shawna gilmore

Oh, those outlined people and their jungle animals. Sigh. This is just some of the latest work by American painter Shawna Gilmore, and it’s safe to say, I love it all. Now, who wants to have their Monday morning coffee with a tiger? Me too.

“ask martha”

Ahhh, one of my very first art crushes… Philadelphia based artist, illustrator and teacher Martha Rich! Today’s we’re diving into, “Ask Martha – it’s like Dear Abby but not at all like Dear Abby.” Basically I invented this segment because I looooove asking Martha questions. Her answers are usually hilarious, she’s super smart, AND she has a really inspiring attitude when it comes to life. You’ll see what I mean when I ask her the questions that you guys sent in. Yep, I asked my Instagram crowd to send in some questions, and you did! I picked 5 or 6 of them – some serious, some silly and then I followed the whole thing up with a bunch of really dumb trivia questions, because listening to Martha answer trivia is hilarious. You’re welcome. You can listen right up there under “log head” (aka the photo I took of Martha while our show was being installed in Joshua Tree a few weeks ago), or subscribe on iTunes. ps. My intro is all about creating your own visual vocabulary!

First up, a couple of quick snap shots from the opening of “Crush It”, a group show at Hey There Projects in Joshua Tree featuring Martha, Bruce Lee (far right), and me! ps. The show is up until December 13, 2019:

“Double doink”. Yeah, I’m not sure what’s happening here, but it made me laugh so I threw it in! That’s me and Martha with Aaron Smith (left) and Mark Todd (right), the founders of Hey There, both of whom are fabulous artists and teachers at ArtCenter in Pasadena. Hm, maybe the “double doink” is for all the name dropping I just did! Ok, moving on…

Here’s just a little taste of the work Martha’s being doing lately, and yes, I love it all:

Donna Did It. Hahahaha! Oooh, and all of that pink FURY up there is a perfect lead into this:

YES! Martha’s new book, “The Furious Notebook”, perfect for “releasing your rage” and “chilling the heck out”. I held this furious little beauty in my hands when we were together last week, and not only is it filled with Martha Rich fantastic-ness, it’s also very helpful in the current political climate. Blarg. Anyway, let’s not dwell on that. Here’s a peek at the mural Martha is finishing up on Monday at the airport in Philadelphia:

Um, hello “selfie-opportunity” while waiting for your flight! I like the blue guy and his yellow beard. I hope he finds his missing dipping sauce. ??? (This is why I love her).

Now, I’m sure you were interested in this part of our conversation. BlueQ and Martha have been working together for a few years now, turning her artwork into bags, coin purses, socks, oven mitts, and PASSIVE INCOME:

So. Good. ps. I buy that “Random Crap” bag for people all the time. Hilarious, because it’s true.

Next, this is the fabulous artist Martha named as one of her faves, and the woman she’d love to have paint her portrait. California based artist Georganne Deen:

Oh my word, love love love! Okay, well now I need to see what “Martha Rich by Georganne Deen” would look like.

And finally, because she brought up the pineapple glasses, I have a perfect excuse to pop this beauty into the post as the final image:

Luv ya, mean it. Seriously, I’m so glad my art crush from eleven years ago turned into a really wonderful friendship with an incredible woman. Thanks so much to Martha for answering all of my questions – even the dumb trivia about cow graffiti in Texas; Thanks to THRIVE for being such a fantastic partner; and of course, thank YOU for listening. There will not actually be a new art for your ear next weekend. Saturday November 30th marks the one year anniversary of losing my dad, and I’ve decided to give myself the weekend to just be still. I’ll be back the following weekend though with Esther Pearl Watson, and she’s bringing a whole bunch of weird ‘n wonderful stories from art history. See you then ~ Danielle

Links from my intro:

