Wafting Serenity: Laura E. Pritchett

It seems that spring in Eureka is a very windy season.  The sun is shining and from our cozy apartment, it looks deceptively warm.  But upon stepping outside we’re quickly reminded that we are in a transitional season– the air still has a chill and the warmth of stillness is welcome.   The breezes blow and scatter fallen leaves, branches and petals, but at the same time, they are carrying away the grey and damp of winter, ushering in the peace and warmth of the coming summer.  In her Room to Breathe series, artist Laura E. Pritchett explores the magical  influence of a breath of air.

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Pritchett has made a big splash in the Instagram world with her breathtakingly beautiful photography– studies of light, air, and seasons ( follow her IG feed here for regular doses of serene inspiration ).  While perhaps more well known for her photography, these paintings  translate the same quiet wistfulness found throughout her work.  You can almost feel the soft breeze as it wafts up, up, and away, taking with it cares and troubles.

To see more of Laura E. Pritchett’s work, please visit her website and do yourself a favor and follow @bythebrush on Instagram!  ( And @artsyforager, too, if you aren’t already.. ;-) ).

All images are via the artist’s website.

Long For This World: Rebecca Reeve

Some people are urbanites.  And I used to think I might be one.  But then we lived in Seattle for three months ( and not even in a super-urban neighborhood! ), and I quickly confirmed that while I love and occasionally need a visit to a concrete jungle, the city just isn’t me.  Give me trees and an unobstructed view across the landscape and my heart is at peace.  In her series, Marjory’s World, New York photographer Rebecca Reeve captures the experience of our loss of connection to the natural world.

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Taking inspiration from the 1800s Dutch practice of covering mirrors, landscape paintings and portraits, Reeve chose to point her lens toward the disappearing landscape of the Florida Everglades.  Using household drapery to frame each scene, the photographer reminds us of our continuing forsaking and consumption of the natural world.

To see more of Rebecca Reeve‘s work, please visit her website.  Happy weekend, Artsies!  Mr. F and I are planning to immerse ourselves in the magnificence of the Redwoods a bit this weekend.  Hope you can get out and enjoy the beauty around you.

All images via the artist’s website.

Finding My Own Artsy: Feminine Wiles, Painting Four

Another week, another painting in my Feminine Wiles series to share with you!  Feminine Wiles is a series of small abstract color studies based on iconic female film characters.  My introduction to many of these films and characters came through my mom, with whom I share a love of sappy love stories, witty characters, and gorgeous design.  One of her favorite character turns ( and mine!! ) is Barbara Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.

FMO_Funny Girl collage

images found here here here and here

I’ve always loved the palette of this film– filled with warm earthy browns and oranges, highlighted with delicate pinks and passionate reds– but when thinking about this project, I was struck by the reoccurring use of lavender hues on and around Fanny.  Of course, this could have something to do with how the cool hues so beautifully compliment Streisand’s creamy complexion!  But I like to think that costume designer Irene Sharaff and the production team were delicately clueing the audience in to the fact that the character of this young girl from Henry Street was destined for greatness.

Frenz_Barbra Streisand as Fanny Bryce

 Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl by Lesley Frenz

acrylic on canvas panel, 6×6

Purples hues are often associated with royalty, riches and power.  So it isn’t surprising that Fanny would often assume a lavender glow.  She was a star, but unlike Jo Stockton, one of her own making.  She was confident in her talent and passionate in her pursuit of fame and stardom, even at personal loss.

FMO_Funny Girl collage with painting

Funny Girl still found here

In the end, despite setbacks and heartache, Fanny perseveres and shows that the strong will always survive.  I’ve always thought there were great lessons to be learnt from Funny Girl– of tenacity, talent, love, humility and perseverance.  Oh and let’s not forget that unbelievably beautiful voice!

To see more from the Feminine Wiles series, check out the archives here.  Next week, a polarizing character and one of the most iconic!  Hint: drapery.

Film image sources linked above, art images by Lesley Frenz.

Lavish Simplicty: Miya Ando

As many artists know, much of the time, art making is a matter of knowing when enough is enough.  Or even when enough is just a bit too much.  In her work, New York artist Miya Ando is creating pure moments of simply just enough.

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By working in a process in which she hand-dyes metallic surfaces, Ando creates pieces with an incredible sense of stillness and light.  Translucent layers of color reflect not just the light without but the light within.  By keeping the compositions simple, the work is free from distraction, allowing the viewer to fall into its spell, to meditate on the purity of color and transformative power of light.

To see more of Miya Ando‘s work, please visit her website and be sure to follow her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.

Here the artist speak about her work in this video interview–

Teaser – MIYA ANDO from Tricycle on Vimeo.

All images are via the artist’s website.

Artsy Lately: Ryan Coleman

I follow every artist ever featured on Artsy Forager on various social media platforms, which helps me keep an eye on what’s new & wonderful coming out of their studios.  Recently, Atlanta artist Ryan Coleman has been cranking out some staggeringly stunning stuff!! Coleman_UltraDeepField3_18x24_2014 Coleman_UltraDeepField2_final_18x24_2014 Coleman_Reverie1 Coleman_Eclipse Tiffany_18x24_Nov2013 Coleman_eclipse_rainbow_18x24_2014 I first featured Ryan’s work in the Fall of 2011 and over the past few years, it has been such a pleasure to watch his work evolve.  His work consistently has the most amazing light and energy, but these days, there is a more graphic element coming into play that adds incredible depth to the compositions.  He is also playing with the push and pull of negative and positive spaces and I just can’t get enough of it all! To see more of Ryan Coleman’s work, please visit his website, where you can purchase originals as well as prints of Ryan’s work.  And be sure to follow him on Facebook, Instagram,  etc! All images via the artist’s website.

