vanessa hogge

Dahlias, chrysanthemums, and hydrangeas, oh my! These lovely porcelain blooms are part of “Wallflowers”, a series by London based ceramicist Vanessa Hogge. The detail is gorgeous, and the reason …  “she takes an instinctive, visceral approach to each piece, painstakingly sculpting every petal and anther by hand so that no two flowers are identical.” Ahhh, hundreds of handmade petals! I wish I had that kind of patience, but, I do not. No, I choose to spend that kind of time staring at work like Vanessa’s. Happy first day of May!





“bit of a pencil snob”

The moral of this episode … show your work to random people in pubs because it could be life changing. London based artist, and self-described ‘pencil snob’, Nettie Wakefield is my insanely talented guest today. Listen right up there under that polka-dotty birthday girl, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First, her “Reversed Portrait” series. Absolutely stunning – I cannot imagine getting a pencil to do this. Here are a few of my favorites, and one of them just might be Nettie herself:

Any guesses? Ok, I’ll tell you… that final drawing above is a “reversed self-portrait” of Nettie. Lovely.

Next, “Brandy the Blow up Doll” … she’s lovely too. But in a, hm, different way:

So cool! I love that she pushed herself into the world of sculpture. I’m very curious to see if her sculpture work continues.

Ok, now this is just crazy and surreal. These are a few of the drawings she did at Dismaland. Yes, that’s right… by showing her portfolio to a random guy at a pub, she ended up drawing reversed portraits at Banksy’s Dismaland. What? Who does that happen to? Answer: Nettie.

Unbelievably cool. Speaking of which, look at that close-up?! …… ok, stop looking because I have more to show you. Here’s the piece she did for Context in New York {CONTEXT Art fair NYC / Corey Helford Gallery / Pier 94} :

Sigh. That one might be my favorite reversed portrait in Nettie’s portfolio… well, maybe a close second to Liz:

Yes! This was part of a project in London to honor Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday … and in case you aren’t aware, I  have a strange obsession with images of the Queen. It might be a Canadian thing?

Finally, a lovely photo of Nettie – the front of her, not the back of her head:

Beautiful. Thank you so much to Nettie for telling me her story, and sharing a few chopped out secrets! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and as always thank you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Nettie on Instagram
  2. Banksy
  3. Dismaland
  4. Shepard Fairey
  5. Art Below

 





sideline collective

Ahhh, what a relief… I can feel my shoulders dropping and my brain relaxing. This series, titled “Nothing In The News”, is the work of Sideline Collective – art by Joseph Ernst. Here’s the description:

“We live in a world of constant sensory overload. 24 hours a day we are bombarded with information in real time by every media outlet and platform competing for our attention, one pop-up notification at a time.

And we play ball. We invest hours on end staring at our mobile devices. We want to know what’s going on, the why and the how. We need to know. But in our perpetual quest to fill every spare minute of our time searching for something meaningful, we learn nothing. We are so busy filling every waking moment with things to watch and do, and learn and listen to, that we have forgotten what it is like to just be. To sit around and think. To switch off and be bored. To daydream.

This project offers a little respite to all this information overload.

Yes, we live in particularly sensitive times. Times where the truth really matters, and where newspapers have a more important role to play in modern democracies than ever before. But for a society addicted to breaking news, gossip, and celebrity status, to Facestagram and Twapchat, the latest trends, and the top tens, to sports punditry, conspiracy theories, cat videos, and ridiculous amounts of porn … for this cultural precipice, we offer the one thing you need more than anything else: “Nothing”. Absolutely nothing. Today, and today only, there is Nothing in the News. Enjoy it whilst you can.”

Aaaand exhale, if only for a moment. Happy Friday.

{These empty newspapers are available, while quantities last, in Sideline’s shop.}





njideka akunyili crosby

Oh, I love these so much. Large-scale, jaw-dropping work that combines collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers – and, of course, I had to include that gorgeous pink portrait too! This is the work of Nigerian-born, Los Angeles based artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Here’s a description taken from Victoria Miro {London}, the gallery that represents her work:

“Drawing on art historical, political and personal references, Njideka Akunyili Crosby creates densely layered figurative compositions that, precise in style, nonetheless conjure the complexity of contemporary experience. Akunyili Crosby was born in Nigeria, where she lived until the age of sixteen. In 1999 she moved to the United States, where she has remained since that time. Her cultural identity combines strong attachments to the country of her birth and to her adopted home, a hybrid identity that is reflected in her work.”

Only in her early 30s, Njideka is having record-breaking success… you know, successes like selling this piece, titled “The Beautyful Ones”, at Christie’s for $3.1 million last month:

GAH!!!!! Congratulations, Njideka!





claire coles

“A contemporary take on chinoiserie wallpapers, producing unique and luxurious embroideries that transform walls into works of art.” Exactly! Oh my word, this is the gorgeous work of London based artist Claire Coles. Could you imagine having your walls covered in this kind of art? Exotic birds, flowers in full bloom, and elegant embroidery living in perfect harmony! Here is a little blurb about her process, materials etc:

“Claire designs and handcrafts couture wallpaper murals and appliqué artworks. Papers, silks and leathers are collaged and freehand embroidered to create a range of decorative surface patterns inspired by flora and fauna. Claire uses the sewing machine as others would use a pen or a pencil in a loose and fluid way, intricately stitching her motifs together. All designs are handmade in her London studio.”

