misa gott

Aaaaaand, exhale. This is the work Tokyo born, UK based printmaker Misa Gott. These pieces are from her most recent series, titled “AOKI FUMU”, which translates to “stepping on green grass”. Sigh. Beautiful. Speaking of beautiful, I usually just take a small excerpt from artists’ sites, but in this case I couldn’t decide! Here’s Misa’s entire artist statement:

“I am an artist printmaker working in south London. I was born in Japan and grew up on the outskirts of Tokyo, but have lived in the UK for more than half of my life. 

I produce intricate abstract images by cutting, layering and overprinting prints made using variety of printmaking techniques, mainly monotype, relief and collagraph. 

The starting point is always my relationship with nature, one that was forged in Japan where the natural world is woven into the fabric of daily life. Instead of Us and Nature there is a real day-to-day sense of Us as Nature.

My images are visual Haiku poems that celebrate the elusiveness and transiency of nature; their simplicity belying the complexities involved in their craft and production. They play with the juxtaposition within nature of apparent amorphous randomness and the underlying systems, patterns and rules. The inherent contrasts between randomness and regularities, fluidity and stability intrigue me.

Printmaking helps me to cultivate colours, shapes and patterns in my work. The process facilitates a sense of spontaneity and happy accidents. Nature is constantly changing, destroying and recreating in order to maintain a dynamic state. My practice explores this constant movement: Yuragi (dynamism/ fluctuation) in nature in the process of creating images. 

Through my work, I try to open up rooms for reflection, contemplation and imagination.  I hope the viewers will sense the flow and the shapes and patterns in my work will carry on evolving in their imagination.”

See? Beautiful. Happy Monday.

“sam gets schooled” : AFYE ep.153

Another weekend, another new episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR! If you didn’t hear last week’s kick-off episode, I’m shaking things up a little this season. Instead of interviewing artists about their personal journeys, I’ve recruited a group of creative experts to be my co-hosts. We’ll be digging deep into the nitty gritty of being Artists {with a capital A} covering a huge range of topics from critique to pricing. Today’s co-host is the kind and generous painter / art school professor, LA based Samantha Fields. The theme today… lessons that Sam has learned from her students! This runs the gamut from how to pencil in eyebrows to heart-wrenching stories of survival. You can listen right up there under that disastrous celebration, or subscribe on iTunes.

Here’s a rundown of everything you heard about on this episode. Let’s start with a few of Sam’s insane airbrush paintings, just to set the mood:

Boom! Literally. So unbelievably good. Okay, I can’t control myself… one more set of her jaw-dropping paintings:

Alright, now I feel better. I needed you to see all of that greatness.

Now, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again… I WANT SAM TO BE MY TEACHER! Here’s the manifesto she gives to her Art 307 students:

“Critique is our mirror”. I loved that part of our chat.

Okay, let’s take a peek into Sam’s home studio, shall we:

Works in progress, gouache sketches, and Sam’s bio photo… ? I asked her for a recent photo and this is what she sent, with this explanation: “The stars are the kind teachers give students, I liked that they were like a mask of affirmation!”  Ha! See, just another reason to love her sooooo much.

And finally, speaking of love… the @csun_squirrels_ :

I lay flat on my belly when it’s too hot out as well. And with that, I will say thank you to Sam for sharing all of her stories and lessons learned; huge thanks to THRIVE for supporting this episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR; and of course, thank you for listening ~ Danielle


Links, so many links {ie., proof that Sam really is a teacher!}

Gullah Quilts:
Mehri Dadgar has become an activist, telling her story via TEDx and her own book:
The Prison Arts Collective, Annie Buckley:
Toe Tag Parole: HBO Documentary. This was Yard A, where Sam taught with the Prison Art Collective:
Beatriz Cortez
Kristin Shomaker
Alex Kizu aka Defer
Oh, and Adrienne Kinsella’s creatures:

ps. The winner of Ashley Longshore’s stunning new art book is… Leila Simon Hayes!

kara walker

She never ceases to amaze. American artist Kara Walker‘s latest piece, a 13-meter tall working fountain titled Fons Americanusis currently installed at the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall {until April 5, 2020}. This text is a snippet of the description from the Tate:

“Fons Americanus is inspired by the Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, London. The memorial was designed in 1901 and unveiled in 1911 to honour the achievements of Queen Victoria who was the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1837–1901), as well as the Empress of India. Rather than a celebration of the British Empire, Walker’s fountain inverts the usual function of a memorial and questions narratives of power. Walker explores the interconnected histories of Africa, America and Europe. She uses water as a key theme, referring to the transatlantic slave trade and the ambitions, fates and tragedies of people from these three continents. Bringing together fact, fantasy and fiction, Fons Americanus stands as a representation of this narrative in the form of an allegory or fable.”

