Temporaries. Ann Chamberlin.

We are all in some ways living transitory lives.  None of us are here forever, though some, like Mr. F and I, find ourselves moving from place to place quite often.  Sometimes we stay in one spot long enough that we begin to be recognized at the local coffee shop, but about the time that begins to happen, we move on to the next locale.

Vaiven, New Paintings from Mexico, a new series of paintings by artist Ann Chamberlin now showing at Lora Schlesinger Gallery take their inspiration by the transitory places we find ourselves in– hotels, airports, campgrounds– and the lives and tales unfolding as people drift in and out.
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Chamberlin’s paintings, seen from a not-quite-bird’s-eye view, show a quick glimpse into a moment in these places.  The unremarkable moments are seen, the instances that don’t necessarily burn into our memory, yet are essential to the way these places of transitions feel and function.  For a time we are part of a collective when we find ourselves in these spots.  There’s a kind of kindredship and bonding that happens when we meet others moving through the same space, coming and going to and from so many varied experiences.

To see more of Ann Chamberlin‘s work, please visit her website.  Vaiven, New Paintings from Mexico will be showing at Lora Schlesinger Gallery in LA through July 11, 2015.  If you’re in SoCal, go see it!

All images are via Lora Schlesinger Gallery.

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Swirls. Rosalind Breen.

A dear friend told me a few years ago that I seemed swirly happy.  It was less than a year after Mr. F and I had married and started traveling.  My world had completely changed and though I was still getting used to the changes, my giddiness at my new life must have been pretty obvious.

Mr. F still makes me swirly, as does our crazy adventure filled life.  But over the last few years , we’ve encountered a few storms that have left us whirling instead of swirling.

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Back in those early days, we were working to pay off debt, but otherwise pretty carefree and swirly.  Then Mr. F thought he might go back to school– whirl.  We thought staying in Seattle would be for us, but it turned out it wasn’t– whirl.  I started picking up freelance work– whirl ( and swirl, but somedays more whirl than swirl ;-) ).  We began seriously saving for a home– whirl.  The Mr.’s stepmom got sick, our best friends’ sister/sister-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and their son diagnosed with a form of muscular dystrophy, my mom began her own fight with cancer and is losing– whirl whirl whirl whirl.

These days it often seems the whirls outnumber the swirls.  It’s easy to get swept up in the tornado of stress and worry that plagues each day.  But then we go for a walk under a gentle breeze and a bright blue sky and the swirls return.

The paintings featured above are by Providence artist Rosalind Breen.  To see more of her work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Immersions. Kathleen Holder.

As we travel, each place becomes a part of who we are, who we are becoming.  We carry their influence with us.  Some penetrate and saturate us more than others. These pastels by Texas artist Kathleen Holder catch me right in the soul with their soft light and eerie depth.

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Every person has a different way of experiencing each place.  The way we are affected might be due to the place itself or some other influence.  Some eyes are drawn to stark contrasts, while others look more for the slight changes in light and tone around them.  Through burnished layers of pastel, Holder creates monochromatic, saturated abstracts that seem to go on into infinity.  It almost seems that if we stepped into their plane, we might come out covered in color.

To see more of Kathleen Holder‘s work, please visit her website.

Artist found via David Lusk Gallery.  All images via the David Lusk website.

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Discordants. Caroline Bullock.

It’s funny how we try to make sense of everything these days.  The mystery has been removed from so many elements of life that we have this need to have an explanation for everything.  We ask why and then are frustrated if we can’t find the answer.  In her series of works on paper, Atlanta artist Caroline Bullock explores the hidden geometries in nature and how we connect ourselves within these structures.

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It’s fascinating to think about how everything in the natural world often seems so random, yet there is so much order to be found.  This flower blooms at this time every year.  These animals only like this particular area of a vast world.  Orcas know instinctually to migrate thousands of miles each year.  Why can’t we be more like that?  We rely so much of facts and perceived truths, we rarely seek out answers by our own faith and intuition.  Perhaps if we did we might be as successful at life as those redwoods reaching for the sky.

To see more of Caroline Bullock‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Amy Parry Projects.

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Colors. James Rieck.

Beauty is often found in its purest form– a hidden waterfall, the smiling face of a child, the soft wrinkles of a grandmother’s hand.  But other times, perfection is manufactured and beauty hides a darker truth.  In his ColorSafe series, Los Angeles artist James Rieck spins the glossy glamour of 1960s and 70s catalogue models into a look at social contradictions happening then and now still.

