Visual Pathways: Jessica Bell

It’s often a challenge to put a finger on just what it is about an artist’s work that draws me in.  But in the case of the work of Jessica Bell, I’m pretty sure I can pin it down.  There is something in her visual language that I’m connecting to, something in the way she is communicating leading me down visual pathways into her process.

Jessica Bell | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Jessica Bell | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Jessica Bell | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Jessica Bell | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Jessica Bell | artsy forager #art #artists #painting

Maybe it’s the way she plays with color, planes and simple shapes to evoke a certain place or point in time.  Or perhaps it is her use of visual and physical texture in subtle and spare ways.  Or the process of layering only to conceal or reveal as needed.  Whatever it is, there is a richness and complexity to her work that indicates an artist physically working through each composition on canvas.  An organic, evolutionary process that I find so intriguing!  Each piece seems a capturing not just of a work of art but a record of art making.

To see more of Jessica Bell‘s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

The Glamorous Life: Michael Carson

As I sit working in my t-shirt and jeans, munching my lunch of popcorn and staring at these paintings by Minneapolis artist Michael Carson, I’m reminded of how very unglamorous life seems sometimes.  The most dressed up I get these days is wearing a skirt with my flip-flops or adding a fancy scarf to my every day uniform.

Michael Carson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Michael Carson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Michael Carson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Michael Carson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Michael Carson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

Ocassionally I miss cocktail dresses and high heels and I’ll pick up Vogue or Vanity Fair to get a little glamour fix.  And then I see things on the news like the suicide of model turned fashion designer L’Wren Scott and remember that the rich and glamorous life isn’t always what we think it is.  In Carson’s paintings, I get a keen sense of melancholia and boredom on the faces of his figures.  Beautiful and fashionable, but sad.  Painting his figures into mainly neutral, unrecognizable spaces make them relatable in a way they may not have been had we seen them a lush setting.

No matter our physical or financial circumstances, we’re always responsible for our own happiness and welfare.  For some it is found on the runway, for others behind an easel or on a hiking trail.  But choosing to live your life as if it is the only one you will get ( because it is! ), no matter how, is the ultimate in luxurious living.

To see more of Michael Carson’s work, please visit his representing gallery, Bonner David Gallery.  If you happen to be in Scotsdale, AZ, you can see his work in person there.

All images via the Bonner David website.

Charm School: Charlotte Hardy

One of the things that has utterly enchanted me about Eureka has been its Victorian history and architecture.  Everywhere you turn is another beautiful old building showing off its corbels, cornices, and lintels.  I am charmed by it all, always wanting to go downtown where Mr. F & I can sit in a brick-walled cafe, under high ceilings, sunlight flooding in through the transom windows.  The work of UK artist Charlotte Hardy hearkens back to the charm, warmth and attention to detail that makes these old places so irresistible.

Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

Floors are creaky, walls a bit askew, but the charms of these places always enthrall me.  It is all perfect in its imperfections.  Hardy’s work has an illustrative quality to it that work so well in conveying the sweet delight of these kinds of places.  Her textural surfaces recall the years of  life to be found beneath the surface.

More of Charlotte Hardy‘s work can be seen on her website.  I do believe Mr. F and I may do a little cafe visiting this weekend.  Hope you have a wonderfully artsy weekend!

All images via the artist’s website.

Artsy Dwelling: Where’s Your Artsy Spot

Touring artist studios at last weekend’s ArtsAlive got me day dreaming about my own future work space.  As we travel, I paint either at our dining/kitchen table or on a collapsible easel Mr. F bought me a few years ago.  I can’t wait for the weather to get warmer so I work out on our pretty little deck!  Where do you like to set up your artistic command center?

If you work small like I do currently, or on paper, maybe a table works for you.  A big flat surface where you can spread out and everything you need is within reach.  And bonus– you get to sit down!

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michelle morin on anthropologie

Or maybe you’re a traditionalist and working from an easel is your thing.  A good sturdy, adjustable easel is a thing of beauty.  There is one in the window of the local art supply store that I am totally coveting.

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katie stratton on a beautiful mess

Perhaps you like working a la Jackson Pollock?  It might be hard on the back, but working on the floor is great for large canvases or getting a different perspective on your work.  And I’m pretty sure it’s a great workout.

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isabella ducrot

A lot of artists like to mount their canvases on the wall and if we ever have the extra space, I would love to give this way of working a try.  Would be especially fun in a studio in which you were free to make as big a mess as you wanted!

