You might know her as @mrsciccoricco on Instagram… that’s how I knew her for years before we finally met in person! My guest today is California based, Dutch artist Natalie Ciccoricco. Obviously we’re going to talk about her insanely beautiful/poetic “Nesting” series {born during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic}, but we’ll also cover important topics like day jobs, motherhood, qualities that make for a perfect stick, and the reasons why she loves David Lynch. Oh, and at one point she ended up interviewing me about my latest book, but I quickly got things focused back on Natalie! You can listen right up there under “Nesting No.64”, or subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.

First up, a few images I posted of Natalie’s “Nesting” pieces, fairly early on in the series:

I mean, COME ON! I love them all so much. And can’t you picture little Lou finding sticks for his mama on their daily walks? So crazy cute. This is just a fraction of the pieces in the series at this point. Personally, I think Natalie has struck creative gold. Speaking of striking gold, did we discuss the circular paper she sourced?

Yeah. ROUND RAG. Ah-mazing! {I can’t remember if we talked about this, but had to include a few images. Clearly.}

Next up, the really big commission Natalie just completed earlier this fall:

Chunky cross-stitch + found drift wood = LOVE.

Moving along to this dreamy series… ‘Color Holes’. This is what Natalie was working on before COVID hit:

Beautiful… the work, and Natalie standing in front of this series at Rasmussen Gallery in California.

Now, I was wracking my brain before we chatted because I could not picture the work she did before the color holes! Ahhh, the mixed media fairies, of course:

So lovely. That shot in the middle is from “Plus One”, a show Natalie invited me to be part of. Each artist from The Main Gallery chose their “plus one” from outside of the gallery to show with, and Natalie picked me! So there we are, up on the wall together in the summer of 2016. Ah yes, simpler times.

Now, I asked Natalie to send a photo of her embroidery thread, because I wanted to see if she really is organized. She is. I, however, have a slightly different storage system for my thread collection:

Hm. Well at least my collage cutouts are organized… really! THEY ARE!

And finally, a little touch o’ Halloween to end the episode. Sadly, Natalie does not have a picture of herself as a singing banana, so instead please enjoy these photos of my first ‘trick or treating’ experience:

A 2 year old bride? Okay. The ‘after’ picture is actually my favorite … the sorting is always the best part! Thanks so much to Natalie for coming on the podcast, and huge thanks to you for listening. Have a safe and happy weekend, and I’ll meet you back here next Saturday for a brand new episode of ART FOR YOUR EAR.

Other Links:

  1. Natalie on Instagram
  2. Natalie’s Shop
  3. #30DayArtQuarantine {that has become a never-ending art quarantine}
  4. Catching the Big Fish by David Lynch {the book Natalie loves}


ronit baranga

Well, THIS is terrifying… perfect for Halloween Eve! This is the wonderfully weird work of Israeli artist Ronit Baranga. She describes her work as “figurative art on the border between living and still life.” Oh, I think it might be a little past the still life border… shudder. All of these pieces are part of Ronit’s current show, “All Things Sweet and Painful”, at Beinart Gallery in Melbourne, Australia {Oct 17 – Nov 8, 2020}. Here’s the description of the show:

“Life-like sculptures take a twisted turn into the world of food and more specifically, sweets and desserts. But the treats have their own mouths, awaiting their chance to bite. Who eats whom?”

Eeeee, so creepy! Happy Halloween … keep an eye on your treats, you know, just in case.

idris habib

Whoa. This is the striking portraiture work of New York based artist Idris Habib. Those eyes, the subtle textures, all of that fabulous negative space … sigh… love. Here is a little snippet from his bio/artist statement:

Self-taught, the world was indeed a classroom in which Idris drew his inspiration, labeling himself a “citizen of the World”. Traveling often since childhood, especially abroad, he was influenced from street art, to galleries and museums in Africa, Europe, and here in the US. In addition to the artwork, he has always been motivated by a challenge. This is evident in his sense of adventure and experimentation with various mediums and diverse approaches to application, often using his hands and fingers, rather than traditional brush strokes to obtain a desired effect. 

