Archive of ‘Figurative’ category
There is more to nakedness than the simple truth of being without clothing. It requires trust and vulnerability, traits not always easy to come by. This season of my life, dealing with my mom’s illness, has without a doubt at times left me raw, while also virtually piling on layers in the way of self preservation and protection.
Situations like these tend to bring out our worst or our best. We’ve been dealing with both sides of the coin. The best people leaving us feeling protected and safe in our vulnerable state, the worst piling on judgement and hurtfulness when we are at our most bare.
My poor mom has been left without her own shroud physically and in just about every other way. Stripped of her health and her independence, she has had to lay herself open, to lose the security of her ordered world, to ask for help in ways she never dreamed of.
I’ve had friends thank me for being so open about what we’ve been going through as they go through similar circumstances, yet keep to themselves. And that would usually be my own way.. to keep everything private, bottled up. But to be naked is to also let others know that they have your trust, that they are needed, that you know that you can’t do it alone.
Since her diagnosis, there have been a lot of tears. But there has also been meaningful conversation and deep laughter with those who’ve allowed us the freedom to be vulnerable and the security of knowing we are safe in our nakedness.
Featured paintings are by Daniel Catalano. Please visit his website to see more of his work.
All images are via the artist’s website.
We all have expectations of life. Perceptions of what our ideal world would look like. Those expectations seem to be heightened these days by the images of perfect lives we are bombarded with daily via social media and lifestyle blogs. Every meal shall be perfectly garnished with stylishly mismatched vintage dinnerware! Children will be the very picture of tiny fashion perfection and their birthday parties shall rival that of the royals!
Taking her cue from the Jan Steen household, a 17th century Dutch painter’s style turned shorthand for a messy scene, photographer Julie Blackmon explores the disparagement between a society that is both “child centered” and “self-obsessed”.
In her domestic scenes, we often see no adult figures, only children, as if pardon this turn of phrase, the inmates are running the asylum. I apologize for that reference, yet it is what kept coming to mind as I was going through the portfolio. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad point of departure. Children need freedom and play, it is essential to their development especially in our over scheduled world. Blackmon is capturing these fleeting moments of the chaos of childhood, in all its messy, mythic reality.
To see more of Julie Blackmon’s work, please visit her website.
All images are via the artist’s website. Artist found via Robert Mann Gallery.
I’m back, dear Artsies! Ready to hit the ground running in this new year. I’m not sure what 2015 will bring but what I do know is that I can no longer hang in limbo. It’s time to put my face forward and get back to it. As I reflected upon the prospect of beginning again, I was drawn to paintings by Barcelona artist Alejandra Atares.
Moving ahead after lingering in the unknown can be scary and intimidating. There is a fear of beginning something exciting only to have to abandon it mid-stream. But as I like to tell Mr. Forager, the ultimate dreamer/planner..
Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.
He just loves it when I quote John Lennon to him! In the end, we never know what tomorrow will bring, even when all of our loved ones are whole and well. So we must embrace life as it is in this very moment while looking forward with hope and anticipation.
Artist found via I Need A Guide. All images are via the artist’s website.
Isn’t it funny how selective our memories of childhood can be? How some moments seem so vivid while others are barely recalled? UK artist Hannah Lewis Davies‘ paintings explore those fleeting memories as well as the imaginary worlds we create in childhood.
I have a feeling that being with my mom will bring back a lot of childhood memories. It’s funny that what I remember most about my mom from childhood aren’t necessarily memories of her specifically, though she was a constant, caring presence, but it’s more her things. I remember being fascinated with her jewelry and shoes. It was the 70s and my mom had amazing taste in shoes! Wedges to die for! And there were the books and clothes, especially one filmy peignoir that I would wear and imagine myself as a princess or an actress accepting the Academy Award. Without even realizing it, she set up a world that opened up my imagination– one where I could discover and reinvent myself, surround myself with beauty, go on adventures. As an adult, I’m still striving to do all those things, but she planted the seed.
To see more of Hannah Lewis Davies‘ work, please visit her website.
All images via the artist’s website. Artist found via Saatchi Online.
In the physical absence of a loved one, photographs can be an only slightly adequate substitute. We can see a familiar face, but we can’t watch it change with expression or see it shifting slightly with age. In his work, artist Harding Meyer paints faces once frozen in photographs, but now isolated and animated in paint.
The faces stare out, almost pleading for connection. How often do we look directly into another’s eyes in the course of our day? Maybe we stare into our partner’s eyes without inhibition, but do we ever really look into the eyes of strangers? Are we so scared of what we may see looking back?
To see more of Harding Meyer‘s work, please visit his website.
Images are via the artist’s website and the website of his representing gallery, Galerie Voss.
There comes a time in this life when we come to the realization that we are, indeed, not going to be here forever. For some, this revelation takes longer than for others, but its definitely taken its hold on me recently. This series, Impermanence, by artist Seung Hwan Oh emphasizes the balance between creation, life, and destruction in these ephemeral photographs.
