Messy Humanities: Alex Kanevsky

There are artists whose work inspires one of two reactions in me– either I want to strive to be even a fraction as good as they are or I want to throw my brushes down and never pick them up again.  Russian-born Philadelphia based artist Alex Kanevsky, with his painterly style and beautiful light is just such an artist.

Alex Kanevsky | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Alex Kanevsky | artsy forager #art #artists #painting Alex Kanevsky | artsy forager #art #artists #painting

Alex Kanevsky | artsy forager #art #artists #painting

Alex Kanevsky | artsy forager #art #artists #painting

Kanevsky’s work has this amazing sense of chaos and freedom, as if these were dashed off quickly as the artist moved on to the next canvas.  Yet each piece is a carefully composed, heavily layered composition, his process often taking weeks or even months of immersion into and retreating from each painting.  Are there stories being told?  Perhaps.  But more than  mere narrative speculation is the feeling each piece projects– sadness, desolation, satisfaction.

If you’d like to see more of Alex Kanevsky‘s incredible work, please visit his website.  Be sure to check out his fascinating Progress page in which he shares sequences of paintings in various stages of progress!

All images via the artist’s website.

Color Harvest: Saturated Spring

Often when we think of spring, our thoughts turn to light, pale pastels but this season, I’ve noticed just how saturated everything around me seems.  Maybe it’s just a shock to my eyes following the white and grey winter or perhaps this has just been an unusually sunny and bright season.  In any case, I’m finding myself more drawn than usual to heavy doses of color and I’m blaming this saturated spring!

CH_Saturated Spring

Here are just a few of the full color palettes inspiring me on Pinterest lately–

CH_SS_collage

 found here here here here here and here

I’ve even started a new series of paintings on paper inspired by this glorious season!  How has spring been inspiring you, Artsies?

Want to see more Color Harvesting?  Check out the archives!

Top image by Artsy Forager.  All other image sources linked above.

Ambiguous Distillations: Robert Atwell

Remember that tendency towards simplicity I mentioned yesterday?  We’re continuing on that theme today!  Wisconsin based artist Robert Atwell creates striking paintings using shapes so simple they are almost instantly recognizable, yet still remain ambiguous.

Robert Atwell | artsy forager #art #artists #abstract #painting Robert Atwell | artsy forager #art #artists #abstract #painting Robert Atwell | artsy forager #art #artists #abstract #painting Robert Atwell | artsy forager #art #artists #abstract #painting Robert Atwell | artsy forager #art #artists #abstract #painting

Atwell draws upon his graphics background to great effect– the bold colors and simple forms communicate to the viewer instantly, although we may not know exactly what it is we’re seeing, we know we recognize it.  A swing, a kite, a camera, who knows?  It is in the not knowing that the art is found.

To see more of Robert Atwell’s work, please visit his website.  You can see his work in person at his representing galleries Gilman Contemporary in Ketchum, Idaho and Simon Gallery in Morristown, New Jersey.

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Gilman Contemporary.

Modern Camp: Eugenia Loli

I’m kind of a bit bi-polar sometimes when it comes to artwork.. I either fall for work that is super textured, busy, crazy with color and line and visuals, or I do a complete 180 and find myself falling in love with simple compositions and clean lines.  Lucky for me, collage artist Eugenia Loli does both incredibly well.  But today, my simplistic side is taking over!

Eugenia Loli | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Eugenia Loli | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Eugenia Loli | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Eugenia Loli | artsy forager #art #artists #collage Eugenia Loli | artsy forager #art #artists #collage

You may recognized Eugenia’s work from an Escape Into Life feature I did on her a while back.  Her latest work has been showing up in the Artsy Forager Facebook feed and I have been consistently blown away, so thought it was high time she got a real feature!

In her digital collages, Loli uses vintage and modern imagery to create fanciful, surreal scenes that give the viewer just a glimpse at what the underlying narrative might be.  Like still shots from a B-movie, there is a delicious campiness to them, made even more striking by her use of bold, vintage-y color.

To see more of Eugenia Loli‘s work, head over to her Tumblr.  She has a number of products available in her Society6 shop, including striking and super affordable prints.  I’m personally coveting a tote bag, although I don’t think I’ll ever be able to decide which image I like best.

All images via the artist’s website.

