dana holst

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Oh. So. Good. These are the strange, beautiful, monotone portraits {oil on paper, and encaustic/oil on paper} of Canadian artist Dana Holst. She also paints crazy scenes and intense portraits in extremely saturated color palettes, but these black & white beauties were calling my name… sort of like a classic movie that you watch over and over and over again… even if it scares you a tiny bit.

{This was another artist sent to me by Jessica G. Thanks, Jessica!}





darlene cole

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I think I had this dream once… there were bears in a rose garden, horses, carousels, and I had a little grey bunny that lived on a fancy chair. And then I woke up. Sigh. I can almost smell the roses and peonies in these strange and lovely, dream-like paintings by Canadian artist Darlene Cole. I really hope I have that dream again.

{Thanks to Jessica G. for sending me a link to Darlene’s work}





huntz liu

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Layers… oh, so many layers of gorgeous cut paper stacked on top of each other! This is the paper-cutting mixed media work of LA based artist/graphic designer Huntz Liu. I love those side shots that reveal the lovely depth he’s created, and that give us a closer look at what’s going on with each piece… granted, I have no idea how to do this myself {nor the patience}, but I’m so happy that he does! Happy weekend, everyone.





adalberto ortiz

I love the excitement and bright lights of a big city, but my heart belongs to the quiet of a small town… enter the simple, candy-hued paintings of Puerto Rican born, US based artist Adalberto Ortiz. Summer day. Small town. Count me in.

{via Saatchi Art}





megan whitmarsh

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I may never look at another book or magazine the same way again! Oh, I would love a stack of these hand sewn, fabric art books/magazines by American artist Megan Whitmarsh on my coffee table. And I know this post is not about me, but have to say it… how insanely cool would it be if she made “Creative Block” out of fabric, foam, embroidery thread, and markers!? Speaking of which, I wonder if these are the markers she uses:

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Maybe!





caroline larsen

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Detailed woven tapestries, right? Nope. Oil paintings! Ok, I know you’re not supposed to touch art – that’s what those velvet ropes at galleries are for – but I really, really want to touch these paintings by Canadian artist Caroline Larsen. I seriously thought they were vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors in woven form when I first saw them, but no… they are vintage-esque, homages to the great outdoors made up of thousands of tiny strokes of oil paint. Sigh. Must. Touch.

{Found at General Hardware Contemporary, Toronto}

ps. I love her series of rocky, cacti gardens too… 

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Love.





chad wys

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American artist Chad Wys is known for dipping and defacing found landscapes/portraits {I wrote about him in 2010}, but I just came across his elegant series titled “Arrangement in Skintones”… perfect dots and soft portraits from days gone by. Yep, it’s safe to say that the art history lover and the graphic designer in me are equally smitten ♥





#creativeUNblock no.1

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I have been wanting to do this for so long, but the timing never seemed right. Well how about the start of a new year… perfect! Yep, it’s time to earn that “unblocking” badge.

There are 50 amazing “unblocking” projects, given by the 50 very clever artists that I interviewed for my book, Creative Block, and I want to try all of them… and I will… but I’m going to do this in baby steps. Instead of doing 1 per week {my original, Type-A plan}, I’m going to do 1 per month for the next 12 months. Are you in? Yes! {If you all do it too, that will keep me motivated!}

The first Saturday of each month I’ll post the new project. I’m going to jump around the book a bit, picking 12 totally random projects. Some of them are actually 30 day projects unto themselves, while others only take an afternoon {feel free to spend the month doing those quicker projects multiple times in different ways!}. A few of them can be done in the studio, but others will take us outside on mini-adventures… oh, it’s gonna be good! Don’t feel like you have to share what you’ve made, but if you want to {I’ll share my progress from time to time}, just pop it up on instagram and/or twitter, and include #creativeunblock. And if you don’t mind, I might share a few of my favorites on the site! Ok, ready? Here we go:

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#creativeunblock // January // by NYC based artist Trey Speegle p.79

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A SEASON FOR NO REASON : Make a drawing in black and white {or use a found image} and then photocopy the drawing onto card stock 50 times – or enough copies so that you won’t “worry” about how many you’ve used. {Take your time and draw or find an image that you really love, and will like working with over and over} Then, alter the image in as many different ways as you can think of with colored pencils, paint, cutting, whatever. You can modify this idea and change it in whatever way you like but the important thing is to turn off your brain and just play with a repeated form and let your mind see where no ideas or thought process takes you. 

Create your own tight parameters… then give yourself a LOT of room to play. Have fun. ~ Trey Speegle  

Let’s do this… see ya on instagram! { ps. you can tag Trey when you post your pieces if you’d like: @treynyc }





marianne nielsen

Whimsical, wonderful, and a tiny bit weird… ceramic hair. Um, I love this so much! These pieces are the work of Copenhagen based ceramics artist Marianne Nielsen, and clearly, they’re all part of her series titled “Variationer over Hår”… or “Variations of Hair” if you ask Google Translate.





geoffrey johnson

New Year’s Resolution No.1 … spend more time in New York! When I saw these gorgeous oil on wood panel pieces by New York based painter Geoffrey Johnson I kept flipping back and forth between wanting to pack my bags for New York, or Paris, or New York, or Paris… and then I read his bio and it all made sense:

“Johnson draws much of his inspiration from his travel experiences and first-hand observations. Using a monochromatic palette of sepia hues, the artist says he strives to reproduce the places that inspire him. Johnson’s work is strongly evocative of the French Impressionists’ depictions of city life, interior spaces, and equestrian scenes. From Gustave Caillebotte’s steely, atmospheric renderings of foggy Paris streets and dusky rooftops to Degas’ spindly-legged racehorses, the influence of these artists upon Johnson’s painting is readily visible.

Well there you have it… maybe I’ll pack for both, and then see where 2015 takes me! Happy New Year, everyone!

{Thanks to GregoryWest for pointing me to Geoffrey’s work}