Things are just things, it’s true. Life is about our relationships and what we say and do, yet the objects that we live with become a part of who we are. Artist Kour Pour methodically recreates intricately patterned carpets similar to the ones he grew up with in his father’s England rug shop.
We may not take much notice of those objects that surround us each day, but they become a part of our associations and our memories. It’s why after the death of a loved one it’s so hard to go through their things, to touch those pieces of life that beloved fingers held each day, but will no more. Those objects become a part of our history, as carpets did for Pour, and when we least expect it, those associations may help bring about healing.
To see more of Kour Pour‘s work, please visit his website.
All images via the artist’s website.
In love, as in life, things aren’t always neat and orderly. Emotions go awry, we find ourselves sliding down the rabbit hole of sensitivity, going from sadness to anger to regret to tenderness and back again. These large scale floral paintings by Florida artist Carmelo Blandino capture that undeniable exquisite mess that comes with loving another person.
Paint is applied thick and frenzy-like, just like the whirlwind of those first moments of falling in love, every touch, every minute together is dripping with excitement and overwhelming beauty. Then, as time goes on, we settle into a different kind of messy loveliness, the kind that knows what you look like first thing in the morning, but can’t wait to kiss you anyway. The kind that loves you through your moodiness and emotional outbursts. The kind that fights honestly and fairly and then loves you even more when it is over.
On this Valentine’s Day, I wish you the messiest sort of love, dear Artsies! If you’d like to see more gorgeous flowers by Carmelo Blandino, please visit his website.
All images are via the artist’s website. Artist found via My Modern Met.
If you’re following along on Instagram, you might have noticed a little sneak peek into something I’ve been working on lately. Since starting my #colorforaging2014 project at the beginning of the year, I’ve had more creative energy than ever. And I’ve begun taking full advantage of it. I’ve always worked in a series format ( thanks, Prof. Ladnier for creating that habit! ) and have already completed 5(!) paintings in one series while my mind is pondering, researching, contemplating the beginnings of seven more different series of work.
Early on, my above mentioned college painting prof labeled me a colorist. It’s true, I’ve always been drawn to color and color theory. I’m sure one of my first experiences with color was in admiring the fashion in my favorite curl-up-on-a-Sunday classic films. As a little girl, I imagined myself in those beautiful clothes, becoming those charismatic leading ladies. Then as a grown woman, I’ve found myself analyzing the use of color in the establishment of character– the reasoning why the film’s costume director chose that particular gown in that particular shade for that particular scene. There was a method to all that beautiful madness.
Each series of paintings I have in mind will deal with the psychology and effect of color in some way. For this first series, which I’ve tentatively titled Feminine Wiles, I’m focusing on the fashion of iconic female film characters, especially those used in scenes in which the character is capitalizing on her feminity in some way.
Each piece is a small abstract portrait of that character at the moment and how the character is defined by that particular costume choice. All that intellectual stuff plus I just love pretty dresses and pretty paint..
The first painting in the series is a study of Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. While the character’s series of elegant little black dresses is synonymous with the character, I’ve always been drawn to the pink Givenchy cocktail dress. The character wears this confection while in the midst of wooing her Brazilian millionaire would-be fiancé. She is no longer fashioned as cool and elegant, her style for Jose is warm and feminine and festive. It is such an interesting contrast to the devastation that happens later in the scene.
images found here here and here
Through a sequence of layers in shades of grey, red, purple, pink and white in acrylic on a 6×6 inch canvas panel, I finally came to a point where I felt like I had a representation of my own interpretation of the character in that dress, in that scene.
Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, The Pink Dress by Lesley Frenz
acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6
I’ve always worked on larger canvases in the past but our current vagabond lifestyle doesn’t include much room for storage of bulky canvases. I would love to translate these BIG, but for now, these little studies are proving satisfying. I can’t wait to share more of the Feminine Wiles series with you! Do you have any iconic female film characters to suggest? I have a list of possibilities, but am completely open to suggestion. I’ve been focusing on classic films, but may eventually move into contemporary characters, too. Can you tell I’m having a ball and completely obsessed with this? I hope so, because I totally am!