From the artist’s site– “The process involves the cultivation of emulsion consuming microbes on a visual environment created through portraits and a physical environment composed of developed film immersed in water. As the microbes consume light-sensitive chemical over the course of months or years, the silver halides destabilize, obfuscating the legibility of foreground, background, and scale. This creates an aesthetic of entangled creation and destruction that inevitably is ephemeral, and results in complete disintegration of the film so that it can only be delicately digitized before it is consumed.”
My mom’s illness has definitely caused Mr. F and I to think more closely about our own physical, emotional and spiritual health and what that means for our future. There are no guarantees, of course, but we’re trying very hard to move through each day with a focus on not only on cultivating our all too quickly approaching future, but more importantly, to be fully present in the now.
To see more of Seung Hwan Oh‘s work, please visit the artist’s website.
All images are via the artist’s website. Artist found via I Need a Guide.
When we’re out hiking, I always notice something that seems so contradictory. One would assume that most people who hike are doing so for the enjoyment of the outdoor world. So why in the world would they think it is OK to leave their trash all over the trail? Man in general seems to have this sort of dysfunctional relationship with nature and in this series of photos by artist Jessica Tremp, I see the drama being played out.
Nature, in its ineffable beauty calls out to our spirits and our souls. We long to not just see it, but experience it, for it to become a part of us. But inevitably, our selfishness gains the upper hand and we do the very thing we hate– we become part of the problem. We drive our car too much, we let the water run while we brush our teeth, we throw away what we no longer want and so that our garbage fills what was once pristine. And then we cry over what we have done, cursing ourselves, only to continue the cycle day after day.
To see more of Jessica Tremp‘s work, please visit her website.
All images via the artist’s website. Artist found via The Artful Desperado.
While Mr. F and I are camping in Yosemite, I’m resharing some posts you might have missed the first go ’round! Enjoy!
Although I love the cold winter months, for many, January is a tough month to swallow. All the gaiety of the holidays now in the past, it seems such a long time before the warmth of spring and the ease of summer. So on what may be for many of you a cold, dreary Monday, I thought a little sunshine and warmth from German artist Nina Nolte may put a little spring back in your socked & booted step!
Forgotten Dreams, acrylic on canvas, 100x16x4 cm
Nolte’s depictions of stylish ladies lounging by the pool recalls, to me, a modern-day version of traditional European works depicting the wealthy socializing and at play, such as Fragonard or Boucher. The richness of the color ( that yellow! )and details in the folds of fabric bring to mind the sumptuousness of the textiles of Vermeer.
The Days of Wine and Roses, acrylic on canvas, 100x200x4 cm
The works do hearken back in some ways to European traditions, but it is done in such an enchantingly modern, yet elegantly timeless way.
Some of Those Days, acrylic on canvas, 100x160x4 cm
The viewer is given the position of voyeur, thanks especially to the bird’s eye view angle of many of the pieces. It feels a bit like we’re eavesdropping on some really juicy society gossip!
You Must Believe in Spring, acrylic on canvas, 65x65x4
As Time Goes By, acrylic on canvas, 100x160x4 cm
To bask in more of Nolte’s bathing beauties, please visit her website. Think of these while you’re sloshing through freezing rain and snow!
Featured image is How Deep is the Ocean?, acrylic on canvas, 1oox200x4 cm. All images are via the artist’s website.
Mr. F and I often find ourselves struggling between our love of the seaside and the snow. Snow makes us absolutely giddy, but spending this spring and summer near the ocean perhaps has us leaning toward a life near the water. Each beach walk leaves us in love with the wonder and mystery to be found near the sea. It is this mythical and mystical magic that artist Victor Grasso captures in his beautifully rendered painting series, The Sea is Calling.
In this series, Grasso’s modern mermaids seem to revel in the delights of the ocean, becoming one with its depths, transforming into souls of the sea. The palette of soft greys, inky blacks and warm umbers imitate life in the shallows and the deep, chiaroscuro light falling as if filtered through the water. He takes us into a world of mystery and revelry, where creatures struggle for survival yet live blissfully unaware of what goes on in the world above.
To see more of Victor Grasso‘s work, please visit his website. Tell me, Artsies, does the sea call to you?
All images via the artist’s website. Artist found via Parlor Gallery.
Does it seem sometimes that the world is just becoming more and more bizarre? No? It’s just me then. The horrors we see being perpetrated around the world on one hand vs. the insanity of celebrity culture that seems to consume our media and our brains. In these collages by Sajjad Musa I seem that strange collision between the realities of what is happening in the world and the delusions we prefer to concern ourselves with.
It can be overwhelming to think of all that is wrong in the world, there is so much happening that is out of our control. But what we can control is our own education in what is truth and our own reactions to what is happening. Mr. F and I have challenged each other to focus on the positive in each day and we share our positives with each other every night over dinner. It helps to bring our focus off of what is wrong and onto what is right. And it’s helping, even if just a little.
To see more of Sajjad Musa‘s work, please visit his website.
All images are via the artist’s website. Artist found via Sketch 42.