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heather day

A lot of artists don’t have the luxury of a dedicated studio space, so we just find a place to land our artsiness wherever we can!  Maybe it’s the kitchen island or a corner in the attic.  If you’re an artist, wherever you happen to be, that’s your artsy spot.

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sarah boyts yoder

So where’s your favorite artsy spot?  I’m off to pin inspiration images for my someday studio!  A girl can dream, right?

All image sources linked above.

Planes and Patterns at Play: Gianna Commito

Let’s switch gears a bit, shall we?  Looking back over this week’s posts so far, I’ve been in a bit of a nature-obsessed-state, so how about we throw in something different?  I spotted the the work of this artist last week on the Little Paper Planes blog and knew I wanted to feature her work pronto!  In these mixed media pieces, Gianna Commito is creating a playground of planes and patterns.

Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia

Just a simple shift in line creates a skewed perspective that leads us down the path to another inverted plane and then to another and another.  It’s like a geometric rabbit hole that I am happy to get lost in!  There’s a natural correlation to cityscapes and architecture, but I see parallels to the natural world as well ( there I go again! ).  Towering cliffs and slot canyons, redwood burls and nurse logs.  We are all just planes resting on top of more planes.

To see more of Gianna Commito‘s work, please visit her website.  Her work can be seen in person at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York.

All images via the Rachel Uffner Gallery site.

Artsy Happening: April Arts Alive! in Eureka

You guys, we are loving our new little town so much!  Since we arrived, everyone’s been telling me how many artists there are here in Eureka and that we must check out the monthly art walk, ArtsAlive.  It was a perfect, beautiful evening and it seemed like everyone in Humboldt County was in downtown Eureka, enjoying the spectacular weather and taking it all in.

Hallway gallery collage


I knew there were a few galleries I needed to check out but what I didn’t know was that so there were so many artists with studios downtown and a great many of them were open that night!  I do so love a peek inside artists’ studios!  After checking out the mesmerizing work of Isabelle Staehle at The Black Faun, we wandered through the studios & Hall Gallery at C Street.  Large, high ceilinged, open beam studios with tons of light?  Yes, please.  Mr. F asked if I would like a studio like one of these.. uh yeah, let’s find a way to make that happen!  Lots of people wandering through the halls, and a nice variety of work to be found, from abstract expressionist to folk art inspired to traditional landscapes.  Truly a cornucopia of artsiness!

Augustus Clark studio collage

studio of Augustus Clark

We also wandered through the studios at the Center for Insane Artists.  How could we resist checking it out with a name like that?  Alas, I’ve been unable to find any info for them online.  But a handful of the studios were open, some interesting work to be found there, for sure!

Next stop was Piante Gallery‘s show Metal Pin Cushion featuring work by Sondra Schwetman and Patrick Williams, addressing the process and physicality of fabric.

Piante collage

My favorite stop was First Street Gallery, HSU’s non-profit, off campus art gallery.  No cameras were allowed, but I HAD to share these shows with you, so I pulled images from their website.  Currently, the exhibition space is broken up into two shows, one featuring the work of artist and Stanford University professor Gail Wight, on loan from Patricia Sweetow Gallery.  Wight’s work is an elegant combination of beauty and science, her burned vellum drawings inspired by a 1948 pharmacological study of spiders and her composite digital prints, all drew my eye with their intricate simplicity.


gail wight 

The other half of the gallery was taken over by three North Coast artists, Seana Burden, Jeff Jordan, and Jesse Wiedel in their group exhibition, Laughter in Darkness.  The works of these three artists combine traditional landscape and dream-like imagery often providing commentary on contemporary culture.  I was especially drawn to Burden’s “Boob” paintings in which she creates a fantastical land in which all the subversive messages we are sent each day are much more blatant.

HSU student collage

seana burden, jesse wiedel, and jeff jordan

Like most good art walks, we weren’t able to get to everything, but what we did see gave Mr. F and I lots to chat about over a glass of wine ( or 3! ) at the end of the night.  I hope you’ll check out the websites of these artists and galleries– so much wonderful talent in this area.  I feel so lucky to be here, even if for just a short while.

Gail Wight, Seana Burden, Jesse Wiedel and Jeff Jordan images via HSU website.  All other images by Artsy Forager.

Domestic Invasions: Carmel Seymour

It’s so easy to get caught up in our world of 21st century technology, especially when working from home.  How slippery a slope it can be to go days on end without stepping outside!  I often spend hours and hours a day in front of a screen ( or several! ), so our Saturdays spent hiking are utter bliss for my soul.  Last weekend, Mr. F and I took a coastal hike where we marveled at the power and grace of the waves and the variety of stones washed upon the shore.  In her work, Australian artist Carmel Seymour explores our relationship to the magic of nature, as we search for connections in our increasingly unnatural existences.

