As you may have noticed if you read my recap of the past few weeks, we’ve experienced a myriad of climates and landscapes recently. While the sunny skies of Southern California were a welcome sight, there is still something so enchanting about the starkness of winter branches against a cloudy sky. It seems ironic then, that these paintings by Los Angeles artist Jill Sykes should remind me so much of wonderfully overcast days.
When the sun is high in the sky, of course, it creates the most lovely shadows. Yet sometimes it feels as if the individual forms of the landscape get lost in the blue. On a day filled with clouds, though, everything stands in deep contrast with the whites and greys. The individual branches of each tree are so much more pronounced, we can see the world without the distraction of color. As lovely as any old black and white film.
The way Sykes silhouettes her branches creates an intriguing tension between the subject and background. Leaving us to wonder in some cases which is which.
If you’d like to see more of Jill Sykes‘ work, please visit her website.
Do you ever feel like life isn’t quite real? Like you’re sleep walking or drifting in and out of a surreal existence. Occasionally, I get the strangest sense of deja vu. Its like finding yourself in a place you experienced in a dream, but this time in reality. These photographs by Finnish artist Nanna Hanninen have that same kind of unreal fluidity.
Her figures are obscured, seeming to float on the surface, wandering in and out of the frame. I feel like there’s a parallel somewhere for our lives, the way we roam from place to place, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. How often do we find ourselves in one place, but feeling like we belong to another? We are physically present but the mind and soul are elsewhere. It happens, too, in our daily interactions. Are we truly present in each and every conversation? Or are we allowing ourselves to be someplace else?
To see more of Nanna Hanninen‘s work, please visit her website.
All images via the artist’s website.
I love the warm glow of window light at night. In fact, when I lived alone, I used to put my lights on timers so that I came home at night to a welcoming glowing light. In his Homes at Night series, photographer Todd Hido focuses his lens on the glow of evening abodes.
There is a strange phenomenon that happens in the dark of night. Some things become softer, more welcoming in the night, while others take on a more oppressive, sinister air. Hido’s work strikes me as having elements of both, making me wonder what is going on beyond those lit windows. Warmth and laughter? Loneliness and despair? I love the ambiguity of these photographs. Each one seems to be the beginning of a story.
More work by Todd Hido can be seen on his website.
All images via the artist’s website.
I have to stop myself from running my fingers over paintings in galleries and museums. I’m such a sucker for the texture of paint and the way it informs and enhances a piece of work. Sometimes, the texture is merely a by-product of the artist’s process, but for artists like Patricia Larsen, the texture is the star.
I know that often, for me, when I’m painting, I get caught up in the deliciousness of the juxtapositions of texture and color. There is a certain zen like state that happens when an artist surrenders to what is happening on a canvas. A kind of stream-of-consciousness type of painting tempered with a thoughtful composition results in a wonderful tension.
To see more work by Patricia Larsen, please visit her website. If you happen to be in the Tulsa area, you can see her work in person in the current exhibition at Exhibit by Aberson.
Artist found via Exhibit by Aberson. Images via the artist’s website and Exhibit.
There is nothing quite like a quiet day surrounded by wilderness to get us in touch with the wildness inside. Even more thrilling is to spot an elusive animal on its own turf. California artist Jane Rosen sculpts wild creatures in all their quiet, untamed beauty.
Rosen’s sculptures have a caged serenity about them, as if reigning in their innate wildness for the spectator. I bet they come to life the minute your back is turned! The artist’s choice of materials bring a purity and etherealness to each piece. They almost seem to be representations not of the animal itself, but of its spirit.
See more of the beautiful work of Jane Rosen on her website.
An artist who draws upon art history for his inspiration then gives it his own unique, modern spin speaks my language and immediately draws my interest. The work of New York artist Jansson Stegner reflects his attraction to the “weird figurations” and exaggerated forms of artists like El Greco, Schiele, and Ingres, yet infuses them with distinctly contemporary style.
Unlike historical portraiture, these aren’t portraits of actual people. The artist creates a conglomeration of figures in order to arrive at the figure to fit his vision. Elongated limbs, distorted torsos and amplified eyes give Stansson’s figures a caricature like quality, yet the portraits somehow have more gravitas for it.
If you’d like to see more of Jansson Stegner’s work, please visit his website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
December is here! Mr. F and I are back living in Idaho ( Moscow, ID to be exact ) for the next three months. As we were driving up, we were treated to a spectacular display of snow juxtaposed against the evergreens, rocks and rushing waters. These pieces by this month’s Featured Artist, Casey Matthews remind me of that wintery palette I love so much.
I’ve been in love with Casey’s work for a long time and she was one of the first artists I featured on Artsy Forager. Her work is full of luscious texture and lots of delicious little details that don’t always come through in digital form. Orbs and circles are a large part of her visual language and some of her latest work, she’s exploring a whirlpoolish composition in addition to her characteristic floating shapes and drips. And I’m especially enamored of the way she is overlaying linear elements, adding yet another intriguing dimension.
Casey lives in North Florida, so its pretty doubtful that her inspiration would have come from the snow and evergreens of Northern Idaho. Yet these pieces have much of the atmospheric feel I was imagining as we drove through snow covered canyons and delighted in patches of white dotting the rocks along the river. Isn’t it amazing how an artist’s work can resonate your own imagination?
I hope you’ll mosey over to Casey Matthews’ website to take a look at more of her work, as well as heading to the Artsy Forager Facebook page to see the gorgeous piece gracing our cover for this month, plus an album of some of my latest favorites!