Art and logo by Lesley Frenz/Artsy Forager, other image sources linked above.
It seems such a shame that we hardly write letters anymore. Especially love letters. There was once a time when a couple’s main source of communication before marriage was the exchange of letters. Putting thoughts and feelings into words, on paper, give them an importance and a permanence– and something to pour over when our love is far away. But then there is something even sweeter about expressing your feelings in a non-verbal way. Brooklyn photographer Graeme Mitchell created a beautiful book of drawings and photographs for his wife-to-be, Molly, presented to her on their wedding day.
The juxtaposition of those little abstract drawings ( perhaps they are a secret short-hand? ) and tender scenes from their life together speak so much love. It’s true that it is in those small moments that our hearts swell most, the every day glimpses of a life built together with the person you love most in the world that fortify us when things get tough.
I imagine that when Mitchell’s wife Molly looks back at this collection of images, she doesn’t think of the spectacle of a wedding day, but of the constant, every moment of every day love her husband expressed without saying a word. Perhaps his gift might inspire you to find ways to express the tenderness you feel to your own loved ones.
To see more of Graeme Mitchell‘s work, please visit his website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
I hope you guys are as into the lovey-doveyness as I am.. if not, maybe this will help get you into the mood come Friday! The work of this month’s featured artist, Jenny Brown, has always reminded me of old-fashioned Victorian valentines. Mr. Forager and I aren’t ones for spending lots of money on Valentine’s Day, we prefer to just take a little extra time and attention with each other. What could be more romantic than simply spending an evening absorbed in all things sensual and gooey-eye inducing?
Here are a few ideas inspired by Jenny’s artwork if you’re having a case of romance block–
listen | edith piaf. The French singer will lull you into the most deliciously romantic mood. It is impossible to not get a little weak in the knees when she sings La Vie En Rose. If you use Pandora, just create an Edith Piaf station and you’ll have mood-setting music all evening long.
read | love poems by pablo neruda. Nobel prize winning poet Pablo Neruda’s writings are filled with intensity and longing. A little dark, maybe, but passion is rarely all goodness and light.
dine | red wine pasta. Everything is better with a little wine.. or a lot of wine! Red wine pasta is made by cooking your choice of noodle in an entire bottle of wine instead of water. The result is a surprisingly light, richly colored dish as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the tastebuds. And of course, you can always re-enact this scene.
drink | chocolate box dark chocolate shiraz Why should the noodles have all the fun? Mr. F and I found this shiraz consistently smooth and rich and velvety and yummy. We bought it all the time when we were in Florida. We’ve yet to find it in the Northwest and believe me, I’ve looked. If we do come across it, you can bet I’ll snatch up a bottle. Or ten. And the best part? Totally affordable. Come to mama.
savor | rose petal dark chocolate Roses are a lovely momento, but sinful and seductive dark chocolate covered in tea roses? Even better.
watch | persuasion There is no shortage of romantic films to put you in a lovey mood. But the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Persuasion remains one of my personal favorites. A tale of a love denied and rekindled, its many sea and sailing references are the perfect complement to Jenny Brown’s romantic sea creatures. And who could resist a love letter that includes the phrase.. “you pierce my soul”. Ah, the fire of suppressed longing in Regency-era England!
Diamonds and over-priced meals out are nothing compared to a little old-fashioned artsy inspired thoughtfulness and meaningful romance on the big V day. How are you planning to keep the home fires burning on Friday?
All image sources linked above.
Sometimes the art world, including myself and this blog, can take themselves just a wee bit too seriously. We agonize over what we want to SAY with our work, it just has to mean something deep and intellectual and philosophical, doesn’t it? Or does it?? What’s that you say? Some artists create just because its fun? You’re telling me this is supposed to be fun? All kidding aside, I do love it when I discover an artist who is creating just for the sheer joy and experimentation of it. In her own words, Portland artist Mana Morimoto states “I simply love making thread beams come out of people’s eyes!“
As it does for so many of us, the act of creating began as therapy for Morimoto, and the joy she found in what she discovered to be a talent is evident in the humor seen in each piece. I wrote a bit last week about art as catharsis and I do believe for myself and so many others, it does provide a non-verbal way of working out what’s going on inside our heads. Or sometimes, it simply provides our minds, hands, and spirits with enough of an enjoyable distraction to put things into perspective.
