Tribes. Erica Lambertson.

It can be a struggle to find your people.  When we’re young and not yet fully who we are meant to be, we often find ourselves in the midst of people simply because they are the ones that are around or because of a longing to be cool, popular, etc.  And life can still be that way.  On social media and in the blog world especially, we’re bombarded with images of the “cool kids” doing amazing things, enjoying success.  It can make us long to be a part of their pack.

Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Erica Lambertson | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart

But what I’ve learned, and believe me it’s taken a long time, is that there is a group of people that will get you.  And those who don’t can be fun to hang with occasionally, but they aren’t your people.  Your people, your tribe, are the ones who hold your hand through thick and thin, who get your jokes, who understand your passions.  They are out there.

Featured artwork by New Orleans artist Erica Lambertson.  See more of Erica’s work on her website.

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

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Outskirts. Ian McLean.

A sense of belonging.  We grow up seeking it.  From the start, we are a part of our family, but as we grow and mature, we look outside of those familiar faces to find our community.  For some, it happens quickly and remains unchanged, for others it fluctuates with time and seasons and the search is a longer, more arduous effort.  These paintings by Ian McClean seem to be manifestations of that feeling of being on the outside, trying to find your way in or perhaps, deciding whether you’d like to go in at all.

Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Ian McLean | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

 

We all know what it’s like, that dissatisfaction with where you are but the uncertainty of exactly where you belong.  In younger years, it seems easy to find “our people”, circumstances often do it for us.  But as we move through life and decide for ourselves where and how we spend our time, finding where we belong becomes more of a challenge.  To a certain extent we’ll all feel like a square peg in a round hole, maybe forever.  Could that be so that we’ll never get too comfortable?

To see more of Ian McLean‘s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Dazzling. Kristi Hager.

For the past two weeks, even before the official arrival of Spring, the scent of jasmine has permeated the air here in Marin County.  Mr. F and I breathe it in and count ourselves lucky to be in this place!  The array of blooms here has been breathtaking.  Doesn’t it always seem as if the first flowers of spring are exploding with excitement?  Like they’ve just been itching all winter long to dazzle you with their color and scent.

Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography Kristi Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #flowers #photography

 

And dazzle they do.  And dazzle we don’t do often enough.  Why?  Because we’re so worn down by the monotony of life.  Go to work, cook dinner, take the kids to soccer.  Rinse, repeat.  We don’t allow ourselves the freedom to sparkle.  To find that moment to feel worthy of shining.  The flowers know their worth.  Why don’t you?

Photography featured today by Kristi Hager.  To see more of Kristi’s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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Artsy Reads. The Painter by Peter Heller.

I’ve been reading mostly artist and art professionals biographies lately, but I do love a beefy novel, especially one in which an artist is the central character.  So when I was offered a copy of The Painter by Peter Heller for review, I jumped at the chance!

This was not only my first novel in a while, but also the first I’ve read of any of Heller’s work.  The Painter is, on the surface, the story of a man battling his own demons, creating chaos and tragedy in his wake, but finding a version of peace in the end.  But it is also a portrait of an artist– all his flaws, his humanity, and how he works through his story with paint on canvas.

Heller_The painter cover

 

In the beginning, the narrator and main character Jim Stegner ( loosely based on Taos artist Jim Wagner ) painting himself swimming in an ocean of women.  As the story moves on, the paintings move into darker places, nearly exploding from his hand in a need to make sense of what is happening.  The narrative is mostly a succinct, Hemingwayesque style but it is in those painting passages that I got the most caught up.

Heller’s story of creating chaos and finding peace, for me, takes a back seat to his portrait of the painter.  Those long descriptions of the way a painting comes to being– from the formation of an idea, the need to bring it to canvas, sketching out the idea, then becoming completely absorbed by bringing it to life and not even realizing what you’ve done until it is all over– will ring true and familiar for anyone who has ever painted from the soul.

The Painter is a gripping story and authentic depiction of the conflict of the artist and the world in which he lives.  Alas, as we travel, I can’t carry too many books around!  If you think you’d enjoy reading The Painter  post your favorite artist biography in the comments and I’ll draw a name this Friday 3.27.15 and send my copy to the winner!  US residents, only, please.

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Intersections. Jenny Hager.

Mr. F and I rely heavily on GPS.  After all, we’re usually living in a new place every three months!  For the first week or so, we use it to navigate every where we go.  Eventually we get to know our paths and crossways and are able to find our way without electronic aid.  In the meantime, we make a lot of wrong turns even with help.  The work of Los Angeles artist Jenny Hager has me thinking about intersecting paths and the directions we follow.

Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jenny Hager | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

The roads we think will get us to our destination– the paths that seem most logical, often lead  to a dead end or the opposite direction.  Then sometimes there is only one way to go.  We take that street and follow it until we reach its conclusion.  Those are the easiest journeys.  The ones where we find our path and simply follow.  But it can be in the twists and turns, in the turning this way when we are supposed to go that way, in which we find a destination we didn’t even know we wanted to discover.

To see more of Jenny Hager‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Place. Rebecca Clews.

Every place we land has a different personality, a different vibe, if you will.  Yeesh, I just used the word vibe.  Methinks I’ve been in California too long!  The same way there is a person for everyone, there also is a place for every soul.  In her work, Kansas City photographer Rebecca Clews uses microphotography to create imaginary worlds, her own sense of place.

Rebecca Clews | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Rebecca Clews | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Rebecca Clews | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Rebecca Clews | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Rebecca Clews | artsy forager #art #artists #photography

 

You can tell the folks who have found their place because they will tell you it is the most beautiful wonderful place ever and you’ll never find one like it and but wait, why in the world would you not want to live here, too??  It’s true each place has it’s beauties but in order to know which spot of earth is The One for you, it has to touch your soul.  If you aren’t there, you’re longing to be back.  If you haven’t found it yet, you’ll know it deep inside when you do.  I hope.