If you’d like to see Casey’s work in person, you can do so at a number of representing galleries, a list can be found here. If you’re in North Florida, Casey will be showing work at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club during the month of December, with a holiday reception on December 12th. Or if you happen to be in the Atlanta area, her work will be a part of the annual Masterpiece & Its Minis show at Gregg Irby Fine Art, where you could snatch up a sweet smaller Casey Matthews original, what an amazing gift one would make!
All images via Casey Matthews.
I’m sure many of you will be spending the next few days celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family. Thanksgiving is Mr. Forager’s absolute favorite holiday, because it is all about coming together with the people you love, celebrating life and cultivating gratefulness. I’ll be taking a little break over the next few days, enjoying time away, but before I go, I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks for each and every one of you.
For the readers who follow along on this journey with me, for the folks who’ve become clients and friends, for the artists who continually inspire me and make this website such a labor of love, THANK YOU! I wish for you a more abundant and joyful life than you could ever imagine.
Love and artsiness,
Mr. Forager and I are spending this week celebrating Thanksgiving, so I decided to show my thanks to this month’s Featured Artist by re-running a few of her previous posts! This feature first ran in July 2012. This was before I started calling my husband George Mr. Forager here on the blog, in case you’re wondering who I’m going on about. Enjoy!
Welcome to Day 2 of our Artists Takeover Event! Today’s artist is the only Canuck in the bunch this week, Vancouver artist M.A. Tateishi. M.A. is an artist whose work I immediately connected with and the artist herself has become a great supporter and friend. Our conversation gives you a little behind-the-scenes peek at Artsy Forager!
The Walls of This Old House, mixed media with resin, 36×48
M.A. Tateishi | You feature a lot of inspiring and different artists. How do you find the artists, and is there a particular reaction you have to art when you find it…like an immediate fall-in-love feeling, or does some work grow on you? Do you have to sort through a lot of “bad art” to find the good ones?
Artsy Forager | I find the artists I feature through a number of different avenues– some I’ve known through working in the industry, others I’ve found through galleries ( both visited in person & online ), social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, through other artists, through other art blogs, lifestyle blogs, even some DIY, fashion & home decor blogs will occasionally feature interesting artwork. Really just keeping my eyes open at all times. I try to always have a pen & paper handy, as you never know when you may happen upon something amazing! The reaction is a little like falling in love or at the very least having a crush! My heart will skip a beat and many times my mouth will drop open. I’ve been told I have a “great eye” and my husband used to always ask how I knew really great work from mediocre– it’s hard to describe, it’s more of an artistic intuition, I guess. It’s funny, but many of the sources through which I find work are so full of great stuff that I don’t really have to sift through much “bad art”. I do get emails from artists whose work doesn’t quite make the cut for Artsy Forager, though. I always want to be encouraging to anyone who is willing to reach out and ask to be featured, but I strive very hard to keep the standard of work featured high. If I do need to “reject” an artist, I try to offer other avenues for online exposure.
Pixelated Rhythm, mixed media with resin, 36×48
MAT | How do you organize your writing? Do you have a lot of posts ready to go, or do you work on deadlines? Do you have an editor/friend to bounce things off, or do you work alone? And how to you manage all your social media? Are you typing away on your iPhone while you’re waiting at the post office?
AF | I plan out Artsy Forager posts usually no more than a week or two ahead. I’m a bit of a procrastinator by nature, something I’m trying to work on, so right now, that’s about as far out as I can plan & organize for the posts themselves. Since I post to the blog Monday-Friday and my husband’s schedule can change, I’m sometimes writing & scheduling posts in advance for the days when he is off. For instance, he’s currently working Wed-Sun, so I make sure to have all my posts completed and scheduled for Monday & Tuesday by Sunday night, so that we can enjoy time together without too much distraction. I normally work alone, but will sometimes bounce ideas off fellow bloggers, artists and of course, my hubby is always a ready ear. I’m still learning to smartly manage social media.. I finally signed up for Hoot Suite, which allows me to advance schedule posts to social media and has gone a long way toward helping me maintain an online presence even when I may not be physically near a computer. You may be surprised to learn that I don’t have an iPhone or even internet access on my cell phone and right now the hubby and I share one MacBook Pro between us. It can make keeping up more difficult, but it also helps to be able to disconnect when spending time with my hubby.
Neon City, mixed media with resin, 36×48
MAT | Finally, what motivates you to do the Artsy Forager? As an artist I can see the benefits for me, and I think it’s important to bring original art to as many people as possible, but I was wondering what inspires you?
AF | This is a really interesting question and one I’m sure many artists are curious about. I began Artsy Forager when I left a long time gallery/ art consultation position and was preparing to leave Florida to begin traveling the Northwest with George. I knew that I would be bored without something to occupy my time while George was working and getting a different job in a new town every 3 months didn’t seem appealing or even possible. I thought about what I’d loved the most about my former position, what really excited and motivated me– it was the artists themselves and their work. I’ve always loved writing, I was almost a Lit major before switching to Art History and I thought blogging would be an interesting way to fuel my passion for art, help artists succeed in whatever way I could and allow me to build and create something of my own. What really inspires me is the relationships I’m building with artists from all over the country. When artists come to me for advice, I am honored, humbled and inspired to do more of whatever I can to help them succeed. Who knows where Artsy Forager may lead in the next few years. I hope it leads to greater success, not just for me, but for every artist featured.
Champagne Pop, mixed media with resin, 24×36
To see more of M.A.’s work, please visit her website. Taking over tomorrow: Christina Baker!
All images are via the artist’s website.