So powerful. And that is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the meaning and importance of this work. Read the entire article on the Tate’s site RIGHT HERE

*All photos from tate.org.uk, Matt Greenwood

ellis tolsma

Risograph prints, costumes, and odd characters who I assume live in those dreamy candy-hued houses. This is the whimsical and vibrant work of Netherlands based artist and illustrator Ellis Tolsma. Her portfolio is full to the brim with weird wonderfulness, from animations to installations. Check out her Instagram feed for lots of lovely stop-motion movies and closeups of her prints {also, go follow her because she only has 476 followers which seems crazy to me}.

sheena liam

Gasp! This is the work of Malaysian artist Sheena Liam. I’ve been recording episodes for my podcast over the past couple of weeks, and one of my fabulous co-hosting experts told me about Sheena’s work. I couldn’t wait for that episode to air … and can you blame me!? Elegant drawings turned into forest green stitches, tiny details like those stripes and fabric creases and, oh my word, that free-flowing hair! Here’s a little bit from Sheena’s ABOUT page:

Sheena Liam is a Malaysian born artist and model. As a child, Liam learnt the basics of embroidery from her mother and found herself revisiting the medium time and time again as means of self expression between traveling and modeling. 

“In a strange way modeling parallels my art in the sense I often have to use body language as means of expressing a certain sort of mood. It’s no different from my embroideries.”


samantha french & aaron hauck

Not that you need a reminder, as I’m sure you’ll recognize the dreamy work of New York based painter Samantha French, but yes these paintings are what she’s become famous for. I’ve loved Sam’s work for years – the water, the stripes, and the scale. Well, recently she’s taken SCALE to a whole new, kinda crazy, level. She and her long time partner {in life and love}, fellow painter Aaron Hauck have taken Sam’s pools outside. You know what they say… a couple that murals together, stays together:

What the? How? Oh my. Whoa. Good job, you two!  And look, they’re still together … exhausted, I’m sure… but still together ; )

{Mural 1: Kingston, NY / Mural 2: Benelux Restaurant, Brooklyn / Mural 3: The SoNo Collection, Connecticut}

cj hendry

Bahahahahaha! Oh, Cj Hendry … she’s hilarious, smart and – clearly – insanely talented. Just to be clear, these are giant drawings. DRAW. INGS. So, I’m not entirely sure where to start when it comes to explaining this project. The title is “Copyright Infringement 2.0”, and when Cj posted these images to Instagram last week, along with this description, I was instantly intrigued :
“These were the drawings printed onto the tees. Rather hard making a large scale drawing look like a semi-pixelated screen shot. But, go ahead and google “Richard Prince Instagram Art” because that is who I ripped off for COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT 2.0. He released these works back in 2014 and I remember the uproar at the time…still makes me laugh. I reckon Richard is a funny bitch with a hella sense of humor, you have to be if you make work like this.”

Ok, well now I needed to understand the WHOLE story. I asked Cj’s right hand woman/studio manager, Elsa, if she could explain 1.o and 2.0 … and she did! Here’s the email she sent me :

“So last year, Cj drew a series of Warhol Polaroids. She crumpled her drawings and drew them again. The crumpled drawings were then printed on t-shirts. 100 of each of the six drawings, signed and numbered. The morning of the release we received a cease and desist from the Ali Foundation that prohibited us from selling the t-shirts. The artworks themselves were transformative but we could not use the likeness of people faces on merchandise.  With 600 t-shirts on her hands, she decided to “dispose” of them around the city. Over two days, Cj dropped 100 boxes of t-shirts around the city posting the locations on her Instagram story. [Here are the images that go with 1.o] :

Which leads us to 2.0 :

“To celebrate the one year anniversary, Cj decided to take it a step further by dropping 50 shirts per day in four cities over five days. Returning home to do Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and then two days in New York. This time, it was not Warhol Polaroids, but Richard Prince Instagram series. When Prince created this series there was so much of an uproar around copyright infringement so these works seemed like the perfect pieces to appropriate. The works were screenshots of Instagram posts of famous and ordinary people with a comment by Prince at the bottom. Cj chose three specific images with celebrity faces because that’s what she got done for last time.”

Hilarious and brilliant. As usual. Happy Monday.

“optimistic as f*ck” : AFYE ep.152

How’s that for a way to kick off the new season of the podcast? Yes, after an almost year long personal hiatus, ART FOR YOUR EAR is back! I’m shaking things up a little, and instead of interviewing artists about their personal journeys – from childhood till present – I’ve recruited a group of creative experts to be my co-hosts! We’ll be digging deep into the nitty gritty of being Artists {with a capital A} covering a huge range of topics from self-doubt to business plans. We’ll also laugh a lot. Speaking of which, my first co-host is the always hilarious and fabulous Ashley Longshore. Ashley requested we kick this season off by getting real. As she said, “it ain’t all sunshine and roses… but it’s about getting up and getting stuff done when it’s raining.” There were also a few fishing analogies in there too, but we’ll get to those! You can listen right up there under those pink jeans, or subscribe on iTunes.

