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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Transparency. Sarah Irvin.

In this world of sharing every tidbit of our lives, transparency can be a blessing and a curse.  A recent blog post by artist Emily Jeffords and these ink paintings by Sarah Irvin brought to mind a situation that came up for me recently and I thought I would share my experience with you.  It was one in which I was transparent in my sharing, thoughts, and motives, which helped me to be understood clearly, but at the same time, has made me a bit more guarded.

Sarah Irvin | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

If you’re a regular AF reader or social media follower, then you know that in the past year, I’ve been painting regularly for the first time in a very long time.  Basically since college lo’ those many years ago!  I’ve been trying to find my way and find my voice artistically and shared my progress here but mostly on social media.  I finally felt like maybe I was beginning to hit on something when in a few pieces I began to notice a similarity to an artist’s work I greatly admire.  And then the panic hit.

Sarah Irvin | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

This artist and I, thankfully, are online friends ( we’ve yet to be in the same place at the same time to meet in person ) and I had a feeling she had seen the similarities, too.  I wrestled with whether or not to say anything but finally determined that the best course was– you guessed it, transparency.

Sarah Irvin | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

I sent the artist an open, honest email letting her know that I was in no way intentionally trying to copy her style.  In generosity of spirit, she reassured me that although she’d noticed, she knew it couldn’t be intentional.  As artists we are all influenced by the other work we see, we can’t help but be.  We are all taking cues from those who came before.

Sarah Irvin | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

Through this exchange, the artist gave me a piece of advice that I’ve been trying to take to heart.  She counseled me to perhaps pull back on sharing work until I felt sure that the direction the work was taking was where I wanted to go and felt uniquely my own.  Transparency in this case led to a pulling down of the veil, if only temporarily.

Sarah Irvin | artsy forager #art #artists #abstractart

 

I am more guarded now, in what I share on public media– not for fear of someone else copying me, as more successful artists often are for good reason, but for respect for the process, which right now, is between me, myself, and the canvas.

The paintings in this series by Sarah Irvin are about a very different kind of confusion and definitely worth your time to explore and read about on her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Kathryn Markel Fine Arts.

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Emergence. Ryan Hewett.

Some people seem to be born knowing exactly who they are and they never waver.  Others of us spend a good deal of our lives trying to figure it out!  The process can be slow, but eventually, it will be apparent when our true selves emerge.  To me, these paintings by Ryan Hewett seem to mimic those stages of self discovery and acceptance.

Ryan Hewett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart #portraits Ryan Hewett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart #portraits Ryan Hewett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart #portraits Ryan Hewett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart #portraits Ryan Hewett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #contemporaryart #portraits

In his bold, painterly brushstrokes, we see in some elements of each face more detail than others.  Just as the process of finding who we are is about refining, we become known in some ways more quickly and distinctly than others.  Some aspects of who we are take a much longer time to nail down, especially as we shed inhibitions and outside influences.  Once we can quiet that cacophony, we can hear the voice inside.

To see more of Ryan Hewett’s work, please visit his website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Presence. Jane Krupp.

As Mr. F and I continue our travels, sometimes I think about the way we drift into and out of a community– for a time, we’re locals, we begin to become recognized at the local coffee shop and grocery store and then *poof* suddenly we’re gone.  It’s as if we were never there.  I do wonder, are we missed?  Do folks speculate about happened to that bearded man and his lady? Miami photographer Jane Krupp, in her Day Ghosts series captures the way daily our interactions are so fleeting.

Jane Krupp | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Jane Krupp | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Jane Krupp | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Jane Krupp | artsy forager #art #artists #photography Jane Krupp | artsy forager #art #artists #photography

Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow.

This quote by Anita Desai came up in my Facebook feed this morning and it’s something I think of often.  How each place we go, whether a physical location or mental, emotional, or spiritual spot, influences us in ways we may not realize until we have vacated it.  I think it is the same with the people we come into contact with.  We never know the impact we make, for better or for worse, on the people in our presence.  I hope our fleeting existence leaves a wake for good.

To see more of Jane Krupp‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.

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Surfaces. Drie Chapek.

