“buckling can be beautiful”

Oh my goodness, how gorgeous is that? The first time I wrote about Swedish artist/illustrator Stina Persson was way back in 2010. That’s insane. So, here we are eight years later speaking to each other for the very first time… and I asked her everything! I found out that she studied fashion in Italy, then illustration at Pratt in New York, and eventually found her way back to Sweden to become a successful illustrator/artist {and mother of three sons}. I also asked her if Swedish people actually shop at IKEA. They do. Listen right up there under that beautiful ink ‘n cut paper piece, or you can subscribe on iTunes.

Let’s start with a few inky, washy, fashiony pieces that pop to mind when I think of “Stina Persson”:

Ooh la la… rich vintage glam! Now, you know how I feel about collage, right? Well look at these cut paper pieces that blend Stina’s inky strokes with colorful bits of paper:

Stunning, and an excellent segue into some of Stina’s very high profile commercial illustration work:

And that is just the tip of a huge illustration iceberg!

Now, not only does Stina make spilled nail polish look delicious, look what she does with lettering {ps. beware of killer kittens}:

Gorgeous (and note the beautifully buckled paper). Well, let’s up the ante, shall we? These videos of Stina in action, found on her Instagram feed, are absolutely mesmerizing… and a little Beyonce quote never hurt either:

Seriously, I could watch those on repeat all day loooooooong. But I won’t, because now it’s time to show you this gem:

Dreamy and, oh, so beautifully bizarre. This is a promotional video Stina worked on for a single, titled “Left For Dead”, by  RABBII.

And finally, Stina herself:

Ah, I always love seeing the artist doing what they do. Thank you so much to Stina for taking the time to do this with me; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and big high fives to YOU for listening. There will be more Art For Your Ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Stina on Instagram
  2. Stina’s Online Shop
  3. Stina’s Illustration Agents {UK, NYC, Japan, Sweden, Australia/NZ}
  4. Pratt Institute, NY
  5. Hey, fancy white-walled galleries… call her to put on a big, beautiful show! 


jaynie crimmins

Does your junk mail look like this?! Nope, neither does mine! These gorgeous, textured, papery sculptures are the work of Brooklyn based artist Jaynie Crimmins. Here is how and why she does what she does:

“My medium is the proliferation of promotional mailings from government representatives, non-profit and political organizations in addition to consumerist advertising and bills.  I shred these mailings to generate elements that are uniform in size, assigning equal importance to all the shreds. I then subject them to a rigorous practice of separating colors, rolling or sewing the shreds and commingling specific mailings. 

The fragments, past the point of re-assemblage, still reveal bits of text, imagery, envelopes, and colors; traces of their cultural origins.  Once a means of direct communication, my manipulation of these materials obscure their messages to promote my own.”  

Brilliant. And, clearly, I have to finish the post with an image of Jaynie in action:

Craziness. Happy Friday.

teresa duck

It might have been the rainbows that pulled me in, but the strategically placed Hello Kitty sealed the deal! This is the bold, fun, pop-inspired work of British painter Teresa Duck. I love her combination of flat fields of color, beautifully painted figures, and of course, that touch of 80s nostalgia that I just can’t ignore. Clearly I’ll have to spend the rest of the day flipping through my old sticker collection … strawberry scratch ‘n sniff, anyone?

{another find via Create Magazine’s Instagram feed}

boy kong

Tigers, alligators, unicorns… hell YES, to all of this goodness. These 3D paintings are the work of Florida based artist Boy Kong. He does all sorts of things, from murals to tattoos to paintings – some personal and some commercial – but a unicorn jumping right out of the wall? Yeah, that speaks to me. Here is a little bit about him via Glitter&____ Gallery, NY:

“Boy Kong is a self-taught painter, illustrator, muralist, and collage artist. Inspired by a mixture of Ukiyo-e, Surrealism, Graffiti art, and animal folklore, Kong’s visual style juxtaposes these elements with a mastery of color and rhythmic application. In short time his body of work has become immediately identifiable without succumbing to a signature aesthetic. Kong divides his time between Orlando and NYC.”

… psst … the unicorn is hanging at rag & bone in Miami.

dragica carlin

It’s moments like these that I have to remind myself not to touch, and or lick, paintings. Both are very frowned upon, but in this situation, can you blame me!? These oil paintings are the work of London based artist Dragica Carlin, and I love them…. I also love her artist statement. Here’s just a little snippet:

“… Mixing the paint is an intuition. In my work, it is not possible to predict how colours would relate to one another, sometimes the most extreme hues balance with the movement of my brush, and at other times, they shout at each other.  My process is intense. It requires the equilibrium of my physical togetherness, independence on my mind and openness of my soul. … The speed of my brush and the hues that I use create the painting. Every brushstroke that I apply onto the canvas and every swirl in combination with another, or in relation to the space around, is suggestive to another relationship or possibility. So, in painting, everything co-exists in relation to another element. The main agenda is always light. The light captured in the painting is the soul of the painting, and the movement of my brush determines its personality. I am constantly astonished by how a single movement of the brush can change the energy of the entire painting, and how the touch of paint on the canvas can produce something so complex as swirl, in a single moment.”