Idris’ work is available via Saatchi Art.

cal lane

Oh my word! This is the lacy, but not light, work of New York based / Canadian born artist Cal Lane. Here’s Cal’s bio, giving us a peek into both her background and her gorgeous work:

“Cal Lane is an internationally acclaimed sculptor known for turning ordinary objects into lacy artworks. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and a Master degree in Fine Arts in sculpture from State University of New York. To date, her pieces stand alone in capturing a delicacy and intricacy quite apart from her closest contemporaries. Lane’s tapestries, cut into harsh and often preternaturally large steel and iron structures, are sensual, alluring and deeply effeminate. Having spent much of her early life as a hairdresser in her mother’s salon in Vancouver Island, Lane soon became interested in exploring gender roles and conceptual art.” 

From hairdresser to a sculptor of lace dumbbells? LOVE!

amy rice

We got our first snowfall this weekend, so obviously I felt that a post filled with buckets of summer flowers, and bees on books was necessary! This is the mixed media work of Minneapolis based artist Amy Rice, and this is her artist statement:

“I am as inspired in my art as much by childhood memories of growing up on a Midwestern farm as I am the urban community in which I now live. I am influenced by bicycles, street art, gardening, and random found objects, collective endeavors that challenge hierarchy, acts of compassion, downright silliness, and things with wings.

I use nontraditional print-making methods–including hand cut stencils and a Japanese screen printing toy called a Gocco printer–as a starting point for original mixed media pieces. I use spray paint, acrylics, gouache, and inks, and print on a variety of surfaces including wood, fabric and antique papers (preferring handwritten love letters, envelopes, journal pages, sheet music and maps).

I am most satisfied when I can make a tangible or visceral connection between the materials used and the image rendered. My work is deeply layered, often both literally and figuratively. My imagery–nostalgic and wistful–is largely biographical and reflective of my pensive nature.”

Amy’s newest show opens this Friday, October 30th, at Outsiders & Others in Vancouver, BC. Take a peek right here.

june lee

Gasp! I love absolutely everything about this work by Seoul based artist June Lee. Beautiful broken shards, hand-painted patterns, and tufts of colorful yarn (!!!) working together to tell an entirely new story. All of these pieces are part of a much larger series titled “Today as History of Tomorrow”. Here is the full story behind this work, in June’s words:

“I was on a residency program in a remote rural town in the US, 16 hours away from Korea by plane, where I discovered a miniature pottery shaped like an old Korean artifact of Goryeo celadon. I was both blown away to find this small, palm-sized pottery shaped like a relic of the Goryeo Dynasty in such an unexpected place, as well as curious as to how this piece of pottery could have made its way to such a far distance as a countryside in the United States. Thinking that it’s probably a gift from someone or a souvenir, I also began to wonder if such an idea as an indigenous culture of a country actually exists.

I regard pottery as an indicator of history. The first art history class in university begins with the Altamira cave wall painting. The beginning of Korean history class begins with the Paleolithic period where pottery begins, which continues to the comb-patterned pottery in the Neolithic Era. As such, pottery is an indicator of history, and we learn about history based on the pottery discovered, because we can assume what region, cultural sphere and period it comes from just by looking at its shape, pattern and color.

However, would people living 100 years from today in year 2019, be able to assume the region, cultural sphere and period of the pottery of today? Would they be able to say that something that’s unique and indigenous to a certain area exists like it did in the past? In the present age, we can fly anywhere in the world, and live through various cultures we have never physically been to, vicariously through the internet, books and media. Elements indigenous to particular cultural spheres or specific regions are gradually becoming blurred, and slowly mixing with the present culture.

