Archive of ‘Artsy Forager Featured Artist’ category

November Featured Artist. Marsha Boston.

November might just be my favorite month.. shhh, don’t tell October!  So it’s only fitting to give you one of my favorite artists as the Featured Artist for the month of November!  California artist Marsha Boston is a painter after my own heart, exploring the wonders of plant life and how we might live in harmony with our botanical neighbors.

Marsha Boston | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Marsha Boston | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Marsha Boston | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Marsha Boston | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Marsha Boston | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart


A while back, Mr. F and I listened to a fascinating BBC story on the concept of “rewilding“.  Listening to these experts talk about the positive changes that occur when once developed land is allowed to return to its wild state definitely led to some interesting conversation and thoughts about how we impact our environment now and how we might in the future.  Mr. F observed what an incredible amount of hubris it takes on the part of man to think he can do better than nature. Marsha’s work is often focused on how we define our relationship to nature.  Are we here to serve or be served?

To see more of Marsha Boston‘s work, please visit her website.  Her beautiful paintings will grace the Artsy Forager Facebook cover and I’ll be sharing more of Marsha’s work on other Artsy Forager social media all month long.  Make sure you’re following along!

All images are via the artist’s website.

October Featured Artist. Raquel Edwards.

I’m sure you didn’t think I’d be back so soon and this is just a momentary pop-in.  But I couldn’t let a new month dawn without bringing you a new Featured Artist!  When first we met October Featured Artist, Raquel Edwards, it was almost exactly three years ago and she was exploring beauty through the lens of a camera rather than a canvas.

Raquel Edwards | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Raquel Edwards | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Raquel Edwards | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart Raquel Edwards | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryartRaquel Edwards | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

Artists are driven by the need to explore and express and Raquel is no exception.  Switching from photography to painting, she’s now discovering new techniques and means of visualization digging into the nature of cognition.  The shapes she presents are somewhat familiar, yet just foreign enough that we can draw our own conclusions as to the meaning of their presence.

To see more of Raquel Edwards’ work, please visit her website.  One of her gorgeous encaustic paintings is gracing the Artsy Forager Facebook page all month long and I’ll be sharing favorites of Raquel’s work as often as I can on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

All images are via the artist’s website.

September Featured Artist. Brenda Hope Zappitell

Kickin’ off a new month with a holiday ( for most of us ) and a new Featured Artist, you say?  Well, I’ll take that!  I’m excited to feature the abstract work of South Florida artist Brenda Hope Zappitell all September long!

Brenda Hope Zappitell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart #contemporaryart Brenda Hope Zappitell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart #contemporaryart Brenda Hope Zappitell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart #contemporaryart Brenda Hope Zappitell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart #contemporaryart Brenda Hope Zappitell | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart #contemporaryart


These abstract intuitive paintings have such a delicious rhythm to them, they almost seem to pulsate!  Brenda paints on a large scale, most paintings clocking in at more than four feet square, giving her work an enveloping nature.  There are also subtle layers of paint and beautiful little pockets of color and line that become so much more powerful at a larger size.

To see more of Brenda Hope Zappitell‘s work, please visit her website and watch the blog all month long!  Click over to the Artsy Forager Facebook Page to see what gorgeous Zappitell is gracing our cover, along with an album of some of my personal favorites.

All images are via the artist’s website.

August Featured Artist. Gigi Mills

Can you believe we’re entering into the last lazy days of summer, Artsies?  I hardly can, but I intend to enjoy it to the fullest!  Beginning the end of summer today with the marvelous work of this month’s Featured Artist, Gigi Mills!

Gigi Mills | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

studio dog with girl and chair, oil, paper, crayon, and graphite on paper, 19×22

Gigi Mills | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

bird dog and the saint, oil and paper on book board, mounted on panel, 9×22

Gigi Mills | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

morning with sara, oil on book board, mounted on panel, 14 1/8 x 22 1/8

Gigi Mills | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

seaside in a wicker chair, oil on book board, mounted on panel, 10×17

Gigi Mills | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart

 girl with figs and flowers, oil on book board, mounted on panel, 6×17

In this latest series of work, being featured in her solo show, This Life at GF Contemporary, Mills invites us to sit and contemplate the moment in the midst of the pulse and entanglements of this fast paced existence.  The artist continues to perfect her reductive style, distilling each captured moment to its fleeting presence.

To see more of Gigi Mills’ work, please visit the websites of her representing galleries, GF Contemporary and Gallery Orange and here on the blog all August long!  Be sure to check out the Artsy Forager Facebook page to see an album of my Gigi faves!

All images are via the artist.

July Featured Artist Carlos Lopez

Humboldt County, our temporary home of the moment, is apparently known for its oysters ( among other things, ahem.. ).  Their fame and abundance is pretty much completely lost on me.  I’ve just never been much of a fan, will only eat them fried ( hello, southern girl ) or baked with champagne and brie ‘cuz I’m fancy like that and Mr. F makes them this way and they are not only palatable but to die for delicious!  If there were any other way to make me love them, it would be through the work of this month’s Featured Artist Carlos Lopez, who finds amazing beauty in their jagged shells.

