Archive of ‘Figurative’ category

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Katerina Plotnikova | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Katerina Plotnikova | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Katerina Plotnikova | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Katerina Plotnikova | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Katerina Plotnikova | artsy forager #art #artists #photography

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.

April Featured Artist: Alexandra Bellissimo

April showers bring.. a new Featured Artist!  Yay!  I’ve been having a serious photography moment lately so I’m excited to feature one of my favorite photographic finds of the last year, LA artist Alexandra Bellissimo all throughout the month of April.

Alexandra Bellissimo | artsy forager #art #artists #collage #photography Alexandra Bellissimo | artsy forager #art #artists #collage #photography Alexandra Bellissimo | artsy forager #art #artists #collage #photography Alexandra Bellissimo | artsy forager #art #artists #collage #photography Alexandra Bellissimo | artsy forager #art #artists #collage #photography

Alexandra’s work has an incredibly elegant, graphic simplicity.  Nude figures photographed, just a touch of digital manipulation, then natural elements are collaged into the composition by hand.  Human, animal and flora meet, becoming one to create a new, fantastical reality.  The more I look at her work, the more I fall in love with it.  A story is told with minimal language, and I long to hear more.

Alexandra Bellissimo‘s work will be featured on Artsy Forager all throughout the month of April, but if you can’t wait to see more, head over to the Artsy Forager Facebook page to see her cover photo, as well as an album of my favorite Bellissimo finds.  Be sure to visit the artist’s website, too!

PS– A new project collaboration will launch soon featuring work by Alexandra Bellissimo’s work along with three other fabulous artists!  Stay tuned for more details!

All images via the artist’s website.

Cleansing Streams: Linnea Strid

There is such power in water, to calm, to cleanse, to inspire.  At the end of a stressful day, a long soak in a warm bubble bath can make me a new person.  These amazing oil paintings by Swedish artist Linnea Strid capture those ordinary moments in which water meets body and unleashes its blessing.

Linnea Strid | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #realism Linnea Strid | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #realism Linnea Strid | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #realism Linnea Strid | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #realism Linnea Strid | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #realism

We plunge ourselves into its cool depths to escape the oppressive heat of summer, we gently pour its warmth over newborn skin.  We sit and stare into its glassy surface or watch waves lap at our feet and our spirits become refreshed and renewed.  It within our bodies, keeping us nourished and well.

To see more work of Linnea Strid’s incredible oil paintings, check out her website and Flickr feed.

All images via the artist’s Flickr.  Artist found via The Artful Desperado.

Oppressive Abundance: Danielle Mourning

As first world citizens, we are so beyond lucky.  We throw away more food than the majority of the world’s population ever sees.  And yet we still continually fuel our desire for more and more.  The work of photographer Danielle Mourning struck me in its quiet melancholy and its lavishness of pattern and lifestyle.

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In her photographs, we usually find women surrounded by life or luxury, but often looking out, perhaps longing for freedom from the trappings of an abundant life.  Since Mr. Forager and I have been traveling, it has definitely been a slow letting go of material things.  We can only travel with so much, even less now that we’re fitting everything into the back of our car, leaving little room for impulsive hoarding.  This life forces us to seriously evaluate every purchase and for me, anything new has to either replace an existing item or be super-functional or too beautiful to live without.  But I’ve also learned that less can be more.  There is a freedom to be found in a minimal life.  And we are still blessed beyond measure.

If you’d like to see more work by Danielle Mourning, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Super Naturale: Jacqui Stockdale

We are all creatures of our past and present.  Influenced and affected by what has come before us, as well as our current experiences, our future selves a hybrid of what was and is.  In her latest portraiture, Australian photographer Jacqui Stockdale weaves fantastical tales of identity inherited and identity discovered.