Sigh. Lovely.





amanda marchand

What? Yep, that’s exactly what I thought when I saw this work by Canadian-born, Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Marchand. The answer is: photographs, and a dreamy series titled “because the sky”. Sigh… pink skies and black suns, a perfect combination. Happy Tuesday.





kate sweeney

I was madly in love the second I laid eyes on these “Dolly Totems” by American artist Kate Sweeney {in collaboration with master printer Elizabeth Tapper}. Strange shapes, gorgeous colors, each beautiful hand-etched image in exactly the right spot playing its part in the narrative… but what is the narrative? To be honest, I stared at these beauties for quite awhile trying to guess, and then I found this:

“The Dolly Totems are about states of doubt surrounding the creative urge. Innocent childlike forms have a sinister relationship with the dark side of creation and willful destruction.”

A-ha! No wonder I was drawn to them immediately.

{These pieces are available via Zinc Contemporary, Seattle.}





“m is for mysterious”

Magical forests, triangle mountains, Sasquatches, small towns, a question about beaver tails, AND a fellow Canadian … painter Meghan Hildebrand is my lovely guest today. This is a description of her work that sums it up perfectly: With a unique vocabulary of symbols, she translates her northern coastal landscape into electrifying dreamscape scenarios, each image often alluding to a larger narrative. Exactly. Listen right up there under “If The Flame Rises”, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

First up, Meghan’s visual vocabulary that she calls on in all of her work. There are dots, dashes, rainbow-esque lumps, upside down Vs, and lots of pointy Ms. Take a peek:

Sigh. Love.

These are a few pieces from her latest series, titled “Fire Season”. It was the body of work she mentioned that began with a coat of light pink gesso! Gorgeous, and a really smart way of getting around the whole ‘scary white canvas’ situation:

Oh, it’s all just so beautiful! For those of you in Toronto, this is the info for her solo show of this work opening at Mayberry Fine Art on May 6. GO!

Up next, “Giants”. This is my favorite series… Sasquatches staring back at the viewer, dreamy watercolor tree bark, tiny faces hiding in the trees, and oh, all of those patterns! Seriously, just so gorgeous:

Doesn’t that just make you want to make stuff? Beautiful.

Speaking of beautiful, Meghan lives in a lovely small town on Vancouver Island overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Not a bad place to spend your days:

Ahhhh, that view. I’m kind of waiting for a bear or a Sasquatch to pop up into frame though.

And finally, I’ve always thought Meghan’s work would be perfect for a mysterious, beautiful, fantastical kids’ book… especially her whimsical watercolors. I mean, just look at these:

Right!? Someone call her about this because seriously, these could become one of those books that children remember forever … much like the three books that Meghan and I were reminiscing about – links below. Oh, and btw, I am totally reaching out to galleries in LA and Portland because this woman should be showing up and down the coast, yes? YES. {Watch out Seattle and San Francisco, you’re on my list too.}

Alright, and with that I will say thank you so much to Meghan for doing this with me,  granted I wish we’d been eating ‘Beaver Tails’ during our conversation… next time! Thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting this episode, and as always thanks to you for listening. There will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. “That Night In Toronto” – the show Meghan is doing with me!
  2. Mayberry Fine Art
  3. The Tragically Hip
  4. Madrona Gallery, Victoria BC
  5. Martha Rich, Episode 1
  6. Kootney School of the Arts, Nelson BC
  7. NSCAD
  8. “Norbert Nipkin” / “The Rainbow Goblins” / “Swimmy”
  9. Beaver Tails!

 





john honeywill

If eating oil paint wasn’t bad for you, well, you know. This is the delicious work of Australia painter John Honeywill. He paints “the quiet visual conversations between everyday objects; paintings that explore presence and stillness in the genre of the still life – a genre that links the intimate world with the public.” Yes, yes he does. His portfolio is full of lovely table top subjects like bowls filled with gooseberries, and old jugs overflowing with flowers – but it’s Friday, and honestly the only thing I could see were his beautifully reflected meringues, rocky road bars, and those pink blocks of Turkish delight … ah yes, let your weekend cravings begin. You’re welcome.





charlotte keates

London based artist Charlotte Keates spent the summer and fall of 2016 on an ‘inspiration trip’ around the USA and Canada. The result? “Sojourn”, a new solo show that opens May 4th at Arusha Gallery in Edinburgh. Now, you’d think I’d be posting all of the Canadian pieces, but weirdly my favorite pieces are the California-esque pieces… this Canadian girl wants to see palm trees!