Carmel Seymour | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #watercolor Carmel Seymour | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #watercolor Carmel Seymour | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #watercolor Carmel Seymour | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #watercolor Carmel Seymour | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #watercolor

The artist states, “Natural objects linger in the home like a ghostly presence, an echo of pre-civilized humanity, an aesthetically pleasing reminder of our mastery and our diminutiveness.. Our attempts to bring nature into these constructed places can be seen as shrine to a deity more permanent than ourselves.”

Seymour’s work mirrors this thought of domestic tameness versus wildness in the way she juxtaposes carefully wrought figures and objects against puddles of loose watercolor.  For all our “advancement” and self imprisonment, we are each one a wild creature born from a wild earth.

To see more of the work of Carmel Seymour, please visit her website and the website of her representing gallery, Helen Gory, where you can see her work in person if you find yourself Down Under.

Artist found via the Helen Gory Gallery.  All images via the gallery’s website.

Wear the Artsy: Alexandra Bellissimo

We are a few weeks into Spring here in Northern California and this weekend, something wonderful happened.. we seemed to have finally turned a corner into deep spring.  That time of year when the air is warm and soft and everywhere you turn something extraordinary is blooming.  All I want to do is turn my face to the sun, lie in the grass and soak it all in.  This piece by April Featured Artist Alexandra Bellissimo perfectly captures these deep days of spring, the longing to be one with the blossoming world.  And this Scenery at Sunset Dress by Modcloth is just the perfect translation of that light and airy feeling that the first warm days of spring delivers.

WTA_Bellissimo collage

 art | find it here

inspiration | find it here

dress | find it here

Today I’m even wearing my own version Surface, this work by Alexandra Bellissimo, a new scarf I’ve been eyeing that feels like spring.  Winter, I love you, but I think I’ll always have a bit of a crush on Spring.

Keep watching the blog & social media for more from Alexandra Bellissimo all throughout April, including an exciting announcement coming soon!  *Hint: it starts with a P and ends with “rints”. ;-)  And of course, you can always peruse Alexandra’s website for more of her stunning work.

Want to see more of the Wear the Artsy series?  Check out the archives here!

Image sources linked above.

Shannon Sullivan

There are small, recurring moments in our marriage that make my heart swell.  Every night when Mr. F offers me a piece of chocolate after dinner, hidden love notes, and when while we’re in a gallery, Mr. F calls me over and says “Did you see this?!”  Recently while we made a quick unplanned tour of a gallery here in Eureka, we came across this artist’s work and both immediately loved it.  Eureka artist Shannon Sullivan creates these incredible ceramic forms, taking cues from nature yet remaining completely modern and compelling.

Shannon Sullivan | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #ceramics Shannon Sullivan | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #ceramics Shannon Sullivan | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #ceramics Shannon Sullivan | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #ceramics Shannon Sullivan | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #ceramics

The artist’s website is filled with incredible work– I seriously had such a hard time choosing what to feature– but felt the most drawn to her Plots series.  The series is based on ideas of land use and cultivation inspired by a trip to South America.  Soft looking ceramic forms are adorned with acrylic or polymer clay shapes, a nod to the effect of man’s hand on the natural environment.  The result is striking, engaging pieces that are visually intriguing even without knowing their reference.

To see more work by Shannon Sullivan, please visit her website– there is so much more to see!!  Not just incredible sculptures, but wonderful wall pieces as well.

All images via the artist’s website.

Wild Things: Katerina Plotnikova

I rarely feel more at peace or more excited than when Mr. Forager & I are hiking in the woods.  To be among the wildness, where plants and animals live and roam freely is completely exhilarating and intoxicating.  The forests are full of magic and wonder, it isn’t surprising that so many fairy tales get their start in such a place.  Moscow-based photographer Katerina Plotnikova takes her lens to wild places, creating stunning photographs telling fantastical tales.

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She weaves her models into their surroundings, often posing them intimately with real wild animals, producing that beautiful, slightly horrific feeling the best fairy tales provide.  When we are out hiking, I am always blown away by nature’s beauty and bounty, yet continually cautious and on alert, knowing that we are trespassing into the home of wildness.

To see more of Katerina Plotnikova‘s work, please visit her 500px page and follow her work via her Facebook page.

All images via the artist’s 500px page.  Artist found via I Need a Guide.

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