Chasing the Light: Zaria Forman

Do you ever think about what kind of legacy you will leave behind?  I’m not thinking of material wealth or possessions, but the impact that your life will have had on the people who’ve known you?  It’s a sobering thought, to be sure, to contemplate what your impact will have been.  Brooklyn artist Zaria Forman ‘s series Chasing the Light is the culmination of the impact of a mother’s dream on her daughter.

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The artist’s mother originally conceived the idea to lead an art expedition up the Northwest Coast of Greenland, the only other expedition here of this kind not done since 1869.  Illness overtook her mother and the daughter kept her promise to carry on with the expedition.

The hyperreal pastel drawings of the disappearing glacial landscape remind us that we are continually impacting the world around us, whether we are aware of it or not.  These monumental mountains of ice are slowly melting away, perhaps forever.  We are losing a loved one, gradually, reluctantly.

To see more of Zaria Forman‘s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

Design Foraging: Ladies & Gentlemen Studio

I have a great love for wind chimes.  My paternal grandfather used to fashion his own from aluminum pipes and every time I hear breezy chimes, I’m transported back to summer days in the cool grass of my grandparents’ backyard.  So when I spotted these Aura Chimes by Seattle based design house Ladies & Gentlemen Studio ( in collaboration with artist Nicholas Nyland ) on The Jealous Curator, I just had to share them with you!

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Handmade in small edition, each chime is unique, made of metal, wood, and leather components complimenting Nicholas Nyland ceramic pieces.  Such a lovely modern take on an ancient ornament!

To see purchase or see more work by Ladies & Gentlemen Studio, please visit their website!

All images via the Ladies & Gentlemen Studio website.

Chaotic Abundance: Katherine Mann

We all seem to seek peace and quiet.  An escape from the chaos.  And yes, its true, we do need those times of rest and rejuvenation.  But sometimes it is in the chaos that we find our strengths, what we are really made of, that hone what we are all about.  The abstract works of Washington, DC artist Katherine Mann are incredible clashes of material run wild and moments of fastidious control.

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Each piece begins with a spill of color, an organic beginning to work that shifts between careful discipline and perceived pandemonium.  They almost have a feeling of accidental abandonment, as if a pot of paint was spilled over a meticulously wrought drawing.  I say almost because you can see that each is a mastery of composition– every placement of line, color and shape providing just the right compliment and contrast.

To see more of Katherine Mann‘s work, please visit her website.  PS– I posted larger images than I normally do for artist features because these are human-scaled works– check out that last installation image for scale!  Amazing.

All images via the artist’s website.

Meaning & Myth: Louis St. Lewis

It’s easy to look at the past through a utopian filter, usually fueled by too many historical novels and costume dramas.  We’re often shown worlds filled with richness, decadence and graceful living.  But under all the frills and frippery lie the other side of riches– the backs upon which the wealth is gained, those who serve, and ultimately, the problems caused by overabundance.  The work of artist Louis St. Lewis touches on the themes of decadence, privilege and the myth of history.

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I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of watching one too many Jane Austen movies, finding myself wishing I could have been born into aristocratic 19th Century privilege rather than 20th Century middle class.  Oh to have the luxury of being a “lady”!  With a lady’s maid at my bidding and all the time in the world to read, paint, sew, dance and all the other proper skills a lady must possess.  But then there were always little hints to break the facade of carefree privilege– the pressure to marry “up”, to bear sons, the boredom of not being able to pursue what may truly be of interest.

Mr. F and I just last night were talking about what being “rich” might mean.  For us, it would mean freedom– freedom to travel, to spend our lives doing exactly what we want to do when we want to do it.  But with that freedom must come an incredible burden and responsibility, too.  Perhaps it is best that we remain solidly middle class.  We live a life of privilege by the standards of most of the world’s population and we do have freedom– the freedom to chose to live our lives in the way we choose.  It is a mythological goal, but one that is definitely attainable with vision and sacrifice.

To see more of the work of Louis St. Lewis, please visit his website.  You can see his work in New Orleans at one of my favorite galleries, Gallery Orange!

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

Fragile Figures: Angelica Garcia

Remember the old days, when all your photographs were on paper and were precious and fragile?  If you’ve ever had a photo destroyed by heat or liquid, you know what I’m talking about.  The once familiar image becomes distorted, a face we knew now obliterated.  The work of Venezuelan photographer Angelica Garcia reminds us that though our photographs can now be “backed up” and last forever, their subjects are still fragile and fading.

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The photographer manipulates each photograph, not with digital software, but hand manipulates each one post printing.  Purposefully distorting and abstracting each figure, we are left with ghostly apparitions of what was once.  The plainclothes style of each figure makes them universal and relatable,  someone we might have known.

To see more of Angelica Garcia‘s work, please visit her see.me page.

All images via the artist’s see.me page.  Artist found via The Artful Desperado.

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