  1. The Artist’s Way, book
  2. Kirstin Lamb, Episode no. 54
  3. Meghan Hildebrand, Episode no. 97
  4. Mando Marie, Episode no. 100
  5. Martha’s current show at Webb Gallery, TX (up until mid Dec)


maz dixon

Ahhh, when the weather starts to get cold in my hemisphere, I inevitably end up writing about Australian artist Maz Dixon … here we are again! I’ve loved her work for years, and for good reason. Hello giant pineapples, red swimsuits and pina colada’s on a coral reef. If you love pineapples as much as that last lady above, or if you need a little summer sun in your world, you can find Maz’s available originals are right here. Happy Friday!

hannah gartside

Gasp! Oh my word, I want to stand in and under all of these sliced pastel beauties… I wonder if it smells like forgotten perfume? This installation, titled “Fantasies (2019)”, is the work of Melbourne based artist Hannah Gartside. From July to October 2019, this wonderland of feminine fabric was shown at Ararat Gallery TAMA (Textile Art Museum Australia). “Fantasies” uses 1960s/70s nightgowns made from 100% polyester, which helps her tell the story she wants to tell.  “Through such dichotomous methods as cutting, shredding and stitching – by turn, both violent and reparative – she explores the complexities of being in and of a female body.” Brilliant. Here is more of Hannah’s artist statement:

“[Her] works explore feminism and material culture, and present ways of experiencing the profound sensuality and subjectivity of our relationship to the physical world. Gartside uses dress-making processes as well as methods of patchwork quilting, wet-felting, and fabric dyeing. Through these labour intensive processes and treatment of materials, Gartside invests in the work a quality of concentration, devotion and care.

Although she believes in the ‘aura’ accrued by materials through their production and usage, Gartside researches the aesthetics, production techniques and history of her materials that have emerged from particular historical, sociopolitical and cultural contexts. Her works co-opt the materiality and various associations of the material as a way of making sense of the past, through a sense of shared consciousness, and of offering up new possibilities for hope.”

*Photographs by Louis Lim

jason holley

Ooooh, I love these so much. This is the most recent fine artwork of LA based artist / illustrator Jason Holley. These pieces were all part of a show at Hey There Projects in Joshua Tree, California earlier this fall. I was lucky enough to see them in person, and whoa, they are amazing! And yes, I was pressed up against the wall looking at them from the side trying to figure out how he built these delicate beauties. Paper. It’s paper. I know… I dunno.

ps. Hey There has a few of my recent pieces available, too

kanako abe

I mean, WHAT? This is the paper-cut work of Japan-born, California-based artist Kanako Abe. Her work is unbelievably delicate – it’s like poetry made from single sheets of black paper. Sigh. Here is the description of her work found on Paradigm Gallery‘s site:

“For Kanako, creating Kiri-e [the art of paper-cutting in Japanese] is a way of meditating on everyday thoughts, emotions and interconnectivity of the nature and universe. Through her delicate visual poetry, she tries to tell stories about beauty found in fragility and transience and explore the correlation between vulnerability and strength.”

So beautiful. ps. I would not be able to meditate while attempting this kind of work … I’d be much too busy cursing.

montserrat duran muntadas

Gasp! This is the incredibly beautiful, deeply personal work of Catalan-born Montreal-based artist Montserrat Duran Muntadas. She uses delicate blown glass and boldly patterned fabrics to tell her story:

It all started with change; an inner transformation. At the age of 13, the artist was diagnosed with a uterine malformation that endangered her fertility, as well as her potential  of living as a normal woman. But what is a ”normal” woman these days?  That is the underlying question that the artist ponders with this work, in an era where illness or anomaly is a shared condition, through its infinite trajectories, that can  represent normalcy.

To accept and describe the anomaly, to show its beauty, to create from the inability of procreating, that was the challenge encountered while assembling the blown glass pieces of this intimate yet public installation.  The outcome resulted with deformed pieces that seem ornamental, where the inner space notions and the visceral art became literal.

The pieces presented are themselves a sign of an artistic change, uniting glass and padded textile, which by  their play with transparency and textures, reciprocally transform themselves.