Carlos Lopez | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #stilllife #contemporaryart Carlos Lopez | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #stilllife #contemporaryart Carlos Lopez | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #stilllife #contemporaryart Carlos Lopez | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #stilllife #contemporaryart Carlos Lopez | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #stilllife #contemporaryart


I’ve featured the work of this young New Orleans painter before and he is constantly “painting, painting” as his daily Facebook status attests, cranking out new, inventive ways of seeing his signature subject.  Most recently, he’s taken to isolating his oyster shells on bright, bold backgrounds, giving them a contemporary pop quality that is especially striking.  You’ll be seeing more from Carlos all through this month, so stay tuned!

To see more work from Carlos Lopez, please visit his website and the website of his representing gallery, Gallery Orange in New Orleans.  Be sure to head over to the Artsy Forager Facebook page where Carlos is our cover artist and I’ve put together an album of my Lopez faves!

All images via the artist’s website.

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.

How to Commission Artwork

So you’ve found an artist whose work you LOVE and you want to commission the artist to create a piece of work especially for you.  How exciting!!  But you don’t know where to start.  If you’ve never done it before, commissioning an original work by an artist can be intimidating ( for you and the artist! ).  So here are a few guidelines on how to commission artwork that I hope will help when you’re ready to take the plunge!

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #painting

1 | know the artist, know yourself 

As enticing as it might be to instantly fall in love with an artist’s work and immediately set off on commissioning them, you’ll be better off slowing down a bit.  Take some time to really get to know the artist’s work, their palette, style, medium, what you love about it, ask yourself if living with a piece of this artist’s work will make you happy forever and ever.

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #painting

Once you’ve done that, figure out what you want.  If you’re commissioning for a specific location, figure out what size would work best ( often an artist can help guide you if you’re uncertain ).  Do you prefer a work on canvas or paper or another substrate?  Maybe the artist works in a few different styles like our Featured ArtistErin McIntosh.  If so, determine which style you’d like your commission to follow.  And then there’s the most fun decision of all– palette.  What colors would you like to see incorporated?  Is there a certain palette the artist works within that you love?  Collect fabrics, paint samples, photos, anything the artist can use for reference and guidance.  Help the artist by creating a vision of what you’re expecting.

Commission_erin studio paint table

2 | communicate what you want

Reach out to the artist first and find out if a| they are accepting commissions, b| what their current lead time might be, and c| the price for a commission in the size you’re desiring.  It’s possible that the answer to any of these questions might mean putting off the commission until the artist has time or you have the necessary funds ( though always ask about payment options– many artists will work with a payment plan! ).

Once those basics are agreed upon, chat with the artist via phone or email about your expectations ( email is best, so you both have a record of what was discussed ) .  Share all the visual references you can, use as many descriptive phrases as you can– like happy, serene, intense, organic, bright, light, etc.  Give the artist your specifics regarding size, substrate and style and be sure to include information like where the piece will hang, who it is for ( if a gift ), if the work will commemorate a special occasion, etc.  All these elements will help guide an artist into creating a work of art that fits your vision.

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #painting

3 |  expect a written agreement

Once you and the artist have communicated fully your exact needs and expectations and agreed upon a price and lead time, the artist should provide you with a written statement of what is to be done, including all specifics regarding price, size, substrate, palette, shipping arrangements if not local, deposit and payment arrangements, etc. for your approval and acceptance.  This step protects both your interests and the artists, certifying that both parties understand what is expected of each other.

Commission_erin paints

4 | don’t mistake an artist for a machine 

Let’s say you’ve commissioned an original based on another existing but unavailable work by the same artist.  Same style, same substrate, same palette, same everything.  But don’t expect an exact replica of that piece you loved.  An original piece of artwork is a completely unique undertaking, each piece will have its own personality.  Just like a snowflake, no two are exactly alike.  On the other hand, if you receive progress photos from the artist and things don’t seem to be going in the direction you’d specified either stylistically or palette-wise, don’t be afraid to communicate your concern to the artist.  They want you to be happy with your finished piece, so your feedback will be necessary and appreciated.

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #painting

5 | be patient, be available 

You’ve paid your deposit and the artist has given you a lead time.  Now just sit back and wait. I know it’s hard!!  We live in such an instant gratification society, we want what we want and we want it NOW.  But creating an original work of art takes time and the artist may have other projects due to be completed before yours.  It will be done, just be patient.  And be available if the artist has questions, wants your input or needs your opinion. ( see #4 ).

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #paintingfeatured artist Erin McIntosh in her studio

6 | accept your finished piece with grace and thanks 

Wham, bam, thank you ma’am is no way to finish off commissioning a piece of artwork.  Yes, you’ve paid the artist, but said artist has put a tremendous amount of time, creative energy and spirit into your creation.  A heartfelt, gracious thank you goes a long way!  And helping spread the word about your beautiful new work of art and lovely commissioning experience will support and encourage the artist’s career and soul.