Overtaken: Jess Riva Cooper

While we were hiking last weekend, Mr. F & I spotted something we’d never quite seen before.  We’re familiar with nurse logs, but noticed several trees whose roots had grown over and around a fallen redwood.  In her Viral Series, Toronto artist Jess Riva Cooper explores ideas of environmental impact and change as flora overtakes the human face.

Jess Riva Cooper | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture Jess Riva Cooper | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture Jess Riva Cooper | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture Jess Riva Cooper | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture Jess Riva Cooper | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture

It has always amazed and intrigued me the way we build things up, yet nature always finds a way to inhabit and continue on its own journey.  From the spider taking up residence in the smallest corner of the bathroom, to abandoned buildings through which vines and trees have grown, try as we might to prevent it, nature takes what is needed.  How much more would we live in harmony if we simply left things alone or provided nature a place to thrive among us?  Something to ponder over your weekend, dear Artsies.

If you’d like to see more work by Jess Riva Cooper, be sure to check out her website.

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Colossal.

Finding My Own Artsy: Feminine Wiles, Painting Seven

Or maybe it would have been more appropriate for this to be Painting 8.  This seventh painting in my series of small color studies, Feminine Wiles, is based on Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8.  Elizabeth Taylor plays Gloria Wandrous, a promiscuous party-girl model with a propensity for attracting wealthy suitors.

FMO_Taylor_Butterfield 8

found here

Although Taylor has been said to have disliked the film, her performance garnered the actress her first Oscar.  Gloria is a character filled with passion and sexuality, but flawed in her own humanity.  I thought it was so fitting that the palette of the film should be so full of fleshy pinks and peaches.

Frenz_Elizabeth Taylor in Butterfield 8_acrylic on canvas panel_6x6

Elizabeth Taylor as Gloria Wandrous in Butterfield 8, acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6

To see more of my Feminine Wiles series, check out the archives here.  Oh and Feminine Wiles has received its first bit of press!  The Woven Tale Press included a spread on FW in their latest issue!  So exciting!

Butterfield 8 image source linked above, art by Lesley Frenz aka Artsy Forager.

States of Being: Allison Miller

As human types, we are in a constant state of flux.  Even when we think we aren’t moving, we are constantly evolving in this direction or that.  In these paintings by Los Angeles artist Allison Miller, we see the evolution of her process, the results leaving me feeling slightly off kilter in the best possible way.

Allison Miller | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #mixedmedia #abstract Allison Miller | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #mixedmedia #abstract Allison Miller | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #mixedmedia #abstract Allison Miller | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #mixedmedia #abstract Allison Miller | artsy forager #art #artists #painting #mixedmedia #abstract

In order to gain a fresh perspective on their work, many artists will turn their canvases on their sides or upside down.  But they don’t always leave them that way to continue painting.  Miller allows those twists and turns to be evident in the final painting– leaving us with paint that defies gravity by dripping up and compositions that delight no matter which way the canvas is turned.

As people, we too are molded and shaped as our circumstances twist and turn, allowing us to be carved into our most recent incarnation.  But soon, our human canvas will rotate once again and we’ll add yet another layer to our composition.

To see more of Allison Miller’s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

Life Revealed: Marti Somers

Every day, every life is made of small, seemingly insignificant moments.  Sometimes, the importance of those moments isn’t revealed until later.  I was thinking on this dynamic when pouring over the work of California artist Marti Somers.  Somers’ richly textured work is filled with layer upon layer of paint and ephemera, the artist revealing forgotten moments as she deconstructs the surface.

Marti Somers | artsy forager #art #artists #mixedmedia Marti Somers | artsy forager #art #artists #mixedmedia Marti Somers | artsy forager #art #artists #mixedmedia Marti Somers | artsy forager #art #artists #mixedmedia Marti Somers | artsy forager #art #artists #mixedmedia

Like a worn scrapbook, we see snatches of life, of moments and memories revealed in the paneled surfaces.  A treasure once forgotten, a glimpse of a flower we were too busy to notice at the time.  Book pages and receipts reveal a life lived busily, while birds and teapots remind us to sit and to savor, all will be well.

To see more of Marti Somers’ work, please visit the websites of her representing galleries, Addington Gallery, Morpeth Contemporary, Adamson Gallery, and Caldwell Snyder Gallery.  You can also check out a wonderful interview & studio tour with Marti on Elise Morris‘s The Studio Work blog!

All images via the Addington Gallery site.

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.

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