Through this project, I propose to produce pottery works that can function as indicators of the past in the future, when today becomes the history of tomorrow. My work involves researching indigenous patterns of cultures of different countries in the past, and applying it to contemporary shapes, patterns and images of contemporary art widely used today by searching on the internet. Such patterns and images are individually drawn by hand on fragmented pieces of pottery using thread and under glaze. Finally, these broken fragments are put together into the final outcome of a pottery (Korean crock), which will signify today as a history of tomorrow.

So beautiful. Happy Monday.

“it’s about time”

You guys… ART FOR YOUR EAR is back! Yep, here we are at the beginning of Season No.5, and I could not be more thrilled to be kicking things off with this talented, insightful, soft-spoken artist. American artist Ronald Jackson is my very first guest back… after a much longer than planned break. I’m sure you’ll recognize his work as I’ve written about him before, but hearing his self-taught story {he had a 20 year career in the military before becoming a painter!?} makes me admire him more than I already did. Ready? You can listen right up there under “Some Wore the Skin of Invisible Men”, or subscribe right here.

First, a few of his most recent paintings, along with a shot of Ronald in the studio so you can, A. see the man behind the voice, and B. understand the scale of these masked beauties:

Gasp! So. Good.

I thought I’d include his work from 2018 as well. This is what he was doing when I first reached out to him about being on the podcast:

Yep, those are all stop-you-in-your-tracks gorgeous, too. And yes, that’s NOLA based artist Ashley Longshore with two pieces of Ronald’s that she now owns. LOVE!

Now, what did his work look like before he started adding masks to his subjects? I’m so glad you asked:

Again, so beautiful, but isn’t it so interesting to see the evolution? Speaking of which, here are the narrative paintings he was working on before that big show that required a lot of BIG work:

So different, yet you can absolutely see his hand in these paintings too. I wonder if he’ll head back in this direction at some point? We’ll have to keep an eye on that!

And finally, this is his painting that was recently acquired by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas:

“In a Day, She Became the Master of Her House”. Beautiful, on so many levels.

But wait! Before you go … I found this photo on Ronald’s Instagram feed and just had to include it… he’s 1 of 11 children! Can you spot him? Hint: he’s the baby of the family:

Awww, so cute! Thanks so much to Ronald for taking the time to share his stories with me, and thank YOU for coming back for season no.5 … there will be more ART FOR YOUR EAR next weekend.

aakash nihalani

Tape. Paint. Corrugated board. What? This is the mind-bending work of New York based artist Aakash Nihalani. I featured his work waaaaaay back in 2010… now here we are ten years later, and his work is even more wonderfully confusing! Happy Friday.

samantha wall


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South Korean born, Portland based artist Samantha Wall is an “Immigrant Korean-Black-American” who creates art to express herself and find wholeness. “I am all of those things and none of those things, and I’m more than those things.” I discovered her work, that quote, and the video above, because of the mural she did for FBAiR {Facebook Artists-In-Residence Program, Redmond WA campus.} There is soooo much about her magical work that pulls me in… the washy ink, insane amounts of gold leaf, and don’t even get me started on those haunting eyes. ps. those eyes are drawn with graphite, not cut ‘n pasted photographs. What? True story.

scott froschauer

The mirrored START hooked me, UR OK made me exhale, and VOTE brought it home. Sigh. This is the work of Los Angeles based artist Scott Froschauer, and these are his words about this ongoing series, titled “Word on the Street”:

“How does one express humanity? I think it’s pretty complicated. Sometimes it’s beautiful, sometimes less so. I don’t always know what a particular piece means and I love to discover new perspectives in conversations with viewers.

I ran into a city worker who was maintaining the landscaping around one of my street signs. He asked what the sign was supposed to mean. Of course I asked him what he thought it meant. After several minutes of explaining his search for the official meaning of this very unofficial sign, he finally said that he wasn’t really sure what it was supposed to mean but it made him feel something, something he wasn’t quite sure of… Something that felt like hope.”

Hope, indeed. START, UR OK, VOTE.

{Scott’s work is available via WallSpace, LA}