How to Commission Artwork featuring work by Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #artists #howto #painting

Now all that’s left to do is to live with and love your work of art for always!

See more from our March Featured Artist, Erin McIntosh, on her website and on the Artsy Forager Facebook page.

All images via Erin McIntosh on Facebook.

March Featured Artist: Erin McIntosh

Well, Artsies, Mr. F & I have said goodbye to Idaho and hello to California!  And we all wished a fond farewell to February and wish a bright and cheery welcome to March and this month’s new Featured Artist, Erin McIntosh!

Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #abstractart #paintings #watercolor Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #abstractart #paintings #watercolor Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #abstractart #paintings #watercolor Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #abstractart #paintings #watercolor Erin McIntosh | artsy forager #art #abstractart #paintings #watercolor

I first posted about Erin’s work almost exactly two years ago and have been closely following her artistic journey.  Her works on paper continue to retain the floaty, gossamer quality that first drew me to them.  But her work has evolved in the most lovely way into these newest pieces, with their organic patterns and forms leading us to dream of the prettiest science class illustrations ever.  There is a bit more structure to these pieces, but the artist’s hand keeps them feeling fresh and spirited.

You’ll see more of Erin McIntosh‘s work on the blog this month, but if you can’t wait a second longer to explore ( and who can blame you?! ), head over to her website and have a good long look around.  Plus, have a peak at the Artsy Forager Facebook page, where Erin’s work is gracing our cover and I’ve created an album of just a few of my McIntosh faves!  If you happen to be in the great state of Georgia, Erin’s work will be hanging at the Museum of Arts & Sciences in Macon as part of the Emerging Artists show through June!

All images via the artist.

February Featured Artist: Jenny Brown

It’s happened again.  We’ve turned over the calendar page to a new month.  February is such a short & sweet month, isn’t it?  It’s here and then over before we know it, but while it remains, it’s filled with Valentines and chocolates, hugs and kisses and cuddles.  The work of this month’s Featured Artist Jenny Brown with her use of antique papers and ephemera seemed the perfect way to put just a little more love into the next 28 days!

Flowering Jelly #5 by Jenny Brown | artsy forager #art #collage #flowers Flowering Jelly #6 by Jenny Brown Flowering Egg by Jenny Brown | artsy forager #art #collage #flowers #egg Flowering Cephalopod by Jenny Brown Flowering Seed #8 by Jenny Brown

Jenny collects antique papiers and books, which she methodically and meticulously weaves together to create these magical organisms that seem to float in the ether.  Each small element is put into place just so, resulting in a delightfully real fictitious character on the page, like little Victorian nymphs.

To see more of Jenny Brown’s work, make sure you head over to her website.  Jenny is opening two shows this month–  she’ll be in the Enormous Tiny Art Show at Nahcotta in Portsmouth, NH and over here in the Northwest at Ghost Gallery in Seattle.  If you’re in either area, please check out her work in person!  You can also follow Jenny on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ( her feed is so fun! ), and Pinterest.  Four of Jenny’s pieces are gracing the Artsy Forager Facebook cover for the month AND I’ve compiled an album over there of the Jenny Brown’s I love the most.

All images are via the artist.

January Featured Artist: Christy Kinard

Happy 2014, Artsies!  I can hardly believe we have turned the calendar over to a new year so soon!  2013 was a year filled with changes and opportunities, some worked out, some didn’t, but I hope we all have come out stronger and wiser and read to take on the world in the year ’14!  I’ve lined up a slew of fabulous artists taking part in the monthly Featured Artist program ( going strong for nearly 2 years now! ) for this year and am excited to kick off the year with the lovely work of Memphis artist Christy Kinard, who’ll be gracing the blog and AF social media all this month!

Love for Hydrangeas by Christy Kinard Mixed Bouquet with Blue Stripe by Christy Kinard XO Orchid by Christy Kinard Fiori by Christy Kinard Picasso Vase by Christy Kinard

Like me, Christy is a Southern girl whose work lovingly reflects the bounty and color of life in the South.  Southerners in general are great lovers of beauty, and often lovingly tend gardens exploding with color.  In these mixed media paintings, Christy weaves a tale of Southern charm and tradition, taking inspiration not only from Southern gardens and flora, but also from quilt making and childhood memories.

Her work has layers of texture and color, much like life anywhere, deeply rich and filled with meaning, memory and secrets.  The bouquets she chooses to paint aren’t necessarily prim and proper, they’re a bit messy and beautiful in their imperfections.

To more work from Christy Kinard, please visit her website and Facebook page.  And while you’re doing the Facebook thing, head over to the Artsy Forager page to check out Christy’s cover art and an album of some of my personal favorites from her portfolio!

All images via the artist’s website.

1 2 3 5