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.

“busting creative myths, 2.0”

Aloha! Yep, I’m back from Hawaii feeling refreshed, and I’m excited to bust some more creative myths with my friend, and creative guru, Andy J. Pizza. Before we get to the myth-busting though, I am doing a bit of reading… off the top, I’m sharing an email I received from an artist {and podcast listener} named Sally Podmore re: the idea of “labeling” ourselves as one thing, and one thing only. Her email immediately reminded me of a chapter I wrote in one of my books, so I read that too! Grab yourself a coffee, or settle into the studio because it’s storytime! You can listen right up there under Andy and all of his magical friends, or subscribe to the podcast right here.

First up, a peek at Andy’s super inspiring class that he recently did with Skillshare


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Gah! It’s all just so, so, so good. He’s one smart cookie, that Mr. Pizza.

So, last time Andy was on the podcast, we started a series called “Creative Myth Busters”! It was so much fun that we decided to keep it going…

Yep, we busted three myths on today’s episode, all of which were sent in by you guys: 1. “The only art worth making is the art that flows through you instantly”, 2. “You’re not legit if you’re self taught”, and 3. “Everything’s been said/done, so there’s no point in trying.” Ooof. Big ones. Okay, so what’s the best way to bust myths? Analogies! Here is one of the many we used, actually illustrated by Andy…

Ah, it’s funny cuz it’s true.

And finally, I’d like to leave you with this…

YES, let’s go do that! Thanks so much to Andy for busting more myths with me; thanks to art consultant Alissa Sexton for supporting the episode; and thanks to YOU for listening. There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend. ps. I hope you’re about to start rewriting your labels the second this episode finishes!!! 

Other links:

  1. Alissa Sexton, Art Consultant : Website Services
  2. Andy’s Skillshare class
  3. Emily Henderson’s design Skillshare class
  4. Me at TEDx Nashville, March 20-21 {I think I talked about this, right? If not, I should have! Tickets on sale now}
  5. Your Inner Critic Is A Big Jerk {book}
  6. The list of 30 subjects for an Instagram/day challenge {so you don’t even have to think of them yourself… ie., no excuses}:
  1. water
  2. circle
  3. texture
  4. fly
  5. five
  6. new
  7. upside down
  8. horizon
  9. open
  10. vintage
  11. blue
  12. mirror
  13. cold
  14. lines
  15. noisy
  16. boat
  17. pattern
  18. fur
  19. bright
  20. sweetness
  21. balance
  22. cold {yep, accidentally included it twice?!}
  23. intersection
  24. peak
  25. grow
  26. red
  27. twins
  28. simple
  29. delicious
  30. twilight

Have fun!

amy victoria marsh

Well, these ceramics have a little something for everyone on Valentine’s Day! We’ve got some love potion, ridiculously cute fortune cookies, angry sake {if that’s how things are going for you today}, or something to celebrate the deep love you have for your fur baby… yep, everybody’s covered! And who do we have to thank? This is the hilarious and sweet work of UK based artist/illustrator  Amy Victoria Marsh. All of this work, and lots of other weird ‘n wonderful stuff, can be found in Amy’s online shop.

vincent xeus

Sigh, gorgeous. I wrote about California based artist Vincent Xeus almost two years ago, and here we are again… can you blame me? Oil on linen, beautifully capturing faces from decades past. And his dreamy color palette? Seriously, don’t get me started. Love, love, love!

{Some of his work can be found via Gallery 1261 in Denver}

jessica calderwood

Well… I’m in love. This is the work of Indiana based artist Jessica Calderwood. Slip-cast vitreous china, steel, polymer clay, wool felt, sterling silver, plastic, milk paint and that’s only the list for ONE of the pieces up there! Here are Jessica’s words about her current sculptural work:

“My most recent series uses devices, such as drapery and stylized botanicals, to block out, cover, and hide parts of the human form.  These hybrid forms become a negation, a censoring or denial of what lies beneath. These anthropomorphic beings are at once, powerful and powerless, beautiful and absurd, inflated, and amputated.

I am interested in using traditional craft media, both for their creative properties, as well as their historical references to ‘marginal craft forms’, including enamel, porcelain, felted wool, and polymer clay. Throughout this exploration, I have been working in a miniature scale, as well as large-scale figurative.” 

{found via Momentum Gallery, Asheville}

hassan sharif

I don’t know how I didn’t know about Dubai based artist Hassan Sharif until now. His work of transforming everyday objects into colorful piles and mobiles makes my heart race. Sadly, while researching him, I discovered that he passed away, at only 65 years old, in 2016 after a long battle with cancer. Here are a few words from his website:

“I’m not trying to make magic of some kind that would impress an audience as to how the work is created. There are no secrets. The philosophical or psychological question here is how, as an artist, I give myself the authority to make art.” – Hassan Sharif

Recognized as a pioneer of conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East, Sharif’s artworks surpass the limits of discipline or singular approach, encompassing performance, installation, drawing, painting, and assemblage. Beginning in the late 1970s, he worked as a cultural producer and facilitator, moving between roles as artist, educator, critic, activist, and mentor to contemporary artists in the U.A.E.

