crazy post, but there were so many tidbits in the portfolio of French artist/illustrator Laura Manfre that I decided just to make up my own treat-filled, Pokemon-esque narrative. Happy Friday … I hope someone brings you donuts today.

adam hale aka mr.splice


Ok, there are a couple of things you need to know about me… I love collage, and I have a weird fascination with Queen Elizabeth. So yes, I fell in love as soon as I saw this work by London based artist Adam Hale, aka @mr.splice. I already thought these collages were amazing, and then I read this little tidbit in Adam’s Instagram bio: “All work is handmade and created using London’s free magazines.”  FREE magazines! Brilliant.

ps. You can also see Adam’s process in action, by following his other Instagram account right here.

sigalit landau


Gasp! A modest black dress transformed into a magical, crystal-covered wedding dress all thanks to a three month submersion in the Dead Sea. “Salt Bride” is the work of Tel Aviv based artist Sigalit Landau, in collaboration with her partner Yotam From. There are so many poetic elements to this work, the first being Sigalit’s connection to this water. She grew up going on family holidays to this sea and knows it well {*fyi, this dress is not the first thing she has turned into a salty gem}. Secondly, her inspiration for this piece is beautiful too:

The traditional Hasidic garment shown in the photographs is a replica of the costume worn by the female character Leah in the canonical Yiddish play, The Dybbuk, as portrayed by legendary actress Hanna Rovina for forty years with the Habima Theatre, first in Russia and then Israel.

Written by S. Ansky between 1913 and 1916, The Dybbuk tells the story of a young bride possessed by an evil spirit and subsequently exorcised. In Landau’s Salt Bride series, Leah’s black garb is transformed underwater as salt crystals gradually adhere to the fabric. Over time, the sea’s alchemy transforms the plain garment from a symbol associated with death and madness into the wedding dress it was always intended to be. ~ Marlborough Gallery, London

Amazing, and perfectly executed. There are currently eight large-scale, underwater photographs of the “Salt Bride” being exhibited at Marlborough Gallery in London. They’ll be on display until September 17th, 2016.

* A few other salt-covered objects from Sigalit’s stunning portfolio:


That bike. Love.