So vulnerable, and incredibly powerful.  ps. I’ve included a few photos so you can understand the scale of Monterrat’s work:

“too old, too young, too busy”

Yep, “I’m too old / too young / too busy”… that’s just one of the bits of bullshit we’ll be discussing during the very first installment of “Pennylane Calls Bullshit”. If you know artist consultant/magical guide Pennylane Shen, you’ll know she’s a smart, funny, straight shootin’ kind of gal. She’s here to call out some of the excuses, or lies, artists tend to tell themselves. Oh, and we’re also going to talk about TV because that’s just what we do when we’re together. You can listen right up there under Pennylane in the studio of Marlene Lowden {wearing a shirt by Art Girl Rising, while holding … wait… oh, would you look at that … it’s my book!} –  or subscribe on iTunes.

First, Pennylane looks at A LOT of art, and I love the pictures of her looking at that art:

Oh look, there’s Jamie Smith from Thrive too! See, they both love art so much that they jump around it in whenever they can.

Up next, a tiny peek at Pennylane in action. Enter Dazed & Confucius:

Okay, this is just in here to make sure you have her contact info in case you want to do a consultation with her! She has quite a waiting list, so get on it ASAP if you’re interested.

Aaah, yes… more art. Here are the three artists Penny mentioned she was loving these days:

Malaysian artist Sheena Liam, aka TimesNewRomance. You might recognize these images because they’re from a post I wrote about Sheena the second Pennylane sent me a link to her work. Gorgeous!

Next, Korean artist Lee Jin Ju:

Gah! Ridiculously good.

And finally, Canadian artist Marigold Santos:

See? Pennylane has amazing taste… in both art AND TV!

Haha! I couldn’t resist. Thank you so much to Pennylane for calling allllll of the bullshit – both the little pellets and the big steamers! Thanks to both Thrive {check out Mastermind} and Create Magazine {submit before Dec 2} for supporting this episode. Thank you to my Charlie for showing up and talking about Roy Lichtenstein’s artwork, “In The Car” … although we may retitle it “Leroy kidnaps Janet” … and of course, as always, thank you so much for listening. ~ Danielle

Other Links:

  1. Pennylane on Instagram
  2. Ben Skinner: Artist
  3. Creative Block: Book
  4. Penny’s Framing/Hanging Seminar via Dazed & Confucius
  5. Amelie: Movie
  6. The Good Place: TV
  7. Lodge 49: TV
  8. Mindhunter: TV
  9. True Detective: TV
  10. Sharp Objects: TV
  11. Handmaid’s Tale: Yes, more TV
  12. Thrive Mastermind Program
  13. {This is the right link – I said it wrong in the intro!}


jessica sinks

I just discovered the weird ‘n wonderful collages of Dallas based artist Jessica Sinks. Those shoes, that bird boy… I’m both smitten and a teeny bit scared. I love these cut and pasted pieces, but I have to say, Jessica’s artist statement seals the deal on my new collage crush:

Her works center around visual puns and iconic images that play off found materials to create flat and often comedic figures. Sinks’ cutouts began as an alternative to sketching and nod to the silhouettes and performativity of Javanese shadow puppet theater. With a background in conservation, she has described the act of cutting up books as a “tantalizingly forbidden act.”

Oooh, I know all about that tantalizing act!

diane meyer

Embroidery where the Berlin Wall used to stand. Beautiful on many levels. These are just a few of the 43 embroidered photographs that are part of “Berlin”, a series and new exhibition by LA based artist Diane Meyer. The show opens TONIGHT, November 14th, in New York at Klompching Gallery (6- 8pm). Here is a description of the show found on the gallery site:

Being shown for the first time in its entirety, the 43 artworks in the exhibition are being exhibited to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, including artworks never before shown.

Made over the course of seven years, the photographs trace the entire, circa 96 mile path of the former Berlin Wall, taking in sites in the German capital’s city center, as well as the outskirts of the city through suburbs and the surrounding countryside.

Sections of the photographs have been obscured by cross-stitch embroidery, sewn directly into the photograph. This stitching is a signature mark of the artist across her artworks. The embroidery is made to resemble pixels and borrows the visual language of digital imaging in an analog, tactile process. In many images, the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall offering a pixelated view of what lies behind. In this way, the embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory.

The show runs until January 10, 2020. Go!

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