Finding My Own Artsy: Feminine Wiles, Painting Eight

You know what made for a perfect Sunday afternoon for a young Artsy Forager?  A few lazy, rainy hours and Pillow Talk on my parents’ bedroom TV.  If I was ever tempted to trade my brunette locks for blonde, Doris Day could make me do it.  As an awkward preteen growing up in the 80s, I was always drawn to Day’s down to earth flirtiness.  So when I began the Feminine Wiles series, I knew without a doubt that Doris Day would make my list of inspirations.  


found here

The first of three movie pairings of the quintessential romantic comedy duo of Doris Day and Rock HudsonPillow Talk not only launched their iconic partnership, it also drew box office and critical acclaim.  In the movie, Day plays Jan Morrow, an independent Manhattan interior decorator who finds herself sharing a party line with Hudson’s composer playboy Brad Allen.

Like many films of the era, Pillow Talk is painted in the pastel frosted palette of the late 1950s.  Perhaps owing to Day’s trademark blonde locks, noted designer Jean Louis  and the film’s costume designer Bill Thomas  often dress Day’s Morrow in buttery yellows and creamy ivories.


found here here here and here

Even in the set design, she is often surrounded by lemony hues.  Maybe a nod to the innocence of this unattainable “golden girl” or the hidden warmth buried beneath the icy ( at least to Hudson’s Allen ) exterior.

Frenz_Doris Day in Pillowtalk_acrylic on canvas panel_6x6

 Doris Day as Jan Morrow in Pillow Talk, acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6

Day’s natural sunniness and the joie de vivre of this classic romantic comedy made a creamy yellow color study a natural choice for this piece.  Although Pillow Talk doesn’t necessarily hold up well in terms of gender equity, its brightness outshines its dated conventions.

Want to see more in my Feminine Wiles series?  Check the archives!  I’m beginning to brainstorm how to display and where to show these pieces.  Think I have some fun ideas!  If you’re a boutique or gallery owner or know someone who might be interested in partnering, give me a shout!

Film image sources linked above, painting by Lesley Frenz aka Artsy Forager.

Earthly Balance: Hannah Chalew

This planet we live on is an incredible example of a delicate balancing.  I’m always amazed to read stories about the ripple effect one tiny plant or micro organism may have on an entire eco-culture.  Often it is man whose hand begins the tidal wave.  In her work, New Orleans artist Hannah Chalew explores the tenuous relationship between nature and the built environment.

Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia


Hannah Chalew | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture #mixedmedia

Much like the work of Jess Riva Cooper, Chalew examines the idea of the built environment being overtaken and pushed back to the earth.  So often it is man and his development that does the encroaching, providing an interesting juxtaposition when plant life is given the opportunity to reclaim what was.

To see more of Hannah Chalew‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Design Foraging: Elke Sada Ceramics

Mr. F & I were chatting the other day about the long list of things we’d both like to try our hands at– high on my list?  Pottery and/or ceramics.  It’s always been one of my favorite mediums and I would love to see what I could do with it.  This week I came across the work of  German artist Elke Sada and was so inspired by her form and process!

Elke Sada | artsy forager #art #artists #design #ceramics Elke Sada | artsy forager #art #artists #design #ceramics Elke Sada | artsy forager #art #artists #design #ceramics Elke Sada | artsy forager #art #artists #design #ceramics Elke Sada | artsy forager #art #artists #design #ceramics

Sada’s process is a bit of a work in reverse, as she paints on plasterboard, then pouring clay onto the painted play.  The pliable clay is then cut and shaped into form.  You can read more about her process here.  The resulting forms have a wonderful whimsy about them with their shifting compositions and tilted shapes.  I mean, when you’re creating pieces like this, how could it not be fun?

More of Elke Sada‘s ceramics can be seen on her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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–


 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.

1 2 3 109