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”

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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:

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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):

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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:

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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:

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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:

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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…

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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:

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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.





“it began with biscuits”

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It really did begin with biscuits… in 2009 with those biscuits right up there to be exact. I’m talking to New Zealand born, UK based painter Joël Penkman. Her food paintings are absolutely stunning, but imagine my delight when I found out that they’re actually painted with food too… well, kinda. How’s that for a tease?! You can listen right up there under the tower of cookies, or subscribe on iTunes. First up, her gorgeous {and very popular} ice creams:

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See? Yeah, that’s why they’re so popular! Up next, the rainbow of lollipops she painted for my Land of Nod collection last year:

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So sweet… literally! Sorry. I had to. Ok, moving on. Here are just a few of my favorite pieces from her Taste of America book. There are over 100 to choose from so you can see my dilemma:

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Ah, smoked catfish paté… yum. Ok, from cheese, jelly and caramels to her very tidy studio {she wasn’t kidding}:

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… and her pigments! Her process and use of homemade egg tempera kinda blew my mind. I had no idea what it was or how to do it. I have always loved her work, but now seeing how she actually makes that work… well, I am totally, completely, head over heels in love. I also love that she photographs her own subjects as well {hence the photo of her mid-scoop}.

So, she paints a lot of food because she’s very good at it, therefore lots of people ask her to keep painting food. I asked what a few of her favorite pieces were, and it turns out, they’re not food:

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Books and the most beautiful stack of shoe polish I’ve ever seen. Well, if she gets to show her favorites, I want a turn too:

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Beautiful, and oh so delicious. I also thought it was fitting to end with biscuits since that’s where we started. Ok, now, before you go, you HAVE to watch this video of Joël in action. First of all it’s hilarious, and secondly it’s very educational. Wait till you see her actually squirt the egg yolk into her finely ground pigment. Oh yes, and there’s a talking chicken and a 3-piece band in there too:

I want a band in my backyard while I pick rhubarb! And on that note, I’ll say thanks so much to Joël for doing this with me, thanks to Saatchi Art for supporting yet another episode, and HUGE thanks to you for listening … there will be more art for your ear next weekend.

Other links:

  1. Design*Sponge
  2. Handsome Frank Illustration Agency
  3. Joël’s prints available here

 





hope gangloff

hopegangloff

Books, wine, art, music, and fantastic clothes. Yep, I want to be friends with all of these women. This is the beautifully composed, colorful, pattern-filled work of New York based artist Hope Gangloff. Sigh… wouldn’t it be great to hang out in these paintings for the weekend? I want a red pedicure… and a fish blanket.

{via Fresh Paint Magazine}





rebekka connelly

rebekkaconnelly

Paintings? Not really. Each of these is a one of a kind stencil print, printed with acrylic on cotton paper. They are the work of American artist Rebekka Connelly, and I loved them the second I saw them. I think I loved them even more after hearing this though:

“For many years, I worked as an illustrator and Product Design Director for a boutique stationery company called Snow & Graham. After staying home with my kids for a few years, I am finding time again to create and define my process. It feels great to put pen to paper again.”

Amen.