But that’s not all! I have to show you the SCALE:

Gor. Ge. Ous.

ps. all of these scale images were found on Dragica’s Instagram feed, and her work can be purchased via Saatchi Art.

javier mayoral

You know how I love funny art, right? Enter Miami based artist Javier Mayoral aka Pulp Brother. Apparently he’s a chef by day… but obviously a very prolific painter during all of the other hours. These paintings {acrylic on wood} have everything I love… humor, vintage-ness, and the stuff crazy dreams are made of… sleep tight, Toby.

{via Create Magazine’s Instagram feed}

“my indiana muse”

That’s Helen. She is the inspiration behind a huge, most likely lifelong, painting series, and a beautiful film by American painter Robert Townsend {or Bobby, or Rob}. The film is titled, “My Indiana Muse”... perfect, as Helen basically screams MUSE. I loved every second of this hour and half long episode… Rob’s paintings {yes, paintings} are insane. He is a self-taught, funny, modest, artistic genius as far as I can tell. Also, he loves donuts, so clearly we’re going to be friends.

First up, his watercolors from a few years ago. WATER. COLORS. I mean, I don’t even know:

What the?! Ok, that’s insane. And on that note, the first painting in the “Helen” series, back when Robert had named her “Kay”:

This was the piece he had titled “Kay and Patty”, before he found the slide with Helen wearing a name tag!

And, here are Helen and Roy on one of their many road trips, in matching outfits no less:

Hooray for pink pants! Looking good, Roy. ps. these are actually Rob’s paintings, NOT the original photographs. Crazy, right?

Now, for some people, painting the images would be enough. Rob is not one of those people. The film begins with him heading out onto the road to track down some of Helen’s fabulous mid-century destinations:

Note the orange/mud layer he uses for underpainting his large-scale oil paintings … it certainly does lend a warmth to Helen and her crew. Speaking of warmth… HAWAII! This is the painting Rob was working on throughout “My Indiana Muse”:

Note Roy’s Hawaiian shirt above. That took Robert six days to paint. SIX. DAYS.

I really do think Helen and Rob are kindred spirits, even though they never met. They certainly both love road trips:

How cool is that! He went where Helen went … ♥   I wish they could’ve gone on a trip together. I have a feeling they would have stopped here to buy a postcard and a slice of “World Famous Cheesecake”:

I double-checked with Robert, and this is actually an oil painting, not a watercolor – thank goodness because that would’ve broken my brain.

And finally, a peek at the trailer {and one of the posters} for this lovely ode to a mystery woman … who is now more like family:

Beautiful. If you can see this film at one of the many film festivals it’s part of, please do… it’s just so lovely. Gigantic thanks to Rob for taking so much time to answer all of my questions; thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting the episode; and thank YOU for listening. There will be more Art For Your Ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. “My Indiana Muse”
  2. Film Festival Schedule: Up next Beverly Hills, Phoenix, Palm Springs, Florida, New York…
  3. Film Makers: Ric & Jen Serena
  4. Original Score by Paul Bessenbacher & Matt Bowen
  5. Rob’s show in April at Altamira Fine Art, Scottsdale AZ


elise p. church

“Shadow Boxes” and “Remnants” … as a collage artist myself, all of these lovely {and kind of odd} pieces make my heart beat a little faster. This is the work of Brooklyn based artist Elise P. Church. Originally a landscape painter, Elise has found her place as an abstract collage artist. I love that these large paper pieces are unframed… and not rectangular! So many layers, textures, and here’s why:

Moving frequently had an impact on Elise’s artwork. She is a collector of discarded and second hand materials such as vintage sewing patterns or flotsam which dictate the direction and medium of each series. Currently, a collector of 1960’s snapshots, cut fragments become photo-collages and studies for drawings and large scale paintings. 

Ahhh, so refreshing. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going into the studio to cut ‘n’ paste everything!

gao rong

Gasp! It’s like spirograph come to life … with thread! This is the dizzying work of Chinese artist Gao Rong. A lot of her work involves “assimilating entire replicas of cars, tables, washing machines and other household objects in fabrics”, but this 2016 series took her in a more circular direction:

“A new direction in her oeuvre is an expansion of her fine embroidery practice, where she weaves abstract shapes across wooden hoop frames, looking at the intersections between domestic and public spaces. These works premiered in her second solo show in the U.S., “The Simple Line,” at Klein Sun Gallery.” 

Beautiful, right? Well, just wait until you see these beauties installed:

You’re welcome ♥

sarah winkler

“Mountain Formations”  … sigh. This is just one of the many gorgeous series by UK-born, US-based artist Sarah Winkler. She does beautiful collage work – which I thought this was – but no, these are paintings. Most of Sarah’s paintings are acrylic paint on panel, but the final piece above, titled “Fjord Echo”, is acrylic on panel with iron oxide, gold flake mica and marble dust. Mable dust?!?! Oh, and it’s 60″x60″. Love, love, love!