erica green

Oooh, don’t you want to touch alllllll of these pieces? This is the textile/fiber installation work of Colorado based artist Erica Green. I have to share her description for the first installation shown above, titled The Embers {2019}, because it’s almost as poetic as the work itself:

“When creating an installation, I begin with the architecture of the space. What struck me about the Gallery of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs was the reflective glass doors and the ink black tile floor that ring the center chandelier space. I quickly sensed how these features could hold “The Embers.” The mended white fibers cascade from the ceiling and surround the thick, dark strips of felt that have stacked up on the tile floor. If you look closely, I believe you can see the fibers glow as they reflect off the surrounding surfaces. In some sense, they are both falling and floating.”

{found via Pennylane Shen’s Instagram; Photographs by : 1st installation by Stellar Propeller Studio  / 2nd installation by Draper White}

lars elling

Nightmares? At the very least, dreams you hope you wake up from really soon. This is the gorgeous / haunting work of Norwegian painter Lars Elling, and this is a description of his work, from Galleri Brandstrup, the gallery that represents him in Oslo:

Elling is a storyteller. His layers of imagery evoke memories of childhood, with the possible disturbance and trauma written between the lines. Family is the repetitive theme in Elling’s works; familiar moments infiltrated by surprising or unpleasant elements. The formalistic aspect of Lars Elling’s paintings is characterized by the erased and the broken. The pure visual expression has a meaningful function, where story and poetry are strong fundamentals. The paintings can be seen as a burst of memory, a description of a moment, where the almost experienced or almost seen is presented in a dreamlike and poetic expression, which can be compared to the poetic expressions in the works of Francis Bacon. Also like Bacon, Elling’s works also portray a description of the logic of feelings, and illustrate a beginning, a middle section, and an end, however not in that order.

{via Create Magazine’s Instagram}

iruka toro

*Gasp* I already loved these oil paintings so much, and then I saw the photos of the work installed and, yes, my heart skipped a beat… the scale, the beautiful altars on the floor, all of it! And those ‘in studio’ images are breathtaking. This is the most recent work by Puerto Rico-born, New York-based artist Iruka Toro. This show just came down from the walls of LaCa Projects in Charlotte North Carolina, but these are their words about “THE IRUKA ELVIS SPELL”:

Transcendence. Transformation. Surrender. In her third solo exhibition at LaCa Projects, these themes are evident in Iruka Maria Toro’s new body of work, which offers deeply personal insights into her recent name change and the evolution of her work in tandem with a constant exploration of her spiritual identity. Through a system of complex but connected clues into deeply-rooted belief systems, Toro invites viewers inside her world, with references to the tarot, magic, prayer, ritual, femininity, and medicinal practices. As if painting with a technicolor lens, Toro makes visible hidden spiritual dimensions through intense, color-saturated works, intimate and careful dissections of living flora, and juxtapositions revealing a unique and important relationship, echoing her steadfast reverence to the natural environment and its undeniable connection to humankind.

Sigh. Magic.

lysa flower

So, how should we kick off this week? How ’bout with a truckload of  “retro vibes & high fives” as Canadian artist Lysa Flower would say. A ghetto-blaster bag, a cassette tape quilt, and rainbows too! {Have I mentioned that my friends and I had a club called ‘The Rainbow Girls’ when I was 11? Yes, we got together to discuss all things rainbows while eating blue whale candies and listening to Madonna on Michelle Nielsen’s ghetto-blaster. It was the best.} Also the best… the mural Lysa’s standing in front of is the work of another Canadian artist. Me! That’s some crazy ‘worlds colliding’ stuff happening first thing on a Monday morning.

“pennylane made me cry”

Yep, she does that to a lot of artists actually – not on purpose, of course – it just kinda happens. Artist consultant extraordinaire, Pennylane Shen is back on the podcast! Last time she was on we did a segment titled, “Pennylane Calls Bullshit”, but today she’s going to share the four biggest reasons people tend to cry when she shows up in their studios. I have a feeling all of you will relate to at least one of the reasons, if not all four. You can listen just right up there under an artsy chicken-or-egg situation {Okay, the photo of Penny and the plates – by Robert Therrien – came first, which then inspired the drawing of Pennylane to be included in a mural by Vancouver’s “Phantoms In The Front Yard” collective. LOVE!}. Oh, or you can also subscribe to the podcast right here.

See? Photos of Penny looking at art, inspires more art. AND, not only does she know how to look at / talk about art, she also knows exactly how to stand in front it:

They’re all so artsy and poetic! {Artists above: 1. Rajni Perera ; 2. Marigold Santos ; 3. Rudolf Stingel ; 4. Jenny Saville ; 5. Yayoi Kusama ; 6. Museum Voorlinden, NLNote to self: don’t look straight at the camera and say CHEESE. I tried to do that during the Vancouver Mural Festival, but Pennylane made me climb a ladder and gaze off into the distance:

Worked like a frickin’ charm! And look, there’s even a little Liz looking up at me from the bottom of the shot… LOVE. Thank you so much to Pennylane for A. not making me cry today, and B. for being so generous with her time and information. Speaking of which, clearly I had to include a link to the “recipe” for those chip cookies… it’s in the list of links below. Thank you to the Thrive Network for supporting this episode, and huge thanks to you for listening!