To see more of Rebecca Clews‘ work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Glimpses. Trent Call.

Every day whether through face to face interactions or social media, we get tiny peeks into the lives of other people.  And often, through those small glimpses, we make conclusions about who they are.  Truthfully, we make judgements.

Trent Call | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Trent Call | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Trent Call | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Trent Call | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings Trent Call | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings

So and so always seems to be on vacation, where do they come up with the money?  That woman dragging her kids through the grocery store at 8pm, shouldn’t those kids be in bed?  But when we’re only offered slices of the truth, it is impossible to know the whole picture.

In the obscured blurriness of these paintings by Salt Lake City artist Trent Call we see just enough of the story to attempt a conclusion.  But is the answer we find the right one?  Is it really what we see or our own version of the truth?

All images via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Juxtapoz.

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Focus. Ori Gersht.

We like to whine and complain that we’re so busy, we have no time for fun anymore, wah wah wah!  I know I’m guilty.  But the truth is we do have time.  We just don’t give it to ourselves.  We choose where to place our attention and too many times it is on the things we truly care about the least.  In his Exploding Mirrors series, photographer Orly Gersht  captures what the camera sees as the mirrored reflections of flower arrangements explode.  And what the camera focuses on is truly telling.

Ori Gersht | artsy forager #art #artists #photography #fineart #contemporaryart Ori Gersht | artsy forager #art #artists #photography #fineart #contemporaryart Ori Gersht | artsy forager #art #artists #photography #fineart #contemporaryart Ori Gersht | artsy forager #art #artists #photography #fineart #contemporaryart Ori Gersht | artsy forager #art #artists #photography #fineart #contemporaryart

 

As the glass breaks ( electrocuted to the point of explosion ), the camera focuses not on the beautiful arrangements of flowers, modeled after paintings by Jan Brueghel the Elder, but on the surface of the glass itself.  The lens picks up what is happening most immediately in front of it.  Unlike us, it doesn’t choose its focus.  It can’t block out the chaos in the foreground to focus on the beauty in the background.  What really strikes me is that it is that false surface that changes– the beauty remains unchanged.  Yet the camera’s capture of the exploding surface fragments and destroys it.  Ignore that surface.  The good stuff is safe and waiting.

To see more of Ori Gersht‘s work, please visit CRG Gallery’s website.

All images via the CRG Gallery website.  Artist found via DesignMilk.

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Loosing. Janet Lage.

Nope, I didn’t mean losing.  That’s not a typo.  Loosing– as in, letting go, loosening the reins, giving some slack.  I’m not the best at the loosing thing.  And it shows in my work sometimes.  I become regimented and have a hard time letting go and just going with the flow.  When I saw these pieces in the Trashed series by Janet Lage, I immediately admired their seemingly “I don’t give f*** attitude“.

Janet Lage | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Janet Lage | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Janet Lage | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Janet Lage | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Janet Lage | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

The splats of bright color, the twisted, energetic lines, the barely comprehensible scrawls, it’s like she is looking into the inside of what all our minds really look like.  Aren’t we all just filled with chaos, contemplation, and contradiction?  Maybe that’s why so many of us need help with the loosing.  We’re struggling nearly every second to keep what seems like interior pandemonium from spilling out, ruining our calm, controlled facade.  Or maybe that’s just me. Ha.

To see more of Janet Lage‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Broken. Brian Rochefort.

When my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year, I kept coming back to a photograph I had taken of a sand dollar that summer.  You see, when we were growing up, my mom had a thing for seashells and sand dollars.  She loved hunting for those little treasures on our Florida beaches and our house was filled with them.  The sand dollar from my California beach was beautifully bleached and perfectly round, but with a gaping hole in its center.  For me, the sand dollar was my mom– her beauty and grace was intact but her shell was broken.

Brian Rochefort | artsy forager #art #artists #sculptureWhen faced with the mortality of our parents, it drives home our own vulnerability.  In my mom’s weakness and helplessness, I saw my own– how scared I was sometimes to be alone with her, fearful that something could happen and I wouldn’t know what to do for her.  Next to losing her, it was my biggest fear.  Not being enough.  Not being able.

One particularly weak day, she wasn’t doing well and had taken herself into the bathroom.  I didn’t hear any noises out of the ordinary, but when I came in a few minutes later to check on her, she was on the bathroom floor.  Thankfully not hurt in any way, but so weak that she couldn’t lift herself up.  And I wasn’t strong enough to lift her from the floor.  We tried and tried, but even together we couldn’t do it.  I was afraid of hurting her and she was afraid of me getting hurt trying to lift her.  So we called my stepdad and we waited.  For what seemed like an eternity.

Brian Rochefort | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture

Brian Rochefort | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture

We both shed a lot of tears that day.  Most of mine came when I was back at my brother’s house, alone before the rest of the family came home.  The weight of what could have happened came down on me, along with a tremendous feeling of relief and thankfulness that what could have happened– didn’t.  But it had been there in that moment, more so than any other I spent with her, that I felt how vulnerable she was, how much this ugly disease had broken her beautiful shell.

Brian Rochefort | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture
Brian Rochefort | artsy forager #art #artists #sculpture

She’s doing better these days.  Still fighting this beast with all the strength her now tiny body can muster.  When we talk she sounds more like herself than she has in months.  I hear a hope in her voice and it gives me hope, a feeling that has sometimes eluded me through this process.  As impossibly difficult as it has been, she has not let it break her.  Her shell is different, but her spirit is still the same.

Ceramic cups featured today are by Los Angeles based artist Brian Rochefort.  I found an incredible beauty in their cracked and broken shells.  To see more of Brian’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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