Instagram has changed the way we see the world. OK, maybe that’s giving the ubiquitous photo sharing app too much credit. But perhaps it has unleashed in many of us the desire to capture not only what we see, but how we see. The “candy colored minimalism” of photographer Matt Crump gives us a glimpse into one way of seeing the world around us.
I’ve found myself thinking about the way we edit and filter our experiences through the photographs we post. Often when Mr. F and I are out hiking or taking in a particularly moving scene, I reach for my camera or phone, but know as I snap the shutter that what I feel in that moment won’t be captured with the lens alone.
On the other hand, are we being conditioned to appreciate and applaud the manipulated version of life more than the natural? Or perhaps we are drawn to images like these for their transformative and transporting effect? Maybe it isn’t a question of one or another. And that’s OK.
To see more of Matt Crump‘s work, please visit his website and follow him on Instagram.
Artist found via I Need a Guide. All images are via the artist’s website.
I stil vividly remember spending days with my mom, sister-in-law, and grandfather going through my grandmother’s things after she was gone. How very adamantly he wanted her things to go on in this life, even when she did not. I’m not as attached to material things as I once was, yet when a person has lived with and used and touched objects I do believe they become sort of intertwined with that person’s spirit for a time.
We each have different ways of interacting with the things around us– from the way we set the table to the way we hang ( or don’t hang ) up our towels. My grandmother’s clothes, while jammed into every available closet space, where meticulously well cared for and carried her scent long after she no longer wore them.
After a loved one is gone, we want to cling to every precious memory and momento. Even the most insignificant little object can carry with it great meaning. But as time goes by, the memories don’t fade, yet our need to grasp those objects close often does. It’s as if our loved ones spirit hangs about as a comfort to us for a while and, when we are ready, it gently lets us go.
These still life paintings by Erin Raedeke brought to life for me this concept of a memorial and spiritual attachment to things and the unique way we interact with not just the things we use each day, but how we use material things to remember the people we love.
To see more of Erin Raedeke’s work, please visit her website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
As I type this post, I feel keenly aware of the quiet around me. The hum of the refrigerator and the occasional noise from the street above are the only sounds meeting my ears. How often do we allow this type of quiet in our days? The elimination of modern noise is one thing that we love about hiking and backpacking. While living in Seattle, it was especially noticeable when we got out of the cacophony of the city and up into the tranquility of the mountains. In his work, Northern California artist Leslie Kenneth Price takes his inspiration from the natural world and serves up work that draws us into the teeming life happening in the quiet that surrounds our noise.
I happened upon the Price’s work when visiting Sewell Gallery back in April and loved it, keeping it in the back of my mind ever since. A peek at his website recently found me falling deeply in love with this new series of paintings, Verano. His use of color, movement, and texture alone are enough to draw me in, but in listening to the artist talk of the influence of nature on his work truly resonated with my own experience and spirit.
I found myself nodding along and thinking, yes,that’s exactly how I feel! over and over again. A true artistic soulmate.
To see more of the work of Leslie Kenneth Price, please visit his website.
All images & video are via the artist’s website.
Like any other couple, Mr. F and I talk a lot about our future. One frequent topic of discussion these days is our future home. To build or not to build. What does our ideal home look like? Maybe I’ll just convince Mr. F to base our design on one of these collages by New York artist Ryan Sarah Murphy.
Using found cardboard on book pages, Murphy fashions these abstract collage constructions that seem one part architectural rendering, one part abstract painting. The torn edges lending a landscape quality, making them like grounded fantasies. I’ll take the second from the top, please!
Find more of Ryan Sarah Murphy‘s work on her website and get a peek inside her process by following her on Instagram.
All images are via the artist’s website.
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.
I’m still here!
As Christmas nears and I’m finally settling back into life with Mr. Forager, I thought I would check in with you, dear Artsies, and let you know what’s been happening over the last few months.
First of all, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the sweet and thoughtful comments, messages, and emails. They truly were a balm for my soul and often came at the times when I needed them most.
Going home was harder than I ever imagined it would be. My mom’s initial reaction to the super strong doses of chemo left her body incredibly weak and thin. I wish I could say that improved while I was there. The stress of watching my mom struggle, of watching her decline, and being away from my dear husband made for an emotional few months.
I think Mr. F and I underestimated how difficult it would be for us to be apart. To go through those emotions each day may have been a bit more bearable had I been able to go home to my own bed and the arms of my husband every night. So mid-November, we decided to set a date for me to return home. My mom and I had already talked about it, she knew I couldn’t stay forever. Just as I know that she won’t be here forever.