Jacqui Stockdale | artsy forager #art #photography #artists Jacqui Stockdale | artsy forager #art #photography #artists Jacqui Stockdale | artsy forager #art #photography #artists Jacqui Stockdale | artsy forager #art #photography #artists Jacqui Stockdale | artsy forager #art #photography #artists

Her work has a vintage, tin-type feel, yet the figures we see are utterly contemporary.  Modern masks mimic ancient ritualistic garb and figures pose rigidly as if sitting for a daguerrotype.  But there seems to be a defiance in each face, a fight against a past, perhaps an assertion of the future.

To see more of Jacqui Stockdale‘s intriguing work, please visit her website.  This latest series of work can be seen in person at Helen Gory Gallery in Australia.

All images via the artist’s representing gallery website.

Wafting Serenity: Laura E. Pritchett

It seems that spring in Eureka is a very windy season.  The sun is shining and from our cozy apartment, it looks deceptively warm.  But upon stepping outside we’re quickly reminded that we are in a transitional season– the air still has a chill and the warmth of stillness is welcome.   The breezes blow and scatter fallen leaves, branches and petals, but at the same time, they are carrying away the grey and damp of winter, ushering in the peace and warmth of the coming summer.  In her Room to Breathe series, artist Laura E. Pritchett explores the magical  influence of a breath of air.

Laura E. Pritchett | artsy forager #art #painting #artists Laura E. Pritchett | artsy forager #art #painting #artists Laura E. Pritchett | artsy forager #art #painting #artists Laura E. Pritchett | artsy forager #art #painting #artists

Pritchett has made a big splash in the Instagram world with her breathtakingly beautiful photography– studies of light, air, and seasons ( follow her IG feed here for regular doses of serene inspiration ).  While perhaps more well known for her photography, these paintings  translate the same quiet wistfulness found throughout her work.  You can almost feel the soft breeze as it wafts up, up, and away, taking with it cares and troubles.

To see more of Laura E. Pritchett’s work, please visit her website and do yourself a favor and follow @bythebrush on Instagram!  ( And @artsyforager, too, if you aren’t already.. ;-) ).

All images are via the artist’s website.

Meaning & Myth: Louis St. Lewis

It’s easy to look at the past through a utopian filter, usually fueled by too many historical novels and costume dramas.  We’re often shown worlds filled with richness, decadence and graceful living.  But under all the frills and frippery lie the other side of riches– the backs upon which the wealth is gained, those who serve, and ultimately, the problems caused by overabundance.  The work of artist Louis St. Lewis touches on the themes of decadence, privilege and the myth of history.

Louis St. Lewis | artsy forager #art #figurativeart #mixedmedia Louis St. Lewis | artsy forager #art #figurativeart #mixedmedia Louis St. Lewis | artsy forager #art #figurativeart #mixedmedia Louis St. Lewis | artsy forager #art #figurativeart #mixedmedia Louis St. Lewis | artsy forager #art #figurativeart #mixedmedia

I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of watching one too many Jane Austen movies, finding myself wishing I could have been born into aristocratic 19th Century privilege rather than 20th Century middle class.  Oh to have the luxury of being a “lady”!  With a lady’s maid at my bidding and all the time in the world to read, paint, sew, dance and all the other proper skills a lady must possess.  But then there were always little hints to break the facade of carefree privilege– the pressure to marry “up”, to bear sons, the boredom of not being able to pursue what may truly be of interest.

Mr. F and I just last night were talking about what being “rich” might mean.  For us, it would mean freedom– freedom to travel, to spend our lives doing exactly what we want to do when we want to do it.  But with that freedom must come an incredible burden and responsibility, too.  Perhaps it is best that we remain solidly middle class.  We live a life of privilege by the standards of most of the world’s population and we do have freedom– the freedom to chose to live our lives in the way we choose.  It is a mythological goal, but one that is definitely attainable with vision and sacrifice.

To see more of the work of Louis St. Lewis, please visit his website.  You can see his work in New Orleans at one of my favorite galleries, Gallery Orange!

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

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