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Rieck takes the ubiquitous catalogue model poses and reinterprets them– painting them in such a hyperrealistic way that they take on a now too-glossy, unreal quality.  In pairs, one light skinned model, one dark, the figures wear the same brightly colored and patterned fashions of the day, similar smiles on their cropped faces.  The playing field seems oddly leveled– equality, acceptance and coexistence seemingly achieved.  But there’s an underlying tension.  The dark skinned figure usually slightly behind the lighter or somehow leaning in to her counterpart.  Subtle, but there.  Equality in idea, but not in reality.

To see more of James Rieck’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via It’s Nice That.

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Wrinkles. Elizabeth Chapin.

Aging is not for the faint of heart.  Now that I’m truly and well into my, ahem, forties(!!), I know this to be true.  Metabolism is no longer my friend and each day seems to bring a new grey hair spotted, an ache in a previously undiscovered muscle.  Our culture celebrates, even idolizes youth.  Instead of seeing the elderly among us as founts of knowledge, wisdom, and experience, we cast them aside.  We search instead for the latest in what is fashionable among the young.

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These paintings by Austin artist Elizabeth Chapin seem to celebrate the dignity and beauty that comes only with age.  I’m not immune to longing for more youthful days– especially when I was a smaller by a few dress sizes.  But I recently listened to an interview with actress Frances McDormand on aging and something she said really struck me– those lines on your face are a map of your life.  Every wrinkle was earned in some way, whether through hard work or a life filled with laughter.  What we lose in smooth skin and toned muscles we gain experience no fountain of youth can replace.

To see more of Elizabeth Chapin‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Wally Workman Gallery.

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Depths. Vicky Barranguet.

We find ourselves in a superficial world.  Most days, the bulk of our interactions may be on the “like/dislike” spectrum.  We send quick quips on social media to people we barely know or haven’t actually spoken to in years.  Because we seem to know so much about the surface lives of the people in our networks, it can be challenging to go deeper.

Vicky Barranguet | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Vicky Barranguet | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Vicky Barranguet | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Vicky Barranguet | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Vicky Barranguet | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

These paintings by New York artist Vicky Barranguet reminded me of the beautiful messiness that can come when moving beyond the surface.  We might be initially drawn to someone through shared interest or similar personalities but when we are brave enough to pass through the layers, the more common ground we find.  Things may get a bit messy as we reveal ourselves and others do the same but there is great beauty to be found in the deeper chaos.

To see more of Vicky Barranguet‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Saatchi Art.

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Obstacles. Page Jones Davis.

It’s easy to get thrown off balance when life plunges an obstacle into our path.  We feel like we’re moving along, making progress and then BAM!  Roadblock.  These paintings by Spartanburg artist Page Jones Davis, with their layers and visual depth, reminded me that although we’ll be met with obstacles, the road ahead remains the same.

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Maybe we need to circumvent to get around what’s blocking us.  Or perhaps the obstacle isn’t as insurmountable as it might seem– given enough determination we can just plow right through!  It can be so easy to just give up, though, can’t it?  It’s too hard, there’s too much in the way.  But there is always a pay off once we get to the other side, even if it is just in knowing we could do it.

To see more of Page Jones Davis‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Multiplicity. Jackie Phillips AKA Precious Beast.

I think we all know the feeling of wanting to clone ourselves, to be able to be in several places at once, to be all things to all people, at all times.  But try as we might, the truth eventually sinks in that it just isn’t possible.  These prints by Jackie Phillips, also known as Precious Beast, with their mirrored, Rorschach-like patterns seem to do what we can not– multiply themselves.

Jackie Phillips, Precious Beast | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Jackie Phillips, Precious Beast | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Jackie Phillips, Precious Beast | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Jackie Phillips, Precious Beast | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart Jackie Phillips, Precious Beast | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

 

These colorful kaleidoscopes feel like they could be portraits of how we feel we should be– a new and different yet exactly the same version of ourselves reborn each day.  We’re pressured to multi-task, multi-hyphenate ourselves– mother-wife-daughter-artist-professional-and so on and so on.

To see more of the work of Precious Beast, please visit her website.  Click on each image above to purchase prints through the Artsy Forager gallery on Great.ly!

All images are via Great.ly.

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Carefree. Charlotte Evans.

With the advent of Memorial Day last week, full blown summer is just around the corner.  It seems like we never outgrow that old “schools out” feeling of the summer months!  We want to linger a little longer, explore, leave our stresses and cares behind like last year’s books.  The paintings of Brooklyn artist Charlotte Evans bring to mind those slow, carefree days spent running nowhere special.

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As the artist recounts on her website, “resolutions for one painting might be found in another- a thread of narrative emerges.”  These painted memories could be glimpses of every summer, the scenes we see when we close our eyes mid-winter and dream of what is to come.

To see more of Charlotte Evans‘ work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website. Artist found via Gallery Orange.

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