The week before my flight, Mom’s oncologist determined that she needed to halt chemo treatment. Although it was working to a degree, the chemo was doing her body more harm than good. So we made Thanksgiving a very special day, surrounded her with her favorite foods and people and traditions. A CT scan was to be done on the next Tuesday, and I left the following Friday. Unfortunately, the CT scan showed an inoperable mass on her liver. My mom is left with two options for further treatment and the option to stop treatment altogether. The odds aren’t good for either of the treatment options. Depending on her decision, I may be headed back to Florida early next year.
But for now, I’m back in California with Mr. F. Enjoying our time together and waiting. Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers!
Hope to be back in full swing soon. Hope your holidays are filled with love!
Hiya, Artsies! Artist Candice Smith Corby recently took a group of students on a little artsy tour of Venice and is here to share her experience with you! I’ll be checking in and letting you know what’s been happening in my world soon, I promise. Without further adieu, here’s Candice!
I was delighted when asked to do a guest post for the Artsy Abroad column!
Recently, my colleague, Bill Pettit, and I led a cultural and artistic tour in Venice, Italy. We’ve been partnering up over the last couple of years through our arts collective, The Bottega, to offer fresco painting in Italy for students, as well as collaborate on projects that revolve around our shared interest in pigment and material origins. With the sea being so influential, we decided that watercolor painting and the cuisine of the Veneto region would be ideal themes for our workshop in Venice. It was also a great opportunity for us to share what we love- art, travel and good food!
Venice or La Serenissima as it is lovingly known, is magical and undoubtedly one of the most serene cities in the world. There are no cars on the island and you quickly become accustomed to a more humane speed of life than we are normally used to. The pulse of the city, which actually feels much more like a large close-knit town, is dictated by your own heartbeat. Everyone walks, especially Venetians, and even though the Grande Canal is a highway of motorized boat traffic, the hundreds of small interlacing canals are quiet and much less travelled. The combination of silent footsteps, a slower pace, and an ancient city plan with its small-scale architecture, makes it easy to suspend time.
In addition to sampling the local flavor of Venetian dishes and expressing a particular moment through paint, we also wanted to offer an experience beyond a typical tourist’s visit to Venice. Piazza San Marco was certainly on our list but the surprises found around an empty corner or the restaurant where all the gondoliers seemed to be having lunch were our favorite finds.
We avoided the crowds and chose canals with their small bridges to sit and paint the light as it changed across the water’s surface.
The act of observing with all of your senses while you are painting alfresco can whet your appetite and we enjoyed finding a nearby bàcari for cicchetti and a Spritz to rejuvenate ourselves. [A bàcari is a small wine bar to have cicchetti, which are little plates of yummy food. A typical drink is the Venetian Spritz- made with prosecco and a splash of Aperol.]
Our workshop also allowed us to share our personal research and experiments on historical pigments, which often have direct links to ingredients in the kitchen; such as the way chicken bones can be fire roasted and ground to make a bone white pigment. With the sea nearby, we chose to show how the ink sac from a cuttlefish (or seppia in Italian) has been used for Sepia ink for hundreds of years and is also commonly used as a food colorant. We spent the morning visiting and painting at the famous Rialto markets where we also gathered ingredients for a communal dinner. Later that night, Bill and I made our guests various dishes such as fried anchovies and sardines, octopus salad, and of course Risotto al Nero di Seppia.
In addition, artist Luca de Gaetano who teaches at Boston University’s Venice studio arts program graciously invited us to spend an afternoon talking about natural pigments including cochineal, verdigris, and saffron, while doing an egg tempera demonstration.
Our last day was spent visiting a couple of the other islands in the lagoon. Although we ended with Murano, famous for its glass-blowing factories, we began on quiet Torcello. The original inhabitants of Venice settled here and you will find their marvelous Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta preserved there. It dates from the 6th century with glorious 9th century mosaics that feel oddly medieval and contemporary at the same time. As we all painted in the courtyard, each of us immersed in the pleasure of looking, we were acutely aware of the layered centuries that surrounded us.
Perhaps because it was our final day together, or because the sunlight was perfectly warm, and perhaps because we all realized how lucky we were, this was the highlight of our tour. To quote one of our participants–
“I see it as a movie, with disparate characters, a lot of philosophy, wit and humor,…culminating in Torcello, where the meaning of life, destiny, faith, and human interaction at its best was evident in our conversation, silent and vocal communication. What a gift!”