‘I give myself the authority to make art‘. Yes. In 2018 there was a retrospective of his work shown at the Sharjah Art Foundation, titled Hassan Sharif: I Am The Single Work Artist. Click on the title of the show to read more about that show, his work, and his life.

tasha lewis

Oh my word … dreamy, bead-covered, aquatic, Greek goddesses in blue! This is just a tiny bit the textile sculpture work of American artist Tasha Lewis. I’ve written about her before, but she currently has a show happening in Nashville TN, so I wanted to make sure you knew about it. Yes, some of her most recent work is currently being shown at the Centennial Park Conservancy {Parthenon Gallery} in an exhibition titled Flood Lines. Here are a few words, and a quote from Tasha, from the gallery’s site about this show:

A student of art and literature, sculptor Tasha Lewis borrows from ancient artifacts to evoke contemporary narratives about women. In ‘Flood Lines’ she updates classical forms such as vessels and figures featuring hand embroidered beads, wire, and hand dyed fabric. Over 35 sculptures of exquisite craftsmanship are carefully arranged within the gallery to create an immersive space that is both formal and organic. Here life-sized human heads, legs, and torsos wend their way among Alabastron and Lekythos vessels to create what Lewis calls a “minimalist bath house.” … 

Flood Lines coincides with the 100th anniversary of the 19th US Constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote. As Tennessee suffragists were instrumental to the ratification of this law, Lewis sees Flood Lines as an homage to these women.

“My figures embody an independence not unlike the Tennessee suffragists of 100 years ago who fought for the voting rights of American women. Their courage helped to make democracy available to all citizens. My work employs sewing, embroidery, and beadwork, crafts that were among the housework that anti-suffragists worried women would abandon if they got the vote. As ancient Greece is the birthplace of democracy, the Greek forms in my pieces evoke a connection between the ancient and modern, hopefully celebrating and reinventing the classical.”

You can find Tasha’s show in the East Gallery of the Parthenon from now until Sunday, May 10, 2020. I plan on popping in when I’m in Nashville this March… can’t wait!

“silver linings and canned peaches”

I am so excited for you to listen to this episode! American artist Phil Hansen is my guest today, and we’re going ‘old school’ with this one. Was he an art kid? Did he go to art school? How did he end up doing an absolutely inspiring TED Talk? Did he really make a portrait of Edgar Allan Poe out of earthworms? Is he seriously going to rip up one of his pieces and give the chunks to some of you!? Let’s find out! Listen right up there under Phil and all of the portraits of Phil, or subscribe here.

First things first, a few grabs from his fabulous TED Talk:

“Embrace the Shake” … such an inspiring story and message! To watch it in full, click right here.

Alright, next. Grabs from his project titled, “Just Peachy”, ie., Trump made from canned peaches, because, impeachment:

Apparently the whole thing turned to mold and required an air purifier for the room it was in, along with having it closed off from the rest of the building. Sounds about right.

Okay, moving on. Edgar Allan Poe’s portrait made from 7000 WORMS!?

Ew. But also, WOW. That’s dedication. *All worms were returned to the earth.

Ahhh, happy little stamps:


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Happy little stamps 🙂 . . . . . #art #artist #artistoninstagram #design #stamps #stamp #bobross #philinthecircle #happylittletrees

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So, if you’ve already listened to the episode, you’ll know what this is about:

Yep! Get over to Phil’s instagram feed, @philinthecircle if you want a chance to win one of four framed pieces of this “destroyed” portrait … good luck!

Speaking of Bob, here’s the info for the event I’m doing at my local gallery that also happens to have a Bob Ross show opening in March!

Gah! I cannot wait to see a few Bob’s happy little landscapes in person! Also, how much do I love that my photo is next to Bob’s on an event calendar?! Okay, and with that I will say a huge thank you to Phil for “philling” in the circle for us, thanks to YOU for listening, and thanks to my family for letting me sneak away on our Hawaiian vacation to get this podcast up! There will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend. See you then!

Other links:

  1. Phil’s Instagram to enter the Bob Ross giveaway
  2. Phil’s TED talk, “Embrace the Shake”
  3. My talk at the Penticton Art Gallery, March 11, 2020


ellen rutt

Gasp! This stunning work is part of ‘‘Nothing Is Separate: A Collaboration with Nature,’  an experimental, traveling installation created by Detroit-based mixed-media artist Ellen Rutt as part of Temple Children’s artist residency in Hilo, Hawai‘i. Here are a few words about this project, followed by a quote from Ellen:

… by creating intuitive compositions of painted, repurposed wood shapes and costumes at several of the island’s majestic, distinct and isolated terrains, Rutt explores the complex relationship humans have with both natural and constructed environments. The bright colors and familiar shapes signal our attraction to aesthetics and modes of idealized presentation.

“I’m acknowledging my own contradictions and our collective moral flexibility – how we are simultaneously celebrating the sacredness of the natural world, while also engaging in practices that knowingly or unknowingly contribute to its destruction. We are balanced on a continuum between understanding the infinite nature of existence and participating in the mundane routine of everyday life.”

Beautiful, in so many ways. I am going to leave you with this gorgeous project from Hawaii while I spend the next week on Maui with my family. There will be a new podcast going up this weekend though, so keep an eye {and ear} out for that!

*Photos – and this video – by Emad Rashidi.