Other links:

  1. Thrive Network
  2. Pennylane on Instagram
  3. TedX Nashville
  4. “Shit Arlo Says”, Modfellows Gallery March 22
  5. Chocolate/Potato Chip clusters … I mean, WHAT?


adam parker smith

I wonder if resin, steel, fiberglass, and urethane floats? I’m going with, ‘no’. These light but not light at all sculptures are the work of Brooklyn based artist Adam Parker Smith… and I LOVE THEM ALL! I want to touch one. But I won’t. Happy Friday.

{Found via The Hole NYC. These photographs are from his show there last fall.}

kristy blackwell

Oooh! This is the newest work by Toronto based painter Kristy Blackwell. I’ve written about her before {here and here}, but she continues to push her work – and herself – further and further… it’s so exciting to watch that I just had to write again! Some of her work is part of an upcoming group show which is part of Toronto FAC {Feminist Art Collective}‘s Feminist Art Fest 2020, taking place at OCADU March 5-7. Not only is there an art exhibition, there’s also a film night and conference … get tickets right here.

ps. She’s also showing her work this weekend at Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair in Toronto… and it opens TONIGHT! More info right here.

tim ferguson sauder

“An art project exploring our American identity through the creation of flags built using marks collected from the different people and places that make up our country.”

So beautiful in so many ways. This series, titled Americans Flags, is the brilliant, timely, and thoughtful work of American artist Tim Ferguson Sauder. Okay, I’ve basically copy/pasted his entire site, but I wanted to be sure I didn’t leave anything out! Here is the Why and How about this ongoing project:


This body of work has been (and is being) created in response to an interaction I had with my students a couple years ago. It was the morning after an incredibly charged US election and my class was just starting. As soon as everyone showed up and grabbed a seat one of my students raised her hand and asked, “Since this is a communication course can we talk about how I’m supposed to communicate with my family about politics when I already know we don’t agree? Especially about what happened last night?”

We talked that day about how difficult it is to be open to others’ points of view while staying true to your own beliefs when those two things differ. We discussed how it was our responsibility to work to find ways to broaden our own perspectives and share with others what we see. This work is an exercise in exposing myself to other people’s experiences in America. I’m exploring what this country means to them and deepening my own understanding of what America and its identity means to me.


… we take the [cut plywood] boards out and “gather” marks on them. These are most often collected by spraying a thin layer of fixative onto the board and leaving it someplace where people will walk or ride over the board and leave marks.

Some places/people from which we’ve “gathered” marks include: a U.S. border pedestrian bridge in Texas, American Indian craftspeople in New Mexico, workers at a strawberry farm in Massachusetts, fishermen working in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean off the U.S. East Coast and tourists visiting memorial sites in Washington D.C. 

Beautiful.  PS. Tim is hoping to show this work throughout the US… if you are an interested gallery, please reach out to him.

This project was done through his lab, Return Design, at Olin College. Tim is not only an artist, but also a designer and associate professor in the practice of design at Olin College of Engineering.

casey gray

Ah, the work of California based artist Casey Gray… they’re always like an image search puzzle … for grownups. If you want an up-close look, Casey currently has a show at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco, titled “I Can Taste The Sun”. Here’s the show description:

Utilizing his signature, complex masking and aerosolized acrylic technique to create densely detailed and symbolic works, Gray has created a series of paintings, sculptures and works on paper that celebrate the simple joys in life – from the idyllic landscapes of California to a perfect summer picnic.

Drawing from the world around him, Gray seamlessly incorporates historical painting tropes alongside studio ephemera to create surreal yet plausible still lives and scenes. Each painting is an invitation to the viewer to decode the symbolism and underlying narrative or statement held within the work, like an unfolding poem. The exhibition explores “the power of nature and the outdoors to nourish and heal.”

Dynamic new sculptural works and experimental works on paper will also be debuted at I Can Taste the Sun, showcasing Gray’s multi-faceted practice. A continuation of his wavy symbol paintings, the sculptures pull individual elements such as a flower or tree into an undulating, three dimensional object. Illustrative and graphic works on paper serve as snapshots of moments between paintings, rounding out the artist’s sun soaked world.

You’ll be able to taste the sun until February 29, 2020.

tara lewis

Love, love, love… indeed! Oh my word, I love everything about this work by American artist Tara Lewis. Her latest show, titled “Hell Yes!”, is currently showing at Lyons Wier Gallery in New York until February 22, 2020. You’re gonna go, right!? Here is snippet from Tara’s site about her work:

Tara Lewis creates paintings that dive into youth culture anthropology with a pop twist.  Lewis creates large scale oil portraits of models wearing t-shirts, pageant sashes and other wearables designed and printed by the artist that center on evolving perceptions of youth, irreverence, girl culture, beauty, identity, teen trends, girl empowerment, social issues and pop culture, often referring to past decades and pre-internet sources in re-freshed and boldly mundane and relevant ways. The Preppy Handbook, Seventeen and movies such as The Royal Tanenbaums, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and her MTV childhood stand as huge inspirations and prompts for oil portraits.

Um, what else can I say except… HELL YES! Happy Monday.