While next year the world famous Biennale will be part of our itinerary, we’ll continue to take you off the beaten track, letting the magic of Venice slow you down to paint a sunrise over the lagoon, listen to un-ending church bells, and discover your own newfound delicacy from the sea.
Thank you so much, Candice for sharing your Venetian experience! I don’t know about you, Artsies, but I’m ready to book my 2015 trip this minute! For more information on The Bottega and next year’s trip, check out The Bottega website and look for updates on their Facebook page.
Images courtesy of The Bottega and Emily Cure.
If you’ve been following the blog for awhile, you may recognize the work of our December Featured Artist. Not only have I featured the work of Anna Kincaide on the blog several times, but she’s also one of the artists I selected for my Artsy Forager print collection for Mantle Art.
I have always had a fascination with the glamorous era of Cary Grant and his contemporaries, where Anna draws much of the inspiration for her fashion forward paintings. The way she isolates her figures against color-blocked or patterned backgrounds kind of make them feel like they have been lifted from the silver screen or fashion magazine and found themselves in the midst of a painting. Which, if you think about it, is not such a bad place to be!
To see more of Anna Kincaide‘s work, please visit her website. Her prints in my Mantle Art collection are perfect for gift giving, too– you can even choose a custom frame right on their site! Easy peasy. Follow along on Artsy Forager social media to see more of Anna’s work all December long!
All images are via the artist’s website.
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.
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.
by Stephanie Clark
The scale of the Spiral Jetty tends to fluctuate depending on where the viewer happens
to be. Size determines an object, but scale determines art. A crack in the wall if viewed
in terms of scale, not size, could be called the Grand Canyon. A room could be made to
take on the immensity of the solar system. Scale depends on one’s capacity to be
conscious of the actualities of perception.
From the center of the Spiral Jetty
North—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
North by East—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Northeast by North—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Northeast by East—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
East by North—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
East—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
East by South—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Southeast by East—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Southeast by South—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
South by East—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
South—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
South by West—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Southwest by South—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Southwest by West—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
West by South—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
West—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
West by North—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Northwest by West—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
Northwest by North—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
North by West—Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water
-The Spiral Jetty (Arts of the Environment, edited by
Gyorgy Kepes, 1972) as written by Robert Smithson from
The Writings of Robert Smithson. Edited by Nancy Holt,
After driving from New Mexico to Colorado, and through the night into Utah, the morning was clear as we made our way through golden fields. Hawks flew overhead, landing on fence posts. We drove onward onto graveled dirt roads, stopping the car to run on these roads and stretch our legs and arms in the expanse surrounding us. The September sky was crisp and clean.
We drove on as the red road curved.
We saw no one.
Finally, in the distance a blueish gray line paralleled a pink line below it. Spiral Jetty was just below these visible lines. It appeared small from our aerial view. We parked and the three of us parted ways, bounding up the hill above, or toward the salt flats below. Everything was bright as the sun radiated off of the films of salt that covered the land.
“Mud, salt crystals, rocks, water”, as Robert Smithson described in his 1972 essay on Spiral Jetty, were in every direction.
Our dog ran far into the distance. A red dot running as if she were born to, yet at some point, the smell of salt became noxious for her senses. The salt was much too potent for her keen sense of smell. She came sprinting back to me and we walked Spiral Jetty together slowly and calculated.
Darting back up the hillside, I set up my studio on the rocks near the car—which provided some minimal shade from the glaring sun. Here I painted.
Figures appeared on the salt flats below. Appearing to be hiking in from another field. After some time three travelers appeared also via car. One man and two women, all from Belgium were curious about us. They were impressed by how very much our dog appeared to “enjoy art” and upon us asking revealed that they were taking a land art tour of the Southwest. I mentioned Erin Hogan’s book, Spiral Jetta, which was a resource for us as we planned our trip to Spiral Jetty and previously to Marfa, Texas.
After being in the bright sun and intense heat from early morning until mid-afternoon we decided to move on. The colors of the salt flats had shifted displaying more pinks and washed out Payne’s grays than the deep silvers and slate blues of the morning.
We moved on.
Thank you so much, Stephanie, for sharing your experience of painting at Spiral Jetty! I think I’ll start planning my own land art tour ASAP!
Images by Stephanie Clark and Andrew Yost.