Here’s a rundown of everything you heard about on this episode… paintings, Instagram posts, and links. Let’s start with Ashley making an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Yep, that’s Mark Hamill, aka Luke Skywalker, beside her too. Okay, I know she didn’t make a big deal of this on the episode, but as a daily viewer of Seth’s show… yeah, this blew my mind. An artist on late night TV. Hell, YES! Moving on. DVF NYC:

Ah, this is such a fantastic project! Ashley has now painted 49 powerful women in collaboration with fashion design icon Diane Von Furstenberg… and I have a feeling there will be more coming. There’s just too many extraordinary women to celebrate! {Mmhm.. that’s Ashley hanging out with Gloria Steinem, Diane, and Chouchou Namagabe, an outspoken Congolese radio journalist and co-founder of the South Kivu Women’s Media Association.}

How does Ashley make all of this stuff happen? She works really, really hard… see:

Ha! Had to throw that last one in given the theme of her most recent watercolor sketchbook. If you follow her on Instagram {you do, right!?}, you’ll notice that Ashley is never not working. Most of the time she’s painting, but when she’s not actually at the easel, she’s emailing, promoting, going to meetings, or traveling. In fact, sometimes she’s traveling to New York to be the official artist-in-residence for Fashion Week. WHAT?

YASSS! Ashley was painting as models walked the runway at Christian Siriano‘s show… art and fashion, literally hand in hand.

Up next… Warren Buffet, Oprah and Rihanna:

Yep. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with gettin’ paid.

Oooh, Ashley’s NEW art book – I DO NOT COOK, I DO NOT CLEAN, I DO NOT FLY COMMERCIAL. Did we even talk about this?

I’m not sure we even got to this, but I did ask Ashley to mail me a signed copy… which I’m going to GIVE TO ONE OF YOU! It is big, beautiful, hilarious, and filled cover-to-cover with Ashley’s gorgeous work. Just leave a comment below, and I’ll draw one name and announce the winner on next week’s podcast. And with that, I’ll say thank you Ashley for her hilarious, joy-filled, honest conversation; huge thanks to THRIVE for raising their hand to help support ART FOR YOUR EAR; and of course, thank you for listening ~ Danielle

ps. This is Che Che:

daniele sigalot

Paper … that IS NOT PAPER! I’ve written about his NOT paper sculptures before, but today it’s all about “Einmal ist Keinmal”, the most recent solo show by Italian artist Daniele Sigalot. Huge balls of crumpled up failures, towering stacks that are “attempts at greatness”, and my favorite (clearly), those post-it notes! And yes, as the lilac beauty at the top of the post points out, it’s metal but looks like paper… just like all of Daniele’s fabulous sculptures. The exhibition is at Anna Laudel Gallery in their newly opened space in Dusseldorf. Here is part of the curatorial statement:

“Sigalot is aware that one cannot be successful without failures. Any creative person goes through a struggling process in order to come up with good ideas. According to him, in order to find a successful idea, at least hundreds of ideas might go to trash. Sigalot transforms this process of producing “bad” ideas into sculptures that balls and towers of wrinkled up papers in a large scale of art works … [Sigalot] appropriates his advertising background in order to create sharp and short sentences, which are critique to art market, perception of life and expectation from future. Enlarged post-it notes are part of the production of ideas but they are indeed satirical, which capture the audience with their humor.”

“…one cannot be successful without failures.” Amen! The show runs until December 14, 2019. Happy Friday.

anna valdez

Ahhhhh, I absolutely love the work of Oakland based artist Anna Valdez. Clearly, it’s gorgeous online, but in person? Oh my word… ridiculously vibrant, detailed, and filled with stories. If you happen to be in New York, Anna’s latest show, titled NATURAL CURIOSITY, will be opening this Saturday October 5th at Hashimoto Contemporary Here’s a part of the gallery’s description:

“The works function both as still life and self portrait, offering vantage into Valdez’s daily practice and the objects which inform it. Venus Painting, oversized and brilliantly pink, features two of the artist’s plants against a wall covered in a swirling floral design. Framed by the houseplants is a smaller, more serene still life painting, depicting a bust of Venus in cool blue tones. This self-referential painting-within-a-painting nods at the time honored tradition of oil painters breaking the fourth wall while subtly hinting at a more modern practice of image-viewing and media consumption.

The careful consideration of each detail––each hand-mixed oil paint, every carefully composed vignette––invites the viewer into the artist’s studio and practice of close observation, begging the question: when do we allow ourselves to follow our own curiosity?”

Anna will be at the gallery for a book signing of her upcoming monograph {also titled “Natural Curiosity”}, and an artist talk in conversation with curators Chad Alligood and Nina Mdivani from 5-6pm, followed by the opening reception from 6-8pm. The show runs from October 5th through October 26th, 2019.