I don’t wear much pink, I’ve never decorated with it much, but it seems to have some strange kind of power over me ( see blog logo & graphics! ). I find the shade completely irresistible in artwork, and in, well, pretty much everything, about this time every year. I’m going to blame it on succumbing to mass advertising! Ha. You must admit, it is a lovely shade, this shade of love. The color of lips and roses and sunsets, it isn’t any wonder we find it so gosh darn romantic.
image by artsy forager
Here’s a little round up of a few rose-colored favorites from around my Pinterest boards lately..
found here here here here here and here
And just because it’s so fun and one of my favorite movie scenes ever..
What’s your pink passion? Dusty rose? Hot fuchsia? Brilliant magenta?
All image sources linked above.
For some artists, the end product is the goal, but for others, the process of creating, pushing the limits of medium and where that journey takes them is more the target. In his work, Portland artist Justyn Hegreberg explores the reaction of paint against glitter, plastic against canvas.
Given their diminutive size, most being around 5×7 inches, there is a playfulness about these pieces that make them seem like small and lively test samples for a larger project. Which is a huge part of their charm. If they were to be enlarged, these pieces would lose some of their frivolity, gaining in return something labored. It’s that experimental aspect of each piece that is so pleasing– you can almost see him working out the juxtapositions.. so what if I extend the raw canvas here, how about some yellow there?
How about you, Artsies? Are you a final result type of artist or is the process where your joy is found? If you’d like to see more of Justyn Hegreberg‘s work, please check out his website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
Do you truly remember what it was like to be a completely innocent child? Free from guile and not yet succumbed to the pressures of the adult world? For so many, that innocence is taken away at a younger and younger age. This series of photographs by French artist Isabelle Chapuis illustrates the striking juxtaposition between the push and pull of childhood innocence and the lurking aggression of adulthood beneath the surface.
When left to their own devices and free from outside pressure, kids will be kids. All they want to do is play games, eat candy, enjoy and revel in a world without responsibility. But in so many cultures, including our own, children are being raised with the expectation of becoming tiny versions of the adults by whom they are surrounded. The overachieving mom expects her daughter to excel in every way, the young boy growing up around gang culture finds it hard to buck against those influences.
There is a sadness about these photographs, even when the boy is taking a more “aggressive” stance, it seems to be a putting on of an act– there is a true feeling of reluctance and hesitation in each photo. He seems to be a boy who is being coerced into a world in which he doesn’t belong, a child who only wants to enjoy the sweetness of life while it is still possible to do so. Adulthood comes calling soon enough, unfortunately sooner for some than others.
To see more of Isabelle Chapuis’ work, please visit her website.
All images are via the artist’s website.
Occasionally, Mr. F will wake up and unknowingly be mad at me for something I did in one of his dreams. It’s only after being awake for a bit that he realizes that what he is remembering never actually took place. Just last night, I had a similar dream about him and had to stop myself from carrying those feeling on into our day. Funny how much what happens while we’re sleeping can affect us, isn’t it? These paintings by Kristen Schiele remind me of what my subconscious must be like– not orderly and sensible, but filled with hints and tokens of seemingly unrelated moments.
These pieces are dream-like in their mash-up of elements, jumping from here to there just as our subconscious does in slumber. I often awake wondering– where did that come from?? Sometimes it seems like we’re trying to work out our waking life in our dreams, or perhaps the past comes back more vividly when we aren’t consciously trying to resurrect it.
To see more of Kristen Schiele‘s work, please visit her website. Have a fabulous weekend, Artsies! I’m looking forward to lots of dream-time!
All images via the artist’s website.