Archive of ‘Paintings’ category

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.  

FMO_Day_poster

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.

FMO_Day_collage

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Charm School: Charlotte Hardy

One of the things that has utterly enchanted me about Eureka has been its Victorian history and architecture.  Everywhere you turn is another beautiful old building showing off its corbels, cornices, and lintels.  I am charmed by it all, always wanting to go downtown where Mr. F & I can sit in a brick-walled cafe, under high ceilings, sunlight flooding in through the transom windows.  The work of UK artist Charlotte Hardy hearkens back to the charm, warmth and attention to detail that makes these old places so irresistible.

Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Charlotte Hardy | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

Floors are creaky, walls a bit askew, but the charms of these places always enthrall me.  It is all perfect in its imperfections.  Hardy’s work has an illustrative quality to it that work so well in conveying the sweet delight of these kinds of places.  Her textural surfaces recall the years of  life to be found beneath the surface.

More of Charlotte Hardy‘s work can be seen on her website.  I do believe Mr. F and I may do a little cafe visiting this weekend.  Hope you have a wonderfully artsy weekend!

All images via the artist’s website.

Planes and Patterns at Play: Gianna Commito

Let’s switch gears a bit, shall we?  Looking back over this week’s posts so far, I’ve been in a bit of a nature-obsessed-state, so how about we throw in something different?  I spotted the the work of this artist last week on the Little Paper Planes blog and knew I wanted to feature her work pronto!  In these mixed media pieces, Gianna Commito is creating a playground of planes and patterns.

Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia Gianna Commito | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart #mixedmedia

Just a simple shift in line creates a skewed perspective that leads us down the path to another inverted plane and then to another and another.  It’s like a geometric rabbit hole that I am happy to get lost in!  There’s a natural correlation to cityscapes and architecture, but I see parallels to the natural world as well ( there I go again! ).  Towering cliffs and slot canyons, redwood burls and nurse logs.  We are all just planes resting on top of more planes.

To see more of Gianna Commito‘s work, please visit her website.  Her work can be seen in person at Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York.

All images via the Rachel Uffner Gallery site.

Emodied Memory: Pepa Prieto

I am daily amazed by the talent I find in my foraging each day.  But occasionally, I see one painting by an artist, think “oh that’s nice!”, then go to their website to be completely blown away.  The work of Spanish-born New York based artist Pepa Prieto astounded me with her visual movement, texture and lively sense of composition.  I can’t get enough!

Pepa Prieto | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Pepa Prieto | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Pepa Prieto | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Pepa Prieto | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Pepa Prieto | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

There is so much going on, so many corners and nooks to explore in each piece, each one is like a virtual fun house and I want to get lost in them all!  The artist paints these pieces intuitively, evoking a particular memory or moment in time, “a detailed snapshot of my inner dialogue”.  What a beautiful conversation she is having.

To see more of Pepa Prieto‘s work, and you know you want to, please visit her website.  Happy weekend, Artsies!  What are you up to?  We’ll be checking out Eureka’s local ArtWalk on Saturday, excited to share my finds with you next week!

All images via the artist’s website.

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