laurent craste


This is the work of Montreal based artist Laurent Craste. All of these pieces are from his series titled, “Abuse”. So strange to see something as delicate as porcelain treated this way, yet not actually broken. Never broken. So beautiful and so powerful… and could be interpreted in so many ways. {I survived an abusive relationship, in my early 20s, and this work gives me chills/makes me a bit sad… but also incredibly proud. Proud that, just like this porcelain, I didn’t break either.}

“a pitch on a silver platter”


*photo by  Liz Daly

Have you ever wanted to write an art book? Well then you’re going to want to listen to this episode of Art for Your Ear! I’m talking to San Francisco based book editor and literary agent, Kate Woodrow. She was my editor on Creative Block, and she’s working on my new book now {and has talked me off a few creative ledges along the way!}. She’s got four important ingredients that should go into every pitch, so grab a pen because you’re going to want to take notes. Listen right up there, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the things we talked about in the order that we talked about them. First up, a few of my favorite books that Kate worked on during her decade at Chronicle Books:


Um, yes, I put my book on that list! And of course Art, Inc and Blog, Inc … and there’s Mom, Inc and Creative Inc on that list too! Here is the link to the blog post she wrote after speaking at Alt Summit 2012 {where we met}, titled “From Blog to Book: How to Turn Your Ideas into Reality”. Next I totally put her on the spot and asked her to list a few of her favorite illustrators. It was hard for her to only name a few, but here is who she mentioned/the projects she worked on them with:






So many fantastic projects! Then of course there were her answers to the speed round… two of her favorite novels that she’s read this year: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Purity by Jonathan Franzen. And clearly I had to include a link to this answer: The first slow song she ever danced to… In Your Eyes. Sigh. The light, the heat.

So… if you have an idea that you want to pitch, Kate is ready to hear it! You can find her at her new company {so excited for her and this whole new chapter… pardon the pun}, Present Perfect Dept., and she’s on Instagram and Twitter too. Oh, and if you’d like to sign up for the webinar she’s doing with Modern Thrive on September 21, 22, 23 you can find more information right here. Thanks so much to Kate for sharing all of these behind the scene secrets, and thanks to you for listening. There will be a new episode up next week!

jenny parsons


Ahh, and now I want to spend my weekend running through these candy-hued, foliage covered hills… or maybe snorkeling through coral reefs! Strangely wonderful that these oil paintings could really go either way depending  how you look at them. This gorgeous work by South African painter Jenny Parsons makes me want to go outside. Right now. Here I go. Have a lovely weekend!

counting down to…


Oh, I have been dying to announce this! Earlier this year the fabulous curator at Saatchi Art, Rebecca Wilson, reached out and asked if I’d like to curate a show in LA. Um. YES! I decided on a “California Girls” theme and chose six, very talented LA based female artists. In exactly two weeks from tonight I’ll get to stand in a room, with a glass of wine in hand, surrounded by the work of these amazing women. It’s feminine, strong, and just a little bit sexy. Ok. A lot sexy. If you are in LA you should absolutely stop by! Here’s all of the info, and then a tiny peek at some of the work:

Opening reception: Thursday September 24 6~9pm / Saatchi Art at Helms Bakery District : 8745 W Washington Blvd, Culver City {RSVP  here}

Show runs: Tuesday September 22 ~ Tuesday September 29 / 10am ~ 5pm / Monday to Friday / By appointment Saturday & Sunday


So. EXCITED. See you in two weeks, LA.

{Erin Tenquist // Laurie Raskin // Stephanie Vovas // Jill Sykes // Kelly Puissegur // Ophelia Chong}

jef claes


Oooh. This is the work of Belgian photographer Jef Claes. This is obviously two different series, but I couldn’t decide which I loved more… the simple shapes against that dreamy blue sky, or that Wes Anderson-esque pool. Sky? Pool? Nope. I can’t decide.

{I found Jef on Subject Matter… a fantastic gallery site specializing in photographers. You can find some of his work there for sale.}

jen stark


To say that Jen Stark‘s work blows my mind would be a major understatement. I’ve written about her before, and I’ll write about her again. Her attention to detail, her color choices, her unique way of making you look at her work… and INTO her work in the case of those insanely stunning pedestal pieces. Sigh. Yep, all of this colored paper and perfectly “drippy” paint has me wishing that I was going back to school today.

scott gardiner


If you happen to be in Sydney between September 9th ~ 13th, you should stop by Booth A16 at the Sydney Contemporary. There you’ll find the gorgeous work of New Zealand based artist (and surfer) Scott Gardiner. These striking mixed media pieces (pigment ink print, acrylic, gloss and matt varnish on canvas) are from his latest series, titled Three Oceans. Here’s a bit about this project:

… The three locations of the project, Sri Lanka, Sydney and Gisborne all represent significant points in my life and development, places I have forged meaningful relationships with the environment and its people, centered around and reliant upon the ocean. In these instances the ocean became a powerful familiar environment, allowing me to connect on a deep level to a new and unfamiliar locale. During the project I wish to examine this complex relationship through my own personal experiences, understanding these are universal issues that relate to all human beings and our  sense of place and belonging, an awareness of our mortality and a connection to something beyond ourselves…

{all images are courtesy and copyright the artist and Palmer Art Projects.}

#creativeunblock no.9


September. Whoa. Project 9 of 12. {If you missed the other projects, no problem, you can catch up right here.} This project is from American artist Aris Moore. I really don’t love the idea of doing a self portrait… but this one is all about embracing the imperfect self-portrait. Now THAT I can do. Ready?