When we’re out hiking, I can’t help but run my hand along the surface of a tree, touch the softness of a patch of moss, gently dip my hand into cold, clear water.  No matter where we are exploring, whether desert, woods, or mountains, there are always countless delicious textures to be experienced!  The paintings of Seattle artist Drie Chapek with their thickly painted surfaces echo the intricate webs of textures to be savored.

Drie Chapek | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Drie Chapek | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Drie Chapek | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Drie Chapek | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Drie Chapek | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

Just as the plants and water and rocks and tress exist in wild spaces, one tumbling over and onto another, so do Chapek’s layers interweave and run through each other.  We catch glimpses of one while contemplating another.

To see more of Drie Chapek‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artist’s website.  Artist found via Instagram.

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Floating. Amy Bennett.

I think, in this world there are perhaps three kinds of people– those who love the desert, ocean lovers, and lake/river people.  Mr. F and I are definitely not desert people and it’s taken us a while to realize we aren’t ocean people either.  Both have their beauty, yes, but neither stir our souls the way a crystal clear mountain lake or river can.  The love of lakes, for me, happened I think in childhood.  I spent a good deal of time every summer on a lake– either at camp or with my aunt and uncle who lived on a tiny lake in Northern Florida.  Two years ago we spent a summer on a lake in Idaho and it remains one of my favorite spot in all of our travels.

There is an easiness to lake life that creates an ease with the people around you– neighbors seem more neighborly, interactions are more likely to take place from boat to shoreline than by telephone or email.

Amy Bennett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Amy Bennett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Amy Bennett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Amy Bennett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart Amy Bennett | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #fineart

 

Maine artist Amy Bennett‘s paintings capture the feeling of this unique existence.  The artist begins by meticulously creating dioramas, which she then paints in oil on panel.  The scale of the dioramas, when recreated in paint, gives the feeling of a world created by a child– doll houses and toy boats and tiny people.  It makes me recall the innocence of those days, how everything appeared very soft, and fresh, and innocent and I was discovering a world that would come to be a part of me.

To see more of Amy Bennett‘s work, please visit her website.

All images are via the artists’s website.  Artist found via The Jealous Curator.

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Blurs. Jules Cozine.

Boundaries are healthy.  That’s what we’re told.  But when do we cross the line over into compartmentalization?  As artists and in turn, as people, every experience we have informs another.  Lines and lives blur and maybe we worry that we are losing control, no longer able to see where one thing ends and another begins.

Jules Cozine | artsyforager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jules Cozine | artsyforager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jules Cozine | artsyforager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jules Cozine | artsyforager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart Jules Cozine | artsyforager #art #artists #paintings #abstractart

 

The work of St. Petersburg artist Jules Cozine finds the beauty in the blurriness, shapes shift and colors bleed as our pupils try to focus in on the details, but finding none, we are forced to see the whole.  Just as when we concentrate our energies on one aspect of life for too long, the others fall apart.  We are meant to take in the whole.  To blur the lines, to collide our worlds.

To see more of Jules Cozine’s work, please visit her website.

Images are via the artist’s website, her Facebook page, and the website of Anne Irwin Fine Art.

And just for a little fun, if you’ve scrolled down this far..

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Choosing. Katie O’Hagan.

Every day, we’re faced with thousands of decisions, some seemingly insignificant, others life changing.  But with each decision is our choice to go down this path or the other.  Sushi or pizza. Turn left or turn right.  In the paintings of Katie O’Hagan, I’m reminded that no matter what the alternatives, in every circumstance we have a say perhaps not in what happens but in how we react to it.

Katie O'Hagan | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #figurativeart Katie O'Hagan | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #figurativeart Katie O'Hagan | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #figurativeart Katie O'Hagan | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #figurativeart Katie O'Hagan | artsy forager #art #artists #paintings #figurativeart

 

We have to be careful not to think too very much about what could be the significance of every tiny decision we make– we run the risk of freezing in fear.  Instead, we make our choices and know that we chose what we thought was right at the time.  We may turn out to be wrong, but better to find ourselves in the wrong place than nowhere at all.

To see more of Katie O’Hagan‘s work, please visit her website.

All images via the artist’s website.

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