#creativeunblock // september // by aris moore, pg.27


A collage self portrait // Do blind contour drawings of your eyes nose and mouth. If you are likely to erase, draw them in pen. Choose the ones you feel best about and collage them together. Draw your face around them and your neck shoulders and clothing if there is room. Look closely in a mirror and shade your individual features and your hair using what ever materials you like with as much detail as you need.   After you feel good about your portrait, not because it looks exactly like you, but because there is an honesty in it, begin writing. Surround your drawing with text, beginning each sentence with if you really knew me you’d know…. Writing can be legible or illegible whatever you need to be truthful. Lastly, remember that this is a drawing of you for you there are no rules, just suggestions. Play and have fun.”


Ok, let’s do this! I love Aris’ work above, so I’m thinking I might take her lead and house my self portrait within in a found image. Do whatever works for you… let loose, have fun, and remember, it should not be perfect. In fact, it’s literally impossible for it to be perfect! Just enjoy a chance to think about yourself for an entire afternoon. If you’d like to share what you make, just put it up on Instagram or Twitter and hashtag it #creativeUNblock.

“photography was not in the picture”


Ahhh… dreamy, sun-drenched negative space. Today I’m chatting with LA based photographer Max Wanger… not Wagner. I’ve written about Max, and featured a few of his pieces in a show at The Fig House, but we’ve only met once very quickly. I didn’t know much about his story, but I do now. The first thing that shocked me – spoiler alert – he’s completely self-taught! Anyway, I can’t give it all away… you can listen right up there under those little legs, or subscribe on iTunes. As you’re listening, take a look at the work we talked about in the order that we talked about it. First up, design bloggers. That’s who Max reached out to when he finally decided he wanted to follow his bliss and become a photographer:


And it worked! Not only did they write about him, but he also photographed them… and became good friends along the way. If you follow design blogs you might recognize (above) Bri Emery from Design Love Fest  ; the hands of Joy Cho (and her husband) of Oh Joy  ; and Joanna Goddard (and her husband) of Cup of Jo. So, how did a self-taught photographer who was working at Fox Sports get the attention of a bunch of design blogs? He staged a fake wedding, with a fake ring, starring his sister as the bride, photographed it, and sent them these images:


So smart! This was in 2007 or so… and he hasn’t looked back. In fact, he’s still doing weddings! Here are a few of his more recent shots:


Gorgeous. He splits his time between weddings and commercial work. He has all sorts of clients (Vans, Nordstrom, Outrigger Resorts, and more), but my favorite stuff is the work he does for LA based


See? Sun-drenched and so happy! We talked a bit about the brilliant woman behind, Jen Gotch. She does some really cool personal Polaroid work, if you want to check out what Max and I were both drooling over. This of course led us to talking about Max’s Polaroids. I asked if he had a favorite… iPhone or Polaroid. See if you can decide. First up, a few shots from his iPhone:


Love! … and a few of his Polaroids:


Oh, more love! He voted for iPhone at the moment, but I think it’s a tie. I might even be leaning toward his Polaroids! It’s cool to see some grit on his normally perfect images. Speaking of which, I dare you to look at these perfect beauties and not immediately book a trip to Hawaii:


Ahhhhhhh. Yes. That. And finally, the little peanut that was being put to bed while we were talking, Max’s two year old son:


Oh my goodness. Ridiculously cute. So, I learned a lot about Max, the most shocking information being that he’s never had a gallery show. That is crazy. Ok, galleries… someone scoop him up! And with that, I’ll say thank you to Max for skipping bedtime reading to talk to me, and thanks so much to you for listening (and looking)… there will be another episode waiting for you next Saturday!

ps. here’s a link to Max’s print shop.

david samuel stern


Oooh! New pieces by Brooklyn based artist David Samuel Stern. I’ve written about his woven portraits before, but when I saw his latest work I gasped out loud. Now, there are in fact images of men in this series too but, oh my, there is something about these women that takes my breath away. So dreamy, so delicate, so careful… and that color palette. Sigh. Here is what this ongoing series is about:

These images are the result of physically weaving together two photographic prints of the same subject. They are an attempt to bridge dignified, direct portraits with a sort of abstraction that allows their subjects to hide within themselves, and the photographs to be distinctly physical objects. In hiding some things, we reveal others.

{If you’re in Brooklyn, several of David’s woven portraits will be on view at BAM from Sept 16th ~ Dec 20th… details about viewing times/location can be found here.}